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27b. 13.—Consul Campbell to the Earl of Clarendon,—(Bee. June26.) My Lobd, Logos, May 1, 1856.
The first annual payment to Kosoko, agreeably to the Treaty engagement made with him by myself and Captain Miller, of Her Majesty's ship Crane, having become due on the 31st December last, I notified to him that I was prepared to pay the amount he was entitled to receive, either in cowries or hard dollars.
I had no definite reply from him till a few days since, when on Mr. Peter Diederichsen visiting Epe, Kosoko requested him to inform me that the annual stipend to be paid by the Treaty would be of no service to him if paid in specie or cowries, as he would be obliged to distribute the greater portion of it among his Cabooceers; but that he would gladly receive the stipend in articles of ornament and utility, which he enumerated to Mr. Diederichsen.
As Kosoko has kept his engagement most faithfully, I hope your Lordship will approve of my gratifying his wish in this respect. Some of the articles he wishes to obtain are to be procured here; others it will be necessary for me to order from England.
It has long ago appeared to me very desirable to give the Africans, and particularly their Chiefs, a taste for articles of utility as well as ornament.
Under the sole influence of the Slave Trade they have sought to appear grand, not only in the eyes of their people, but of Europeans also, by dressing themselves up in the most grotesque costumes, Buch as were formerly to be seen in the theatricals at country fairs in England. It is hoped that a better taste and feeling will now prevail, and that, instead of investing their profits as heretofore in the purchase of slaves, they will be devoted to erecting more comfortable dwellings, and furnishing them with articles of comfort and utility; but the lead in this improvement must be taken by the kings and chiefs—it would not be safe for any subordinate person to show the example. I have, Ac.
The Earl of Clarendon. B. CAMPBELL;
No. 17.—Contul Campbell to the Earl of Clarendon.—(Rec. July 5.) Ml Lobd, Lagos, May 27, 1856.
I Lately learnt with pain and surprise, that the cruel and barbarous custom which exists in the Benin and other rivers between this and the Cameroons, of destroying twin children, as well ns the mother that bears them, prevails also in this town.
I came to the knowledge of this fact from being told by a person in whom I place great confidence, that a young man in whose welfare I take an interest, had narrowly escaped being put to death in consequence of his wife having given birth to twins. It appears that from some symptom or suspicion prior to the birth, the woman's accouchment was kept a secret, and that on her giving birth to two infants, they, with the mother, were immediately put to death, and the bodies doubtless sunk in the river; and in answer to inquiries that were made by the friends of the woman and her husband, the answer given was, that the woman died in childbirth. The husband of the woman was compelled to be a party to this to him most painful proceeding; for had he not assented to it, according to the barbarous custom of these people, his own life would also have been sacrificed.
From inquiries I have made of the Bev. Mr. Crowther, and some intelligent Sierra Leone people, I learn with pleasure that the barbarous practice of sacrificing twin children and their mother does not prevail in any part of Yoruba country; but, on the contrary, such an event as the birth of twin children is hailed with great satisfaction.
The inhabitants of Lagos are descendents of a Benin army, sent by a former King of that once powerful town and kingdom, some eighty years since, to subdue the inhabitants of the Island of Eshalli, situated opposite to Lagos. Failing in accomplishing that object, and not daring to return, the army settled on the island on which the town of Lagos is built; the Captain, or leader of the army, constituting himself King. The barbarous practice of destroying twins has, therefore, its origin from Benin, where this and other frightful and barbarous customs, such as human sacrifices on the full and change of the moon, exist, and will continue so to do, until civilization and Christianity have made some progress in that town and country.
Although this barbarous custom may be an infraction of that Article of the Treaty concluded with the late King Akitoye, abolishing human sacrifices, it will, I fear, be very difficult to get the Chiefs of Lagos, men whose minds are sunk in the grossest superstition, to admit of it. I, therefore, respectfully suggest to your Lordship, that the abolition for the future of the cruel custom of destroying twin children in Lagos (it appears that here the custom extends to the mother, and even to the father of the twins) should, in a formal and special manner, be abolished by a supplemental Treaty with the King and chiefs of Lagos.
I was quite taken by surprise when I heard of the circumstance above reported to your Lordship, and I can only attribute to its rare occurrence that the missionaries in Lagos were ignorant of the frightful custom existing in this town, in which so great a change has taken place within the last few years, that it may be safely said, that here at least the groans of the unchained slave have been exchanged for the cheerful song of the free and unshackled labourer as he proceeds on the river, bearing to or from market the fruit of man's innocent and lawful labour, not the victims of his avarice and oppression; that the large buildings still called barracoons (a name unpleasing to English ears) are now filled with an article of legitimate commerce, instead of unhappy captives, the clank of whose chains have happily been superseded by " the sound of the churchgoing bell." I have, &c. The Earl of Clarendon. B. CAMPBELL
-ZVo. 18.—The Earl of Clarendon to Consul Campbell. Sib, Foreign Office, July 7, 1856.
I Have received your despatch of the 1st of May last, stating that it is the wish of King Kosoko that the amount of the annual allowance due to him under the Treaty engagement of the 28th of September, 1854,* should be paid to him in articles of ornament and utility, instead of in specie or cowries; and I have to acquaint you • Vol. XLV. Page 913. ,
in reply, that I approve of your disbursing the amount of the allowance due to Kosoko in accordance with his request.
I am, &c.
J9. Campbell, Esq. CLABENDON.
No. 21.— The Earl of Clarendon to Consul Campbell. Sib, Foreign Office, July 15,1850.
I Have received your despatch of 27th of May last, reporting that you have recently ascertained that the practice of destroying twin children and their parents exists in the town of Lagos, and in reply have to instruct you to endeavour to negotiate with the King and Chiefs of that town the Treaty which you suggest for the abolition of this inhuman custom. I am, &c.
B. Campbell, Etq. CL ABEND ON.
No. 22.—Consul Campbell to the Earl of Clarendon.—(Rec. July 81.) My Lobd, Lagos, June 14, 1856.
It will, I feel sure, be satisfactory to Her Majesty's Government to learn that its energetic and successful interference on behalf of the late King Akitoye, which led to the complete breaking up of this once great Slave Trade mart, is now, I may say, fast fulfilling the hopes and expectations which were anticipated would follow so decisive a measure.
From Cape Formosa to Porto Novo the Slave Trade may confidently be said to be extinct; at Whydah, and the small ports east and west of it, nearly so; and if the Chiefs of those small ports, Aghwey, Great and Little Popoe, Ac, who are all under Treaty engagements with Her Majesty's Government, were threatened with its severe displeasure if they again permitted the embarkation of slaves from their districts, they would, I am well informed, use that as an excuse for refusing permission to the slave-dealers to embark slaves from within their jurisdictions. Whydah would then be the only point from which the embarkation of slaves could take place.
The trade in palm oil is increasing at all the ports in the Bight of Benin, and, if the revenues derived from it do not satisfy all the old slave-trading Chiefs, the profits of the lawful traffic amply compensate the masses of the populations who are now engaged in it; moreover, this legitimate and peaceful trade is working its beneficial influence in gradually ameliorating the condition of that large proportion of the population held in a state of bondage which is gradually becoming nominal. It is also making it the interest of the large bodies of people to whom it affords employment and profit, that the roads from and to the interior should be free from the brigandage which infested them in the days of the Slave Trade, and, happily, they can now be traversed ia safety by email parties
and to a distance which has surprised me.
I have, in a previous despatch, in reporting to your Lordship the great improvement that has taken place of late in the interna! communications of this part of Africa, mentioned that my passportf ensured the safety of the bearers of them as far the town of Hloria I now learn that some Houssa and Xuffi people (self-emancipated emigrants from the Brazils), who some months since applied to m< for passports, stating that they were proceeding to Illorin, hav< actually reached their homes in those countries in safety, and hav< sent word to their countrymen living here, and who have been waiting some years for an opportunity to return to their homes to obtain passports from'me, and to venture to reach those coun tries. I accordingly complied with the request of a native o: Houssa and a native of the Nuffi country, and gave them each i passport, with which they appeared confident of being able to read those countries, and they have promised, on their safe arrival, to return the passports to me, with a notification in Arabic to that effect.
On mentioning this circumstance in the course of conversation with the Rev. Mr. Crowther, ho informed me that Dr. Barth, the traveller, had taken with him to England two natives of Houssa, who are now in the care of the Committee of the Church Missionary Society, but that great anxiety was felt as to the possibility of these two men being got back in safety to their country. I entertain no doubt, my Lord, that, if sent here and provided with passports, and put under the especial safeguard of the Chiefs of the large towns, to be passed from one to the other without molestation, the two Houssa men would reach their country in safety.
I have, &c.
The Earl of Clarendon. B. CAMPBELL.
No. 26.—The Earl of Clarendon to Consul Campbell. Sie, Foreign Office, August 30, 1856.
Hee Majesty's Government learn with much satisfaction, from your despatch of the 14th of June last, the great improvement that has taken place at Lagos and in the neighbouring countries, consequent upon the expulsion of Kosoko, and the measues adopted by Her Majesty's Government to put an end to the Slave Trade which was carried on from Lagos and the adjacent coasts; and with reference to that part of your despatch in which you state that if the Chiefs of the small ports of Aghwey, Great and Little Popoe, &c., who are all under Treaty engagements with Her Majesty's Government, were threatened with its severe displeasure if they again permitted the embarkation of slaves from their districts, I have