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No. 255.—The Earl of Clarendon to Consul Fines. Sib, Foreign Office, July 8,1856.
I Have received your despatch of the 29th of April last, in which you express an opinion that the freedom of the three slaves, Jacinto, Ildefonco, and Lazaro, who belonged to Mr. Dickson's late wife, might be secured, on their arriving at the age of 21, if the Judge of the Court of Orphans at Para were instructed by the Imperial authorities at Rio de Janeiro to apportion the slaves to Mr. Dickson and the land to his children.
I have to state to you, in reply, that it appears to me that Her Majesty's Government would not be justified in making suggestions to the Brazilian Government, or in undertaking any ex parte interference with regard to the lawsuit relating to the late Mrs. Dickson's property, which is now before the Brazilian law courts, unless it can be shown that justice has been denied to Mr. Dickson.
I am, &c.
S. Vines, Esq. CLARENDON.
No. 274.—Consul Covper to the Earl of Clarendon.—(Bee. Nov. 11.) Mr Lobd, Pemambuco, October 17, 1856.
I Cannot abstain from recurring to the subject of the coasting Slave Trade carried on in this empire, that your Lordship's good offices may be exerted in defence of that race, which has suffered, is suffering, and I fear has yet to suffer, such unmerited and inhuman treatment.
One of the arguments advanced in favour of the African Slave Trade is, that the slaves are removed from a state of barbarism and paganism, to one of civilization and Christianity, and notwithstanding the practical untruth of this assertion (for no slave ever made a further acquaintance with civilization than enabled him to contrast his own miserable state with that of the dominant race; or with the blessings of Christianity, further than the initiatory act of baptism), I am willing to allow the argument such merit as it deserves.
But it can have neither weight nor place in discussing the coasting Slave Trade, which presents its naked and corrupt body to the view without a healthy or redeeming spot. Children are torn from their parents, parents from their children, the tie of husband and wife, which no man is "to put asunder," is severed like the Gc knot, the tenderest feelings of our nature, the love of country its thousand associations of home, love, or friendship, are all n and disregarded, and the unfortunate descendant of the A victim finds that, notwithstanding the Christianity and civili; of his new country, the wrongs of his race have been transj across the Atlantic to be perpetuated in him.
A very extensive and increasing trade in slaves, amounti many thousands annually, is now carried on betwixt Rio de Ji and the northern provinces of Brazil; the traders make peri visits, and return with their unresisting victims, indifferent al the tears of the women and the curses of the men. Many I young females are bought by these rascals for the express pi of public prostitution in the capital: a case of this descriptic under my own personal knowledge, when 2,400 milreis (nearly were offered for twin sisters of fourteen years of age, which happy to be able to add their owner refused. A woman wb borne thirteen children, and thus considerably increased the 1 of her master, is now threatened with eternal separation from by being sold for the south by this same master; and a; mulatto man was thus recently sold by his own father, a PortU] It is unnecessary to multiply these cases of human sufferinj worthy of the touching humanity of a Beecher Stowe.
I am aware that Her Majesty's Government possesses no of interference in this essentially internal traffic, but sure Government could feel offence at the friendly suggestions of ai with which it is at amity, when those suggestions are based the purest grounds of humanity and justice. This is not a qu of political rights, or even of social rights, but one of human i Could not a law be enacted guaranteeing to the slave the ri] country? for to him there can exist no real difference beti voyage of 2,000 miles from Para to Rio de Janeiro, and c 2,000 miles from the coast of Africa to Brazil. The stringenl vincial laws respecting the exportation of slaves, and the duty i milreis, are insufficient to stop the evil, and are oftentimes ei Could not the law forbid the separation of man and wife, of \ and child, at least beyond tho precincts of the province in they reside? This would not only be an act of humanity, 1 policy; it would dry the tears of thousands, and fill their hearts contentment, and it would stop that drain upon the labour t northern provinces which cannot fail to be shortly felt.
It would, indeed, be only a very email instalment of the c: ing natural right of liberty, but it would render so many defen and oppressed creatures comparatively happy, and is so en devoid of all political bearing, that I cannot believe, were Lordship to suggest such a measure, that the Imperial Government, with its otherwise mild and humane laws, and its enlightened and liberal course of policy, would refuse so just and charitable a proposition. I have, &c.
The Earl of Clarendon. H. AUGUSTUS COWPEB.
No. 270.—The Earl of Clarendon to Consul Cowper. Sib, Foreign Office, November 21, 1856.
"with reference to your despatch of the 21st ultimo, I have to acquaint you that I approve of your discouraging, by all proper means, the traffic in slaves which is carried on coastwise from one part of Brazil to another. I am, &c.
H. A. Cowper, Esq. CLARENDON.
No. 280.—Consul Coirper to the Earl of Clarendon.—(JRec. Dec. 9.) (Extract.) Fernambuco, November 18, 1856.
I Have the honour to inform your Lordship that M. de Macedo has informed me that the statement contained in my despatch of the 29th ultimo was correct, and that the three Africans had escaped from the engenho Sibir6, belonging to Senhor Jose Francisco Accioli Lins, then a prisoner for the Serinhacm robbery; and I have now to communicate to your Lordship that that tedious and lamentable aftair has at length been brought to a conclusion, in as extraordinary and unsatisfactory a manner as it has been conducted from itB commencement.
Upon the 7th instant, Colonel Drummond was honourably acquitted by the Court of Appeal, of the charges so absurdly and vindictively brought against him by the late President; and upon the 15th bis son, Dr. Drummond, and Manoel Fidelia, the fishermen, were also absolved by the same tribunal; but these acts of dilatory justice were also accompanied by the liberation of Senhor Francisco da Paula Cavalcanti Wanderley, surnamed Chico Cacador, and Senhor Jose Francisco Accioli Lins, surnamed Cazumba, the owner of the engenho Sibiro, and the robbers of the Africans.
M. de Macedo has, as your Lordship is aware, effectually prevented my addressing him upon this subject until I had received further instructions; but I would respectfully submit for your Lordship's consideration, whether the faith of Treaties is maintained, or the laws of Brazil honestly executed, by the above result. Let me briefly recapitulate the facts of this case:
1st. The Government was informed of an intended landing of slaves at Serinhaem, but when the vessel arrived at the very spot designated three months afterwards, the cruizing had been suspended, and every police authority withdrawn from the district.
2ndly. Colonel Joao Manoel de Barros was declared to be the
consignee of the slaver.
3rdly. Chico Ca^ador and Cazutnba boarded the vessel, and stole from her 49 slaves.
4thly. Colonel Drummond, his sou, and Manoel Fidelia, captured the slaver, and delivered her, with her remaining 162 Africans, to the Government.
The consequences of these acts to the parties concerned were: 1st. The Government, for their neglect of duty, escape with absolute impunity.
2ndly. Colonel Manoel de Barros is not arrested.
3rdly. Chico Cacador and Cazumba are arrested; the first, sii months after the commission of his crime, and the latter, eight months; and they are now both unconditionally liberated.
4thly. Dr. Antonio Drummond and Manoel Fidelis are arrested immediately after their praiseworthy action, are refused bail for a bailable offence, and suffer eleven months' imprisonment; Colonel Drummond is arrested eight months after this, and suffers four months' imprisonment: they are now honourably acquitted, but without a word of compensation for' their enormous losses.
5thly. Twenty-six Africans still remain in slavery, a reward to their fortunate robbers.
Is this an encouragement to Slave Trade, or not?
Colonel Drummond intends to lay his wrongs personally before His Imperial Majesty.
For myself, I can only say that I have been actuated in all my acts during this painful affair by neither personal enmity upon the one hand, nor friendship upon the other; but by a sense of duty, and a love of liberty and of my fellow-creatures. I have been censured by a Liverpool journal for attacking " one of our best customers," and by the Brazilian, in a manner which I did not expect from its generosity or deserve from my antecedents, for I prize constitutional government too much not to show towards it a partiality which I feel, and do justice to its many merits when in my power; but there still remains to me one thing of which no one can rob me, and that is the heartfelt satisfaction which I shall ever feel at having been instrumental to the liberation of many of my fellow-creatures and their descendants from hereditary slavery, and in having defended, to the best of my ability, an honourable and persecuted family.
Me. JBnxiifoirAir, my Lord, was kind enough to observe in one of his despatches to the Brazilian Government, that u he believed me
The Earl of Clarendon.
II. AUGUSTUS COWPEK.