The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America Part 43

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~1806, Dec. 15. Congress (House): Proposition on Slave-Trade.~

“A bill to prohibit the importation or bringing of slaves into the United States, etc.,” after Dec. 31, 1807. Finally merged into Senate bill. _Ibid._, House Bill No. 148.

~1806, Dec. 17. Congress (House): Sloan’s Proposition.~

Proposition to amend the House bill by inserting after the article declaring the forfeiture of an illegally imported slave, “And such person or slave shall be ent.i.tled to his freedom.” Lost. _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. pp. 167-77, 180-89.

~1806, Dec. 29. Congress (House): Sloan’s Second Proposition.~

Illegally imported Africans to be either freed, apprenticed, or returned to Africa. Lost; Jan. 5, 1807, a somewhat similar proposition was also lost. _Ibid._, pp. 226-8, 254.

~1806, Dec. 31. Great Britain: Rejected Treaty.~

“Treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America.”

“Art. XXIV. The high contracting parties engage to communicate to each other, without delay, all such laws as have been or shall be hereafter enacted by their respective Legislatures, as also all measures which shall have been taken for the abolition or limitation of the African slave trade; and they further agree to use their best endeavors to procure the co-operation of other Powers for the final and complete abolition of a trade so repugnant to the principles of justice and humanity.” _Amer. State Papers, Foreign_, III. 147, 151.

~1807, March 25. [England: Slave-Trade Abolished.~

“An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.” _Statute 47 George III._, 1 sess. ch. 36.]

~1807, Jan. 7. Congress (House): Bidwell’s Proposition.~

“Provided, that no person shall be sold as a slave by virtue of this act.” Offered as an amendment to — 3 of House bill; defeated 60 to 61, Speaker voting. A similar proposition was made Dec. 23, 1806. _House Journal_ (repr. 1826), 9 Cong. 2 sess. V. 513-6. Cf. _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. pp. 199-203, 265-7.

~1807, Feb. 9. Congress (House): Section Seven of House Bill.~

— 7 of the bill reported to the House by the committee provided that all Negroes imported should be conveyed whither the President might direct and there be indentured as apprentices, or employed in whatever way the President might deem best for them and the country; provided that no such Negroes should be indentured or employed except in some State in which provision is now made for the gradual abolition of slavery. Blank s.p.a.ces were left for limiting the term of indenture. The report was never acted on. _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. pp. 477-8.

~1807, March 2. United States Statute: Importation Prohibited.~

“An Act to prohibit the importation of Slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight.” Bills to amend — 8, so as to make less ambiguous the permit given to the internal traffic, were introduced Feb. 27 and Nov. 27.

_Statutes at Large_, II. 426. For proceedings in Senate, see _Senate Journal_ (repr. 1821), 9 Cong. 1-2 sess. IV. 11, 112, 123, 124, 132, 133, 150, 158, 164, 165, 167, 168; _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess.

pp. 16, 19, 23, 33, 36, 45, 47, 68, 69, 70, 71, 79, 87, 93. For proceedings in House, see _House Journal_ (repr. 1826), 9 Cong. 2 sess.

V. 470, 482, 488, 490, 491, 496, 500, 504, 510, 513-6, 517, 540, 557, 575, 579, 581, 583-4, 585, 592, 594, 610, 613-4, 616, 623, 638, 640; 10 Cong. 1 sess. VI. 27, 50; _Annals of Cong._, 9 Cong. 2 sess. pp. 167, 180, 200, 220, 231, 254, 264, 270.

~1808, Feb. 23. Congress (Senate): Proposition to Amend Const.i.tution.~

“Agreeably to instructions from the legislature of the state of Pennsylvania to their Senators in Congress, Mr. Maclay submitted the following resolution, which was read for consideration:–

“_Resolved_ …, That the Const.i.tution of the United States be so altered and amended, as to prevent the Congress of the United States, and the legislatures of any state in the Union, from authorizing the importation of slaves.” No further mention. _Senate Journal_ (repr.

1821), 10 Cong. 1 sess. IV. 235; _Annals of Cong._, 10 Cong. 1 sess. p.

134. For the full text of the instructions, see _Amer. State Papers, Miscellaneous_, I. 716.

~1810, Dec. 5. President Madison’s Message.~

“Among the commercial abuses still committed under the American flag, … it appears that American citizens are instrumental in carrying on a traffic in enslaved Africans, equally in violation of the laws of humanity, and in defiance of those of their own country. The same just and benevolent motives which produced the interdiction in force against this criminal conduct, will doubtless be felt by Congress, in devising further means of suppressing the evil.” _House Journal_ (repr. 1826), 11 Cong. 3 sess. VII. 435.

~1811, Jan. 15. United States Statute: Secret Act and Joint Resolution against Amelia Island Smugglers.~

_Statutes at Large_, III. 471 ff.

~1815, March 29. [France: Abolition of Slave-Trade.~

Napoleon on his return from Elba decrees the abolition of the slave-trade. Decree re-enacted in 1818 by the Bourbon dynasty. _British and Foreign State Papers_, 1815-16, p. 196, note; 1817-18, p. 1025.]

~1815, Feb. 18. Great Britain: Treaty of Ghent.~

“Treaty of peace and amity. Concluded December 24, 1814; Ratifications exchanged at Washington February 17, 1815; Proclaimed February 18, 1815.”

Art. X. “Whereas the traffic in slaves is irreconcilable with the principles of humanity and justice, and whereas both His Majesty and the United States are desirous of continuing their efforts to promote its entire abolition, it is hereby agreed that both the contracting parties shall use their best endeavors to accomplish so desirable an object.”

_U.S. Treaties and Conventions_ (ed. 1889), p. 405.

~1815, Dec. 8. Alabama and Mississippi Territory: Act to Dispose of Illegally Imported Slaves.~

“An Act concerning Slaves brought into this Territory, contrary to the Laws of the United States.” Slaves to be sold at auction, and the proceeds to be divided between the territorial treasury and the collector or informer. Toulmin, _Digest of the Laws of Alabama_, p. 637; _Statutes of Mississippi digested_, etc. (ed. 1816), p. 389.

~1816, Nov. 18. North Carolina: Act to Dispose of Illegally Imported Slaves.~

“An act to direct the disposal of negroes, mulattoes and persons of colour, imported into this state, contrary to the provisions of an act of the Congress of the United States, ent.i.tled ‘an act to prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place, within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight.'”

— 1. Every slave illegally imported after 1808 shall be sold for the use of the State.

— 2. The sheriff shall seize and sell such slave, and pay the proceeds to the treasurer of the State.

— 3. If the slave abscond, the sheriff may offer a reward not exceeding one-fifth of the value of the slave. _Laws of North Carolina, 1816_, ch.

xii. p. 9; _Laws of North Carolina_ (revision of 1819), II. 1350.

~1816, Dec. 3. President Madison’s Message.~

“The United States having been the first to abolish, within the extent of their authority, the transportation of the natives of Africa into slavery, by prohibiting the introduction of slaves, and by punishing their citizens partic.i.p.ating in the traffick, cannot but be gratified at the progress, made by concurrent efforts of other nations, towards a general suppression of so great an evil. They must feel, at the same time, the greater solicitude to give the fullest efficacy to their own regulations. With that view, the interposition of Congress appears to be required by the violations and evasions which, it is suggested, are chargeable on unworthy citizens, who mingle in the slave trade under foreign flags, and with foreign ports; and by collusive importations of slaves into the United States, through adjoining ports and territories.

I present the subject to Congress, with a full a.s.surance of their disposition to apply all the remedy which can be afforded by an amendment of the law. The regulations which were intended to guard against abuses of a kindred character, in the trade between the several States, ought also to be rendered more effectual for their humane object.” _House Journal_, 14 Cong. 2 sess. pp. 15-6.

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