The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America Part 17

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On the whole, it is plain that, although in the period from 1807 to 1820 Congress laid down broad lines of legislation sufficient, save in some details, to suppress the African slave trade to America, yet the execution of these laws was criminally lax. Moreover, by the facility with which slavers could disguise their ident.i.ty, it was possible for them to escape even a vigorous enforcement of our laws. This situation could properly be met only by energetic and sincere international co-operation. The next chapter will review efforts directed toward this end.[151]

FOOTNOTES:

[1] _House Journal_ (repr. 1826), 9 Cong. 2 sess. V. 468.

[2] Cf. below, — 59.

[3] _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. p. 238.

[4] There were at least twelve distinct propositions as to the disposal of the Africans imported:–

1. That they be forfeited and sold by the United States at auction (Early’s bill, reported Dec. 15: _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. pp. 167-8).

2. That they be forfeited and left to the disposal of the States (proposed by Bidwell and Early: _Ibid._, pp. 181, 221, 477. This was the final settlement.)

3. That they be forfeited and sold, and that the proceeds go to charities, education, or internal improvements (Early, Holland, and Masters: _Ibid._, p. 273).

4. That they be forfeited and indentured for life (Alston and Bidwell: _Ibid._, pp. 170-1).

5. That they be forfeited and indentured for 7, 8, or 10 years (Pitkin: _Ibid._, p. 186).

6. That they be forfeited and given into the custody of the President, and by him indentured in free States for a term of years (bill reported from the Senate Jan. 28: _House Journal_ (repr. 1826), 9 Cong. 2 sess. V. 575; _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. p. 477. Cf. also _Ibid._, p. 272).

7. That the Secretary of the Treasury dispose of them, at his discretion, in service (Quincy: _Ibid._, p. 183).

8. That those imported into slave States be returned to Africa or bound out in free States (Sloan: _Ibid._, p. 254).

9. That all be sent back to Africa (Smilie: _Ibid._, p. 176).

10. That those imported into free States be free, those imported into slave States be returned to Africa or indentured (Sloan: _Ibid._, p. 226).

11. That they be forfeited but not sold (Sloan and others: _Ibid._, p. 270).

12. That they be free (Sloan: _Ibid._, p. 168; Bidwell: _House Journal_ (repr. 1826), 9 Cong. 2 sess. V. 515).

[5] Bidwell, Cook, and others: _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. p. 201.

[6] Bidwell: _Ibid._, p. 172.

[7] Fisk: _Ibid._, pp. 224-5; Bidwell: _Ibid._, p. 221.

[8] Quincy: _Ibid._, p. 184.

[9] _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. p. 478; Bidwell: _Ibid._, p. 171.

[10] _Ibid._, p. 172.

[11] _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. pp. 173-4.

[12] Alston: _Ibid._, p. 170.

[13] D.R. Williams: _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. p. 183.

[14] Early: _Ibid._, pp. 184-5.

[15] Lloyd, Early, and others: _Ibid._, p. 203.

[16] Alston: _Ibid._, p. 170.

[17] Quincy: _Ibid._, p. 222; Macon: _Ibid._, p. 225.

[18] Macon: _Ibid._, p. 177.

[19] Barker: _Ibid._, p. 171; Bidwell: _Ibid._, p. 172.

[20] Clay, Alston, and Early: _Ibid._, p. 266.

[21] Clay, Alston, and Early: _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. p. 266.

[22] Bidwell: _Ibid._, p. 221.

[23] Sloan and others: _Ibid._, p. 271; Early and Alston: _Ibid._, pp. 168, 171.

[24] Ely, Bidwell, and others: _Ibid._, pp. 179, 181, 271; Smilie and Findley: _Ibid._, pp. 225, 226.

[25] _Ibid._, p. 240. Cf. Lloyd: _Ibid._, p. 236.

[26] Holland: _Ibid._, p. 241.

[27] _Ibid._, p. 227; Macon: _Ibid._, p. 225.

[28] Bidwell, Cook, and others: _Ibid._, p. 201.

[29] Bidwell: _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. p. 221. Cf.

_Ibid._, p. 202.

[30] Early: _Ibid._, p. 239.

[31] _Ibid._

[32] _Ibid._, p. 1267.

[33] There were about six distinct punishments suggested:–

1. Forfeiture, and fine of $5000 to $10,000 (Early’s bill: _Ibid._, p. 167).

2. Forfeiture and imprisonment (amendment to Senate bill: _Ibid._, pp. 231, 477, 483).

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