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“ à Pitre by Messrs. G. Segond and Sons. 2. The Canning addressed a letter to the prince de Polig. “ brig Auguste, captain Allair, fitted out at nac, announcing and apologising for the unau. “ Pointe à Pitre by Messrs. Vergnus and Le-thorised capture, by his majesty's sloop Delight, “ moyne, Dourneau, Duclos, Lamoisse and Da- | in Passandava bay, Madagascar, of the French “ russe, and Burtet and Collineau. 3. The vessel La Cécile, employed in the slave trade, and “ schooner La Daphne, captain Maresten, stating that orders had been sent out to the officer 4 owners Messrs. Dourneau and Duclos, fitted commanding on the Cape station to deprive captain « out likewise at Pointe à Pitre. Hence it Hay of the command of the Delight, and to send 6 would seem as if the prohibition had only him to England to account for disobedience of his 66 been made to encourage the crime."
instructions, which positively enjoined him not to In obedience to the directions contained in meddle with the French flag.–“But," Mr. Can. Mr. Secretary Canning's letter, sir C. Stuart ning adds," the French government must perceive addressed a representation to the French go “ in the circumstances attending the vessel in vernment upon the subject, and on the following “ question, and in the other facts communicated day received an answer from the baron de " by captain Nourse, that a slave trade under the Damas, in which he says : -“ You cannot - French flag is still carried on in the East Indian “ doubt, sir, that the king's government feel a “ seas, and particularly in the island of Bourbon, “ strong indignation at the recital of such atro 66 which traffic calls loudly for the interference “ cious deeds, and which I thank you for having “ of the French government at home to produce « imparted to me. They will become, on the part “ its entire suppression. While, therefore, the
of the administration, the subject of an in-“ undersigned is commanded by the king, his 6 quiry as strict as unlimited, which shall like “ master, to signify the regret with which his “ wise be extended to the three other vessels “ majesty has witnessed the circumstances of the “ mentioned in the same communication.” " capture of the Cécile, he is at the same time · On the 16th of August, 1824, the baron de “ to express to the prince de Polignac his ma. Damas addressed a letter to sir Charles Stuart, “ jesty's most earnest hope that his most Chrisin which he charges three English vessels, the |“ tian majesty will be induced to send out to his St. George, the Caledonia, and the Ranger, with “ colonies such orders as shall be more effectual having been engaged in the slave trade. This " than those already issued have proved in the charge being communicated to the English go-" repression of this most infamous traffic, which vernment, an assurance is given that the most“ is thus covered by his most Christian majesty's rigid inquiry will be instituted without delay, “ flag, and carried on in his most Christian with a view of punishing the British delin- “ majesty's territory." quents, if any, with the severity to which they Mr. Consul Barnes addressed a note to Mr were subjected by the laws of England, for carry. Consul-general Morier, dated “ Nantes, Aug. ing on the slave trade. An inquiry being ac- " 13, 1824;" in which he says, “ French ves. cordingly instituted, it appears, by a letter from “ sels continue to sail for the Mauritius with. commodore Bullen to J. W. Croker, esq., dated “ out the necessary certificate, and there are “ H.M.S. Maidstone, Sierra Leone, 10th Nov.," three now on the eve of sailing. The slave “ 1824,” that the suspicion raised against those “ trade increases, several have returned this vessels was entirely groundless. “ This un “ week, having made successful voyages. There “ founded charge," commodore Bullen observes, 66 are eight vessels now fitting out, one, the “ has, in my opinion, been merely exhibited by “ Alcide, the vessel you made particular inquiry “ the commander of the French squadron on “ about in January last. Two fine vessels, “ this coast to endeavour, by a counter-state-“ built expressly for that trade, were launched
ment, to palliate the infamous conduct of his “ during the week.” Sir C. Stuart cornmuni. * countrymen, who openly avow their partici. cated the circumstances to the Baron de Damas, “ pation in the slave trade, and of whom I and received for answer that the particular bad “ have had the honour to transmit to their lord- been transmitted to the minister of marine, with " ships the most ample details.
a request to him to inquire into the facts, and, On the 23d of August, the baron de Damas if they were exact, to take the necessary mea. informed sir C. Stuart that the minister of ma- sures to bring their authors to punishment. rine had given directions that a strict inquiry | The capture by French men of war of several should be instituted at Guadaloupe respecting French slave ships, and their confiscation by the the atrocious act imputed to the captain of La French authorities at Cayenne, Bourbon, and Louisa; and that instructions had been for- , Guyana, as announced in the Moniteur, &c. is warded to the ports of France for the purpose noticed in sir C. Stuart's despatches, of various of attaching the masters and owners of the three dates. other vessels. In forwarding this letter to Mr. On the 13th of November, 1824, the following Secretary Canning, sir C. Stuart observes, that letter, and the three subjoined enclosures, were it shews a more decisive inclination to put down sent by Mr. Secretary Canning to the hon. A. the slave trade than any of the communications Percy :he had received on the same subject.
“ Foreign Office, November 13, 1894. On the 30 September, 1824, Mr. Secretary « Sir,-I furnish you with an extract of a com
munication from the commodore of his majesty's very short space of time, without coming to an ships off the coast of Africa, giving the account anchor. What could this have been but a cargo of a slave-trade now carrying on under the flag of slaves ? The examination was conducted of France with scandalous publicity upon that in the mildest manner, and, to prevent the coast. The forbearance of his majesty's officers shadow of a complaint, I caused the papers of was highly praiseworthy, in not forcing them- each to be endorsed to that effect. To point out selves on board of the Louis when taunteel by to their lordships the extent and importance of expressions calculated and evidently intended to the French slave-trade in this quarter, I have irritate them. On board of the Sabine, the of- enclosed a list of those boarded by my boats durficers pointed out, voluntarily, in detail, to the ing their absence. They were fitted up with British officers, the apartments for the male and every thing necessary for the reception of their for the female slaves, and every other circum- slaves; and so little did they appear to fear de. stance on board, as it were in defiance and deri- tection, that the officers of La Sabine volun. sion of our attempts to put an end to their illegal tarily conducted ours over their vessel, pointing traffic. It is the earnest wish and hope of the out the different apartments for the males and king's government, that the era of the reign of females, and explaining every circumstance his most Christian majesty Charles the tenth, connected with it. Her cargo was to consist may be signalised by some decisive measure, (for of five hundred, which were then held in readithe suppression of practices which are a scandal ness for embarkation at a short distance from to the flag of France,) in co-operation with those the town, and it was reported, that in two or of so many other Christian powers, whose joint three days, she was to take them on board and efforts have been directed to the abolition of the sail for Bourbon: and that their lordships may slave-trade. I am, &c.
be in full possession of every circumstance re. (Signed) George CANNING. lating to them, I consider it my duty to state, The honourable Algernon Percy,
that, on my boats proceeding to visit Le &c. &c.
| Louis, then lying in the Old Calabar without First enclosure.
any colours hoisted, her captain (Oisean), al. Commodore Bullen to J. W. Croker, esq. though he must have been fully aware they were H. M. S. Maidstone, Cape Coast, Gold Coast, English from their colours, and their having 220 July, 1824.
visited the vessel near him, refused to allow of (Extract.)
their coming alongside, at the same time making I left Accarah on the 6th ult. arrived at Fer- every preparation for resistance, arming and arnando Po on the 10th, and remained there to ranging his crew on the forecastle, brandishing complete my water and obtain firewood until the his sword, presenting his pistols, and, using the 14th, when I proceeded to cruise in the Bight of most taunting and provoking expressions, daring Biafra. On the 15th I sent my launch, barge, and defying them to attempt it; being supported and pinnace, under the command of lieutenant in his bravado by the consciousness that the Morton, with directions to examine most mi. strictness of the English officers' orders would nutely the Bonny with its branches, Old Cala- prevent their having recourse to force in boardbar, Cameroons, and adjacent coasts, continuing ing and visiting a vessel under French colours, in the ship to cruise between Cape Formosa and he having hoisted them on the officer expressing the latter river, without falling in with any thing his determination to board in spite of resistexcept the two French vessels described in the ance. The forbearance of the officers in the enclosed list, which were boarded by me off the boats under such trying circumstances was river St. Nicholas, two successive days, after a highly praiseworthy, as if they had for one chase of five or six hours previous to their shew. moment allowed their feelings to overcome ing any colours. They were both evidently fit- the dictates of reason, fatal must have been ted up for the reception of slaves, and as a cloak the consequences to the French vessel, and every had cleared out for the island of St. Thomas with one on board her. This occurrence took place in a general cargo for trade (a mere pretence, to the presence of a numerous body of the natives, which I find they all resort to save the honour who were collected on the shore anxiously watchof their nation), with an intention of calling at ing the result: on whom the tendency of the im. the Bonny, as they stated, to obtain water and pression that, to appearance, the English did not refreshments, but doubtless for the purpose of dare to attack even an inferior force, must as. making arrangements for the reception of their suredly lessen that high opinion they at present cargo of human flesh : in this opinion I am entertain of the British nation; and that such more fully confirmed by the circumstances re-was the impression, the reproaches of the na. ported to me on the return of my boats. tives to our men on landing fully testifie.l. L'Aimable Henriette had come direct from St. Lieutenant Morton, however, desired her capJago de Cuba, laden most probably with tain to send his papers to him, and he afterwards Spanish property, at which place, it appeared proceeded on board and examined her. This by a reference to the log of her foriner voyage, merely points out to their lordships under what she had disembarked her cargo in March (painful circumstances a British officer can at. last, at so early an hour as six A. N., and in a tempt to perform his duty to his country, when he is liable to the grossest insults from a set of sea with a cargo of slaves on board ; and as their wretches, engaged in this most inhuman and in- lordships must be fully aware, that the mere famous traffic, who know and feel they are pro hoisting of a white ensign cannot satisfy a Bri. tected and encouraged by their government. tish officer as to the nation of that vessel, but From what I have seen and heard, I think I may that it becomes his bounden duty to have more safely pronounce, that the whole of the slave- certain and positive proof that no fraud has been trade in the Bight of Biafra (considered its committed, taking care always to conduct the greatest nursery), carried on under the French examination in the most mild and gentle man. flag and in French vessels, is incalculable. Un- ner, to prevent the possibility of a complaint of a less a mutual right of search is agreed on, or breach of the good harmony subsisting between some effectual measures taken to preclude the friendly nations, their lordships must perceive French vessels from openly, and to appearance how very delicately I am situated ; and I have legally, participating in the slave-trade, it must therefore presumed to suggest for their attention most positively increase to an alarming extent, and consideration, whether some mode may not as they have no enemy whatever to fear, and em- be adopted to check this daring and growing bark their slaves boldly and openly, confident in evil, and whether there appears to them the their security; and it is natural to expect, that, slightest probability of the French nation being aware of these circumstances, the other nations brought to permit of our seizing such vessels, so will no longer run a risk under their own co- boarded under suspicious circumstances, and lours, but employ the French vessels as carriers. found with a cargo of slaves actually on board, The captains of the English palm-oil ships state, and intended for trade, and sending them with that, to their knowledge, the slave-trade was the whole of their crews and cargoes untouched never so briskly and extensively carried on as to Goree for trial; the said capture not to enat present; thus the efforts of his majesty's go- title the captor to any reward. What has more vernment to destroy and abolish this nefarious particularly influenced me in this proposition, is traffic are rendered null and void ; and all the fact, that I have neither seen nor heard of the treaties and conventions entered into with any French man of war being on this quest, the other powers, at a great expense and sacri. since my arrival. fice, fruitless and of no avail. As my instruc
(Signed) C. BULLEX. tions positively forbid my interfering with vessels J. W. Croker, esq. under the French flag, even should I meet them at &c. &c. &c.
Second Enclosure. RETURN of French Vessels boarded by H. M. S. Maidstone between 5th June, 1824, and 20th July, 1824.
( Off the June 17
12 Thomas 31
Intended to call at the
>Bonny for water and re-
CHARLES BULLEN, Commodore.
10 350 90 Nantes...... Seychelles .... Nantes.......... Palm 23 2 198 1201 ... Isle of France do.
22 4 186 730 St. Thomas St. Thomas... Bordeaux.....
do. 15 2 101 90
oil The whole of the French vessels
are evidently fitted for slaves, and
La Sabine, fitted for 200 female
June 16 River Bonny Orphée......... Coquet..
Diligence...... Auger ..
by H. M. S.
L'Atalante, pillaged by a constitutional brig of 14 guns from the Havannah, which cruizes off the Cumana islands.
CHARLES MORTOX, Lieut. H. M. S. Maidstone, in charge of the boats.
On the 20th of November, 1824, viscount Gran-majesty's government will never allow to remain ville addressed to the French minister for foreign unpunished a conduct so opposite to the beaffairs a note on the subject of the above-men- mane principles by which it is guided : and I tioned transactions; to which his lordship received feel confident, that the cominunication of these an answer from the baron de Damas on the 23d. facts by your excellency will lead to a strict His excellency expresses therein the deep interest inquiry into the circumstances of this atrocious which the government of France takes in the case, and a severe punishment of the offenders. entire abolition of this odious traffic, and of their
I am, &c. determination to abide by the regulations for its
(Signed) GEORGE CAXXIXG. destruction, proofs of which are to be found in His excellency viscount Granville, &c. &c. the sentences that have lately been awarded by
(Enclosure.) the different tribunals when the facts have been Commodore Bullen to J. W. Croker, esq. proved, and in the activity of the prosecutions His majesty's ship Maidstone, Port Antonio, instituted against this species of speculation.
Prince's Island, 3d October, 1824. And although it has happened more than once (Extract.) that the information transmitted upon this sub- Finding the James here, commanded by capject has not been exempt from exaggeration, tain Pince, who conducted himself so humanely, still his excellency will not listen with less in and shewed such attention to the crews of my terest to the communications which may be boats, on their arrival in a distressed condition made to him upon this subject, and will receive in the Bonny in June last, I was happy in being with readiness any thing which upon so im- enabled personally to express to him my sincere portant an object shall tend to insure the ends thanks for his praiseworthy conduct on that of justice.
oceasion. From him I learn that the French In January 1825, viscount Granville received slave-trade has lately most considerably in. from the baron de Damas a note in consequence creased in the rivers Bonny and Old Calabar. of the one that lord Granville addressed to him, Several new vessels have arrived, and many on the 20th November, 1824, on the subject of laden with full cargoes of human victims have the slave-trade still carried on under the French left, under the white flag, and manned by flag, on the coast of Africa. - His excellency Frenchmen, althongh the capital embarked is remarks, that the different accounts he had re- ostensibly Spanish. That their lordships may ceived confirmed the opinion which he formerly have full and complete information respecting expressed, that these reports were seldom unac- : the degrees of barbarity and want of feeling, companied by exaggeration ; but at the same evinced by these subjects of an enlightened time says, that from the inquiries which had nation, which publicly disavows such horrible been made at the French admiralty, it had been and infamous conduct, I beg leave to acquaint ascertained, that of the vessels mentioned, some them, that Le Louis, commanded by Oisean, had been taken and condemned; and that orders who was so insolent to my officers on their visit. had been given to watch the return of the re- ing him in June last, on completing her cargo mainder, which were not yet arrived in the of slaves in the Old Calabar, without the French ports.
slightest spark of humanity in him, thrust the On the 24th January, 1825, the following whole of these unfortunate beings between letter and the subjoined enclosure were sent by decks (a height of nearly three feet) and closed Mr. Secretary Canning to viscount Granville: the hatches for the night; when morning made
its appearance, fifty of the poor sufferers had My Lord,
paid the debt of nature, owing to the confined, In reference to the subject of my despatch to diseased, and putrid atmosphere they were conMr. Percy of the 13th of November, 1824, demned to respire. The wretch coolly ordered marked "slave-trade," I transmit to your excel- the bodies of these miserable victims of his total lency the extract of a communication from the want of human feeling to be thrown into the admiralty, stating, that in the case of the French river, and immediately proceeded on shore, to slave vessel, Le Louis, L'Oisean master, her complete his execrable cargo, by a fresh purchase cargo of human beings were stored for one of his fellow-creatures. To detail all the enorwhole night between decks, with a height of mities committed by these dealers in human hardly three feet, and that not less than fifty of flesh, who feel they are protected by the nation them were found next morning to have perished. they claim, and the flag they hoist, vould tres. I request that your excellency will communicate | pass too much on their lordships' time; sufice to the government of his most Christian majesty it to say, they are heart-rending, and would disthese revolting particulars of the conduct of grace the most unenlightened savage, and most French subjects engaged in the slave-trade, with refined cruelty. the horrible result of which they themselves
(Signed) CHARLES BULLEN. seem not to have been at all affected; for it ap- To a communication which viscount Granville pears they did but throw the dead bodies in the made on the 29th of January, 1825, to the sea, and instantaneously proceed on shore, in baron de Damas of the above transactions, the search of more victims. His most Christian l baron returned the following answer: