The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America Part 45

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“On motion of Mr. Cuthbert,

“Resolved, That the Committee on the Slave Trade be instructed to enquire into the expediency of establishing a registry of slaves, more effectually to prevent the importation of slaves into the United States, or the territories thereof.” No further mention. _Ibid._, p. 150.

~1820, Feb. 5. Congress (House): Proposition on Slave-Trade.~

“Mr. Meigs submitted the following preamble and resolution:

“Whereas, slavery in the United States is an evil of great and increasing magnitude; one which merits the greatest efforts of this nation to remedy: Therefore,

“Resolved, That a committee be appointed to enquire into the expediency of devoting the public lands as a fund for the purpose of,

“1st, Employing a naval force competent to the annihilation of the slave trade;

“2dly, The emanc.i.p.ation of slaves in the United States; and,

“3dly, Colonizing them in such way as shall be conducive to their comfort and happiness, in Africa, their mother country.” Read, and, on motion of Walker of North Carolina, ordered to lie on the table. Feb. 7, Mr. Meigs moved that the House now consider the above-mentioned resolution, but it was decided in the negative. Feb. 18, he made a similar motion and proceeded to discussion, but was ruled out of order by the Speaker. He appealed, but the Speaker was sustained, and the House refused to take up the resolution. No further record appears.

_Ibid._, pp. 196, 200, 227.

~1820, Feb. 23. Ma.s.sachusetts: Slavery in Western Territory.~

_”Resolve respecting Slavery”:–_

“The Committee of both Houses, who were appointed to consider ‘what measures it may be proper for the Legislature of this Commonwealth to adopt, in the expression of their sentiments and views, relative to the interesting subject, now before Congress, of interdicting slavery in the New States, which may be admitted into the Union, beyond the River Mississippi,’ respectfully submit the following report: …

“Nor has this question less importance as to its influence on the slave trade. Should slavery be further permitted, an immense new market for slaves would be opened. It is well known that notwithstanding the strictness of our laws, and the vigilance of the government, thousands are now annually imported from Africa,” etc. _Ma.s.sachusetts Resolves_, May, 1819, to February, 1824, pp. 147-51.

~1820, May 12. Congress (House): Resolution for Negotiation.~

“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress a.s.sembled, That the President of the United States be requested to negociate with all the governments where ministers of the United States are or shall be accredited, on the means of effecting an entire and immediate abolition of the slave trade.”

Pa.s.sed House, May 12, 1820; lost in Senate, May 15, 1820. _House Journal_, 16 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 497, 518, 520-21, 526; _Annals of Cong._, 16 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 697-700.

~1820, May 15. United States Statute: Slave-Trade made Piracy.~

“An act to continue in force ‘An act to protect the commerce of the United States, and punish the crime of piracy,’ and also to make further provisions for punishing the crime of piracy.” Continued by several statutes until pa.s.sage of the Act of 1823, _q.v. Statutes at Large_, III. 600. For proceedings in Congress, see _Senate Journal_, 16 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 238, 241, 268, 286-7, 314, 331, 346, 350, 409, 412, 417, 422, 424, 425; _House Journal_, 16 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 453, 454, 494, 518, 520, 522, 537, 539, 540, 542. There was also a House bill, which was dropped: cf. _House Journal_, 16 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 21, 113, 280, 453, 494.

~1820, Nov. 14. President Monroe’s Message.~

“In execution of the law of the last session, for the suppression of the slave trade, some of our public ships have also been employed on the coast of Africa, where several captures have already been made of vessels engaged in that disgraceful traffic.” _Senate Journal_, 16 Cong.

2 sess. pp. 16-7.

~1821, Feb. 15. Congress (House): Meigs’s Resolution.~

Mr. Meigs offered in modified form the resolutions submitted at the last session:–

“Whereas slavery, in the United States, is an evil, acknowledged to be of great and increasing magnitude, … therefore,

“Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire into the expediency of devoting five hundred million acres of the public lands, next west of the Mississippi, as a fund for the purpose of, in the

“_First place_; Employing a naval force, competent to the annihilation of the slave trade,” etc. Question to consider decided in the affirmative, 63 to 50; laid on the table, 66 to 55. _House Journal_, 16 Cong. 2 sess. p. 238; _Annals of Cong._, 16 Cong. 2 sess. pp. 1168-70.

~1821, Dec. 3. President Monroe’s Message.~

“Like success has attended our efforts to suppress the slave trade.

Under the flag of the United States, and the sanction of their papers, the trade may be considered as entirely suppressed; and, if any of our citizens are engaged in it, under the flag and papers of other powers, it is only from a respect to the rights of those powers, that these offenders are not seized and brought home, to receive the punishment which the laws inflict. If every other power should adopt the same policy, and pursue the same vigorous means for carrying it into effect, the trade could no longer exist.” _House Journal_, 17 Cong. 1 sess. p.

22.

~1822, April 12. Congress (House): Proposed Resolution.~

“_Resolved_, That the President of the United States be requested to enter into such arrangements as he may deem suitable and proper, with one or more of the maritime powers of Europe, for the effectual abolition of the slave trade.” _House Reports_, 17 Cong. 1 sess. II. No.

92, p. 4; _Annals of Cong._, 17 Cong. 1 sess. p. 1538.

~1822, June 18. Mississippi: Act on Importation, etc.~

“An act, to reduce into one, the several acts, concerning slaves, free negroes, and mulattoes.”

— 2. Slaves born and resident in the United States, and not criminals, may be imported.

— 3. No slave born or resident outside the United States shall be brought in, under penalty of $1,000 per slave. Travellers are excepted.

_Revised Code of the Laws of Mississippi_ (Natchez, 1824), p. 369.

~1822, Dec. 3. President Monroe’s Message.~

“A cruise has also been maintained on the coast of Africa, when the season would permit, for the suppression of the slave-trade; and orders have been given to the commanders of all our public ships to seize our own vessels, should they find any engaged in that trade, and to bring them in for adjudication.” _House Journal_, 17 Cong. 2 sess. pp. 12, 21.

~1823, Jan. 1. Alabama: Act to Dispose of Illegally Imported Slaves.~

“An Act to carry into effect the laws of the United States prohibiting the slave trade.”

— 1. “_Be it enacted_, … That the Governor of this state be …

authorized and required to appoint some suitable person, as the agent of the state, to receive all and every slave or slaves or persons of colour, who may have been brought into this state in violation of the laws of the United States, prohibiting the slave trade: _Provided_, that the authority of the said agent is not to extend to slaves who have been condemned and sold.”

— 2. The agent must give bonds.

— 3. “_And be it further enacted_, That the said slaves, when so placed in the possession of the state, as aforesaid, shall be employed on such public work or works, as shall be deemed by the Governor of most value and utility to the public interest.”

— 4. A part may be hired out to support those employed in public work.

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