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(Inclosure.)—A List of Cases adjudicated in the Courts of Mixed Commission established at Sierra Leone, between the 1st day of January and the 31st day of December, 1843.
SIERRA LEONE. (Brazil.)
No. 18.-Her Majesty's Commissioners to the Earl of Aberdeen. (Received March 8, 1844.)
Sierra Leone, December 31, 1843. HEREWITH We have the honour to transmit to your Lordship an abstract of the proceedings in the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission during the year ending this day.
The number of vessels adjudicated in this Court was 11, all of which, except one, proved cases of condemnation. The exception was the Conceição Flora, which vessel was restored; but demurrage and all costs were disallowed.
There were only 2 cases in which slaves were found on board the vessels condemned, namely, the Furia, from which were landed in this colony 529 Negroes, all of whom were emancipated; and the Temerario, from which vessel 279 slaves were landed and emancipated.
The remaining 8 vessels, all equipped for and engaged in the Slave Trade, were condemned under the Ist Article of the Convention between Great Britain and Brazil, signed on the 23rd November, 1826. We have, &c. G. MACDONALD. JAMES HOOK.
The Earl of Aberdeen, K.T.
(Inclosure.)-Abstract of the Proceedings in the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, established at Sierra Leone, for the Repression of the Slave Trade, during the Year 1843.
Sierra Leone, December 31, 1843.
1. THE brigantine Bom Fim, commanded by Silvio Nunez Burity, and owned by Joao Francisco Sauza Paraizo, both subjects of Brazil, and sailing under the Brazilian flag, with regular official papers, cleared out at the port of Bahia in December 1842, for Seara, in Brazil; but instead of proceeding to that place, on the coast of South America, the Bom Fim sailed direct for the West Coast of Africa, where on January 24th last, she was, after a chase of 9 hours, detained off Great Popoe by Her Majesty's brig Spy, Samuel James Brickwell, Esq., commander, who, on searching the brigantine, found her fully equipped for illicit traffic in slaves, and thereupon dispatched her to Sierra Leone for adjudication.
The prize arrived in this port on the 25th February last, and proceedings were immediately instituted against her in the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission.
On the examination of the master of the detained vessel, he freely admitted that a slave-deck was partly laid, and that planks were on board to complete it; that a wooden frame with iron bars was on board to secure the hatchways; that there was a tier of water-casks
laid fore and aft; and that there was a quantity of rice, farina, maize, Indian corn, beans, and jerked beef on board at the time of capture.
The surveyors report, that they found 36 water-casks stowed in the hold fore and aft, and 1 large cask on deck, together capable of containing about 7,686 gallons of water; being a much larger quantity than requisite for the use of the crew as a merchant-vessel; they also confirm that the Bom Fim was completely equipped for the Slave Trade. Under these circumstances the Court, on the 6th of March, 1843, condemned the brigantine Bom Fim, together with her stores, apparel, and tackle as good and lawful prize to the Crowns of Great Britain and Brazil.
2. The Brazilian brig Clio, Joaquim Antonio de Cerqueira, master, belonging to Bahia, and owned by Antonio da Cucha Manado, a resident in that city, sailed from Santos, in Brazil, on the 29th of November, 1842, bound direct to Cape de Verdes.
The Clio was, on January 24th last, fallen in with and detained within 60 miles off the notorious slave-trading mart of Whydah, by Her Majesty's brigantine Spy, Lieutenant Samuel James Brickwell commanding. On searching this vessel she was found to have a slavedeck fitted fore and aft, over 40 water-casks capable of containing 10,300 gallons of water; also an immense quantity of slave-provisions. Being thus fully equipped for the Slave Trade, the Clio was sent to Sierra Leone for adjudication.
The prize arrived in this port on the 12th of March, and was immediately proceeded against by the captor's proctor in the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission. The evidence of her being equipped for the Slave Trade was clearly established, and no claimant appearing, the Court, on 21st March, 1843, decreed the confiscation of the Clio and her cargo to the Crowns of Great Britain and Brazil.
3. The Brazilian schooner, Brilhante, Leonardo Jozé de Souza Pinto, master, owned by Bruno Martins Carneiro, residing in Brazil, being as stated in her Imperial pass, of the burden of 126 tons, with a crew of 31 persons besides the master, sailed from Bahia on the 15th of February last, bound to Para, in South America; but instead of proceeding to Para we have the clearest evidence before as that the Brilhante sailed direct for Whydah, on the coast of Africa.
As a specimen of the master's veracity, we need only copy one paragraph from his evidence, in which he declares on oath that:The voyage began at Bahia on the 15th of February last, where it was to have ended after the vessel had been to Para, for which place she cleared out, but was driven by winds and currents to the coast of
The Brilhante, sailing under Brazilian colours, was seized on the
18th of March, 1843, in latitude 5° 35′ North, longitude 2° 30′ East, by Her Majesty's brig Cygnet, Lieutenant Edmund Wilson commanding. At the time she was detained she was within a few miles off Whydah. The master declared to the captor that he was bound from Bahia to Lagos. On searching the prize it was found she had a slave-deck laid down over a tier of 39 water-casks laid fore and aft, an immense quantity of slave-provisions, &c. The prize was thereupon sent to Sierra Leone for adjudication.
The Brilhante, anchored in this harbour on the 26th of April last, when the proctor of the captor forthwith commenced proceedings against her in the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, which terminated on the 6th of May, when the Court decreed her condemnation.
There are two or three circumstances connected with this prize which we do not recollect ever meeting with before.
The cargo of the Brilhante, from the evidence before us, consisted of 354 doubloons, and was doubtless for the purpose of purchasing slaves. From the evidence of the master it appears, that there was a kind of joint-stock or partnership existing between himself, officers, and crew; for the master declares that the cargo of doubloons was supplied as follows: namely,
Master, 12 doubloons; pilot, 84; boatswain, 60; second mate, 62; seamen, 136. Total, 334 doubloons.
On searching the luggage and persons of the officers and crew of the prize only 240 doubloons were secured, and those were found concealed in a most extraordinary manner.
Some were found buried in wax and fastened round the arm, to resemble a poultice; others were stuck inside their trowsers with wax; some were concealed in squares of soap; some were taken out of their mouths; others were found sewed up between the soles of their shoes; 30 doubloons were found concealed in one of the officers' mattresses; some in the linings of trunks, &c. &c.
Such are some of the means adopted by these nefarious dealers in human beings to avoid detection, and no doubt many have escaped in this way.
4. The Brazilian barque Confidencia, of 237 tons burthen, Manoel dos Santos Lara, master, with a crew of 22 persons, including the captain, bound on a voyage from Rio Grande to Santa Catherina, on the same coast, cleared out at the Custom House, Rio Grande, on January 16, 1843, from which port she sailed on the 24th January last, professedly for Santa Catherina, but in truth the Confidencia, was bound to and sailed direct for the well-known slave-port of Quillimane, on the East Coast of Africa; off which port she was captured on the 17th March, 1843, by Her Majesty's sloop Lily, George Baker,
Esquire, commander. On searching the prize she was found to be sailing under Brazilian colours, with a regular set of Brazilian papers, and that she was most completely equipped for the Slave Trade.
The Confidencia, arrived in Sierra Leone on the 20th of June, and next day the proctor of the captor issued the usual proceedings against her in the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, which terminated on [the 5th July, when the vessel and stores were condemned as good prize.
The Confidencia, was clearly proved to be perfectly equipped in every way for the Slave Trade; in proof of this we need only give two or three extracts from our surveyor's report on that vessel.-They state:-"We found 101 spare planks, marked, numbered, and fitted, with 9 spare beams for the laying of a second deck, 1 beam being laid, and 6 cleats on each side in the hold for the reception of the
"We found 380 shackle-bolts and shackles.
“We found a complete tier of water-casks laid fore and aft in the hold, 57 in number, capable of containing 18,792 gallons of water. "Slave-coppers, slave-cabouse, slave night-tubs, slave-provisions, and every thing requisite for a slave cargo."
Notwithstanding that the Confidencia, was thus fully equipped for the Slave Trade, the Brazilian Judge insisted on making it a case for arbitration, and accordingly the British Commissioner of Arbitration (he being the only one then in the colony) was referred to for his decision. His judgment, which was in exact accordance with Her Majesty's Commissary Judge, ad interim, and which was freely commented upon by the sympathizers, aiders, and abettors of the slave traders in this colony, has been the occasion of one of the most important events, in the annals of abolition; inasmuch as the views taken of the Treaties and Conventions between Great Britain and Brazil, by Her Majesty' Commissioners, have been approved by the Queen's Government; and, further, it has caused an important order from the Earl of Aberdeen "to resist the call for an arbitrator in cases where, upon investigation by the British and Brazilian Judges, it shall have appeared to both of them that the case is incontestably one of equipment for the Slave Trade." We expect from this noble instruction of Lord Aberdeen that similar effects will result to the Brazilian Slave Trade, as did to that of Spain by the Equipment Act.
On communicating this instruction of Her Majesty's Government to the Brazilian Judge, he forthwith resigned his office.
5. The Brazilian schooner Esperança, Antonio Alexandre Gonsalves, master, burthen only 44 tons, belonging to the city of Bahia, in Brazil, and owned by Egidio Liuz da Sa, a Brazilian subject, and residing in Bahia, was chartered by João da Costa, Junior, and Company, of Bahia, for a voyage from that place to Whydah, on the coast [1844-45.]