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subject of certain duties alleged to have been improperly levied by Her Majesty's Customs upon certain cargoes of rough rice, imported into the port of London from The United States. The Undersigned will take the earliest opportunity of transmitting a copy of Lord Aberdeen's note, for the information of his Government.
The Earl of Aberdeen, K.T.
The Undersigned, &c.
CORRESPONDENCE of Great Britain, relative to the Slave Trade, 1843, 1844; viz.:
CLASS B.-CORRESPONDENCE WITH FOREIGN POWERS
CLASS D.-CorrespondencE WITH FOREIGN POWERS, not
in the British and Spa-
48. H.M's Commissioners to the Earl Dec. 31 Abstract of proceedings of Aberdeen
86. HM's Commissioners to the Earl Jan. 1 Annual Report, 1843. of Aberdeen
RIO DE JANEIRO.
135. H.M.'s Commissioners to the Earl | Feb. 20 Annual Report on Slave of Aberdeen
Trade and Slavery, 1843 336
213. H.M.'s Commissioners to the Earl Dec. 19 Construction to be put on of Aberdeen
Article II of Annex B.
289. The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr. Dec. 31 Notifying his appoint
ment as British Arbitrator............... 355
270. The Earl of Aberdeen to H.M.'s Dec. 31 Sending emancipated Ne
groes to British West
No. 2.-Her Majesty's Commissioners to the Earl of Aberdeen. (Received March 8, 1844.)
(Extract.) Sierra Leone, December 31, 1843. HEREWITH We have the honour to transmit to your Lordship a list of all the cases which have been adjudicated during the year ending this day, in the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, in the British and Portuguese, and in the British and Brazilian Courts of Mixed Commission, established in this colony.
During the year of 1843, no case came before the British and Netherlands, the British and Argentine, the British and Uruguay, the British and Bolivian, nor the British and Chilian Mixed Courts of Justice.
The total number of vessels adjudicated during the year has been 13, 12 of which proved cases of condemnation, and 1 was restored. Only 1 was prosecuted in the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, 1 in the British and Portuguese, and 11 in the British and Brazilian Courts of Mixed Commission.
808 slaves were emancipated during the year, of whom 805 were registered here.
The total number of vessels adjudicated by the Mixed Commissions since their establishment in this colony in 1819 up to the present date is 471. Of this number 24 were cases of restoration to the claimants.
During the same period there have been emancipated by these Courts 61,085 slaves, of whom only 53,421 have been registered here.
Of the 13 vessels which were adjudicated by the Mixed Commission Courts during this year, only 2 had slaves on board, namely Furia and Temerario. The first shipped her human cargo at Lagos, and the latter at Cape Lopez. When detained both were found to be Brazilian vessels.
Nearly the whole of the 13 slave-trading vessels, which sailed
from different ports in Brazil to mere nominal ports in other places, found their way to this coast. 11 were regular Brazilian vessels; 1 was Spanish, but captured under Brazilian colours; the other one was Portuguese. All were to have returned with their cargoes of slaves to Brazil.
The 11 Brazilian vessels engaged in the slave-traffic were all, except two, cases of equipment. The Spanish and Portuguese vessels were also cases of equipment.
It is scarcely possible to name the exact ports of the coast to which these 13 vessels were really destined, and we can only assign a probable locality to them from the places in which they were detained by Her Majesty's cruizers. Adopting this as our best guide, it appears that of the 11 Brazilian vessels, 6 were destined to the slave-ports within 5 degrees north of the Equator, 4 of them to the African Coast within 8 degrees south, and i to Quillemane on the East Coast of Africa. The Spanish vessel was detained sailing, under the Brazilian flag, off Cabinda; and the Portuguese prize was seized in latitude 6° 35′ South, and longitude 10° 10′ West.
There are at present 4 cases before the Courts, 2 of which had slaves on board.
From the foregoing statement, your Lordship will perceive that unhappily for the cause of humanity, the Slave Trade has greatly increased during the year 1843, and when we consider that many Portuguese vessels, of whose numbers we have no account, must have been sent for adjudication to the New Mixed Commission Court at the Cape of Good Hope, the increase will still be greater.
During the year just closed the Slave Trade in this neighbourhood has been most successfully and extensively carried on. At the Gallinas the slave-trading establishments have been all restored, and are in active operation. The notorious Pedro Blanco has lately returned from the Havana in an American vessel called the Elsinore to the Gallinas, with a full cargo of slave-trading merchandize, particularly slave-equipment articles.
We beg respectfully to draw your Lordship's attention to the manner in which the slave-trading vessels are supplied with coppers, shackles, bolts, handcuffs, chains, &c., nearly the whole of which are brought to the coast in perfect safety, on freight, under the American flag; other merchandizes for carrying on that inhuman traffic are also supplied by both American and British vessels. The resident slavedealers purchase their required trade goods from the British and Americans, for which they pay bills on London, or in specie. This at once accounts for the absence of cargoes in all the captured slavers during the past year.
During the year just ended, we have heard of numerous cargoes of slaves having been shipped at Bissae, Rio Pongas, and Gallinas;
and within the last 6 weeks the brig Volador actually embarked 600 slaves at Sherbro, nearly adjoining this colony. The Volador had been chased 6 times by Her Majesty's brig Ferret, off the Gallinas, from which place her cargo of slaves were marched overland to Sherbro, and there embarked. The brig Clio, condemned in the British and Brazilian Court in March last, was bought at auction here by Mr. Pillegrin, a foreigner, and cleared out for Cape de Verdes and Cadiz, but proceeded no farther than the former place, where she was permitted to fit out for a slave-voyage, and she then returned to the Rio Pongos about 2 months ago, embarked 490 slaves, and got safe off with them. Last week we learned that a large brig, armed with 6 guns, succeeded in getting away with 1,000 slaves on board, from the neighbourhood of Whydah. To the very inferior sailing qualities of several of our cruizers must be attributed the escape of so many slavers; particularly from the coast between Gambia and Cape Coast Castle. Her Majesty's steamer Soudan, owing to her inefficient state, has lain at anchor nearly the whole of the year 1843, in the river Sierra Leone. Her Majesty's steamer Albert, whose sailing qualities are so bad that, with both sails and steam at their full power, cannot exceed 5 knots an hour, has been cruizing in this quarter, but without succeeding in making a single capture. Had these vessels been anchored in the Gallinas and Pongas, they must have prevented a large export of slaves from those 2 places, and proved a great protection to the British traders. It is true that the aiders and abettors of the Slave Trade might term such a proceeding a blockade, yet common sense and justice at once prove that the British flag in those positions would be a real protection to the persons and property of fair traders. In making these remarks to your Lordship, we beg to disclaim the least reflection on the gallant officers of Her Majesty's squadron on the coast. Their arduous duty and exertions merit every praise.
For some time past an emigration of considerable extent has been carried on between this colony and Badagry, to which place and its vicinity about 700 liberated people from Sierra Leone have gone to reside. They have in general been well received by the King and Chiefs of that country; and carry with them Christian principles, and a share of English morals and trade. From this and other circumstances, we are led to expect a considerable abatement of the Slave Trade at Whydah.
We beg to report to your Lordship that the Brazilian prize, Loteria, which was sold at auction on the 22nd instant, was purchased by Mr. Niteroi, the late Brazilian Judge in this place.
The Earl of Aberdeen, K.T.
We have, &c.