The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America Part 51

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“For executing the provisions of the act approved 3d of March, 1819, ent.i.tled ‘An act in addition to the acts prohibiting the slave trade,’

$20,000.” Amendment agreed to, and bill pa.s.sed. It appears, however, to have been subsequently amended in the House, and the appropriation does not stand in the final act. _Congressional Globe_, 32 Cong. 2 sess. p.

1072; _Statutes at Large_, X. 214.

~1854, May 22. Congress (Senate): West India Slave-Trade.~

Mr. Clayton presented the following resolution, which was unanimously agreed to:–

“_Resolved_, That the Committee on Foreign Relations be instructed to inquire into the expediency of providing by law for such restrictions on the power of American consuls residing in the Spanish West India islands to issue sea letters on the transfer of American vessels in those islands, as will prevent the abuse of the American flag in protecting persons engaged in the African slave trade.” June 26, 1854, this committee reported “a bill (Senate, No. 416) for the more effectual suppression of the slave-trade in American built vessels.” Pa.s.sed Senate, postponed in House. _Senate Journal_, 33 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 404, 457-8, 472-3, 476; _House Journal_, 33 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 1093, 1332-3; _Congressional Globe_, 33 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 1257-61, 1511-3, 1591-3, 2139.

~1854, May 29. Congress (Senate): Treaty of Washington.~

_Resolved_, “that, in the opinion of the Senate, it is expedient, and in conformity with the interests and sound policy of the United States, that the eighth article of the treaty between this government and Great Britain, of the 9th of August, 1842, should be abrogated.” Introduced by Slidell, and favorably reported from Committee on Foreign Relations in Executive Session, June 13, 1854. _Senate Journal_, 34 Cong. 1-2 sess.

pp. 396, 695-8; _Senate Reports_, 34 Cong. 1 sess. I. No. 195.

~1854, June 21. Congress (Senate): Bill Regulating Navigation.~

“Mr. Seward asked and obtained leave to bring in a bill (Senate, No.

407) to regulate navigation to the coast of Africa in vessels owned by citizens of the United States, in certain cases; which was read and pa.s.sed to a second reading.” June 22, ordered to be printed. _Senate Journal_, 33 Cong. 1 sess. pp. 448, 451; _Congressional Globe_, 33 Cong.

1 sess. pp. 1456, 1461, 1472.

~1854, June 26. Congress (Senate): Bill to Suppress Slave-Trade.~

“A bill for the more effectual suppression of the slave trade in American built vessels.” See references to May 22, 1854, above.

~1856, June 23. Congress (House): Proposition to Amend Act of 1818.~

Notice given of a bill to amend the Act of April 20, 1818. _House Journal_, 34 Cong. 1 sess. II. 1101.

~1856, Aug. 18. United States Statute: Appropriation.~

To carry out the Act of March 3, 1819, and subsequent acts, $8,000.

_Statutes at Large_, XI. 90.

~1856, Nov. 24. South Carolina: Governor’s Message.~

Governor Adams, in his annual message to the legislature, said:–

“It is apprehended that the opening of this trade [_i.e._, the slave-trade] will lessen the value of slaves, and ultimately destroy the inst.i.tution. It is a sufficient answer to point to the fact, that unrestricted immigration has not diminished the value of labor in the Northwestern section of the confederacy. The cry there is, want of labor, notwithstanding capital has the pauperism of the old world to press into its grinding service. If we cannot supply the demand for slave labor, then we must expect to be supplied with a species of labor we do not want, and which is, from the very nature of things, antagonistic to our inst.i.tutions. It is much better that our drays should be driven by slaves–that our factories should be worked by slaves–that our hotels should be served by slaves–that our locomotives should be manned by slaves, than that we should be exposed to the introduction, from any quarter, of a population alien to us by birth, training, and education, and which, in the process of time, must lead to that conflict between capital and labor, ‘which makes it so difficult to maintain free inst.i.tutions in all wealthy and highly civilized nations where such inst.i.tutions as ours do not exist.’ In all slaveholding States, true policy dictates that the superior race should direct, and the inferior perform all menial service. Compet.i.tion between the white and black man for this service, may not disturb Northern sensibility, but it does not exactly suit our lat.i.tude.” _South Carolina House Journal_, 1856, p. 36; Cluskey, _Political Text-Book_, 14 edition, p.

585.

~1856, Dec. 15. Congress (House): Reopening of Slave-Trade.~

“_Resolved_, That this House of Representatives regards all suggestions and propositions of every kind, by whomsoever made, for a revival of the African slave trade, as shocking to the moral sentiment of the enlightened portion of mankind; and that any action on the part of Congress conniving at or legalizing that horrid and inhuman traffic would justly subject the government and citizens of the United States to the reproach and execration of all civilized and Christian people throughout the world.” Offered by Mr. Etheridge; agreed to, 152 to 57.

_House Journal_, 34 Cong. 3 sess. pp. 105-11; _Congressional Globe_, 34 Cong. 3 sess. pp. 123-5, and Appendix, pp. 364-70.

~1856, Dec. 15. Congress (House): Reopening of Slave-Trade.~

“_Resolved_, That it is inexpedient to repeal the laws prohibiting the African slave trade.” Offered by Mr. Orr; not voted upon. _Congressional Globe_, 34 Cong. 3 sess. p. 123.

~1856, Dec. 15. Congress (House): Reopening of Slave-Trade.~

“_Resolved_, That it is inexpedient, unwise, and contrary to the settled policy of the United States, to repeal the laws prohibiting the African slave trade.” Offered by Mr. Orr; agreed to, 183 to 8. _House Journal_, 34 Cong. 3 sess. pp. 111-3; _Congressional Globe_, 34 Cong. 3 sess. pp.

125-6.

~1856, Dec. 15. Congress (House): Reopening of Slave-Trade.~

“_Resolved_, That the House of Representatives, expressing, as they believe, public opinion both North and South, are utterly opposed to the reopening of the slave trade.” Offered by Mr. Boyce; not voted upon.

_Congressional Globe_, 34 Cong. 3 sess. p. 125.

~1857. South Carolina: Report of Legislative Committee.~

Special committee of seven on the slave-trade clause in the Governor’s message report: majority report of six members, favoring the reopening of the African slave-trade; minority report of Pettigrew, opposing it.

_Report of the Special Committee_, etc., published in 1857.

~1857, March 3. United States Statute: Appropriation.~

To carry out the Act of March 3, 1819, and subsequent acts, $8,000.

_Statutes at Large_, XI. 227; _House Journal_, 34 Cong. 3 sess. p. 397.

Cf. _House Exec. Doc._, 34 Cong. 3 sess. IX. No. 70.

~1858, March (?). Louisiana: Bill to Import Africans.~

Pa.s.sed House; lost in Senate by two votes. Cf. _Congressional Globe_, 35 Cong. 1 sess. p. 1362.

~1858, Dec. 6. President Buchanan’s Message.~

“The truth is, that Cuba in its existing colonial condition, is a constant source of injury and annoyance to the American people. It is the only spot in the civilized world where the African slave trade is tolerated; and we are bound by treaty with Great Britain to maintain a naval force on the coast of Africa, at much expense both of life and treasure, solely for the purpose of arresting slavers bound to that island. The late serious difficulties between the United States and Great Britain respecting the right of search, now so happily terminated, could never have arisen if Cuba had not afforded a market for slaves. As long as this market shall remain open, there can be no hope for the civilization of benighted Africa….

“It has been made known to the world by my predecessors that the United States have, on several occasions, endeavored to acquire Cuba from Spain by honorable negotiation. If this were accomplished, the last relic of the African slave trade would instantly disappear. We would not, if we could, acquire Cuba in any other manner. This is due to our national character…. This course we shall ever pursue, unless circ.u.mstances should occur, which we do not now antic.i.p.ate, rendering a departure from it clearly justifiable, under the imperative and overruling law of self-preservation.” _House Exec. Doc._, 35 Cong. 2 sess. II. No. 2, pp.

14-5. See also _Ibid._, pp. 31-3.

~1858, Dec. 23. Congress (House): Resolution on Slave-Trade.~

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