The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America Part 19

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[70] _House Reports_, 17 Cong. 1 sess. II. No. 92, p. 32.

[71] _House Journal_ (repr. 1826), 11 Cong. 3 sess. VII. p.

435.

[72] _House Doc._, 15 Cong. 2 sess. IV. No. 84, p. 5.

[73] See, e.g., _House Journal_ (repr. 1826), 11 Cong. 3 sess.

VII. p. 575.

[74] Drake, _Revelations of a Slave Smuggler_, p. 51. Parts of this narrative are highly colored and untrustworthy; this pa.s.sage, however, has every earmark of truth, and is confirmed by many incidental allusions.

[75] For accounts of these slavers, see _House Reports_, 17 Cong. 1 sess. II. No. 92, pp. 30-50. The “Paz” was an armed slaver flying the American flag.

[76] Said to be owned by an Englishman, but fitted in America and manned by Americans. It was eventually captured by H.M.S.

“Bann,” after a hard fight.

[77] Also called Spanish schooner “Triumvirate,” with American supercargo, Spanish captain, and American, French, Spanish, and English crew. It was finally captured by a British vessel.

[78] An American slaver of 1814, which was boarded by a British vessel. All the above cases, and many others, were proven before British courts.

[79] _House Reports_, 17 Cong. 1 sess. II. No. 92, p. 51.

[80] _House Doc._, 15 Cong. 1 sess. II. No. 12, pp. 22, 38.

This slaver was after capture sent to New Orleans,–an ill.u.s.tration of the irony of the Act of 1807.

[81] _House Journal_, 14 Cong. 2 sess. p. 15.

[82] _House Doc._, 16 Cong. 1 sess. III. No. 36, p. 5.

[83] _Ibid._, 15 Cong. 1 sess. II. No. 12, pp. 8-14. See Chew’s letter of Oct. 17, 1817: _Ibid._, pp. 14-16.

[84] By the secret Joint Resolution and Act of 1811 (_Statutes at Large_, III. 471), Congress gave the President power to suppress the Amelia Island establishment, which was then notorious. The capture was not accomplished until 1817.

[85] _House Doc._, 16 Cong. 1 sess. III. No. 42, pp. 10-11.

Cf. Report of the House Committee, Jan. 10, 1818: “It is but too notorious that numerous infractions of the law prohibiting the importation of slaves into the United States have been perpetrated with impunity upon our southern frontier.” _Amer.

State Papers, Miscellaneous_, II. No. 441.

[86] Special message of Jan. 13, 1818: _House Journal_, 15 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 137-9.

[87] Collector McIntosh, of the District of Brunswick, Ga., to the Secretary of the Treasury. _House Doc._, 16 Cong. 1 sess.

III. No. 42, pp. 8-9.

[88] _House Doc._, 16 Cong. 1 sess. III. No. 42, pp. 6-7.

[89] _Ibid._, pp. 11-12.

[90] _Amer. State Papers, Miscellaneous_, II. No. 529.

[91] _House Doc._, 16 Cong. 1 sess. III. No. 42, p. 7.

[92] _Ibid._, p. 6.

[93] _House Reports_, 21 Cong. 1 sess. III. No. 348, p. 82.

[94] They were not general instructions, but were directed to Commander Campbell. Cf. _House Doc._, 15 Cong. 2 sess. IV. No.

84, pp. 5-6.

[95] _Statutes at Large_, III. 471 ff.

[96] _House Doc._, 15 Cong. 2 sess. VI. No. 107, pp. 8-9.

[97] _Ibid._, IV. No. 84. Cf. Chew’s letters in _House Reports_, 21 Cong. 1 sess. III. No. 348.

[98] _House Doc._, 15 Cong. 1 sess. II. No. 12, pp. 22, 38; 15 Cong. 2 sess. VI. No. 100, p. 13; 16 Cong. 1 sess. III. No.

42, p. 9, etc.; _House Reports_, 21 Cong. 1 sess. III. No.

348, p. 85.

[99] _House Doc._, 15 Cong. 2 sess. VI. No. 107, pp. 8-9.

[100] _House Reports_, 21 Cong. 1 sess. III. No. 348, p. 77.

[101] Cf. _House Doc._, 16 Cong. 1 sess. III. No. 42, p. 11: “The Grand Jury found true bills against the owners of the vessels, masters, and a supercargo–all of whom are discharged; why or wherefore I cannot say, except that it could not be for want of proof against them.”

[102] E.g., in July, 1818, one informer “will have to leave that part of the country to save his life”: _Ibid._, 15 Cong.

2 sess. VI. No. 100, p. 9.

[103] Joseph Nourse, Register of the Treasury, to Hon. W.H.

Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury: _Ibid._, 15 Cong. 2 sess.

VI. No. 107, p. 5.

[104] The slaves on the “Const.i.tution” were not condemned, for the technical reason that she was not captured by a commissioned officer of the United States navy.

[105] These proceedings are very obscure, and little was said about them. The Spanish claimants were, it was alleged with much probability, but representatives of Americans. The claim was paid under the provisions of the Treaty of Florida, and included slaves whom the court afterward declared forfeited.

[106] An act to relieve him was finally pa.s.sed, Feb. 8, 1827, nine years after the capture. See _Statutes at Large_, VI.

357.

[107] It is difficult to get at the exact facts in this complicated case. The above statement is, I think, much milder than the real facts would warrant, if thoroughly known. Cf.

_House Reports_, 19 Cong. 1 sess. II. No. 231; 21 Cong. 1 sess. III. No. 348, pp. 62-3, etc.; 24 Cong. 1 sess. I. No.

209; _Amer. State Papers, Naval_, II. No. 308.

[108] The first method, represented by the Act of 1818, was favored by the South, the Senate, and the Democrats; the second method, represented by the Act of 1819, by the North, the House, and by the as yet undeveloped but growing Whig party.

[109] Committees on the slave-trade were appointed by the House in 1810 and 1813; the committee of 1813 recommended a revision of the laws, but nothing was done: _Annals of Cong._, 11 Cong. 3 sess. p. 387; 12 Cong. 2 sess. pp. 1074, 1090. The presidential message of 1816 led to committees on the trade in both Houses. The committee of the House of Representatives reported a joint resolution on abolishing the traffic and colonizing the Negroes, also looking toward international action. This never came to a vote: _Senate Journal_, 14 Cong.

2 sess. pp. 46, 179, 180; _House Journal_, 14 Cong. 2 sess.

pp. 25, 27, 380; _House Doc_, 14 Cong. 2 sess. II. No. 77.

Finally, the presidential message of 1817 (_House Journal_, 15 Cong. 1 sess. p. 11), announcing the issuance of orders to suppress the Amelia Island establishment, led to two other committees in both Houses. The House committee under Middleton made a report with a bill (_Amer. State Papers, Miscellaneous_, II. No. 441), and the Senate committee also reported a bill.

[110] The Senate debates were entirely unreported, and the report of the House debates is very meagre. For the proceedings, see _Senate Journal_, 15 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 243, 304, 315, 333, 338, 340, 348, 377, 386, 388, 391, 403, 406; _House Journal_, 15 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 19, 20, 29, 51, 92, 131, 362, 410, 450, 452, 456, 468, 479, 484, 492, 505.

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