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CORRESPONDENCE OF THE COLONIAL OFFICE,
THE SLAVE TRADE.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE GOVERNOR OF SIERRA LEONE.
LIST OF PAPERS.
1. Governor Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Henry
..Jermyn Street..26th May, 1821.
..Sierra Leone....14th Jan. 1822.
.Sierra Leone....14th Jan. 1822.
2. Governor Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Earl Bathurst...
3. Governor Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Henry Goulburn, Esq......
No. 1.-Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Henry Goulburn, Esq. 64, Jermyn Street, 26th May, 1821. IT appearing, by a Letter I have received from Sierra Leone, that John Ouzeley Kearney, a British Slave-dealer, who provided Slaves for the French Schooner La Marie, as stated in a Letter I had the honour of addressing to Earl Bathurst on the 17th of February 1820, (No. 233,) left the Gallinas in the month of November last, in a small Vessel of his own, with 98 Slaves, for The Havannah, declaring his intention of returning on the Coast; I beg leave to request of you to submit to Earl Bathurst the propriety of stating the case to the Marquess of Londonderry, in order that application may be made to His Catholick Majesty's Government for the giving up of that Villain, to be tried for felony. The circumstances of his case have been so fully stated in the Papers laid before Parliament, that I conceive it unnecessary to make any further observations, but that the said Kearney held a Lieutenancy in the New South Wales Regiment, exchanged from that Corps to the Royal African Corps, and resigned his Commission in the latter Regiment in December, 1814; that having left Senegal in 1817, and sought an asylum at Sierra Leone, he was for a short period employed by me, but was discharged.
Some months after, he left the Colony, and became one of the most active Slave-dealers at the Gallinas. When I was made acquainted with his criminal conduct, a reward was offered for his apprehension, and every effort used (but in vain) to secure him.
I conceive such a Criminal should be made an example of, to deter others from departing from their allegiance for gold.
It is some satisfaction to me to be able to state, that at the period of his committing this crime, he held no situation either civil or military, or on half-pay. I have, &c.
Henry Goulburn, Esq.
C. MAC CARTHY.
No. 2.-Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Earl Bathurst.
Government-House, Sierra Leone, 14th Jan. 1822. I HAVE the honour of availing myself of the return to England of a merchant Brig (the Bedford,) with African timber, to report my arrival here on the 28th November last; and I have great pleasure in stating, that I found the European inhabitants and others very healthy, after experiencing what is termed rather a severe season, particularly upon New-comers. I have employed as great a proportion of my time as I could spare from my other duties, in visiting the Towns and Villages on the Peninsula, inhabited by liberated Negroes, and discharged soldiers from the 4th and 2d West India Regiments and the Royal African Corps; and it affords me the highest gratification to say, that I have found these people happy, contented and industrious; more particularly the former class (liberated Africans) who at different periods were landed here from the holds of Slave Ships; and, under the zealous care of the Chief Superintendent, Mr. Reffell, and of the Superintendents I appointed from the Church Missionary Society, have, during my absence, continued improving in religion, morals and agriculture. These have a great advantage over all the other establishments; they not only have been a longer period under the same system, but are inhabited by a more equal proportion of women, and consequently enjoy that first basis of all civilization, Christian Marriage. The Village of Waterloo is the only exception among the soldiers' settlements; it was formed at a late period in 1819, of discharged soldiers of the Royal African Corps, has a due proportion of women, and has improved accordingly.
I have, &c.
The Right Hon. Earl Bathurst, K. G.
C. MAC CARTHY.
No. 3.-Sir Charles Mac Carthy to Henry Goulburn, Esq. Government-House, Sierra Leone, 14th Jan. 1822. REFERRING to the observations I had the honour of addressing to you, in June last, on the subject of the Report of the British Commissaries in the Mixed Commission, to the Marquess of Londonderry, I sincerely lament that my forebodings, as to the extent of the Traffick in Slaves, have been fully realized; that more Slaves were carried from Africa in the course of last year than in the preceding year. Deeming it a part of my duty, however painful it may be, to communicate such information as I may obtain on this important subject, I have now the honour of transmitting herewith inclosed, a Memorandum on that subject, which I beg you may lay before Earl Bathurst.
I have, &c.
Henry Goulburn, Esq.
C. MAC CARTHY.
(Inclosure 1.)-Memorandum of the present actual state of the Slavetrade on the Coast of Africa.
THE Official Communications of Sir George Collier will have made His Majesty's Government acquainted with the state of the Slave-trade, up to the period of that Officer's departure from this Coast: it is therefore proposed to limit the present remarks to the actual state of that traffick during the last 6 months.
Of the illicit Trade on the Leeward Coast a very correct estimate may be formed, on the results of the several Cruizes made during the above period by His Majesty's Ships on that Station.
In the months of July and August His Majesty's Ship Myrmidon cruized in the Bight of Biafra, and in the course of a few weeks 16 Slave-vessels were boarded and examined by her; of this number, only 1, the Adelaide, (a Portuguese Schooner) came within the provisions of the publick Conventions; she was brought to this Colony and condemned in the Mixed Court.
His Majesty's Ship Pheasant was also employed about the same period on the Leeward Station; this Ship, at Whydah (formerly an English Fort) and Badagry, found 6 Slavers under Portuguese Colours; these Vessels, equipped with boilers, irons, water-casks, &c. had no Slaves on board, and of course could not be detained.
The Slave Factories in the Calabar and at Lagos, were likewise visited in July and August by His Majesty's Brig Snapper: at these Places, 1 Spaniard, 6 Portuguese, and 3 French Vessels were examined (as per inclosed List.) The Conceição, a Portuguese Schooner, having Slaves on board, was brought to this Colony for Adjudication.
The next cruize of the Myrmidon on the Leeward Station was equally conclusive, as to the increased state of this horrible traffick. Proceeding to the Southward, as far as the Bonny, Captain Leeke found that River swarming with Slave-vessels under different Flags; 8 bore the Colours of His Most Christian Majesty (as per Memorandum) and of these 4 had their inhuman Cargoes on board.
The circumstance of a heavy duty or custom becoming due to the Chiefs of Bonny and Calabar, on every Slave-ship when fully laden, necessarily induces them to keep a kind of Registry of the different Vessels; numeral Lists from these Rivers, and founded on the said Registry, frequently come to this Colony, but from their magnitude had been deemed exaggerated and incredible.
Captain Leeke, however, in the mouth of October ascertained, on good authority, that the number of Slave Cargoes taken out of the Bonny, from July in the preceding Year up to that time, was actually 190. A similar Return from the Calabar, for a like period, made a total of 162.
The line of Coast from this Colony to Cape Mount was the scene of the Snapper's Cruize; in October, Lieutenant Knight, her Com
mander, in the course of 10 days fell in with 9 Slave-vessels; of this number, 8 were French (as per Inclosure) the other, under Dutch Colours, with a Cargo of Slaves on board, escaped.
The Gallinas, a notorious Slave Factory, not far to Leeward of this Colony, is rarely indeed without Slave-ships; the latest accounts state that there are 3 Vessels under French Colours now lying there. From Shebar, a Place still nearer us, a large Slave-vessel, fully laden and under the same Flag, sailed within the last 10 days.
On the foregoing facts, as to the state of the Leeward Slave-trade, it would be quite superfluous to offer any comment: wherever His Majesty's Ships touched, they found that criminal traffick in full activity; nor is it difficult to assume that it is carried on with redoubled ardour, during the occasional and necessary absence of our Vessels from their cruizing ground.
The renewal of the traffick in human Beings on the Windward Coast must be viewed by every friend to humanity with deep regret, accompanied as that renewal has been with cruel Wars amongst the hitherto peaceful Natives: the arrival of a Slave-ship in any of the adjacent Rivers is the signal for attack; the Hamlets of the Natives are burned, and the miserable Survivors carried and sold to the Slave Factors.
The line of Coast from the Island of Goree to the Mouth of the Gambia, and from thence to the Portuguese Establishments of Cacheo and Bissao, would seem to be the principal seat of this guilty traffick to Windward. From this Quarter, in addition to the ordinary exportation in large Vessels, a very extensive Carrying Trade is kept up with the Cape de Verd Islands, principally by the small Craft belonging to Goree and Senegal.
The Slave-traders at Cacheo have lately given their traffick in the Rio Grande a new feature of barbarous atrocity: they visit this River in armed Sloops and Boats, landing during the night, and carrying off as many as possible of the truly wretched Inhabitants. An Appeal to this Colony has been lately made, on behalf of 3 Villages lately ravaged in this manner.
The fine Rivers Nunez and Pongas are entirely under the controul of renegado European and American Slave-traders; most of the Slaves sent from the former River find their way to Cacheo and the Cape Verds, from whence it is said they are shipped as Domesticks to the Brazils.
A French Schooner, M. Déés, Master, took on board 95 Slaves; and a Spaniard, commanded by one Morales, also shipped 160, some time since in the Rio Pongas. This River not long ago was considered too near this Colony to be approached with impunity by Slave-vessels. A general idea of the traffick to Windward may therefore be formed, from the circumstance that latterly a great number of Slaves have
been exported from the Pongas, and that Slave-vessels may always be found lying there.
Since the departure of Sir Charles Mac Carthy for the Isles de Loss, the above statement has been fully corroborated by the return of His Majesty's Brig of War Thistle, commanded by Lieutenant Hagan, from a visit to the Rio Pongas. The Thistle has brought in under seizure the Schooner Rosalia, Don Francisco Freyne, late Master, having on board a Cargo of 60 Slaves, and bound to The Havannah. It is supposed that she had no regular Papers, as the Master, who has succeeded Freyne, said she had none at all, and he refused to come down to Sierra Leone. The Rosalia had lost 8 of her Crew in the Pongas: she sailed apparently under Spanish Colours; but as her Case is now before the Court of Mixed Commission it is not possible to give any material facts relating to her. Lieutenant Hagan, however, confirms the fact of the Slave-trade being rather increased than diminished.
(Inclosure 2.)-Memorandum of Slave Vessels, examined by His Majesty's Gun-brig Snapper, in July and August, 1821.
In the River ditto
what Colours. Remarks. Schooner M. Audbert M. Audbert Bourdeaux Trading Bourdeaux French Completely Voyage fitted out for Slaves.
Off Old Schooner H. Dupreyes
Brigantine Duvaynes M. Bidon
From. Bound. Belonging.
E. Ped. Paul Josse St. Salvador Angola St. Salvador Portu
Jacq. Johane Souza Joac Lisbon Cabinda Lisbon
Ditto. Brig Strella Ab. Baptiste
In the Schooner Ant. P. Bar- Maria de
Ditto. Del Carmen D. Oaumleys
Ditto Waiting for
Slaves. Only 6 of Crew alive.
Ditto.-No one onboard who could speak English.
one onboard who could speak Engfish.
Ditto. 56 Slaves on
board. For judgment in Mixed Commission
Havannah Spanish No one on
board who could speak English. Fitted out for Slaves.