Message of the President of the United States: Transmitting in compliance with a resolution of the House, of the 23d of December, 1848, the correspondence between G. W. Gordon and Gorham Parks with the Department of State, on the subject of the African slave trade: 30th Congress, Second Session: Executive Document No. 61. [House of Representatives] [Digital Version]

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United States. President (1845-1849: Polk), Polk, James K., 1795-1849, United States. Dept. of State., Gordon, George William, 1801-1877 and Parks, Gorham, 1794-1877, Message of the President of the United States (March 2, 1849)

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Title: Message of the President of the United States: Transmitting in compliance with a resolution of the House, of the 23d of December, 1848, the correspondence between G. W. Gordon and Gorham Parks with the Department of State, on the subject of the African slave trade: 30th Congress, Second Session: Executive Document No. 61. [House of Representatives] [Digital Version]
Alternate Title: Correspondence between the consuls of the United States at Rio de Janeiro, &c., with the Secretary of State, on the subject of the African slave trade
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  • United States. President (1845-1849: Polk)
  • Polk, James K., 1795-1849
  • United States. Dept. of State.
  • Gordon, George William, 1801-1877
  • Parks, Gorham, 1794-1877
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Description: U.S. Congressional publication. Documenting the illegal slave trade between Africa and Brazil, and involvement of American ships and slave-traders. 223 pp.
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Source(s): United States. President (1845-1849: Polk), Polk, James K., 1795-1849, United States. Dept. of State., Gordon, George William, 1801-1877 and Parks, Gorham, 1794-1877, Message of the President of the United States (March 2, 1849)
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  • United States--Politics and government--19th century
  • United States. President (1845-1849 : Polk)
  • Polk, James K. (James Knox), 1795-1849--Political and social views
  • Slavery--Brazil--History
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Contents


THIRTIETH CONGRESS—SECOND SESSION. Ex. Doc. No. 61.HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE CONSULS OF THE
UNITED STATES AT RIO DE JANEIRO, &c., WITH THE
SECRETARY OF STATE, ON THE SUBJECT OF THE AFRICAN
SLAVE TRADE.
MESSAGE
OF THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
TRANSMITTING,
In compliance with a resolution of the House, of the 23d of December,
1848, the correspondence between G. W. Gordon and Gorham
Parks with the Department of State, on the subject of the African
slave trade.

MARCH 2, 1849.
Laid upon the table, and ordered to be printed.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I communicate, herewith, a report of the Secretary of State, together
with the accompanying papers, in compliance with the resolution
of the House of Representatives of the 23d of December,
1848, requesting the President “to cause to be transmitted to the
House, if compatible with the public interest, the correspondence
of George W. Gordon, late, and Gorham Parks, the present, consul
of the United States at Rio de Janeiro, with the Department of
State, on the subject of the African slave trade; also, any unpublished
correspondence on the same subject by the honorable Henry
A. Wise, our late minister to Brazil.”

JAMES K. POLK.
WASHINGTON,


2

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON,

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the resolution of
the House of Representatives of the 23d of December last, which
is in the following words: “Resolved, That the President of the
United States cause to be transmitted to this House, if compatible
with the public interest, the correspondence of George W. Gordon,
late, and Gorham Parks, the present, consul of the United
States at Rio de Janeiro, with the Department of State, on the
subject of the African slave trade; also, any unpublished correspondence
on the same subject by the honorable Henry A. Wise,
our late minister to Brazil”, has the honor to lay before the President
the papers mentioned in the subjoined list, which embrace all
those on file in this department, called for by the resolution.

Respectfully submitted.

JAMES BUCHANAN.
To the PRESIDENT
of the United States.

List of papers accompanying the report of the Secretary of State
to the President, of the 1st March, 1849.

  • Mr. Parks to Mr. Buchanan, February 25, 1846—with an accompaniment.
  • Same to same, November 14, 1846.
  • Same to same, August 20, 1847—extract, with accompaniments.
  • Same to same, “31, “ —with accompaniments.
  • Same to same, “31, “
  • Same to same, October 13, “—with an accompaniment.
  • Same to same, November 30, 1847—with accompaniments.
  • Same to same, August 25, 1848—extract, with accompaniments.
  • Same to same, December 4, 1848—with accompaniments.
  • Mr. Wise to Mr. Calhoun, January 12, 1845—extracts with accompaniments.
  • Same to same, February 18, 1845—extracts with accompaniments.
  • Same to same, May 1, 1845—extracts, with accompaniments.
  • Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan, May 8, 1845—extracts, with accompaniments.
  • Same to same, May 19, 1845—extract.
  • Same to same, June 26, “—with accompaniments.
  • Same to same, August 1, 1845—extracts, with accompaniments.
  • Same to same, November 24, 1845—extracts, with accompaniments.
  • Same to same, December 18, 1845—extract.
  • Same to same, “23, “—extract.
  • Same to same, February 18, 1846—extract.
  • Same to same, March 6, 1846—extract, with accompaniments.

3

No. 8.
Mr. Parks to Mr. Buchanan.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

I send you copy of the papers under which a vessel is
coasting between this port and Montevideo.

Conceiving her papers to be very irregular, I requested the
opinion of his excellency the American minister at this court, and
received from him an opinion, a copy of which I have the honor
to enclose to you, with his approbation and consent; and I beg
from your excellency instructions as to what course I shall take
should any similar case be again presented to me.

With great respect, I am, your excellency's most obedient servant,

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.
Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State.

ENGENHO VELHO,

DEAR SIR.

I have examined the laws to which you referred me
in the case of the “Columbia.” There appear to be three points
of difficulty.

1st. The question of the residence of the owners who are certified
to be citizens, but whether “usually residing in a foreign country,”
or either of them “be a consul of the United States, or an
agent for, and a partner in, some house of trade or copartnership
consisting of citizens of, and actually carrying on trade within, the
United States”, does not appear. That is a question of fact. But
even if they do “usually reside in a foreign country”, and neither
of them be a consul, &c., yet how far the act of 31st December,
1792, sec. 2, (Gordon's Digest, p. 534, art. 1801,) is affected or
repealed by the act of 2d March, 1803, sec. 3, (see Id., p. 540,
art. 1821,) is a question.

The last statute speaks expressly of transfer; the former does
not, except by implication. The 3d section of act of 1803 seems
to prescribe only the conditions therein named, and it is doubtful
whether it be cumulative.

Then, how is the fact of residence to be proved or disproved by
the consulate here? Another consulate certifies the owners are
citizens; nonconstat, they are not such citizens as to entitle their
vessel to the privileges of a register. To obtain a register, they
must describe themselves; to receive the benefit of a transfer
abroad, they are required only to “comply with all the requisites
for registry within three days from the time at which the master
is required to make his final report upon the vessel's first arrival


4

afterwards in the United States, pursuant to the 30th section of act
of 2d March, 1799. And in case of a transfer in whole or in part
to a citizen whilst without the United States, the vessel shall, on
her first arrival, be entitled to all the privileges and benefits of a
vessel of the United States.”

This would seem, in case of a transfer to a citizen abroad, to
intend that the vessel should have prima facie, whilst without the
limits of the United States, the privileges and benefits of a vessel
of the United States, and that this prima facie right is to be questioned
only on her first arrival at home. The act of 1803 seems to
extend the privileges of the act of 1792 in favor of commerce. I
know a difficulty may here arise—the vessel may never go home;
but still, what power has this consulate to inquire into and decide
that intent, or fact?

2d. The second question arises from the want of a bill of sale
evidencing the transfer. See sec. 14 of the act of 1792, (Gordon's
Digest, p. 542, art. 1829.) “Some instrument in the nature of a bill
of sale”, &c., is required only when application is made to be registered
anew. In case of transfer abroad, the vessel is required to
apply for a new register only after “her first arrival.” Nonconstat,
that the bill of sale was not exhibited to the consul at Montevedio,
when he certified the transfer to American citizens.

3d. The last question arises as to the change of master. Notification
of this change seems to be required only before the “collector
of the district where it shall happen, or where the vessel
shall first be after it shall have happened.” The vessel seems not
to forfeit register and the master not to forfeit any sum unless he
fails to report this to a collector after the first arrival at home.

It appears, then, the Columbia was registered properly, owned
by citizens entitled to register who have transferred her to citizens;
that the register is deposited in another consulate; that she now
has a copy of it, and certificate of transfer to persons prima facie
entitled to receive and take the transfer; that the original register
is duly accounted for; she has her crew list, and nothing appears
on her papers, at least, opposed to the intent to comply with the
laws of the United States on her first arrival at home, and her
trading appears to be lawful. My presumptions would, therefore,
be all in her favor, and in favor of the extension of the privileges
of American commerce.

I would not look behind her papers, and would infer from them
every fact and intendment required by law. But still I regard the
whole case a doubtful one; would so notify all parties, note its
particular facts, and ask for instructions in future from the department.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

HENRY A. WISE.
To GORHAM PARKS, ESQ.,
Consul United States.


5

Mr. Parks to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extract.]

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

I feel it to be my duty, under the instructions from your department,
to accompany my semi-annual account with some remarks
regarding the business relations of the United States with
this country.

In the first place I will refer to the slave trade. This traffic has
increased within a year or two past to a great extent; and I regret
to be obliged to inform you that in some cases it has been carried
on by Americans in American vessels. In the first place I will
refer your excellency to the depositions taken in the case of the
“Senator”, marked A, by which it will appear that the “Senator”
was probably sold on the coast, and that she brought over a cargo
of slaves, with a dreadful loss of life; and that John Miller, of New
York, acted as mate of her, both going over and coming back.
Kelly, her master, died on the coast after the vessel was sold.
The papers relating to the “Senator” are marked—. In addition
to what appears by the depositions, I state that I kept a strict
watch for Miller; and that, having ascertained that he was in this
city, and where he was to be found, I called personally on the
chief of police for this city, and requested him to issue an order
for his arrest, and that when arrested he might be delivered to me
for the purpose of being sent home to the United States for trial.
He replied that he would issue the warrant, and would give it to
one of his officers to serve; but that he declined at that time to
give any answer to my request that he might be delivered to me.
The next day an officer, apparently about the rank of a constable
at home, called on me, and stated that he had the warrant; and I
appointed a meeting with him the next day, when I would point
out Miller to him. From that time I have neither seen nor heard
from the chief of police, or his subordinate, upon the subject.
Since that time, however, Miller has openly appeared in public,
and even at my office, and announced himself as the “mate of the
Senator;” and, in answer to my questions, stated that he came
over in her as a “passenger”, the vessel having been sold on the
coast. I have no faith that the government here will aid me in
bringing Miller, or any other slaver, to justice, and have preferred
to watch him, in order that he may be taken at sea, rather than
risk the chance of his arrest and delivery to me by the Brazilian
authorities; as I fear that, even were the chief of police willing
to do it, there would be great danger that the subordinate would
give him notice of his orders, and enable him to escape. The
witnesses necessary for the conviction of Miller are in this city,
and could be sent home were'he taken.

Another and still worse case, in many particulars, is that of the
“Fame.” This barque, a whaler from New London, Connecticut,
came into this port from the Pacific ocean. Her master died in


6

those seas, and Anthony Marks, a native of one of the Portuguese
islands, who has a family in New London, and who left home in
her as second mate, came into this port as her master, having been
appointed to that situation by an United States consul in the Pacific.
He represented to me that the vessel was unseaworthy, and
needed many repairs. I advised him to have a survey upon her, that
she might be condemned in case the persons whom I should appoint
should decide against repairing her. After some days, he concluded
to repair her, saying that he had in his hands funds enough of
the owner's for that purpose. At the time, I supposed that this
arose from his desire to remain master of a whaler, a rank to which
he had not before attained. He did repair her, and cleared for a
whaling voyage.

After she had gone to sea I was informed that she had taken on
board, as passengers, certain Portuguese and Brazilians. This information
combined with the fact that he consigned his vessel
to a house recently established in this city, and which, after the
vessel sailed, began to be suspected of being concerned in the slave
trade, created some doubts in my mind, and I steadily watched for
her return from the coast of Africa. The Fame sailed on or about
the 27th of February, of the present year. My suspicions were increased
by time, and from information I received from the Guarda
Mor of this port, I applied to Commodore Rousseau to send the
Bainbridge to the part of the coast where she was supposed to intend
landing her slaves, to wi: Ilha Grande, to the westward of
this port; which he did forthwith. The Bainbridge has continued
cruising in that quarter for that purpose, and the protection of
American whalemen, most of the time until now. I afterwards
learned that the “Fame” landed over seven hundred slaves to the
eastward of Cape Frio, and that her mate was in the city, while
the master disappeared, leaving the vessel at or near Macahi. The
Commodore very promptly, at my request, ordered the first cutter
under Lieutenant Strain, accompanied by Captain Griffin, of the
whaling bark “Sarah and Esther”, who could identify the vessel,
to proceed after her. Great credit is due to Mr. Strain for the
manner in which he executed his commission, cruising over two
hundred miles in an open boat. But the bird had flown. I learn
that the Fame was apprised by telegraph that the Bainbridge was
cruising to the west of Rio, and Marks was instructed to proceed
to the eastward, which he did, and landed his slaves; and the vessel
left before Mr. Strain got there. Lieutenant Strain thinks the
vessel has gone to Paranaguá to be altered, so that she cannot
be identified. I shall inquire into the matter.

This offence of Marks is double piracy by our law. 1st. For abstracting
the vessel from her lawful owners; and 2d. For engaging
in the slave trade. I shall endeavor to find Marks, but I fear without
success. He cleared about 40,000 dollars by the voyage, and
will probably remain in the country. Permit me, sir, here to state
that whenever we make a treaty with Brazil, if the government
wishes to put a stop to the slave trade, it will be necessary that
the United States consuls should have the power to issue their own


7

warrant for the arrest of Americans who have committed crimes
against the laws of the United States, and have them executed by
whomsoever they think proper to direct them. After arrest the accused
to be brought before the chief of police, or other proper Brazilian
authorities, for the purpose only of being proved to be a citizen
of the United States; which being done, the accused to be delivered
to the consul for the purpose of being sent home for trial. Any
hope of succeeding in arresting a man here, through the agency of
the common police, will always prove futile. The same privilege
could be granted to the Brazilian consuls over their own subjects
in our own country.

I regret to be obliged to inform you, that since the promulgation
here and on the coast of Africa of the charge to the grand
jury, in the case of the “Porpoise”, and of Libby her master, in
the circuit court of the United States, the persons incidentally concerned
in the trade are much more open than they were before. I
think it my duty after consultation with the United States legation
here, to name to you one house in particular, as deeply involved in
this traffic. That house, lately established, consists of an American
named Jenkins from New York, an Englishman named Russell, and
a Portuguese named Guimaraes. This last was the person who
went down the coast to receive the cargo of the “Fame”, and pay
off the crew. Nearly the whole of the slave trade in American
bottoms, is transacted by this house of Jenkins and company,
either as principals or factors. No doubt exists in my mind but
that the owners of the “Fame” owe the loss of their vessel to the
influence of Jenkins over the mind of Marks. I regret that no
measures can be taken, by which this man, by far the most guilty
of all, can be brought to punishment.

Nothing effectual can be done towards stopping the slave trade,
as our squadron is at present organized. We have one large frigate,
which lies at anchor either here or in the River la Plata most of
the time; one small brig which cruises at times, but is generally at
the river when the frigate is here. I do not mean to say that more
can be done with the force as at present organized, than has been
done; but when it is considered that the Brazil station extends
from north of the equator to Cape Horn on this continent, and includes
a great part of Africa south of the equator, on both sides of
the Cape of Good Hope, it must be admitted that one frigate and
one brig is a very insufficient force to protect American commerce,
and repress the participation in the slave trade by our own vessels.

The force needed on this station should consist of steam vessels,
one at least, and sloops and brigs of war, frigates being too large
for such service. If a commodore was appointed to live on shore
to direct operations at this place, it might well be considered,
whether in ordinary and peaceable times, all frigates could not be
dispensed with.


8

A.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, consul of the
United States at this city, Manuel Jiro, who being duly sworn upon
the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposed and said as follows:
That he left Rio de Janeiro, in the beginning of January last
past, in the quality of 2d mate to the brig “Senator”, of Boston,
John Kelly, master; that the said brig first went to Ambriz, and
left there a part of her cargo; then went to the river Congo, and
left there a portion of her cargo likewise; that after being there
two or three days, deponent was driven ashore by the captain, after
being ill-used and shot at, and left there; that the deponent, after
being five days on shore, succeeded in procuring a passage to Rio
de Janeiro, in the brig Fredericka, of Key West. Further the deponent
said not.

MANUEL FRANCISCO JIRO.
Sworn to, at Rio de Janeiro, this 12th of May, 1847.
Before me:
GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States at this city,
hereby certify the foregoing to be a correct copy of the original
on record at this consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, this 14th day of
[SEAL.] July, 1847.
GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before me, Gorham Parks, consul of the
United States at this city, Joseph Alvares Cunha, who being duly
sworn upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposed and
said as follows: That deponent was cook on board the brig “Senator”,
which sailed from this port on the 23d of December last past,
with a general cargo; that the first place where the said brig
touched, after leaving this port, was Ambriz; where a part of the
cargo was left; that after leaving Ambriz, said brig proceeded to
the river Congo, where another part of the cargo was landed; after
which the said vessel proceeded direct to Cabinda, and left another
portion of her cargo; and the vessel then proceeded to Loango,
the termination of said brig's voyage; that the same day the vessel
arrived at Loango, the captain went ashore, and deponent saw him
no more; that after being at Loango about ten days, a cargo of
slaves arrived, and were put on board during an afternoon; that


9

about nine hundred and fourteen slaves were put on board; that
the said brig then sailed for Brazil, under the command of a Portuguese
captain; and that after a voyage of twenty-three days, the
said vessel cast anchor near Macahé, having lost two hundred and
forty-six blacks by death; that at Macahé, the crew was discharged;
that John Miller, 1st mate, left at Macahé. Manuel Jiro was left
at the river Congo; one of the seamen was left on the coast of
Africa, whom deponent thinks to be William Temple, an Englishman;
the others, to wit: the deponent, Edward Casey, George C.
Koeler, William Laurenson, William H. Christie, William Sampson,
and Robert Pidgeon, left at Macahé, after the slaves were landed;
that when the deponent shipped, he enquired, both in this consulate,
and on board of said brig of Captain Kelly, if he was going
for slaves, or with a regular cargo; he replied that he was going
and should return with a regular cargo; that deponent was ignorant
of the sale of said brig, until she arrived on the coast of Africa,
at Loango, at the time the slaves were taken in; that the day before
the slaves were taken in, the mate went on shore, and on his return
told the crew that the brig was sold; that the last time the flag of
the United States was used, was when the vessel was going into
Loango, after that the brig-carried no flag; that the mate told the
men, when the vessel was at Loango, that they might go ashore or
remain, if they pleased; that as the mate represented it to be very
sickly on shore, the deponent remained on board; that deponent
first saw the Portuguese captain at Loango, when he came on board;
his name, as far as deponent understood, was Antonio Augusto;
that no person offered to pay off the crew of said brig; that deponent
understood Captain Kelly to be very sick, he having sent for
his cot the day before the slaves were put on board; that when the
slaves came on board, they were stowed away like cargo in the
hold; that they were allowed to come on deck for air about twice
a week, part at a time; that the cause of the death of so many,
was the scareity of water; that deponent does not recollect to have
seen the word “Senator” on said vessel, after the slaves were put
on board; or does he know, if said name was painted out or covered
over; that deponent was turned ashore at Macahé, without having
been paid wages for the outward voyage.

Further the deponent said not.

JOSE ALVARES CUNHA.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, consul of the
United States, at this city, Jose Alvares Cunha, one of the crew of
the brig “Senator”, and made solemn oath to the truth of the
above affidavit, by him subscribed before me.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and
[L. S.] affixed the seal of this office, this 15th day of May, one
thousand eight hundred and forty-seven.

GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.


10

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States at this city, hereby
certify the foregoing to be a correct copy of the original, on
file at this consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, this 20th day of
[L. S.] July, 1847.

GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.

I, William Laurenson, a native of the kingdom of Norway, being
sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, depose and
say, that I was shipped on board the brig “Senator”, of Boston,
in the United States of America, at Rio de Janeiro, in the month of
December, now last past, for a voyage to the coast of Africa and
back to the coast of Brazil. John Kelly was master of said brig.
We sailed about the first of January of the present year, and after
a fair passage arrived at Ambriz, on the west coast of Africa. We
carried over three Brazilian passengers, who were landed at Ambriz.
At that place we discharged some cargo, and then we went
to the river Congo, and there we discharged some cargo. From
the river Congo we went to Loango; there we discharged the remainder
of the cargo. Then we took in ballast to come back to
Brazil; then we took in nine hundred and forty-three negroes. Of
this number a great many died on the passage to Brazil—three
hundred and seventy-three blacks and three white men, as I was
told. The remainder were landed at a little place to the north of
Cape Frio. Captain Kelly was left ashore sick at Loango. A Portuguese
captain came home as master. We also went to Cabinda,
after leaving the river Congo, before we went to Loango. We
left cargo at Cabinda also. The last time I saw the American
flag hoisted was at Cabinda, there being two or three English men-of-war
there and one American man-of-war. I was taken sick at
Cabinda, and continuing sick, when we arrived at Loango, I and
one other man went on shore and were in a negro hut some days;
and being very sick with the fever, I requested to be taken on
board the vessel. Two or three days after this, the mate came on
board and called on the men to come aft, when he announced to us
that the vessel was sold, and inquired who wished to leave the vessel;
that they might go and receive three months' extra pay. I
was so sick that I lay helpless on the deck. One man and the captain
left at Loango. In ten minutes after the mate had told us this,
the negroes were brought on board. In half an hour after the
slaves or negroes were brought on board, we went to sea. Only
about six or seven were in irons; the rest were loose.

The name of the mate was Miller. The cause of the great number
of deaths was the want of water; the blacks were not allowed
a pint of water per day. The first night we went to sea I was told
that seventy-four died. This was because the ship was too full.


11

They were men, women, and children. The deck and hold were
both as full as they could be. We were twenty two days on the
passage; we had no colors up on the voyage. I was turned ashore
where the slaves were landed, without being paid any wages for
going out or coming back, excepting the month's advance which I
received at Rio; but they gave me, as they said, as a present—three
hundred and fifty milreis—though I was too sick to do duty. I did
steer the ship a part of the time for eight days, although I was too
weak to stand; but I did this sitting down on the quarter deck.
We went in a little boat to Cape Frio, and came to Rio in a small
schooner; we landed the slaves about three weeks ago.

And further deponent sayeth not.

WILLIAM his+mark LAURENSON.
Witness: GORHAM PARKS.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, consul of the
United States at this city, William Laurenson, one of the crew of
the brig “Senator”, and made solemn oath to the truth of the above
affidavit by him subscribed before me.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed
[L. S.] the seal of this consulate, this twenty-first day of May,
one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States at this city,
hereby certify the foregoing to be a correct copy of an original deposition
taken by me, and on file at this consulate.

[L. S.] Given under my hand and seal of office this 21st day of July, 1847.
GORHAM PARKS.

I, George C. Koeler, a native of Norway, being sworn on the
Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, do depose and say, that I
shipped on board the American brig “Senator”, at Rio de Janeiro,
for a voyage to the coast of Africa and back to this city, in December
last. We sailed on the 3d of January last, and arrived at
Ambriz after a passage of about seven weeks. At Ambriz we discharged
part of our cargo, and left two passengers, either Portuguese
or Brazilians. We went next to the river Congo, where we
discharged more cargo; thence we sailed to Loango, where we
also discharged cargo, and then proceeded to Cabinda, where we
discharged what remained of our cargo. A part of the time I was


12

at Cabinda I was so sick with fever that I was insane. While
there, after everything was taken out of said vessel, the mate, Mr.
Miller, went ashore early one morning, and returned at eight
o'clock in the same morning, and called all hands aft, and said
that the vessel was to take in slaves, and the hands might either
remain on board or go ashore, as they pleased. I was so sick I
could not go on shore, and was compelled to remain. After this,
the Portuguese captain came on board, and the crew went to work
to make all ready to receive the slaves. The mate worked with
the rest and assisted in getting ready, and aided to receive the
slaves. The slaves were brought on board in the afternoon of the
same day, and about dark we went to sea. The captain (Kelly)
was very sick ashore at this time, and was left there. Captain
Kelly left the vessel the day we arrived, and did not come on board
afterwards. The day before we took the slaves in, the captain's
things were taken on shore. Most of the slaves who died, perished
for want of water. Miller acted as mate during the voyage over.
I have seen Miller in this city within a few days. Miller told us
our wages would be paid in Rio de Janeiro. Senhor Ramos was
supercargo, and he told us we should be paid by his brother in
Rio. I was paid three hundred and fifty milreis by Senhor Ramos
the elder, on board, before we landed the slaves.

And further deponent sayeth not.

GEORGE C. KOELER.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned consul of the
United States at this city, George C. Koeler, one of the crew of the
American brig “Senator”, and made solemn oath to the truth of
the above affidavit by him subscribed before me.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed
[seal.] the seal of this office, this twenty-fifth day of May, one
thousand eight hundred and forty-seven.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned consul of the United States at this city, here-by
certify the foregoing to be a correct copy of an original deposition
on file at this consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, this 23d day of
July, 1847.
[SEAL]
GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

I, William Temple, a native of Beverley, in the county of Essex
and State of Massachusetts, of the age of twenty-two years, having


13

been sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, depose
and say: That I shipped on board the brig “Senator”, John Kelly
master, to go to the coast of Africa on a trading voyage, on the
eighteenth day of December last, at the consulate of the United
States for the port of Rio de Janeiro. We sailed from Rio de
Jaseiro on or about the second day of January last past. We arrived
at Ambriz, on the coast, about the twentieth of February.
We delivered a little of the cargo. Thence we west up the river
Congo and delivered more cargo there; thence we went to Cabiada,
where we delivered more cargo; and thence we went to
Loango, where we delivered the remainder of the cargo. There
the captain and myself went on shore. The captain was taken
sick at that place. The merchants there to whom the vessel was
consigned, came on board and told us the vessel was about to take
in slaves, and told us that all who did not like to go in her with
the slaves might go on shore. I went on shore, and was the only
one that left her there. The mate, John Miller by name, was the
one who told us the slaves were to be taken on board. Miller
came on board and told us about six o'clock in the morning, and
I went ashore in the boat that brought him off. The vessel sailed
the next day. I did not wait to see the slaves put on board. I
waited on the captain at Loango till he died. I arrived here in the
Casket a few days ago. One of the merchants, called Bastos,
came on board the vessel with Miller when he announced to us
that she was to be converted into a slaver. And further this deponent
saith not.

WILLIAM TEMPLE.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before the undersigned, consul of the United
States at this city, William Temple, and made solemn oath to the
truth of the foregoing affidavit by him subscribed before me.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed
[seal.] the seal of this consulate, this 16th day of July, 1847.
CORHAM PARKS.
U. S. Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States at this city, here-by
certify the foregoing to be a correct copy of the original on
record at this consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, this 23d day of July,
[seal.] 1847.
GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.


14

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, William Henry Christie, a native of Portsmouth, England,
being sworn upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, depose
and say: That I shipped at this office on or about the 18th day of
December last past, on board the brig “Senator”, of Boston, John
Kelly, master, to go on a voyage to the coast of Africa and back
to this port. We sailed from Rio de Janeiro on the 3d of January,
and in thirty-five days arrived at Ambriz. We staid there a few
days and discharged some cargo. We then sailed to the river
Congo, remained there about sixteen days, and discharged another
portion of the cargo; thence we went to Cabinda, remained about
a week, discharged some cargo, and proceeded to Loango, where
the rest of the cargo was discharged. After lying about a fort-night
there, the slaves—the exact number of whom I am not
aware—arrived, and began to come on board one day after dinner;
and we weighed anchor and went to sea about five o'clock in the
evening of the same day. The slaves did not appear to be sorrowful
or unhappy; only five were brought on board in irons, and these
five were made overseers the next morning over the others. About
sixty died the first night. Nothing particular occurred during the
voyage, excepting that a great many died. When leaving Loango,
there was an English man-of-war's pinnace apparently in chase of
us. We brought thirteen Portuguese, or Brazilians, over as passengers,
of whom three died; the captain of the vessel, in place of
Captain Kelly, was a Portuguese; the greater part of the crew were
sick at different times; I and Pidgeon, one of the crew, and Alvares
Cunha, the cook, were the only persons of the crew who had not
the fever. We landed the slaves in the bay of Macahé, in front of
a small town—not Macahé; Senhor Jose Ramos was supercargo.
We were paid off by the captain before the slaves were landed; all
the men before the mast received each four hundred and fifty
milreis.

And further deponent saith not.
WILLIAM H. CHRISTIE.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before the undersigned, consul of the United
States, William Henry Christie, and made solemn oath to the truth
of the above affidavit by him subscribed before me.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and
[seal.] affixed the seal of this consulate this 22d day of July,
1847.
GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States at this city, here-by


15

by certify the foregoing to be a correct copy of the original on record
at this consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office this 24th day of
[seal.] July, 1847.
GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

Mr. Parks to Mr. Buchanan.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Since writing you my semi-annual letter accompanying my
accounts, I have the honor to inform you that having obtained information
that J. H. Plunkett, who was first mate of the Fame,
was about to sail for Baltimore under the assumed name of John
Harding, in the Montezuma, cleared for that port, I requested Commodore
Rousseau to cause her to be pursued, and the man taken out
when she was on the high seas. This he directed; and it was done
by Lieutenant Johnston, of the navy. And I also send home Plun-kett,
in the United States frigate Columbia, to be surrendered to
the marshal of the United States for the district in which the Columbia
may arrive. I have also sent home, as witnesses, Mr. William
Holland, a clerk in my office, and one seaman, named Manuel
Baptiste. One other seaman, named Luther Towle, whom I was
about to send home as a witness, was, after he was sent on board
the Columbia, seized with the small pox, and was therefore sent.
to the hospital by Commodore Rousseau. As soon as he is cured I
will send him home. Towle and Baptiste made the voyage to Africa
and back in the Fame. Lieutenant Johnston, of the Columbia,
who arrested Plunkett, will also be a material witness.

I have written to the United States marshal and district attorney
of the district in which the Columbia may arrive.

I am, &c.,

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.
Hon. James Buchanan,
Secretary of State of the United States.

Luther Towle, a citizen of the United States, born in the town
of Newburyport, in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of
the United States of America, having been dúly sworn on the Holy
Evangelists of Almighty God, do depose and say: That he shipped
on board the whaling barque Fame in Oahee, one of the Sandwich
islands, before Alexander Abel, the American consul. Of this vessel
Anthony Marks was then master. On the 26th of August,
1846, said barque Fame left Oahee and came direct to Rio de Janeiro,
without stopping to fish by the way. Understanding that


16

we were bound to the United States, at Rio Captain Marks repaired
his vessel. Said barque Fame arrived at Rio in December,
1846, and sailed in February, 1847. We shipped some hands at
this place. Said vessel carried, as passengers, one Portuguese and
one Frenchman. She had, also, a Lisbon captain and mate on
board, who acted conjointly with Captain Marks and J. H. Plunkett,
the mate. The captain told me, when he sailed from this
port, that he was going after sperm whales, and I so supposed until
after I got to sea. My suspicions were at first excited by there being
so much rice between decks, but I said nothing about it. After
we had been to sea a few days, Captain Marks called all the crew
aft, and informed us that he was going to the East coast of Africa
for a cargo of slaves. The vessel went to a place on the East
coast of Africa about two degrees south of Dellagon bay. The
name of the place I do not now recollect. We arrived there some
time in April, and remained there two days. During that time,
the French gentleman and t. e Lisbon captain went ashore, and
about sundown of the second day we took in, in the course of one
hour, 530 slaves, who had been brought down under the direction
of those two persons. Three of the slaves were thrown overboard
during the passage, who I suppose were dead. We landed the remainder
within a mile or two of the city of Cape Frio. I was
paid off at Cape Frio. I received 500 milreis. Mr. Plunkett acted
as sailing mate during the passage. I recognize the man who was
shown to me on board the United States frigate Columbia, as being
J. H. Plunkett, the same man who acted as mate on board said
barque Fame during the voyage above referred to.

LUTHER TOWLE.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

Personally appeared Luther Towle, and made oath to the truth of
the deposition by him subscribed before me.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

Manuel Baptiste, a native of Providence, in the State of Rhode
Island, one of the United States of America, having been duly
sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, do depose and
say: That he shipped on board the Fame at the United States consulate
at Rio de Janeiro, about five days before she went to sea.
Marks stated in the consul's office, that he was going whaling, and
that the deponent was to steer the boat, of which Wm. Brown the
2d mate was to have charge. I went to sea supposing the vessel
was going on a whaling voyage. We sailed from Rio in the month
of February, 1847. About three days after we was out to sea, the
captain called all the crew aft, and told them they all wanted to
make money, and that he was going to put them in the way to make
it. This he said in English. He aftewards said, that if he found


17

any whales on the voyage he would take them; but if they did not
find any it made no odds. There were only four Americans aboard
said vessel, and we did not dare to say nor do anything. And
furthermore, the four Americans were J. H. Plunkett, the mate,
Luther Towle, Ben Ceasar, and myself. There were as passengers
one Portuguese, and one French gentleman; also one Portuguese,
who acted as captain part of the way. There, was likewise on
board one Portuguese boatswain, who acted as mate part of the way.
We went direct to Quillman on the east coast of Africa. There
we took on board from 500 to 600 slaves, perhaps the number might
have been from 600 to 700. The exact number I do not know.
The slaves were brought on board in lighters under the charge of
the two passengers. We were only about one hour taking the slaves
on board. From Quilleman we went to a village just inside of
Cape Frio called Armazon. There the slaves were landed in canoes.
I was paid off at that place and received 680 milreis, as near as I
can calculate. From that place deponent returned to Rio de Janeiro.
Deponent identifies the man shown to him on board the
United States Frigate Columbia as J. H. Plunkett, the mate of the
said barque Fame. Deponent wishes further to state, that the evening
after Marks had stated to the crew what I before deposed to,
regarding the voyage, Plunkett came forward in the evening of that
day, and called together Towle, Ben Ceasar and deponent, and
asked us what we should do in sach a case as this. We three told
him that if we made any resistance, we knew what our fate would
be, as there were seventeen or eighteen Portuguese against us, and
that we must submit. Plunkett said he thought so too.

Furthermore deponent saith not.

MANUEL his+mark BAPTISTE.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

Personally appeared, Manuel Baptiste, and made oath to the
truth of the above deposition by him subscribed before me.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

[Extract.]

I regret that the acknowledgment of your letter of the 26th May
last was not received. I received your letter respecting sea letters
some months ago, and have since acted in conformity thereto. Mr.
Tod and myself have acted together in the matter of granting sea
letters, and have required the strictest proof as to every qualification
required by the law—such as citizenship, reality of purchase
on account of applicant, and not for other persons. Whenever
these requirements are made out I have given sea letters; and I regret


18

to say that, in every case where the sea letter has been granted,
the vessel has been engaged in the African trade.

The slave power in this city is extremely great, and a consul
doing his duty needs to be supported kindly and effectually at
home. In the case of the “Fame”, where the vessel was diverted
from the business intended by her owners and employed in the
slave trade—both of which offences are punishable with death, if I
rightly read the laws—I sent home the two mates charged with
these offences for trial, the first mate to Norfolk, the second mate
to Philadelphia. What was done with the first mate I know not.
In the case of the man sent to Philadelphia, Mr. Commissioner.
Kane states that a clear prima facie case is made out, and then
holds him to bail in the sum of one thousand dollars, which would
be paid by any slave trader in Rio, on the presentation of a draft.
In all this there is little encouragement for exertion. The barque
Laurens, of Sag Harbor, has been seized by Commodore Storer, on
information furnished by me, charged with an intent to violate the
laws. The evidence seems very strong—so strong that, if she gets
clear, it will be useless to capture another. I have very recently
received information that an American whaler, fitted out at Bahia
for the slave trade, landed her cargo of human cattle under American
colors at Maeahé. Her crew, it is said, is now in this city. I
have little encouragement from the past to investigate the matter,
but endeavor to do my duty, even if hopeless of any result.

The whaler is said to be named “Cynosure”, but of what port I
am still ignorant; and having no fund at my disposal, I am compelled
to wait until her crew, having wasted their earnings, will,
some of them, from want, be compelled to call on me.

Mr. Parks to Mr. Buchanan.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

I have waited unitl the last moment before the sailing of
the “Columbia” to give you the latest intelligence respecting the
“Yeoman” and the “Fame.” I have been expecting hourly to learn
the first would be discharged from her present detention; but such
is not the case. Having been cleared by the first tribunal, an appeal
has been entered, and the case is now carried up to a higher
court; and when a further decision will be had is not at present
known. The “Fame”, after she landed her slaves at Cape Frio—
and not at Macahé, as I wrote you—was taken to Santos, whence
the captain came here and procured a new suit of sails, which he
carried down to that place a short time before the “Bainbridge”
arrived there in pursuit of her. The “Bainbridge” was sent down
at my request, in consequence of information I indirectly received
from the United States consul there. The report of the proceedings
of the “Bainbridge” you will probably learn through the Navy
Department. Her papers are now there, in the hands of the consul,


19

where she entered as an American vessel; but before proper
intervention was made, the vessel had been stripped to the hull and
standing masts of everything moveable, by a man named Verquina,
a son of the minister of justice for this empire, who represented
himself to be agent for the owners. At the suggestion of Mr. Wise,
I shall write to Mr. Black at Santos for the original papers of the
“Fame”, or certified copies thereof.

I have, &c.,

GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.
To the Honorable JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State of the United States.

Mr. Parks to Mr. Buchanan.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

I sent home, per the Columbia, J. H. Plunkett, first mate of
the barque “Fame”, of New London, for trial, on two charges of
piracy, one for running away with the vessel, “without the con-
sent of the owners”, and the other for bringing a cargo of slaves
from Africa to this port; and I sent home, at the same time, and on
board the same vessel, two witnesses, to wit: Baptiste, a seaman,
who performed the voyage with him, and Mr. Holland, a clerk in
my office. I requested Commodore Rousseau to cause them to be
delivered to the marshal of the district in which the Columbia
might first enter; and I wrote to the district attorney and marshal
of that district, enclosing copies of depositions taken, and a state-
ment of facts relating to the same. I intended to have sent one
other witness, Luther Towle, who performed the voyage likewise,
but he being taken with the small-pox, was in the hospital when
the Columbia sailed. Since that time, I have apprehended William
Brown, who was second mate of the “Fame” on the voyage out and
in, and whom I sent, together with Luther Towle, to Philadelphia,
for trial, in the Barque Globe, Nicholas Esling, master. By the
Lortitia, which sails to-day, I send home a highly important wit-
ness in both cases, named Peter Brown, whose deposition or a copy
thereof, I forward to your excellency herewith. If those men
could be tried at one place, and one time, it would save much expense
to the government. No vessel going into the Chesapeake,
I was obliged to send Mr. Brown to Philadelphia, though I suppose
Plunkett to have been taken to Norfolk. I have been obliged to be
at some expense in this matter, which I trust the court will reimburse
to me. Both Plunkett and Brown were apprehended at sea.

I acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's communication,
respecting the granting of sea letters, which I showed to Mr. Wise.
My clerk leaving suddenly, as a witness, when Mr. Wise left, the
letter, between the two, has been mislaid, and I request your excellency
to cause a copy to be forwarded to me.


20

Immediately on its contents being known, which was only about
ten days since, sales began to be made. Three, the “Ceres”,
“Malaga”, and “Camilla” have already been sold for the African
trade; two to Joshua M. Clapp, the master of the “Panther”, condemned
in Charleston, South Carolina, for aiding in the slave trade,
but who was himself acquitted; one to a man, named George M.
Usher, who has the “Magoun” in the same trade—a vessel he
owns, although the property is in other names, and he is nominally
supercargo. Yesterday I was applied to, by a man who is a pie
baker in a lunch and drinking house, to know if I would grant him
a sea letter. This last man I shall refuse if I can, without directly
violating my instructions from your department. At any rate, I
shall consult Mr. Tod on the subject. The purchaser of the last
vessel, if sold, will be Señor Ramos, a notorious slave importer.
The name of the vessel is the Alicia, of Baltimore.

With great respect, &c.,

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.
To the Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State.

Peter Brown, a citizen of the United States of America, being
duly sworn upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, doth depose
and say as follows:—That he keeps a sailors' boarding house
in this city; that he is personally acquainted with J. H. Plunkett
and Wm. Brown; that both Plunkett and Brown boarded in the
house of deponent for some time previously to their shipping in
the barque “Fame;” that upon one occasion in February last, and
subsequently to Plunkett's shipping in the barque “Fame” as first
officer thereof, deponent had a conversation with said Plunkett relative
to the voyage,and that deponent inquired of Plunkett where
the said barque “Fame” was going after leaving this port; that
Plunkett replied in these words as nearly as deponent can now
remember: “that he had shipped in the 'Fame' for a whaling voyage,
but that he (Plunkett) knew where he was going;” that upon
another occasion, and subsequently to the conversation above mentioned,
said Plunkett went to deponent and told him that the said
barque was not going upon a whaling voyage, but that she was
bound direct to the coast of Africa, and from thence she was to
return to Brazil with a cargo of slaves; and that he furthermore
stated to deponent that he was satisfied both from the number of
Portuguese seamen employed on board, and from the kind of cargo
taken in, that the said barque was bound to the coast of Africa;
that deponent had no furtler conversation with said Plunkett relative
to the barque “Fame” previously to the sailing of said vessel.

That upon several occasions, in conversation with William
Brown, second officer of the said barque “Fame”, previously to
her sailing from this port, Brown told deponent, that the captain
of the barque “Fame” had told him, that the vessel aforesaid


21

was going to the coast of Africa for a cargo of slaves, and he
further remarked to deponent, that “it was the very voyage he
wanted.” That deponent neither saw or heard anything of the
said Plunkett or Brown after the sailing of the said barque “Fame”
till some time in July last, when both Plunkett and Brown again
came to deponent's house to board. That shortly after their return
as aforesaid, deponent had another conversation with Plunkett, the
first mate of the said barque “Fame”, during which said Plunkett
told deponent that the said barque had gone to the coast of Africa
as he expected, and had brought to Brazil a cargo of five hundred
and odd slaves; that he had no further conversation with said
Plunkett relative to the said vessel or the voyage. That deponent
at different times after the return of the said barque “Fame” had
conversations with the said William Brown, second mate of the
said barque “Fame”, relative to the voyage, and that said Brown
told him that they had brought from the coast of Africa over five
hundred slaves, and that he (Brown) had made a good voyage of
it; and deponent further says, that said Brown frequently (and
oftentimes in the presence of sailors) showed some of his money,
and made a boast of how much money he had made. That deponent
was present when both Plunkett and Brown shipped at the
U. S. consulate in this city on board the said barque “Fame.”
And deponent further says that he was present at the U. S. consulate
in this city when the said Plunkett made application to Gorham
Parks, esq., the U. S. consul, for a certificate that he was an
American seaman, by the name of John Harding, to enable him to
get out a passport for the United States. That the said consul refused
to give him the certificate he requested as aforesaid, there
not being sufficient evidence of the fact that he was an American.
That he, (Plunkett,) however, did get out a passport, and sailed
from this port in the brig “Montezuma”, under the assumed name
of John Harding.

And deponent further deposes and says, that he was present
when William Brown shipped at the U. S. consulate in the barque
“Minerva”, for a whaling voyage, and that he shipped in said vessel
under the assumed name of William Thomas.

And further deponent says not.
PETER BROWN.
Witness: GORHAM PARKS.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before the undersigned, consul of the United
States in this city, Peter Brown, who made solemn oath to the
truth of the above affidavit, by him subscribed before me.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of
[L.S.] office, this 12th day of October, 1847.

GORHAM PARKS, U. S. Consul.


22

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States in this city, here-by
certify the foregoing to be a true and correct copy of the original
on file and recorded at this consulate.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of
[L.S.] office, this 13th day of October, A. D. 1847.

GORHAM PARKS, U. S. Consul.

Mr. Parks to Mr. Buchanan.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Enclosed I herewith send you certified copies of depositions
taken before me in two cases, in order that you may know the nature
of the applications to me for sea letters. Either Mr. Tod or
myself will in a few days address you more fully upon the subject
of these two applications.

With great respect, sir, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient
servant,

GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.
Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State, Washington.

I, Joshua M. Clapp, having been sworn on the Holy Evangelists
of Almighty God, do state, touching my application for a sea letter,
wherewith to sail the brig Whig, purchased by me of James Birckhead,
Esq., the agent of the owners, Birckhead and Pearce, of Baltimore,
as follows:

Question by Consul. Of what country are you a citizen?

Answer. Of the United States. I was born in the town of Salem,
in Washington county, New York; I lived for three or four
years in Vermont; have been going to sea for the last fourteen
years; have commanded vessels.

Question by the same. When did you last leave the United
States, and is your absence to be temporary or permanent?

Answer. I left Baltimore in the early part of March last; and
my present intention is to return to the United States to reside.

Question by the same. Are you the owner of the brig Whig, to
sail which you now apply for a sea letter?

Answer. I bought the brig Whig on Saturday last. I paid one
thousand milreis, and am to pay the balance this day. On yesterday
I contracted to sell the vessel, under a charter party I had
made of her, for sixteen thousand milreis, on a week's credit,
holding the bill of sale as security. The price I agreed to pay for
the Whig was thirteen thousand milreis. I hold likewise as security


23

for the Whig two bills of the charterers for six contos of reis
each, payable in three and five months, which bills are dated this
day.

Question by the same. Of whom did you purchase the brig, and
to whom have you sold her?

Answer. I bought the vessel of James Birckhead, who I suppose
is the agent of Birckhead and Pearce, of Baltimore. I have contracted
to sell her to a Mr. Usher.

Question by the same. How long have you been acquainted with
Usher, and of what country is he a citizen?

Answer. I have been acquainted with Usher for about six
months. I do not know of what country he is a citizen. He represents
himself to be a citizen of the United States.

Question by the same. To whom have you chartered said brig,
and on what terms?

Answer. I have chartered her to a Spaniard named Don Francisco.
That, however, is not his full name. The charter commences
thirty days after she is ready to receive her cargo, or from
the time she is ready to go to sea with her cargo on board, and is
for thirty-five hundred milreis a month. She is to go to the coast
of Africa, and the charter continues until she returns and is discharged
at the custom-house.

Question by the the same. What is the usual length of a voyage
to the coast of Africa and back to this port, Rio de Janeiro?

Answer. The average length is about five months.

Question. How many vessels have you heretofore purchased at
this place for which you have obtained sea letters?

Answer. Two, to wit: the “Camilla” and the “Ceres.”

Question by the same. Do you own those vessels, or have you
disposed of them?

Answer. I still own them.

Question by the same. In what trade are they employed?

Answer. They are chartered to the coast of Africa.

Question by the same. Are the contracts you have with Birckhead
and Usher respecting the purchase and sale of the “Whig”
in writing or parol?

Answer. They are in parol, excepting that I have Birckhead's
receipt for the thousand milreis paid.

JOSHUA M. CLAPP.
It appearing by the foregoing examination that the applicant
does not propose to sail the “Whig”, the sea letter is refused.
GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before the undersigned, consul of the
United States, Joshua M. Clapp, who made solemn oath to the
truth of the foregoing deposition by him subscribed before me.


24

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of
office, this 16th day of November, A. D., 1847.

GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro, November 26, 1847.

On this day the said Clapp personally appeared, and renewed his
application for a sea letter for the brig “Whig;” and, having been
again solemnly sworn, deposed as follows: That since his examination
the other day, the sale of the said vessel to the said Usher
has been abandoned by me, in consequence of my doubts as to
said Usher's ability to pay for said vessel, and also from the facts
that on my putting to him various questions respecting the “Malaga”,
for which vessel he received a sea letter from Mr. Parks,
the consul, I was satisfied that he had misrepresented to me many
things about said vessel, and that I could not depend upon him.
The brig “Whig” is, therefore, absolutely and bonafide my own
property.

Question by Gorham Parks, the consul. How old are you?

Answer. About twenty nine years.

Question by the same. How many years have you been engaged
in business connected with the Rio trade?

Answer. Between four and five years.

Question by the same. In what trade, and in what capacity did
you sail, before you entered into the Rio trade?

Answer. I commenced sailing before the mast on a whaling voyage;
but the vessel being dismasted, and putting back, I quit that
service and entered the merchant service. In 1841, I took command
of the schooner Ursula, belonging to New York.

Question by the same. How many vessels have you owned since
you went into the Rio trade?

Answer. Three, to wit: the “Camilla”, and the “Ceres”, and the
“Whig.”

Question by the same. Of whom did you purchase these three
vessels, and what price did you pay for them?

Answer. I purchased the “Camilla” of Captain Curtis, her master,
for seven thousand dollars. The “Ceres” I bought at public
auction for seven thousand three hundred and fifty milreis. As to
the “Whig”, I have already answered.

Question by the same. In what trade are the “Camilla” and
“Ceres” now engaged?

Answer. They are on a voyage to the West coast of Africa, under
a charter of four thousand milreis per month.

Question by the same. Where did you obtain the means to pay
for these three vessels?

Answer. Most of the money I have obtained by advance on charter
parties for these three vessels, to wit: When I bought the Camilla,


25

I had about seven thousand milreis of my own money. I
chartered her to Don Francisco, a Spaniard. This charter I knew
I could make when I bought the vessel. I was to have four thousand
milreis per month, and he advanced me sixteen thousand milreis
in two bills of eight thousand milreis each, payable in two
and four months. The bills were dated the 25th of September last,
which was about the time of the purchase. I had those bills
cashed, and realized for them fifteen thousand five hundred and
eighty milreis, more or less. When I purchased the Ceres, I chartered
her to Barbozo and Castro, merchants of this city, for four
thousand milreis. per month, and they advanced to me on the same
fifteen thousand milreis before she went to sea. I have received
bills on the charter of the Whig for twelve thousand milreis, at
three and five months, which bills I also have had discounted.

Question by the same. Have you ever been to the coast of Africa
in a vessel; and if so, when and in what vessel ?

Answer. My first voyage to the coast of Africa was early in the
year 1844, in the brig Gannicliffe, owned by Nicholson, of Boston,
and Dixey, of New York. The second vessel I went over in was,
I think, in 1845, in the ship “Panther.” Of this vessel I was master
She was owned by Mr. Potter, of Providence; his consignees
here were Maxwell, Wright & Co. I joined the ship at New
York, took a cargo to Cadiz, came from Cadiz, and thence went to
the coast.

Question by the same. Was the “Panther” chartered here to go
to the coast of Africa by Maxwell, Wright & Co.; and if so, upon
what terms ?

Answer. Maxwell, Wright & Co. did not charter her. They,
before that time, had abandoned the trade to the coast of Africa.
I myself chartered the ship to Manuel Pinto de Fonseca for seventeen
hundred and fifty dollars per month for the voyage.

Question by the same. What became of the Panther?

Answer. She was seized on the coast of Africa, carried to
Charleston, S. C., and condemned, from which an appeal was
taken; the result I do not know.

Question by the same. Are either of the men to whom you have
chartered these three vessels; directly or indirectly interested as
owners of the same ?

Answer. They are not. The vessels are absolutely mine. I have
authorized Captain Ranch of the Camilla to sell her on the coast
of Africa, provided he can obtain thirty thousand milreis for her,
the purchaser taking the charter upon himself. I have also given
Captain Higgins of the Ceres similar instructions.

Question by the same. Why are the American vessels preferred
for the coast trade more than those of other foreign nations ?

Answer. Because our flag is more respected by cruisers on the
coast than any other, except the French.

JOSHUA M. CLAPP.

The applicant produces to me the charter parties, drafts evidence


26

of payment, &c., referred to above, and corroborating the
above statements.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before the undersigned, consul of the United
States, Joshua M. Clapp, who made solemn oath to the truth of
the foregoing deposition by him subscribed before me.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal of
[L.S.] office, this 26th day of November, A. D. 1847.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janerio.

I, the undersigned consul of the United States of America, hereby
certify the foregoing to be true and correct copies of the originals
on file at this consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, this 30th day of
[SEAL.] November, A. D. 1847.

GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.
In this matter application for sea letter granted.
GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.

I, John A. Forsyth, being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists
of Almighty God, do make answers to the interrogatories now put
to me as follows, to wit:

Interrogatory 1. Who is the owner of the brig “Joseph”, sold at
auction on the 3d instant?

Answer. I am the sole owner.

To the second interrogatory I answer, I bought said brig at auction
of O. Faniere, auctioneer.

Interrogatory 3. How did you pay him?

Answer. I paid him in milreis; the amount was, with the commissions,
nine thousand seven hundred and sixty-five milreis.

Interrogatory 4. Where did you get the money?

Answer. The money was all my own. I borrowed one conto of
reis of Mr. Guimaræs, whom I believe to be a partner in the house
of Jenkins & Co., which is composed of Mr. Jenkins and a Mr.
Russell, and this Guimaræs. I also borrowed two contos of Mr.
John Morgan, a clerk in the house of Birckhead. When I first
became master of the Beulah, which was in June, 1845, I had forty
ounces in gold, which was worth sixteen dollars an ounce. While


27

master of the Beulah, which was two years, I received one hundred
and fifty dollars per month. Captain Merril, whom I succeeded,
had about twenty dollars per month, and commissions. I made a
venture the first trip, of flour, tobacco, candles, rice, and soap, on
which I made a thousand dollars the first time I went to the coast.
I paid no freight on that venture. I got bills on this place for the
proceeds, some on a man named Castro; I do not remember the
others. I had, likewise, all the passage money both trips to the
coast; the cabin was wholly found by the charterers. The first
trip I made by the passage money seven hundred milreis, Rio currency,
and the second trip four hundred dollars. One horse was
given me by the charterers each time, which horses I sold for seven
hundred milreis, worth seven hundred dollars. I also drew in
July, 1845, one thousand milreis; a half-ticket which I bought of a
boy in the street; I do not remember the number; before I went to
sea the last time, I drew a thousand milreas also. That ticket was
bought of a boy at Sutton's, and was a twentieth part of a ticket
which drew the highest prize; I do not remember the number of
that either. I also borrowed eight hundred milreis at Santos, of
Captain Billings Woodman, in April last.

Interrogatory 5. In what business have you been engaged for the
last five years?

Answer. I have been trading to the West Indies as mate of a
vessel, and also as mate of a vessel to this port, and master of a
vessel from this port to the coast of Africa.

Interrogatory 6. How many voyages have you made to the
coast of Africa?

Answer. Three; one as mate, and two as master of the brig
Beulah, of Portland.

Interrogatory 7. Where do you live?

Answer. My family reside in Portland. I am at present here
temporarily.

Interrogatory 8. In what trade do you intend using the Joseph?

Answer. I cannot say until I get her repaired.

Interrogatory 9. Who actually made the bid at auction on which
the “Joseph” was struck off?

Answer. It was Guimaræs, of the house of Jenkins & Co., the
man from whom I borrowed one thousand milreis, who bid her off
at my request. I directed him to bid fifty milreis for the last bid,
and no more after.

JOHN A. FORSYTH.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Jeneiro.

Personally appeared before the undersigned, consul of the United
States in this city, John A. Forsyth, who made solemn oath to the
truth of the foregoing deposition by him subscribed before me.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and
[L.S.] seal of office, this 6th day of December, 1847.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.


28

I, John Morgan, now resident in the city of Rio de Janeiro, gentleman,
and the only person of the same name in the employ of
Mr. James Birckhead, being duly sworn by Gorham Parks, esq.,
upon the Holy Evangalists of Almighty God, do solemnly declare
that I am acquainted with Mr. John Forsyth, but that he has never
asked me to lend him, nor have I lent him, any sum or sums of
money whatever.

JOHN MORGAN.
Rio de Janeiro,

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before the undersigned, consul of the United
States in this city, John Morgan, who made solemn oath to the
truth of the foregoing deposition by him subscribed before me.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and
[L.S.] seal, this 8th day of November, A. D. 1847.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

I, John A. Forsyth, do further depose and say: That in my
deposition taken before the American consul a few days since, I
stated that I borrowed two thousand milreis from Mr. John Morgan,
employed in the house of Mr. James Birckhead. I now say
that I applied to Mr. Thomas Russell for the loan of that sum,
who said he could not conveniently let me have it; and I told him,
then, he might get it from his tenant, Mr. Morgan. Mr. Russell
let me have the money, and I thought he got it from Mr. Morgan,
until the consul this morning showed me Mr. Morgan's affidavit,
declaring that he had not lent me the money; when I inquired of
Mr. Russell, and he said he lent me the money himself. I have
not given Russell nor Guimaræs any security for the money—not
even a note. Captain Billings Woodman has no security but my
word to sell him a piece of woodland near his place in Buxton.

JOHN A. FORSYTH.
Rio de Janeiro,

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared before the undersigned, consul of the United
States in this city, John A. Forsyth, who made solemn oath to the
truth of the foregoing deposition by him subscribed before me.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and
[L.S.] seal of office, this 8th day of November, A. D. 1847.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.
Application for sea letter refused.
GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.


29

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned consul of the United States of America in
this city, hereby certify the foregoing to be true and correct
copies of the original depositions on file at this consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, this 30th day of
[L.S.] November, A. D. 1847.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

Mr. Parks to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extract.]

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

The difficulty in regard to preventing our vessels being employed
in the slave trade continues as great as ever. Our flag is preferred
to any other for the purpose of carrying goods over to the coast,
with which the slaves are purchased; so, likewise, whenever a captain
can be found reckless enough to consent to it, it is preferred
to bring back the slaves to Brazil; because, in the first place, they
have onlyto avoid our own cruisers; and, in the second, because
of the unwillingness of the officers of our navy to meddle with any
of them, in consequence of not being moderately supported by
courts and juries at home.

Allow me to instance the trial of Brown, one of the mates of the
“Fame”, an account of which vessel I rendered you before. In this
trial (I extract from a Philadelphia paper) the judge ruled that the
government should be compelled to prove the “Fame” to be an
American vessel, and that no other evidence could be introduced
for that purpose than the original register. It this is law, it requires
to be altered; for, as at present, it gives sure and absolute
protection to crime. The master of an American vessel, guilty of
any act of piracy, when captured has only to burn his register, and
he is safe. I think there must have been some mistake in the statement
as to what Judge Grier decided the law to be.

In the case of the “Laurens” I have heard nothing; although Mr.
Butler was duly informed that, if a commission to take testimony
was sent out, proof sufficient to condemn the vessel could be furnished,
as Mr. Tod and myself believed.

I continue to receive numerous applications for sea letters. The
vessels which sail under these letters are in most cases owned by
Brazilians, who pay the applicant for the sea letter about five hundred
milreis each vessel, for passing the examination before Mr.
Tod and myself, and covering the property. I forward to you two
or three of the examinations, taken at random from among those


30

where sea letters have been granted; with only one exception, the
vessels have been employed in the trade between this place and the
coast of Africa. In other cases, where no ostensible change of property
takes place, the vessel is chartered for one, two or more years,
and sails under the American flag with an American captain, when
it is notorious that they are owned by the greatest slave dealers in
the city.

Again, a vessel is brought here, goes home one voyage, and
comes back with a register in the name of her captain. All these
several courses have been taken by the slave traders of this city.

I have nothing further to add, excepting that I beg leave to express
to you the deep obligations I am under to Mr. Tod for the
aid which he always renders me whenever needed. His immense
personal and official influence with the government of this country
he is ever ready to use to aid any other agent of the United States
in the proper performance of his official duties.

In the matter of the application of Joshua M. Clapp for a sea
letter for the schooner “Zenobia”, of Baltimore, he says that he is
the owner of said schooner “Zenobia”, having purchased her of
Maxwell Wright & Co., merchants of Rio de Janeiro, the agents of
the owner, about ten days since, for the sum of six thousand two
hundred and fifty milreis, three thousand of which sum I paid on
the day of sale, and the remainder on the day the said bill of sale
was signed at the consul's office. I further state that I am a citizen
of the United States.

Question by the consul. Have you disposed of said vessel in any
way, by sale or otherwise?

Answer. I have not, but am now negotiating for a charter for her.

JOSHUA M. CLAPP.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared the said Joshua M. Clapp, and made solemn
oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God to the truth of the
above statement before me. And I further certify, that, knowing
said Clapp to be a citizen of the United States and of ability to pay
for the same, I have required no further testimony to either of said
facts than his declaration under oath.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of
the consulate, this twenty-seventh day of June, in the
[SEAL.] year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.

GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.


31

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States at this city, here-
by certify the foregoing to be a correct copy of the original on file
at this consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, on this the 31st
[SEAL] day of July, A. D. 1848.

GORHAM PARKS,
U. S. Consul.

I, Charles Rauch, of New Orleans, in the State of Louisiana,
ship master, do depose and say that I was born in Trieste, in Austria
-am a naturalized citizen of the United States, as will appear
by papers to be produced. I also state that I am the sole owner
of the American brig “C. H. Rogers”, having purchased her from
Captain Erasmus Peterson, who was authorized to sell by virtue of
a power of attorney from her owner, and that I now apply to the
consul of the United States at Rio de Janeiro for a sea letter, under
which to sail her with the American flag.

Question propounded to the applicant by the consul. Where do
you propose to go with said vessel?

Answer. If well enough, I shall go in her to the coast of Africa;
if not well enough, I shall send her there.

Question by the same. How long have you been a seafaring man,
and in what capacities have you sailed?

Answer. I have been a seafaring man since 1826, commencing
before the mast, and for the last eleven or twelve years have commanded
a vessel.

Question by the same. Have you ever owned a vessel before this
one?

Answer by the same. I own the “Frederica”, now in this harbor.
I purchased her some two or three years ago.

Question by the same. Have you any family in the United States
depending on you for support?

Answer. I have two sons, who reside with their grandfather; they
are at college at Lexington, Kentucky. Their mother is not living;
the grandfather resides at New Orleans.

Question by the same. What compensation have you received for
your services as captain for the last ten or eleven years?

Answer. About one hundred dollars per month, more or less.

Question by the same. Of whom did you purchase the “Frederica”,
and how much did you pay for her?

Answer. I purchased her of Dr. Haley, at Key West, and paid
twenty-two or four hundred dollars for her.

Question by the same. On what terms did you purchase the
“Rogers?”

Answer. I gave eighteen thousand two hundred milreis for her;
I paid the whole down-it was a cash sale.


32

Question. Did you borrow any money of any person to make
said payment?

Answer. I did not; but I obtained an advance on the charter
party of twelve contos of reis-having secured a charter party with
Nicolaus Ventura Fortuna, previous to paying for the vessel, at the
rate of three thousand milreis per month, the charterer advancing
four months' pay. (The applicant here produced the charter party
to the consul for his inspection, which fully confirms that part of
said statement.)

Question by the same. How did you obtain the remainder of said
money?

Answer. The remainder of the consideration money I had by
me at the time.

Question by the same. What disposition did you make of the
Frederica?

Answer. I chartered her in December 18, 1846, for two years, at
$500 per month.

Question by the same. Has she also been used in the coast trade?

Answer. I believe she has been; I once went over with her
myself.

The applicant here exhibited to the consul proof of naturalization
in the State of Louisiana.

CHARLES RAUCH.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

I hereby certify that Charles Rauch personally appeared before
me, and made oath to the truth.of the above statement by him subscribed.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and
[L.S.] seal, this twenty-seventh day of March, in the year of
our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States, hereby certify
the above and foregoing to be a correct copy of the original on
file at this consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, on this, the 31st
[L.S.] day of July, 1848.
GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

In the matter of Joseph Souder, applicant for a sea letter for the
barque “Louisa”, of New York.

Question by Gorham Parks, United States consul. Of what
country are you a citizen?


33

Answer by Souder. I am a native of Pennsylvania, and a citizen
of Philadelphia.

Question by the same. When was you last in the United States?

Answer. I left the United States, 17th July, 1846.

Question by the same. Who is the owner of the barque Louisa?

Answer. I am at present the sole owner of her.

Question by the same. To what port or ports do you design
sailing her, in case you obtain a sea letter?

Answer. To Ambriz and other ports on the coast of Africa, and
thence to Rio de Janeiro, as may be required by the charter to be
made.

Question by the same. Of whom, when, and at what price did
you purchase the “Louisa?”

Answer by the same. I purchased the vessel of Mr. James Birckhead,
for the sum of nine thousand dollars, at 1.920rs to the
dollar, on the 10th of April instant; the bill of sale is from John
Lake, Jr., the master of said vessel, but I transacted the business
with Mr. Birckhead, and paid him the money, 17,280 milreis, in
paper.

Question by the same. In what business have you been engaged
since you left the United States?

Answer. In freighting a vessel called the “Martin Van Buren”,
of which I was owner and master, from Bahia to the coast of
Africa, and back.

Question by the same. Are you still the owner of the “Martin
Van Buren;” if not so, to whom, and where, and on what terms,
did you sell her?

Answer. I sold the vessel at Ambriz, to a person named, I think,
Lauriano Ferreira da Silva, for five thousand dollars, payable in
bills on Gantois & Co., at Bahia; those bills were presented at
Bahia, and paid to me; I arrived here in the brig Brazil, on the
27th of October last; on the 24th of November, sailed for Bahia,
arrived on the 29th, and came back here in the “Mary Theresa”,
in February last.

Question by the same. How did you raise the means to purchase
the Louisa?

Answer. I had five thousand dollars from the sale of the “Van
Buren;” I owned one-half of the cargo of the Van Buren when I
left Philadelphia, from which I realized a little more than eleven
hundred dollars, and I chartered the “Van Buren” for the Voyage
round, for two thousand five hundred dollars.

Question by the same. Have you made any disposition of the
“Louisa”, conditional or not?

Answer. I made an agreement for her charter, in case I should
obtain a sea letter, which would enable me to to use the flag of the
United States, but I have made no agreement to sell said vessel.

Question by the same. What are the terms of the charter, and
to whom is she to be chartered?

Answer. I am to have 1,600 milreis per month for the voyage;
she is to be chartered to a man called Miranda; all expenses are to


34

be paid by him, such as brokerage, despatching cargo, lighterage,
and so forth.

JOSEPH SOUDER.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I hereby certify that Joseph Souder, within named, appeared and
made oath, that the answers made by him to the questions in the
above examination were true, before me.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and
[L.S.] seal of office, this eighteenth day of April, in the year of
our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.

GORHAM PARKS.
United States Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States, hereby certify
the foregoing to be a correct copy of the original on file at this
consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, on this the 31st
[L.S.] day of July, A. D. 1848.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

Mr. Parks to Mr. Buchanan.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

I forward to you the examinations held in the case of the
“Brazil”, where Lewis Krafft is applicant for a sea letter. I also
send you the copy of the sea letter I have given to him. Krafft is
a Frenchman by birth; was naturalized at New Orleans without
any legal residence in the United States; was for some time clerk
in a slave factory on the coast of Africa; and now, it appears, owns
the “Brazil”, in company with one Peter Toreado, a slave dealer
at the Havana.

Krafft's connexions here are wholly with slave dealers, such as
Bernardino de Sa, who ranks second only to Manoel Pinto da Fonseca
in this country, and perhaps the world. I thought, considering
the nature of the trade in which the “Brazil” is doubtless to
be employed, that I was justified in being strict in the matter; and
as I understand that a vessel, to have a sea letter, must be owned
wholly by citizens of the United States, and as it appeared that
Toreado was a foreigner, I felt disposed to reject the application;
but Mr. Tod, who very kindly acts with me in these cases, thought
otherwise. We have compromised the matter by giving the sea
letter or paper, (before referred to,) and submitting the same to


35

your decision. The facilities which are given to the slavers by issuing
sea letters may be estimated from the fact that, from the time
I received your instructions, in August, 1847, I have granted, in
obedience to them, sea letters for ten vessels, all of which, excepting
one, went at once into the trade with the coast of Africa.

With much respect, &c.,

GORHAM PARKS,
U.S. Consul.
Honorable JAMES BUCHANAN,
&c., &c., &c.

Know all men by these presents, that I, David C. Bevans, of
New York city, master, mariner, and owner of the brig Brazil, now
lying in the harbor of Rio de Janeiro, in consideration of the sum
of twenty thousand milreis, to be paid before the unsealing of
these presents by Lewis Francis Desiree Krafft, the receipt where-
of I do hereby acknowledge, do hereby sell and convey unto the
said Krafft all and singular the said brig Brazil, her masts, spars,
apparel and furniture, including boats and other appendages, to
him, the said Krafft, to have and to hold forever, for the sole benefit
of the said Krafft, his heirs, executors, administrators, and
assigns.

In testimony whereof, I, the said David C. Bevans, have hereunto
set my hand and seal, this twenty-sixth day of August, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty eight.

D.C. BEVANS. [SEAL.]
Signed, sealed, and delivered in presence of—
GORHAM PARKS,
R.C. Yates.

CONSULATE OF THE U. STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

Personally appeared David C. Bevans, and acknowledged the
above instrument, by him subscribed, to be his free act and deed.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal,
[L.S.] this twenty-sixth day of August, in the year of our Lord
one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

It appearing by the original bill of sale now on file in my office,
of which the above and preceding is a copy, that one David C. Bevans,
who was ostensibly the owner of the American brig Brazil,
has ostensibly sold the same to one Louis Francis Desiree Krafft,
alias Louis Krafft, and the said Krafft having applied to me for a


36

sea letter, wherewith to navigate the said brig Brazil, in lieu of a
register therefor, and having exhibited to me a document under the
seal of a United States Court for the district of Louisiana, whereas
it appears that he was naturalized in said court during the year
1847, and the said Krafft having submitted himself to examination
before me to enable me to ascertain whether or no said Krafft possessed
all the requirements of the law to enable him to hold a vessel
of the United States either by register or sea letter, and it appearing
to me that said Krafft “usually resides abroad”, or “in a
foreign country”, as contradistinguished from a residence in the
United States; and, further, that one Pedro Toreado, of the city of
Havana, in the island of Cuba, a subject of the Queen of Spain, is
also an owner of part of said brig Brazil, either of which incapacitates
said Krafft from receiving a sea letter, and which I hereby refuse
to grant in the usual form. But many considerations occurring
to my mind, showing the importance there is (applications of this
nature continually increasing in number at this consulate) that this
question should be submitted to the final decision of the Secretary
of State of the United States, I have concluded to permit, and do
hereby permit, the said brig Brazil to proceed from this port to any
port within the United States, to enable the said Krafft to apply for
a register therefor if he sees fit, hereby notifying the collector
of the port into which said brig Brazil may arrive, or any other
collector to whom said Krafft may apply for a register, that I
have caused copies of all the documents and examinations appertaining
hereto to be forwarded to the said Secretary of State,
and requesting said collector, immediately upon sight of this paper,
to notify the said Secretary of State of the arrival of said Brazil,
and await the direction of said Secretary previous to any action
being had on any application of said Krafft, or other person for
him, for a register for said brig Brazil.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and
[L.S.] seal of this consulate, on the 30th day of November,
1848.

GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

I, Charles Faulkner, do hereby solemnly declare that I am a
citizen of the United States.

CHAS. FAULKNER.
Sworn to on this 30th day of November, 1848, before me.
GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.

Charles Faulkner, having taken the oath,required by law, is now
master of the brig Brazil, of New York, in lieu of David C. Bevans,
late master.

Given under my hand and seal of office, this 30th November,
[L.S.] 1848.
GORHAM PARKS,
United States Consul.


37

Examination of David C. Bevans, in the matter of the application
of Leuis Fracois Desiree Krafft for a sea letter for the brig
“Brazil.”

Question by Gorham Parks, American consul at Rio de Janeiro.
How long have you known said Krafft, and in what business has he
been since you have known him?

Answer. I have known him since 18th December, 1846, and he
has been with me ever since as owner of goods, and supercargo of
others.

Question by the same. Are you acquainted with Krafft's pecuniary
circumstances, and is he a man of property?

Answer. I am unable to say what his pecuniary circumstances
are?

Question by the same. Has his business since you have known
him been profitable, or not?

Answer. His ventures which he has taken in that time may have
amounted to fifteen thousand dollars. What his profits were I can-
not tell.

Question by the same. Had he any other means of acquiring property,
than what you have stated, during your acquaintance with
him?

Answer. Not to my knowledge.

Question. At what price did you sell the Brazil to Mr. Krafft,
and how did he pay you for her?

Answer. When I originally bought the vessel, I obtained money
of a third party, and hypothecated the vessel to him, with the
agreement that if, within the time specified, I did not pay the same,
he should take the vessel, and I should sail her on wages. I was
unable to pay for the vessel, and the person from whom I obtained
the money transferred his papers to Krafft in January last; and in
pursuance of his instructions, I made a bill of sale of her to Krafft
on Saturday last.

Question by the same. At the time of the transfer of the vessel
to Krafft, did he pay you any money therefor; and if any, how
much?

Answer. He paid me nothing for the vessel. At the time of the
transfer, I settled with him for my wages as captain of the vessel,
and he paid them to me. The amount due was about nine hundred
and sixty dollars.

Question by the same. Who, in your opinion, is the absolute
owner of the vessel?

Answer. I cannot say whether it is Krafft or other parties.

Question by the same. What money transactions have you had
with Krafft?

Answer. All the money transactions I have had with him was
money to pay the crew and myself, and small marketing bills,
amounting to near four thousand dollars.

Question by the same. Under whose directions did you sail the
Brazil while you commanded her?


38

Answer. By the direction of a third party. I sailed the vessel
under general instructions from Krafft.

Question by the same. Give the name, if you please, of the
third party who advanced you the money.

Answer. I received the money from Jenkins & Co.

Question by the same. Where is Krafft to go in the Brazil, in
case he gets a sea letter?

Answer. He told me he was going to the coast, and that he had
chartered the vessel for that purpose, and that he was ready to
commence taking in cargo.

Question by the same. Were you ever in partnership with Krafft
while he was on board said vessel?

Answer. It was promised me by Krafft, but he never gave me
any portion of the profits.

Question by the same. Was the money which you borrowed of
Jenkins & Co. to purchase the Brazil their own, or was it obtained
from a third person; and if so, from whom?

Answer. It came from a third person-Bernardino de Sa.

Question. What ownership, or right of property, had Mr. Krafft
in the Brazil, if any, at the time you gave him the bill of sale; if
he had any, state what it was, and whether he was acting for another
party, if so, who is that party?

Answer. At the time he sailed with me, that is, until January
last, the Brazil was owned by Bernardino de Sa, by Pedro Toreado,
of the Havana, and a small portion by Krafft. In January
last I saw the papers which showed this ownership in the possession
of Krafft and Bernardino de Sa, who at that time sold the
share he had in the vessel to Krafft and the house of Pedro Toreado,
aforesaid, at Havana; but although I saw the bill of sale
Bernardino de Sa made to the house in Havana and to Krafft, he
caused me to sign, at the same time, a paper recognizing him as
sole owner of the vessel, and I have no knowledge of any real
change of property since that time. The last I saw of that paper,
it was in the possession of Krafft, and showed the proportion
owned by the house in Havana and himself. In that paper Krafft
was spoken of as agent of the Havana house and part owner, and
the transfer was made to both.

D.C. BEVANS.
Sworn to before me on this 26th day of August, 1848.
GORHAM PARKS,
U.S. Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States, hereby certify
the foregoing to be a correct copy of the original on file at this
consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, on this 4th day of
[L.S.] December, 1848.

GORHAM PARKS,
U.S. Consul.


39

In the matter of the application of Louis Francois Desiree Krafft
for a sea letter for the brig Brazil.

The applicant being duly sworn, states that he is a naturalized
citizen of the United States, usually residing in New Orleans, and at
times in the Havana; now an unmarried man, and is the absolute
owner of the Brazil.

Question by Gorham Parks, United States consul. Where do you
intend to go with the Brazil in case you obtain a sea letter?

Answer. I do not know.

Question by the same. When, and of whom, and at what price
did you purchase the Brazil?

Answer. I bought her on the day before yesterday; I had lent
the captain sums of money before I bought her; I gave twenty
thousand milreis; I bought her of Captain Bevans.

Question by the same. Do you know whether Captain Bevans
was the real owner of said vessel, or did he cover her for others?

Answer. I suppose he was the real owner.

Question by the same. Was all the purchase money paid? and
if so, how was it paid, and when?

Answer. It was all paid in cash on the day before yesterday. [...]
made up the accounts with Bevans, and paid him the balance, [...]
he gave me a receipt for the whole sum.

Question by the same. How much was the balance?

Answer. I paid him on Saturday four thousand dollars, and [...]
already advanced him six thousand dollars.

Question by the same. When did you advance him the six thousand
dollars?

Answer. Whenever Captain Bevans applied for money, and particularly
whenever Bevans made a voyage.

Question by the same. In what business have you been engaged
for six or seven years past?

Answer. I have brought goods from the Havana; have bought
goods here and taken them to the coast of Africa; and about three
years since sent some coffee to Boston.

Question by the same. How many voyages have you made from
the Havana here, and how many from this place to the coast [...]
Africa?

Answer. I came from Havana here in the “Frederica”, Captain
Rauch, about two years and a half ago; went from this place to
New Orleans in the “Brazil”, about twenty-two months ago; from
New Orleans I went to Havana in the “Brazil”, and then back to
New Orleans; thence to Havana again, and from the Havana to
New Orleans; and from New Orleans once more to the Havana
from Havana to Cape de Verds; thence to Sierra Leone; thence to
Maxumbia; thence to Loango; thence to Cabinda; thence to Ambriz;
thence to Loanda; thence back to Ambriz; and thence to this
port. I then went with a cargo from Rio to Ambriz and the Congo
river; thence back here in ballast. She has made no other trip
since, but may charter her to the coast.


40

Question by the same. In what capacity did you sail on these
voyages?

Answer. As supercargo.

Question by the same. Who was the owner of the cargo?

Answer. I was the owner of some, and some went on freight.

Question by the same. Were you in the employ or the owner of
the vessel? Or, if not, in whose employ were you?

Answer. I was not exactly employed by the owner of the vessel,
but he and I were partners. I was supercargo for goods on
board the vessel belonging to myself, also of those belonging to
others; among others to Manoel Pinto da Fonseca. Also sums of
money were entrusted to me to pay over.

Question by the same. How were you paid for your services?

Answer. I did not receive much pay, as the owner and I were
partners. On the money I took over for others I received two percent.,
on the remainder the shippers paid a freight which was divided
between me and the captain or owner.

Question by the same. Who was the partner to whom you referred?

Answer. Captain Bevans was my partner as regards the vessel.
I had no partner as to the goods I had on board belonging to me.

Question by the same. When did you and Bevans become partners
in the vessel, and what were the several shares of each?

Answer. After I obtained my naturalization papers, I became a
partner with Bevans. My naturalization papers were obtained on
the 30th of March, 1847. I considered myself an owner in proportion
to the amount of money I invested. The vessel was considered
worth ten thousand dollars.

Question by the same. What were you doing for two or three
years before the time you have spoken of?

Answer. I had been at Havana for seven years, and traded between
Havana and New Orleans, and sometimes in the vessel commanded
by Captain Rauch, who formerly commanded the Frederica.

Question by the same. Can you now say how much money you
paid Bevans on the day of the execution of the bill of sale?

Answer. I paid him four thousand dollars, and took a receipt for
the whole amount.

Question. In what kind of money did you pay Bevans?

Answer. In gold and currency.

Question by the same. Did you borrow any of the said money?

Answer. I did not, it was all my own money, and I have more
deposited here now.

Question by the same. In what house is your money deposited?

Answer. In two houses, in that of Manoel Pinto da Fonseca, and
in Mr. Russell's hands.

Question by the same. What amount of money have you in their
hands?

Answer. About fourteen thousand milreis in Pinto's and six in
Russell's.

L. KRAFFT.


41

In the matter of the examination of Louis Francois Desiree
Krafft, for a sea letter for the American brig “Brazil”, resumed on
this thirteenth day of September, A.D., 1848.

Question. by Gorham Parks, United States consul. Where and
when were you born?

Answer: In Paris, in 1811.

Question by the same. When did you first leave France?

Answer. In 1826; I first went to New York, where I stayed ten
months; then I went to New Orleans, where I stayed not more
than two months; thence I went to Havana, where I stayed one
month, living on board the vessel; thence I returned to New York,
where I stayed about two months.

Question. What was your employment during this time?

Answer. I was a sailor on board American vessels during all this
period.

Question by the same. Where did you go to from New York?

Answer. To France.

Question by the same. When did you next leave France?

Answer. In 1829, when I went to the East Indies, where I remained
about two years, and then returned to France.

Question by the same. When did you leave France again?

Answer. I remained above three years in France, and then left
for Havana, and thence proceeded to New Orleans, where I arrived
in 1836; and from that time to 1841, was making different voyages
to New Orleans. During this time I was buying in Havana and
selling in New Orleans.

Question by the same. Where were you after 1841?

Answer. In 1841 I sailed from the Havana to the Cape de Verds,
to Mayan, Loando, and other places on the coast, and returned to
the Havana. I sailed under the American flag.

Question by the same. Is the slave trade carried on upon that
coast at the places you went to?

Answer. I don't know, for it was not my business.

Question by the same. After your return to the Havana where
did you go?

Answer. I went to the coast again, and came to Rio de Janeiro.

Question by the same. When did you arrive here, and in what
vessel?

Answer. I arrived here in the year 1843, in the American barque
Pilot, Captain Swift.

Question by the same. In what vessel did you go to the coast
immediately prior to your arrival at Rio, and in what capacity?

Answer. In the American vessel Cyrus, Captain Hill. She was
on a second voyage to the coast abandoned by the captain, who
afterwards commanded her on a voyage to the coast, to the English,
in consequence of being taken by them, and their papers taken
from them. Captain Dumas came here and made a protest before
the American consul.

Question by the same. How long did you remain here at that
time? where did you go, and in what vessel?


42

Answer. I staid here about one month and a half, and then sailed
for Boston.

Question by the same. In what capacity were you on board the
Cyrus?

Answer. I had goods on board the vessel for sale.

Question by the same. At what port did you go on board the
Pilot?

Answer. At Cabinda. I was there two or three months before I
went on board the Pilot.

Question by the same. Were you not residing at Cabinda when
the Cyrus arrived?
Answer.

Question by the same. How many voyages did the Cyrus make
to the coast?

Answer. Two. I went out on her first voyage, and remained at
Cabinda on the second voyage. She was consigned to me.

Question by the same. How far is Cabinda from the river Congo?
and are not both those places from which great number of blacks
are shipped?

Answer. Twenty-five miles is Cabinda from the river Congo. I
think slaves are shipped from all that coast-most from Angola.

Question by the same. When did you arrive in Boston?

Answer. I think in September, 1845; am not certain as to the
month.

Question by the same. How long were you at Boston?

Answer. At Boston and New York about two months; thence I
went to Charleston, Key West and Havana, where I arrived in December,
1845.

Question by the same. When did you next leave the island of
Cuba, and where did you go?

Answer. I came here in the brig Frederica. I left Havana in
September.

Question by the same. Was you at Key West when Captain
Rauch obtained a register for the Frederica?

Answer. I was not; I was there before.

Question by the same. Was the Frederica at Key West when you
were there?

Answer. She was not.

Question by the same. Did you know Rauch before he got the
register for the Frederica?

Answer. I knew him as far back as 1836.

Question by the same. Were you one of the real owners of the
Frederica when she came here?

Answer. I was not, but I had advanced money on her.

Question by the same. Do you know one Pedro Toreado, of the
Havana?

Answer. I do. The Frederica was consigned to him.

Question by the same. Did Pedro Toreado advance any money
on the Frederica, or was he an owner?

Answer. No, but he had cargo on board.


43

Question by the same. To whom was the Frederica consigned
when she came here?

Answer. When she first stopped here for water she was consigned
to Manoel Pinto da Fonseca; when she returned from Montevideo,
to which place she was bound, she was consigned to the
captain.

Question by the same. When did you next go to the United
States, and in what vessel?

Answer. In the Brazil, in December, 1846. I arrived at New
Orleans in February, 1847.

Question by the same. In what vessel did you next leave the
United States. Where did you go, and when did you leave New
Orleans?

Answer. I left in the Brazil, in February, 1847, on the 25th of
the month, having been there about twenty days; went to the
Havana, thence back to New Orleans, back to Havana again,
thence to the coast of Africa, and thence to this city of Rio.

Question by the same. Did you obtain your naturalization papers
when you went to New Orleans the first time in the “Brazil?”

Answer. I made the application the first time I went in the
Brazil, and obtained them the second time.

Question by the same. How long was it after you first made the
application for naturalization before you obtained it?

Answer. I applied when I first went to New Orleans, in 1826,
or signed some papers about it. I applied again when I first went
there in the Brazil, and one month and a half afterwards, when I
went to New Orleans the second time in the “Brazil”, I obtained
my papers.

Question by the same. Have you been in the United States since
your first arrival here in the Brazil from the coast?

Answer. I have not.

Question by the same. Have you not, in a written paper signed
by you, represented yourself as one-third owner of the Frederica,
and Pedro Toreado the owner of two-thirds; and did you not make
a joint stock company with the then owner of the Brazil, valuing
the Brazil at twenty-eight contos of reis, Brazil currency, and the
Frederica, at eighteen contos of reis, which was divided into shares,
of which you held one-third part of one-half of both vessels,
Pedro Toreado two-third parts of one-half of said vessels, and the
former owner of the Brazil one-half of each vessel, you paying the
difference between the same. And was not a paper signed by you,
made in 1847, either at the Havana or this city, so describing
the agreement before a notary public? (This question was propounded
to Mr. Krafft in the Portuguese language, having
been translated by Charles Ransford, jr., clerk at the United States
consulate.

Answer. (In Portuguese, which being translated, runs thus:) It
was a proposition which was not carried into effect.

Question by the same. What was the nature of the paper signed
by yourself and Pedro Toreado before a notary public, named Eugenio
Ponton, in the Havana, and which was at one time in the


44

possession of Captain Bevans, when master of the “Brazil?” (This
question was also propounded in the Portuguese language, and
translated.)

Answer. (In Portuguese, thus translated:) That paper related
what is embodied in the former question; but as I have already
stated, it was only a proposition which was not carried into effect.

L. KRAFFT.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES.
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States, hereby certify
the foregoing to be a correct copy of the original on record at this
consulate.

Given under my hand and seal of office, on this the 4th day
[L.S.] of December, 1848.

GORHAM PARKS.
United States Consul.

Mr. Wise to Mr. Calhoun.
[Extract.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Since my last, Mr. Hamilton, the English minister, has replied
to the letter addressed to him by me on the subject of the
African slave trade, and the part taken in it by English merchants
and brokers in Brazil. Enclosed is a copy, marked No. 1, of his
reply. My object in opening this correspondence with him, was
to show that England cannot, in the first place, pretend to assume
the morale on this subject over the United States; and to test, in
the second place, the sincerity of English professions, and to demonstrate
their real design, if their professions be insincere. There
is no question but that both the minister and consul of Great Britain
at Rio de Janeiro now know of the participation of English
subjects in the slave trade, and that they are fully informed of the
direct and indirect mode and means of carrying it on by British
capital, goods, and credit, from both English and foreign ports.
And we will see what steps will be taken to punish their own subjects,
whilst they are assuming the right of visit and search over
the vessels and citizens of other countries. Our merchants here
hesitate not to say, and to adduce many proofs, that the whole
struggle on the part of England has been and is to monopolize
the trade of Africa. Certainly many manifestations wear that appearance.
But Mr. Hamilton seemed gratified at the tone of my
letter to him, and is evidently himself sincere in earnest efforts to
strike at the slave trade, though it be at the risk of English commerce.
The prisoners arrested for aiding and abetting this traffic


45

in the charter, fitting out and sale of the brig Montevideo, will be
sent home in the frigate Congress.

In immediate connexion with this subject of the slave trade is
that of interference by Great Britain with the domestic slavery of
the United States. My intimacy with Mr. Slacum enabled me,
through him, to procure from Mr. Jamo, the English commissary
judge of the mixed commission here, a document printed by the
British parliament, containing the correspondence of the Earl of
Aberdeen with all the consulates of Great Britain in countries not
parties to treaties yielding the right of visit and search, &c., such
as Central America, the Barbary States, the United States, &c., &c.
Lest the Department of State might not be in possession of this
correspondence, and you might never have seen it, I caused my
little son to copy so much of it as relates to the United States,
and it is enclosed, marked No. 2. Whatever doubt may have existed
in the minds of many respecting the improper interference of
Great Britain with our most delicate of domestic institutions, the
most sensitive to foreign intrusion, there can be no doubt of it
hereafter with this proof of the fact in hand. You will observe
by the letter of “Aberdeen”, No. 1, that the information is sought
for “her Majesty's government;” that it is not only statistical information
proper for consuls to obtain and to transmit from their
residence to their governments, such as the census of population,
statements of trade, &c., &c., to be furnished by “public documents”,
but the inquiries of the British government relate even to
matters of private household economy, and to answers to be drawn
from “private information.” They not only inquire about population,
about the importation of slaves against our own laws in
our own jurisdiction, about the laws for the protection of slaves,
about the civil capacities and disabilities of slaves by law, about
their relative increase or decrease, about the melioration of laws
in respect to them, about their general relative condition, but they
pry into the treatment of the slaves by their private owners, into
their food and raiment, into the disposition of masters to manumit
them, and into the existing extent and influence of private societies
or parties favorable to the abolition of slavery among us.
Now,
what can this mean? I beg to call your attention particularly to
the consular letter from Mobile which answers in relation to the
abolition party, that there is no “known party”- these words
“known party” printed in italics-in the State of Alabama. I repeat,
what does this mean? What use for, what title to, this kind
of information has the British government in respect to our private
conduct and private property in the United States? Is this
a permissible function of a British consul in the United States?
Ought it to be suffered at a time when insurrection and massacre
are set on foot in the neighboring island of Cuba by a British
consul? If it were known at Norfolk, at Charleston, at Savannah,
or Mobile, or New Orleans, that British consuls there were spies
upon the very privacy of our families, and reporting the condition
of our domestic and private relations daily to the British governement,


46

would it not bring down the just indignation of our best
citizens upon these British authorities, and expel them by force
from among us, and endanger at once our peace with Great Britain?
Ought not our government to protest solemnly against such
impudent and dangerous intrusion, and to notify the Earl of Aberdeen
that it will not be tolerated? It is true that the answers
generally are very fair and very favorable to the nature and condition
of our institution of slavery; but that does neither justify
nor palliate the unauthorized assumption to take official cognizance
and make official report of our domestic concerns. As a citizen of
Virginia, I certainly would not consent that our national government
should permit so gross a foreign invasion of the very sanctity
of our private lives and of our private rights, as well as of our
public jurisdiction; and I am clear in the opinion that not only
the President and Congress ought to be informed of this, but official
notice of it ought to be sent to the governors and legislatures
of the States, and to the mayors and magistrates of every city, in
order that they may take decisive measures of preventing future
interference of the kind, and the fatal consequences which may
ensue when it becomes known to our southern and slaveholding
people. They would not, I fear, wait long in such a case for protection
by the federal government, for it is of that class of imminent
cases which belongs to the law of self preservation. But you
can fully appreciate and best judge of the action to be taken on
such a subject.

[Enclosure.]
Mr. Hamilton to Mr. Wise.

BRITISH LEGATION,
Rio de Janeiro, December 14, 1844.

SIR:

I have had the honor to receive, and I beg to return my
acknowledgments for, the letter which your excellency addressed
to me on the 1st instant, relating to matters connected with the
African slave trade.

It is my intention to forward this very important document to
my government by the packet which is to sail for Falmouth tomorrow
morning.

I have the honor to be, &c., &c.,

HAMILTON HAMILTON.
His excellency HENRY A. WISE, &c., &c., &c.


47

[Enclosure.]

The title page is as follows:

Class D.

Correspondence with foreign powers, not parties to treaties or conventions,
giving a mutual right of search of vessels suspected of
the slave trade, from January 1st to December 31st, 1843, inclusive.

Presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of her Majesty-1844.

London : Printed by William Clowes & Sons, 14 Charing Cross,
for her Majesty's stationery office-1844.

Page 1.

Class D-1843.

Correspondence with foreign powers.

Central America.

No. 1.

The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr. Chatfield.

FOREIGN OFFICE, May 30, 1843.

SIR:

I have to desire that you will do your utmost to obtain, for
the information of her Majesty's government, answers to the following
queries:

  • 1. What is at present the amount of the population of the State
    in which you reside, and what the number of whites and of colored
    people forming that population, distinguishing males from females,
    and free people from slave? What was the amount of the population
    of the same State in the year 1832, and what was the amount
    in the year 1837, distinguishing the particulars as in the case of
    the present time?
  • 2. Is it supposed that any slaves have been imported into the
    country within the last ten years, either direct from Africa, or from
    other quarters; if so, how many in each year?
  • 3. Is the slave protected by law equally with a free man in criminal
    cases?
  • 4. What protection is there by law to a slave against ill conduct
    on the part of his master?
  • 5. Is the evidence of a slave received in a court of law?
  • 6. Is the slave well or ill fed, well or ill treated?
  • 7. Is the slave considered generally to enjoy as good health and
    to live as long as a free person?

48

  • 8. Is the slave population considered to be on the increase or
    decrease; and from what causes?
  • 9. Is the manumission of slaves of common occurrence?
  • 10. Have the laws and regulations in respect to slaves become
    more or less favorable to them within the last ten years?
  • 11. Is there in the State in which you reside a party favorable
    to the abolition of slavery? And what is the extent and influence
    of such party? And is such party on the increase or otherwise?
  • 12. Is there any difference in the eye of the law between a free
    white and a free colored man?
  • 13. Are free colored men ever admitted to offices of the State?
  • 14. You will state whether you have drawn your answers from
    public documents, or from private information; and you will state
    whether any periodical census is taken of the population within
    the district of your consulate; and what was the last period at
    which it was taken?

You will be careful to make your reply to each question as concise
as possible.

I am, &c.,

ABERDEEN.
F. CHATFIELD, ESQ., &c., &c., &c.

Page 117.

United States, (Consular,) Baltimore.

No. 51.

The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr. McTavish.

FOREIGN OFFICE, May 30, 1843.

Queries as to state of slave trade and slavery in the State of
Maryland.

(See No.1.)

No. 52.

BRITISH CONSULATE,
Baltimore,

MY LORD:

In conformity with the requisition contained in your
lordship's despatch of May 30, marked “slave trade”, I have the
honor to enclose herewith my answers to the queries therein pro-pounded
as far as they relate to my consular district, namely, the
State of Maryland and the adjoining District of Columbia.

I have, &c.,

JOHN McTAVISH.
The right honorable the EARL OF ABERDEEN, K. T., &c., &c.


49

[Enclosure in No. 52.]
Consul McTavish's answer to certain queries contained in the
Earl of Aberdeen's despatch of May 30, 1843, marked “Slave
trade, No. 2.”

BRITISH CONSULATE,
Baltimore,

Question 1. What is, at present, the amount of the population
of the State in which you reside, and what the number of whites
and of colored people forming that population—distinguishing
males from females, and free people from slaves; what was the
amount of the population of the same State in the year 1832, and
what was the amount in the year 1837—distinguishing the particulars,
as in the case of the present time?

Answer.

Description.1832.1837.1847.
White males164,206172,256178,834
   Do females160,837168,721181,522
Free black males28,65331,40834,598
   Do do females32,80035,95440,066
Black males54,60650,38445,006
   Do females51,23547,27444,222
Total in each year492,337505,997524,248

Question 2. Is it supposed that any slaves have been imported
into the country within the last ten years, either direct from Africa
or from other quarters; if so, how many in each year?

Answer. No slaves have been imported within the last ten years,
either direct from Africa or from any other quarter.

Question 3. Is the slave protected by law equally with a free
man, in criminal cases?

(Page 118.) Answer to question 3. The slave, in all cases, except
for petty offences, (see the following answer to question 4th,)
is entitled to trial by jury, the benefit of challenge, and the aid of
counsel; and it is the invariable practice of the courts to assign
counsel for the accused slave, if the master omits to do so.

Question 4. What protection is there by law to a slave against
ill conduct on the part of his master?

Answer. The law permits a master to correct his slave to the
extent of ten lashes; more cannot be inflicted without the warrant
of a magistrate; the latter, according to the nature of the offence,
may punish to the extent of thirty-nine lashes, but cannot exceed
that number. With these exceptions, the law protects the slave
against ill conduct on the part of his owner, who is amenable to


50

punishment as a master would be who maltreated an apprentice or
hired servant.

Question 5. Is the evidence of a slave received in a court of
law?

Answer. Yes, in cases of his own color, whether free or a slave;
but not for or against a white person.

Question 6. Is the slave well or ill fed, well or ill treated?

Answer. Generally speaking, the slave is well fed and well
treated; though cases to the contrary may occasionally be discovered.

Question 7. Is the slave considered generally to enjoy as good
health and to live as long as a free person?

Answer. The slave is generally considered to enjoy better health
and to live longer than the free black.

Question 8. Is the slave population considered to be on the increase
or decrease; and from what cause?

Answer. The slave population is considered on the decrease, from
the following causes, viz:

The frequency of voluntary manumissions by will and deed. The
number annually shipped by the Maryland State Colonization Society,
to their settlement of Liberia, on the African coast. The
removal of proprietors, with their slaves, to cultivate cotton and
sugar in the southern States. The constant sale of slaves to supply
the demand for southern labor. The facility of escape afforded of
late years by means of railroads and canals, and the encouragement
to abscond, which is supposed to be secretly given by agents empleyed
for that purpose, by certain abolitionists in the northeastern
States.

Question 9. Is the manumission of slaves of common occurrence?

Answer. Yes; the number of manumissions in Maryland from 1831
to 1842, amounted to 2,640.

Question 10. Have the laws and regulations in respect to slaves
become more or less favorable to them within the last ten years?

Answer. The laws and regulations in respect to slaves have become
much stricter within the last ten years. Since the prevalence
of the abolition movement, (as it is termed,) the slave has been
taught to regard his master with more dislike, and the master to
regard his slave with more distance than formerly. The stringency
of the law is directed to prevent meetings of slaves and the ingress
of free blacks; the contact of the former being deemed injurious by
their masters, as it tends to render the slave discontented. The
laws referred to are numerous, and have the character of public
regulations.

Question 11. Is there in the State in which you reside a party
favorable to the abolition of slavery; and what is the influence of
such party; and is such party on the increase or otherwise?

Answer. There exists in this State no party, as such, avowedly
favorable to the abolition of slavery, although there are a number
of abolitionists to be found in it, which number is on the increase.


51

Question 12. Is there any difference in the eye of the law between
a free white and a free colored man?

Answer. So far as the rights of property are concerned, the law
makes no difference between the white and the free colored man, but
the personal rights of the latter are restricted by a variety of penal
enactments, which render his social position as an American citizen
very different, indeed, to that of the white man.

Page 119.

Question 13. Are free colored men ever admitted to offices of the
State?

Answer. Never.

Question 14. You will state whether you have drawn your answers
from public documents or from private information; and you will
state whether any periodical census is taken of the population
within the district of your consulate; and what was the last period
at which it was taken?

Answer. My answers have been drawn from public records when
attainable from such a source; the information of professional
friends, and my own knowledge, derived from a residence of more
than twenty years in the State of Maryland and the District of
Columbia.

A census of the population of my consular district, (in common
with all the other States,) is taken once in ten years under an act
of Congress. The last was taken in 1840, and I annex the returns
of 1830 and 1840 respectively, in order to exhibit the data upon
which, by approximate calculations, I was enabled to prepare my
tabular reply to the first question of this series.

JOHN McTAVISH,
Consul.
(Here follow the population of the white, free black, and slave
inhabitants of Maryland, under the census of 1830 and 1840.)

United States, (Consular,) Boston.
No. 53.
The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr. Grattan.

FOREIGN OFFICE, May 30, 1843.

Queries as to the slave trade and slavery in the Province of Massa-
chusetts.

(See No. 1.)


52

No. 54.
Mr. Grattan to the Earl of Aberdeen.

HER MAJESTY'S CONSULATE,

Boston,

MY LORD:

In compliance with your lordship's despatch, “slave
trade”, of May 30th, 1843, and in reference to the queries therein
contained, I have the honor to observe, that Massachusetts being
one of the free States of the Union, the queries No. 2 to No. 10
inclusive, have no application to the district of my consulate.

In reply to the remaining queries, I have to state:

1. The amount of the population of the State of Massachusetts
according to the late census of the year 1840, is as follows:

White Persons.Colored Persons.
Males360,6794,354
Females368,3514,015
Total729,0308,369
8,369
Total population737,399

I regret that in reply to my inquiries at the State Department
relative to the population of the years 1832 and 1837, I am informed
that no official returns for those years exist.

11. There is a party in Massachusetts favorable to the abolition
of slavery, of considerable and increasing influence in comparison
with the other portions of the Union. From the best information
I can obtain, I believe that this party in Massachusetts numbers
several thousand persons. But they being divided in their views
as to the means of carrying out the common object, and having,
consequently, no general meetings of the whole, and many individuals
sharing their principles without daring to avow them in
defiance of general opinion, it would be hazardous to attempt an
estimate of the number of persons who may be considered as abolitionists.
Boston is the head quarters of abolitionism in the United
States. The most energetic members of the party live in this city.
They have several newspapers of wide circulation. Their political
influence was proved at the State elections in last year. Although
unable to elect their own regularly nominated candidates for the
offices of governor and lieutenant-governor, they certainly prevented
the election of the whig candidates, and for a long time
kept the contest for seats in the State legislature and in Congress
open and undecided.

12. In the eye of the law, there is not any difference between a
free white and a free colored man, except as regards serving in
the militia, from which colored men are prohibited by an act of
Congress, and in respect to naturalization, the act of Congress


53

of April 14, 1802, confining the description of aliens capable of
being naturalized to “free white persons.” It may, however,
become a question to what extent persons of mixed blood are excluded,
and what shades and degrees of mixture of color disqualify
an alien from application for the benefits of the act of naturalization.
An act of the legislature of Massachusetts, of February 25,
1843, repealed so much of the 5th section of the 75th chapter, and
of the first section of the 76th chapter, of the Revised Statutes, as
caused restrictions upon intermarriages between the white and colored
races. Another reported bill, of January 25, 1843, of which
a copy is herewith enclosed, but which did not pass into a law,
provided against the regulation previously subsisting, which forced
colored persons to occupy places in railroad cars of inferior accommodations
to those occupied by white persons. But the object has
been obtained without the necessity of a legislative enactment. A
very important act, (of March 24, 1843,) prohibits, under pain of
fine or imprisonment, any judge or justice within the common-
wealth from taking cognizance of any case under the act of Congress,
of February 12, 1793, entitled “An act respecting fugitives
from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters;”
and also prohibits any sheriff, constable, &c., from arresting,
or detaining, in any jail, or other public building belonging to the
commonwealth, any person claimed as a fugitive slave. The moral
condition of the colored people in Massachusetts has considerably
improved of late years. They are, nevertheless, subjected to
many restrictions, in consequence of the violent prejudice existing
against them among all classes of the population not of the
abolition party. They have the right of voting at elections, but
they never attempt to set up a candidate of their own color for
any post. They are, like other citizens, liable to serve on juries;
but they are never called upon to do this duty, which is tantamount
to a prohibition against exercising it.

13. Free colored men are never appointed to any offices of the
State. If elected thereto, there is no legal restriction against their
admission to any.

14. My answers have been, in the instances of Nos. 1 and 12,
drawn from public documents. In the other instances, my information
has been derived from private sources. The last period at
which a census was taken within the district of my consulate, as
forming a portion of the Union at large, was 1840, such general
census being taken at regular periods of the year, but no State
census being taken in the intervals.

I have, &c.,

T. C. GRATTAN.
The right hon. the EARL OF ABERDEEN,
&c. &c. &c.


54

[Enclosure in No. 54.]
Senate No. 9.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Senate, January 25, 1843.

The committee, to whom was referred the petition of Francis
Jackson and others, and sundry other petitions, relating to the
rights of railroad passengers, have considered the same, and report
the accompanying bill.

By order of the committee:

GEORGE HOOD,
Chairman.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the year one thousand eight
hundred and forty-three: An act relating to the rights of railroad
passengers.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in
General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

  • SEC. 1. No railroad corporation shall, by themselves, their directors,
    or others, make or establish any by-law, or regulation,
    which shall make any distinction, or give a preference in accommodation
    to any one or more persons over others, on account of
    descent, sect, or color.
  • SEC. 2. Any officer or servant of any railroad corporation, who
    shall assault any person for the purpose of depriving him or her
    of any right or privilege in any car, or other railroad accommodation,
    on account of descent, sect, or color, or shall aid or abet any
    other person in committing such assault, shall be punished by imprisonment
    in the county jail not less than six days, or by fine not
    less than ten dollars; and shall also be answerable to the person
    assaulted to the full amount of his damage in an act of trespass.

United States, (Consular,) Charleston.
No. 57.
The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr. Ogilby.

FOREIGN OFFICE, May 30, 1843.

Queries as to slave trade and slavery in the States of North and
South Carolina.

(See No. 1.)


55

No. 56.
Mr. Moodie to the Earl of Aberdeen.

HER BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S CONSULATE,
Charleston,

MY LORD:

In compliance with the requisition contained in your
lordship's despatch of the 30th May last, headed “slave trade”, I
have the honor of transmitting to your lordship herewith my answers
to the queries conveyed in said despatch, so far as the State
of South Carolina is concerned.

I have also the honor of enclosing herewith answers from her
Majesty's vice consul at Wilmington to the same queries for North
Carolina, that State being comprised within the district of this
consulate.

I have, &c.,

JAMES G. MOODIE,
Pro-consul.
The right honorable
The EARL OF ABERDEEN,
K. T., &c., &c., &c.,

[First enclosure in No. 56.]

Answers to queries propounded in despatch marked “slave trade”,
May 30.

Answer to No. 1. The aggregate amount of the population of the
State of South Carolina in the year 1840 was 594,398. The number
of whites, 259,084; of which 130,496 were males, and 128,588 were
females.

The number of slaves, 327,038; of which 158,678 were males, and
168,360 females.

The number of free persons of color, 8,276; of which 3,864 were
males, and 4,412 were females.

(Then follows the amount of the population in 1830.)

Answer to No. 2. No slaves have been imported into this State
from Africa, or any other foreign country, since 1st of February,
1808. By an act of Congress, passed 2d March, 1807, the importation
of slaves from any foreign places to the United States after
1st of January, 1808, was prohibited, under the penalty of a fine
not exceeding ten thousand dollars, nor less than one hundred dollars,
and imprisonment not exceeding ten years, nor less than five
years.

Answer to No. 3. The slave is not protected in criminal cases
equally with the white man. The white man is protected by the
common law of England, which is of force in this State, and by
all the safeguards afforded to an English subject. The slave and


56

free person of color are tried by a court consisting of two justices
of the peace, and any number of freeholders, not less than three or
more than six, in the county where the offences shall be committed;
if a slave, he is entitled to counsel, and his owner has the right of
challenge for cause; the expense of trial is paid by the State. The
free person of color has also the right of challenge for cause in
either case; the cause may for good reason shown be continued
over. There is also an appeal to the superior judges on points of
law. The expense of a trial of a free person of color is defrayed
by himself, if able; if not, by the State.

Answer to No. 4. The owner has the absolute control over the
slave; they may be punished at discretion; but extreme cruelty,
such as maiming or disabling, is an indictable offence, and the penalty
one hundred pounds current money. Taking the life of a
slave is murder; and, upon arraignment for the offence, the same
laws and rules of court apply as if arraigned for a white person,
and the same penalty follows the verdict. It is a bailable offence.

Answer to No. 5. The evidence of a slave is never received in
any court in this State, except on trials of slaves or free persons of
color, and then not under the solemnity of an oath.

Answer to No. 6. Slaves are generally supplied with a sufficiency
of wholesome food. If death from starvation has ever occurred,
evidence of the fact is unknown. Their treatment as a class of
laborers is humane. There may be, and doubtless are, detached
cases which form exceptions to this proposition.

Answer to No. 7. Slaves are subject to fewer diseases, enjoy a
greater degree of health, and generally attain to a greater age, than
free persons, whether they be white or colored.

Answer to No. 8. The slave population is on the increase in this
State, notwithstanding that great numbers are yearly taken to the
southwestern States, where the fertility of the land yields a much
better return to the planter than South Carolina. The natural increase
of the slave is greater than that of the white or free colored
person.

Answer to No. 9. The manumission of slaves in this State is positively
prohibited, except in cases of great public services performed,
when they may be manumitted by special act of the legislature.

Answer to No. 10. The laws and regulations have since the year
1832 been less favorable to slaves in this State, in consequence of
an attempt at insurrection which was in that year discovered, and
suppressed without difficulty. At that period the manumission of
slaves was altogether prohibited, except by an act of the legislature.
Their instruction in reading and writing is also prohibited,
under severe penalties.

Answer to No. 11. There is no party favorable to the abolition
of slavery known to exist in the State of South Carolina.

Answer to No. 12. There is a great difference in favor of the
white man. The free colored person is subject to most of the disabilities
of the slave. He may hold, convey and transmit, by deed
or will, property, either real or personal. He is entitled to the


57

benefit of the prison bounds, and insolvent debtor's act, but cannot
be discharged without taking the oath it prescribes. His testimony
is only allowed in cases against free colored persons or slaves, and
then not under the solemnity of an oath. If a free person of color
leaves the State he cannot return thereto.

Answer to No. 13. Free persons of color are never admitted to
hold any office within the State.

Answer to No. 14. The respondent has drawn his answers from
public documents, private information, and personal observation.
The census is taken every ten years, both by authority of the government
of the United States and of the State. The above replies
are furnished from that taken by the authority of the United States,
being considered the most correct.

[Second enclosure in No. 56.]

Answer to queries from Mr. Stow, British vice-consulate, Wilmington,
North Carolina, July 28, 1843.

In obedience to the requisition of a despatch from the foreign
office, dated May 30, 1843, marked “slave trade”, a copy of which
was transmitted to this vice consulate from Charleston, on the 18th
instant, by James G. Moodie, esquire, acting her Majesty's consul
for North and South Carolina, the undersigned proceeds to append
the following answers to the several queries propounded in said
despatch.

Answer to query 1 is the population of North Carolina for the
present time, and the years 1832 and 1837.

Answer to query 2. No slaves have been imported into this
State from Africa or any other foreign country during the last ten
years. The severity of the penalties affixed by the laws of Congress
to the crime of importing slaves into the United States is
such as to deter the most abandoned from making the attempt. Besides,
the fear of detection, which is rendered almost certain by
the vigilance of the authorities, aided by the strong moral feelings
of the people of the State upon the subject, is an effectual guaranty
against violation. (See note in reference to this query.)

Answer to query 3. In criminal cases the slave is equally protected
with a free man. Indeed the policy of the law seems to have
special regard to his condition. He cannot be put upon his trial
unless a true bill be first found by the same grand inquest empannelled
to inquire and present other delinquents. He has the same
right of challenge in general with others, when put upon trial,
and may peremptorily challenge every juror who is not the owner
of a slave. He can for sufficient reasons, upon affidavit, have his
cause continued over, or removed to some other judicial district;
must always be defended by counsel at the expense of his owner;
and, upon a verdict of guilty, has the same right of appeal with
others to the supreme court, touching any questions of law which


58

his case may involve; and in all clergiable offences, is entitled to
“benefit of clergy.”

Answer to query 4. The master has the entire and absolute control
over the slave, and may punish at discretion. But extreme
cruelty of punishment, such as maiming or disabling, is an indictable
offence. Taking the life of a slave is murder; and upon arraignment
for the offence, the same laws and rules of court apply
as if arraigned for the murder of a white person; and the same
penalty follows the verdict. If a true bill be found against the
master, no amount of bail can save him from prison. Nor is bail
allowed before the trial, where the presumption of guilt is strong,
though sought for by the process of “habeas corpus.”

The slave is protected by law from being turned upon the world
when sick, old, or decayed; the master being compelled to provide
for his maintenance.

Answer to query 5. The evidence of a slave is never received in
a court of law, except when slaves or free persons of color are the
subjects of the trial. Then, under the solemnity of an oath administered
by the court, they are allowed to give evidence.

Answer to query 6. Slaves are generally supplied with a sufficiency
of wholesome food. If death from starvation has ever occurred,
the evidence of such fact is unknown.

Their treatment as a class of laborers is humane. There may be,
and doubtless are, isolated cases, which form exceptions to this
proposition.

Answer to query 7. Slaves are subject to fewer diseases, enjoy
a greater degree of health, and generally attain to a greater age
than free persons, whether they be white or colored.

The census of the State and the bills of mortality in that part
of the State where the slave population is most numerous, attest
this fact.

Answer to query 8. The slave population is supposed to be on
the increase from natural propagation, as the number of births evidently
exceeds the number of deaths; though the census from 1830
to 1840 does not shew this result, yet it is nevertheless true, the
increase being carried to the south by emigration. (See note referred
to in second query.)

Answer to query 9. The manumission of slaves does not often
occur. The laws and policy of the State are opposed to their
manumission within the State. The only mode by which the master
can procure freedom for his own slave is, by showing such
meritorious services to have been performed as will induce a court
of record to grant his prayer, or he may apply to the legislature,
where his chance of success is equally doubtful. But by sending
his slave beyond the limits of the State he can accomplish the object.
But the freed man can never return to the State. The liberation
of whole families in this way occurs yearly. They are
given in charge to the Colonization Society, who send them to the
society's colony in Africa. And it is supposed that liberations in
this way would be more frequent, could that society provide the
the means for their removal.


59

Answer to query 10. The laws have become less favorable to the
moral condition of the slave, at least within the last ten years.
After the attempted insurrection in Southampton, Virginia, in the
year 1832, symptoms of which were manifest in this place, and
along Cape Fear river, the legislature of North Carolina passed
penal laws, prohibiting the education of slaves, so far as reading
and writing is concerned, though oral religious instruction is more
extensively imparted than formerly.

Answer to query 11. There is no party favorable to the abolition
of slavery known to exist in the State of North Carolina.

Answer to query 12. There is a difference in favor of the white
man, though the free person of color is equally protected in the
acquisition and enjoyment of property, and of his freedom and
liberty. Yet in his political privileges, so to term them, he is upon
a level with the slave. By an amendment of the State constitution
in 1835, he was debarred the right of suffrage, (which he before
enjoyed) irrespective of his mental or property qualifications.
Nor is he allowed to testify on oath, in any case whatever, except
on the trial of persons of color. These prohibitions extend to all
free persons of color of negro origin within the fourth degree of
affinity.

Answer to query 13. Free persons of color are not admitted, nor
are they eligible, to hold any office within the State.

Answer to query 14. The undersigned has drawn his answers
from public documents, private information, and personal observation,
having had a residence in the State upwards of 25 years.
There is no census taken periodically in this State. The government
of the United States causes the census of each State and
Territory to be taken every ten years. This practice commenced
in the year 1790. The last period for taking the census of the
United States was in 1840.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

CYRUS C. STOW,
British vice-consul.

Note referred to in query No. 2.

Persons moving to this State from any adjoining slave State,
usually bring their slaves along with them. Slaves are sometimes
purchased in adjoining States lying to the north of this—seldom
in States lying south; though the number so brought in is comparatively
small.

The low price of land, and its great fertility in the States of
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, &c., are strong inducements
to emigration from the older settled States. And since the
value of a slave, as property, depends as much upon the cheapness
of providing the means for his sustenance, government, keeping
him in subjection, and the security of the community in which he


60

resides, as it does upon the productions of his labor, the tide of
emigration is tending southward.

In the State of Delaware, this expense has rendered the
slave, as property, almost useless. In Maryland, his value is far
less than in North Carolina; and in North Carolina, much less
than in States lying farther south.

(Then follows a table of the increase of slaves from 1800 to
1840.)

CYRUS C. STOW,
British vice-consul.

No. 57.
Mr. Ogilby to the Earl of Aberdeen.

HER BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S CONSULATE,
Charleston,

MY LORD:

Finding that the greatest anxiety exists among the
British subjects, who are resident in this country, to become acquainted
with the act which was passed during the late session of
Parliament, “for the more effectual suppression of the slave trade”,
permit me to request that your lordship will do me the honor to
direct a copy of it to be forwaded to this consulate as soon as practicable;
and if any opinions have been given by the law officers of
the crown upon its enactments, I should feel much obliged by
having a copy of them also forwarded to me; for I feel assured
that I shall very frequently be applied to by subjects of her Majesty
residing in this part of the world, for an opinion as to the
legality or illegality of certain acts connected with the subject to
which the law refers, if done or participated in by them. Allow
me respectfully to inquire if it would meet your lordship's approbation
for me to have the law within referred to published in
some of the newspapers of this city, for the information and guidance
of all British subjects residing within my consular district?

I have, &c.,

WILLIAM OGILBY, Consul.
To the right hon. EARL OF ABERDEEN, K. T.,
&c., &c., &c.,

No. 58.
Colonel Fitzgerald to Mr. Bidwell.

MOBILE,

MY DEAR SIR:

I beg to forward a newspaper that I think will


61

prove interesting to Lord Aberdeen, as it gives the negro population,
and much interesting information.

I remain, &c.,

CH. FITZGERALD.
J. BIDWELL, Esq., &c., &c.,

[Enclosure in No. 58.]
Article from the Alabama Beacon of January 14, 1843.

(Here follows a tabular statement, showing the population and
federal representation of the State of Alabama, by counties, together
with the proportion of political power possessed by each county
in the House of Representatives of the United States, and the
value of individual suffrage in the election of members.)

No. 59.
The Earl of Aberdeen to Colonel Fitzgerald.

FOREIGN OFFICE,

Queries as to the state of slave trade and slavery in the State of
Alabama. (See No. 1.)

Question 1. What is at present the amount of the population of
the State in which you reside, and what the number of whites and
of colored people forming that population—distinguishing males
from females, and free people from slaves? What was the amount
of the population of the same State in 1832, and what was the
amount in the year 1837—distinguishing the particulars as in the
case of the present time?

(Here follows the amount of population of Alabama at the present
time, and in the years 1832 and 1837.)

Question 2. Is it supposed that any slaves have been imported
into the country within the last ten years, either direct from Africa
or from other quarters; if so, how many in each year?

Answer. None, or if any, very few.

Question 3. Is the slave protected by law, equally with a free
man, in criminal cases?

Answer. The law affords the same protection, and the trials for
criminal offences are conducted precisely as for whites.

Question 4. What protection is there by law to a slave against
ill conduct on the part of his master?

Answer. The master is subject to a penalty, and in some cases
to imprisonment, on complaint being made to the authorities by
any person, if found guility.

Question 5. Is the evidence of a slave received in a court of
law?


62

Answer. In cases against slaves.

Question 6. Is the slave well or ill fed; well or ill treated?

Answer. Well fed and clothed.

Question 7. Is the slave considered, generally, to enjoy as good
health, and to live as long as a free person?

Answer. They enjoy better health, and live longer.

Question 8. Is the slave population considered to be on the increase
or decrease; and from what causes?

Answer. The slave population in this State is upon the increase;
the causes are general good health, constant exercise, temperate
living, and the absence of care.

Question 9. Is the manumission of slaves of common occurrence?

Answer. The manumission of slaves is not of common occurrence.

Question 10. Have the laws and regulations in respect to slaves
become more or less favorable to them within the last ten years?

Answer. The laws of this State respecting slaves have not been
materially altered within the last ten year, but at present are more
rigidly enforced.

Question 11. Is there in the State in which you reside a party
favorable to the abolition of slavery; and what is the influence of
such party; and is such party on the increase or otherwise?

Answer. There is no known party favorable to the abolition of
slavery; the State is unanimously in favor of it.

Question 12. Is there any difference in the eye of the law
between a free white and a free colored man?

Answer. There is a difference between the free white and the
free negro; the free negro is not allowed the right of suffrage, or
to appear as evidence against a white person in a court of law.

Question 13. Are free colored men ever admitted to offices of
the State?

Answer. They are not eligible to the offices of the State.

Question 14. You will state whether you have drawn your
answers from public documents, or from private information; and
you will state whether any periodical census is taken of the population
within the district of your consulate, and what was the last
period at which it was taken?

Answer. The census is taken from public documents, and other
information is derived from personal observation and persons of
good information; the census is taken every tenth year.

CH. FITZGERALD,
H. M. Consul.
The right honorable the
EARL OF ABERDEEN, K. T., &c., &c., &c.,


63

United States, (Consular,) New Orleans.
No. 61.
The Earl of Aberdeen to her Majesty's consul.

FOREIGN OFFICE,

Queries as to slave trade and slavery in the State of Louisiana.

(See No. 1.)

No. 62.
Mr. Linghorn to the Earl of Aberdeen.

BRITISH CONSULATE,
New Orleans,

MY LORD:

I have the honor to transmit, agreeably to your lord-ship's
despatch of 30th May, answers to certain queries relative to
the slave trade, which I trust will be found in order.

(Here follows the population of Louisiana in 1840 and 1830.)

2. None from Africa or foreign countries.

3. Yes, with this difference, that the slave is tried under the
rules laid down in the black code, and summarily, by a jury of six
freeholders.

4. When cruelty is proven, the slave or slaves are taken away,
and the master or mistress prohibited from owning any.

5. Yes, against a fellow slave.

6. Generally both well fed and well treated.

7. In general enjoy better health and live longer than free people
of color.

8. The slave population is considerably on the increase, in consequence
of good treatment.

9. Very common, but confined to those of good character, and
capable of taking care of themselves afterwards.

10. Some defects, existing in the black code of this State, were
lately improved.

11. There is no party in favor of emancipation; and within the
last ten years public opinion has become much less excitable upon
the discussion of the subject, as all parties have apparently come
to the opinion that it is an evil which cannot or ought not to be
alleviated by universal emancipation, as the condition of the slaves
will compare favorably with the condition of the lower orders of
almost every part of the world.

12. None.

13. No.

14. I have drawn my answers from public documents in the State


64

department, as well as from disinterested private sources, and my
own actual observation of some years in various parts of this country.
A census is taken every ten years; the last one was taken in
1840.

I am, &c.,

J. G. LINGHORN,
Acting Vice Consul.
The right honorable the EARL OF ABERDEEN,
K. T., &c., &c., &c.,

United States, (Consular,) Norfolk.
No. 63.
The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr. Gray.

FOREIGN OFFICE,

Queries as to slave trade and slavery in the State of Virginia.
(See No. 1.)

No. 64.

BRITISH CONSULATE,
Norfolk, Virginia,

MY LORD:

I have now the honor to transmit herewith answers
to the several queries propounded in your lordship's despatch of
the 30th May last, relating to the population of this State of
“whites and colored people.”

I have, &c.,

WILLIAM GRAY.
The right honorable the EARL OF ABERDEEN, K. T., &c., &c.,

[Enclosure in No. 64.]
Answers to queries in despatch of May 30, 1843.

BRITISH CONSULATE,
Norfolk,

Here follows the population of Virginia in the years 1790, 1800,
1810, 1820, 1830, and 1840.

2. It is believed that not one slave has been imported into this
State, from any quarter whatever, during the period stated.

3. A slave can only be punished according to law; but the punishments
differ from those enacted by white persons, and the mode


65

of trial is different also. A slave is not tried by a jury, but in a
summary way by a court of justices; and in some cases he is punished
with death, where, for the same offence, a white would be
sent to the penitentiary. The murder of a slave is equally criminal
with that of a free person, and the punishment the same in
either case.

4. A master may be criminally punished for killing or maiming
a slave; but he has the right to inflict stripes, and may, in fact, exercise
much cruelty, without any adequate redress or protection for
the slave, who has no right of his own. The question has, however,
been long settled in Virginia, that a master may be indicted
for beating his own slave cruelly. If he so treats the slave of another,
the owner has the right of private action.

5. The evidence of a slave or colored person cannot be received
in any court of law in this State against a white, but is admissible,
and always taken in the case of a colored one.

6. Generally well fed and well treated, being to the interest
and benefit of the owner that he should be.

7. Slaves are considered to enjoy as good health, and to live as
long in this State as free persons; and it is believed there are more
frequent instances of extreme old age among them than with the
latter, whether white or colored.

8. It will appear on reference to answer number 1, that there
was a decrease in the “slave population” in this quarter, between
1830 and 1840, of nearly 21,000; which decrease may be accounted
for in the very frequent departation at that period of large numbers
to the more southern States and Territories, where their labor
was more wanted, and prices consequently much higher; and, also,
in the emancipation and removal of very many to Liberia, to which
quarter not unfrequently the whole stock of different plantations
would be sent, on being liberated by their owners for that purpose.
But for such causes, the slave population would have continued
on the increase, as it appears to have done gradually in
previous years.

9. In part answered above. It is, however, to be observed that
by the laws of this State a slave cannot be manumitted and allowed
to remain within its precincts; and there have been many
instances where, having good masters, they have refused their
freedom, and preferred remaining here in slavery to banishment
from their home and friends. Yet, as before stated, many have
been liberated by their owners and sent to Liberia, where they are
said to be contented and doing well.

10. No alteration whatever has taken place in the laws and regulations
of this State in respect to slaves within the last ten years,
but custom has extended to them a greater degree of indulgence
and liberty than formerly; yet it is not thought that their morals,
habits, or behavior, are by any means improved thereby, but
rather the reverse.

11. Certainly not; there is no party in this State favorable to
immediate or sudden abolition of slavery, although it is an evil
greatly deplored by all parties; and could emancipation be accomplished


66

gradually, with perfect safety to the white population, and
moderate compensation to the proprietors, it would be hailed with
joy and gladness by all classes.

12. As stated in No. 5, the evidence of a free colored person
cannot be received against a white, nor is the former regarded as
a citizen, being under many and various restrictions and disabilities.
He cannot vote upon any occasion, and, in a criminal offence
committed by him, other than homicide, or where death is the
punishment, he is tried in the same manner as a slave. In the
excepted cases he is tried by a jury of white men. He is not allowed
to keep fire arms; and all free negroes or colored people
are required to be registered in court, and to renew the same at
stated periods, on failure whereof they are subject to imprisonment.
A free negro cannot purchase or own slaves, unless it be a
wife, husband, or child. There is, however, no restriction upon
acquisition of real estate in any other species of property.

13. Never, under any circumstances.

14. The statistical part of answer No. 1 is taken from different
printed works bearing upon the subject, principally from Morse's,
Bradford's, and Martin's Gazetteers. Upon the several other points
referred to, the information is derived from individuals well acquainted
with the different subjects, as well as from my own observation
during a residence in the country upwards of 30 years.
A census as already stated is taken every ten years.

WILLIAM GRAY.

United States, (Consular,) Portland.
No. 65.
The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr. Sherwood.

FOREIGN OFFICE,

Queries as to the state of slavery and slave trade in the States
of Maine and New Hampshire.

(See No. 1.)

No. 66.
Mr. Sherwood to the Earl of Aberdeen.

BRITISH CONSULATE, MAINE AND NEW HAMPSHIRE,
Portland,

MY LORD:

Agreeably to your lordship's command, I have the
honor to transmit to you the following answers to the queries propounded
to me in your lordship's despatch, dated foreign office,


67

May 30, 1843, which information I have endeavored to obtain as
accurately as possible, viz:

(Here follow the populations of Maine and New Hampshire in
the years, 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, and 1840.)

2. It is supposed, and is generally believed, that slaves are smuggled
into the southern States from Cuba and other places, but the
number in each year, within the last ten years, I have no means of
knowing. There are no slaves brought into my district, unless it
is those who have secreted themselves on board of vessels arriving
from southern ports.

3. To this query, I answer I believe not; no slave's oath is taken
against a free person.

4. I believe the law protects the slave against ill conduct on the
part of his master, but it is seldom put in force, unless death ensues
to the slave.

5. It is against a slave, but not against a free person.

6. I have no reason to doubt but that the slave is well fed and
well treated; it being the interest of the owner to do so.

7. It is said that the slave generally enjoys good health, and to
live full as long as a free person.

8. The slave population is said to increase, although many are
made free by their owners and sent to Liberia. Cause unknown
to me.

9. It is frequently done by liberal owners.

10. This question I am unable to answer, not knowing the fact.

11. There is; the extent and influence of such party has not
been very great, but it is now rapidly gaining in numbers as well
as influence.

12. There is no difference in the eye of the law, within my consulate,
between a free white and free colored man; and I believe it
is the case in the southern States.

13. They never have been.

14. I have drawn my answers from public documents, so far as
relates to population, and from private information respecting
the other queries. There is a periodical census taken of the population
within my consulate, and generally throughout the United
States, by its government every ten years. The last period at
which it was taken was in the year 1840. For State purposes,
Maine took the amount of her population once or twice between
the above periods, but they are not relied upon as correct.

I have, &c.,

JOSEPH T. SHERWOOD.
The right honorable
The EARL OF ABERDEEN, &c., &c., &c.,


68

United States, (Consular,) Savannah.
No. 67.
The Earl of Aberdeen to Mr. Molyneux.

FOREIGN OFFICE,

Queries as to state of slave trade and slavery in the State of
Georgia.

(See No. 1.)

No. 68.
Mr. Molyneux to the Earl of Aberdeen.

BRITISH CONSULATE,
Savannah,

MY LORD:

I have honor to enclose my replies to the queries contained
in your lordship's despatch of 30th May, “slave trade”, relating
to the condition of the colored population of the State of
Georgia.

I am, &c.,

E. MOLYNEUX.
The right honorable the
EARL OF ABERDEEN, K. T., &c., &c., &c.,

[Enclosure in No. 68.]
Replies by her Majesty's consul at Savannah to fourteen queries
relating to the colored population of the State of Georgia.

BRITISH CONSULATE,
Savannah,

(Here follows the amount of population of Georgia in 1830 and
1840.)

2. It is not possible that any slaves could have been imported
from foreign countries into this State within the last ten years, the
laws of the United States being difficult of evasion. The laws of
the State of Georgia prohibit the introduction of slaves except
from an adjoining State.

3. In criminal cases, the slave is equally protected by law with
the free colored man.

4. I consider public opinion the greatest protection a slave has
against ill conduct on the part of his master. The law enacts:


69

“That any owner or employer of a slave, who shall cruelly treat
such slave, or withhold proper food or sustenance, or require
greater labor than he is able to perform, or not afford proper and
sufficient clothing, whereby the health of such slave may be impaired;
every such person so offending shall be punished by fine
and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.”

5. The evidence of a slave against a white man is not received
in a court of law.

6. In all cases slaves are well fed; their treatment in a great
measure depends upon the humanity of their masters. The weekly
allowance on plantations is one peck of Indian corn, (which is
more than any man can consume,) with animal food occasionally.
They are allowed gardens, and the privilege of raising hogs and
poultry, either for their own use or for sale. The allowance to
domestic slaves is one quart of corn per diem. In the better class
of families, from half a pound to one and a quarter pound of sugar,
and a quarter pound of coffee, are allowed weekly, in addition to
meat at breakfast and dinner. These remarks have reference to
plantations, &c., near the sea coast. In the up country, the colored
population is a much finer looking race, and more intelligent.
They have no task, and work side by side with white men, from
sunrise to sunset, and are not restricted to any quantity of food.
In the low country all work is done by task, and, except in harvest
time, an industrious man will finish his task by three o'clock.

7. Free persons of color being generally dissipated, do not enjoy
as good health, nor live as long as slaves; and, being improvident,
possibly from not being allowed to hold property, are, in old
age, often dependent upon charity for their support.

8. The annual increase of the slave population on cotton plantations
of late years is estimated at five to ten per cent. The increase
on rice plantations, owing to the great mortality amongst
children from local causes, is very trifling.

9. The manumission of slaves was prohibited in the year 1801.
They might be emancipated by a special act of the legislature, but
I doubt if such an act would now pass.

10. Slaves were formerly allowed to accompany their owners to
other States or foreign countries; but in the year 1835, an act was
passed prohibiting the return of a male slave from a non-slave-
holding State or country. Females are still allowed to return.

11. There are doubtless many slave owners who condemn slavery
in the abstract; but there is no party in this State favorable to the
abolition of slavery without compensation.

12. A free colored man has not, legally or otherwise, the same
privileges as a white man.

13. Free colored men are denied the right of voting, the right
to sit on juries, and are ineligible to any office in the State, but
both slaves and free colored men are permitted to officiate as clergymen
to their own color, having first obtained license from the
justices of the inferior court.

14. My information is derived from private information and from
public documents. The census being only taken decennially by


70

the federal government, I am unable to give the population in
1832 and 1837.

E. MOLYNEUX, Consul.

[Extracts.]
Mr. Wise to Mr. Calhoun.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

The African slave trade “thickens around us”, and we are
treading on its dragon's teeth. It is not to be denied, and I boldly
assert it, that the administration of the imperial government of
Brazil is forcibly constrained by its influences, and is deeply inculpated
in its guilt. With that, it would seem, at first sight,
the United States have nothing to do; but an intimate and full
knowledge of the subject informs us that the only effectual mode
of carrying on that trade between Africa and Brazil, at present,
involves our laws and our moral responsibilities as directly and
fully as it does those of this country itself. Our flag alone gives
the requisite protection against the right of visit, search and
seizure; and our citizens, in all the characters of owners, of consigness,
of agents, and of masters and crews of our vessels,
are
concerned in the business and partake of the profits of the African
slave trade, to and from the ports of Brazil, as fully as Brazilians
themselves and others, in conjunction with whom they carry it on.
In fact, without the aid of our citizens and our flag, it could not
be carried on with success at all. They furnish the protection;
they are the common carriers; they sail over and deliver up to the
trade vessels as well as cargoes; they transport the supplies of
slave factories, the food and raiment of the slave trade's agents,
and the goods which constitute the purchase money of the slave
trade's victims; they carry the arms and the ardent spirits which
are the hellish agents and instruments of the savage wars of African
captivity; they afford safe passage to Brazillian masters and
crews intended for the slave vessels when sold, and for the American
masters and crews who have manned those vessels over to the
coast; and they realize a profit in proportion to the risks of a
contraband trade. In one word, the sacred principle of the
inviolability of the protection of our flag is perverted in the
ports of Brazil into a perfect monopoly of the unhallowed gains
of the navigation of the African slave trade. And for the reason
of this inviolability, our flag and vessels are sought and bought,
and our citizens, at home and here, sail them and sell them in the
African slave trade to and from all the ports of Brazil. And in
all those ports, and in this, the metropolitan port of Rio de Janeiro
especially, our vessels are fitted out for the slave trade; and
most of the crimes of that trade, in violation of the laws of the
United States, openly have their inception under the very eye of


71

the imperial government; and in them all, and in this port espe-
cially, the consummation of those crimes is sheltered, as of right,
by the sovereign jurisdiction of this empire
. This is fully shown
by the facts of the case which it is now my duty to present, in ad-
dition to the other cases of which I have already given informa-
tion; and it is left with the United States to determine whether
they will permit any power upon earth to countenance, to con-
nive at, and to encourage the inception of the crimes of their
citizens against their laws in its jurisdiction, and then to shelter
the consummation of those crimes and the violation of their laws,
and of the sanctity of their flag, under the protection of that same
jurisdiction ?
Will they respect the jurisdiction of a power as
within the pale of the civilization of this day, which so denation-
alizes
itself ? Will they not rather, if such a pretension of the
right of jurisdiction is persisted in, treat the power so pretending
as belonging to the class of the Barbary States when they claimed
freebooter's tribute from the seas ?

The President will see that in the refusal of extradition de-
manded in this case, these serious and these by far the most im-
portant questions between the United States and Brazil are in-
volved.

As early as the 12th of February, 1844, Mr. Slacum, the United
States consul at Rio de Janeiro, wrote to the Hon. A. P. Upshur,
then Secretary of State, his consular letter, No. 74, in which he
says:

“The brig Duan, of Beverly, Massachusetts, alluded to in the
deposition, (a deposition which he was sending on in the case of
Driscoll, of the brig Hope,) and mentioned in my former de-
spatches, also landed a cargo of slaves to the southward of this
port. The Porpoise, a small brig belonging to Brunswick, State
of Maine, brought back the masters and part of the crews of the
Hope and Duan, and is a regular tender to the slave dealers.
She
is said to be chartered for twelve months.” “The
Porpoise sailed again yesterday for the coast, I suppose to bring
back the crews of the Gannicliffe and Montevideo”, &c., &c.

In previous letters, also, Mr. Slacum had given warning of this
vessel. The master and crew of the Montevideo returned in the
Sea Eagle, and were arrested at the request of Mr. Gordon, and
sent home in the Congress frigate. We will soon see what were
the objects and ends of the cruise of the Porpoise.

Some months ago, lately, but prior to the last arrival of the
Porpoise at this port, Commodore Purvis, in command of the naval
forces of Great Britain on this station, showed to Commodore Tur-
ner an extract of a letter to him from the senior officer of the Bri-
tish naval forces off Quillimane, in Africa, respecting both the
American brigs Kentucky and Porpoise. This extract has since
been obtained by Commodore Turner, as you will see by his letter
enclosing it to me, marked “A.” This extract warned Commo-
dore Turner, and the consul, Mr. Gordon, was warned already, to
keep a lookout for the Porpoise.

She was consigned to Maxwell, Wright & Co., and through an


72

English broker, Weetman, was chartered to Manoel Pinto da Fon-
seca.

He placed his own agent, Paulo Roderiguez, with cook, stew-
ard, and others, on board the Porpoise, and sent her with cargoes,
at different times, to the coast of Africa. There, on her last trip,
at Quellimane, Jahambane, and other places, with Paulo in charge
of her cargo, she supplied his slave factories with cochaca, (aqua
ardente, or the white rum of this country,) with muskets and fa-
zendas, (or dry goods and groceries,) and with provisions, sailing
from port to port, the captain and crew seeing the slaves bought
at various times and places, and shipped on board other vessels,
and lending her boats and ship's crew from time to time to assist
in shipping slaves.

The American brig Kentucky was sold here to the same Fonseca,
I believe, and delivered at Quillimane by her captain, Douglass, of
Philadelphia. This Captain Douglass assisted in shipping her
cargo of slaves, and hoisted the United States flag over the vessel
after she was sold, to afford her its protection. An Englishman,
named Page, one of his crew, was, after being sent on board the
Porpoise, compelled to go on board the Kentucky and to return
to Brazil in her, with about 500 slaves. Page is now one of the
witnesses on board the Raritan. Several of the American crews
of the Kentucky and the Porpoise were offered, on board of the
Porpoise, large inducements to ship on board the Kentucky to na-
vigate her slaves to Brazil, and the boats and some of the crew of
the Porpoise were allowed by her captain, Libby, of Portland,
Maine, to assist in taking slaves from the shore to the Kentucky.
In the course of the last voyage of the Porpoise, Paulo purchased
a large number of slaves and sent them over; several hundreds,
however, of those he had purchased were liberated by the English
cruisers on shore, and this detained the Porpoise some months
longer, to supply their places by new purchases. During all this
time, the crew of the Porpoise was detained some six months over
their times, as they allege, by Captain Libby, against their remon-
strances and complaints, on miserable rations, and at the risk of
their lives from the climate.

Finally, Paulo purchased two African boys, Pedro and Guil-
herme, branded on the breast with the slave dealer's mark, shipped
them on board the Porpoise, and that vessel, with Paulo and his
two slaves, cook, steward, &c., and with Douglass and Boyle,
master and mate, and a part of the crew of the Kentucky, and
with other passengers, whom you will see described in the consul's
report, sailed for Rio de Janeiro. The witness, Page, returned to
Brazil in the Kentucky, and his deposition, as you will see, de-
scribes the scenes of the voyage of that vessel the most horrible
to be conceived of. The slaves mutinied, broke their irons, broke
through the bulkheads; some eight or ten of them were wounded
by musket shots before they were subdued, and between 30 and 40
of them were afterwards hung, and butchered, and shot in the
most barbarous manner; one woman being thrown into the sea be-


73

fore life was extinct from hanging and shooting. No horrors of
the middle passage ever exceeded the description of this scene by
this witness, on board a vessel protected in Africa, by her Ameri-
can captain, under the flag of the United States. During the
night of the 22d of January last, the Porpoise entered this harbor.
Commodore Turner seeing an American brig in port, and without
knowing what vessel it was, early in the morning of the 23d sent
his boat alongside to make the usual inquiries for letters and news
from the United States. Whilst the boat was in waiting, one of
the crew dropped a letter into it, giving the information that there
were two slaves on board, and the consul having been sent for im-
mediately, a guard of United States marines was placed on board,
and the events followed which you will see described in his report
to me.

Late in the evening of the 23d Mr. Gordon called on me at my
house, some two miles from the city, and I accompanied him im-
mediately to the house of the minister of State, Mr. Franca. Not
finding him at home, I left a card, saying I would call at half-past
eight o'clock, a. m., the 24th, and the next morning, at that hour,
I waited again upon Mr. Franca, in company with Mr. Gordon and
with my Secretary, Mr. Walsh.

As to what took place in that interview, and as to the consent
given by the minister for the United States guard to remain
on board the vessel, there is not the slightest discrepancy in
the understanding or recollection of either Mr. Gordon, Mr.
Walsh, or myself. You will see Mr. Gordon's statement
in his report to me, and can compare it with mine in the letters to
Mr. Franca. At his request, I immediately addressed to him the
letter marked “B”, dated January 24th,1845. After addressing
this letter, and sending it from the consul's office to the minister
of State, I went with Mr. Gordon on board the Porpoise, in order
to see and hear in person the statements of the crew. Before we
arrived, Lieutenant Shubrick, the officer first in command of the
guard, had, in violation of express orders from Captain Gregory,
allowed Paulo and several others of the Brazilian passengers to
leave the vessel and go on shore. This most unfortunate step al-
lowed the chief culprits to escape, and they took with them, as is
said, and as was seen by one of the witnesses, a very large sum,
supposed to amount in gold to $70,000 or $80,000, and in bills on
London and Rio to some $30,000 or $40,000 more; in all, about
$120,000.

The men belonging to the crews of the Porpoise and the Ken-
tucky all came forward at once, and voluntarily disclosed the
whole facts of the case, and satisfied the consul and myself that
the vessel and persons on board of her should be seized, and ar-
rested, and sent home. The evidence was sufficient to cause the
seizure and arrest for piracy under the laws of the United States.
On the morning of the 25th, Mr. Walsh handed to me my letter of
the day before to Mr. Franç, with his own note enclosed, marked
“C.” The truth is, that the passengers who had been allowed to
go on shore had already alarmed the whole swarm of slave dealers,


74

and their influence had been brought to bear on the minister of
state. He became alarmed lest he might be reproached for con-
senting to the guard, and wished me to erase the statement of
the fact. This I could not do; and yet, I wished to
avoid involving him in any difficulty which might preju-
dice him against the application I had made. To avoid
exposing what he wished to conceal, and to avoid, also,
erasing what I knew was true, and no misunderstanding, I
withdrew the whole letter, without admitting any mistake, and
addressed to the minister another letter, which is enclosed, marked
“D.” The latter portion of this letter was intended clearly to ex-
press to him that my application was still pending for the seizure
and arrest, and the surrender of the vessel and accused' persons.
The officer, Lieutenant Shubrick, first placed in command of the
guard, was withdrawn, and Acting Master Duer was put in his
place; and whilst the Porpoise remained in his charge, Paulo, and
some of the other passengers who had been allowed to go on shore,
voluntarily returned to the vessel, and were, under orders, detained
by him a second time. Their friends then roused an excitement in
the city about the United States authorities arresting and detain-
ing Brazilian subjects in their own waters, and got up a petition,
it seems, to the minister of justice, Mr. Galvao, for their liberation.
This was all done without the knowledge of and without notice to
the commodore, or the consul, or myself. The fact was, this Paulo
had acted throughout as supercargo or ship's husband of the brig;
had sailed her as the agent of the charterer; had detained her on
the coast; and he it was who had bought and put on board these
two slaves; and he was, in fact, one of the “ship's company”, in
the true sense, under our act of 1820, of an American vessel. I
myself, therefore, had suggested, with the consul, to Captain Gre-
gory to have him detained to abide his fate with the others, in case
he should return to the vessel for his baggage and effects. Thus
the vessel was held under guard, without objection and peaceably,
with the consent of the Brazilian authorities, as far as the United
States officers could ascertain or were informed, awaiting the deci-
sion of the minister of state upon the application for extradition,
during the 23d, the 24th, the 25th, the 26th, the 27th, and part of
the 28th—for more than five days—when, on the 28th, without no-
tice of objection, and without withdrawal of any consent or acqui-
escence whatever, either to Commodore Turner, or to the United
States consul, or to myself, an armed force was sent by the minis-
ter of justice, Galvao, in some five or six boats, to release the vessel
and persons on board of her from the detention by the United States
guard. Fortunately I had on the 26th written a letter to Commo-
dore Turner, requesting him not to deliver up the vessel until I
could obtain a decision upon my application for extradition, a copy
of which is enclosed, marked “E.” When the Brazilian officer
came along side and demanded the vessel, therefore, Acting
Master Duer, with proper and officer-like spirit, warned him not to
attempt to board—informed him that it was against orders to allow
him to do so, and politely referred him to his superior officer on

75

board the Raritan. In the meantime I, knowing nothing of this
outrage, on a visit the evening of the 28th to the city, met the min-
ister of state riding post-haste to my house. At his request I re-
turned with him. He beseeched me to cause the vessel to be re-
leased immediately. I could not comply without knowing a suffi-
cient reason. He then informed me that this armed force was
sent. Under such circumstances I could not think even of advis-
ing the release, and I had no control over Commodore Turner. He
asked whether I thought he would resist force by force ? “Cer-
tainly”, was my reply; “what else could be expected when force
was thus sent without notice whilst the matter was pending amica-
bly between the two governments ?” He then said that he thought
the whole matter was at an end, and I had withdrawn my applica-
tion. Certainly not; I had written him immediately on the 25th,
giving him notice of “more formal proceedings”, on the verbal
application which I had left pending. He said he had mistaken
the word “more” for the word “mere”, in that sentence of my let-
ter, and had supposed the application dropped, until he received a
petition from Mr. Paulo, which he held in his hand. He begged
me, then, to accompany him to the house of the minister of justice.
I did so. There the whole matter was explained to him, and he
insisted upon the release. Not, I replied, whilst my application
was pending. When it was hinted again that there was none pend-
ing, I immediately took pen and paper, and hurriedly addressed to
Mr. França my letter of the 28th January, enclosed, marked “F.”
The circumstances under which it was written must explain its lat-
ter clauses as to restraining the Brazilian police, and must apolo-
gise for its defects. It was put in to bar every plea that there was
no application from that time; and it was impossible to make the
demand more specific until Mr. Gordon could take evidence suffi-
cient for precision as to persons, dates, and formality in all
respects. It was my desire to await his report to me. This letter
was handed to Mr. França, present. Both the ministers then urged
me to write to Commodore Turner to release. My reply was,
“not whilst there is force threatening will I interpose at all; and
the vessel cannot be released, with my consent, until my applica-
tion for extradition be first decided.” An order then was issued in
my presence to withdraw the forces sent to release the vessel. I
then addressed to Commodore Turner the enclosed letter of the
28th January, marked “G.” Both the ministers still urged their
requests for my interposition to cause the release of the man Paulo
and his companions, who had petitioned the Brazilian government
to interpose in his behalf. Being anxious lest some mistake and
consequent collision might occur between Commodore Turner and
the police, I decided in my own mind to go on board the Raritan;
and proposed that, if the minister of justice would send an officer
to take Paulo and the other passengers into custody for trial under
the laws of Brazil, I would interpose for their release, inasmuch as
they had once been allowed, though against orders, to land, on
condition that the vessel and other persons belonging to the flag of
the United States should be detained by Commodore Turner until

76

the matter of detention and extradition could be satisfactorily ad-
justed between the minister of State and myself. This was acceded
to; and the chief of police being present, he was ordered to accom-
pany me into the city, and to send an officer, called a sub-delega-
do, with me to the Raritan to take Paulo and his companions into
custody. About 7 o'clock, p. m., on the evening of the 28th Janu-
ary, I proceeded on board the Raritan, accompanied by a sub-dele-
gado, with his orders from the chief of police. When I arrived,
Commodore Turner informed me that, upon the withdrawal of the
forces and the reception of my letter, he had already released
those persons. I immediately despatched to Mr. França by the
sub-delegado the enclosed letter of the 28th of January, marked
“H.” In this letter a list of those persons, of the places of their
nativity, of their ages, and of the ports at which they joined the
Porpoise, was sent, and is herein enclosed. I remained on board
the frigate that night, and, through great exertion, obtained the en-
closed report of Acting Master Duer to Commodore Turner in the
letter of the commodore to me, dated January 29, marked “I”,
and also the report of Mr. Gordon, which I despatched to Mr.
Franço, as soon as they were completed, in my letter of the 29th
of January, enclosed, marked “K.”

In justification of this letter of the 29th, the first one of that date
to the minister of state, I must beg you to observe that it commit-
ted Commodore Turner to nothing, and spoke only of my views
and of my own course. The minister of justice had sent the armed
force in a very rude and insulting manner, and as yet I was not in-
formed otherwise than that it was the act of the entire government;
and both the ministers had clearly indicated the evening before
that my application for the surrender to the United States would
not be decided upon before the release from detention by Commo-
dore Turner was effected, and that then it would probably be re-
fused. Deliberately deciding in my own mind that the vessel and
American crews on board of her ought not to be released by Com-
modore Turner, under all the circumstances of the case, and espe-
cially of the detention by consent, I deemed it an honest and dig-
nified course so to inform the minister of state, in a tone decided
but respectful. Still I renewed the application, in order to afford
the imperial government the opportunity of avoiding a collision by
the seeming good grace of granting the demand for extradition. I
am free to confess that, after their course of giving consent to the
detention, and then sending without notice an armed force, I would
have placed the criminals or persons charged on board the Raritan,
and I would have held them and the vessel until the demand for
their extradition was refused or granted; and, if refused, I would
have left the vessel in the harbor, if a permit to take her out could
not have been obtained, and I would have sent the persons accused
and the witnesses in the Bainbridge, at all hazards, home to the
United States. But I regret to say that Commodore Turner did not
concur with me in measures so strong. I have not a doubt that this
all could have been done without the least conflict, and that we would


77

have been much more respected than we are now. I did not leave
the frigate Raritan until late in the evening of the 29th.

When I returned from the frigate, on the evening of the 29th
January, I found a letter from Mr. França, dated January 28th,
which I enclose, marked L. This I immediately replied to by my
second letter of the 29th January, herein enclosed, marked M. Just
as this letter was finished, about 9 o'clock at night of the 29th, Mr.
França called upon me in person at my house, and a long interview
ended by an appointment to meet him again at the house of the
minister of justice, at 1 o'clock, p. m., the next day. His chief
concern in this interview at night, on the 29th, seemed to be to in-
quire whether Commodore Turner would attempt to take the vessel
and persons out by force. I assured him that there was no such
intention, and none such would be entertained for a moment. On
the 30th I attended at the time and place appointed for the inter-
view, and received from Mr. França the enclosed note, marked N.
In the interval between 1 and 6 o'clock, p. m., of this day, I ad-
dressed to Commodore Turner the enclosed letter, marked O, and
at 6 o'clock, p. m., met Mr. França at the house of the minister of
justice. The minister of state at this interview read my last letter
of the 29th, and both ministers still insisted upon the unconditional
release of the vessel and prisoners from the detention by Commo-
dore Turner before they would decide upon the application for
their extradition to the United States. No authority was pleaded
as to the consent given by the guarda-mór, of the port, and mistake
as to that given by the minister of state for this detention. I re-
plied that the point of detention was a wholly factitious issue.
That the consent given by the guarda-mór, admitting he had no au-
thority, was immediately followed by an application through me to
the imperial government itself; and the minister of state, through
whom alone I could know what that government would do, had con-
sented to the detention, whilst he would consider the question of
extradition. That there could be no mistake, so expressly was the
authority to detain asked for and given. That it was no exercise of
jurisdiction
to hold in custody by consent of Brazil until her own
authorities could decide whether there should be seizure and arrest,
and whether they would surrender the vessel and prisoners to the
United States. Why, then, force the United States to the alternative
of either allowing the prisoners to escape, or of committing a tres-
pass upon the jurisdiction of Brazil? It was unnecessary to do
this; and the proper mode was to decide upon the question of extradi-
tion first, as that, in case of refusal, would more properly bring the
question up whether the United States would claim to detain, or
Brazil would allow them to detain after refusal. And, if there was
a grant of the application for surrender, then there would, of course,
be no question about detention. In the second place, I urged the
peculiarly binding force of the right of comity between Brazil and
the United States. Under their treaty of amity it was more than
an imperfect right. Thirdly, that the policy of extradition was
very apparent to prevent the pretension of the right of visit and


78

search by other nations. Fourthly, that if Brazil should refuse
extradition, how would she stand before the world?

Allowing Fonseca to walk abroad with impunity, releasing Paulo
and his companions, and countenancing the commencement of the
voyage of the vessel, and, finally, sheltering all the criminals on
their return under the protection of her sovereign jurisdiction.
Such a course could not be submitted to by the United States, as
far as their flag and citizens were concerned.

In reply, the minister of state submitted that Commodore Tur-
ner should be acquitted of all blame for the guard and detention,
inasmuch as he had every reason to suppose that he was acting
with the consent of the Brazilian authorities; that he would de-
mand the vessel and prisoners to be delivered up to be examined
under the laws of Brazil; that if it should be found that they were
not chargeable or not guilty under the laws of Brazil, they should
then be released; and in the meantime he would consider the ques-
tion of their extradition to the United States. This I declined:

  • 1. Because I apprehended that the tables might be turned upon
    the witnesses, of the crews of the Kentucky and Porpoise, who
    had come forward voluntarily and testified before the United States
    consul. I feared that they might be put into the criminal's box of
    Brazil for daring to become informers against the crimes of the
    slave trade.
  • 2. Because I feared the two African boys might be enslaved if
    they were ever allowed to land in Brazil.
  • 3. Because I could not give up citizens of the United States to
    be tried under the laws of Brazil whilst their own government was
    demanding their surrender to be tried under its laws.

The minister of state then put the question: What right has the
United States to detain them in custody in the harbors of Brazil?
I replied, by Brazil's own consent. He then said that all consent
was and should be formally withdrawn. I replied that the custody
and detention having once began by consent and peaceably, the
withdrawal of consent would still leave the vessel and persons in
the custody of the United States, and it would be peaceably continued
on their part. That the withdrawal would only leave the
United States in peaceable possession. I instanced the case of trespass
at common law. Entry might be made upon the land of another
to take quiet possession of stolen property; after the property
was taken, the owner of the premises where it was found could
not withdraw consent as to entry and possession so as to convict
the person entering and taking of a trespass—it did not amount to
even “damnum obsque injuria.” At all events it would be for
the United States authorities to determine whether they would
commit that sort of trespass on the jurisdiction of Brazil after Brazil
should refuse to surrender the vessel and prisoners to be examined
and tried under their laws. I then submitted the proposition
as contained in my letter to Commodore Turner and in the paper
enclosed, marked “P.” This was instantly declined, and, finally,
we parted, leaving the issue pending whether the question of detention
or that of extradition should be first decided; and with the


79

understanding that the minister of state and I should meet at the
chamber of deputies between the hours of 11 and 12 o'clock the
next morning. In the meantime my letter to Commodore Turner
of the 30th, containing my first proposition to Mr. França, had
been received, and caused the commodore to come off and meet me
on the morning of the 31st, before my interview with the minister
at the chamber on the same day. The commodore did not approve
of that proposition and did not wonder that it was declined. He
was very anxious lest some collision might unhappily take place.
He said that the forts were manned on the occasion, and he apprehended
that the excitement gotten up in the city might cause some
imprudent and insulting aggression by the government and people,
who were very uncertain, which would compel him to use force;
that he was desirous to concur with me in whatever stand I would
take, and would sustain me in any course he deemed reasonable,
but did not go with me in opinion as far as I had gone; and he re-
quested me to submit some other proposition by which he would be
better satisfied to stand.

I assured him that it was my wish as much as it could be his to
avoid all violence, and yet to send the vessel and prisoners all
home to the United States; and that I believed, that the course I
had taken was the only one to effectually accomplish both ends.
But, finally, as I had not the arms as well as the argument in my
own hands, and as I was not disposed to take a position for him which
he could not maintain with his own approbation, or which might
not be maintained by him at all, or which might cause the responsibility
of any collision which might occur to fall upon me, I submitted
to him to suggest the course which he would approve. He
suggested none, but requested me to prepare some other proposition
less strong than the other, and which would allow the imperial
government an opportunity to grant our demands without
seeming to be forced to accede to them. I then, immediately, but
much against my best judgment, prepared for his approval, the enclosed
projét, marked “Q”, to be submitted to Mr. França. This
projét the commodore thought reasonable, and regarding it as his
rather than my own, I furnished a copy of it to the minister of
state, about 1 o'clock, p. m. He expressed a favorable opinion of its
temrs, and took it into consideration and for advice of the council
of state; saying that preparatory to its being formally made and
accepted, he would address me a letter enclosing certain documents
from the minister of justice, which would justify Commodore Turner,
by admitting the consent of the guarda-mór, &c., &c. The
next day, February 1st, he addressed to me the enclosed letter and
documents, marked “R.” On the same day I addressed in reply,
the enclosed, marked “S”, with the deposition of mark Tanner,
and also on the evening of the same day, the letter enclosed,
marked “T.” On the 2d of February, a clerk of the State Department
called on me from the minister to ask for the lists of the persons
demanded, and saying, as I understood him, that the whole affair
would be adjusted according to my proposition, and on the same
day, the 2d instant, I addressed to Mr. França the enclosed, marked


80

“U.” This letter, marked “U”, was enclosed in a note from Mr.
Walsh. On the night of the 2d, I received Mr. França's note,
marked “V”, and on the morning of the 3d, addressed to him my
letter, marked “W”, soon after which he called in person. He
begged me to take back the letter, marked “U”, as he had not
authorized the messenger to say or to do more than to ask for the
list of accused persons whose surrender was demanded. He handed
it to me, and I addressed him in his presence the note marked
“X”, It was then verbably and informally understood, that the
terms of my last proposition would be carried into effect. To
evidence which, he gave me a private note to the minister of
marine, M. Cavalcanti, who was to issue the orders to the port
police. And before we parted, on the morning of the 3d, he
promised to postpone the decision of the question of extradition,
after delivering into the custody of Brazil, until Mr. Gordon
could complete the taking of the depositions, and until I could
address him a written argument in full on that point. He even
requested me to hurry Mr. Gordon in his task, as he did not wish
that question kept open and the vessel and persons held in custody
too long. I then addressed to Commodore Turner my letter of the
3d, the same as that enclosed in my letter of the 3d to M. França;
and on the 3d, Commodore Turner handed to me the enclosed letter
and documents, marked “Y.” On the morning of the 4th, I
addressed to M. França the enclosed letter (improperly dated the
5th,) marked “Z”, thus repeating in writing my request for delay
of the decision of the question of extradition, for the reasons stated;
and in the evening of the same day, I completed and addressed to
him the promised argument, enclosed, marked “A 2.” Yet, notwithstanding
his promise of the day before, and my repeated notices
and requests for delay, verbal and written, and without waiting for
depositions or discussion, the minister of state addressed to me the
enclosed decision, marked “B2”, which I received about 10 o'clock
at night on the 4th instant, refusing to surrender the vessel and
four accused persons; and I have not a doubt this was decided upon
before they were delivered up to the custody of the Brazilian police.
Though I had every reason to apprehend it, and had so warned the
commodore, yet I could not but feel indignant, and after due reflection,
on the morning of the 5th, I addressed to the minister of state
the enclosed protest, marked “C 2.” The evening of the same day
I received his reply to my two letters of the 4th, inclosed, marked
“D 2.” On the 6th I answered the last by the enclosed, marked
“E 2;” and addressed to Mr. Gordon, the consul of the United
States, the enclosed marked “F 2.” About 2 o'clock, p. m. of the
same day, the 6th, I received from M. França the enclosed note
marked “G 2”, and about 8 o'clock the same evening, the minister
of marine, M. Cavalcanti, paid me a personal visit. He came, he
said, not as minister, but as a private gentleman, a friend to the
United States, to M. França, and myself, to intercede for the explanation
and adjustment of all difficulty and ill feeling in the case
of the brig Porpoise. He assured me that the minister of state was
greatly disturbed by my last communications, and he was afraid


81

that our harmonious relations would be disturbed. He came from
M. França, and at his request, to satisfy me that there was no disposition
to offer an indignity either to the United States or to myself.
He alluded to the case of M. Raguet, hoped there would be
no other such affair, and gave me his views of the pending case,
regretting extremely its occurrence on account of the pleasure it
would give, particularly to the English. He said M. França desired
him to request me to withdraw my protest, in order to avoid a
personal and angry discussion with him. That a personal quarrel
with him might disturb the harmonious relations of the two governments,
and he hoped my letter would be withdrawn. I replied
that it was not my wish to treat the imperial government with disrespect;
that I desired above all things to preserve its amicable
relations with the United States, and that I would be glad to do
anything, consistent with duty, to gratify the minister of marine,
M. Cavalcanti. But, as M. França said, there was an official issue
between him and myself; that I entertained no unkind feelings
towards him personally, but that he had, in the whole affair of the
Porpoise, treated the United States and their minister with anything
but proper respect. My complaints were:

1st. That after giving his consent to the proceedings of Commodore
Turner, and after causing me so to inform the commodore, and
after allowing five days to elapse without objection or withdrawal
of consent, he had allowed an armed force to be sent, without notice,
to release the vessel, &c.

2d. That he had promised on the morning of the 3d instant to
postpone his decision upon my demand, which he had repeatedly
said he had not made up his mind upon, and which he had tried to
make me infer would be anything but unfavorable, until' I could
address him an argument, and all the testimony could be completed;
and yet, as soon as Commodore Turner delivered up the
vessel and persons accused, and before the consul could send in
another deposition, and without waiting for discussion or argument,
he had refused extradition without deigning to assign a
reason.

This, added to the main complaint that Brazil had first countenanced
and finally sheltered the crimes of the citizens of the
United States committed abroad against their laws, had led
to my letter, which I had deliberately meant to be what it was
—a decided protest, in the language of truth, plainly and directly
told. But if the decision was withdrawn, and the case was
re-opened for discussion, I would withdraw it. As to the allusion
to the case of M. Raguet, who had for outrages upon American
commerce demanded his passports, and which decided step had the
happy effect of causing the payment of many of our claims and
the negotiation of the last treaty with Brazil, I was not afraid of
any responsibility, either to my own government or to this. I
would fearlessly do my duty and abide by all the consequences. I
regretted the whole affair; but the United States could not without
dishonor allow Brazil to countenance and connive at the inception
of the crimes of their vessels and citizens in her ports against


82

their laws, and then shelter the consummation of those crimes
under her jurisdiction. He said that the only reason why England
was so unpopular was that she opposed and interrupted the African
slave trade; that if the United States prevented their flag and citizens
from engaging in it, they too would become unpopular, and
there could not be friendly relations with Brazil. I told him at
once if it came to that, the United States would elect any honorable
alternative rather than be compelled to allow the foreign
slave trade to be carried on unmolested by their citizens, and that
they would assume any justifiable responsibility to snatch their
flag from its infamous uses. He said England would rejoice at
this. I replied I knew Great Britain would rejoice, and, therefore,
Brazil and the United States ought to aid each other to arrest
the further prosecution of the African slave trade, and ought
effectually to punish their own citizens engaged in it, in order to
strip England of all pretext for visit and search on the high seas
and on the coast; that the best defence of the lawful slavery already
existing in Brazil and the United States, would be for both
those powers to enforce, sternly and strictly, their own laws for
the suppression of the contraband slave trade, and for them to aid
each other in this high and humane duty. He said this was impossible.
He was opposed to the slave trade himself; but it was
impossible to do this and, preserve kind feelings in Brazil towards
the United States; that he still held this vessel and these citizens
in the custody of his department; but that if they were tried in
Brazil, they would certainly be found innocent. I lamented this
state of things, and suggested that extradition might be provided
for in future by an immediate treaty to settle anew all our relations;
that if I could be assured of the prospect of such a treaty
soon, I would forego all complaints in this case. He was not
prepared to go farther than to express his earnest desire for such
a treaty, and could give no assurances. I told him that M.
França had that day invited me to another personal interview,
Which I should decline; that I had been here for months and had
been able to get but one official and formal answer to many communications
which I had made. He then entered upon excuses
for the minister of state, and said that as to my first complaint
touching the Porpoise, the armed force was sent by another minister
without his knowledge; that as to the second, he, M. Cavalcanti
himself, had advised as speedy a decision upon the whole
case as possible, and, as to M. França's delays, he had treated me
no better and no worse than he had treated the whole diplomatic
corps; that there were insuperable causes of delay in the very
organization of the imperial government itself, and the minister
of state did not feel authorized to take upon himself undue responsibilities.
This is a mere abstract of the purely private but
authorized interview, and, finally, we parted with mutual assurances
of kindness. On the 7th instant, I replied to M. França's
note of the day before, by the enclosed, marked “H 2.” After
mature reflection upon the nature of the interview with the minister
of marine, and upon the private request of the minister of

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state through him, after considering that I had gained three points,
at least, out of four, in the issues of the case—

  • 1st. The main point of the release from captivity and bondage
    of the two African boys;
  • 2d. The safety of the oppressed sailors who had volunteered
    their testimony, and the certainty of their evidence being taken
    and of their being sent home;
  • 3d. The custody and detention of the vessel and accused persons
    by the imperial government, until it would decide upon the
    demand for their surrender to the United States; and reflecting
    also that a protest, such as upon my own responsibility I
    had made, could effect no good and might cause some mischief,
    and that a decided remonstrance by our government itself, made
    through me after a full knowledge of all the facts of the
    outrage to this government, could not have a better effect and accomplish
    more good, I determined to comply with the request to
    withdraw the offensive papers and to submit the whole matter to
    the better judgment of the President of the United States and
    yourself. Accordingly, on the 8th day of February instant, I
    addressed to M. Cavalcanti the “private and confidential” note,
    marked “J 2”, enclosing to him the “private and unofficial” note
    for M. França, marked “K 2.” By a note, dated the 11th February,
    M. Cavalcanti informed me that he was charged to deliver
    certain papers to me personally; and a day or two afterwards his
    chief clerk, Mr. May, with an apology for the minister's inability
    to see me in person, handed me back my two letters of the 5th and
    6th February, marked herein “C 2” and “E 2”, in an envelope,
    enclosing the note to him from M. França, marked “L 2.”

Thus the case stands peaceably at present, and I have given you
without reserve every possible clue to a true understanding of it.
The vessel and the four persons, her captain, Libby, and mate, Ulrick,
(who was the mate of Captain Driscoll on board of the brig
Hope, now under trial in New York, and who confessed in my
presence, on board of the Porpoise, that he accompanied Driscoll,
by his own orders, on board the Hope, and hoisted the United
States colors on board of her after she was loaded with slaves on
the coast of Africa,) and the captain and mate of the brig Kentucky,
Douglass and Boyle, are still in the custody of the marine
department of Brazil. My impression is that they are thus held
at the request of some person or persons interested for the owners
in the brig Porpoise, until the owner, Richardson, of Portland,
Maine, [...] heard from in respect to the vessel, and until these
guilty [...] can escape in some vessel bound to the United
States. Douglass has a wife and family, he says, in Philadelphia,
and Libby a family in Portland, Maine. If the vessel is abandoned
here, the consul of the United States ought to claim her for the
benefit of the United States under forfeiture, if she is condemned,
and for the benefit of the owner, being a citizen of the United
States, if she is not condemned. But I doubt whether, if she be
abandoned, the government of Brazil would allow our consul to
take her. The owner, however, will, I presume, order her to be


84

sold, and if so, she will probably be transferred to the Brazilian
flag. In case she is, and she attempts to sail after due notice by
our consul that the United States have already a claim of forfeiture
upon her, I shall request Commodore Turner to seize her as
soon as she passes outside the marine league. And the commodore
has ordered the Bainbridge to cruize off and on fifty miles to the
windward of Cape Frio, where she has been cruizing for the past
week, to intercept vessels under the flag of the United States
bound to Brazil from the coast of Africa, and to search vessels under
our flag, bound home from this port, which may probably have
on board Libby, Douglass, Ulrick, and Boyle. And in this attitude
we shall stand until we receive full instructions from the government.

I beseech, I implore, the President of the United States to take a
decided stand on this subject. You have no conception of the bold
effrontery and the flagrant outrages of the African slave trade, and
of the shameless manner in which its worst crimes are licensed
here. And every patriot in our land would blush for our country
did he know and see, as I do, how our own citizens sail and sell our
flag
to the uses and abuses of that accursed traffic, in almost open
violation of our laws. We are a “bye word among nations”—the
only people who can now fetch and carry any and every thing for
the slave trade, without fear of English cruizers; and because we
are the only people who can, are we to allow our proudest privilege
to be perverted, and to pervert our own glorious flag into the
pirate's flag—the slaver's protection—the Brazilian and Portuguese
and Spanish passport to a criminal commerce against our
own laws and the municipal laws of almost every civilized nation
upon earth? In these violations of all laws, human and divine, is
the imperial government to be permitted to encourage and to protect
our own citizens and our own flag against the justice of our own
penalties? If this be allowed, our flag will become the scorn of
good, as it has become the evil instrument of bad, men. I have
endeavored to prevent and arrest this course of crime, and to resent
this insult to our national pride and honor, whilst compelled
by the very necessities of the evil and its own great strength and
influence to take strong measures, I have endeavored so to modify
and moderate my action as to meet the entire approbation of my
own government, and not to impair a single interest which it has at
stake in its relations with this country.

Previous to this case of the Porpoise, I may flatter myself that I
stood uncommonly well in the good graces of the imperial government,
in the favor of its emperor, and ministers, and people; and I
know not now that I have become at all obnoxious to any except
those whose interest in the slave trade a good man in the faithful
discharge of his official duty must at all times and by all means
oppose. Certainly, the most distinguished of all classes for integrity
and intelligence here, are with me in the stand I have taken
to prevent at all events the prosecution of the African slave trade
by our flag and our citizens.
I have abstained from touching the
subject except where our own laws, our own citizens, and our own


85

vessels are concerned. They surely should not be left to be controlled
by the jurisdiction of Brazil. The trade between Africa
and Brazil is almost the only trade of the world left in which our
citizens and vessels can now violate our laws for the suppression of
the foreign slave trade; and those laws must become wholly inoperative
if the practices and pretensions of the Brazilian government
are to be tolerated by the United States. I desire especially
to have the approbation of my course by the President, expressed
to this government; but, if the President cannot fully approve of
the steps I have taken, modified as they are now, I beg that he will
at all events address to the Imperial government a decided remonstrance
against its action. I beg that he will allow me to say to it
that if Brazil will not prevent the merchant vessels of the United
States from being employed by notorious slave traders in her ports,
for the known uses and purposes of the African slave trade, in violation
of the laws both of Brazil and the United States, that the
United States will not submit to the protection by the imperial
government of their vessels and their citizens, criminally chargeable
with piracy under their laws for the suppression of that trade,
after they have completed their unlawful voyages, consummated their
crimes, and returned to the ports of Brazil. But that the United
States will demand the criminals under their laws on board of their
vessels, and will expect them to be delivered up. I beg also, that
the President will call the attention of Congress to the glaring defects
of our various laws for the suppression of the foreign slave
trade. This case but too clearly illustrates some of those defects.
The poor for eign sailors and our own sailors on board of the Porpoise
for example, being of the “crew or ship's company”, might under
the act of 1820, be hung as pirates; whilst Paulo, the very agent
of Fonseca and the chief culprit of all, pleading that he was not
of the “crew or ship's company”, but a mere passenger on board,
might easily have escaped. Again, the acts ought in several of
their parts to apply to all foreigners as well as to those who are “resident
in the United States.”
And by all means, there ought to be a
provision against our own citizens, resident abroad or at home, “fitting
out or equipping”, &c.,&c., any vessel of the United States
for the slave trade, or aiding or abetting therein, in foreign ports,
as well as in or from the ports of the United States. And there
ought to be a sweeping provision embracing foreigners anywhere
residing, and in any capacity on board of our vessels, and embracing
our own citizens anywhere residing, in any capacity of owner, master,
agent, consignee,
as to chartering, selling, fitting out, &c.,
&c., or aiding and abetting therein. Vessels, also, of the United
States ought not to be allowed to be sold at another place, deliverable
on the coast of Africa;
and they ought not to be allowed to
take any kind or description of cargo there known to be for the uses
and trade of the slave factories
or dealers. And no vessel ought to
be allowed to be sold or delivered on the coast of Africa where there
is no United States consul or commercial agent.
And our consulsand
commercial agents should be given more full and complete powers of
arrest and examination. They ought to be invested with more ple-

86

nary powers as justices or conservators of the peace and dignity
of the United States, particularly on the coast of Africa and in
Brazil, in respect to our own citizens on board of our vessels, in
cases of violation by them of our laws. They ought to have
power to demand of witnesses to testify, and penalties ought to be
imposed on those witnesses who refuse, to be enforced in the United
States upon their arrival there. Now, the consuls can take the testimony
only of those who come forward voluntarily. In one word, our
laws ought to be amended and extended in all their provisions
touching the whole subject. My opinion of the law as it now
stands, is to be seen fully explained in my letter of reply to Maxwell,
Wright & Co., lately transmitted to the State Department.
The Navy Department ought, immediately, to increase the number
of small vessels of war on this station. Two brigs and two schooners
are required to cruize constantly between Cape Frio and Cape St.
Roque, touching at Victoria, Bahia, and Pernanbuco. A frigate
for this harbor, and a sloop of war and brig or schooner for the
Platte river, interchanging and touching constantly at Santos and
St. Catharine's. In other words, four small vessels, brigs or
schooners, are required at once in addition to the force already
here. The government may rely on it that the coast of Brazil requires
more watching than the coast of Africa. The slave trade
is undoubtedly on the increase.

I learn through Mr. Samo, one of the mixed commission of England
and Brazil, that the number of slaves imported from Africa
into Brazil during 1844, was at least 64,000. The night before the
very day, the 3d inst., when Commodore Turner delivered up the
Porpoise, 600 were marched across the land from Cape Frio to
Praia Grande, just across the harbor of Rio de Janeiro. The new
negroes are just as common in almost every Brazilian family able
to purchase them as when the slave trade was lawful.

[Enclosures in Mr. Wise's despatch of the 18th February, 1845.]

HER MAJESTY'S SHIP ALFRED,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

I do myself the honor to enclose you the extract from a
letter addressed to me by the senior officer of her Majesty's ships
and vessels off the port of Quellimane, detailing circumstances
relative to the transactions of American citizens in that quarter,
by which it appears they aid and assist those of Brazil, in contravening
the treaty with Great Britain for the abolition of slavery.

I am, sir, your most obedient and humble servant,

J. B. PURVIS, Commodore.
To Commodore TURNER,
Commanding the U. S. squadron
on the Brazil station.


87

Extract of a letter to Commodore Purvis from the senior officer off
Quellimane.

“Our great difficulty here to contend with is the increasing illegal
traffic carried on by American subjects; there has not been an
American man-of-war on this side of the cape since the loss of
the Concord, so that their subjects work with impunity. They
sell their vessels at Rio (and I suppose must deliver the papers to
the consul there.) The American crew, with a Brazilian crew also
on board, navigate the vessel to a port on this coast, where she is
given up to the Brazilians. This happened with the American
brig Kentucky, which was delivered over at Inhambane about July
last. The American crew are now on their way back to Rio in
the American brigantine Porpoise, she having no cargo on board.
If you can do anything to stop this by talking to the American
commodore, it would do great good. The consul is answerable, I
believe, that the vessel is sold for a legal voyage according to the
United States law. Any further particulars you may want in this
case, I do not doubt M. Azvedo can give you, as he was at Quellimane
when the Porpoise sailed with the American crew on board.”

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

On yesterday, the 23d instant, the brig Porpoise, a vessel
of the United States, arrived from Quellimane, Africa, at this port.
During the day a portion of her American crew gave information
to Commodore Daniel Turner, in command of the naval forces of
the United States on this station, that said brig had brought from
Africa two negroes, in violation of the laws of the United States,
and that the attempt would be made to smuggle them on shore during
the night. The commodore immediately informed George W.
Gordon, esq., consul of the United States, who immediately went
on board the Porpoise, in company with the guarda mór of the
port. With the consent of the latter, Commodore Turner, under
the advice of the United States consul, placed a guard of marines
from the United States frigate Raritan on board the brig, to remain
until the proper authorities of Brazil could be apprised of the
case.

This morning the undersigned waited, in company with the
United States consul, upon your excellency, to inform you of the
circumstances of the case—of the anxious desire upon the part of
the United States authorities to avoid violating, in the least degree,
the jurisdiction of Brazil, and to request that your excellency
would cause the proper authorities of Brazil to seize the said vessel,
and her officers and crew, and the said negroes, and all persons on
board of the same, and to deliver them up to the custody of Commodore
Daniel Turner, with the view that the consul of the United States
may inquire and examine into the fact whether the laws of the
United States for the suppression of the African slave trade have


88

been violated by the said persons, or either of them, and whether
the said vessel has thereby been forfeited to the United States; and
if so, with the view to send the said vessel and persons home to
the United States for regular trial.

Your excellency was pleased to suggest that the undersigned
should address you in writing, and to consent that, in the meantime,
the guard of the United States marines might remain in
charge and custody of the said brig. I accordingly address this
note to your excellency, and repeat my requests of this morning,
with the desire to pay the utmost respect to the territorial jurisdiction
of Brazil. It is presumed that this vessel has committed
no offence against the laws of Brazil, and that her offence, if any,
is wholly against the laws of the United States. The undersigned
trusts, therefore, that this United States vessel, and her officers and
crew, and all persons on board of her, may be delivered up to the
United States authorities, to be examined and tried by them for alleged
offences against the laws of the United States. He claims
this to be done under those parts of the treaty of the United States
and Brazil, relating to peace and friendship, which are “permanently
and perpetually binding on both powers.”

With the assurances of the most perfect esteem, and of the
highest consideration, the undersigned has the honor to remain your
excellency's obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE.
To his excellency, ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA,
&c., &c., &c.,

Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

M. Franca, the minister of foreign affairs, requested me
yesterday to take back to you the letter which you had sent him
concerning the brig Porpoise, and to ask you to erase the sentence
in which he is said to have consented to the United States guard
of marines remaining on board that vessel. He says that you misunderstood
him—that he had supposed some arrangement had been
made between Mr. Gordon and the guarda mór, and only intimated
that he would not interfere with it until the minister of justice
could act in the case; he himself having no authority to give such
consent as is implied in your letter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT M. WALSH.
His excellency, Henry A. Wise, &c., &c., &c.,

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Mr. Walsh, the secretary of this legation, has informed me
this morning, that your excellency requested him yesterday to ask


89

me to omit, in the letter which I sent to your excellency yesterday,
relating to the brig Porpoise, a certain passage which, he
says, your excellency alleges contains a mistake; and he has
brought to me the letter sent by your excellency, in order that I
may make the correction desired. The undersigned has no wish,
certainly, to proceed upon any mistake or misunderstanding, and
he therefore begsleave to withdraw his letter of yesterday entirely,
and that your excellency will consider it as never having been addressed
to you, with a view to more formal proceedings in the
case.

The undersigned begs leave to renew the assurances of the perfect
esteem, and the high consideration with which he is your excellency's
obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE.
His excellency, ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA,
Minister and secretary of state, &c.,

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Mr. Gordon, the consul of the United States, communicated
to me verbally the circumstances of the temporary seizure and detention
of the brig Porpoise, of the United States, in this port. I
immediately; on the 24th instant, had a personal interview with
M. Franca, the secretary of state, &c., of Brazil; and on the same
day visited the Porpoise and heard the oral statements of several of
her crew, and Mr. Gordon has since proceeded to examine them
under oath. From the information already obtained, and the proceedings
yet to be had, I am induced to request—in case a demand
shall be made of said vessel, or any of the persons on board
the same, before Mr. Gordon can officially certify the evidence
taken before him to me, and before I can obtain the answer of the
department of state of Brazil thereupon—that you will not deliver
up said vessel or persons; but excuse yourself upon the ground
that the whole matter is still pending between the proper authorities
of Brazil and the United States.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,

HENRY A. WISE.
To Commodore TURNER,&c.,&c.,

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

The undersigned, envoy extraordinary, &c., of the United States,
has since his last personal interview with you, and since the withdrawal
of his letter in relation to the brig Porpoise, been informed by
the consul of the United States, Mr. Gordon, that he has taken the
affidavits of sundry witnesses implicating the captain and crew of


90

said brig, and the captain and part of the crew of the American
brig Kentucky, lately sold on the coast of Africa, who are now on
board the Porpoise, and implicating also sundry persons, not citizens
of the United States, now on board the said brig, the Porpoise, in the
oharge of violating the laws of the United States for the suppression
of the foreign slave trade, and the offences under which in
certain cases amount to piracy—the names of which persons are as
yet not fully known to the undersigned. But by the evening of tomorrow
the undersigned will, he hopes, be furnished by the United
States consul with the names of all persons implicated in said offences,
and with copies of the affidavits or depositions taken before him
proving their guilt; and the undersigned will immediately furnish
your excellency with those names and copies. And he now asks
that your excellency will cause the proper authorities of Brazil to
seize said brig, the Porpoise, and to arrest the said persons on
board the same who may be implicated in the charge of felony
and piracy against the laws of the United States, and to deliver the
same into the custody of the officer in command of the naval forces
of the United States on this station, in order that the vessel and
persons may be sent to the United States—the former to be tried
for a forfeiture, and the latter to be tried for the offence of felony
or piracy under their laws.

The undersigned assures your excellency that there is every disposition
to pay the most perfect and profound respect to the jurisdiction
of Brazil, and, therefore, he asks the exertion of her authority
to arrest these accused persons. In the meantime Commodore
Turner, having detained them without violence, and with the consent
of the guarda-mor, will do no act in violation of the jurisdiction
of Brazil; and I beg that the police and other subordinate
authorities will be restrained from attempting to seize said vessel
or persons by force, and from taking them out of his present custody.
It is expected merely to prevent their escape until your excellency
decides.

The undersigned begs leave to renew the assurances of his most
profound respect, and has the honor to be

Your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE.
To his excellency
ERNESTO FERREIRO FRANCA,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, &c., &c.,

RIO DE JANEIRO,
January 28, 1845.

DEAR SIR:

I write in great haste to say that the minister of foreign
affairs has just called upon me in relation to the affair of the
Porpoise. We have called on the minister of justice, and he has
caused a message to be sent to the police withdrawing the Brazilian
forces, if any, which have been sent to the Porpoise. This has been
done with a view to an amicable and proper adjustment of the


91

question of jurisdiction by me with the minister of foreign affairs.
In the meantime, I trust that you will avoid all occasion for the
least violence on your part.

Yours, truly,
HENRY A. WISE.
Commodore D. TURNER,
Frigate Raritan.

UNITED STATES FRIGATE RARITAN,
Harbor of Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

It is with great pleasure that I inform you that, when I arrived
on board this frigate, this evening, about 8 o'clock, I found
that Commodore Turner had, upon my suggestion contained in the
note written during our personal interview, anticipated the object
of my visit; which was, as you know, to request him to deliver up
to the civil authorities of Brazil the passengers, foreigners to the
United States, who were on board the brig Porpoise. He delivered
them up to the civil authority between the hours of 6 o'clock and
7 o'clock, this evening. A list of their names is enclosed. From
this ready manifestation of respect to the jurisdiction of Brazil and
to your excellency's request, through me, he hopes he will now
not be obstructed in his design to send the Porpoise, and the persons
still remaining on board of her, home to the United States for
trial and adjudication under their laws. The names of the persons
accused of felony and piracy, the names of the witnesses, and the
names of the two African boys to be liberated under the laws of
the United States, will be furnished to your excellency in the
course of to-morrow, together with three depositions already taken
before the United States consul of witnesses who have volunteered
their testimony.

With renewed assurances, &c., &c.,

HENRY A. WISE.
His excellency
ERNESTO FERREIRO FRANCA, &c., &c., &c.,


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A list of foreigners to the United States who were on board the
“Porpoise” on the 28th of January, 1845, and who were delivered
at the request of Mr. Wise, on the request of the civil authorities
of Rio de Janeiro, by Commodore Turner, and were taken
on shore by the officer bearing the request, between six and seven
o'clock, p.m.:

Names.Natives ofAge.Joined the Porpoise at
Franeisco Monteiro Portngal27Rio de Janeiro, Feb. 12, 1844.
Francisco Alvas Spain23Rio de Janeiro, Feb. 12, 1844.
Antonio José Vieira CostaPortugal36Rio de Janeiro, Feb. 12, 1844.
Juan Antonio de Paulo RoderiguezRio de Janeiro30Rio de Janeiro, Feb. 12, 1844.
Jose Antonio Fernandez PolecarpProtugal25Rio de Janeiro, Feb. 12, 1844.
Marquillo José de composPernambuco30Quellimane, October 19, 1844.
Bernardo José CoelhoRio de Janeiro37Quellimane, October 20, 1844.
Francisco Antonio de SouzaPortugal31Quellimane, October 20, 1844.

UNITED STATES FRIGATE RARITAN,
Harbor of Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

At your request, I herewith furnish you a copy of the en-colsed
offcial report to me, in explanation of the second detention
of certoin passengers on board the Porpoise.

The officer, Lieutenant Shubrick, first in charge of that brig,
permitted them to go on shore, in violation of my express orders,
and they voluntarily returned on board the vessel, and were detained,
as you see reported, by Acting Master Duer.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

DANIEL TURNER,
Commanding U. S. Squadron, Brazil station.
To his excellency HENRY A. WISE,
Minister plenipotentiary, &c., &c.,
at the court of Brazil
.

BRIGANTINE PORPOISE,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

In obedience to your verbal order, I have the honor respectfully
to communicate to you in what manner five of the passengers
who arrived in this vessel from the coast of Africa, were detained
on board by me on the 25th instant, after having been permitted to
go on shore.

The first who came off to the vessel was Antonio José Vieira
Costa, agent to Juan Antonio de Paulo Rodriguez. He asked permission
to come on board, which was immediately granted. So
soon as his foot was upon the deck, I caused him to be informed
that he must remain on board until I could communicate with the
captain of the United States frigate Raritan. I then ordered the


93

boat he came in to keep off at a distance from the vessel, and sent
a letter to Captain Gregory, requesting him to inform me whether
he wished all the passengers who had been permitted to go on
shore, or only Juan Antonio de Paulo Rodriguez, the former supercargo
of this brigantine, detained on board. His reply was an
order to detain all of them. On receiving this answer, I informed
Vieira that I had orders to keep him on board, and directed the crew
of the boat in which he came not to remain within the vicinity of the
brigantine. The next who came on board was Bernardo José
Coelho, in company with an officer of customs. I likewise informed
him that he must remain on board, and requested the custom-house
officer to leave the vessel, which, after some hesitation, he did.
Next came in one boat, also accompanied by an officer of customs,
Juan Antonio de Paulo Rodriguez and Francisco Antonio de Souza.
Signs were made to them by the Brazilians already on board, to
keep off from the vessel or go ashore, which they did not seem to
observe, but requested permission to come on board, which was
granted. After having arrived at the gangway of the brigantine,
and while the custom-house officer was coming over the side, with
an order for the clothes of these two persons in his hand, they
were made acquainted with what had transpired on board in relation
to the other passengers, when the officer immediately returned
to the boat, and they attempted to leave the vessel. A man belonging
to the frigate Raritan got into the boat in which these persons
came, and prevented her leaving the side of this brigantine,
when the two passengers came on board. Lastly, José Antonio
Fernandez Polecarp, a barber, who arrived alongside in a canoe,
came on board, and was informed, as all the rest had been, that he
must remain. The canoe was ordered off, and went on shore.

I take the liberty further to state, sir, that not one of the boats
in which these people came off to the brigantine belonged to the
government of this place, and but one of the officers of customs
was in uniform.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

JOHN K. DUER,
Acting master, United States navy.
Commodore DANIEL TURNER, &c., &c., &c.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

The undersigned has the honor to present to the imperial government
a copy of the report to him of the United States consul, Mr.
Gordon, of the affair of the Porpoise, with the list of names and
copies of the depositions promised in his note of yesterday. And
now, with sufficient of the case before him to judge of its own
merits, and of the mode in which it has been conducted on the part
of both Commodore Turner and of the authorities of Brazil; the
undersigned most respectfully represents to your excellency that
neither the vessel nor the persons now on board of her will be de-


94

livered up to any authority but that of the United States, with
either his consent or approbation. It is still desired and urged that
the consent of the imperial governmont shall be given to seize the
vessel and her cargo and effects, and to arrest the persons remaining
on board, and to send them out of this harbor to the United
States for trial and adjudication. This is urged upon the grounds
that the offences charged are of the highest grade against the
Unite States; that they were committed partly within and partly
without the jurisdiction of Brazil; that they were committed by
the officers and crews of a vessel of the United States under their
flag, which thereby became forfeited to the United States; that
they are felonies under the laws of the United States, for which
neither the vessel nor the persons can be tried in Brazil, and that
the persons charged were caught flagrante delicto, and upon the
ground that the general comity of nations, and particularly the
amity stipulated by treaty perpetually to exist between Brazil and
the United States and their citizens, requires that in such cases
delivery shall be made to the proper authority demanding the
same. If the peace and friendship perpetually binding on both the
United States and Brazil does not mean this in part, it means nothing;
and under the laws of the United States it is especially made the
duty of the commanding officers of their armed vessels to seize
and send home for trial vessels and their cargoes and their effects
and of persons of a ship's company caught, as in this instance, in
flagrant crimes of the character of that now denounced, where-soever found.
If, therefore, the assent of the imperial government,
which is again asked by the undersigned, because he is anxious to-pay
all due respect to the jurisdiction of Brazil, is refused in respect
to the brig Porpoise, and to the ship's companies now remaining on
board the same belonging to the flag of the United States, and in
respect to the African boys who were two of the intended victims
of the piracy charged in the case, the undersigned, regarding the
refusal as an act highly offensive to the dignity and injurious to
the interests of the United States, and wholly inconsistent with
comity and perpetual peace and friendship, will not hesitate to
counsel and advise Commodore Turner, under all the circumstances
of the case, to detain the vessel and said persons, as he came into
peaceable possession of them, and to send them home to the United
States for trial and adjudication at all hazards. If force is to be exerted,
it will not be first exerted by him, but must be exercised to
deprive him of his peaceful custody. The circumstances which will
fully justify this proceeding, without leaving it to be considered a
doubtful trespass even of the United States against Brazil, are as
follows:

For many years the merchant vessels of the United States have
been openly and notoriously chartered and sold in the ports of
Brazil, and particularly in this port, deliverable on the coast of
Africa, for the uses and purposes of the foreign slave trade, in direct
violation of the laws of the United States, which denounce
that trade as felony and piracy, and in violation, too, of the laws
of Brazil. This course of crime, perpetrated with impunity until


95

very lately, the United States have determined to arrest. One of
the frequent frauds employed to introduce slaves from Africa into
Brazil in vessels of the United States, is that of bringing them in
as passengers, with pretended papers of emancipation from some
Portuguese colonial authority. After this vessel, the Porpoise,
arrived in this port, Commodore Turner, on Thursday, the 23d instant,
early in the morning, seeing the flag of an American vessel,
sent his ship's boat simply to hail the brig and to make the usual
friendly inquiries. Whilst the boat was lying along side, and
waiting for the visit of the guarda-mor of the harbor, a note, signed
by three of the crew of the Porpoise, was dropped or thrown into
it, directed to the commander of any United States vessel lying in
port, and hastily warning him that the brig was a slaver, and had
two slaves then on board just transported from Africa, who would, if
not prevented, be smuggled on shore during the night. The commodore
was duly informed of this, but abstained from any proceeding
whatever, until he sent for the United States consul.
When the consul arrived, he went, in company with a naval officer
and boat's crew, to the Porpoise, and there met with the guarda
mor. That Brazilian officer, the guarda mór, readily, at the request
of the naval officer of the United States, through the consul,
consented that a guard of United States marines might be placed
on board the Porpoise until the proper authorities of Brazil should
decide upon the application to deliver her up to the authorities of
the United States. A guard, from on board the United States frigate
Raritan, was accordingly, without the least violence, and
with the consent of the only Brazilian officer present, and of the
one in charge of the harbor, too, placed on board the vessel. This
was necessarily done to prevent the immediate escape of the parties
accused. On the evening of the same day, the consul of the
United States made a verbal report of these proceedings to the undersigned,
who, accompanied by his secretary of legation and the
consul, called immediately at the house of your excellency. They
called about 8 or 9 o'clock at night, on Thursday, the 23d instant,
and your excellency was absent. The next morning at half
past 8 o'clock, on Friday, the 24th instant, the undersigned, with
his secretary and the United States consul, again called, and found
your excellency at home. He then distinctly and fully informed
your excellency of the occurrences on board the Porpoise; he told
your excellency that Commodore Turner, with the consent of
the guarda mór, had placed a guard on board that vessel; that she
was claimed as forfeited to the United States for violating their
laws for the suppression of the slave trade; that two slaves were
actually found on board, and that her officers and crew, and other
persons on board, were accused of felony and piracy; and the undersigned
earnestly requested your excellency to cause the proper
authorities of Brazil to seize the said vessel and her cargo and effects,
and all persons on board the same, and to deliver them up
either to the United States consul or commodore, in order that
they might send them to the United States for trial and adjudication.
Your excellency replied that you could not at once decide,

96

but, if the undersigned would address you in writing, you would
consider of the application.

The undersigned then distinctly submitted what should be done
to detain the vessel and to prevent the escape of the accused persons
in the meantime; and he understood your excellency to consent
that the United States guard should remain in the vessel, or,
at all events, that no objection would be made on your part to
their remaining until your excellency should decide upon the application
made for the exertion of the authority of Brazil. Thus
understanding the facts of the interview, the undersigned so stated
them in a letter which he immediately addressed to you on the
same day. And on the same day, Friday the 24th instant, he visited
the brig Porpoise. He had scarcely set his foot upon her
deck before no less than some six or eight sailors belonging to the
ship's companies of two United States vessels, the Porpoise and
the Kentucky, came voluntarily forward and stated their anxious
wish to make oath to the most atrocious guilt of several persons
on board. Among these persons were several of the seven passengers
released on yesterday. From their affidavits, as you will see
in part from the depositions enclosed, the Porpoise, chartered by a
certain Manoel Pinto Fonseca, of this city, with his agent on board
in charge of her cargo and voyages, has from time to time for the
last twelve or eighteen months been cruising from port to port in
Africa, furnishing supplies of every description to slave factories
established at different places in Africa at various times by this
agent, a Mr. Paulo, by whom the two negroes on board the Porpoise
were purchased in Africa, by whose order they were there
branded as slaves, and who brought them in that vessel to this
port. And it appears that in the course of the traffic of this vessel,
not less than many hundreds of African negroes have been enslaved
by this Paulo and transported to Brazil. This Paulo had
with him a steward, named Francisco Monteiro, and a cook named
Francisco Alvas, and a barber named José Antonio Fernandez Polecarp,
and an agent named Antonio José Vieira Costa, all of whom
joined the Porpoise at Rio de Janeiro on the 12th of February,
1844, and returned in her to this port. Besides these, the Porpoise
brought in as passenger a person from Africa, named Bernardo
José Coelho, who is alleged to have been the captain of a Brazilian
slaver said to have been lately lost in the Mozambique channel,
with about three hundred slaves on board, most of whom were
drowned; and another person, named Francisco Antonio de Souza,
a Portuguese, who is said to have commanded the brig Hope, formerly
under the United States flag, and sold on the coast of Africa
for the slave trade by an American captain named Driscoll, and
which vessel brought one cargo of slaves into Brazil from Cabinda,
and which, under the command of said Souza, on a second trip,
was chased by a British man-of-war, and was lately run ashore and
burnt on the east coast of Africa to avoid capture. Besides these
foreigners to the United States, a Captain Douglass, a citizen of
the United States, and a part of his crew, belonging to a brig
named the Kentucky, under the flag of the United States, when she


97

was sold on the coast of Africa, for the uses and purposes of the
slave trade; and the two African boys, named Pedro and Guilherme,
who were purchased in Africa as slaves by said Paulo, came
to this port on board the Porpoise. Finding this state of facts,
the undersigned requested the consul of the United States to proceed
forthwith to verify them by the voluntary affidavits of all persons
on board who were willing to testify. On the morning of the
25th instant, the consul proceeded to the discharge of this duty.
This had necessarily to be done in order to obtain the evidence in
an authentic form upon which to base the application which the
undersigned had already made to your excellency on the previous
day.

On Saturday, the 25th, the secretary of legation of the United
States, Mr. Walsh, addressed to the undersigned a note, saying
your excellency had informed him that the undersigned had misunderstood
you in the statement of his letter, that you had consented
to the guard of United States marines remaining on board
the Porpoise, and you had requested that the undersigned would
withdraw that part of his letter; and saying that you had only made
no objection to the guard. The undersigned immediately with-drew
the whole letter, without admitting that there was any mistake,
and notified your excellency that he did so, “with a view to
a more formal proceeding.”
That formal proceeding was to await
the evidence taken and to be taken before the United States consul,
and to base another written application upon that evidence when
furnished, leaving the verbal notice of the application still pending.
Thus stood the case until yesterday, Tuesday the 28th instant.
During this whole time, no complaint was made, either to Commodore
Turner or to the United States consul, or to the undersigned,
of any alleged violation of the jurisdiction of Brazil. The marine
guard of the United States had been placed on board peaceably and
with the consent of the guarda-mór. Your excellency, the next
morning, was notified by the undersigned of the fact, and certainly
made no objection to it, and the undersigned understood you as
assenting to it. And yet it seems, without notice of any kind to
the undersigned, or to Commodore Turner, or to the United States
consul, and without a request of the civil authority to either, an
armed force was yesterday sent to take forcible possession of the
Porpoise and of all the persons and effects on board of her. This
course of proceeding is regarded both by Commodore Turner and
by the undersigned as highly improper, and as wholly inconsistent
with the pending of the application to the imperial government by
the undersigned for the exercise of its authority to deliver persons
accused of piracy, to a friendly power claiming the comity of nations
and of a permanent friendship stipulated by treaty, and as
not only not justified by, but not reconcileable with the previous
proceedings in the case. The first notice of this force to the undersigned
was late yesterday evening, when your excellency called
upon him in person. You stated that this force had been ordered
to remove the United States guard, and to release the Porpoise and
all on board. The undersigned warned your excellency, that under


98

the circumstances of this case, and without a proper decision by
your excellency of the application of the United States, and without
a peaceful notice and request to Commodore Turner, he would
resist force by force. The undersigned then accompanied your excellency,
at your request, to the office of the minister of justice.
After conversation with his excellency the minister of justice, and
after he had caused an order to be sent to the police withdrawing
the Brazilian force, the undersigned, at the request of your excellency,
and in your presence, addressed the letter to Commodore
Turner, a copy of which is enclosed. Lest a collision might occur,
not withstanding this note, the undersigned went in person on board
the frigate Raritan, about 8 o'clock last night, with a view to
request the Commodore to deliver up the Brazilian and other passengers,
except the two African negroes and the captains and crews
belonging to the United States, to a sub-delegado who was sent in
company with the undersigned to take them into custody, under
charge of violating the laws of Brazil. When the undersigned
arrived on board the frigate, he found that his note to Commodore
Turner had caused him previously to release those persons to the
civil authority of the port, after the Brazilian officer had with-drawn
all armed force. Of this the undersigned informed your
excellency by his note last night, sent by the sub-delegado.

The undersigned will transmit to your excellency a third deposition
in the case to-day or to-morrow, and the other proofs as
soon as they are completed by the consul of the United States.
He also sends an official report of the manner in which some of
the persons released on yesterday were detained on board the Porpoise,
after having been permitted once to go on shore by a subordinate
officer, in disobedience of the express orders of his superior
officers, and after coming back voluntarily on board of that vessel.
As those persons are now released, and by the courtesy of Commodore
Turner out of respect to the authority of Brazil, it is presumed
that this explanation and their release will fully satisfy that
part of the case. And as to the part of the case which involves
the vessel and the persons remaining with her in the custody of
Commodore Turner, the undersigned most respectfully submits that
it shall remain where it is, in the position where it is placed by the
letter of the undersigned to Commodore Turner, and by this communication.
The undersigned, of course, no longer demands the
arrest and delivery to the authorities of the United States of the
persons who were released yesterday; but now insists only on
being allowed to announce to Commodore Turner that he may,
with the consent of the imperial government, send the Porpoise
and all the persons still remaining with her to the United States,
to be proceeded against under their laws.

The undersigned avails himself, &c., &c.,
HENRY A. WISE
His excellency, ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA,
&c., &c., &c.


99

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

In the course of the night preceding the 23d instant, the
American merchant brig Porpoise, Cyrus Libby, master, belonging
to Brunswick, in the State of Maine, arrived at this port from
Quellimane, on the east coast of Africa.

Early on the following morning, Commodore Turner sent to me
at my residence a letter, addressed “to the commander of any vessel
of the United States navy lying at the port of Rio de Janeiro”,
dated “Brig Porpoise”, and stating that “there were two slaves on
board that vessel”, &c. A certified copy of this letter is enclosed
herewith, marked A.

This letter was voluntarily communicated to Commodore Turner,
and is signed by three of the crew of the Porpoise, and by
one of the crew of the brig Kentucky, (formerly an American vessel,)
who, with her master, were passengers on board the former
vessel, the latter having recently been sold and delivered on the
coast of Africa. These persons have since acknowledged the authenticity
of the note.

On receipt of this information, I immediately went on board the
frigate Raritan, previous to which, Commodore Turner had despatched
a boat with an officer near where the Porpoise lay, and on
my arrival he despatched another boat, with an officer and guard
of marines, who, accompanied by me, proceeded near to the Porpoise,
and there both boats awaited the arrival of the guardamor.

On the arrival of that officer to visit the brig, by arrangement
made by me with him, and with his consent, said officer and guard
of marines entered on board of said vessel, to remain until she
should have received her official visit from the officers of the custom-house,
and until official communication could be had through
your excellency with the proper authorities of Brazil.

On the evening of the same day I called upon you, and verbally
communicated the foregoing information, and on the following
morning accompanied you to the residence of his excellency, M.
França, minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs of Brazil,
when, as I understand, an arrangement was made with M. França
that matters should be allowed to remain as they were until more
formal and written communication should be had and decided upon
between you and this government.

The visit was made to the Porpoise from the custom-house on
the 24th instant; subsequently to which, and during that day, the
Porpoise passed up, and was anchored near to the frigate Raritan,
where she now lies in charge of the officer and guard aforesaid.
On this same day, the 24th instant, a statement was handed to
Captain Gregory, of the frigate Raritan, signed by the second
mate and two of the crew of the Kentucky; a certified copy of
which is herewith enclosed, marked B.

The ship's company of the Porpoise at the time she was thus
boarded, consisted of Captain Cyrus Libby, his two mates, four


100

seamen, and a boy; and there were on board of her, also, Captain
George N. Douglass, his two mates, and two seamen, late of the
brig Kentucky, ten other persons, and the two colored persons represented
to be slaves. Lists of all these persons are herewith enclosed,
marked C, and D, and E.

During the forenoon of the 24th instant, seven of the persons
named in the list marked E, to wit: Captain Paulo, Senor Vieira,
Captain Bernardo, Captain Souza, Senor Coelho, Captain Laurens,
and Senor Tavares, were permitted to go on shore by the officer in
command of the guard, contrary to orders given him, it being the
object of Commodore Turner, as I understood, that everything
should remain on board the brig as when the guard went on board
of her, until he should learn the wishes of this government through
your excellency. On the 25th instant, five of the persons who
went on shore, as I have stated, returned of their own accord to
the brig, and being on board, were detained by the officer then in
command of the guard. The two other persons, Captain Laurens
and M. Tavares, remained on shore.

In addition to the foregoing statement of facts, I have the honor
to place in your hands, herewith, certificate copies, under the seal
of this consulate, of the depositions voluntarily made before me
by John F. Paine and John Williams, two of the crew of the brig
Porpoise, describing the entire voyage of that vessel, and giving
many facts in regard to the brig Kentucky, showing that both
vessels have been directly engaged in the slave trade on the coast
of Africa, and that they were thus employed under charter to Senor
Manoel Pinto da Fonseca of this city, and under the direction
of his agents, Senors Paulo, Vieira and others.

I have also, in a brief and informal manner, examined most of
the other Americans on board the Porpoise, and from them obtained
information fully corroborating the testimony of these two witnesses.
I shall forthwith proceed to examine more fully such of them as
will voluntarily depose, and copies of their depositions, when obtained,
shall be immediately communicated to you.

Upon these depositions, and other evidence, Commodore Turner
proposed to seize this vessel, (the Porpoise,) her cargo and effects,
and her officers and crew, also the American officers and crew of
the brig Kentucky now on board the Porpoise, who are implicated
in the charge of violating the laws of the United States for the
suppression of the African slave trade, and to send the said vessel
and the said persons home for trial in the courts of the United
States; and through me, he submits to you to take the steps necessary
in this case to pay all due respect to the jurisdiction of
Brazil.

I have the honor to be, &c., &c.,

GEORGE WM. GORDON,
Consul United States.
His Excellency H. A. WISE, &c., &c., &c.


101

A.
BRIG PORPOISE,

SIR:

There is two slaves on board, and we expect they will be
taken out at night and smuggled on shore, as their passports are
false.

JOHN F. PAINE,
his
WILLIAM + PATTERSON,
mark.
MARK A. TANNER,
PETER P. JOHNSON.
To the COMMANDER
of any vessel of the United States navy
lying at the port of Rio de Janeiro.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States, hereby certify
the foregoing to be a true copy of the original.

Given under my hand and seal of office, this 29th day of
[SEAL.] January, 1845.

GEO. W. GORDON,
Consul United States.

B.
Proceedings of the brig Kentucky from Rio de Janeiro to the coast
of Africa, G. H. Douglass, commander.

Commenced loading about the middle of March, such as filling
water, &c.; on the 25th, 2 pipes of irons, 100 pipes of rum and
water, with some other freight, for the purpose of carrying slaves.
We tried to get news to the consul, but was not allowed. The
30th, being loaded, and the Portuguese passengers on board, 20 in
number, we sailed, they being below until we was clear of the
fort. These passengers were the captain, mate, and crew, for the
purpose of bring the vessel back. The second day the despatches
were opened, and orders were to go to Lorenzo Marks, east coast
of Africa. The Portuguese crew was divided and set to work, the
same as the rest of us—such as making sails, fitting rigging, &c.

We arrived at Imaye, twenty miles, or about that, below Lorenzo
Marks, after a passage of forty-eight days. Orders was given
to report bound to Mozambique, but put in for wood and water.
Another brig arrived the same day; it was the Brazilian brig Seventeenth
of March, a slaver.


102

At Lorenzo Marks found the brig Porpoise waiting orders, the
consignee being agent for the three. We sailed for the port of
Inhambane in company with the Porpoise. In the river of Inhambane,
some of the freight was taken on board the Porpoise—
such as beef, pork, bales of cloth, boxes of guns, &c.—then went
up to town. The twelfth of June, the brig was delivered up to
the Portuguese, when all hands, except the mate, went on board
the Porpoise—the captain with his papers, and we with our clothes
—leaving the Portuguese in charge. On the 22d of June, Patterson,
steward, and a seaman was taken on shore. The steward was
reported a slave, taken to the fort, flogged with rattans, eighty-six
lashes, then put in the fort and locked up with the seaman; he
asked for something for his back, which was refused him.

On the 8th of July, a Portuguese gun brig came up, and the captain
went on board the Kentucky to protect her with his papers
and colors; he tried to hire us, but we refused to go. He hoisted
the American ensign while the brig lay in port; at that time there
was slaves on board. The captain tried to drive the seaman on
shore two or three times; he said there was no provisions on
board for him, until, at length, he went on board of the Kentucky,
rather than go on shore, as he did not like to be a soldier—William
Page by name.

The Kentucky sailed for Brazil, September 9, with five hundred
and thirty slaves.

his
WILLIAM X PATTERSON,
mark.
HANS HANSEN, 2d Officer,
JOHN MULLER.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States, hereby certify
the foregoing to be a true copy of the original.

Given under my hand and seal of office this twenty-ninth
[L. S.] day of January, 1845.

GEORGE WM. GORDON,
Consul U. S. A.


103

C.
Officers and crew of brig Porpoise.

Names and grade.Native of—Age.Joined the Porpoise at—
Years.
Cyrus Libby, captainScarboro', Maine40New York, Nov. 13, 1842.
John Ulrick, matePortland, Maine25Rio de Janeira, Feb. 1, 1843.
Chas. Hendrick, seamanGottenburg33do Jan. 7, 1844.
John Williams, doHereensand, Sweden23do July 1, 1843.
John F. Paine, doProvidence, R. I.25do Feb. 4, 1844.
Mark Tanner, doBristol, R. I.24do July, 1843.
Peter P. Johnson, doKingston, N. Y.30do Jan. 20, '44.
Lazarus de Ramos, boyIsland St. Thomas13Island St. Thomas, Mar., '43.

D. Late officers and crew of brig Kentucky.

Names and grade.Native of—Age.Joined the Porpoise at—
Years.
George H. Douglass, captainRichmond, Va.38Inhambane, Africa, June 12, 1844.
Thos. H. Boyie, mateBoston, Mass.23Inhambane, Africa, Sept. 5, 1844.
John Muller, seamanHanover, Germany23Inhambane, Africa, June 12, 1844.
Hans Hansen, doCopenhagen24do do
Wm. Patterson, doBoston, Mass.24do do

E.
Other persons.

Names.Native of—Age.Joined the Porpoise at—
Years.
Ioao Antonio de Paulo Rodriguez.Rio de Janeiro30Rio de Janeiro, Feb. 12, 1844.
Antonio José Vieira CostaPortugal36do do
Francisco Monteirodo27do do
Francisco AlvesSpain23do do
Francisco Antonio de SouzaPortugal31Quellimane, October 20, 1844.
Bernardo José CoelhoRio Grande37do do
Marquillo José de CamposPernambuco30Quellimane, October 19, 1844.
José Anto. Fernandex PolycarpoPortugal25Rio de Janeiro, Feb. 12, 1844.
Snr. FavaresItalydo
Represented tobe slaves.
Pedro, (boy)Inhambane-Lorenzo Marks, Dec. 8, 1844.
Guilherme, (boy)Quellimane-Inhambane, October 4, 1844.


104

PALACE OF RIO DE JANEIRO,
28th of January, 1845.

The undersigned, of the council of his Majesty the Emperor,
minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs, no sooner received
the note directed to him under this date by Mr. Henry A.
Wise, envoy, &c., &c., relative to the occurrences that had taken
place in regard to the American merchant brigantine Porpoise, arrived
from the coast of Africa, and the individuals found on board of
her, than he communicated it forthwith to the minister of justice;
and after his reply, he will have to address Mr. Wise anew. It is,
however, the duty of the undersigned to declare at once to Mr.
Wise that, it being incompatible with the sovereign rights of the
country that acts of jurisdietion should be exercised within its territory
by foreign authorities, the undersigned hopes the vessel and
individuals will be released without delay from the illegal detention
in which they are held, which could not, under any pretext,
occur within this port without a manifest violation of the principles
of international right.

The undersigned, feeling assured that Mr. Wise will not hesitate
to interpose efficiently to satisfy a demand so just, and so conformable
to the harmony which exists between the two countries,
avails himself of the occasion to repeat to him the expressions of
his perfect esteem and distinguished consideration.

ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

At 7 o'clock p. m., of this day, your excellency's note of
the 28th instant, was received. I found it at my house after returning
from on board the United States frigate Raritan, where I remained
the night previous.

Your excellency's note, which must have been written immediately
after I parted with you in person about the hour of 7 o'clock,
p. m., on the 28th, informs me that the request of the United States
for the extradition of the Porpoise and persons now remaining on
board of her, is pending before the minister of justice; and yet
your excellency in the mean time requires their release from a
peaceable detention which alone can make extradition practicable
in case it be granted.

In answer to an application from me, made immediately on the
morning of the 24th, repeated on the 25th, and urged personally
and in writing again on the 28th, for Brazil to exercise her own jurisdiction
within her own limits
, by seizing this vessel and arresting
these persons, and delivering them up to justice and laws of the
United States, to be tried for offences of the highest grade which
are not triable in Brazil; your excellency is pleased to declare
“that it is incompatible with the sovereign rights of the country
that acts of jurisdiction should be exercised within the territory by
foreign authorities.“No authorities of the United States claim


105

to exercise “acts of jurisdiction” within the territory of Brazil;
and they positively deny the fact of either attempting or actually
doing any such thing. On the contrary, they are now calling upon
the Brazilian authorities to exercise their undoubted, and undisputed,
and exclusive power of seizure and arrest, in comity to a
friendly nation, the ends of whose justice, it is freely admitted,
cannot be reached without the aid of the sovereign power of the
imperial government within its jurisdiction. The United States
asks Brazil to exercise her own jurisdiction; the reply is, that
“acts of jurisdiction” by foreign authorities within her territory
“are incompatible with the sovereign rights of the country.” The
United States naval authorities obtain peaceable custody of an
American vessel and American citizens, and other persons under
the American flag, accused of felony and piracy under their country's
laws, with evidence under oath and affidavit, sufficient for arrest
in any country where it can be made, with the consent of the
Brazilian officer of the port; and they ask Brazil to make the
seizure and arrest for them
, and to deliver the vessels and persons
accused up to them to be sent home for trial and adjudication; and
your excellency's reply is—not whether Brazil will or will not
exercise of herself her own power to seize, arrest and deliver up,
but that you “hope the vessel and individuals also may, without delay,
be released from the illegal detention in which they are held
”,
and that the peaceable detention of the United States own vessel
and own citizens, merely until your excellency will decide the true
issue of extradition, “is a manifest violation of the principles of
international right.”! ! I am constrained to say that I cannot interpose
“to satisfy a demand” of this character. I admit neither
its justice nor its consistency with a good understanding between
the two countries. I protest that the United States naval forces
shall not be forced into the false attitude, against their true intent
and repeated disclaimers through me, of violating the jurisdiction
of Brazil, whose sovereignty they are determined to respect, and
whose peaceful independence they would be the last to invade.
When your excellency has deliberately examined the application
which I have made, and the consul's report and the evidence which
I furnished in my letter of to-day, (without knowing that your excellency's
note of the 28th instant was awaiting my arrival at my
house;) and when you have decided the true issue involved in the
case, the question of extradition, I will then determine how far
and in what respect to interpose again with Commodore Turner.
I have interposed once, at your excellency's request, and caused
the release of seven persons, and, to say the least of it, I did not
expect that my interposition would be followed so hastily by
this “demand“for the release and escape of persons denounced
to you by me as pirates. I leave it to your excellency to reconsider
this demand. In the present posture, I shall leave Commodore
Turner, over whom I have no official control, to discharge his duty
to his country's laws, to maintain and defend the custody of this
vessel and the persons on board of her, which he has peaceably and
with the consent obtained. I cannot believe, until your excellency

106

so informs me, that the imperial government will refuse an
act of national comity to the United States, and thereby shelter
under its jurisdiction their vessels and citizens in its limits, accused
in legal form under oath of piracy and other crimes of the
lighest grade, or that it will refuse to protect the naval forces of
the United States in ports of Brazil in supporting the laws and
the regulations of the friendly power to which they belong. In
the worst aspect of the case, Commodore Turner would have committed
but a slight trespass under the laws of nations if he had detained
this vessel and the persons, flagrante delicto, without even
the consent of the guarda-mór, merely to prevent their escape until
the United States could make application for their extradition,
and until it was decided upon. But coming into the peaceable
custody of them by the consent of the guarda-mór of the port, he
will hardly be held responsible for the slightest trespass at all, on
account of this detention, if the imperial government insists upon
demanding their release, whilst it refuses or fails to decide upon
the question of their extradition. Your excellency does not propose
to hold the vessel and these persons in the custody of the
Brazilian police, even, until the question of their extradition be
decided. But, without deciding, or before deciding that point, you
unconditionally require their release. The release first obtained,
the extradition then would be impossible, because the accused
persons would then be non est inventus.

The demand of the release is, therefore, nothing less in effect
than a demand for their escape from the laws of the United States.
It would be a mockery of national comity and justice; first, to release
these persons and to allow them to escape beyond the finding
of the Brazilian police even, and then to decide that they should
be delivered over to national justice after being placed where they
can elude its grasp. No; the commander of the United States
naval forces having them, without violence to Brazil, in his keeping
for the present, chooses simply to take the responsibility to his
own government of seeing that they shall be found when Brazil
chooses to exert her sole and exclusive power in her own limits to
arrest and deliver them up to the authorities of the United States.
This detention is thus far fully justified by me. How much farther
it may be carried, inasmuch as it was peaceable in its inception
and of persons “flagrante delictb”, in case Brazil shall refuse to
do the act of comity asked for, it is not for me to say until she
shall so refuse. I will not anticipate that she will refuse to obey
the dictates of national law towards the power most friendly to her
of any upon earth; and, in case she does arrest and deliver up this
vessel and these persons in that spirit of good faith and good feeling
which, I trust, will ever characterize her relations with the
United States, and which it is so much the interest of both nations
and of the world for them both to cherish, I will then most cheerfully
do all in my power to make full and ample atonement, whether
any be required or not, for the slightest trespass on her jurisdiotion,
or for any seeming disrespect to her acknowledged absolute
sovereignty within her own territorial limits. Your excellency


107

may rest assured that the authorities of the United States will ever
be the last to offer any intentional indignity or slight even to Brazil,
and that they will be the first to repair any wrong to her, if
any be done by them either from inadvertence, or from the unavoidable
necessity of any case. The absolute necessity of preventing
escape in this case justifies the conclusion to which I am compelled
to come:—not to advise Commodore Turner to release this
vessel and these persons until I can be authorized to inform him
that they will, immediately upon their release, be delivered up to
him again by the authorities of Brazil.

Withrenewed assurances of the highest consideration and esteem,
I am, sir, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE.
His Excellency ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA,
&c., &c., &c.,

[Translation.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
January 30, 1845.

E. F. França presents his best compliments to Mr. H. A. Wise,
envoy, &c., &c., and has the honor to inform him that the minister
of justice being kept in the Senate this morning, the conference
promised to Mr. Wise will take place this evening at 6 o'clock.

E. F. França avails himself of this occasion, &c., &c., &c.

RIO DE JANEIRO,

MY DEAR SIR:

I found a letter from M. França, dated the 28th,
and written before he received mine of yesterday, last night about
7 o'clock. It informed me that he has not yet decided the question
whether he will deliver the vessel, &c. It is still pending before
the minister of justice; but in the meantime he demands of me to
release her from detention until he does decide that question. This
I have refused to do upon a full argument, a copy of which I will
furnish to you. My reply was hardly finished before he visited
me, between 9 and 10 o'clock last night, in person. He informed
me that he had just received my letter of yesterday from on board
the Raritan, and he was evidently alarmed. He begged to know
whether you would attempt to send the vessel out of the harbor
without a permit. I pledged that you would not by any means
make such an attempt, and thought of no such thing in the present
aspect of the case; that great wrong would have to be committed
on the part of Brazil to drive you to that course. He then said
that orders had been given not to allow her to clear the port without
a permit. I told him they were unnecessary. After further


108

discussion he requested me to meet him at the minister's of justice
at 1 p. m. to-day. I attended at 1 o'clock and he was still in the
Senate, and he sent a message to meet him at 5 o'clock, p. m. I
have written a proposition which will be my ultimatum. I will
propose to him: “1st, That the imperial government will issue an
order to its own civil police, without arms, to request Commodore
Turner, in command, &c., to release to the custody of one of its
own officers the U. S. merchant brig Porpoise, and all persons,
&c., still remaining who came on board of her to this port from
Africa; and that in the same order, the said officers of the civil
police of Brazil shall be directed to deliver up immediately the
said brig and the said persons to Commodore Turner, to be by him
sent to the United States, to be dealt with according to their laws,
and thereupon Commodore Turner shall first release, and the said
police officer shall so, immediately thereafter, deliver up the said
brig and the said persons.

“2d. The United States will make all proper reparation for any
illegal detention, if any, of said brig and persons, by the United
States authorities, in the port or harbor of Rio de Janeiro, up to
the time of their release by Commodore Turner aforesaid.”

Such are my propositions, and I will consent to nothing materially
varying from them; and if the imperial government is disposed
to do right they will readily accept them. But the slave
traders have too much influence at this court to expect that these
will be accepted. Manuel Pinto da Fonseca is said to be actually
engaged to be married to a daughter of one of the ministers, and
he is also the intimate friend of the most influential person in the
government, a Mr. Paulo Barbosa. The determination not to allow
these heartless slave dealers and pirates to wield the national sovereignty
of Brazil over the laws of the United States, in respect to
their own vessels and citizens, will nerve me to go the full extent
of measures which your custody of the vessel &c., peaceably acquired,
will justify. I have just received a note saying 6 o'clock,
p. m., for the conference with M. França.

Very truly, your friend and servant,
HENRY A. WISE.
To Commodore TURNER,
&c., &c., &c.

At the interview of Mr. Wise with M. França, at the house of
the minister of justice, at 6 o'clock, p. m., January 30th, 1845, by
appointment—

1st. Mr. Wise proposes that the imperial government will issue
an order to its own civil police, without arms, to request Commodore
Turner, in command of the United States naval forces on this
station, to release to the custody of one of its own officers the
United States merchant brig Porpoise, and persons now remaining
attached to the said brig who came on board of her to this port
from the coast of Africa; and that, in the same order, the said officer


109

of the civil police of Brazil shall be directed to deliver up immediately
the said brig and the said persons to Commodore Turner,
to be by him sent to the United States, there to be dealt with according
to their laws. And, thereupon, Commodore Turner shall
first release, and the said police officer shall so immediately thereafter
deliver up, the said brig and the said persons.

2d. The United States will make all proper reparation for any
illegal detention, if any, of said brig and persons by the United
States authorities in the port or harbor of Rio de Janeiro, up to
the time of their release by Commodore Turner as aforesaid.

Mr. Wise having made certain propositions for the adjustment of
the affair of the Porpoise, last evening, which were declined, and
being desirous to do everything on the part of the United States to
manifest the most perfect respect to the sovereign rights of Brazil,
again proposes:

1st. That, inasmuch as Commodore Turner placed a guard on
board the Porpoise with the consent of the guarda-mór of the port,
and the Commodore thought that he, the guarda-mór, had authority
to give such consent—and inasmuch as he was informed that the
full consent of the Brazilian authorities was given for the detention
of that vessel, &c., by him until a then pending question of
extradition should be decided by M. França—no complaint whatever
shall be made of Commodore Turner for placing said vessel,
&c., under guard, or for detaining the same.

2d. That, upon the information of M. França to Mr. Wise, that
the guarda-mór had no authority so to consent, and that the information
that the full consent of the Brazilian authorities had been
obtained was a mistake, and upon the withdrawal by M. França
of all consent given by the guarda-mór for the detention of that
vessel, &c., by Commodore Turner, he, Commodore Turner, will
deliver up said vessel, &c., to the civil authority of Brazil, upon
a proper demand for the same being made to him through Mr.
Wise by M. França.

3d. The persons accused of felony and piracy under the laws of
the United States belonging to said vessel, and the vessel herself,
shall be taken into the custody of the proper authorities of Brazil,
and be held in custody, and not be released under any pretext
whatever, until the imperial government shall decide upon the application
by Mr. Wise for their extradition, and until such decision
be made known to him. And, if the decision be in favor of their
extradition, then they shall be delivered up immediately from the
custody of Brazil to that of the United States authorities in this
port.

4th. All the other persons, and especially the two African boys,
and the United States citizens and other persons shipped under the
flag of the United States, who are not accused of crime, or who are
voluntary witnesses and informers, shall be allowed to go on board
the United States vessels of war to go to the United States or else-where,
as they please, after their release by Commodore Turner.

5th. The United States consul shall identify the persons, and
specify their names, who are accused of crimes against the laws of


110

the United States, and who are to be held in the custody of Brazil
until their extradition be decided as aforesaid; and shall name the
persons who are not accused and who are to be set at liberty as
aforesaid. And this shall be done before they are released from
the detention by Commodore Turner.

NOTE.—This is offered as a projet of a proposition to be officially
submitted as soon as M. França shall officially notify Mr. Wise of
the facts under its second head.

[Translation.]

PALACE OF RIO DE JANEIRO,

The undersigned, &c., &c., has the honor to transmit to Mr.
Wise, &c., &c., the two documents enclosed, (copies,) received
from the minister of justice; the first, containing the note addressed
to the desembargador (chief of police) of the court by the visiting
secretary, Amphiloquio Nunes Peres, relative to the American merchant
brig schooner “Porpoise”, arrived from Quellimane; and the
second, the communication addressed to the said visiting secretary
by the above mentioned desembargador, chief of police.

The undersigned deems it unnecessary to enter now upon an
analysis of the whole proceeding of the American authorities, in
relation to the brig schooner Porpoise and the persons on board of
her; but calling the attention of Mr. Wise to the precise terms of
the permission to which reference is made in the first document,
and to which those authorities had recourse, to the incompetence
of the person who granted it, to the reproof of the chief of police
as soon as his subordinate had communicated it to him, and, above
all, to the constant declaration of the imperial government that
such permission was of no account or use, and was null from the
beginning—the undersigned hopes that there will be no delay in
satisfying the just and indispensable reclamation in the note which
the undersigned has already had the honor of addressing to Mr.
Wise upon this subject, under date of the 28th of last month.

The undersigned renews, &c., &c., &c.
ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA.

[Translation.]

“SECRETARIA” OF THE COURT POLICE,
January 24, 1845.

In reply to the note of the visiting secretary, which he addressed
to me under date of the 23d instant, received after seven o'clock,
in the evening, in which he informs me of the arrival of the American
brig schooner Porpoise from Quellimane, and the arrangement


111

with the American consul by which an officer and five men of the
frigate Raritan were allowed to remain on board of her, in order
to prevent any one from escaping during the night, I have to declare
to him that his conduct was irregular; because, the aforesaid
American brig Porpoise having placed itself under the Brazilian
batteries, it belongs to the Brazilian authorities to discharge the
police duty of the port; and they do not need any foreign aid, the
Brazilian nation being strong enough to execute its own police regulations,
and give protection not only to its own citizens but to
those of friendly countries. And when the American consul, who
belongs to an enlightened nation, wishes any extraordinary inter-position,
he should have recourse to diplomatic channels.

I have this day communicated to the department of justice the
note of the visiting secretary of the 23d instant, and I await the
answer of that department.

JOAQUIM JOSE MOREIRA MAIA.
LISBOA, Conforme.

[Translation.]

VILLEGAGNON,

MOST ILLUSTRIOUS AND EXCELLENT SIR:

An American brig
schooner, named the Porpoise, having entered to-day from Quellimane,
I sent for the sub-delegado of the first district of St. Ritta,
in accordance with existing regulations, to take cognizance of the
fact. Meanwhile the consul of that nation called on me, and intimated
that he wished to take possession of the said vessel and
her crew, in order to verify suspicions of criminality against her
(of being engaged in the traffic of slaves) of which denunciation
had been made to him. I replied to him that I could not comply
with his wish, as the vessel was already in the hands of the police
of the country and under its authority; but that, probably, in one or
two days she would be free, and then he might take whatever steps
he deemed requisite. He acknowledged, with the greatest urbanity
and delicacy, the justness of what I said, and requested me to
consent that in the interim he might keep an officer and four or
five men of the frigate Raritan on board the Porpoise, to prevent
any one from escaping during the night. Seeing no impropriety
in this, and wishing to show him that we also are greatly interested
in co-operating in the discovery of criminals, of whatever
nation they may be, I promptly acceded to his request. In the
meanwhile, I do not know that I did right, and in order that I
may not err for the future, I beg your excellency to give me the
necessary direction, and excuse me if I have already committed
a mistake. God preserve your excellency.

AMPHILOQUIO NUNES PERES,
Secretario da Visita. Ill. and Ex. Sr. Dexr. NICOLAO DA SIBRA LISBOA,
D. Chief of the Court Police.


112

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary,
&c., of the United States, has the honor to enclose another
deposition, sent to him by the United States consul, relating to the
question of the extradition of the brig Porpoise and the persons
now remaining on board of her, which, together with others yet to
be furnished, he hopes will be duly considered by your excellency
before deciding upon the case.

The undersigned will reply to your excellency's note of this
date, enclosing certain papers communicated by his excellency,
the minister of justice, in the course of to-morrow. And he trusts
that his reply will be such as to adjust the affair of the Porpoise,
so far as relates to her detention by Commodore Turner, in a way
equally satisfactory to both the United States and Brazil.

With renewed assurances of the highest consideration, the un-dersigned
has the honor to be, your excellency's obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE.
To his Excellency ERNESTO FERREIRO FRANCA,
Minister and Secretary of State, &c.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

In reply to your excellency's note of to-day I have to say,
that I must insist upon the statement of facts as contained in my
notes to your excellency of the 29th ultimo, in relation to the consent
which was given to place a United States' guard on board of
the Porpoise. And the minister, and consul, and commodore of
the United States, in this instance, did all and omitted nothing,
which ought to have been done or been omitted by officers of the
most enlightened governments most friendly to Brazil. But, seeing
that the papers which you enclose, admit at all events that
consent in some form was given; and understanding from your excellency
that consent in every form has been withdrawn, though
given; and not wishing to involve this affair in any farther difficulty
by an unnecessary discussion or dispute of facts pertaining
to it, I have, after what has transpired in our several interviews, and
after consulting with Commodore Turner, decided to submit to
your excellency the enclosed proposition for an adjustment of the
whole affair of the Porpoise, in a way which, I hope, will be accepted
as satisfactory both to the United States and to Brazil.

The consul of the United States will proceed as speedily as possible
to complete the voluntary depositions of witnesses on the
question of extradition; and they will be transmitted to your excellency
as soon as they are communicated to me by him.

With renewed assurances, &c., &c.,

HENRY A. WISE.
His excellency ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA, &c., &c., &c.


113

Mr. Wise having made certain propositions for the adjustment of
the affair of the Porpoise, which were declined, and being desirous
to do every thing on the part of the United States to manifest the
most perfect respect to the sovereign rights of Brazil, again proposes:

  • 1. That inasmuch as Commodore Turner placed a guard on board
    the Porpoise with the consent of the guarda-mór of the port, and
    the commodore thought that he, the guarda-mór, had authority to
    give such consent; and inasmuch as he was informed that the full
    consent of the Brazilian authorities was given for the detention of
    that vessel, &c., by him until a then pending question of extradition
    should be decided by M. França; no complaint whatever shall
    be made of Commodore Turner for placing said vessel, &c. under
    guard, or for detaining the same.
  • 2. That upon the information of M. França to Mr. Wise that
    the guarda-mòr had no authority so to consent, and that the information
    that the full consent of the Brazilian authorities had
    been obtained, was a mistake, and upon the withdrawal by M.
    França of all consent given by the guarda mór for the detention of
    the vessel, &c., by Commodore Turner, he, Commodore Turner, will
    deliver up said vessel, &c. to the civil authority of Brazil upon a
    proper demand for the same being made to him through Mr. Wise
    by Mr. França.
  • 3. The persons accused of felony and piracy under the laws of
    the United States, belonging to said vessel, and the vessel herself,
    shall be taken into the custody of the proper authorities of Brazil,
    and be held in custody and not be released under any pretext whatever
    until the imperial government shall decide upon the application
    by Mr. Wise for their extradition, and until such decision be
    made known to him. And if the decision be in favor of their extradition,
    then they shall all be delivered up immediately from the
    custody of Brazil to that of the United States authorities in this
    port.
  • 4. All the other persons, and especially the two African boys
    and the United States citizens and other persons shipped under the
    flag of the United States, who are not accused of crime, or who
    are voluntary witnesses, shall be allowed to go on board the
    United States vessels of war, to go to the United States, or elsewhere,
    as they please, after their release by Commodore Turner.
  • 5. The United States consul shall identify the persons and specify
    their names, who are accused of crimes against the laws of the
    United States, and who are to be held in the custody of Brazil
    until their extradition be decided upon as aforesaid; and shall name
    the persons who are not accused, and who are to be set at liberty
    as aforesaid, and this shall be done before they are released from
    their detention by Commodore Turner.

February 1, 1845.


114

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

The undersigned has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the
verbal message sent to him by your excellency, this morning, saying
that the proposition of adjustment of the affair of the Porpoise
made by him yesterday was accepted, and that the whole affair
would be satisfactorily settled by your excellency, and that your
excellency desired the undersigned to communicate the lists of the
names of the accused persons, and of the witnesses who are to be
left at liberty. Accordingly the lists are herein communicated.
And congratulating your excellency upon the probable happy termination
of this difficulty, which had only to be well understood
to be well adjusted by friendly powers, the undersigned renews
his best compliments of esteem and high consideration, and has the
honor to be,

Your excellency's obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE.
To his excellency ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA, &c., &c., &c.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

List of citizens of the United States who came from Africa in the
United States merchant brig Porpoise, still detained by Commodore
Turner, who are accused of felony and piracy, and whose extradition
is demanded by Mr. Wise
.
Cyrus Libby, master of the Porpoise;
John Ulrick, mate of the same;
George H. Douglass, late master of the Kentucky;
Thomas H. Boyle, “mate ““
List of persons who came, as aforesaid, in said brig, and who are
voluntary witnesses in the examination of said persons accused,
as aforesaid, of felony and piracy, and who are desirous of being
sent to the United States, and who elect to go on board the Raritan
for that purpose, and who have not been detained except by
their own consent.

John F. Paine, of the United States;
Mark Tanner, ““
Peter Johnson, ““
John Wilson, of Sweden;
Chas. Hendricks, “
George Williams, colored boy—all seamen belonging to the
Porpoise;
William Patterson, of the United States;
John Muller, of Holland;


115

Hans Hanson, of Denmark—all seamen, late of the United States
merchant ship Kentucky, sold on the coast of Africa, and who
came as passengers in the Porpoise to this port;

Pedro and Guilherme—two negro boys, natives of Africa, who,
it is alleged, were there captured and sold as slaves, and who
were transported from Africa in the Porpoise to this port, in violation
of the laws of the United States.

GEORGE W. GORDON,
Consul United States.

[Translation]

PALACE OF RIO DE JANEIRO,
February 2, 1845.

The undersigned, &c., &c., understanding by the note of yesterday
of Mr. H. A. Wise, envoy, &c., &c., that he has arranged
with Commodore Turner to release and give up to the Brazilian
authorities the brigantine Porpoise, and the individuals on board
of her, solicits, on this occasion, from the respective departments
the necessary orders for the accomplishment of this surrender to
the authorities of this port; the said vessel and the Americans,
whose extradition is demanded by Mr. Wise, remaining in the custody
of the said authorities until the decision of the imperial government
in regard to their extradition is communicated to him.

The undersigned avails himself, &c., &c.,
ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

I received your excellency's note of yesterday late last
evening. Having furnished to your excellency the required list of
persons whose extradition to the United States is demanded, and
understanding that your excellency fully accedes to the adjustment
of the whole affair of the Porpoise as proposed by me on Saturday,
the 1st instant, I will, as soon as your excellency signifies to me
in writing that you have so acceded, address a letter of request to
Commodere Turner, of which the enclosed is a copy. I trust that
your excellency will so signify at once, in order that I may immediately
despatch this letter to Commodore Turner.

With the highest consideration, &c., &c.,

HENRY A. WISE. His excellency, ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA,
&c., &c, &c.


116

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

The affair of the detention of the Porpoise having been adjusted
by me with the minister and secretary of state of Brazil;
you will please, at the request of the authorities of this port, to
deliver up to them the brigatine Porpoise, with her cargo and effects,
and all the persons whom you have detained with her. The
vessel and her cargo and effects, and her captain and mate, and the
captain of the Kentucky and his mate—i. e. Captain Libby and
Mate Ulrick, Captain Douglass and Mate Boyle—will be held in
custody of the Brazilian authorities until the decision of their extradition
be communicated to me. The other persons will be at
liberty to go where they please, and to return to your ship in a
private boat, if they choose, after your guard is retired.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HFNRY A. WISE. To Commodore TURNER,
United States frigate Raritan,
Harbor of Rio
.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

The names of the persons, whose extradition to the United
States I demand, are as follows:
  • 1. Cyrus Libby, master of the brig Porpoise;
  • 2. John Ulrick, mate of the same;
  • 3. George H. Douglass, late master of the United States merchant
    brig Kentucky;
  • 4. Thos. H. Boyle, mate of the same.

These persons and the brig Porpoise and her cargo and effects, I
demand to be delivered up by the imperial government to the
United States by extradition.

With assurances of perfect esteem and high consideration, your
obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE.
To his Excellency ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA,
Minister, &c., &c.

UNITED STATES SHIP RARITAN, Harbor of Rio de Janeiro,

[...] day, at 12 o'clock, m., an officer of this port's police
[...] authority, of which the enclosed (A) is a copy.
[...] requested the said officer to sign the en-
[...] he did, and then, in obedience
[...] board the brigantine Por-
[...] her, who came in her


117

from Africa, and who have been detained by me with the consent
of the Brazilian authorities. And I delivered said brig and her
cargo and effects, and four persons, to wit: Captain Libby and his
mate Ulrick, and Captain Douglass and his mate Boyle, up to said
officer, to be held in the custody of the Brazilian authorities until
the decision of the question of their extradition to the United States
to be made by the imperial government, and until it be communicated
to you. The other persons were placed on board of said brig at
liberty. The guard of the United States was then retired, and the
vessel, &c., as aforesaid, delivered up to the said Brazilian officer.
All, except the four accused persons, were then informed by him
that they were at liberty to go where they pleased; and they
called a shore-boat and came back voluntarily to this frigate, and
claimed my protection to be sent back to the United States, and I
have so taken them at their own election under my charge.

In concluding this note, I cannot refrain from adding that the
officers of the Brazilian government, who have been engaged in
this duty, have discharged it with the urbanity and proper delicacy
of officers and gentlemen.

I have honor to be, &c., &c.,

DANIEL TURNER, Commanding U. S. squadron, Brazil station.
His Excellency HENRY A. WISE, &c., &c., &c.

[Translation.]

PALACE, February 3, 1815.

In conformity with a requisition of the minister for foreign
affairs, made under date of yesterday, you will present yourself to
Commodore Turner, on board the frigate Raritan, in order that the
American merchant brig Porpoise, with her crew and cargo, may
be delivered up to the Brazilian authorities—you giving the necessary
directions that the vessel may be held in deposite, and in custody
four individuals, part of her crew, who will be pointed out to
you by the said commodore, upon whose final destination a question
is pending with the government of his imperial majesty. You
will release all the other individuals who may be delivered to you
on board the said vessel, that they may proceed whither they
please.

Upon this mission you will be accompanied by the chief visiting
officer of the custom-house, (guarda mór,) that the usual measures,
as regards the cargo of the vessel, may be taken.

God preserve you.

ANTONIO FRANCISCO DE PAULO HOLLANDA
CAVALCANTI DE ALBUQUERQUE.
M. ANTONIO PEDRO DE CARVALHO.


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UNITED STATES FRIGATE RARITAN.

The undersigned, an officer of the port police of Rio de Janeiro,
acknowledges that, at his request, and upon the demand of the
civil authorities of Brazil, Commodore Daniel Turner has placed
on board of the United States merchant brigantine Porpoise all the
persons detained by him with said vessel; and that he has delivered into
his custody the said vessel and her cargo and effects, and four persons
to wit: 1st, Cyrus Libby, master of the Porpoise; 2d, John Ulrick,
mate of the same; 3d, George H. Douglass, late master of the United
States merchant brig Kentucky; and 4th, Thomas Boyle, mate
of the same—to be held in the custody of the Brazilian authorities
until the question of their extradition to the United States authorities
be decided by the imperial government, and said decision be
communicated to the envoy, &c., of the United States at this court;
and all the other persons besides these four named are placed on
board said brig Porpoise, to be at liberty to remain, or to go where
they please.

Witness my hand, this the 3d day of February, 1845.

ANTONIO PEDRO DE CARVALHO,
Capitano de mar e guerra,
Inspector de arsenal de mor
.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Commodore Turner informs me that on yesterday, the 3d
instant, he placed the brig Porpoise and her cargo and effects and
all persons on board of her, except the passengers who were formerly
released from detention at the request of your excellency, in
the same condition as when the guard of the United States was first
placed in charge of that vessel; that the guard of the United States
was then retired, and the vessel and her cargo and effects, and the
four persons on board of her, accused of felony and piracy under
the laws of the United States for the suppression of the foreign
alave trade, were delivered up to an officer of the port police, to
be held in custody under the authority of Brazil until the decision
of the imperial government, as to their extradition to the United
States, be communicated to me; that the other persons, besides
these four, being at liberty to go where they pleased, and being so
informed by the officer of Brazil, and the Porpoise and her captain
and mate being in custody as aforesaid, they got on board a private
boat alongside said vessel, and returned to the United States
frigate Raritan, and voluntarily placed themselves under the protection
of Commodore Turner, to be sent to the United States as
witnesses and informers in the cases of the Porpoise and of the
Kentucky; and that the officers of Brazil in charge of this duty
performed it with all the urbanity and proper delicacy which became
them as officers and gentlemen; and that the release and delivery
up of this vessel and these persons from his detention was


119

conducted to the entire satisfaction of the respective authorities on
both sides. Thus, then, this part of the case is happily disposed
of; and I trust that the question of extradition, disembarrassed now
of all collateral issues, will have a termination equally favorable
and satisfactory. I request that your excellency will not decide
that question before the United States consul can furnish some
other depositions, the completion of which he is urging as fast as
possible, and not before I can address to your excellency an argument
in extenso, which I will endeavor to prepare immediately,
and which I could not prepare whilst occupied in considering and
discussing the other matter of detention.

With renewed assurances of the highest esteem and consideration,

HENRY A. WISE.
His excellency ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA,
&c., &c., &c.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

The question of extradition in the case of the Porpoise and
the four men now in the custody of the Brazilian authorities is dis-
embarrassed of the collateral issue of detention by foreign authorities
in the jurisdiction of Brazil. To their extradition alone do I
now, therefore, address myself. I claim it on the ground:

1. That it is a right both of comity and exhumanitate which one
friendly power may claim from another under the laws of nations.
This doctrine, I know, has been disputed. But the later publicists
of the highest authority maintain it both upon principle and precedent.
I hesitate not to say that it is the doctrine of the best American,
founded upon the best ancient authorities. I have one before
me, which is a standard in both England and the United
States and throughout the world wherever it is read and known.
Chancellor Kent, in his commentaries on American Law, vol. 1, p.
38, &c. in Lecture II., under the head “of the rights and duties of
nations in a state of peace”, says: “It has sometimes been made a
question, how far one government was bound by the law of nations,
and independent of treaty, to surrender, upon demand, fugitives
from justice
, who, having committed crimes in one country,
flee to another for shelter. It is declared by some of the most distinguished
public jurists that every State is bound to deny an asylum
to criminals, and upon application and due examination of the
case, to surrender the fugitive to the foreign State where the crime
was committed.” He cites in favor of this doctrine, “Grotius, b.
2, c. 21, sec. 3, 4, 5, and Heineccuis com. h. t. Burlamaque, vol.
2, part 4, c. 3, sec. 23, 29. Rutherforth, b. 2, c. 9, vol. 2, page
496. Vattel, b. 2, c. 6, sec. 76, 77. See questions de Droit, tit.
Etranger, par Merlin, for discussions on this subject in France, &c.
The English decisions in support of the right and practice of surrender
of fugitives charged with atrocious crimes, are, Rex vs.


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Hutchinson, 3 Keble, 785. Case of Lendy, 2 Vent. 314. Rex vs.
Kimberly, Str. 848. S. C. Barnard, K. B., vol. 1, 225. Fitzgib.
111. East India Company vs. Campbell, 1 Vezey, 246. Heath,
J., in Muse vs. Kay, 4 Taunton, 34. Eunomous, Dialog. 3, sec.
67. Sergeant Hill's opinion (and his authority and learning as a
lawyer were pre-eminent) given to government in 1792. See Edin.
Review, No. 83, p. 129, 139, 141. The American decisions on the
same side are, in the matter of Washburn, 4 Johns. Ch. Rep. 106.
Rex vs. Ball, decided by Ch. J. Reid, at Montreal, and reported
in Amer. Jur. 297. Mr. Justice Story cites the conflicting authorities,
both foreign and domestic; but intimates no opinion. Comm.
on the Constitution, vol. 3, p. 675, 676. Comm. on the Conflict of
Laws, p. 520, 522.” Chancellor Kent adds: “The language of
these authorities is clear and explicit, and the law and usage of
nations as declared by them rest on the plainest principles of
justice, it is the duty of the government to surrender up fugitives
upon demand, after the civil magistrate shall have ascertained the
existence of reasonable grounds for the charge, and sufficient to
put the accused upon his trial. The guilty party cannot be tried
and punished by any other jurisdiction than the one whose laws
have been violated, and, therefore, the duty of surrendering him
applies as well to the case of the subjects of the State surrendering
as to the case of subjects of the power demanding the fugitive.”
The learned commentator then examines the class of
offences to which the usage of nations does, and to which it does
not apply this doctrine. He shows that by statutes and treaties,
&c., the offences to which it does apply are such as piracy, murder,
forgery, larceny, or other crimes punishable with death or imprisonment
in the State prison. He says that “the European nations,
in early periods of modern history, made provision by treaty
for the mutual surrender of criminals seeking refuge from justice,”
and cites a number of treaties; and adds: “Mr. Ward—Hist. of
the Law of Nations, vol. 2, 318, 320—considers these treaties as evidence
of the advancement of society in regularity and order.” In
two notes to this learned text of this commentator, in which he
shows all the authorities pro and con, from which his text is
drawn, he says: “In the spring of 1839, George Holmes, being
charged with the crime of murder, committed in Lower Canada,
fied into the State of Vermont, and his surrender was demanded
by the governor general of Canada.” The case came before the
governor of Vermont. After hearing counsel, and giving the subject
great consideration, Governor Jennison decided “that it was
his duty to surrender the fugitive.” Finally the case was “brought
up before the supreme court of Vermont by habeas corpus, in
April, in 1840, and the question again solemnly argued, and the
decision was that the State had no authority to surrender the prisoner.”
“It may be here properly observed that, according to the
official opinion of the Attorney General of the United States, 1797,
it was the duty of the United States to deliver up, on due demand,
heinous offenders, being offenders from the dominion of Spain.”
At the end of this note the learned commentator adds:

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“When it is declared as the settled rule, that the United States
are not justified in the surrender of fugitives from justice, except
in pursuance of a treaty stipulation, the United States are thus in
effect declared by national and State authorities to be a safe asylum
for all sorts of criminals, from all governments and territories
near or distant.” In another note, p. 37, he adds: “The constitution
of the United States has provided for the surrender of fugitives
from justice as between the several States, in cases of ‘treason,
felony, and other crime,’ but it has not designated the specific
crimes for which a surrender is to be made, and this has led
to difficulties between the States. Thus, for instance, in 1839, the
governor of Virginia made application to the governor of New
York for the surrender of three men, charged by affidavit as being
fugitives from justice, in feloniously stealing and taking away from
one Colley, in Virginia, a negro slave, Isaac, the property of Colley.
The application was made under an act of Congress, &c.,
founded on the constitution, &c., as being a case of ‘treason,
felony, or other crime,’ within the constitution and the law, and
certified as the statute directed.” The governor of New York (that
State being then a non-slaveholding State) “refused to surrender
the supposed fugitives, on the ground that slavery and property in
slaves did not exist in New York, and that the offence was not a
crime known to the laws of New York, and consequently not a
crime within the meaning of the constitution and the statute of the
United States. But the legislature of New York, by concurrent
resolutions of the 11th April, 1842, declared their opinion to be,
that stealing a slave within the jurisdiction and against the laws of
Virginia, was a crime within the meaning of the 2d section of the
4th article of the constitution of the United States. The executive
and legislative authorities of Virginia also considered the case to
be within the provisions of the constitution and the law, and that
the refusal was a denial of right.”

The arguments are given, and the commentator adds: “This case
and that of Holmes, mentioned in a preceding note, involve very
grave considerations. I have read and considered every authority,
document, and argument on the subject, that were within my command,
and in my humble view of the questions, I cannot but be of
opinion that the claim of the Canadian authorities in the one case,
and of the governor of Virginia in the other case, were equally
well founded and entitled to be recognized and enforced.”
He says: “The duty of surrendering, on due demand from the
foreign government, and on due preliminary proof of the crime
charged, is part of the common law of the land, founded on the
law of nations as part of that law; and the State executive is to
cause that law to be executed, and to be assisted by judicial process,
if necessary.” He further adds: “If there be no authority
in this country, State or national, to surrender such a fugitive,
(one accused of murder or other capital crime,) then it is
idle to talk about the authority of the law of nations as part of
the common law. Then public law, the personification, as it were,
of natural justice, becomes a mere non-entity, the beautiful figments


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of philosophers, and destitute of all real influence on the
fortunes of mankind.”

This is the clearest and highest authority on American law.
Chancellor Kent is an ex-chancellor of the State of New York
herself, and is himself a friend of emancipation; though in the
case of stealing a slave, not a crime in New York, he thus incorporates
the doctrine for which the United States is now contending,
in his commentaries, which have become the very text-book in
the schools upon American law. The fifth edition of his work,
from which I am now quoting, was published in New York in the
year 1844, and is the very latest authority.

The crimes charged in this case are the crimes of felony, punishable
by confinement in the State prison, and the crime of piracy,
punishable with death, under the laws of the United States. The
charges are made under oath and affidavit, by competent witnesses,
who voluntarily testify before the consul of the United States, who
is authorized by both Brazil and the United States to take such
voluntary affidavits, depositions, or declarations, and to certify the
same to me, and who has certified the same to me, and I have communicated
them in part, and will communicate them in whole, to
your excellency. These affidavits would authorize arrest and seizure
in the United States, and the commanders of our armed vessels
are authorized to arrest and seize, upon such evidence.

In the case of the Creole, wherein a vessel bound from one port
to another in the United States with slaves on board, who mutinied,
and partly murdered, and partly maimed their masters and
the officers of the vessel, and who, then, vi et armis, took
her into the port of Nassau, the United States made a demand
for the surrender of the criminals by the authorities of Great
Britain. That demand is still pending and still insisted upon by
the United States, who advance precisely the same doctrines of
national law as those now advanced by me. I am aware, as Chancellor
Kent says, “that all the authorities in Westminster hall, in
that case, gave their opinions in the British House of Lords, in
February, 1842, that the English law and international law did not
authorize the surrender of fugitive criminals of any degree, and
that the right to demand and surrender must be founded on treaty,
or it does not exist.” But the American authorities, particularly
Chancellor Kent, scout this opinion as one which would make any
country, without treaty for surrender, a safe asylum for all sorts of
criminals, from all governments and territories near or distant.”
Besides, this opinion contradicts the best English authorities already
cited. And if, in the case of the Creole, the question had been
whether slave traders guilty of piracy under the laws of the United
States instead of slaves, who had by mutiny, and mayhem, and
murder achieved their personal liberty, should be surrendered, it
may be more than doubted whether “all these high authorities in
Westminster hall” would not have given the very opposite opinion,
in conformity with the better English authorities themselves. By
the English opinion, a slave may, when he can, free himself, and
is justified in committing murder itself to regain his liberty, under


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the natural law. And by the English law, a foreign slave is free
the moment he sets his foot on British soil. And British policy is
at this moment avowedly aiming at universal emancipation throughout
the world. And when we consider that the law of surrender
of criminals is founded upon the reason ex humanitate, and compare
that reason with English sentiments, laws of freedom, and
known policy, we need not wonder why Great Britain holds the
doctrine she does in a case where a slave has freed himself by justifiable
crime in her view—has fled to her jurisdiction for shelter,
and where his surrender is demanded by a slave-holding country.
But will the United States and Brazil ever sanction this British exception
to the laws of nations? In a similar case to that of the
Creole, would not Brazil make a similar demand to that of the
United States, and insist upon it, too, to the last? Will Brazil not
rather favor the American doctrines in such a case, which defend
her own institutions, than side with the English doctrines which
vitally attack them? Great Britain does not admit that slavery
and property in slaves may rightfully exist; and holds that humanity
requires universal emancipation; that natural law justifies
the slave in committing heinous crimes to regain personal feedom,
and, therefore, would decide against surrender in such cases, both
ex humanitate and in favorem, libertatis. The United States and
Brazil hold that slavery, and property in slaves, do rightfully exist
under their jurisdiction; that humanity does not require, but forbids,
universal emancipation and the murder of lawful masters by
their slaves; and, therefore, should allow surrender in such cases,
on the ground both ex humanitate and in defence of their lawful
institutions, long and now necessarily existing. But, agreeing
with all civilized nations of the present day, that humanity does
require that they should respectively forbid, by their laws, their
own citizens to engage in any further traffic in African slaves, and
both having enacted severe penalties against the further prosecution
of the foreign slave trade by their own citizens or foreigners
in their vessels, they are mutually bound to deliver up to
each other, on proper demand, fortified by sufficient proof, the violators
of those laws, who fly to the one from the justice of the
other, on every principle of national law and policy, of comity, of
humanity, of favor to human liberty, and of defence of those peculiar
institutions at home and on the high seas which they are
obliged to maintain and preserve inviolate from intrusion or invasion
by all foreign powers. Such is the general law of nations.
But,

2d. The United States claim extradition in this case, on the
ground of the peculiarly strong obligations on both the United
States and Brazil, by the parts of their treaty still existing between
the two powers, in addition to their general duties to each
other under the laws of nations. Not only does their treaty, of
the 12th of December, 1828, declare in its first article that “There
shall be a perfect, firm, and inviolable peace and friendship between
the United States of America and their citizens, and his imperial
majesty, his successors and subjects, throughout their possessions


124

and territories respectively, without distinction of persons or
places,” but this treaty, in the first point under the 33d article,
provides that, “On the expiration of one year after such notice,
&c., this treaty, in all the parts relating to commerce and navigation,
shall altogether cease and determine, and in all those parts
which relate to peace and friendship it shall be permanently and
perpetually binding on both powers.” Thus, then, not only is
there a general peace and friendship, such as the obligations of
which would rest upon both powers, even without treaty, under
the laws of nations, but there is a special, and peculiarly strong
and perpetually binding amity established, and permanently fixed
by treaty, between them. And, though it is admitted that there is
nothing specific in this treaty of peace touching extradition, or the
surrender of criminals, strictly speaking; and, though it is admitted,
further, that extradition, or surrender of criminals, is, ordinarily,
without treaty, but an imperfect right under the laws of
nations, the refusal of which would not justify hostilities, nor anything
more than serious complaint of discourtesy; yet, so peculiarly
comprehensive, so close and intimate are the relations of
amity established “in all those parts” of this treaty “which relate
to peace and friendship,” so “perfect, firm, and inviolable” is the
peace and friendship meant to be established, “without distinction
of persons or places,” that the United States and Brazil may well
claim, each of the other, that rights of peace, which are but imperfect
rights between powers without treaty, under the general law
of nations, become perfect rights under this treaty. And, by this
treaty, in addition to the laws of nations, I do claim for the United
States, that the faith of this perpetual and permanent treaty of
peace and amity is pledged to surrender these persons, accused of
felony and piracy against the laws of the United States, found in
this port, “without distinction of persons or places.” The acknowledged
relations and obligations of amity do, unquestionably,
embrace the right on the one hand, and the duty on the other, of
the surrender of criminals charged with atrocious crimes. But,

3d. I have been thus far arguing on the right to demand fugitives
from one country, where the crimes were committed, to another
country for shelter. The case of the Porpoise, like that of
the Creole, is much stronger than in a case where the criminal,
after the commission of the crime, has once been in the jurisdiction
of the country whose laws have been offended. In such cases,
the country upon whom the demand is made might with some reason
reply: “Why, when within your own jurisdiction, did you not
exert your own power of arrest and apprehension?” But in this
case, except upon the deck of the Porpoise, which when upon the
high seas is allowed to be under the sole jurisdiction of the United
States as a part of the territory of the vessel's country, and then
more than five thousand miles distant from the civil process and
posse comitatus of the United States, this vessel and these persons
were never within the reach of the civil arm of the country
which demands their surrender. It is true, they eluded the naval
forces of the United States on the high seas; but before they


125

landed in a harbor of Brazil they were discovered by those forces
stationed here, and have been arrested by Brazil herself. The
question is, will Brazil give them shelter because they were
fortunate enough to escape the discovery of their crimes before
they reached the limits of her sovereign and exclusive jurisdiction.
The information was given in this port, and the offenders were
caught here in the fact. No laches on the part of the United
States, therefore, can be pleaded as a justification of refusal to
surrender them. Without the aid of Brazil, after the first discovery
of the crime, the United States never could have arrested
and cannot now bring these persons at this vessel to trial and adjudication,
and, if guilty, to condign punishment. They have especial
claims, then, on this score, to have their authorities aided
against these offenders.

4th. There is stronger obligation still on Brazil to surrender
these persons and this vessel, on the ground—I speak this as truth
necessary to be told, in sorrow, without meaning the least offence—
that the imperial government has for years failed to arrest the
African slave trade, though notoriously carried on for years in
almost every port of the empire, and especially in the metropolitan
port, against its own laws; and the United States vessels and flag
have for years been allowed to be chartered and sold for the uses and
purposes of this infamous trade with impunity. The African slave traders,
Brazilian, English, American, Portuguese, all are well known,
and their offences can, by the proper authority of Brazil, be easily
proved; and yet many of them, wealthy and influential by their
illicit gains, walk abroad in Rio Janeiro unwhipped of justice.
Vessel after vessel under the United States flag sails out of the
ports of Brazil, is sold on the coast of Africa, after taking out a
cargo of English goods for a Brazilian charterer, and returns with
a cargo of slaves to Brazil under the imperial flag. Since my arrival
here on the 2d of August last, the Ganneclifft, the Montevideo,
the Agnes, the Garafilia, and the Kentucky, and several
others, have committed this offence; and the Sea Eagle and the
Porpoise, and others, have been their tenders to furnish cachaca
and muskets, and fazendas, and water pipes, and to carry and
bring crews, American and Brazilian, for the navigation of these
vessels. Not less than from three to four thousand Africans have
been landed in Brazil in American vessels since my arrival, as I
can show; and it is said by the witnesses, that during the charter
of this very vessel by Manœl Pinto da Fonseca, and during her
employment on the coast of Africa by Paulo, his agent, no less
than one thousand slaves were shipped by that agent to Brazil.
She was sailed from factory to factory, furnished the supplies and
purchase money for the slave trade, carried the agents and their
servants over and brought them back with two African boys, captured
in war, branded and bought by Paulo, who trained them to
tell the falsehood that they were free, under threats of punishment
upon his succeeding in landing them in Rio de Janeiro. Fonseca
is at large in this city; Paulo and several of his accomplices were
released from detention the other day; and now it is for Brazil to


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say whether she will surrender to the United States their own vessel
and flag, and four of their own citizens who have been particeps
criminis
in this nefarious voyage. If the imperial government
refuses to grant this just demand, in what attitude will it
stand before the civilized world? What reproaches will the refusal
not justify on the part of its enemies, and what complaints
will it not authorize on the part of its best friends? To say the
least of it, the refusal to allow a friendly power to snatch its own
flag from the stains of this traffic, will wear the appearance of
violating national law and the faith of treaties, under the influence
of domestic slave traders, to shelter foreign felons and pirates,
their tools and accomplices, under the ægis of the inviolable national
sovereignty of Brazil; and, when this becomes to be the
opinion of the civilized world, how long will her sovereignty be
allowed to remain inviolable? A power so justly jealous of her
national reputation and of her national sovereignty as Brazil,
should be slow to assume an attitude so questionable to all appearance
as her refusal to surrender would be in this case.

5th. The fact that this is not piracy under the general law of
nations only strengthens the demand for extradition. “A pirate,”
says Chancellor Kent, vol.—, page 186, “who is one by the law
of nations, may be tried and punished in any country where he may
be found, for he is reputed to be out of the protection of all laws
and privileges. The statute of any government may declare an
offence committed on board its own vessels to be piracy, and such
an offence will be punishable exclusively by the nation which passes
the statute
. But piracy, under the law of nations, is an offence
against all nations, and punishable by all. In the case of the United
States v. Palmer, 3 Wheaton, 10, it was held that the act of
Congress of 1790 was intended to punish offences against the United
States, and not offences against the human race; and that the crime
of robbery, committed by a person who was not a citizen of the
United States, on the high seas, on board of a ship belonging exclusively
to subjects of a foreign State, was not piracy under the act,
and was not punishable in the courts of the United States. The
offence in such a case must therefore be left to be punished by the
nation under whose flag the vessel sailed, and within whose particular
jurisdiction all on board the vessel were. This decision was
according to the law and practice of nations,” &c.

He treats of the African slave trade, page 191, and says: “The
African slave trade is an offence against the municipal laws of most
nations in Europe, and it is declared to be piracy by the statute
laws of England and the United States. Whether it is to be considered
as an offence against the laws of nations, independent of
compact, has been a grave question much litigated in the courts
charged with the administration of public law.” He then takes a
review “of the progress and present state of the sense and practice
of nations on this subject.” He examines the history of slavery
and the authority of Montesquieu; reviews the constitution and
laws of the United States on the subject. He then reviews the
British statutes and the history of European proceedings, until he


127

comes down to the case of the Le Louis, 2 Dodson's adm. rep., 210.
This was the case of “a French vessel, owned and documented as
a French vessel, which was captured by a British armed force on
the coast of Africa, after a resistance made to a demand to visit
and search
. She was carried into Sierra Leone and condemned by
a court of vice admiralty for being concerned in the slave trade,
contrary to the French law. On appeal to the British high court
of admiralty, the question respecting the legality of the capture
and condemnation was argued, and it was judicially decided that
the right of visitation and search on the high seas did not exist in
time of peace.” “The slave trade, though unjust,
and condemned by the statute law of England, was not piracy, nor
was it a crime by the universal law of nations,” &c.
“The condemnation of the French vessel at Sierra Leone was,
therefore, reversed; and the penalties imposed by the French law
(if any there were) were left to be enforced, not in an English, but
in a French court
.” This case was confirmed in the king's bench,
in 1820, in the case of the Madraso v. Willes, 3 Barn & Alderson,
353. “The final decision of the question in the United States has
been the same as in the case of the Le Louis. In the case of the
La Jeune Eugenie, 2 Mason's reports, 409, it was decided in the
circuit conrt of the United States in Massachusetts, after a masterly
discussion, that the slave trade was prohibited by universal law.
But subsequently in the case of the Antelope, 10 Wheaton, 66, the
supreme court of the United States delared that the slave trade,
though contrary to the law of nature, had been sanctioned, in
modern times, by the laws of all nations who possessed distant colonies;
and a trade could not be considered as contrary to the law
of nations which had been authorized and protected by the usages
and laws of all commercial nations. It was not piracy, except so
far
as it was made so by the treaties or statutes of the nation to
which the party belonged
.” The commentator adds: “The doctrine
in the case of the Antelope, and in the English cases therein referred
to, is that right of bringing in for adjudication, in time of
peace, foreign vessels engaged in the slave trade, and captured on
the high seas for that cause, did not exist; and vessels so captured
would be restored, unless the trade was also unlawful and prohibited
by the country to which the vessel belonged,” &c.

Thus, then, these authorities shew: 1st. That Brazil cannot try
the vessels and persons in this case, on the charge of piracy, under
the laws of the United States. 2d. That the doctrine that the
slave trade is not piracy by the general law of nations applies to
the question of the right of visit, and search, and seizure, and the
right of trial, and not to the question of extradition, or the right
and duty of surrender of criminals. Indeed, the authorities are
direct to the point, both in England and in the United States, that,
inasmuch as the slave trade by citizens of the United States and
foreigners, in their vessels, is declared to be piracy by the statutes
of the United States, and is not so by the laws of nations, Brazil
cannot try them for the piracy under the United States statutes,
but must leave them to be tried for this offence in the United


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States, by their courts, and under their laws. Hence the duty to
surrender to the United States their vessel, and their citizens on
board of her, in this case.

6th. If the surrender of this vessel in this case be refused,
what, then, is to become of her? The United States consul will
not deliver up her register, which he has in his possession, until
the claim of the United States for forfeiture be settled. The vessel,
then, cannot be sold or transferred to any person or persons
sailing under any other flag than that of the United States. If she
sails out of this harbor with claim upon her by the United States,
they may seize her upon the high seas under this claim of forfeiture;
and thus she never can lawfully sail at all, or never sail without
being seized under any and every flag she may hoist. If the
imperial government refuses to surrender her to the United States,
it will of course release her. To whom? To the consignees? If
they take her, they cannot send her out of this port without her
being seized on the high seas; they cannot sell her without her
register; and they cannot send her home without sending her there
for trial. If they refuse to take her, what then? Is she to remain
derelict? If left without owner or consignee, the consul of the
United States will be bound to take charge of her. Why not,
then, deliver her up to the United States at once?

7th. The surrender in this case ought to be made upon the
soundest principle of policy of both Brazil and the United States,
to prevent any pretext of other powers for visiting, searching, and
seizing their vessels upon the high seas. If Brazil will shelter
such yessels in her ports under such circumstances, and if the
United States do not by all means in their power enforce their surrender,
with some reason may other civilized nations set up the
pretension never to allow them to enter these ports. To protect
themselves against all pretence, then, of visit and search, and to
defend the freedom of their commerce upon the high seas, the
United States are compelled to demand the surrender of this vessel
and these persons, and to insist upon it most strenuously.

8th. Cui bono—for what end is it that Brazil will refuse this
surrender? Her national sovereignty is fully vindicated, and the
surrender will be but the exercise of her sovereignty and its grace
at last. No possible injury, and much positive good, will result
to her by this exercise of her sovereign power. She will detract
nothing from herself, but simply yield up to the United States their
own vessel and their own citizens, who happen to be found in her
waters; and thereby she will give an earnest evidence to the world
of a bona fide intent to aid in suppressing a most barbarous, demoralizing,
and inhumane, as well as unlawful and infamous traffic—
the most injurious to herself—and of a disposition not to countenance
its crimes, not to shelter its felons and pirates within her
jurisdiction, and not to be influenced to fail in a national duty by
its pampered principal offenders, in sight of the very palace of her
imperial power. Yes; I trust that Brazil will remember her high
destiny and calling among the nations of the earth; that she will
be true to the laws of nations; true to the faith of treaties; true


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to humanity and human liberty; true to her best friend, the United
States; true to herself; and in this truth she will find her chief
glory and chief good.

With renewed assurances of the highest esteem and consideration,
I have the honor to be,
Your excellency's obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE. His excellency ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA, &c., &c., &c.

[Translation.]

PALACE OF RIO DE JANEIRO, February 4, 1845.

The undersigned, &c., &c., has the honor to inform Mr. H. A.
Wise, envoy, &c., &c., that the imperial government, after having
heard the opinion of the desembargador, attorney general, (Procurador
da Coroa, &c.,) upon the request of Mr. Wise, for the extradition
of the four Americans, Cyrus Libby, John Ulrick, George
H. Douglass, and Thomas H. Boyle, arrived in the American merchant
brigantine Porpoise, which voluntarily entered and anchored
in this port, together with that of the same vessel, of which one of
those Americans is said to be the master and another the mate, on
the charge of having violated the laws of the United States against
the traffic in African slaves; considering attentively all these circumstances,
and reflecting that no stipulation exists between Brazil
and the United States, which establishes and regulates extradition,
has decided that it cannot comply with this request.

The undersigned, in transmitting to Mr. H. A. Wise this decision
of the imperial government, avails himself of the opportunity,
&c., &c.

ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Your note of yesterday, the 4th instant, was delivered to
me by the bearer at 10 1/4 o'clock last night. I cannot say that it
caused me any surprise, because for reasons and influences too obvious
to be misunderstood, and too apparent to be mentioned, I
apprehended beforehand that the decision it announces would be
made, and that it would be announced in the manner it has been.
The refusal of the demand for extradition, and the whole proceedings
antecedent to it, and the manner of its annunciation, are
alike offensive to the United States and their envoy extraordinary
and minister plenipotentiary at this court. In the name and by
the authority, therefore, of the United States, I solemnly protest
against this decision of the imperial government, against all the


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proceedings by which it was arrived at, and against the mode and
tone in which it has been declared and communicated to me. This
protest is made on the following grounds, and for these reasons:

  • 1st. That a United States guard was, on the 23d January, placed
    on board the brig Porpoise, by and with the consent and authority
    of an officer of the port of Rio de Janeiro.
  • 2d. That application was made by me in person to your excellency,
    as early as half past 8 o'clock, a. m., on the 24th January,
    for the extradition of said vessel, her cargo and effects, and all
    the persons on board of her; and for the said guard of the United
    States to remain on board, and to detain the said vessel and persons
    until your excellency should decide upon the application
    for their extradition; and that your excellency made no objection
    to the guard remaining nor to the detention, but assented to and
    acquiesced in the same.
  • 3d. That this consent was not withdrawn, and no objection was
    made to this detention for five days, from the evening of the 23d
    to the evening of the 28th January.
  • 4th. That then, on the 28th, without notice of objection or
    withdrawal of consent either to the minister, or to the consul, or
    to the commodore of the United States, an armed force was sent to
    take said vessel and persons from the custody and detention of the
    United States guard.
  • 5th. That upon personal notice to your excellency, when you
    called to inform me of this, that this force would be resisted under
    the circumstances by force, an order was issued in my presence,
    at the house of the minister of justice, to withdraw it; and, thereupon,
    to show respect to the authorities of Brazil, I wrote a letter
    in your presence which caused Commodore Turner to release
    seven passengers, Brazilians and other foreigners, to the United
    States, which persons, by express understanding, were to be arrested
    and tried for violating the laws of Brazil, which has not
    been done.
  • 6th. That then, on the 28th and thereafter, the attempt was
    made, by the refusal of your excellency to decide the application
    for extradition, to place the authorities of the United States in a
    false attitude, by compelling them to choose the alternative of releasing
    a vessel under the United States flag, claimed as forfeited,
    and allowing the persons on board of her, accused of felony and
    piracy, entirely to escape; or to commit a tresspass against the jurisdiction
    of Brazil, which it was their desire to respect and to submit to.
  • 7th. That the minister of the United States then declining to
    advise Commodore Turner to release the vessel and prisoners from
    detention until his application for their extradition should be decided
    upon by your excellency, you formally notified him that the
    guarda môr, or secretary of the port, had no authority to give
    consent for the guard and detention, and urged informally that the
    consent or acquiescence on your excellency's own part was a mistake
    or misunderstanding; and withdrawing all consent for the
    guard and detention, and demanding the vessel and prisoners and

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    all persons on board to be released and to be delivered up to the
    authorities of Brazil, Commodore Turner did, at 12 o'clock, m.,
    on the 3d instant, place the vessel and all persons on board of her,
    except the seven already released, in the same condition she was
    in when he was first allowed to guard her and them, and delivered
    her up to an officer of the port police, upon his showing his orders
    and signing an acknowledgment of delivery, upon the written condition
    that the vessel and her cargo and effects and four persons
    named, accused of felony and piracy under the laws of the United
    States, should be held in the custody of the Brazilian authorities
    until the question of their extradition to the United States should
    be decided upon by the imperial government, and until it should be
    communicated to me;
    and all the other persons, besides these four,
    were placed on board of the vessel at liberty to remain or go
    where they pleased.
  • 8th. That as late as the morning of the 3d instant, only a few
    hours before this vessel and these persons were thus delivered up,
    and the question of their detention by Commodore Turner was
    settled, and at various times previously, your excellency was informed
    and notified by me that the consul of the United States had
    not completed the task of taking all the depositions in the case,
    upon which the application for extradition was founded; that he was
    proceeding to do so with all possible expedition, and that I desired
    to address to your excellency an argument in full upon the
    law and evidence of the whole case when completed; and I requested
    a postponement of your excellency's decision until all the evidence
    and the argument were laid before you; and yet, suddenly
    after the question of extradition was disembarrassed of the question
    of detention, and almost immediately after the delivery up of
    the vessel and the persons charged to the custody of Brazil, and
    before the consul could complete and report the depositions, and
    just as I had prepared and sent to your excellency my reasons for
    the application, I was informed that the imperial government had
    resolved not to consent to the demand of the United States for the
    extradition of their four citizens accused of heinous offences
    against their laws.
  • 9th. That this decision of the imperial government is against the
    laws of nations, and in violation of the spirit and faith of the first
    and last articles of the treaty of peace and friendship permanently
    and perpetually binding on both powers.
  • 10th. That it is partial and imperfect in this, that it touches but
    one portion of the demand. The demand of the United States is
    for the surrender to them of 1st, the vessel, her cargo, and effects,
    under a claim of forfeiture; and 2dly, of the four persons on board
    of her under charges of felony and piracy. The decision does not
    embrace the vessel and her cargo and effects, but the persons accused
    only.
  • 11th. That the decision in respect to the persons is based upon
    no reason, or upon but two assigned, which are both bad and untenable.
    The first is that these persons “entered and anchored in
    this port or harbor voluntarily!” Criminals who flee or escape

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    from the justice of their own country always voluntarily enter
    another foreign country; and extradition can apply only to such
    cases. The second is, that “there is no stipulation existing between
    Brazil and the United States which establishes and regulates extradition.
    Their treaty of peace and friendship, still existing, does
    comprehend the obligations of extradition as they exist between
    powers at peace under the laws of nations. And the laws of nations
    are binding without an express stipulation. And at this day,
    nations do not require a treaty stipulation to do acts demanded of
    them alike by public law, by humanity, by sound morality, and by
    national honor.
  • 12th. That the decision is discourteous to a friendly power, and
    injurious to its best interests and policy.
  • 13th. That it violates Brazil's own precedent, lately established
    in the case of the master, mates, and crew of the brig Montevideo,
    who, at the request of the consul of the United States, were delivered
    up to him to be sent home to the United States to be tried
    for the same offences as those charged in this case, and who were
    arrested on shore, at his office, by a Brazilian guard, and who have
    been sent to the United States for trial. This occurred long since
    I arrived at this court.
  • 14th. That this decision confirms a course of proceeding on the
    part of the imperial government which cannot be submitted to and
    will not be tolerated by the United States, or by their authorities
    near this court. That the imperial government has for a long time
    and in repeated instances allowed its own citizens, citizens of the
    United States, and foreigners, in its ports to charter and purchase
    the merchant vessels and the flag of the United States to carry on
    the African slave trade, and to furnish its supplies, and to transport
    its agents and crews to and from the coast of Africa, in violation
    of its own laws and of the laws of the United States. That it has
    failed to arrest and punish its own citizens, openly and notoriously
    engaged in this traffic, from the port of Rio de Janeiro, in sight of
    its imperial palace; that it has in this instance refused to allow
    friendly authorities to detain them, temporarily even, merely to
    prevent escape, though under their flag; that it has released them
    from all foreign detention, though caused by consent, and has failed
    to arrest them under its own laws; that it has demanded and effected
    the release of a United States merchant vessel and four United
    States citizens, after being taken into its own custody, and has
    used its sovereign jurisdiction within its port to discharge and release
    from all custody not only its own felons, but atrocious pirates
    who belong to the United States, and who are liable to be tried
    only under their laws, and a vessel which is claimed as forfeited
    to them; and thus the exclusive jurisdiction of Brazil in this port
    has been perverted to encourage and protect the infamous African
    slave trade carried on by United States vessels and citizens, and
    foreigners, under their flag, which they are not allowed to snatch
    from its foul pollution within the limits of Brazil; and to afford the
    only plausible pretext to other powers to visit and search their
    vessels, and to arrest their citizens upon the high seas.

133

For these and others reasons, and upon every consideration legal,
moral, and just, I have protested, and do protest, for and in behalf
of the United States, against this decision. Regarding this
case as involving the most important and serious question in the
present relations of the United States and Brazil, I shall transmit
a full statement of all its facts to the President of the United
States, and await his instructions.

In the meantime, I request to be informed whether the four persons,
whose surrender has been refused, have been set at liberty;
and to be informed, also, what decision the imperial government
has come to in respect to the surrender of the brig Porpoise and
her cargo and effects?
An early reply to this request is most respectfully
asked.

With renewed assurances of the highest consideration, I am
your excellency's obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE.
His Excellency Ernesto Ferreira Franca, &c., &c., &c.,

[Translation.]

PALACE OF RIO DE JANEIRO,

The undersigned, &c., &c., hastens to apprize Mr. Wise, envoy,
&c., &c., that, when he received last evening his two notes, one
dated yesterday, the 4th, and the other (evidently by mistake) the
5th of the present month, he had already had the honor of addressing
Mr. Wise to inform him that the imperial government, after
having heard the attorney general, (procurador, &c.,) had directed
that it could not grant the extradition in question. At the same
time, the undersigned had written to the minister of justice, in order
that he might take the measures he should deem proper according
to the laws of the country in regard to any violatrons which may
have been committed of these same Brazilian laws. Meanwhile,
it is a necessary consequence of that decision of the imperial government,
that the detention, which had been ordered by this department,
of the brigatine Porpoise, and of the four Americans
whose extradition the government cannot grant, should cease.

The undersigned reiterates, &c., &c.,
ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Your excellency's note of the 5th instant, received by me
at two o'clock, p. m., yesterday, which acknowledges my two notes
of the 4th, (one of them improperly dated the 5th,) says:


134

First. That your excellency had received my argument in the
case of the brig Porpoise, but had beforehand decided the case!

Secondly. That your excellency had instituted inquiry as to any
violation of the laws of Brazil in the case, but had in the meantime
released the piratical vessel and the prisoners accused!!

This practically replies to my argument of the 4th, and to the
interrogatories contained in my protest of the 5th, and leaves the
United States to take such ulterior steps as they may deem proper.

With assurances, &c., &c.,
HENRY A. WISE.
His excellency Frnesto Ferreira Franca,
&c., &c., &c.,

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

SIR:

The minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs has
duly informed me that the imperial government has declined to
surrender the United States merchant brig Porpoise, charged with
being forfeited to the United States, and the four persons on board
of her, charged with the crimes of felony and piracy against the laws
of the United States for the suppression of the foreign slave trade
by their citizens and others on board of their vessels; and that, in
consequence of this decision, the said vessel and persons have been
released from detention. Against this decision, for and in the
name of the United States, I have officially protested. And this is
to notify you that if you, as consul, have in your office the register
or other papers of said vessel granted by the United States, you
will continue to hold and not deliver up the same to any person or
authority whatever until ordered so to do by the government of the
United States, which still claims said vessel and her cargo and effects
as forfeited to them.

I request you also officially to ascertain from Captain Libby, her
late master, and from her consignees, if any there be, whether they
or either of them claim to hold such vessel, &c., for themselves or
any other person as owner or charterer, or otherwise; and, if so,
for whom and in what character, whether as master, agent, or owner,
or factor, or consignee, or charterer. And in case you find that
she is not claimed by any person or persons whatever, but that, under
protest or otherwise, she is abandoned by her master, agent,
charterer, factor, or consignee, you will then, as consul, take the
proper steps to take into your charge the said vessel, &c. for the
benefit of her owner or owners, citizens of the United States, if she
be not forfeited, and for the benefit of the United States, if she be
forfeited under their laws. And in case you find that the attempt will
be made by her master, consignee, charterer, or agent, &c., to sail
or send away, or to sell and transfer said vessel, &c., without obtaining
from you her true register, you will please give timely notice


135

thereof to Commodore Turner, or other officer in command of
the United States naval forces at the time.

Very respectfully, &c., &c.,

HENRY A. WISE.
GEORGE W. GORDON, Esq.,
Consul of the United States.

[Translation.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

The minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs presents
his best compliments to Mr. H. A. Wise, envoy, &c., &c., and
begs him to do him the favor of coming to speak with him at this
department of state tomorrow, the 7th instant, at six o'clock in the
evening.

The same minister renews, &c., &c.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary
of the United States of America, returns the kind compliments
of Mr. França, minister and secretary of state for foreign
affairs, and regrets that he is obliged to decline his excellency's invitation
to a personal interview at the office of state this evening
at six o'clock.

The undersigned renews, &c., &c.,
HENRY A. WISE.
His excellency ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA,
&c., &c., &c.,

[Private and confidential.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro, 4 o'clock, p. m.,

DEAR SIR:

Reflecting upon the interview which your excellency
did me the honor to hold with me at my house, on the evening of
the 6th instant, I have concluded to address to M. França through
you, and with your approbation, the enclosed note, marked private
and unofficial. This, I trust, will manifest the sincere regard and
esteem which I entertain for your excellency, on account of your
friendly interest in me, and especially in my country. If this letter
to M. Françe meets your approbation, will you please cause it


136

to be handed to him, and cause the letter or protest of mine to
which it refers to be returned to me, as if it had never been written.
This will leave no room for any unpleasant discussion whatever.

I have the honor to be, your excellency's friend,

HENRY A. WISE.
His Excellency Senor Cavalcanti, &c., &, &c.

[Private and unofficial.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES.
Rio de Janeiro,

The undersigned, having been informed by his excellency the
minister of marine that the brig Porpoise and the four accused
persons belonging to that vessel are still held in the custody of his
department; and he having interceded, as a friend to harmonious
relations between the United States and Brazil, and as a friend of
your excellency, the undersigned has, at his excellency's instance,
determined, with your excellency's approbation, to withdraw the
letter in form of a protest against the decision of the imperial government,
upon the question of extradition, which he had the honor
to address to your excellency of the 5th instant. Your excellency
will please signify your resolve as to this request.

With renewed assurances of his perfect esteem and high consideration,
the undersigned has the honor to remain

Your excellency's obedient servant,
HENRY A. WISE.
His excellency
ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA, &c., &c., &c.

[Translation.]

[PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.]
Most excellent colleague, friend, and Senor Cavalcanti:

I received yesterday your letter, and did not answer it on the
moment, being very much occupied in getting ready the despatches
for Montevideo. I enclose here Mr. Wise's note, as also another
one he had sent me immediately, which was a consequence of the
1st (protest) and which made reference to it. I shall always be
ready to give every proof of the esteem and consideration which I
hold for the United States, where I was so hospitably and friendly
received, as well as my family; moreover, it is my true desire to
strengthen and fortify as much as possible the bonds of sympathy
and reciprocal interests which must blend both countries; and your


137

excellency may be assured that I desire most earnestly to see established
between both, friendship and the best harmony.

I remain, with due esteem, your excellency's colleague and affectionate
friend,

E. F. FRANCA.

PRAIADO FLAMENGO,

This present translation from the original was performed by me
by his excellency's order, to he transmitted to his excellency Mr.
Wise confidentially.

LUIZ AUGUSTA MAY.
FEBRUARY 12, 1845.

Testimony of Peter Johnson, one of the crew of the brig Porpoise.

On board of the United States frigate “Raritan,” in the harbor
of Rio de Janeiro, on the thirtieth day of January, 1845, personally
appeared before me the undersigned, consul of United States of
America, Peter Johnson, a colored man, cook and steward of the
brig “Porpoise,” who being duly sworn upon the Holy Evangelists
of Almighty God, deposed as follows:

That he was born in Kingston, in the State of New York; is 29
years of age; that he joined the brig “Porpoise,” Cyrus Libby,
master, at the port of Rio de Janeiro, on the 20th of January, 1844,
in the capacity of cook and steward. When he agreed to be shipped,
Captain Libby told him that the vessel was going to Africa, and
that he would ship deponent for six months, and as much longer as
they could agree, but that he was told at the consulate that the
papers were filled up “for port or ports on the coast of Africa,
back to Rio de Janeiro, and to port of discharge in the United
States.” The brig was consigned at Rio de Janeiro to Maxwell,
Wright & Co. While on the coast of Africa, at a place called
Inhambane, in the month of July, 1844, the most of the crew complained
to the captain that the time for which they had shipped
had expired, and demanded that the vessel should return to Rio de
Janeiro, as they wanted their discharge. The captain told them
that he would discharge them all there, if there was any consul
there, but as there was not, he could not discharge them, and they
must remain by the vessel; and that he could not then return to
Rio de Janeiro, as the time of the charter had not expired. About
this time, deponent being in the pantry, overheard a conversation
between Captain Libby and his first mate, Mr. Ulrick, who were
standing on the deck and within hearing; they were talking about
being obliged to remain there, and Captain Libby told Ulrick that
he could not help it, as he was entirely under the control of Mr.
Paulo; deponent said that Paulo appeared to be both supercargo
and agent of the vessel, and was at the head of everything. He
furnished the provisions—gave orders about the water and the


138

ballast, which he sent off in boats manned with negroes from shore,
in charge of one of his own men. Captain Libby complained of the
terms of the charter party, and blamed his consignees at Rio de
Janeiro for it; he said that he could not then return to Rio de
Janeiro, as the charter party run for such a length of time, as
much longer as the voyage might consist of, and said that if he
returned then, he feared his consignees might lose a great deal of
money by it. He said that Maxwell, Wright & Co. made the
charter, that he, (Libby,) had nothing at all to do with it, and that
there were some parts of it that he did not exactly understand.
What those parts were, deponent did not understand. That Captain
Libby said at the time that he knew the man that the cargo belonged
to; that it was Manoel Pinto, of Rio, but that he was a
stranger to Paulo when he came on board; that he heard Ulrick
ask Captain Libby if he had not an English copy of the charter,
but that he did not hear Captain Libby's answer. After this, the
crew got hold of this, whether they were told it by Captain
Libby or the mate, he, deponent, does not know, but they murmured
about it, and said that it was strange that the captain should
not know the terms of the charter party when he made it, and that
it was not right that they should be obliged to remain there after
their times were out, just as long as Mr. Paulo said, and that Captain
Libby ought to take up his anchor and return to Rio de
Janeiro. About this time, one of the crew, named Edward Blake,
was discharged. Blake had been second mate, and had been broke
by Captain Libby. When he was discharged, both the captain and
Blake were glad of it, and Captain Libby said he was glad to get
rid of him out of the vessel; he was paid off, and deponent saw
his order for his money. It was shown to deponent by Blake, but
he, deponent, was not allowed to read it. Blake, at this time, went
on board the “Kentucky,” then lying at this port. Blake received
with the order also some money. About this time also a man named
William Page, one of the crew of the “Kentucky,” who with the
master, Captain Douglass and his crew, had left the “Kentucky”
and came on board the “Porpoise,” was turned out of the “Porpoise”
by Captain Douglass. Captain Douglass told Page that he
was a foreigner, and that he had got his money, had been paid, and
to get out of the vessel, as he did not want him there. Page told
Captain Douglass that he was sick. Captain Douglass said he did
not care, and that he should not remain on board the vessel, the
“Porpoise.” That about this time, Mr. Boyle, mate of the “Kentucky,”
and who had not then left that vessel, came on board the
“Porpoise,” and deponent heard Boyle tell Page that if he was
going on board of the Kentucky, to go then, as they wanted him. At
this time they were fitting the Kentucky, laying her deck and so
forth, and getting her ready to receive her slaves on board. Upon
this, Page told Boyle that he would get his things ready and go—
and he did go that afternoon. And deponent further saith, that
during the conversation that he overheard and has described, between
Captain Libby and his mate, Mr. Ulrick, he heard Captain
Libby ask Mr. Ulrick how many slaves Mr. Paulo had got; that

139

Mr. Ulrick replied that they had got a few, but not half enough
for the Kentucky, or not half as many as the Kentucky wanted;
Captain Douglass being present at this examination, here asked
the deponent what was the reason that he, Douglass, would not
have Page on board the vessel, and that if Page had not before
stolen the boat and gone on shore, and staid all night? Deponent
said that both Page and Patterson had taken a boat and gone on
shore without leave, and that Captain Douglass had one of them,
Patterson, thrashed, and the other, Page, was put in irons, and both
of them were kept on bread and water for a number of days, being
imprisoned in the fort at that place. That he did not see Patterson
thrashed, but heard his cries, and saw the wounds on his back
afterwards. Deponent further said that he, deponent, was at work
on board the brig at Rio de Janeiro some days before he shipped.
At the time he went to work on board the Porpoise, Mr. Ulrick
was on board of her; Mr. Ulrick had come passenger on board of
her from the coast of Africa, whence she had just arrived, and that
Captain Driscoll's baggage was also on board, but Captain Driscoll
was not; Captain Driscoll was also a passenger in the Porpoise
from the coast of Africa; deponent also said that at that time, (the
time he first went on board of her,) Mr. Libby, a brother of Captain
Libby, was mate of the Porpoise, but that before leaving, he,
the mate Libby, left the vessel, and Mr. Ulrick was shipped as first
mate; and at that time, also, Edward Blake aforesaid was second
officer, and acted as such until he was broke, as deponent has
described.

After deponent joined the vessel she was hove down and coppered
at Rio de Janeiro. A man by the name of Campos appeared
to be the principal man in doing this business. He superintended
and gave the principal directions under the inspection of the officers
of the vessel. After the vessel was coppered, there was taken
on board of her as cargo, pipes of aguardente, barrels of wine and
porter—some other barrels headed up tight, of which he does not
know their contents, but when rolled over on the deck they rattled
as though they had hardware in them—barrels of hams, salted
provisions and bread, crates of crockery, boxes and bales of dry
goods, cloths, &c. Deponent saw some of these boxes and bales
opened on board the vessel at Inhambane, and they contained
printed cotton cloth, plaided handkerchiefs, white coarse muslin,
shirtings, duck, and blue flanael; and deponent afterwards saw
these articles on shore in Paulo's factory, upon shelves as in a dry
goods store; these packages of goods were opened on board to be
examined to find out if any thing had been taken out there, and
some articles were found to be missing; saw also a barrel of beads,
very coarse beads, on strings. This barrel was opened by Mr. Ulrick,
or rather Mr. Ulrick gave orders for the hammer and chisel,
but who actually opened it in the hold cannot say. Some of the
beads were then carried into the cabin by the mate, Mr. Ulrick,
himself. After they were taken into the cabin, they were taken
on shore by a man named Theodoro, in a handkerchief; and the
other beads in the barrel were taken on shore in the same way.


140

This man, Theodoro, was a Portuguese, who went over to the coast
in the Kentucky, and was at the time on shore in the employ
of Captain Paulo. And deponent further said, that there were a
number of cases of muskets taken on board at Rio de Janeiro; also,
provisions, rice, sugar, tea, &c., and the usual quantity of water
for the vessel's use. There were, also, a number of kegs of powder
taken on board after the vessel had dropped down the harbor.
When the powder was taken on board Captain Libby was on shore,
and Mr. Ulrick gave deponent orders to put the fires out, which he
did; as to the quantity of different articles taken on board deponent
cannot say, as he was cook, and had nothing to do with it.
Deponent further said, that on the coast of Africa, at Lourenço
Marques, a large portion of the cargo was smuggled on shore in
the night; the custom house officer was on board at the time, who
was made drunk. The Portuguese steward told deponent that they
were going to play a trick upon the custom house officer. That he,
deponent, asked him what it was. The steward said you will see
it by and by. Deponent understands and can speak Portuguese imperfectly,
but can understand common conversation. When the custom
house officer was at dinner, on deck, they gave him mixed
liquor. When it was given to him, the officer, the Portuguese
steward, who prepared it handed it to deponent, and he tasted it.
When the custom-house officer said, “quer mais? quer mais?”
“Take some more? take some more?” Deponent answered, “Nao,
senhor, en fico lle muito obrigado;” “no, sir, I am much obliged
to you.” The liquor was in a large tumber, which was full, and
was a mixture, as deponent thinks, of cachaça, wine and snuff; deponent
knew there was in it cachaça from the smell, that there was
wine from the color, and that there was snuff from the taste; the
custom-house officer drunk it, and afterwards went to sleep in the
long boat. It was not thought safe to leave him there, and he was
taken, while thus asleep, down into the cabin, and laid down on
the deck by the starboard side of the table, where he laid until
quite late in the evening like a dead man laid out; he was asleep
all night, and knew nothing till morning. When he woke up and
came to his senses, he inquired where the cargo was that the day
before was on deck, and was told that it had been taken below;
others said, “you, a custom-house officer, and don't know what has
become of the cargo!” He looked down the hold and said, there
was more cargo than that; when one and another said, “I know
nothing about it—I know nothing about it—don't talk to me;” he
then sat down, asked for something to drink, and made himself
very contented. During this night Captain Paulo's men were at
work all the time smuggling the cargo on shore; the principal articles
taken on shore were dry goods. Captain Libby did not witness
this business, as he was in his berth sick. Mr. Ulrick did
witness it, and had a good deal of difficulty in controlling the Portuguese
crew, as some of them were drunk. The American crew
had nothing to do with discharging cargo that night. Deponent
further said, there came on board at Rio de Janeiro a white boy,
named John Henry Edmunds; he went as cabin boy; and, also, a

141

mulatto boy, named George Williams, and was also cabin boy;
and, also, as passengers, Captain Paulo, who was head man; Senhor
Vieira, Paulo's assistant; Senhor Andrade, Paulo's clerk; Francisco,
steward; Fransisco, cook; a barber, name not known, as he
was always called “mestre barbeiro;” two seamen, called Manoel
and Antonio, all of whom went over to the coast in the vessel.
The vessel sailed from Rio de Janeiro thus equipped, and with a
cargo and passengers aforesaid, in the month of February, 1844,
and arrived at Lourenço Marques, on the east coast of Africa,
about the 1st of April. On arrival at this place, Captain Paulo
and his company went on shore, made arrangements, hired a house,
and set up a factory for trading; and the cargo that was taken on
shore at this place was taken to that factory. The Portuguese
cook went on shore and attended to his business as cook, and the
steward as steward. The two seamen were employed in pulling
Paulo's boat about, and the other passengers were occupied in assisting
Mr. Paulo in his business. The boat that belonged to the
Porpoise went on shore every morning for provisions. Mr. Ulrick,
mate, and two seamen went in it; they got the provisions at the
factory of Mr. Paulo. Has heard Mr. Ulrick call two seamen
and say to them, “jump into the boat and go to the factory and
see if they will give you something to eat.” At this place Captain
Libby lost eleven doubloons, and deponent was accused of
stealing them, and was imprisoned in the fort at that place for
three days. On the fourth day, deponent was taken out, and returned
to duty on board the vessel. These doubloons were not recovered
by Captain Libby until about three months afterwards, at
Inhambane, when the money was given to the captain by Edward
Blake; who said that the boy, John H. Edmunds, who died at
Lourenço Marques, stole it, and gave it to him (Blake) to keep it.
It was never known who stole the money. Deponent was on
shore at Lourenço Marques but once, and that was when he was
taken to prison in the fort. While at Lourenço Marques, Captain
Douglass arrived at that place. He came in a boat manned by four
of his crew of the brig Kentucky; and the Portuguese captain,
who went over to the coast in the Kentucky, and afterwards was
master of that vessel, when she took on board her cargo of slaves,
came in the same boat with him; that both Captain Douglass and
the Portuguese captain came on board of the Porpoise; were received
by Captain Libby, and by his invitation went into the cabin
and took some tea; when Captain Douglass informed Captain
Libby that he had brought over, as master of her, the brig Kentucky,
from Rio de Janeiro; that her former master, Captain Willis,
did not wish to come over in the Kentucky, and he (Douglass)
was made master of her, Captain Libby then said this arrival
will be news to Captain Paulo; and then the three, Captains Libby,
Douglass, and the Portuguese went together on shore, saying that
they were going to see Captain Paulo. Captains Libby and Douglass
came back that night, but the other remained on shore. On
the next day another boat arrived at Laurenço Marques, that belonged
to another vessel—a slaver—that had just arrived at Imy

142

ack. The men in this boat, as they passed the Porpoise, spoke to
the men in Captain Douglass's boat, and asked them if they were
going back soon; and they replied that they were going on shore
to carry the captain's cloak—that is, the Portuguese captain's
cloak. Captain Douglass's boat returned to Imyack the next day,
and Captain Douglass remained on board the Porpoise about two
weeks. A few days after this, Captain Paulo went down to this
last named vessel, which was under Brazilian colors, and by his
directions she was taken to a river for safety. Deponent does not
know when Captain Libby saw this Brazilian vessel, or that he was
on board of her at all; but he heard him speak of her at this or
some subsequent time, and say how badly she looked, and what a
miserable condition she was in. Deponent thinks that Captain
Libby must have been on board this vessel at some time, for he
has heard him say a great deal about her. After this time the
Porpoise got under way and went down to Imyack, taking on
board Captain Paulo, his clerk, Andrade, cook, and steward, and
leaving the concern at Lourenço Marques under charge of Senhor
Vieira, with the two seamen and barber aforesaid. Captain Douglass
and the master of the strange brig, and one or two gentlemen
from shore also went down to Imyack in the Porpoise at this time.
The Porpoise then proceeded to Inhambane, followed by the Kentucky,
Captain Paulo giving directions to the Portuguese captain
on board the Kentucky, how to sail not to proceed too fast; and
blue lights were burnt on board the Porpoise as signals. Deponent
does not know whether Captain Douglass or the Portuguese captain
had charge of the Kentucky at this time, or not; but when
Captain Paulo gave any directions he hailed the brig, saying, “O,
Francisco!”—the name of the Portuguese master. Captain Libby
also gave directions to Captain Douglass, and told him to keep
close, or not to run away from him. The principal directions
were given by Captain Paulo. Both vessels came to outside the
bar at Inhambane. Captain Paulo then went up to the town in the
Kentucky's boat, with the Portuguese captain of the Kentucky,
and two or three days afterwards came back with a pilot in the
pilot's boat. The Porpoise then got under way, and both the pilot
and Captain Paulo gave directions to the Kentucky how to steer,
and in that way both vessels proceeded up to town; sometimes near
enough together for conversation to be held with ease between the
two vessels; and sometimes so far apart as to make it necessary to
speak very loud. Before passing the bar, both vessels came to anchor
near each other, and part of the cargo in the Kentucky was
taken out and put on board the Porpoise. It consisted mostly of
provisions—beef, bread, butter, wine, and vinegar, &c. After this
was done, both vessels proceeded together up to the town, and
came to anchor under directions of the pilot. Captain Paulo was
then sick, and was removed on shore that evening. Some of the
cargo, after Mr. Paulo had recovered and made arrangements on
shore, was discharged, and a factory was set up there, the same as
had been done at Lourenço Marques. The cargo was discharged
under the directions of Francisco, the steward. Barrels of wine,

143

vinegar, bread, bales of goods, and kegs of butter were discharged,
and the aguardente was drawn off on board into demijons, and
taken to the factory; and the boat was every day sent to the factory
on shore, as at Lourenço Marques, for provisions, &c.; and
a short time after arrival, Captain Douglass, with his American
crew, left the Kentucky and came on board the Porpoise, leaving
his mate, Mr. Boyle, and the Portuguese crew on board, and in
charge of the Kentucky. Deponent was at the factory only once;
and in the afternoon of that day, deponent went to the factory and
bought some clothes. The dry goods were arranged in the factory
as they are in the United States in dry goods stores. The muskets
were arranged to view in a handsome manner, the boxes of cigars
were piled one on top of the others, regularly, in the back part of
the factory, and the covers of the boxes of other goods were off,
or loose, and the goods exposed to view.

A very short distance from this building was another for the
slaves, near to which, in the yard, was a cooking apparatus; the
cooking was done by the slaves, who were chained two together,
and where one went the other must go. Some of the Portuguese
crew of the Kentucky were then at the factory, keeping them together
with canes or sticks in their hands, and acting otherwise
under directions of Captain Paulo. When deponent was at the
factory some of the slaves were walking about and some sitting
down; others were standing up around the cooking establishment
engaged in cooking. The males were chained together, a man and
a boy, by the legs, sometimes two boys together; the women with
chains around their necks. Deponent asked one of the Portuguese
crew about a large good looking woman, and he said that she was
one that Paulo had just bought. She was chained by the neck;
her chain led to another one sitting beside her; this latter negro
had some cloth around her, and deponent could not tell whether
the chain was actually around her neck or not, but it hung down
upon her bosom like a ladies' watch chain, only it was not quite
so ornamental. All the negroes that deponent saw in this yard
had been branded, either upon the breast or the back of the shoulder,
and the brand wounds were then raw. Deponent was told by
a man belonging to the brig Kentucky (of her Portuguese crew)
who could speak both English and Portuguese, that they had rising
two hundred, but not enough to supply the brig Kentucky; was
told also by the same man that some negroes were brought to the
factory that morning for sale that did not suit Captain Paulo; some
were too old, others not large enough, and some were sickly; that
Captain Paulo did not appear to be in a hurry for buying slaves, and
that he thought it would be some time before he would get a complement
for the Kentucky. When deponent went to the factory
he went with Paine, Blake and Hans; and deponent asked them to
show him where the negroes were, as they were on shore almost
daily, and they showed deponent into the yard. In the evening
deponent passed by the factory again, and saw them in the lower
part of the building through a large iron door. They were then
chained; some were lying down and others were walking about.


144

One of the keepers was then with deponent. About the hour of
ten o'clock deponent and his comrades separated and went different
ways, as their inclinations led them. At an early hour the
next morning they again met together, and went down and hailed
the vessel for a boat, and deponent went on board and returned to
duty as usual. This was the only time deponent was on shore at
Inhambane. While on shore deponent saw Blake, who was there,
and one of the Brazilian crew, bargaining for a negro boy, for which
the Moor wanted the price of twenty dollars, but Blake would not
buy him, as he was broken out over the body with a disease called
the craw-craws, somewhat like the itch. The negro boy was shipped
to be examined. This was at the house of a Moor at which deponent
and Mark Turner called to get a doubloon changed. The
negroes that deponent saw branded at the factory were branded
with hot irons; the marks of a majority of them was “P;” others
were marked “J,” and some with other marks. While at Inhambane,
a Portuguese man-of-war brig came into that port with the
governor general of the colonies on board, who was visiting the
different colonies on that coast. He was received in due form;
guns were fired, colors hoisted, and a boat sent to bring him on
shore. At this time both the Porpoise and the Kentucky hoisted
American colors. At the time the brig of war was first seen coming
in, the Portuguese captain of the Kentucky, Fonseca, came
along side of the Porpoise, with a tin trunk about two feet long,
secured with a padlock, which trunk was taken into the cabin of
the Porpoise; and deponent, out of curiosity, lifted the trunk to
ascertain if it contained treasures, but it was light. Deponent was
at the time told by the steward of Captain Douglass, William Patterson,
that said trunk was the one in which the papers of the captain
of the Kentucky, Fonseca, were kept. At this time, or soon
after, Captain Douglass left the Porpoise and went on board of the
Kentucky. Deponent is not certain whether Captain Douglass
went on board of the Kentucky in the boat of the Kentucky or
the Porpoise, but thinks in the boat of the Kentucky; and the
American colors were hoisted on board the Kentucky as soon as
Captain Douglass got on board of her. After this, Captain Douglass
came back on board of the Porpoise, and wanted the American
crew of the Kentucky, then on board the Porpoise, to go on board
the Kentucky to protect that vessel; the crew declined to go.
Captain Douglass asked them what they would go for, and the
crew named one hundred dollars each. Captain Douglass told them
that that sum was out of the question and reason, and they would
not get it; but if they would name fifty dollars, or something like
it, they might get it. But the crew would not go, and Captain
Douglass went off without them.

At one time, either Captain Libby or Mr. Ulrick said something
to Captain Douglass about hoisting the American colors on board
of a contraband vessel. At this time, Captain Douglass got quite
vexed, stamped upon the deck, and said that “he would hoist his
colors where he damned pleased, and he would not ask any body
when he should hoist them.” Before this-occurrence, the Portuguese


145

man-of-war had sailed, and the conversation referred to was
about what had been done. On one occasion after this, Mr. Ulrick
took the boat of the “Porpoise,” and went sailing, and went
alongside the “Kentucky,” and also on board of her; and, while
in the cabin or some other part of that vessel, a negro boy, one of
the slaves that they had on board of the “Kentucky,” got into
his, Ulrick's, boat, and floated away from the vessel, and getting
into the tide, and not knowing how to manage a boat, got on to a
sand bank, or something of the kind—(here Captain Douglass,
being present at the examination, said, “you know it was a sand
bank, and that it unshipped the rudder and could not get off”)—
and when, soon after, Mr. Ulrick came on the deck of the “Kentucky,”
he cried out, with an oath, look at that'negro there in our
boat. At this time, the boat of the “Kentucky” was on shore,
and the Portuguese brig, called the “Laguna,” which was then
lying in that port, was hailed and sent her boat alongside of the
“Kentucky,” and two men and the Brazilian mate of the “Kentucky”
got into it, and went after and got the boat with the negro
boy. At this time Mr. Boyle was on board the “Kentucky.”
Deponent further said, that all the time that the Portuguese man-of-war
brig was in port, Captain Douglass remained during the
day time on board the “Kentucky,” sleeping at night on board of
the “Porpoise.” Shortly after the occurrence with the boat as
aforesaid, Mr. Boyle left the “Kentucky” and came on board the
“Porpoise;” and when he came on board the “Porpoise,” he said
that they were preparing to take the slaves on board the “Kentucky,”
and he did not wish to stay there any longer. Deponent
was once on board the “Kentucy,” while Mr. Boyle and Blake
were on board of her, and saw the boy aforesaid on board of that
vessel, and should think, from his appearance, that he was a slave.
He asked the Portuguese steward who that boy was, and if they
had got a new cabin boy? He replied, “No, he is a boy we have
got.” Deponent asked if he was going to Rio? and he said “Yes.”

Deponent further said, that, when the Portuguese man-of-war arrived,
the “Porpoise” was boarded from her by a lieutenant, with
an interpreter. He inquired what cargo was on board, and where
the brig was from, and was told; and was then told by Captain
Libby, if he wanted to know anything more, he must go on shore
and ask Captain Paulo. Captain Libby was asked if he knew
of the new regulations, that all vessels coming to trade on the
coast must go to Mozambique and get a license from the governor
to thus trade. Captain told him no, that he had not; and after
examining the vessel somewhat, the lieutenant and his company
left the vessel. On the following day, Mr. Ulrick, who had been
on shore, came on board, and Captain Libby asked him how things
went on on shore, and if he went to the yard to see the negroes; and
he, Mr. Ulrick, replied that he did not, but told Captain Libby
that Captain Paulo appeared to be very much alarmed about the
safety of the brig “Kentucky,” but that about the “Porpoise” he
had no fear at all. While at Inhambane, deponent understood that
the governor-general received $1,500 from Mr. Paulo, some said


146

as a fine, others that it was a bribe, to permit him to trade there
for slaves.

Deponent further said, that about a month after the governor-general
left, the “Kentucky” took on board her cargo of slaves.
The “Porpoise” and “Kentucky” at this time laid within speaking
distance, without trumpet, from each other, and deponent saw
some of the slaves go on board of the “Kentucky.” He was near
enough to see them distinctly. After a part of the slaves were on
board of her, she dropped down to the bar, and then the balance
of the slaves were sent on board in launches. And while there,
Mr. Ulrick and Mr. Boyle went down to visit that vessel; and,
from conversation heard between them after their return, he learned
that they were on board of the “Kentucky” at this time. Soon
after the “Kentucky” sailed as aforesaid, the “Porpoise” got ready
for sea, and Capt. Paulo and his company came on board of her with
their things. When he came on board, he brought with him a negro
boy called Guilherme, who acted as a sort of steward to Captain
Paulo; but deponent knows nothing about how Paulo got this boy.
The pilot then put this vessel outside the bar and left, and the
brig went to Quellimane, further to the north; at Quellimane, lay
but a few days. On arrival here, Captain Paulo reported the vessel
from Lourenço Marques, to prevent its being known there that
she had been at Quellimane. At this place there came on board
several passengers—Captain Souza, a Portuguese, who lost his
vessel on the coast; Captain Bernardo, (thinks he is a Brazilian,)
who also lost his vessel there; and a person named Campos, who
had a brother who died at Quellimane. He said that the English
seized his brother's property, and burnt his factory. This Mr.
Campos was very poor, having hardly a change of shirts; and a
merchant named Tavares, or rather who was trading in slaves, the
same as Paulo had been. There was, at this time, a great many
slaves on hand, the owners of which were waiting for vessels to
take them away. After leaving this place, the “Porpoise” went to
Lourenço Marques, where M. Paulo had left M. Vieira, and when
the “Porpoise” arrived there, found at the factory Captain Laurens,
who commanded the brig that arrived at Imyack at the time
the “Kentucky” did, upon whom his crew had risen, taken from
him his vessel, turned him out of it, and put his mate in charge.
That vessel was afterwards taken by the British, and either destroyed
or taken to the Cape of Good Hope as a prize. A portion
of the crew of this vessel were seen at Quellimane, but Captain
Paulo would not take them on board the “Porpoise” in consequence
of their conduct and treatment of Captain Laurens.

Captain Laurens came on board the “Porpoise” at Lourenço
Marques, with Captain Paulo, Mr. Vieira and a negro boy named
Pedro, and also another negro boy who went in the “Porpoise” to
Imyack, and there was sent on board a vessel called the “Garafilia,”
then lying in a river hid for fear of the English; this boy was
brother to Pedro, and look much like him, and both boys cried
a great deal when they parted. The “Garafilia” was one of
Paulo's vessels, and was formerly an American vessel. On arrival


147

at Imyack, Captain Paulo, and a black pilot that came down from
Lourenço Marques, and on the next day the “Garafilia” came down
from the river, and on the arrival of the “Garafilia,” she sent a
boat on board the “Porpoise” with her mate, and inquired for
Captain Paulo, and was told that he was on shore, and the boat
then went on shore, and on the same afternoon they commenced
sending the negroes on board the “Garafilia,” and on the following
day the boy who is brother to Pedro, was sent on board of that
vessel as aforesaid, and on this day both vessels went to sea together,
and after that day deponent saw no more of the “Garafilia.”
The two vessels left the port nearly together; they both beat out,
the “Garafilia” being to windward. They went to sea in the forenoon,
and were in sight of each other during the day, but in the
night got separated. The “Garafilia” kept in shore, near the
land, and the “Porpoise” further out to sea. At this time deponent
heard a conversation among the Portuguese passengers, particularly
Captain Paulo's cook and steward, that the “Porpoise”
was to keep further out to sea, so if they fell in with a man-of-war
that the “Porpoise” being an American vessel and a good
sailer, she would lead the man-of-war off in chase, while the “Garafilia”
should make her escape. Nothing else particular took
place that deponent thinks important to describe until arrival at
Rio de Janeiro on the 23d instant, when the brig “Porpoise” was
taken charge of by the American authorities; deponent heard no
particular conversation on the passage back to Rio de Janeiro, between
Captains Libby and Douglass, and Paulo; but Captain Libby
and Captain Paulo frequently had private conversations in the
cabin, with Mr. Ulrick as interpreter; but these conversations deponent
never overheard. There was an impression on board among
the crew of the “Porpoise,” after their time of shipping had expired
as aforesaid, arising from the entire control that Captain
Paulo seemed to exercise over the vessel, that the “Porpoise” actually
belonged to Manoel Pinto, of Rio de Janeiro. Further deponent
said not.

PETER JOHNSON.

Sworn at Rio de Janeiro, on this, the thirtieth day of January, 1845.

Before me,

GEO. W. GORDON,
Consul United States

CONSUL OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro.

I, the undersigned, consul of the United States, hereby certify
the foregoing to be a true copy of the original on record at this
consultate.

[L. S.] Given under my hand and seal of office, on this, the 5th
day of February, 1845.
GEO. W. GORDON,
Consul of the United States.


148

Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extract.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

The affair of the Porpoise has eventually resulted far more satisfactorily
than I anticipated. But still the question of right to extradition
in the case is laid open, and it is left to the President to
approve or disapprove of the position which I assumed, that the
United States would not submit to have their vessels and their citizens,
who had violated their laws for the suppression of the foreign
slave trade, who had abused their flag in its employment and
uses, to be sheltered and protected under the jurisdiction of Brazil,
in cases where the imperial government had flagrantly countenanced
and connived at the inception of the crimes within its
limits;
that, in fact, the power which knowingly fails to prevent
the inception of piracy, whether municipal or under the general
law, in its limits, and gives shelter to the pirates after the perpetration
of their crimes on the high seas, and deliberately refuses to
grant by comity the demand properly made for extradition, places
itself in the category of subjection to the general laws against
hostes humani generis,” puts itself out of the pale of the international
code which secures sovereign territorial jurisdiction, and
lays its waters wide open to the seizure of the pirates within them.

One of the crew, an Englishman named Page, shipped here on
board the Kentucky as an American seaman, was, as he alleges,
forced in Africa to return on board the Kentucky with the slaves.
He arrived here before the Porpoise. During the examination of
the case of the latter, fearing to fall into the hands of the British
authorities, he, Page, sought the protection of Commodore Turner,
and voluntarily informed the American consul, Mr. Gordon, under
oath, of the history of the whole voyage. The details of his deposition
are shocking. The slaves mutinied at sea. Some eight
or ten of them were shot, with small shot, in the hold of the brig
before they could be subdued. Some thirty or forty of them were
then brought on deck, and two and two in irons were hung up at
the yard-arm, shot, their bodies let down, and then their arms and
legs chopped off to get the iron off the corpses; and one woman was
thrown into the sea before life was extinct. Douglass, the American
captain, had, after the sale and delivery of the vessel in Africa,
himself hoisted over her the United States flag to protect the cargo
of slaves after they were actually shipped. He, Douglass, and
Boyle, his mate, returned as passengers in the Porpoise.

The Porpoise, with Libby and Ulrick, her master and mate, and
Douglass and Boyle, the master and mate of the Kentucky, on board
of her as prisoners, were delivered into the custody of the Brazilian
authorities to await my demand for extradition, as described in my


149

last despatches. That demand was refused. Still the imperial
government held them in custody for examination and trial under
its own laws. Of this I was verbally and unofficially informed by
M. Cavalcanti, the minister of marine, but no official notice of it
was given to me until the 26th of February, when I received from
the minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs the enclosed
note, marked A. The department cannot fail to see how vague
and indefinite it is. I replied in the note, marked B. On the 3d
of March I received the answer C, enclosing the parts of the acts
under which the “four individuals,” not named as yet, were to be
prosecuted. In the first place, after refusing to allow these four
persons—for there was no doubt who were meant—to be tried under
the laws of the United States, their authorities here were
called on to aid in the trial of these American citizens under the
laws of Brazil. And when the laws of Brazil were cited, I could
not fail to see that such articles were selected as exactly reversed
the crimes for which the accused should have been prosecuted, and
as allowed them to escape with the lightest penalties. It was in all
its parts a very remarkable case. The very first excuse and the
last, and that now offered by Libby, for transporting the two African
boys, was, and is, that they were free persons, and had free
papers regularly made out by the Portuguese colonial authorities
in Africa. To the charge of importing slaves from Africa into
Brazil, he actually pleaded in defence that he had brought in only
two freed men, and of course pleaded guilty to the charge by confession,
under the 8th article of the law cited to me. I was fully
informed that no ruse was more common than to procure these free
papers for slaves introduced as passengers in vessels bound from
Africa into Brazil, and I was preparing in due season to produce
the evidence of the fraud in this case. But still the answer C,
had not replied to my interrogatories, and I judged it prudent to
be fully and specifically informed before I took a step. Accordingly
I addressed in reply to the minister the enclosed note, marked
D. My intention was, as soon as I received a satisfactory reply to
my interrogatories, to inform the minister that the police had taken
the very converse of the true charge against the parties accused;
and inform him that instead of accusing these parties of simply dis-embarking
freed men in Brazil, their crime was the importation of
slaves, and the aiding and abetting the shooting, hanging and
drowning of human beings on the high seas.

No answer was received to my note D, except a blank envelope,
enclosing the law of Brazil, containing the 7th and 8th articles already
referred to, imposing simply a fine of 100‖000 rs. (about $50)
for landing freed men, and subjecting the captain, master and
contre-master of the vessels to the cost of re-exportations, and to
the payment of 30‖000 rs. to each informer. The entire law is enclosed,
marked F. Thus the case stood, when I was informed by a
private gentleman that Libby, Ulrick, Douglass and Boyle were the
persons in custody at the-fortress Villegaignon, and that they had


150

all been released. In the course of a day or two I saw three of
these persons at liberty; and as my last note had not been answered,
I addressed another, the enclosed, marked G, to the minister
and secretary of state; to this I have not received an answer
up to this moment. But Libby, Douglass, Ulrick and Boyle have
appeared before the United States consul, and have formally made
protests, and have procured certified copies of the proceedings
against them, and of their final acquittal by the authorities of Brazil;
that is, they were accused under the laws of the United States
of bringing in slaves from Africa; they pleaded in defence against
that charge that they had imported only two freed men. They
were then accused, under the Brazilian laws, of bringing in freed
men;
and, notwithstanding they confessed to the fact under the
charge for importing slaves, they were found not guilty of importing
freed men, and were fully acquitted and set at liberty! And
since their acquittal, they have obtained, or pretended to obtain,
authentication of the alleged free papers as genuine.

I have been thus particular, in order that the prosecuting attorney
of the United States may know, on their trial at home, what
their plea of autre fois acquit in Brazil, or what the presumptive
evidence of their acquittal here, is worth. The owners of the Porpoise
may sue Commodore Turner, too, and these facts should be
known also for his defence. As soon as I was certain of the final
release of these persons, I advised the consul, Mr. Gordon, to demand
the delivery of the brig Porpoise to him as consul, for the
master, owner, or the United States under a claim of forfeiture, as
the case might be. The consignees, Maxwell & Wright, had declined
to have anything to do with the vessel, and the master, Libby,
had formally abandoned her. Mr. Gordon made the demand to
the minister of marine, and he delivered her up to him. Commodore
Turner, then, being liable to the party aggrieved in case of
any wrong, and the vessel having been taken from his custody by
the sovereign authority after a seizure in its waters by its consent,
was advised by me to demand from the consul the delivery of the
vessel to him. He did so; and the brig, accordingly, was duly delivered
to him by the consul, in right of his first seizure, and under
claim of forfeiture to the United States and the captors as a prize.
Libby has consented to return home in her; and Page and the other
witnesses, with the three African boys who came in her from “the
coast,” will be sent home in her for examination and trial as-soon
as she can be prepared for sea. The slave trade still goes on, although
my action here, and the message of the President to Congress
communicating my despatches, which has just been received,
have produced undoubtedly a great and good effect. The British
consul, Mr. Hesketh, has issued a most effective circular, enclosed,
marked “H,” and Mr. Hamilton's response to my letter about
Page, marked “I,” manifests his decided co-operation in my course.

The entire average cost of the negro landed in Brazil is judged not
to exceed 80‖000 or 90‖000 rs., and they are sold at from 500‖000 to
800‖000 rs. each. One of the boys who will be sent home in the


151

Porpoise, was valued by the Brazilian sworn interpreter, when recording
the examination before Mr. Gordon, at 800‖000 rs. The
profit of the slave trade, then, may be put down safely at from 600
to 1,200 per cent. This accounts for the enormous prices they pay
for vessels and their charters to “the coast,” and for the risks
which they can afford to dare in the traffic. The worst of it is, too,
that they import so few females in comparison with the number of
males, that the annual increase by propagation in Brazil is not
likely, for a long period, to diminish the necessity for additional
slaves.

In connexion with this subject, 1 transmit the enclosed copies of
a correspondence with Consul Tyler, at Bahia, through the consul
here, in respect to the case of the brig Sooy, marked “K,” and
numbered 1, 2, 3.

This correspondence speaks for itself. I recommend the immediate
removal of Mr. Tyler from office. The papers heretofore
transmitted, as those found by the English cruiser Racer on board
the Sooy, will unravel the whole case of his treatment of the man
Suiters, and show, in connexion with Mr. Tyler's own letters, on
which side of the slave trade his sympathies lie. I submit his removal
to the President on his own defence of his conduct.

A.

[Translation.]

PALACE OF RIO DE JANEIRO,

The undersigned, of the council of his Majesty the emperor,
minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs, has the honor to
address the Hon. H. A. Wise, envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary of the United States, in order to request that he
would be pleased to take such measures as he may judge necessary,
to the effect that the two delegated officers and the individuals
mentioned in the annexed statement, who came in the American brig
Porpoise, all of whom are said to be on board of the American
frigate Raritan, should appear at the fortress of Villegaignon, on
the 28th instant, at ten in the morning, where the delegate of the
police and his notary and interpreter will be present, to serve as
witnessses, in the prosecution carried on before that delegate; the
said witnesses being at liberty to return immediately after giving
their depositions.

The undersigned repeats, &c.,
ERNESTO FERREIRA FRANCA.
To the Hon. H. A. WISE, &c.


152

Rio de Janeiro,

The witnesses in the case of the brig Porpoise, are—Mark Turner,
one of the crew of the brig, John Williams, do. do., John F.
Baine, do. do.

The plaintiffs are the four signers of the letter A. John F. Baine,
William (X) Patterson, Mark A. Turner, and Peter P. Johnson.

JOAQUIN JOSE MOREIRA MAIA.

B.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

The undersigned has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of
the note of his excellency the minister and secretary of state for
foreign affairs, dated the 26th instant, requesting him to “take the
measures which he may deem necessary, in order to the two liberated
Africans and the individuals named in the accompanying list,
who came in the American brig Porpoise, and who are, it is stated,
on board the American frigate Raritan, appearing at the fort of
Villegaignon, on the 28th instant, at 10 o'clock, a. m., where the
delegate of police, with his clerk and interpreter will be, for the
purpose of the said individuals serving as witnesses in the process
which is being instituted by that delegate, &c.”

His excellency not having described the process which is “being
instituted” by the delegate of police, the undersigned must ask an
explanation of its character and purpose, in order that he may
precisely comprehend the request of his excellency for him “to
take the measures which he may deem necessary in the case.” The
measures which the undersigned may deem it necessary to take, in
reference to this request of his excellency, must depend, of course,
upon the explanation now sought. He, therefore, most respectfully
inquires of his excellency, what process it is, and what is it for,
which is now “being instituted” by the delegate of police, in
which the appearance of those persons as witnesses is requested?
Against what persons is this process instituted? If upon any, upon
what description of criminal charges? And under what law and
jurisdiction?

As soon as the undersigned is informed upon these points by his
excellency, he will most promptly respond to his excellency's
request.

The undersigned is happy to avail himself of this occasion, &c.
HENRY A. WISE.
To his Excellency E. F. FRANCA,
&c., &c., &c.


153

C.

PALACE OF RIO DE JANEIRO,

The undersigned, &c., having received the note of the 27th of
February last, from the Hon. H. A. Wise. &c., requesting some
explanations as to the subject of that which the undersigned addressed
to him on the 26th of the same month, conceives that he
will satisfy the wishes of Mr. Wise, by sending to him the annexed
documents of the requisition made by the department of justice.

The undersigned prays Mr. Wise to be so kind as to return those
documents when he has made the necessary use of them, and has
the honor to repeat, &c.

ERNESTO F. FRANCA.
To the Hon. H. A. WISE.

DEPARTMENT OF POLICE OF THE CAPITAL,

I have the honor to send to your excellency a copy of the despatch
which I have received from the second delegate of the police,
J. P. de Campos, and I, in consequence of what is therein contained,
pray your excellency to issue orders for the appearance at the fortress
of Villegaignon, at 10 in the morning of the 28th instant, of
the two liberated Africans who came as passengers in the American
brig Porpoise, and the witnesses named in the enclosed list who,
as well as the Africans, are said in the annexed despatch, to be on
board of the American frigate Raritan; and from the interview
which I had with the second delegate Campos, he will expect the
appearance, without fail, of the two Africans and the other witnesses
required at the place named, where he will be with his
notary and interpreter, in order to conclude the trial of the case in
question, with which he is charged.

NICOLAO DA SILVA LISBOA,
Chief of the police of the capital.
To the most excellent Sr. GALVAO,
Minister of Justice.

RIO DE JANEIRO,

I have just come from the fortress of Villegaignon where I went
to begin the trial of the four persons there imprisoned, respecting
the brig Porpoise, and supposing that I should there find the captain
and pilot and the two liberated Africans named in the despatch
of your excellency of the 7th of this month; I, however, found only
the two Africans first mentioned, and two other Americans who
came as passengers in the same brig, and having inquired for the


154

liberated Africans, I was informed that they were on board of the
American frigate Raritan. For this reason only the four persons
here mentioned as present were interrogated. I have the honor
to report this for your excellency's information, that you may take
the proper measures for having the said liberated Africans interrogated
if you should consider it proper.

God preserve you, sir,

J. P. DE CAMPOS.
To the most illustrious Chief of the Police.
The witnesses in the case of the brig Porpoise are:
Mark Turner, one of the crew of the brig.
John Williams, do. do.
John F. Baine, do. do.
The plaintiffs are the four persons named in document A.
John F. Baine.
his
William + Patterson.
mark
Mark A. Turner.
Peter P. Johnson.
Rio de Janeiro, February 21, 1845.

Extract from the law of November 7, 1831.

Art. 7. No freed man, not a Brazilian, shall be allowed to land
in the ports of Brazil, on any ground whatever. Any one thus
landing shall be immediately re-shipped.

Art. 8. The commanders, masters, and mates of vessels in which
such persons may be brought, shall be subjected to a fine of one
hundred milreis for each person, besides incurring the expenses of
the re-shipment. The informer shall receive from the public treasury the sum of thirty milreis on each person.

D.

LEGATION UNITED STATES,

The undersigned, envoy, &c., of the United States, on the 6th
instant, received the note of your excellency dated the 3d instant,
with its accompanying documents; and he is referred to the latter
for answers to the interrogatories contained in his note of the 27th
ultimo.

On an attentive perusal of these documents the undersigned is
still left to infer only:

  • 1st. That “four individuals” are in custody of the authorities of

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    Brazil, at the Fortress Villegaignon, “in regard to the brig Porpoise.
  • 2d. That they are in custody under some process begun by the
    officers of the Brazilian police.
  • 3d. That this process is instituted to recover a fine of one hundred
    milreis, and other small penalties imposed by the 7th and 8th
    articles of an act of the imperial government, dated 7th November,
    1831, for the misdemeanor of importing and landing in the port of
    Brazil any “freed man.
  • 4th. That the “freed man” alleged to have been imported, or
    landed, or disembarked contrary to this act, are “the two freed Africans
    who came to this port on the 22d of January last, onboard
    the United States merchant brig Porpoise, and whose names are
    Guilherme and Pedro.
  • 5th. That the witnesses, whose appearance is required on a given
    day, and at a given place, in this case, are these two supposed
    freed Africans,” named Guilherme and Pedro, and certain other
    persons, to wit: Mark Turner, John Williams, John F. Paine, Wm.
    Patterson, and Peter P. Johnson, who are all alleged to be on
    board the Uuited States frigate Raritan.
  • 6th. That the undersigned is requested to take the steps which
    he may deem necessary and proper to cause the appearance of these
    named witnesses and informers, from on board the United States
    frigate Raritan, at the Fortress Villegaignon before the second delegado
    of police, on some day to be appointed, in the trial of the
    “four individuals who are there in custody in regard to the brig
    Porpoise.”

The undersigned most respectfully submits to your excellency
that this information thus conveyed by these documents is entirely
too vague and uncertain for any action whatever to be taken upon
it on his part. He regrets to be obliged to trouble your excellency
with answers, if your excellency pleases, to the further inquiries:

  • 1st. Who are “the four individuals” who are in custody at the
    Fortress Villegaignon, “in regard to the brig Porpóise?” What are
    their names? Are they the following named persons, to wit:
    Cynis Libby, master, and John Ulrick, mate of the said brig Porpoise,
    and George H. Douglass, late master, and Thomas H. Boyle,
    late mate of the brig Kentucky, formerly a merchant brig of the
    United States, and lately sold and delivered on the coast of Africa,
    and who all came to this port in the said brig Porpoise on the 22d
    of January last?
  • 2d. Are they on trial or under examination for any other alleged
    offences against the laws of Brazil, than for violating the 7th and
    8th articles of the said act of the 7th of November, 1831?
  • 3d. Are the two Africans who came on board the Porpoise, and
    who are now on board the United States frigate Raritan, named
    Guilherme and Pedro, the persons who are alleged to have been
    brought into this port as freed men, and disembarked contrary to
    the said articles of said act of 1831?
  • 4th. Are there any other persons besides the “four individuals

    156

    who are in custody” at the Fortress Villegaignon, arrested, or arraigned,
    or under examination, or on trial for violating said act of
    November, 1831, or any other act or parts of acts of the empire
    of Brazil, “in regard to the said brig Porpoise, or to the said brig
    Kentucky
    ,” and their alleged late trade and traffic in the African slave
    trade on the coast of Africa, or on the high seas, or on the coast
    and in the waters of Brazil, under the flag either of Brazil or of
    the United States?

The undersigned trusts that your Excellency will see the necessity
and propriety of these additional inquiries, and that your excellency
will specifically respond to them. He assures your excellency
that “the two Africans” supposed to be Guilherme and
Pedro, and the other persons named as witnesses and informers,
are all on board the frigate Raritan, and that when he obtains from
your excellency the information desired, he will then decide
whether it will be proper for him to interpose with the commodore
of the United States naval forces on this station to cause their appearance
as requested.

The undersigned would also most respectfully inquire further,
whether the said brig Porpoise herself is detained by the authority
of the imperial government, and, if so, under what pretext, or
for what cause?

The undersigned has the honor, &c., &c.,
HENRY A. WISE.
His excellency E. F. Franca,
&c., &c., &c.

F.
Law of the Regency prohibiting the importation of slaves into
Brazil.—Rio de Janeiro, November 7, 1831.
[Translation.]

The regency, in the name of the emperor Don Pedro II., make
known to all the subjects of the empire, that the general assembly
has decreed, and that they have sanctioned the following law:

  • ART. I. All slaves entering the territory or the ports of Brazil,
    coming from abroad, are free, with the exception of:
    • 1st. Those who are enrolled in the service of vessels belonging
      to a country where slavery is allowed, so long as they are employed
      in the service of those vessels.
    • 2dly. Those who may have escaped from the territory or vessel
      of a foreign country, in which case they shall be delivered up to
      their masters, who claim them, and be re-exported from Brazil.

With respect to cases of the first exception, a list shall be made
of the number of the slaves on board, at the time of visiting or
entering the port, together with the necessary declaration to identify
them; and an investigation shall take place at the time of leaving,


157

to see that the vessel conveys away the same slaves that she
brought in.

The slaves that may be found after the departure of the vessel,
shall be taken into custody and detained till they be re-exported.

II. The importers of slaves into Brazil shall incur the corporeal
punishment awarded by article 179 of the criminal code, to
those who may reduce free persons to slavery, together with a fine
of 200,000 reis for each imported slave, beside the payment of the
expenses of re-exporting them to some part of Africa; which reexportation
the government shall carry into execution as promptly
as possible, after having contracted with the African authorities
for an asylum for them.

Those who shall infringe the said article shall be answerable for
themselves as well as for all the others concerned.

III. The following shall be considered as importers:

  • 1st. The commander, master, or mate.
  • 2d. Whoever shall wittingly give or receive value or be otherwise
    concerned in a vessel destined for the slave trade.
  • 3d. All persons who may be interested in the adventure, and
    all who shall wittingly have advanced funds, or have any way favored
    it, or assisted in disembarking such slaves, or have admitted
    them upon their premises.
  • 4th. Those who may have wittingly purchased as slaves the
    negroes declared free by article 1. Such persons, however, are
    liable only secondarily, to the expense of re-exporting them, being,
    nevertheless, subject to the other penalties.

IV. If a vessel be captured by the national forces without the
ports of Brazil, in the act of trading in slaves, it shall be proceeded
against according to articles 2 and 3, as if the capture had been
made within the empire.

V. Whoever shall give information of, and furnish the means of
apprehending any number of persons imported as slaves, or shall,
without a previous denouncing, or a judicial mandate, have apprehended
any of the same, or shall have given notice of the disembarkation
of free persons as slaves to a justice of the peace or other
local authority, in such manner as shall lead to their apprehension,
shall receive from the public treasury the sum of 30,000 reis for
each captured person.

VI. The commander, officers, and seamen, belonging to the vessel,
which shall make the capture mentioned in article 4, shall be
entitled to the proceeds of the fine, which shall be distributed
amongst them according to the naval regulations respecting prizes.

VII. No freed man, not being a Brazilian, shall be allowed to
land slaves in the ports of Brazil, under any circumstances. Those
who may be disembarked shall be immediately re-exported.

VIII. The commander, master, and mate, who shall bring the
persons mentioned in the preceding article, shall incur a fine of
100,000 reis for each person, and defray the expenses of their reexportation.

The informer shall receive from the public treasury the sum of
30,000 reis per head.


158

IX. The proceeds of the fines imposed by virtue of this law,
after deducting the rewards granted in articles 5 and 8, and the
other expenses incurred by the public treasury, shall be applied to
the foundling hospitals of the respective provinces, or if no such
establishments exist, to hospitals for the relief of the sick.

All the authorities, therefore, to whom the knowledge and the
execution of the above law belong, are enjoined to fulfil and cause
to be fulfilled the same, and strictly to observe all its enactments.
The secretary of state for the affairs of justice shall cause-it to be
printed, published, and circulated.

Palace of Rio de Janeiro, November 7th, 1831, 10th of independence
and of the empire.

FRANCISCO DE LIMA ESILVA.
JOSE DA COSTA CAVALHO.
JOAO BRANLIO MONIZ.

G.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

The undersigned, envoy, &c., of the United States, has the honor
to remind his excellency the minister and secretary of state for
foreign affairs, that on the 27th of February last, he replied to a
note of his excellency of the 26th of the same month, concerning
the appearance of certain witnesses and informers, as they were denominated,
at the fort of Villegaignon, in a process being then instituted
by a delegate of police. That the undersigned requested
answers to certain interrogatories before he could decide on the request
of his excellency. That his excellency on the 3d of March
last replied, but not fully to the interrogatories of the undersigned;
and the undersigned was compelled, on the 8th ultimo, to repeat to
his excellency the inquiries:

  • 1st. Who are the “four individuals” who are in custody at the
    fortress Villegaignon, “in regard to the brig Porpoise?”
  • 2d. What are their names?
  • 3d. Are they the following named persons, to wit: Cyrus Libby,
    master, and John Ulrick, mate of the said brig Porpoise, and
    George H. Douglass, late master, and Thomas H. Boyle, late mate
    of the brig Kentucky, &c.?
  • 4th. Are they on trial or under examination for any other alledged
    offences against the laws of Brazil, than for violating the
    7th and 8th articles of the act of the 7th of November, 1831?
  • 5th. Are the two Africans who came on board the Porpoise, and
    who are now on board the United States frigate Raritan, named
    Guilherme and Pedro, the persons who are alleged to have been
    brought into this port as freed men, and disembarked contrary to
    the said articles of said act of 1831?
  • 6th. Are there any other persons besides “the four individuals”

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    who are in custody at the fortress Villegaignon, arrested or arraigned,
    or under examination, or on trial for violating said act of
    November, 1831, or any other act or parts of acts of the empire of
    Brazil, in regard to the said brig Porpoise or the said brig Kentucky,
    and their alledged late traffic in the African slave trade on
    the coast of Africa, or on the high seas, or on the coast and in the
    waters of Brazil, under the flag either of Brazil or of the United
    States?
  • 7th. Whether the said brig Porpoise herself is detained by the
    authority of the imperial government; and if so, under what pretext,
    or for what cause?

To these interrogatories of the 8th ultimo, his excellency has
never replied. The undersigned was awaiting answers to them,
and expecting that he would have to decide upon the request of
his excellency, concerning the appearance of the witnesses under
the process instituted by the delegate of police, up to the 29th
ultimo, when he was informed in a private and unofficial way, that
Cyrus Libby, John Ulrick, George H. Douglass, and Thomas H.
Boyle, were the “four individuals” who were in custody of the authorities
of the imperial government at the fortress Villegaignon,
against whom the process was instituted by the delegate of police;
and that on the 28th ultimo they were discharged and released
from all detention and custody whatever. And since then, the
undersigned has himself seen three of these individuals named at
liberty on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. He therefore most respectfully
inquires of his excellency again, whether these persons
named were the “four individuals” referred to in his request; and
if so, whether they have been finally discharged from custody; and
whether the brig Porpoise is released from detention; and if so, to
whom she is delivered up? And if said brig is not released or delivered
up to any one, whether any person or persons are demanding
or claiming her release or delivery to them?

The undersigned has the honor, &c., &c.,
HENRY A. WISE.
His excellency E. F. Franca, &c., &c.

H.

BRITISH CONSULATE, Rio de Janeiro.

Whereas, it is notorious that ships and vessels in this port of
Rio de Janeiro, and in other places of the empire of Brazil, are
openly and undisguisedly prepared, loaded, equipped, and otherwise
supplied, for voyages undertaken and destined for carrying
on the African slave trade; and it being desirable to prevent and
enjoin all British subjects residing within the limits of this consulate
from participating or being concerned either directly or indirectly
in any such disgraceful purposes or engagements, and to
warn all such subjects that they do abstain from all such illegal


160

practices, or from aiding, abetting, or assisting any person or
persons engaged therein, and to make known the penalties which
are denounced by law against all British subjects, wheresoever residing,
who shall infringe the provisions of the slave abolition
acts of Great Britain, her Majesty's consul deems it his duty to
publish the following

Caution.

Whereas, there has been exhibited at this consulate, by order of
her Majesty's government, a recent act of parliament entitled “An
act for the more effectual suppression of the slave trade,” wherein
it is declared that all the several matters and things prohibited
by the consolidated slave trade atcs, and by the said last mentioned
act, shall be dealt with and punished according to the
several provisions of the said act, and of the British statute entitled
“An act to amend and consolidate the laws relating to the
abolition of the slave trade,” passed in the fifth year of the reign
of King George IV., and that all British subjects, wheresoever
residing, should be made cognizant that such interdicted proceedings
are highly penal by the above mentioned enactments. The
annexed seven sections of the said statute (5 Geo. IV., cap. 113)
are hereby republished for general information, and the careful attention
thereto of all whom it may concern is earnestly solicited;
and likewise to the perusal of the statutes mentioned, copies of
which may be seen at this consulate during the usual hours of public
business.

ROBERT WESLUTH,
H. B. M. Consul.
Rio de Janeiro,

K 1.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

I have the honor herewith to enclose a copy of the answer
of Alexander H. Tyler, esq., consul of the United States at Bahia,
to my letter to him of the 26th October last, transmitting a copy
of your letter to me, dated the 25th October, 1844, in regard to the
brig Sooy, of Newport, New Jersey; also copies of the documents
accompanying the same.

I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your obedient
servant,

GEORGE WM. GORDON,
Consul of the United States.
His excellency HENRY A. WISE,
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
of the U. States near the court of Brazil.


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CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Bahia,

SIR:

I have to acknowledge receipt on the 23d ultimo of your
letter of the 26th October last, enclosing copy of one from the
Hon. Henry A. Wise, minister for the United States near the court
of Brazil, strongly animadverting upon my letter to you of 12th
of same month, in answer to yours of 27th of September last, and
desiring you to inform me that my letter appears to him very
vague and unsatisfactory—much more so than should have been
expected from a faithful and vigilant consul at his post, &c., &c.

Now, sir, in justification of myself, I must state that the interpretation
put by me on your letter of 27th September was, not
that you were desirous of investigating the conduct of the master
and crew of the former brig Sooy, of Newport, whether and how
far they or any of them had aided and abetted in the slave trade,
or committed other breaches of the laws of the United States,
(which appears to be the interpretation of Mr. Wise,) but simply
to obtain information of the nationality and ownership of the vessel,
and what connexion a certain William J. Tyler may have had
with her, in order that you might know whether she should be
claimed as American property or not, which, from the general
tone of your letter, you strongly suspected her to be; indeed, that
letter concludes in the following words: “The object for obtaining
this information is to ascertain what steps, if any, it is necessary
and proper to take in the absence of any personal claimant,
in view of the fact that the British flag is waving in this port over
a vessel evidently of American construction, and with the name
of an American port still upon her stern.”

To this interpretation, therefore, I confined my answer, and gave
you as full and ample information as I possessed, and I cannot
perceive in what the vagueness consists with which I am charged
by Mr. Wise.

I now proceed to reply to the interrogatories put to me in the
very able letter of Mr. Wise, in as full and ample a manner as I can,
and trust that I shall not incur his censure a second time, as it is
my sincere wish to give any information and assistance in my
power at all times to our minister or other public officers, and
particularly on the subject of slavery and the slave trade; but Mr.
Wise must bear in mind that we are not all gifted alike, and should
my answer appear to him vague, he must attribute it to inability
to explain myself, and not want of will.

To the first interrogatory. The brig Sooy, of Newport, New
Jersey, arrived on the 25th of April, 1842, from Lisbon, with a
cargo of salt, wine, and onions, having been chartered at that port
to bring the same to this. The vessel and cargo were consigned to
a Mr. Isaac Amazalack, a very respectable British merchant of
this city. After discharging the cargo, the vessel was posted in
the exchange of this place for freight or charter, but remaired
idle, unable to obtain either, until about the 3d day of June of [...]
year, when her consignee obtained a charter for her to [...]


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Wm. Pailhet, a partner in the house of Gautor & Pailhet, ship
chandlers of this city; and she loaded with a cargo of rum, tobacco,
and bales and boxes of dry goods, and sailed for the coast
of Africa as an American vessel, her register and other papers being
regular and entitling her to that flag. I do not believe that she
was fitted in any respect for the slave trade, or in any manner different
from other lawful traders of the class of vessels to which
she belonged, or that the master had the slightest intention of engaging
in the slave trade. Indeed so far was he from it that, when
ready for sea, and about to sail, being suspicious that he might have
illegal cargo on board despatched as lawful, he applied to this consulate
and registered a protest against the charterer, copy of which
was sent by me to the government of the province, who ordered an
examination of the cargo on board, which was found correct. She
returned under the American flag from Africa on the 1st November,
bringing a small cargo, consisting of palm oil, guano, calabashes,
coast cloths, pepper, mats, calabash seeds, pejerecum, colla, &c.,
all of which was entered and landed at the custom house of this
city; she was consigned by the master on his return to Mr. Isaac
Amazalack; her crew consisted of Mark H. Leeds, master, George
W. Topham, first mate, Richard Endicott, second mate, John Martick,
Minot Knight, Ezekiel Canover, and Joseph H. Henderson,
American seamen, and William Conway and John Johnson, foreign
seamen. She cleared for the coast of Africa generally, as is customary
at this port, but her destination was to that port, between
Cape Palmas and Onim or Lagos, the ports to be decided by the
supercargo on board; she was owned, as mentioned in my former
letter, by Nicholas Sooy, of Burlington county, and N. S. Thompson,
of Atlantic county, State of New Jersey, as declared in the
register of the vessel.

To the second. The Sooy was lying idle in port from the 1st
November, 1843, after discharging her cargo, to the 25th day of
March, 1844, when the master obtained a charter for her to the
coast of Africa, from the same person who chartered her the former
voyage, viz: Wm. Pailhet. The master, I believe, endeavoring,
during this time, through his consignee Mr. Amazalack, to obtain
a freight or charter, who obtained one if not two offers to charter
the vessel for Africa; but the master, not liking the sums, would
not accept them, and finally took the consignation of this vessel
from Amazalack and consigned her afterwards to Messrs. Gautor
and Pailhet. She sailed on the 26th April, 1844, under the American
flag, with the same papers as on the first voyage; to the best of
my knowledge and belief her cargo consisted of rum and tobacco
principally. I send herewith a copy of the manifest deposited in
this consulate by the master, upon sailing on this latter voyage. I
do not believe she was fitted in any respect for the slave trade.
Both voyages to Africa she was consigned in Onim to a Mr. Sala, I
believe the agent of the charterer; her crew consisted of Mark H.
Leeds, master, George W. Topham, mate, Joseph Suitors, second
mate, Joseph H. Henderson, apprentice, John Martick, John G.
White, and George S. Foy, seamen, all Americans, and Lewis


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Sully, John Newland, and John Dos Santos, foreign seamen. She
took, besides these two supercargoes, Joáo Ramos de Souza and
M. Robin, and a black man named Fellippe, as cooper; the first of
these came back in her, but I have not been able to find out
whether either of the others came. I am inclined to think they
did not.

The Messrs. Gautor & Pailhet are well known to be slave traders;
but at the same time it would be nearly impossible to prove them
so. Of my own knowledge, I can say nothing further than they
are reputed to be the owners, either in whole or in part, of several
slaving vessels which are well known to have brought cargoes of
slaves to this coast, and, in my own opinion, it is their principal
business. Who Captain William Tyler may be, I know not; nor
did I ever hear of such a man, to my recollection, until receipt of
your letter of 27th September.

To the third. The arrangement that I suspected was that the
master had sold his vessel here, deliverable on the coast of Africa,
after discharging her cargo there. My reasons for this suspicion
were that the sale of the Sooy was known here long before her arrival
on this coast in August and seizure by the Racer, together
with the fact of a letter having been addressed to the mate, who
went from this, directing him to look out, as a British cruiser was
in port; which letter is said to be from Messrs. Gautor & Pailhet.
I have not seen this letter, but doubt not from what I have heard
that such a one was found on board. Connecting these with the
facts of her having arrived with slaves and a part of the crew
which she took hence on board, led me to suppose that the sale
had been arranged previous to her departure. I did not suspect
this either before or when she sailed, but, on the contrary, never
supposed the Sooy a vessel to suit slavers, as they require fast clipper
built vessels, and the Sooy never had the reputation of a fast
vessel, to my knowledge. This suspicion I now unreservedly
withdraw, as I feel fully convinced no such arrangement was made,
and that the master upon sailing from here had no intention to sell
her; for, from the investigations I have since had, I find that letters
were received here from Onim, by vessels sailing thence just
previous to the Sooy, which letters gave information to parties
here of the sale of the Sooy, and that a mate and part of the crew
were to come in her. I am not aware of any arrangement of this
or any other kind ever having been made with American vessels,
or others from this port, nor did I ever hear of any such; therefore
am unable to give any information how arrangements are generally,
say usually, made, if any such are. It is generally in the power of
the consul at Bahia, from his knowledge of the parties, of the cargo,
outfit and charter, and appearance of the vessel, to judge when she
is bound on a slaving voyage to Africa. Vessels going for slaves
carry little or no cargo beyond provision and water, and boards for
the false deck. Cargoes are generally sent in other vesssels,
freighted as in the case of the Sooy. The carrying of slaves is
confined mostly to fore and aft sehooners or brigs, very sharp and
fast sailing; of these it is in the power of consuls to judge; indeed,


164

these vessels are fitted out openly here, and are very different in
appearance and rig from other vessels. Large and duller sailing
vessels are used to carry cargoes, which are doubtless used for the
purchase of slaves. Indeed, although I believe the master perfectly
innocent of any intention to aid or abet the slave trade; yet, were
I asked conscientiously whether I believed the cargo of the Sooy
was intended to buy slaves, I should unhesitatingly answer yes—
that I am confident not only that, but most, if not all, the cargoes
from this port are for the purchase of slaves and maintenance of
the slave trade. Vessels going for slaves do not generally clear
for Africa, but for other ports of the world, and sometimes for
other ports in Brazil; on returning with cargoes, they land them
up and down the coast, just off this port, and enter the harbor in
ballast, giving entry in the custom-house frequently as being
obliged to put back in distress; the slaves are afterwards brought
by their respective owners to the city, or carried into the interior;
these vessels are all under the Brazilian flag. I do not know, nor
have I ever heard, of a single instance where vessels or the flag of
the United States were ever employed in carrying on this trade,
either at this port or others in Brazil. The only connexion that
Americans have, to my knowledge, with the trade is that American
vessels, as well as those of other nations, are frequently chartered
and freighted here, as well as in Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco,
to convey cargoes of rum, tobacco and all other lawful merchandise
to Africa, as above mentioned; some of these vessels at times
meet with purchasers on the coast of Africa, (as in the case of the
Sooy,) and are sold and bring cargoes of slaves away with them.
And again, for the carrying of cargoes of slaves, sharp clipper
built schooners and brigs, which sail fast, are required; and, as the
Americans have the deserved reputation of building the fastest and
handsomest vessels of this description, their vessels are sought
after and bought. Many of this description of vessels are sold
here; but in all cases the flag is changed and papers cancelled by
me, after paying off the crews. And thus, because they sell their
vessels, which are afterwards caught with slaves on board—although
without vestige of proof of their being American property, other
than the mere hull—and because their vessels convey lawful merchandise
(for such I consider it) to Africa, Americans are to be
branded with the name of slave traders.

With respect to the sale of vessels, I think there should be some
action of Congress pointing out the mode in which vessels shall be
transferred when sold; what that mode should be I am unable to
suggest. This, however, I will suggest, viz: that American citizens
should not, under any circumstances, be allowed to sell and
transfer a vessel on the coast of Africa, or any other place where
there is no American consul or other authority to cancel their papers,
and that they should be obliged to have their papers cancelled
and the transfer made before the consul, when in a foreign
country, immediately on sale of a vessel; and it should be the duty
of the consul to find out the character of the person buying, and
the probable manner in which the vessel would be used, and withhold


165

or give his consent according to the circumstances of the
case.

To the fourth. I knew of the Sooy's arrival on the coast of Brazil,
near this port, in the month of August last; I heard by a rumor
through the city that an hermophradite brig, supposed to be the
Sooy, had been taken while aground off this port, she having been
previously chased by boats from the British brig of war Racer; but
having previously heard she was sold to foreigners, I did not deem
her American property, and took no steps to claim her. I did not
know, until some time after she had left this for Rio in charge of
the Racer, that any of her former crew had come in her; but immediately
on hearing this I endeavored to find them out, but could
not for a long time obtain any intelligence; until, finally, Joseph
Suiters, the second mate, came before me, upon my promise not to
imprison him. I examined him touching the sale of the vessel, her
present charterer, and all he knew respecting the voyage; his depositions
will be found herewith. The Brazilian master's name is
Domingos da Costa Lage, as I have been informed, the names of
the five who were part of her former crew are Joseph Suiters, former
second mate, George L. Foy, Americans; John Newland, an
Englishman; Lewis Sully, a Hamburguese; and John Dos Santos,
a Portuguese black. Foy went to Philadelphia in the brig Joseph
Cowperthwaite before I was aware he was here. John Newland
and Lewis Sully also left for Europe before I was aware of their
being here. John Dos Santos has gone again to Africa, I believe,
as I cannot find him; Suiters is here, well watched by my orders,
until he can be sent home, either for trial or as a witness, as the
minister shall direct. But I must state here that I know him to be
a worthless fellow, and to his testimony I give no credit whatever,
as it is evident to me he wishes to take all the blame from himself
and throw it upon others; and I believe him to be guilty of perjury
in the present case. I have endeavored to send him home in
the brig Draco, which sailed for Boston on the 25th November last,
but the master refused to take him as a prisoner. Upon the arrival
of any United States vessel of war, I shall apply for his apprehension
and deliver him to the commander of any such who will take
him; but upon this subject I shall await the minister's orders or
instructions, as I do not think I am empowered to force any merchant
vessel to take prisoners. It was my intention to have arrested
the master, Mark H. Leeds, the mate and the remainder of
the crew upon their arrival here, to examine into this case, and, if
necessary, to send them to the United States for trial, as intimated
in my former letter to you; but, upon arrival, they voluntarily appeared
before me and gave their testimony freely in regard to the
sale of the vessel and everything connected with her transfer, &c.,
from which I could find nothing to authorize me to apprehend
them, unless it be on the testimony of Joseph Suiters, in which, as
I have before stated; I put no faith. I therefore allowed them to
proceed home in the brig Draco, bound to Boston, in which vessel
Mark H. Leeds, master; George W. Topham, mate; John Martick
and Joseph H. Henderson, seamen, took passage and sailed on the


166

25th November last. Martick belongs to New York, and the others
to Newport, New Jersey. Not having been able to make copies of
depositions taken by me in time for that vessel, I determined, upon
receipt of your letter, to forward them on to the minister, in order
that he might be in possession of the whole case, and forward them
with those documents touching it which he mentions in his letter
as intending to forward to the Department of State.

To the fifth. I knew, from general report, that the Sooy brought
about 600 slaves and landed them on the coast of Brazil. This was
a rumor that was current through the city for some days after the
seizure of the vessel—a rumor not contradicted by any one, but believed
by all. And Suiters in his deposition says that there were
612 taken on board, and 15 died on the passage; and on his re-examination,
he says there were 630 taken on board, and 610 landed.
As to whom and by whom they were consigned, it is impossible to
find out; but I feel certain they were consigned to Gautor & Pailhet
by their agent in Africa, whoever he may be. Whether they all or
any part belonged to those people, or whether they were only receivers
of the freight from Africa here, I cannot say. In this trade
it is frequently the case that there are from twenty to fifty owners
of one cargo alone, and these are only known to those interested
in the particular case, or to old traders, some particular person
or firm, already known to the world as engaged in the trade, appearing
as husband of the vessel, and delivering over to each his
or her share of the cargo, (for women are engaged in it,) upon receipt
of the freight; the names of all concerned are kept strictly
secret. Joseph Suiters and John Dos Santos were the two men
who stated to me that the crew were paid off at Onim, and that
they were persuaded by the master to come in her. The deposition
of the first, as before stated, I have taken; the latter is a Portuguese
black. He, a few date after the date of my first letter,
appeared at my house on a Sunday, and declared that he had told
a lie; that Suiters had frightened him, and told him to say Captain
Leeds did not want any of them to come in the vessel. I have
not taken his deposition, as he is a negro; and upon this I did not
think it would be right to do so. Should Mr. Wise, however, desire
it, I have no doubt I shall be able to obtain his deposition
upon his return from Africa, where it is reported he has gone. I
shall, however, wait his views on the subject. Who the party is
that told me the papers were getting ready to send on to Rio de
Janeiro to claim the Sooy, I decline telling, as it was never expected
by the party that I would make the name known as coming
from him. The foreigners who own her are Messrs. Gautor &
Pailhet, who bought her by their agent in Africa, but they do not
claim her in their own name; the claim will be made in the name
of some Brazilian citizen, who may own a small portion of her.
The master has shown me a power of attorney, or writing, purporting
to be from the owners, empowering him to sell or otherwise
dispose of her, as he might think proper. No particular
place was specified in it. This power of attorney was not executed


167

before any authority, but simply signed by the parties in the presence
of a witness. I did not know of this power of attorney, nor
was I ever informed of it, until I examined the master touching it
upon his arrival this time from Africa; but masters of American
vessels most generally have authority from the owners to sell their
vessels. The steps taken by me to find out whether the master,
mate or crew of the Sooy, either or all of them, have or not subjected
themselves to the accusation of aiding and abetting the slave
trade in the manner of selling her, or otherwise, have been to call
before me, not only them, but the master and crew of the brig Albert,
of Boston, and thoroughly examine them concerning the
manner of selling and mode of transferring the Sooy to foreigners
in Onim, and by indirect means to find out from those who trade
to that port, whether they aided or abetted the slave trade in any
way; but all I have learned on the subject tends to exculpate
them, with the exception of Suiters's testimony, upon which I have
before said I put no faith. Yet, for the testing of which, I would
suggest to Mr. Wise, whether it may not be well that the commander
of the naval forces of the United States on the coast of
Africa should be requested by him to take the depositions of the
officers who boarded the Sooy in Onim, from the United States
ship Decatur, a few days previous to her being transferred, touching
the condition in which they found her, and whether she was
fitted in any manner for the slave trade, &c., &c. The master,
Mark H. Leeds, is a professor of religion, belonging to the methodist
church. He appears a pious and exemplary man, and, from
my knowledge of his character and conduct since he has been sailing
to and from this port, I believe he would not knowingly engage
in or abet the slave trade, or commit any other offence
against the laws of this country or his God; and, therefore, I am
exceedingly unwilling to injure the reputation and character of
such a man only upon the evidence of so consummate a blackguard
as I know this Suiters to be.

I have thus, sir, answered, as far as I am able, the interrogatories
put to me by Mr. Wise, and given all the information I possess
respecting the case of the Sooy in this letter, and the accompanying
documents numbered from 1 to 5, from all which my
opinion of the affair is, that the brig Sooy sailed from this on a legal
voyage, freighted to Africa, and to return to this port; but
whilst in Africa, the master obtained an offer for his vessel, and
consulted the interest of his owners and sold her without the
slighest intention of aiding or abetting the slave trade, or commiting
any breach of the United States laws; that he may not have
been particular in finding out how the vessel was to be used, I admit;
but I submit to your consideration, how far he is bound to do
so. The case, indeed, would come under Mr. Wise's moral code,
(with which I perfectly agree;) but, as I am here not to see executed
the moral law, but the law of the land, I would say of the
United States I see not in what other manner I could have acted
in the present case; for I do not think I should be borne out in


168

law for arresting these men, merely from the fact of the vessel
having been found after sale engaged in the slave trade, joined
with the evidence of only one man, whose character I knew to be
so despicable. For myself, I have as great a detestation of the
slave trade as Mr. Wise or any other person can have; and shall
always use my best exertions to keep American citizens from engaging
in it. It is nothing new for me to hear of insinuations
from British authorities and British subjects against United States
authorities, the United States government, its citizens, and every
thing belonging to the United States; these insinuations have as
little effect on me as on Mr. Wise; and if the suspicions, which,
from the tone of his letter, I think Mr. Wise entertains of my aiding
or being blind to the slave trade, originate from the insinuations
of British authorities in this case of the Sooy, I submit whether
it was not their duty, (if they supposed the vessel to be American
property engaged in the slave trade,) to have surrendered
her at this consulate, and then judge whether American authorities
were blind or not. This they did not, but, on the contrary, the
vessel was kept out of sight and never entered this port, although
the commander of the cruiser was several times on shore at the
British consulate, and it would have been a fine opportunity for
him to test the aspersions, in a measure, so freely issued by his
countrymen.

I am much obliged to Mr. Wise for his tender of a vessel of
war, and should certainly avail of our naval force, were there any
necessity for so doing; but I have always found myself well
treated by the government and authorities of this province, and every
application from this consulate has been punctually attended to,
and every facility afforded me by them in the discharge of my duties.
I trust that he will not think, for a moment, that I am trammelled
with fear of any molestation or hindrance on the part of the authorities
here, or others, in the execution of my duty; but Mr.
Wise has formed an erroneous opinion in supposing that Americans,
or the American flag, are engaged in the slave trade here;
they are not interested in any way further than heretofore explained
by me, viz: in being engaged in the carrying trade of Brazil
produce hence to Africa.

I trust that Mr. Wise will reconsider his opinion of my former
letter, and that to any comments relating to the scenes here, and
my conduct of the case of the Sooy, which he may forward the
department, this letter, with the accompanying information, may
be added; for I cannot see in what I am guilty of vagueness in
our former correspondence, nor anything to warrant the idea of
my being blind to my duties, or in any way remiss. Your letter
asked for certain information; I gave all in my power at the time,
and stated I was endeavoring to find out in what manner the master
and crew had conducted themselves on the coast of Africa. I
have now given all the information of the case in my power to
give, and trust that both Mr. Wise and yourself will agree with
me that the vessel is no longer American property, and that she
never was engaged in the slave trade whilst entitled to wear the


169

United States flag; and, also, that my conduct in regard to the
master and crew will meet your approbation.

I am, sir, most respectfully and truly, your obedient servant,

ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Consul.
GEORGE WM. GORDON, Esq.,
Consul of the United States, Rio de Janeiro.

K 2.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

These are to certify that that the within are true copies of all
the depositions taken by me at this consulate on investigation into
the conduct of Mark H. Leeds, master, and the crew of the brig
Sooy, of Newport, New Jersey, in the sale of that vessel at Onim,
upon the coast of Africa.

[L. S.] Given under my hand and seal of my consulate at Bahia,
this 11th day of December, in the year 1844.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Consul.

No. 1.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

On this twenty-sixth day of June, in the year one thousand eight
hundred and forty-three, before me, Alexander H. Tyler, esq., consul
for the United States of America for the province of Bahia
and its dependencies, personally came and appeared M. H. Leeds,
master of the brig called the “Sooy,” of the burthen of one hundred
and ninety-seven tons or thereabouts, belonging to the port of
Newport, in the State of New Jersey, and declares that he has
chartered his vessel, as aforesaid, called the “Sooy,” to Wm. Pailhet,
esq., merchant of this city, to take and convey a cargo of lawful
merchandise from this port of Bahia to port or ports on the coast
of Africa, and in accordance with the said charter he has taken on
board and loaded his vessel with such cargo as the aforesaid Wm.
Pailhet, has sent him despatched from the export office or consulado
of this port, consisting of pipes, half pipes, barrels, rolls
of tobacco, bales and boxes, and is now ready to be despatched for
sea; but having been informed that there is now in this port a vessel
loading for the same place, for which unlawful merchandise
has been despatched under a different name, which has been seized
by the custom-house here, and fearing the same may have been done
to the cargo of his said brig, (the contents of which is unknown to
him) he notes this his protest, reserving the right to extend the
same at times and places most convenient, against the said William


170

Pailhet, charterer aforesaid, declaring himself innocent of any
illegal traffic or fraudulent purposes.

MARK H. LEEDS.

Affirmed to, and executed by Mark H. Leeds, master of the brig
Sooy, of Newport, before me at this consulate.

ALAXANDER H. TYLER, Consul.

No. 2.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

In the matter of the sale of the brig Sooy, of Newport, Mark
H. Leeds, master, Joseph Suiters, second mate of the brig Sooy,
being sworn to declare all he knows respecting the same, declares:

That he, together with four others, composing the crew of that
vessel were induced by the master, Mark H. Leeds, to come in
said vessel to this port, he having sold her to slavers, and she actually
having about 350 slaves on board at the time she was delivered
up by the master and mate, who went on board the French
brig Lisbonnaise; two men went to the brig Albert; that they, the
five men, came on this coast with a cargo of 612 slaves, of which
15 died on the passage. The vessel was afterwards chased by a
boat from an English man-of-war, when she was run on shore and
abandoned by captain and crew, and was taken prisoner of by the
boat. He received a letter directed to Mr. Topham, or any other
seaman in his absence, with the names of Gautor & Pailhet signed
to it, telling them to take care of themselves, as the English brig-of-war
Racer was in port. The five men who came, were John,
a Portuguese black, Lewis, a Dutchman, George, an American, who
went in the Cowperthwaite from this port to Philadelphia, William,
shipped in the Rosendale, and himself. He declares that he and
the others all refused to come in the vessel, and the captain advised
and persuaded them to go in her, and they finally consented;
that the United States sloop Decatur came into the port of Onim,
but the vessel had been sold, and the five men had been discharged,
and signed receipts for orders received for the amount of wages
due each, which were given them by Captain Leeds, and have since
been paid here by Messrs. Gautor & Pailhet; that they were offered
rs.250‖000 each to come in her, by a Mr. Sala, the man who
bought the vessel, but declares he refused to receive it, and only
came in order to obtain a passage from the coast, which he could
not otherwise get; that the Dutchman, George, and William, who
have sailed, did receive rs.300‖000.

JOSEPH SUITERS.

George W. Topham, mate, being duly sworn, deposes and says,
that the brig Sooy, of Newport, was sold at Onim, in Africa, by
Captain Mark H. Leeds, to foreigners. The men were all, with
the exception of J. Holmes Henderson and himself, paid off, and


171

all were offered passages either in the French brig Lisbonnaise or
the American brig Albert, both of which vessels were in port; and
Captain Leeds had engaged passages for all, as he would not consent
to their going in the Sooy after he found they were going to
make a slaver of her. Five of the men refused the passages provided
for them, but himself and J. H. Henderson accepted and
came in the brig Albert to this port. There were no slaves on
board when the vessel was given up, but two or three days after
she commenced taking them in; does not know whether Captain
Leeds knew, at the time of selling, that she was to be used as a
slaver; expressly denies that the captain induced any of the men
to go passage in the Sooy, or to ship in her, but persuaded them
to go in the other vessels, where he could pay their passages; that
Joseph Suiters, John Dos Santos, George Foy, William Nowland,
and Lewis Sully refused, and shipped in the Sooy, at rs.300‖000
each, for the run, well knowing that the vessel was to take in
slaves.

GEORGE W. TOPHAM.

John Martick, seaman, and Joseph H. Henderson, boy, swear to the
truth of the foregoing statement of the mate, and expressly declare
that all the crew were offered passages by Captain Leeds in the
brigs Albert or Lisbonnaise, and that he endeavored to persuade
them to accept his offer.

Mark H. Leeds being affirmed, and desired to give a full account
of his conduct in the sale of the brig Sooy, answers as follows, to
wit:

That he arrived at the port of Onim on the 12th June, 1844,
after having touched at Awey, a port to the windward, for fresh
provisions, with a cargo consisting principally of tobacco, rum,
and cotton goods, consigned to two persons on board, whose names
he does not recollect, but will get them; commenced discharging
on the 14th June, and finished on the 13th July; that, previous to
finishing, he was ashore, and was asked by his agent, Mr. Sala, if
he would sell his vessel, as a Mr. Francisco José de Campos, a
Brazilian, then present, wanted to buy her. He said he would sell
if they gave him his price; but they not offering it, no sale took
place at that time, and he made provision for his returning. But
on the 13th of July they came up to his price, and she was sold,
(declines saying for how much he sold her,) and delivered her to
the master and seamen sent to take charge of her, when he left,
with his mate and John G. White, John Martick, and Joseph H.
Henderson, the part of his crew who accepted his offer to pay
their passages to Bahia; the other five composing the crew, viz:
Joseph Suiters, George L. Foy, Lewis Sully, John Newland, and
John Dos Santos refused to go with him, notwithstanding his advice
to them not to stop in her; declares that he never persuaded
any of the men to remain in the vessel, but offered to pay their
passages to Bahia, and endeavored all in his power to get them
with him; but, from their conduct, he felt persuaded that they had


172

been engaged to go in her during his absence on shore. He considered
himself entitled, by the laws of the United States, to sell
there, particularly as other vessels had been previously sold there;
that he did not know how his vessel was to be employed. He believes
she loaded with slaves, but could not speak positively of it.
When he left he took away all his papers with him, and kept them
in his possession; that he did not rub out the name from the stern
of the brig, because he did not think it requisite, and declares that
it was never mentioned by any one at the time of his selling, nor
does he think the purchaser cared whether it was rubbed out or not; declares
she was fitted in no way whatever for the slave trade, but in the
way she had always been kept by him, with the exception of the gaff
topsail, which had been changed to a square topsail, as he found the
gaff topsail was not sufficient sail aft, and the vessel fell off from
the wind. This alteration was made in Bahia, in consequence of
the gaff and other sails having been worn out, and were to be replaced
It was long before he accepted a freight to Africa; declares
he never thought of selling his vessel at the time of sailing
from this, nor did he entertain the thought until spoken to, as mentioned,
at Onim; that he was unwilling to sell, as it would throw
him out of business; but, finding the interests of the owners demanded
it, he did so, and is not aware of having done wrong, or
broken any law of his country. He had full powers from his owners
to sell here or elsewhere. The Sooy sailed from Onim in two days
after delivery to foreigners.

MARK H. LEEDS.

Jacob T. Woodberry, master of the brig Albert, of Boston, being
sworn, and requested to give any information he may have respecting
the sale and transfer of the Sooy, of Newport, answers and
says: That he arrived at Onim, in the brig Albert, nnder his command,
on the 9th day of July last, and found the brig Sooy, of
Newport, Mark H. Leeds, master, at anchor, and was informed by
the mate that the captain was on shore, and that the vessel was to
be sold. Some time after he was ashore, and was requested by a
Mr. Sala, who appeared to be the agent, to take on board three of
the men of the vessel, and bring them to Bahia; he had been previously
spoken to by Captain Leeds to take his men, and had
agreed to take them; two men, John G. White and John Martick,
came on board his vessel the day before the Sooy sailed from
Onim; the day previous, he thinks Captain Leeds, his mate, and a
boy took their clothes on board the French brig Lisbonnaise, which
was in port; understood the vessel was sold previous to her leaving
Onim; feel certain she sailed with slaves in her, but did not see
them; was on board the Sooy the day the master came from shore,
which was the day after his arrival; she had some dry goods and
pipes of rum; does not think she had slaves on board then; feels
positive she had not; did not see any water or provisions go to the
vessel until after mid-day of the day she sailed; did not see anything


173

to warrant his believing they were aiding and abetting in the
slave trade; does not believe that Captain Leeds, his mate, or crew,
aided in getting the vessel ready for slaves; her maintopmast, foretopgallant,
and foreroyal yards were down when he arrived in port,
and remained down until two or three hours before dark of the
night she sailed from Onim, when he saw them going up; the last
he saw of the vessel, her maintopmast was still down. Some time
after this, Captain Leeds made arrangements with him, and came
with George W. Topham, mate, and Joseph H. Henderson, boy, on
board his vessel to take passages for Bahia. When the vessel was
sold, Captain Leeds spoke to him for passages for himself and men,
telling him he had sold his vessel, and Mr. Sala had agreed to pay
their passages to Bahia; does not know who the vessel was sold to
positively, but heard that Mr. Sala had one-third part of her, and
the remainder to the agent of a Mr. Domingos; this he was told
by Captain Leeds; has heard of other vessels having been sold there,
and that they have invariably brought away slaves; there are other
cargoes brought away, but never heard of a vessel being bought to
bring them away. At the time Captain Leeds spoke for passages,
he advised him to go on board the Lisbonnaise, as that vessel was
bound for Bahia, and would probably sail before the Albert, which
advice Captain Leeds took at the time, but afterwards arranged
with him and came as above stated to the Albert from the Lisbonnaise.
He was on board the Sooy many times whilst she was loading
in Bahia, but never saw that she was fitted in any different way
from any other legal trader, nor does he believe she was either
then or when sold, fitted in any other manner; does not believe she
was fitted in any manner for slave trade until after sale; does
not know the day the Sooy sailed, but it was about five or six days
after his arrival in Onim.

JACOB T. WOODBERRY.

Being asked who Sr. Lala was, whether he was or not a notorious
slave dealer or agent for slave dealers, answers he was a
dealer in slaves; he thinks him well known to be such. Being
asked who Mr. Domingos was, and whether he is a notorious slave
dealer or not, answers that he does not know him, but thinks him
generally known as a slave dealer.

JACOB T. WOODBERRY.

Stark Munson, John Turner, Thomas Brown, Charles Berg, and
Thomas Rubie, composing the crew of the brig Albert, of Boston,
being duly sworn, were severally interrogated and declared they
knew nothing of the sale or particulars regarding the Sooy, except
that they saw her in port, a part of her crew and captain came on
board the Albert, and the Sooy sailed at night without them; they
heard she was sold to foreigners.


174

Joseph Suiters, second mate, being again sworn on re-examination,
and desired to give all information respecting the sale and
delivery of the vessel on the coast of Africa, answers and says:
That Mr. Topham, the mate, went on shore with the captain and
returned the same day, and told him the vessel was sold for $9,000
to Mr. Sala, and he was going in her, and wanted us to go along
with him; that he, George, Bill, Lewis and John said they would
go along with him; that two days after, Captain Leeds came aft
and called all hands into the cabin, and said the brig was sold and
wanted them to go in her, and that there would be no danger; four
of us said we would go; he asked for how much money—that Mr.
Sala would give 200‖000 rs.; he, deponent, told the captain he
would go for 300‖000 rs.; does not know what day this was, nor
the month, nor does he know when the vessel was delivered up,
but he believes it was in August last; that the captain, mate, and
some of the men took away their clothes a day or two before the
slaves came on board; but neither the captain, mate, or any of the
men had left the ship when about twenty or thirty slaves came on
board, and five or six canoes filled with them were towing astern
of the vessel; that water, farinha and beans came along side; some
came before the cargo was out, and some immediately after; that
he came in the Sooy for 300‖000 rs.; that they sailed from Onim
with 630 slaves as cargo, and landed 610, the remainder having
died on the passage; that she was commanded by a Spaniard—
his name he never heard. Ramos, a Brazilian, who went out supercargo
of the Sooy, came back as contra master of her; they had
a flag-captain who was a Brazilian; don't know his name; five passengers,
Brazilians, who went from this in the Joseph Cowperthwaite,
the Rosa & Lisbonnaise, an American and French brig, and
Sardinian barque, came back in the Sooy; four negroes were shipped
as part of the crew on the coast before Captain Leeds left her,
but were shipped by the other captain; seventy pipes of water, a
great many sacks of farinha, corn and beans, a cask of palm oil,
and three barrels of jerked beef were taken in on the coast, and all
before the vessel was delivered up by Captain Leeds; that the Decatur
came in and sent on board two officers, who went on board
and went into the cabin, and afterwards looked down the hatches
and saw cargo on board; thinks this was a week before they sailed.

JOSEPH SUITERS.
True copy. Attest:
ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Consul.

K 3.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Yours of the 8th instant, enclosing an extract from a letter
of Consul Tyler, at Bahia, dated 3d instant, communicating the


175

information that he has imprisoned an American citizen, Joseph
Suiters, former second mate of the brig Sooy, and that “he has
now been a long time in prison, and has become sick from the confinement,
and that he is anxiously awaiting my decision respecting
him,” compels me, in humanity to the prisoner, immediately to reply
to the letter of Mr. Tyler to you of the 11th December, 1844,
a copy of which you, on the 31st January, 1845, enclosed to me.
This extract gives me the first information of the imprisonment of
this man; the letter of Mr. Tyler, of the 11th December, on the
contrary, states that Suiters appeared before him to give information
touching the Sooy, “on a promise not to imprison him;” and
you know, sir, the immense volume of other business which has
engrossed my attention, since the receipt of that letter, to be a sufficient
apology for not noticing it before this time.

After a thorough and deliberate examination of Mr. Tyler's
course, I regret to be constrained to say it is far from being clear
and satisfactory. You wrote to him for information in the case of
the Sooy, which involved questions both of supposed English aggression
on our commerce and of violation of our laws for the suppression
of the African slave trade. He replied in a way which to
me seemed vague and unsatisfactory. I candidly gave him the
opportunity of answering fully and fairly. His reply shows as his
excuse, that he stuck to the letter rather than to the spirit of your
inquiries; and that at the time of his first reply to you, he had
much information beyond the specific inquiries put by you, which
he did not communicate until specially interrogated by me. And
the whole case, as stated by himself, seems now to stand thus:

The Sooy, Leeds, master, arrived in Bahia, consigned to Amazalack.
She remained there some time, and was chartered, through
the consignee, to Pailhet, a partner of the firm of Gautor & Pailhet
, a notorious firm of slave dealers. The captain became suspicious
of her first cargo even, and protested. She was sent to Onim,
a supercargo on board, to the agent of the charterers, Sala, himself
a generally known slave dealer. The captain thus had every opportunity
of becoming acquainted with the known character of the
charterers, and their agent in Africa. He returned to Bahia. He
waited there some length of time—long enough to become further
acquaintèd with Gautor & Pailhet, and the course of trade with
Africa. After waiting in vain for his consignee to negotiate another
charter for him, (and it does not seem clear why he did not,)
he withdrew the consignment from Amazalack, and chartered his
vessel himself to Gautor & Pailhet for a second trip to “the coast.”
He again contracted to take two supercargoes, Brazilian. Arrived
in Africa; sold his vessel. A part, five of his crew, and the Brazilian
supercargo, returned in the Sooy, bringing to the coast of
Brazil several hundreds of slaves, say about six hundred. Leeds
states in his deposition that he treated of the sale with Sala for
Campos. The captain of the Albert says, that he, Leeds, told him
that Sala was purchaser of one-third, and other part of the vessel
was sold to a certain Domingos. The consul says, Gautor & Pailhet,
the charterers, were the purchasers, through their agent in


176

Africa, without saying how he came by this information. The
Sooy was chased on shore near Bahia, and the vessel captured by
an English man-of-war's boat. On board of her were found sundry
papers, among others a letter signed Gautor & Pailhet, directed
to Mr. Topham, or any other seaman in his absence, and
this letter was in English, showing that the charterers expected
that Mr. Topham, the American mate, and some American seamen,
speaking the English language, would return from Africa in the
Sooy. The vessel was brought to the port of Rio de Janeiro; copies
of all the papers found on board of her were furnished to the
United States minister here. The American consul here, Mr. Gordon,
wrote his first letter to Mr. Tyler, United States consul at
Bahia, for information. His reply was such as I have described,
and he was further interrogated. What now does he say? He evidently
shows that, notwithstanding his professed willingness to
disclose all he knows, he has information which he does not disclose.
He admits Gautor & Pailhet to be ” well known” slave
dealers; that they are in fact reported to be the owners in whole
or in part of several slaving vessels which are well known to have
brought cargoes of slaves to this coast, and the slave trade is in his
opinion their principal business. He speaks of his suspicions of
the sale of the Sooy before her departure, which suspicions he unreservedly
withdraws on the ground of letters which he found, on
investigation, were received from Onim, at Bahia, before her return;
he does not say from whom or by whom, or what were their
contents; and he had much other information, particularly of the
letter of Gautor & Pailhet to Topham, the mate; an account of
which, and of whom derived, he does not give. This shows that
he had the means of full, accurate, and confidential information.
He believed the cargo of the Sooy was for the slave trade; “confident
not only that was, but most, if not all, the cargoes from Bahia,
for the coast, were for the purchase of slaves and maintenance
of the slave trade.” One of the crew of the Sooy, Suiters, voluntarily
gave him information on a promise not to imprison him.
Every material fact deposed to by that witness, no matter whether
his character be good or bad, is corroborated by the papers
found on board the Sooy, and by the admitted evidence on the part
of Leeds, Topham, and all, except that the captain persuaded the
men to ship in the Sooy, and that slaves were put on board before
the vessel was delivered up. The consul (Mr. Tyler) himself felt
confident the slaves were consigned to Gautor & Pailhet, the charterers,
by Sala, the consignee and agent in Africa, with whom the
sale was negotiated. The consul, however, declines telling who
informed him that “papers were getting ready to send on to Rio
de Janeiro,” &c.—it was told to him in confidence. He states that
Gautor & Pailhet bought the vessel in Africa by their agent there,
but does not say how he came by this certain information; Leeds
had an indefinite power to sell the vessel; the consul's eulogy
upon Leeds's character for righteousness and piety; his report
that American vessels are not interested in any way in the slave
trade, further than in being engaged in the carrying trade of Brazil

177

produce here—knowing that their price is enhanced by the protection
their flag gives to their own sale and delivery to the trade on
the coast, as in this very case of the Sooy; that the vessels of the
United States, as well as their cargoes, are delivered to that trade
on the coast, and that they carry and bring crews, as well as cargoes,
for the navigation of slavers. The deposition of Suiters, that
he returned in the Sooy to the coast of Brazil with slaves; that
slaves were on board of her when she was delivered up; that Topham
told him that the vessel was sold for the extraordinary price
of $9,000 to Sala, and that he was going in her; that Leeds persuaded
him to go in her; the deposition of Topham, that the vessel
was sold by Leeds, without saying to whom or for what price;
that the men were paid off at Onim, without saying in what manner,
but impliedly, corroborating Suiters's deposition, and saying
that Suiters shipped knowing that the Sooy was to take slaves;
the short hand deposition of Martick and Henderson; the deposition
of Leeds himself, admitting that Sala was the agent of Gautor
and Pailhet; that on the 13th of July, some one, without saying
who, came to his price—declining to say what, obviously because
the price itself would show that the slave trade alone could afford
to pay so great a price for such a vessel; that he advised the men
not to ship in the Sooy, obviously because, if so, he knew or had
reason to suppose that she was to carry a cargo of slaves; that
he believes now she was loaded with slaves; the deposition of
Woodberry, captain of another vessel, as compared with Leeds's
evidence; the fact that he was informed as early as the 9th of July
the Sooy was to be sold, when she was sold, as said by Leeds, not
until the 13th of July; that Sala afterwards requested him to take
three of the men; that two of them came on board the Albert the
day
before the Sooy sailed from Onim; that he felt certain the
Sooy sailed with slaves; the fact that Leeds told him of two different
purchasers from Campos, first named in Leeds's deposition;
that he had heard of other vessels sold there, and they had invariably
brought away slaves; that there were other cargoes brought
away, but had never heard of a vessel's being bought to bring them
away; that Sala and Domingos are both generally known slave
dealers. Every circumstance, in a word, showed that it was a proper
and clear case for arrest of Leeds, Topham, and all hands, on
a charge of violating the laws of the United States for the suppression
of the African slave trade. It was not for the consul to decide
upon the guilt or innocence of the accused. Suiters was the
accuser, and the courts of jurisdiction in the United States were
the proper tribunals to decide upon the law and evidence touching
guilt or innocence of all the parties implicated. Yet, what did
Consul Tyler do ? By his own statement, it seems that he took
the testimony of one witness, at least, corroborated by every
known fact in the case, and released them from all imputation of
guilt, and allowed them to go home in the Draco, and detained the
first informer alone, and has finally imprisoned him until he is sick
by the confinement, anxiously awaiting my advice concerning him!
I cannot conceal the fact that this whole course of conduct is reprobated
12

178

by my warmest indignation. If Suiters is guilty, why
does he want my advice ? _Does he not know what is his duty ?
Does he wish to punish that man by imprisonment for becoming
informer during the delay of waiting for my advice ? If Suiters is
guilty, how can Leeds be clearly innocent ? If not guilty, and if
the man is to be used as a witness, why imprison him, after a promise
, confessed, that he should not be imprisoned, implying that he
should be used as a witness ? No; Mr. Tyler's suppression of information;
his looseness in taking the depositions, without precision
as to names of persons and as to dates, and without proper
cross-examination in all respects; his allowing Leeds and Topham,
the master and first mate, to go freely home, and his imprisonment
of this offender in the third degree, not without liability to the suspicion
that it is because he was informer; and the tone and temper
of his report to you, and other facts known officially to me, all
strip him of any title or claim to my counsel and advice, and I
shall leave him, accordingly, to his own responsibility to the government
of the United States. If he had been appointed by this
legation; I should not hesitate, as in the case of—, at Victoria,
to cause his exequatur to be revoked instantly. As he was appointed
by the President, and I judge that he must be removed by
the President, I shall simply lay the whole correspondence with
him before the Department of State, and recommend his immediate
removal from office.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. A. WISE.
GEORGE WILLIAM GORDON, Esq.,
Consul of the United States, Rio de Janeiro.

Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extract.]

MAY 8, 1845.

P. S.— Since writing the above, I received yesterday morning
the letter from Consul Tyler, at Bahia, of which the enclosed is a
copy. The Driscoll mentioned in it is the same man whose trial
for piracy is now pending in New York.

Our laws need to be much amended and extended; but no statutes
will be of any avail unless they be enforced by a stern moral
power, and a systematic policy of suppression be adopted. What
is the use for ministers and naval commanders and consuls to send
persons home charged with violations of our laws, with full evidence,
too, if such cases as this of Driscoll be allowed to disgrace
the mode of granting and procuring bail in the United States
courts? You may rest assured that the officers stationed here must
seem, at all events, to have the confidence of the President. I will
do all in my power to give to the United States, during his administration
of public affairs, the honor of doing very much to suppress,


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if not of entirely suppressing, the African slave trade, as
carried on by our flag and citizens between “the coast” and Brazil.
All I ask in turn is his countenance, approbation, and encouragement
I am confident that if I am backed by the department and by
its attention to my recommendations, I can command success here on
this subject. I have no fears that the President and department
will not sustain me if they understand the true condition of things
in Brazil, and my action in reference to it. The Bainbridge will
sail for Bahia to-morrow morning, with directions to seize Driscoll,
at all events, upon the ground that he is evidently eluding
his appearance under his bail-piece in the case of the Hope, and
to seize the vessel, too, in which he sails, if there be sufficient
probable grounds.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Bahia,

SIR:

I have to request that you will have sent to this pert immediately
a United States vessel of war, and as quietly as possible,
as I shall most probably require assistance to enable me to
prevent the ship Calhoun, of Baltimore, Ebenezer C. Fales, master
and owner, and C. F. Driscoll, supercargo, from engaging in the
slave trade, or some other equally illicit commerce. This vessel
arrived here on Sunday the 20th instant from Rio Grande with a
foreign crew, and I have strong grounds for believing she is now
fitting out for the slave trade, by building boilers and other arrangements
requisite for that trade on board. She pretended to
put into this port in distress, having, as alleged, sprung her mizzen
mast, which I believe untrue; and there is, I am given to understand,
a cargo of rum and tobacco now ready for her; and I believe
she has been either bought or chartered in Rio de Janeiro
through the agency of C. F. Driscoll for that trade, who joined her
from your port at Rio Grande.

These, and many other suspicious circumstances, which the early
sailing of the present conveyance, a Brazilian brig of war, does
not allow me time to give you, in my opinion sufficiently warrant
my calling for assistance from our naval force on this coast, which
I now do through you, and by the enclosed letter to Commodore
Turner, whom I refer to you for particulars of the case.

In order to prevent this breach of the laws of the United States,
and punish the offenders, it will be necessary to keep secret for the
time, both in this port and Rio de Janeiro, any steps it may be
requisite to take; otherwise every evidence of the intent will be
immediately suppressed by these men, who, I understand, bear
very bad characters;_therefore, I request you will eadeavor to
have the departure of any vessel of war which may be despatched
for this sent with as little notoriety as possible, and that no officer


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but the commander shall be made acquainted with any hint of this
business.

I am, &c.,

ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
Consul.
His excellency H. A. Wise, &c., &c., &c.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Lieutenant Turner delivered your message this morning,
that the Bainbridge will sail for Bahia to-morrow. The man Driscoll
indicted in the case of the Hope, came here from the United
States with bail, and a commission to take depositions. He boasted
that his bail was “straw bail,” and I am told said he could get
any person charged with offences in the slave trade off in New
York for one thousand dollars. I was informed in a way I could
not doubt, that he did not intend to return home and stand his
trial. He left the business of taking his depositions, departed from
Rio de Janeiro, as was universally reported, to join the ship Calhoun
at Rio Grande, and thence in her to make a voyage to the
coast of Africa. The letter of Consul Tyler confirms this report,
and these acts clearly manifest his intention to elude his bail-piece
and escape trial in the case of the Hope. I request, therefore, that
you will instruct the commander of the Bainbridge, in case he finds
the Calhoun and Driscoll in the port of Bahia, to cause the arrest
of Driscoll, through the United States consul there, and his delivery
to his custody. If this cannot be done, or fails, to follow
the Calhoun out, and to take Driscoll from on board of her at sea,
upon the ground of sending him back to New York to be tried for
the offence for which he already stands there indicted. As to going
further, in seizing the vessel and others on board of her besides
Driscoll, he will have to be governed by a sound discretion in
judging of the probable grounds to be furnished him by our consul
at Bahia. Let him not attempt to seize the vessel in the waters of
Brazil, nor within her jurisdiction to seize any person without arrests
duly made by the Brazilian authorities on the request of our
consul. At sea, on good probable grounds, he may seize or arrest
according to the circumstances of the case. He should by all
means detain the vessel, if he finds her at sea, to arrest Driscoll, if
he does not deem himself justifiable in seizing the vessel, &c. As
to what the Bainbridge shall do in case the Calhoun be not at
Bahia, you are the best judge. If, on arrival there she has just
departed, I recommend a fresh pursuit. But if the pursuit appear
vair, the Bainbridge, unless new matters arise there, had better,
perhaps, after learning all she can about “the coast” trade at that
place return to this station.

I am, sir, &c., &c.,

HENRY A. WISE. To Commodore D. TURNER, &c., &c., &c.


181

[Extract.].
Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

The Porpoise has been necessarily delayed beyond my expectations.
She will not sail before Wednesday; her captain, Libby,
it seems, had sailed with Mr. Gordon's knowledge, in another vessel,
and the consul informs me that he had taken steps to cause him
to be arrested in Boston. Had I known of his departure, I would
have caused the Raritan, if possible, to take him out of the vessel
at sea. It seems that since Commodore Turner sent out the Bainbridge,
in response to the notice from Consul Tyler; the latter, according
to a letter to Mr. Gordon, has caused some vessels and their
masters and crews to be seized at Bahia. We shall soon learn the
particulars. Consul Tyler also called on me to send to him a frigate.
That was impossible, as the brig had already gone to his assistance,
and the Raritan is compelled to sail in a few days to the river
Platte to take provisions to the Boston. Another sloop of war and
another brig, if possible, are very much needed on this station.
Captain Turner remains as he has been for quite a month now, confined
to his bed with chronic rheumatism or gout, erysipelas always
supervening. He desires to be relieved from his command,
and though he is among the most excellent of men and best of
captains, and we will all regret to part with him, yet he deserves
to be allowed to return to the comforts of his family, very much
needed in his present situation, as soon as the convenience of the
service will admit.

Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

By despatch No. 16, of May 1, I informed you fully of my
correspondence with Consul Tyler, at Bahia, in respect to the case
of the Sooy; and I then recommended his immediate removal from
office. In a postscript, dated May 8, to my despatch No. 17, of the
2d of May, I forwarded copies of my correspondence with him
touching the case of the Calhoun and Captain Driscoll. The brig
of war Bainbridge sailed for Bahia the next day, May 9. After
she sailed, Mr. Gordon informed me that he had received information,
from Mr. Tyler that the latter had seized the Albert, of Boston,
and had arrested certain persons for violating the laws of the
United States for the suppression of the foreign slave trade, and
showed me an extract of a letter, dated May 10, from Mr. Tyler to
him, which on the 27th of May last he communicated to me in the
note of which the enclosed, marked A, is a copy. On the 3d of
June I received from Mr. Tyler the letter and accompanying papers,
of which the enclosed, marked B, is a copy. On the 4th instant


182

I addressed to Mr. Gordon the letter of which the enclosed,
marked C, is a copy. On the 6th instant Mr. Gordon replied by
letter, of which the enclosed, marked D, is a copy. On the 7th
instant I addressed to Mr. Tyler the letter of which the enclosed,
marked E, is a copy. On the same day, June 7, I wrote to the department
as I had promised Mr. Tyler in my note E; but it being
impossible to complete the necessary copies in time to accompany
the despatch, it was not sent; and I have been so busily employed
ever since that I have not been able, until this period of time, to
redeem my promise to withdraw my recommendation of his removal
from office.

To the reasons for so doing, contained in my note to him, I add
that a consul is needed at Bahia; that almost every man of influence
and capital in business there is engaged, more or less, in the
African slave trade; that no better man than Mr. Tyler could probably
be found at the place; and the fees of the office are too small
to induce a man of superior qualifications to leave the United States
for that post, or to make the consul there more independent than
Mr. Tyler is in the discharge of his official duty. And Mr. Tyler,
it seems, is no longer the clerk and protegé of Mr. John S. Gillmer,
who was reported to me, officially, by Mr. Gordon as having sold
an American vessel to slavers.

He, therefore, had better be retained in office; and I shall do all
in my power to sustain him in the proceedings he has already instituted,
or may hereafter institute, for the suppression of the slave
trade. Lately I received from him the letter and accompanying
papers, of which the enclosed, marked F, is a copy; and I replied
to him by letter of this day's date, of which the enclosed, marked
G, is a copy.

I enclose, also, a copy of my letter to Commodore Turner,
marked H, when the Bainbridge was about to sail for Bahia, the
suggestions of which were adopted in part by him in his instructions
to Captain Pennington.

With the highest respect, &c.,
HENRY A. WISE.
Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN.

A.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Herewith I have the honor to transmit an extract from a
letter addressed to me and received a few days ago from Mr. Consul
Tyler, at Bahia, dated 10th of the current month.

I have the honor, &c.,

GEORGE WILLIAM GORDON,
Consul of the United States.
His excellency H. A. WISE,
&c., &c., &c.,
Rio de Janeiro.


183

Extract from a letter from Mr. Alexander H. Tyler, United States
consul at Bahia, dated 10th May, 1845.

“Time does not permit me to write to the minister by this conveyance;
therefore, pray request of him from me, to have the goodness
to send immediately to this port a frigate, as the public service
most urgently requires it, in my opinion.

“I have this moment received a paper signed by several American
citizens, which I have not yet read; time scarce allowing me
to finish this despatch. It is against me, by the names attached to
it; it is directed to no one. Should it be to Mr. Wise, I trust in
his sense of justice to allow me to have time for a defence; and
should it have gone to the Department of State, hope he will
request the same for me, as at present I cannot address that department,
being much occupied.”

B.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Bahia,

I enclose a copy of a correspondence which has taken place from
and with this consulate, regarding the brig Albert, of Boston, her
master, officers, crew, and passengers, lately arrived from Africa
in ballast, bringing the master, mate, and crew of the former brig
Washington's Barge, of Philadelphia, which had been sold on the
coast of Africa by the master, Thomas Duling.

On the 26th of same month, the master, Thomas Duling, presented
me the crew of the vessel he had taken from here, who had,
as alleged by him, come with him in the Albert from Africa;
desiring to pay them off, presenting his accounts and depositing the
money due them in the consulate, together with three months'
extra wages for such as were entitled to it. Upon which I proceeded
to pay off the crew agreably to law and my official instructions,
and endorsed his papers to that effect, they having been previously
deposited with me; and, at his request, I divided his register in
two parts, and passed a certificate to that effect, as has always been
the custom of this consulate upon the sale of a vessel, there being
no complaint lodged against such vessel. The master thereupon
applied for, through his agent, John S. Gillmer, by his clerk, and
obtained the requisite certificate from me to take out his passport
from the authorities of this place for the United States via Pernambuco,
together with William Vaughn his cook, which passports
were granted them. Let me here remark, the papers of the vessel
still remained in my hands, and yet are.

On Sunday, the 4th of May, there arrived a despatch from the
consul at Rio de Janeiro, accusing this master and his mate, Knight,
of a breach of the laws of the United States for the suppression of
the foreign slave trade. Also Jacob T. Woodberry, master of the
“Albert,” was charged in the same despatch with having implicated
himself and his vessel in said Duling's arrangements and


184

acts; and as having aided and abetted, if not of having been directly
engaged in the African slave trade.

Upon this despatch from the consul, after due reflection upon the
subject in all its branches, I judged it my duty to act in the most
effective manner in my power for the apprehension of all belonging
in any way to these vessels, and having them secured at my
disposition, in order fully to investigate the case, and take the
necessary depositions for sending the accused for trial to the
United States. The enclosed correspondence will place you in
possession of my whole action on the subject, with the exception of
my having personally applied to the officers charged by the government
with this arrest, namely, the chief and sub delegate of police,
to have these individuals as well treated as the case would permit,
in order that no unnecessary hardship might be felt by them consistent
with their security; and whilst at the office of the latter, I
was told by Eserivaô, or notary, that they did not know where the
two masters were. I informed him that I had just left them, and was
asked to point them óut, which I did to the inspector, who carried
with him the sergeant of the dock-yard prison, and arrested them.

Also I enclose copies of all protests made up to this date by
Jacob T. Woodberry and Thomas Duling, and have to inform you
that I had at first doubts how far I could receive protests of such
a nature in this case; however, they have finally been received, as
you will see.

I further enclose a copy of a paper received at this consulate
at twenty minutes past two o'clock on Saturday afternoon, when
I was much occupied and could not read it, purporting to be copy
of a representation made against my conduct in this arrest, and
to be signed by five American citizens, as their act and deed.

Upon this paper I shall for the present only remark, that it is a
most garbled and unjust statement of facts; that it is the act alone
of John S. Gillmer, consignee of the Albert, and former consignee
of the Washington's Barge, now agent for Thomas Duling, and
that entirely through his influence and the agency of his brother-
in-law, Joseph Ray, who is a young man, clerk in his office, has
it been got up and signed; indeed, on Friday last, I was told by
W. T. Harris, who purports to be one of the signers, and who has
more at stake within the limits of this consulate than all the others
put together, after Gillmer, that a petition was about being got
up against me, as he had been told by Ray, who told him he must
sign it; and said Harris further told me that he was afraid if he
did not sign it he should create strong enemies to himself. From
the copy of this representation, sent to this consulate, I know not
to whom it is made, but take it for granted it is either to yourself
or the Department of State, and went either by the steamer to you on
the 10th instant, or to the department by the barque Cadmus, which
sailed yesterday for Sag harbor. These men were pledged or offered
to pledge themselves to place themselves at my disposition, if it should
be necessary. It is true, Woodberry, knowing that orders had been
given by the authorities here for the apprehension of the crew, did
ask to have their depositions taken; and Duling we find endeavoring


185

to escape, although against my expostulation not only to himself,
but his agent and adviser, Gillmer. But I do not wish to bring
charges against these men, although I find them and their agents
and abettors endeavoring by every means in their power to crush and
thwart me. Indeed, upon this paper I should not have said at
present so much, were it not backed (should it have gone to the
department and not to you) by your strong animadversion and
promised representation against me in a former case; and, therefore,
both taken together, compel me to lay before you the situation
in which I am placed, and the state of this consulate, by the
following facts in regard to the income or emoluments of the
office since I have been in charge of it, and my own personal
affairs so far as they bear upon the case, and to request your immediate
action or advice upon them, and that you will lay the same
before the department, by forwarding to it so much of this despatch
as in your judgment shall be deemed fit, requesting for myself only
time and opportunity to confute all charges which may be made
against me either to yourself or the department, as I feel I have
done my duty to the best of my judgment and ability both in this
and the former case of the Sooy, and at great personal sacrifice in
this last of the Albert.

I took charge of this consulate in May, 1840, having at that
time a good clerkship, which gave me more for the first two years
than the whole emoluments rendered from the consulate; the consulate
renders an emolument, and has done so since I have had it, of
from three hundred and fifty to five hundred dollars annually; out
of which are to be paid all the expenses of the office, such as stationery,
and all incidental expenses, furniture for the office, &c.;
and I have been obliged to pay for all flags and flag-staffs—the
government never having furnished me with them—until of late, I
received, in answer to a representation made to it by me, notice
that they would allow a reasonable expense of a flag staff, upon
which I have not as yet acted, the situation of my house not permitting
a good one to be erected. On the arrival, some time since,
of Commodore Turner, he kindly gave me a flag from his vessel
for an old one of mine, and had the arms of the United States
painted on board for me. Previous to these, I was obliged to pay
for these articles out of my income, as they are absolutely necessary
to a consulate in this port. And now, sir, as I could not well
live on the emoluments of my office, I was obliged to have other
occupation, and have continued a clerk. Not having been educated
in a mercantile line of business, and never in a counting-
house until my arrival in this place, and being poor, I have no
capital to commence as merchant, nor are my friends in the mercantile
line. With all these disadvantages, I have hitherto endeavored,
and I believe satisfactorily, to keep up the honor and respectability
of my consulate, and perform my duties therein as
well as health would permit; but now, upon my action in the case
of the Albert, I am obliged to give up my clerkship with Gillmer,
with whom I was at the time employed, as I considered, upon Mr.
Gordon's letter, and the former correspondence with yourself, him


186

and this consulate, duty imperatively called on me to act as I have
done; and I have answered the call with great personal sacrifice;
in fact, starvation almost staring me in the face; for these emoluments
are only received in small parcels, and frequently at long
intervals; besides which, I owe some debts here, and have, in addition,
to combat against the influence of Gillmer, backed by the
slave trade interest of the place, which you know to be strong, in
my official duties, together with your expressed indignation against
my official act in a former case.

I have thus, sir, given you in part a portion of the difficulties
under which I am acting, even though I make myself liable by it
to the imputation of proving one of the charges in the representation
against me, namely: “That I have acted in this case for the
sake of notoriety;” and I have only done it from an imperative
sense of duty.

And now, sir, with respect to my conduct in the case of the man
Suiters and the brig Sooy, for which I am much blamed by you, I
acted to the best of my judgment and ability in the case, and I
believe you will think with me, upon re-perusal of the correspondence
with yourself, Mr. Gordon and myself, together with the
fact that Suiters was not the accuser, neither did I break my promise
with him; I got this man before me with a promise that he
should come and be at liberty to go away without molestation. I
did this for the purpose of gleaning what information I could as a
guide towards the investigation which I intended to make upon
arrival of the master, mate, and the rest of the crew, which I informed
Mr. Gordon in my first letter I intended to make, and not
that I could put all faith in this man's evidence. Upon his first
coming before me, I interrogated him respecting the business, and
afterwards I got his promise that, if I would not molest him and
allow him to go about openly here, he would remain until the
others came, in order to have a full and fair investigation. But
what did he do? Why twice attempted to escape, and was, by my
means, taken out of the vessels and warned each time against further
attempting it. Upon the arrival of the master and mate, I
could not get, according to my judgment, evidence sufficient to
warrant my arrest of them, and therefore permitted them to return
home, referring the case to your decision, thinking you might obtain
testimony in the investigation which was being carried on regarding
the vessel at Rio de Janeiro; and pending your answer,
Suiters again attempted to escape, and was taken from on board
the vessel to prison until I could hear from you, as I considered
myself bound to have this man forthcoming in case you should
wish him. I made known to Commodore Turner when here, I
think, that I intended to investigate the case on the arrival of the
master and crew from Africa.

Upon this and the former correspondence on this subject, to
which I beg you will refer, I here rest my case. It was my intention
to have waited to hear from the department on this subject,
but my present situation, I think, urgently calls on me to give


187

you this, and if afterwards you can condemn me, I have only to
submit.

And now, sir, as regards my present situation, on account of my
action in the case of the Albert, I have done it, well knowing the
personal consequences to myself. I was a clerk with Jno. S.
Gillmer, and had my office in his counting-house, and after seizing
the Albert, of which vessel he was consignee, I could not remain
a clerk with him, nor keep my office there, as my duty of consul
and his being consignee, and knowing he would take, as he has
done, every step in his power to frustrate my views in this case,
would not, in my opinion, permit it. I have therefore given up
the clerkship and removed my office to my dwelling house, (for
which now I can scarce afford to pay,) and determined to live as
well as I can here until I have time to refute or at least answer
all charges which may be brought against my official acts, if permitted
to do so.

Mr. Gillmer has been, and still is endeavoring with all his influence,
and is backed by that of the slave trade interest, to thwart
my exertions to apprehend these men and investigate this case previous
to sending them for trial to the United States. The correspondence
itself will disprove I think, all the charges in the paper
which he has caused to be drawn up and signed against me. As
to the fear of being subjected to prosecution by the Brazilian authorities,
they, on the contrary, are endeavoring to have it done.

In addition to Mr. Gordon's despatch, I know (but cannot prove
further than that it is well believed here,) the Washington's Barge
arrived and landed slaves on this coast, having been sold for eight
thousand dollars, whereas she was offered here and could not obtain
half that sum before she went to Africa. She was bought by
the same man, “Sala,” who bought the “Sooy” for Bahia account.
The two masters have been apprehended, but are let out on parole,
I understand, through Gillmer's agency; and I much fear if a vessel
of war does not arrive soon to take charge of them, that he
will be able to get them off, backed as he is by the slave trade interest.

I trust, sir, that upon this statement and the documents accompanying
it, you will exculpate me from blame in either of these
cases, and you will see the necessity of giving immediate assistance
to this consulate. I think you know the importance of the consulate
being independent, and will make the necessary representation
to the department. I have availed of yesterday, Sunday, and
to-day, a holiday, which allows me some relaxation, to give you
this hasty sketch of my situation, and in conclusion have to say,
that if you have not power to give me instant assistance—as by my
poverty the power of the consulate to carry through this business,
and bring those accused to trial will be entirely frustrated—I know
not what to do.

I am, sir, &c.

ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
Consul.
Hon. H. A. WISE, &c., &c., &c.


188

Consulate of the United States of America at Bahia.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

I have received information upon which I place confidence,
that on the 14th day of March last, were at Onim, coast of Africa,
two American vessels, to wit: the brigantines “Washington's Barge,”
T. Duling, master, belonging to Philadelphia, and “Albert,” Woodberry,
master, belonging to Boston. That the former vessel had
at that time been sold, and was to be delivered at that place in a
few days, therefore, to new owners for the purpose of the slave
trade. That the master, Captain Duling, and his mate, named T.
Knight, had already taken their clothes, chronometer, &c., from
the vessel, and had slept several nights on shore. That they had,
since they thus left the vessel, she being closely watched by a
British man of war, returned on board and protected her with the
United States flag. That said vessel was at that time provided
with water, farinha, rice, beans, and other articles for the reception
of a cargo of slaves. That slaves were then on the shore near by,
ready to be embarked at the first favorable moment, and that on or
about the 14th March aforesaid, a person interested in the shipment
of slaves, told the mate Knight aforesaid, that the slaves for
the “Washington's Barge” were all ready, and would be put on
board in a day or two. Also am I informed that it was understood
at Onim that the “Washington's Barge” would land her slaves
near Bahia; that Captain Duling and his mate, Knight, were to
return to that port in the “Albert,” which vessel was to leave
Onim about the last of March. That the crew of the “Washington's
Barge” wanted to return in that vessel with the slaves, and
that several of them would probably do so.

The circumstances, as communicated to me, represent this case of
the “Washington's Barge” as one of the most open and barefaced
transactions that ever disgraced the American flag in connection
with the African slave trade; and further, that the course of Captain
Woodberry, of the “Albert,” has been such as to implicate
him in Captain Daling's arrangements and acts, and as having
aided and abetted, if not of having been directly engaged in, the
African slave trade.

Both of these vessels, I believe, sailed from your port for Africa,
and the “Washington's Barge” is now owned by some of your
wealthy slave dealers.

The “Albert” will probably return to your port with the master,
officers, and a portion of the crew of the former vessel. I have
hastened to communicate to you this intelligence, which I think
can be relied upon, to enable you to take such early and efficient
steps in relation thereto, as the circumstances represented seem
imperatively to demand, and as you may consider expedient.

Very respectfully, &c.,

GEORGE WM. GORDON,
U. S. Consul.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
Consul United States, Bahia.


189

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Bahia,

MOST EXCELLENT SIR:

Information has been given to this consulate,
and a complaint made that the master, officers, crew and
passengers of the American brig “Albert,” of Boston, lately arrived
from Africa, have violated the laws of the United States in a
most flagrant manner, and are suspected of having aided and abetted
in the foreign slave trade.

Upon this information and complaint, it becomes my duty to apply
for the immediate seizure of this vessel and apprehension of
all concerned therein for account of the government of the United
States; and I therefore request your excellency will be kind enough
to cause the said vessel to be seized and garrisoned, and the men
whose names I enclose to be apprehended and guarded on board of
her, at the disposition and for account of this consulate; the said
men being the masters and crews of the aforesaid brig “Albert,”
of Boston, and the brig “Washington's Barge,” formerly an American
vessel, which sailed from this port in the month of December
last for the coast of Africa, and was there sold as alleged.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
Consul.
His excellency
FRANCO JOSE DE SOURA SOARES DE ANDREA,
President of the province of Bahia.

[Translation.]

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

MOST EXCELLENT SIR:

Having received information from Rio
de Janeiro, by the steamer to-day, which obliges me to arrest
the departure from this port for the present, of Thomas Duling
and William Vaughn, citizens of the United States of America,
who having received their passports, are about to embark in the
steamer sailing to-day for Pernambuco, I find myself obliged to request
your excellency to take the necessary measure for preventing
them from obtaining permission to depart.

I avail myself of this occasion, &c.,

ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
Consul. To the most excellent CHIEF OF THE POLICE
of this province, Bahia.


190

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Bahia,

SIR:

By this steamer there will probably arrive in your port
from this, Thomas Duling, former master of the brig Washington's
Barge, of Philadelphia, which vessel he sold on the coast of Africa
to slavers.

There has been a complaint made to this consulate by George
William Gordon, esquire, consul of the United States at Rio de
Janeiro, upon the subject, and I have taken steps to have him arrested;
but as he may evade the officers charged by this government
with his arrest, the object of this despatch is to request you
to watch his movements, and should he embark at your port for
the United States, to notify the marshal of the United States for
the district in which he would arrive, directing that he be arrested
on the charge of having violated the laws of the United States for
the suppression of the foreign slave trade, and held in custody until
he can notify and receive instructions from the proper department
at Washington.

It is too late to send you a copy of Mr. Gordon's complaint
against this man, but it shall be done by the first opportunity.

In much haste, I am, &c.,
ALEXANDER H. TYLER.
G. J. SNOW, Esq.,
United States consul, Pernambuco.

[Translation.]

PALACE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF BAIHA,

MOST ILLUSTRIOUS SIR:

Having examined the communication received
from the chief of the police, which I have just received, I
have to state to you, in answer to your official despatch of the 5th
instant, that the measures requested by you in the said despatch
have been ordered, with regard to the American brig Albert, coming
from the coast of Africa, in which were found only one seaman
and one negro.

God preserve you, sir.

FRANCISCO JOSE DE SOURA SOARES DE ANDREA.
To the CONSUL
Of the United States of America.

[Translation.]

OFFICE OF POLICE OF BAHIA,

MOST ILLUSTRIOUS SIR:

I should inform you that in virtue of
your positive requisition in regard to your despatch of the 5th in-


191

stant, the American citizen, Thomas Duling, was prevented from
making his voyage; and agreeably to the orders of the government
given in consequence of your request addressed to it, the brig
Albert was seized, and certain American citizens belonging to the
same, and mentioned in a statement added to the same request,
have been already placed at your disposition.

I avail myself of this occasion to repeat, &e.,

JOAO JOAQUIM DA SILVA.
To the Consul
Of the United States.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Bahia,

Most Excellent Sir:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt
of your note of yesterday's date, informing me, in reply to my des-
patch of the 5th instant, that the American brig Albert had been
seized agreeably to my request, and but one seaman and a black
were on board.

But I regret that your excellency is entirely silent in regard to
the most important part of my despatch, namely, the apprehension
and guarding on board her of the master, officers, crew and passen-
gers of the vessel, a list of whose names and occupations was en-
closed in my despatch, and a number of whom have been impri-
soned in the dockyard of this city, (at my disposition, as I am in-
formed by the sub delegate of police,) but it is unnecessary to say
to your excellency that I cannot consider them to be at my dispo-
sition until so informed by you. The simply seizing and putting
the vessel at my disposition will not answer the ends of justice nor
the object of my despatch; and I therefore repeat my request for
the apprehension of the master, officers, crew and passengers which
came in her from Africa, and well guarding of them at the disposi-
tion of this consulate; until which is done I cannot consider, either
vessel or men at my disposition.

I further request that your excellency will give orders for every
care being taken for the comfort and sustenance of these men, in
apprehending and confining them, consistent with their security,
until I can be able to make the necessary arrangements for them.
Should those men confined in the dockyard prison not have been
apprehended upon my requisition, I beg your excellency will in-
form me as early as possible upon what grounds they are confined,
in order that I may take the necessary steps for their protection.

Requesting an early answer to this despatch,

I have the honor to be, &c.,

ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
Consul.
His Excellency
FRANCISCO Jose Soura Soares de Andrea,
&c., &c., &c.,


192

[Translation.]

PALACE OF THE GOVERNMENT,
Bahia,

With regard to the affair of the American brig Albert, to which
you refer in your official despatch of this day's date, I will reply
more simply than I did on the former occasion, namely: that this
affair was entrusted entirely to the chief of police, to be conducted
agreeably to the laws of the country, and that with him, and not
with this government, you are to treat, unless any new cause should
arise.

God preserve you, sir.

FRANCISCO JOSE DE SOURA SOARES DE ANDREA.
To the CONSUL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

BAHIA,

SIR:

At the time of the seizure of the brig Albert, by an armed
force, at your requisition to the local authorities of this port, my
wearing apparel remained on board said brig; and, as I find myself
without a change of clothing since that time, I have to request of
you its immediate restitution, with that of my mate and crew, who
are in the same situation with myself.

JACOB T. WOODBERRY.
ALEXANDER H. Tyler, Esq.,
Consul of the United States at Bahia.

[Translation.]

OFFICE OF POLICE,
Bahia,

MOST ILLUSTRIOUS SIR:

Upon the subject of the accompanying
petition, will you have the kindness to declare to me immediately
whether you consent to and are satisfied with the sureties offered
by the American citizen, Thomas Duling?

I avail myself of this occasion, &c.

God preserve you, sir.

JOAO JOAQUIM DA SILVA.
To the CONSUL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Bahia,

SIR:

In reply to your note of this date, requesting me to inform
you, urgently, whether I consent to and am satisfied with the sureties,
offered by the American citizen, Thomas Duling, for his appearance
in the courts of the United States, I have to state that I
do not think my consular instructions will permit me, in such


193

case, to take bail. As regards the security offered, viz: John S.
Gillmer, an American citizen, and Antonio Francisco De Lacerda,
were they residing in the United States, where there would be no
doubt of their being subject to its laws, I should be satisfied with
them, did my instructions permit me; but being without its limits,
I cannot be satisfied, nor consent to allow Thomas Duling to depart
from this city on any bail.

I am, &c.,

ALEXANDER H. TYLER.
The CHIEF FOR POLICE OF THIS PROVINCE.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Bahia,

SIR:

Your despatch of the 7th instant, informing me that you had
stopped the voyage of the American, Thomas Duling, in virtue of
my requisition, and that, according to the orders of your government
the brig “Albert” has been apprehended, and that some of
the American subjects indicated in my requisition to this government
had been already conducted on board, and are at my disposition,
was placed in my hands about eleven o'clock yesterday.

By this despatch, with one I last night received from his excellency
the President, referring me to you, I understand that my
requisition to this government has been granted, and that this vessel,
her master, officers, crew, and passengers, are to be appreheded
and guarded on board at my disposition. I, therefore,
request that you will be kind enough to have the necessary steps
taken for the maintenance and comfort of these men on their
apprehension, and for the preservation of the vessel and property
on board of her, consistent with their security, until I can be able
to make arrangements for them, in order that no undue hardships
may be suffered in this arrest and detention.

I have to inform you, and ask for an explanation from you, of
the fact that on the 6th of this month a number of the men mentioned
in my list sent your government were apprehended, and, as
I was informed, were at my disposition; but on the eighth I found
these men were again at liberty, and still are so, I believe; among
which number are the principal persons accused; namely, Thomas
Duling, former master of the brig “Washington's Barge,” and
Jacob J. Woodberry, master of the brig “Albert.” Should these
two men and William J. Knight be permitted to escape, the principal
object of my requisition upon the government may be defeated,
and the ends of justice entirely frustrated.

I improve the opportunity to reiterate my sentiments of high
esteem and consideration towards you, and am, most respectfully,
&c.,

ALEX. H. TYLER,
Consul.
The CHIEF OF POLICE FOR THIS PROVINCE.


194

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Bahia,

SIR:

I hasten to enclose a copy of a despatch from the United
States consul at Rio de Janeiro, addressed to me, and to inform
you that Thos. Duling, former master of the “Washington's Barge,”
which he sold on the coast of Africa, alluded to in it, will most
probably go passenger in the whale barque “Cadmus,” of Sag
Harbor, David Smith, master, and probably some of the crew of
his vessel, as there is a very strong interest here endeavoring to
prevent any inquiry into his conduct.

The “Washington's Barge,” it is currently reported and believed,
(I am sure of it but cannot prove,) brought a cargo of slaves to this
country, and I have heard came into this port in ballast, under the
Brazilian flag, with her name painted on the stern, the same as
when she was an American vessel. I hasten to communicate this
in order that you may take such steps as the laws of the United
States demand, and request you will immediately communicate the
whole subject matter of this despatch, and enclose to the proper
department at Washington, as time and occupation do not allow
me to do so.

I am, sir, &c.,

ALEX. H. TYLER,
Consul. For the UNITED STATES MARSHAL
for the south district of New York.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Bahia,

SIR:

I hasten to inform you, in order that you may take such
steps as the laws of the United States require in the case, that
there has been an accusation lodged at this consulate by the United
States consul at Rio de Janeiro against Thomas Duling, former
master of the brig “Washington's Barge,” of Philadelphia, (which
he sold on the coast of Africa to new owners, for the purpose of
the slave trade, as alleged,) of a violation of the United States
laws for the suppression of the foreign African slave trade.

I have already addressed you on the subject this day, and enclosed
a copy of the despatch received from the consul at Rio, and have
barely time to inform you that Thomas Duling, and part, if not all
of his crew, will most probably leave this for the United States in
the whale barque “Cadmus,” of Sag Harbor, Smith, master.

I am, &c.,

ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
Consul.
To the UNITED STATES MARSHAL
for the south district of New York.


195

BAHIA,

SIR:

Having been told by you on Tuesday, May 6, that I would
be put in prison, and on the same day, at or about four o'clock, p.
m., being taken from the entry of your office, and in your presence,
by an officer of the prison of this place, as a prisoner, and
conducted and in your presence put into the same, I am obliged
to demand, for my defence, copies of all the evidence on which
you have have acted in depriving me and part of my crew of personal
liberty, together with the apprehension of my vessel; and
especially that you furnish me with a copy of the last letter you
received from the United States consul at Rio de Janeiro.

JACOB T. WOODBERRY.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Esq.,
Consul of the United States of America for Bahia.

BAHIA,

SIR:

Having been told by you, on Tuesday, May 6, that I would
be put in prison, and on the same day, at or about four o'clock, p.
m., being taken from the entry of your office, and in your presence
put into the same, I am obliged to demand, for my defence,
copies of all the evidence on which you have acted in depriving
me and part of my crew of personal liberty; and especially that
you furnish me with copies of the last letter you received from
the United States consul at Rio de Janeiro.

Respectfully yours,

THOMAS DULING.

I also beg you will swear me to the contents of the protest
which I now present.

THOMAS DULING.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Esq.,
Consul of the United States of America for Bahia.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Bahia,

SIR:

Your letters, dated 8th and 9th instant, were received yesterday,
and shall have due attention. At the present moment
business of the government of the United States prevents my giving
my attention to their contents, further than to say that I have
not the slightest objection to either yourself, mate or crew having
such necessary apparel for immediate use as your respective situations
require, until I can give you a full answer to the contents of
your communications and demands. I have requested already, of
the authorities here, that every care should be taken for your comfort
consistent with your security.


196

I have to state that all communications made to me must be in
writing.

I am, sir, &c.,

ALEX. H. TYLER, Consul.
Mr. JACOB T. WOODBERRY,
Master of the brig Albert of Boston.
I enclose your protest sworn to this day.
ALEX. H. TYLER, Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Bahia,

SIR:

Your letter, dated 9th instant, was received yesterday, and
shall have my earliest attention consistent with my public duties.
At present I am too occupied to attend to its contents.

I am, sir, &c.,

ALEX. H. TYLER, Consul.
Mr. THOMAS DULING.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Bahia,

SIR:

Referring to my despatch of 5th instant respecting Thomas
Duling, former master of the Washington's Barge, I have to inform
you that he was prevented from proceeding to your port, and, for
the present, it will be necessary to send you copy of the complaint
against him, as promised. I enclose a despatch for the marshal of
the United States for the southern district of New York, and request
you will forward it as early as possible to the United States.

I am, sir, &c.,

ALEX. H. TYLER, Consul.
G. T. SNOW, Esq.,
United States Consul, Pernambuco.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Bahia,

SIR:

I duly received your despatch of the 26th ult., lodging an
accusation and information against the master and mate of the former
brig Washington's Barge, of Philadelphia, and the master of
the brig Albert, of Boston, of having been engaged in aiding and
abetting, if not of having been directly engaged in, the African
slave trade.

Upon its receipt, I took the most effective steps in my power for
having all belonging to these vessels safely secured and at my disposition,


197

in order to have the case fully investigated, well knowing
that if the most urgent steps were not taken I should be able
to do nothing.

I now request you will send me all the evidence in your possession,
and also transmit copies of depositions taken to the Department
of State immediately, as there is the strongest interest
imaginable in such a case working against me. Time does not
permit me to write the minister by this conveyance; therefore, pray
request of him, from me, to have the goodness to send immediately
to this port a frigate, as the public service most urgently requires
it, in my opinion.

I have this moment received a paper signed by several American
citizens, which I have not yet read, time scarce allowing me to
finish this despatch; it is against me, by the names attached to it.
It is directed to no one; should it be to Mr. Wise, I trust in his
sense of justice to allow me to have time for defence; and should
it have gone to the Department of State, hope he will request the
same for me, as at present I cannot address that department, being
too much occupied.

I forward a despatch respecting Thomas Duling, who, I fear,
may escape. Please forward it to its destination.

I am, sir, &c.,

ALEX'R H. TYLER, consul.
GEORGE W. GORDON, Esq.,
United States consul, Rio de Janeiro.

I certify the foregoing to be correct transcripts of a correspondence
which has taken place at this consulate, in the matter of the
brig Albert, her master, crew, and passengers, to this date.

Given under my hand and seal of my consulate, at Bahia, this
12th day of May, in the year 1845.

ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
United States consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Bahia,

I, Thomas Duling, an American born, do solemnly protest against
the proceedings of Alexander H. Tyler, (American consul,) for
stopping me on my lawful business, and also on my passage home,
obliging me to disembark from the steamer after having obtained
my despatch. It is by an order of the police.

THOMAS DULING,
JOHN B. CORNER,
JOSEPH SANDERS,
JOHN RINK,
JOHN A. DURKEE,
GEORGE H. DOUGLASS,
THEODORE CORNER.


198

[Translation.]

STEAMER IMPERATRIX,
Port of Bahia,

I certify that I was seized by the American policia in question.

JEZERINO LAMGO COSTA.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Sworn before me by Thomas Duling, and protested to, this sixth
day of May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty five.

[L. s.] Given under my hand and seal of my consulate, at
Bahia, this sixth day of May, 1845.

ALEXANDER H. TYLER.

BAHIA,

I, Jacob T. Woodberry, master of the brig Albert, of Boston, do
hereby solemnly protest against Alexander H. Tyler, consul of
the United States of America for this port, for the seizure, by his
requisition to the local authorities, of the aforesaid brig Albert,
and her forcible removal, this morning before 9 o'clock, by an
armed force, from her anchorage in the loading pound to the lower
part of this harbor, under the guns of the Brazilian ship-of-war
Donna Jannaria, for all damages, detention, and losses of whatsoever
kind or nature which may occur in consequence thereof.

JACOB T. WOODBERRY.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Sworn to before me, by Jacob T. Woodberry, master of the brig
Albert, of Boston, and protested to by him, the sixth day of May,
in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-five.

[L. s.] Given under my hand and seal of my consulate, at
Bahia, this seventh day of May, in the year 1845.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER.

BAHIA,

I, Jacob T. Woodberry, a native born citizen of the United
States of America, and late master of the brig Albert, do protest
by these presents against Alexander H. Tyler, consul of the United
States of America at this port, for having illegally and without
evidence deprived me of my liberty on the afternoon of the 6th instant,
and for having cast me like a malefactor into the vilest prison
of the city, called the galles. The said Alexander H. Tyler
accompanied in person the sergeant of the guard and a police officer,
to whom he pointed me out in the entry of his office, and in
his presence I was put into the galles.

JACOB T. WOODBERRY.


199

Sworn to before me by Jacob T. Woodberry, as to the truth
thereof, this tenth day of May, 1845.

[L. s.] Given under my hand and seal of my consulate, at Bahia,
this tenth day of May, 1845.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
United States consul.

BAHIA,

I, Thomas Duling, a native born citizen of the United States of
America, do hereby, in addition to the above, further protest by
these presents against the above signed Alexander H. Tyler, consul
of the United States of America at this port, for having illegally
and without evidence deprived me of my liberty the afternoon
of the 6th instant, and for having cast me like a malefactor
into the vilest prison of the city, called the galles. The said consul,
Alexander H. Tyler, accompanied in person the sergeant of
the guard and a police officer, to whom he pointed me out in the
entry of his office, and in his presence I was put into the galles.

THOMAS DULING.

Sworn to by Thomas Duling, as to the truth of the contents
above, before me, Alexander H. Tyler, consul of the United States
of America.

[L. s.] Given under my hand and seal of my consulate, at Bahia,
this tenth day of May, in the year 1845.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
United States Consul.

I certify that the foregoing are true copies taken from the records
of this consulate.

[L. s.] Given under my hand and seal of my consulate, at Bahia,
this 12th day of May, 1845.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER,
Consul.

We, the undersigned, native born citizens of the United States,
at present residing in Bahia, beg leave to call your attention to
the revolting conduct of the United States consul at this place,
Alexander H. Tyler.

On the 23d ultimo, the brig schooner Albert, of Boston, Jacob
T. Woodberry, master, arrived from a trading voyage to the coast
of Africa, bringing with her, as passengers, the master, Thomas
Duling, and crew of the brig “Washington's Barge,” which vessel
had been sold on the coast for the expressed purpose, as Captain
Duling asserts, of conducting to Bahia a large number of prisoners,
who had been set on shore from British cruisers, and who were in
a deplorable situation. On his arrival, Captain Duling made the


200

usual report to the consul, and having received the regular passport,
engaged his passage in a Brazilian steamer bound to Pernambuco,
in order to return to Philadelphia, no direct conveyance from
this place offering.

On Sunday, the 4th instant, a steamer arrived from Rio, bringing
letters to Mr. Tyler from the American consul at Rio, in which he
informs him that information had been given him, that Captains
Woodberry and Duling had been engaged in the slave trade, which
information he communicated, in order that Mr. Tyler might act as
he thought proper. The information, it is presumed, was afforded
by the master, Smith, of the brig Sea Eagle, which left the coast
ten days previous to the Albert, and had recently arrived at Rio, a
person whose conduct on the coast, we are informed, had occasioned
frequent contemptible remarks among the British officers
employed on that service, and of which Mr. Tyler was aware.

On receiving the letter, Mr. Tyler immediately showed the letter
to the consignee of the Albert, J. S. Gillmer, esq., of the place, to
whom he had on more than one occasion stated his perfect conviction
that neither of these gentlemen had committed any offence
whatever against the laws of the United States—opinion in which
the undersigned fully concur.

Strange to say, that Mr. Tyler on the following day showed the
letter to Captain Woodberry, and informed him that he should arrest
him and his crew and passengers, and send them to the United
States for trial. Captain Woodberry remonstrated with him on
the folly and impropriety of such a proceeding, and upon such
doubtful testimony, being a mere suspicion, protesting his readiness
to give every information he wished for, and in fact demanding of
him that the depositions of himself and crew should be taken, as in
such cases is expressly ordered by the 35th article of the general
instructions to consuls and commercial agents, which expressly
states that he is to apply to the local authorities for means of securing
the offenders after taking the depositions necessary to establish
the facts.

No attention was paid by Mr. Tyler to this remonstrance, and
without any examination or inquiries as to the truth or falsehood
of the accusation, and relying only on the vague communication
of the consul at Rio, unsubstantiated even by oath, as by law required,
he applied to the local authorities and requested them to
prevent the departure of Captain Duling. Captain Duling was, in
consequence, taken from on board the steamer at the moment of her
departure on the afternoon of Tuesday 6th, conducted as a prisoner
through the city, first to the residence of the consul who was absent,
next to the house of the officer who arrested him, and thence to the
police officer, where he was informed that he was not a prisoner, but
merely prevented from leaving Bahia at the particular request of
the American consul. The next morning, at daybreak, the Albert
was taken possession of by a guard of soldiers, removed from her
anchorage, and placed under the guns of the Brazilian corvette
stationed in this port. All the men which were on shore were arrested,
and while the captains were at the counting-house of their
agent, in which also was the consular officer, attending to this


201

business and preparing their protests, Mr. Tyler, apparently impatient
at the delay and anxious for their immediate arrest also,
went himself in search of the sergeant of the guard, and brought
him to the counting-house, where, accidently meeting them in the
corridor looking at a vessel when entering the port, he gave them
in charge, recommending them to go quietly, otherwise they would
be conducted forcibly, degrading himself thus from the situation
of consul to that of a common constable.

In this disgraceful manner were two respectable American citizens,
at the mere whim and caprice of Mr. Tyler, conducted
through the most public street of this city in open day, and in
presence of a great number of spectators, native and foreign, to
the common prison at the dockyard, where vagrants only are generally
sent, the mate of the Albert already in one of the common
cells; and that the captains were not placed there also, is owing to
the humanity of the sergeant who gave up to them his own room,
situated above the prison, for their accommodation, and where
they were detained more than 24 hours under the constant vigilance
of a sentinel. The consequence to Captain Woodberry was
the return of a fever, from which he suffered on his return voyage
from the coast, and narrowly escaped, arriving here in a state of
extreme debility from which he was just beginning to recover.

On Wednesday 7th, a statement of the whole affair being laid before
the Brazilian authorities, they immediately ordered the release
of all prisoners on parole. The vessel still remains in possession of
the guard. Whether these gentlemen were guilty or not, surely
such conduct on the part of a consul, whose duty is to protect and
not persecute, is unjustifiable; and the more so in this case because
Mr. Tyler was well acquainted with these gentlemen, associating
with them daily, and was perfectly aware that so far from wishing
to avoid inquiries, they were anxious to afford every explanation
of their conduct, and had pledged themselves to place themselves
under his control, if upon a proper examination such a measure
should be thought necessary. He has also as yet refused to deliver
to Captain Woodberry his necessary apparel, which is on board the
vessel.

In making these observations we beg leave to observe, that we
consider them due to the character of our injured countrymen, and
not from any wish to afford facilities to the continuance of the
slave trade, which we sincerely detest, and regret that more extensive
powers have not been granted by legislative enactments to our
government for its effectual suppression, so far as the honor of our
flag is concerned.

We fear also, that the result of this unfortunate and inconsiderate
conduct of Mr. Tyler, may subject our fellow countrymen to
a prosecution by the Brazilian government, in which case Mr.
Tyler will most probably be called upon for his proofs, an event
greatly to be deplored.

In conclusion, we beg to testify our high sense of the courteo
and humane attention of the local authorities, especially the ch [...]
of police, the desembargador, Joas Joaquim de Silva, through


202

this unpleasant business, which we have reason to believe has been
undertaken by Mr. Tyler for the sake of notoriety.

The above is without any exaggeration whatsoever, a plain and
concise statement of what has taken place, and we are anxious to
substantiate it by undoubted testimony in any legal manner the
government of the United States may think proper to direct.

A copy of this representation has been sent to Mr. Tyler. We
beg you will lay the present representations before the President
of the United States.

JOHN S. GILLMER,
GEORGE CAREY,
W. T. HARRIS,
GEORGE F. DUNHAM,
JOSEPH RAY.
BAHIA,

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

I certify that the foregoing is a true transcript of a paper received
at this consulate, purporting to be copy of a representation
against the consul, signed by five American citizens, but to whom
made does not appear.

[L. s.] Given under my hand and seal of office at Bahia, this
twelfth day of May, in the year 1845.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER.
Consul.

C.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Late last evening I received from Mr. Alexander H. Tyler,
consul of the United States at Bahia, a communication dated May
12, 1845, informing me that he had caused the brig Albert, of Boston,
to be seized, and sundry persons on board of her to be arrested,
on information contained in your letter to him of 26th April,
1845. He caused this seizure and arrest “in order fully to investigate
the case, and take the necessary depositions for sending the
accused for trial to the United States.” He says that extraordinary
efforts are made to release the vessel and persons accused, and
calls for assistance.

The Bainbridge, as you know, has been sent to co operate with
and sustain him in the discharge of his duties. The only other assistance
which can be forwarded to him from this port, that I know
of, is the evidence, duly authenticated, upon which you founded
your letter to him of the 26th of April last, and “upon which,”
you therein say, you “place confidence.” That evidence, and all
other evidence then or since known to you, with the names of such
witnesses as are not now within the reach of your examination, it


203

will be necessary and proper to forward as speedily as possible to
Consul Tyler, both for the justification of the proceedings he has
already instituted, and for a due investigation of the inquiry whether
the vessel and persons accused ought to be sent home for trial
and adjudication.

One of the papers accompanying Mr. Tyler's letter to me is a
copy of what purports to be a memorial, dated “Bahia, May 10,
1845,” without particular direction or address, signed by John S.
Gillmer, George Carey, W. T. Harris, George F. Dunham, and Joseph
Ray, who style themselves “native born citizens of the United
States, at present residing at Bahia,” protesting against the
proceedings of Consul Tyler in this case, which, among other
things, says:

“On Sunday, the 4th instant, a steamer arrived from Rio,
bringing letters to Mr. Tyler from the American consul at Rio, in
which he informs him that information had been given him that
Captains Woodberry and Duling had been engaged in the slave
trade, which information he communicated in order that Mr. Tyler
might act as he thought proper. The information, it is presumed,
was afforded by the master (Smith) of the Sea Eagle, which left the
coast ten days previous to the Albert, and had recently arrived at
Rio—a person whose conduct on the coast, we are informed, had occasioned
frequent contemptible remarks among British officers
employed
on that service, and of which Mr. Tyler was aware.” This
statement of five persons at Bahia, when the Albert, and Washington's
Barge, and the Sea Eagle were in Africa, must have been
made on information obtained from Duling and Woodberry. They
knew, it seems, who was the best witness, and the one most likely
to inform against them. They knew when the Sea Eagle sailed
from the coast, and how long before the Albert. This excuse, then,
may, as often occurs in criminal cases, prove to be a snare to the
guilty; and it certainly seems to me a confession pregnant with the
implication, at least, of guilt. Smith did give me, verbally, information
of the Washington's Barge, and I presume was the witness
on whose information you relied. I hope, therefore, his evidence,
particularly, was duly taken, and if not, and he is still here, that
it may be taken immediately and transmitted to Mr. Tyler.

Very respectfully, &c.,

HENRY A. WISE.
TO GEORGE W. GORDON, Esq.,
Consul of the United States, &c.,

D.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Your note of the 4th instant was received last evening, stating
that Mr. Consul Tyler, of Bahia, had informed you “that he
had caused the brig Albert, of Boston, to be seized, and sundry


204

persons on board of her to be arrested, on information contained
in your (my) letter of 26th April, 1845.”

The information contained in my letter of that date, which I
communicated to Mr. Tyler, “to enable him to take such early
and efficient steps in relation thereto as the circumstances represented
seemed imperatively to demand, and as he might consider
prudent,” I am able to say is sustained by the depositions of Captain
G. Smith, of the Sea Eagle, and two of his crew, named Augustus
Nickerson and Joseph Underwood, made before me last month.

The surmises, therefore, of the parties who have protested against
the proceedings of Consul Tyler in this case, that the information
was afforded by Captain Smith, of the Sea Eagle, are correct; he
sailed for New York on the 16th of last month.

I had not time to furnish Mr. Tyler with copies of the depositions
by the last steamer for Bahia; certified copies of them, however,
will be forwarded to him by the steamer to leave on Sunday
morning next. The mail by the steamer will be closed by tomorrow
afternoon.

I have the honor, &c.,

GEORGE WM. GORDON,
Consul of the United States.
His excellency HENRY A. WISE, &c., &c., &c.

E.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

In reply to your last, and its accompanying papers, I have
to inform you that the Bainbridge brig of war was despatched to
your assistance as soon as she could be got ready after the receipt
of the information of the seizure and arrests by you. I presume
that she has arrived at Bahia by this time. I addressed the consul
here immediately, requesting him to forward to you the evidence
upon which he based the information in his letter to you on the
26th April last. On yesterday, the 6th instant, he replied, saying:
“The information contained in my letter of that date, &c., I am
able to say is sustained by the depositions of Captain G. Smith, of
the Sea Eagle, and two of his crew, named Augustus Nickerson and
Joseph Underwood, made before me last month. The surmises,
therefore, of the parties who have protested against the proceedings
of Consul Tyler in this case, that the information was afforded
by Captain Smith, of the Sea Eagle, are correct; l.e sailed for
New York on the 16th of last month. I had not time to furnish
Mr. Tyler with copies of these depositions by the last steamer to
Bahia; certified copies of them, however, will be forwarded to him
by the steamer to leave on Sunday morning next.”

I send you a copy of my letter to Mr. Gordon, as it contains a
hint on the evidence furnished by the confession of the parties,


205

that there was a witness to their alleged offences. In that point of
view the protest will prove very important for your justification.
And in this case, I take great pleasure in saying, that I entirely
approve of your course, and sympathise with you in the difficulties
you will have to encounter. And your action in this case has
gone so far to remove the presumptions against you in my mind
in the case of the Sooy, that I shall, by a despatch to the Department
of State of this day's date, withdraw my previous recommendation
of your removal from office. I should regret nothing
more than to have done unintentional injustice to an innocent
public officer, who had really been faithfully trying to do his duty.
A copy of your letter to me, and its accompanying papers, shall
be immediately forwarded to Washington.

Very respectfully, &c.,

HENRY A. WISE.
ALEX. H. TYLER, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

F.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Bahia,

SIR:

The United States brig “Bainbridge” arrived here on the
24th ultimo, and her commander, Lieutenant Commandant Pennington,
immediately put himself in correspondence with me as to
the purpose of his visit to this port, and the assistance he would
render me in my official duty.

The ship “Calhoun,” Fales, master, and C. Driscoll, supercargo,
had sailed on the 21st May for Cape de Verds ostensibly, but really,
in my opinion, formed from facts and confidential communications,
for the coast of Africa. She has on board, I feel confident, an
illicit cargo, such as bricks, lime, and clay for building ovens, and
other articles used in the slave trade; and has taken on board many
pipes of water, sacks of farinha, and other provisions, which have
been despatched under the name of rum, and other lawful articles
of cargo.

Owing to my action in the case of the brigs “Albert” and “Washington's
Barge,” I have been much frustrated in regard to this
ship, particularly by the conduct of Mr. John S. Gillmer, an American
merchant of this place, who first put me in possession of the
views of these people, and promised to obtain more information
for me regarding their acts, but upon my attempting to arrest the
masters of the “Washington's Barge” and “Albert,” he has entirely
refused all intercourse with me, and treated me with the utmost indignity
upon my calling upon him relative to this case, as you will
see by the enclosed copy of a letter I adressed him, which gives
every fact which took place in the interview, and which was returned
to me unopened. The “Calhoun” I delayed for three days
in hopes a vessel-of-war would arrive, as is would have been madness
for me to have attempted her seizure in this port without one,


206

especially as shown by this government in their actions and correspondence
relative to the brig “Albert” above alluded to.

I enclose copies, numbered one and two, of manifests of the
“Calhoun,” as deposited in the consulate. No. 1, I refused to receive
and certify, as it was not, I informed the master, full enough.
No. 2, I finally swore him and Driscoll to, as you will perceive.
Neither of these manifests contain the true cargo on board.

I cannot, being much occupied, send you all the proof in my
possession in this case, but write to inform you of the state of the
case, in order that, should you deem it necessary to send notice to
the naval squadron on the coast of Africa, you might be able to
do so, for I feel sure she is, if not actually to be engaged in it,
conniving at and aiding in the foreign slave trade, and that could
she be seized with her cargo on board, it would be fully proven.

Should you wish it, I shall send you as soon as other occupation
will allow, a full history of my information on the subject. She
is owned, I understand and believe, by a rich slave merchant in
Rio de Janeiro; his name, as yet, I have not found out.

The United States brig “Bainbridge” is still here, and has been
of the utmost service to me, nor can I consent to her leaving here
for some time, as the public service most urgently calls for her remaining.

I have the honor, &c.,

ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Consul.
HON. HENRY A. WISE, &c., &c., &c.

Manifest of the cargo on board the American ship Calhoun, Capt.
E. E. Fales, bound to Cape de Verds, to be delivered to the supercargo
on board, for account of whom it may concern.

Quantities.Description of goods.Shippers.Consignee.
246 pipes 20 halfdo.}Rum, (containing 39, 746 gallons).C. F. Driscoll,Supercargo on board.
87 bbls
39 bblsSalt beef and pork
3 bblsTapioca
200 coilsRope
20 coilsRope

C. F. DRISCOLL, Supercargo,
E. E. FALES, Master.
BAHIA,


207

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

On this day personally appeared Cornelius F. Driscoll, supercargo,
and affirmed to the truth thereof, he being of the quaker
persuasion, and Ebenezer C. Fales, master of the ship Calhoun, of
Baltimore, and made oath on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God
that the above is a true manifest of all the cargo taken on board
said vessel in this port.

[L. s.] Given under my hand and seal of office at Bahia, this
20th day of May, in the year 1845.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Consul. True copy.
Test:
ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Consul.

Manifest of the cargo on board of the American ship Calhoun,
Captain E. E. Fales, bound to Cape de Verds, to order of supercargo
on board.

  • 246 pipes,
  • 20 half pipes,
  • 87 barrels,
  • containing 19,873 gallons rum,
  • 39 barrels salt beef and pork,
  • 3 barrels tapioca,
  • 200 coils rope,
  • 20 small rope.

E. E. FALES.
BAHIA,

True copy.
Test:
ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Consul.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Bahia,

SIR:

Notwithstanding having this day called at your office and
asked you to allow me to speak with you, and your having in the
presence of two persons and the hearing of all your clerks, told
me you would have nothing to say to me; ordering me at the same
time “to walk out of your office,” which, after informing you distinctly
that I called as consul to speak with you, and your order
being repeated, I immediately did.

I consider that my duty calls on me to inform you that the object
of my call was to ask for such information as you might have
regarding the ship “Calhoun,” of Baltimore, against which vessel
you some time since gave information to this consulate and promised
more; and to say that the master of that vessel called this day for
his papers in order to clear his vessel, and has been put off until


208

Monday morning; on which day, unless you can give me more explicit
information before, I shall feel bound to allow him to clear
his vessel and sail from this port.

This is written you, in order that there should be no misunderstanding
on the subject.

Respectfully,

ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Consul. Mr. JOHN S. GILLMER.
(True Copy.)
Test:
ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Consul.

G.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Yours of the 12th June has been duly received. I regret
the escape of the “Calhoun.” If an opportunity offers, I will inform
the African squadron. All the information you have as to the
“Calhoun,” or any other slaver, and on the slave trade generally,
will always be useful and acceptable whenever you can communicate
it. I am convinced you will have to encounter difficulties;
meet them with decision and discretion, and you cannot fail of
success and satisfaction in the discharge of your duty. The government
of the United States has, as far as I am informed, up to the
29th March last, fully approved of my action. As soon as the adversaries
of a firm and faithful discharge of official duties in respect
to the suppression of the foreign slave trade, under our laws, become
convinced that the United States authorities in Brazil are sustained
by our government at home, they will begin to fawn upon and flatter,
as much as they now persecute and villify them. You must
have no uneasiness on this subject. Your connection with Mr.
Gillmer only subjected you to suspicion heretofore; and your
separation from him will but free you from that suspicion, and
maintain you in your office, I hope, so long as you prove worthy
of filling it. I recommend that you do nothing vexatious, further
than absolutely necessary in the line of duty, towards either the
Brazilian authorities, or their proteges in the slave trade. Retain
the “Bainbridge” as long as the public service requires her remaining
at Bahia. I have the authority of Commodore Turner for
saying this; but allow her to return as soon as proper, as there is
no United States vessel of war in this port at this time, and it is
very uncertain when there will be one.

Very respectfully, &c.,

HENRY A. WISE.
ALEXANDER H. TYLER, Esq.,
&c., &c., &c.


209

Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extracts.]

August 1, 1845.

“Since my last despatch I have received a letter from Mr. Consul
Tyler, at Bahia, enclosed, marked “L.” We are likely thence
at last to have the truth, though it may be not the whole truth,
respecting the infamous slave trade carried on at that port.

“The English and Brazilian mixed commissions on the slave
trade will, undoubtedly, now be dissolved; but England has, nevertheless,
instructed her cruisers to search and seize Brazilian vessels
caught in the slave trade, and to take them for trial and adjudication
to Sierra Leone.”

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
Bahia,

SIR:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters
of the 9th and 26th of June last, respecting the seizure and arrests
made by me in the case of the brigs Albert and Washington's
Barge, and the ship Calhoun, of New York. At present, I cannot
give you what I thought I should be able to do before this, viz: a
full account of this case; in fact, I consider myself obliged for the
present to write you nothing about it. Be assured, however, that
every step I have taken is in accordance with your very kind letters,
so far. I have, however, obtained very strong evidence in
regard to Mr. John Gillmer, all of which shall be duly laid before
you.

The Albert I hope to despatch in a few days, say about Wednesday
next, if not before; but the Bainbridge, I cannot say when she
will sail, and I have to request that, should Commodore Turner
have arrived, you will procure from him an order directed to Captain
Pennington, authorizing his stay at this port, as I should not
like to disagree with any naval or other officer-at this crisis of this
case, which has many ramifications; and I deem it my duty to sift
this matter fully, and that individual must give way to public interest.
Captain Pennington, I believe, fully bears me out in what I
have done and am doing, so far as the same can be made known to
him; but as he may have doubts as to his power to stay here, I wish
it clearly made known from his commanding officer to him. For
myself your letters are much stronger than I could have expected.

I am, &c., &c.,

A. H. TYLER,
Consul.
Hon. H. A. WISE, &c., &c.


210

Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extracts.]

NOVEMBER 24, 1845.

“The minister of foreign affairs has just sent me copies (one of
which I enclose) of his protest against the act of Parliament of
the 8th of August, 1845, whereby Brazilian vessels engaged in the
slave trade are subjected to the jurisdiction of certain British
courts. It is in Portuguese, French, and English, and is deemed
here a strong manifestation of firm resistance to the glaring usurpations
and assumptions of Great Britain, and as such I congratulate
his excellency upon its tone of defence of a principle ever avowed
and maintained by the United States—freedom from visit and
search, and from all European domination. But the protest, in
fact, is but a good exposé at best of good reasons for a firm and
fearless resentment commensurate with both the insult and violence
offered by Great Britain to the sovereignty of Brazil, not at all
manifested as yet, either by this or by any other act of the imperial
government. It shows a feeling, however, which is something
for this people, that is adverse too, to Great Britain.

“The slave trade is only 'scotched not killed2 between this country
and the coast. It is very daring in some of its incidents, and
if current rumors are correct, has lately become very unsuccessful
in some, and more horrible than ever in others. On the 21st of
August last, his excellency, Mr. Hamilton, the British minister,
addressed to me a letter enclosing one to him from the British
consul at Pernambuco, of which the enclosed are copies. This
letter states the steamer Cacique sailed from Baltimore in under Brazilian
colors. It is true that she sailed last from Baltimore, but
she was built in New York for a notorious slave trader here, whose
name is Bernardino da Sá, and put into Baltimore in distress.
Thence she sailed to Pernambuco, and there, as, you see, fitted and
sailed for the coast. A fatality attended her. Singular to say, that
Driscoll, whose case is still pending in New York, for piracy under
our laws for the suppression of the slave trade, and who is-out on
'straw bail,' and after whom I sent the Bainbridge to Bahia, was,
as part owner with this same da Sá, in the ship Calhoun, on the
west coast of Africa, when this steamer Cacique reached there.
Driscoll, seeing the Cacique, and she being a strange vessel, mistook
her for an English steam cruiser; and being much alarmed,
and the steamer close upon him, he ran his ship ashore and she
was lost. One report is that he set fire to her, but it is pretty certain
that she, the Calhoun, was destroyed; and Driscoll and his
crew, as stated by the Jarette, just arrived from Africa, are left on
the coast. It was a short time ago only that I received a commission
directed to me and to the consul here, or either, to take depositions
in the case, now pending, of this very Driscoll, who is now
a fugitive on Africa's sands, from the consequences of new, with a
bail-piece in his pockcet for old, offences. We have lately received


211

intelligence of another case filled with horrors. A Brazilian vessel,
with 1,000 Africans on board, was pursued by a Portuguese steamer,
and being hard pressed, the captain and crew deserted the slave
ship, set fire to her, and actually burnt alive the 1,000 African captives
before they could be saved by the steamer in pursuit! Our
vessels still accept charters for the coast almost daily from this
port; but I have of late heard of no special charges of crime. My
object is not to obstruct our lawful trade to Africa, and I shall in
no case interpose without the best possible grounds. The successful
convictions in the cases which I have already caused to be sent
home, are proof conclusive to the department that I have not proceeded
without due caution and evidence. But to this moment the
department has not said whether I have been doing right or wrong.
Am I to infer that I am left to my own unaided, uninstructed judgment,
and to my own unbacked responsibility? I repeat that I
court your instructions; sir, and will implicitly obey them.

BRITISH LEGATION,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

The British consul at Pernambuco has notified to me the
recent arrival at that port, from Baltimore, and subsequent departure
for the coast of Africa, of an American built vessel, called
the Cacique, under Brazilian colors, and intended, it is believed,
for the contraband trade in slaves. The praiseworthy zeal and
activity so unremittingly manifested by your excellency for the
suppression of this odious traffic, will excuse me for transmitting
to you the accompanying copy of the communication in question.

I have, &c., &c.,

HAMILTON HAMILTON.
His excellency H. A. WISE, &c., &c., &c.

BRITISH CONSULATE,
Pernambuco,

SIR:

I deem it to be my duty to inform your excellency that an
American built vessel, called the Cacique, arrived here under Brazilian
colors from Baltimore last month, en route for Rio de Janeiro.
She was barque-rigged and was fitted with a screw propeller,
and was evidently intended to be a fast sailing ship. She
had proved, however, so total a failure during her v.oyage that her
screw was removed at this port and substituted by paddle wheels,
which, from the specimen seen of their working when she left
Pernambuco last week, appear to have been as little adapted to
her as the screw. She sailed for the coast of Africa with a very
large crew composed of people of all nations—the captain and
greater portion being Americans.


212

Although I conceive her to be entirely unfitted for the slave
trade, there is every reasonable presumption that she is intended
for that traffic. I have, therefore, made this communication to
your excellency that, should you think fit, it may be forwarded to
the commander-in-chief of her Majesty's naval forces upon this
station, and upon the coast of Africa.

I have, &c., &c.,

H. AUGUSTUS COWPER,
Consul.
His excellency HAMILTON HAMILTON, &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extract.]

December 18, 1845.

I had proceeded thus far when I received a duplicate of your
despatch, No. 18, dated the 27th of September last, touching the
affair of the brig Porpoise. The original, of which it is a duplicate,
has not yet been received. Mr. Elliott, who brought it, informs
me that he received it in New York, and the ship Courier,
on board which He was a passenger, having to touch at Richmond
for her cargo, did not depart thence for Rio de Janeiro until the
28th of October. Thus the duplicate was a month or more in
the United States after its date, and I cannot imagine what has
become of the original, if it was ever despatched.

Considering the importance of this despatch, I ought, perhaps,
to take ample time to give it the most deliberate answer; but for
the present, and perhaps forever, suffice it to say, that your reproof
is so full of gentleness, kindness, and the spirit of justice, as
clearly to manifest to me that there was no disposition on the part
of the President or department to seek and to find cause of complaint
as to my course in the case of the Porpoise. And it is most
gratifying to me that, whilst the President cannot approve of my
proceedings in relation to that case, “he entertains no doubt of the
purity and patriotism of my motives,” and gives me due credit for
my “zeal in the cause of humanity,” and for my “desire to suppress”
an “odious and infamous” evil, which disgraces nothing
more shamefully than it does the flag of the United States.

And since the imperial government has, through both its ministers
here and at Washington, expressed its regret at the controversy,
and its desire that the whole subject might be buried in
oblivion, and that the most friendly relations may be cultivated
not only with the United States, but “with myself as their representative,”
I must not permit myself, however strong the desire,
to urge further a single fact or argument in the way of excuse,
apology, justification, or defence of my course. It is now unnecessary
to do so; otherwise, I might advert to and enlarge upon
several points which your view of the case, sir, does not seem to


213

me to embrace. If the Brazilian government was not satisfied; if the
case of the Porpoise had not been made out in the criminal courts of
the United States; if my course had been harshly censured in a
spirit of injustice; and, if evil instead of much good had flown
from the controversy, I might be permitted to urge—

  • 1st. That I, neither by knowledge nor consent, had anything to
    do with the first steps of seizing and placing a guard on board the
    Porpoise. It was done by the consul and naval commanders, with
    the consent of a port officer, until the superior officers of government
    could be advised.
  • 2d. As soon as I was informed of this, I went with two witnesses
    to the minister of foreign affairs himself; and, though the port officer
    had given consent for the guard only until his superiors could
    be advised, yet the minister consented unequivocally with me that
    the marine guard of the United States should detain and hold in
    custody, until the imperial government should decide the question
    of extradition.
    This he tried afterwards to escape from and evade;
    but I never released or relieved him from that position, sustained
    as it was by the testimony of the consul and of my secretary, as
    well as by my own word.
  • 3d. As truly stated by Mr. Lisboa, the whole excitement and
    difficulty arose afterwards from a gross neglect of duty and violation
    of orders on the part of Lieutenant Shubrick, in permitting
    the Brazilian passengers, who were the chief culprits, to go on
    shore before the imperial government had decided and acted on
    the subject, and until he had other orders. This I could not help,
    as the correction of a naval officer is with his superiors.
  • 4th. After a lapse of three days from the consent of the minister
    of foreign affairs, Mr. Franca, for the detention until the question
    of extradition should be decided, the minister of justice sent off an
    armed force to seize the Porpoise, without notice to me or to the
    commodore; and then we could do nothing until the force was
    withdrawn.
  • 5th. It was not until after this actual show of force that Mr.
    Franca pretended to deny his consent given, or, if given, to withdraw
    it and to demand, not the delivery of the vessel and criminals
    to the custody of Brazil,
    to be detained until the question of extradition
    should be decided according to agreement with me, but their
    entire release from all custody.

So much and more might have been urged as to the facts. On
the question of national law I might have urged, admitting every
principle of jurisdiction and extradition to be settled, as stated by
you, sir, that it is nevertheless sound in law and moral obligation
that, when one nation connives at, encourages, and actually aids
and abets municipal crimes against the laws, honor, peace and dignity
of another nation by its own citizens, and then attempts to
screen the fugitives from justice within its jurisdiction, the latter
nation has the right to their extradition.

In such cases, either of municipal or political offences charged,
if serious and repeated, there is not only a right of extradition, but
a good cause of war for its refusal. In the general, I know, where


214

the government to which the criminal has fled is not particeps criminis,
extradition is mere matter of comity or treaty stipulation.

But, I repeat, that it is not for me now to say, or to do anything
further than to bow with the most respectful submission to the
judgment of the President. It shall be my pride and pleasure,
with the utmost deference, to obey his instructions for the future;
and I return you, sir, my grateful acknowledgments for the manner
in which you have conveyed them to me. I can, I am sure, verily
claim that neither the United States nor Brazil has lost anything
thus far by my residence at this court.

Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extract.]

December 23, 1845.

Friday last I sought an interview with Senhor De Abrew, and
called his attention to the obligations of the United States under
the 9th article of our treaty with England of 1842, according to
your instructions. I was special in a disclaimer of any intention
to interfere with the domestic policy of Brazil at all, and desired
to be understood only in the sense of making a separate friendly
representation of the desire of the United States that Brazil should,
by her own means and in her own way, arrest the foreign slave
trade to her dominions, and destroy the market for slaves from
Africa in her territory. He made a note of my representations,
which, in all respects, I endeavored to make conformable to your
instructions, and evidently received the same without displeasure
or the semblance of objection.

Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extract.]

Rio de Janeiro,

I have lately received a letter from Captain Bell, United States
corvette Yorktown, on the coast of Africa, requesting me to forward
evidence to Washington relative to the Pons and the Panther,
two slavers which he had captured. There is a mass of
evidence nearly completed, clear and full, as to their guilt. In a
few days our consul will have it ready, and the trials ought by all
means to be delayed until it reaches the United States. A number
of other cases have arisen, and the slave trade in our vessels seems
to have commenced again, about the period of last June, with still


215

more daring and impudence than ever. But this and many other
subjects I must reserve for another despatch.

Mr. Wise to Mr. Buchanan.
[Extract.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Lately I received through Commodore Rosseau, to whom it
was sent for interpretation by the United States Signal Book, a
letter in cypher from Captain Charles H. Bell, commanding United
States ship Yorktown, on the coast of Africa, of which the enclosed
are copies, marked “A.”

As soon as I received this letter, I proceeded to collect all the
information I could get at this place in relation to the two vessels—
the Pons and the Panther.

First, as to the Pons: She arrived here, it appears by the customhouse
reports in the “Jornal do Commercio,” the official organ of
this metropolis, on the 25th June, 1845; master, John Graham;
crew 12; in ballast; from Cabinda, west coast of Africa; bringing
as passengers two Portuguese—Manuel Jose de Rezendo and Manuel
Lourenco. The former, as appears by Captain Graham's own
deposition, enclosed, is a known agent of Bernardino de Sa, a notorious
slave trader of this city. This agent has subsequently
gone to the coast again, as passenger, in the United States merchant
vessel Z. D., master, D. Bassett. During this first trip,
Captain Graham had gone in the Pons himself as master. He visited
the interior and saw one of the kings of Africa in state. He
became informed, as he acknowledges in his deposition, fully, of
all the courses of the slave trade, and saw that it was impossible
to charter or sell a vessel in Brazil for the African trade, without
being instrumental, to a greater or less extent, in the traffic of
slaves. When he arrived here in June, it was during the excitement
and apprehensions originating from the seizure of the brig
Porpoise, and thereby the prices of charters and sales of American
vessels for the coast were greatly enhanced. There was more
danger in them than had formerly been supposed, and more tempting
offers, of course, were made.

Captain Graham had become informed of the persons and characters
of the leading dealers here, and of their agents in Africa.
He ostensibly chartered his vessel, but in fact secretly sold her to
Manuel Pinto de Fonseca, deliverable on the coast, for a large
sum, amounting to nearly $20,000; I believe exceeding that sum.
Not choosing to run the risks of the trade himself, he shipped another
captain—Berry. When he first arrived here, he came from
Madeira, bringing a cargo of Portuguese emigrants from that
island. The passage money of these emigrants was paid by ad-


216

vances of persons who took them from him as bound servants for
limited periods, according to the rate of their services respectively.
He could not dispose of them all, and was obliged to keep several
boys of them on board his vessel, to work out their passages from
Madeira. Thus, though not in legal form, they were in fact, his
apprentices, and subject to his personal control by contract. These
Portuguese boys, as part of her crew, were left on board the Pons
to assist in working her back to Brazil with her return cargo of
slaves. They were, I presume, found on board of her by Captain
Bell. A copy of the charter party is enclosed, and a description
of the bargain and sale is given by Graham himself in his deposition.
Copies of the crew lists are enclosed, showing what seamen
she arrived with; what she departed with, and who of them
were discharged, and who remained with her when delivered on
the coast, appears by the depositions.

According to her manifest, published in the “Jornal do Commercio,”
on the 19th July, 1845, and confirmed by Captain Graham
in his deposition, her cargo shipped here consisted of 180
pipes aguardente, 3 barricas toucinho, 4 barricas e 4 latas assucar,
12 jacazes batatas, 1 barrica cafe, 1 garafao tapioca, 2 barricas
queijos de huinos, 1 caixadoce, 20 barricas roseas, 12 saccas farinha,
50 malas carre sacca, 150 saccas farinha, 100 ditos feijao, 20
ditos arroz, 200 garrafoes vasios, 62 volumes mercadorias e varios
generas.
She sailed on the 21st July, 1845, with two passengers,
a Portuguese, named Jose de Almeida, and a Sardinian, named Joas
Baptiste Galiano, or Galliano, or Galano. The latter was in
charge of the hatches, and, in fact, was the agent of Fonseca to
dispose of the cargo, and to take charge of the vessel when delivered
on the coast. He was taken on board when the Pons was
captured. He is now in Rio de Janeiro. He arrived here with
Captain Hanna of the Roanoke, which vessel took a cargo of emigrants
from the United States to Liberia. Why Captain Bell did
not take him to the United States as a prisoner I cannot conceive;
but he is now here, insolently exhibiting letters of introduction
from Mr. Lester, at Genoa, and requesting Mr. Consul Parks to
take his protest and certain depositions, upon which to found a
claim of indemnity to Fonseca from the United States. For clear
reasons, apparent directly, he ought to have been tried in the United
States, as a foreigner on board an American vessel engaged in
overt acts of the slave trade.
The vessel is, in point of law, still
American. The charter was at an enormous price per month,
$1,350, and four months of the charter money was paid in advance,
$5,400. The vessel was on charter party for four months and 22
days; and on the day she was delivered on the coast to the purchaser,
upwards of $8,000, about $8,500, had actually been paid by
the vendee, though the four months and 22 days charter party, at
$1,350 per month, amounted to the sum only of about $6,400;
showing about $2,000 advanced for her purchase money in fact,
whilst she was under American colors, and with American papers,
register, &c. No bill of sale was given for her; her name and
port were left on her stern; parts of her cargo and crew were also


217

transferred, her supercargo remaining with her in charge from the
time of her leaving this port to the time of her capture. All this
appears by Captain Graham's deposition, which is accompanied by
an account stated by Fonseca, which shows all the transaction.
Graham is now here awaiting the arrival of Captain Berry. He
professes to intend, then, to proceed to the United States. I
will apprize the government of the vessel he may take passage in.

The Panther.—John Clarke, the seaman discharged from the
Mary Chilton by Mr. Consul Gordon, whilst remaining here endeavoring
to ship in some other vessel, informed me that he was
urged to ship on board the Panther, then in this port, Clapp, master;
that she was bound to the coast of Africa, and was chartered
or sold, in all probability, as he was informed, for the slave trade.
Her voyage was certainly suspicious. Being thus informed that
Clapp, who had not long before sold the Ganneclifft on the coast,
and had undoubtedly aided the purchasers of that vessel in a slave
trip, was again in this port, and intending to warn Mr. Consul
Gordon, and to cause steps to be taken to arrest Clapp and to prevent
his unlawful trading under the United States flag, I addressed
my letter, of June 25th, 1845, to Mr. Consul Gordon, a copy of
which has been sent by me to the Department of State, and an
extract from which is in these words:

“Captain J. Clapp, formerly of the Ganneclifft, sold on the coast
of Africa, is now here. I request you to furnish me with copies of
all the evidence taken before you, and now in your office, respecting
the sale of that vessel on the coast, and in regard to any violation
of the laws of the United States for the suppression of the
foreign slave trade by said Captain J. Clapp, besides what is contained
in the depositions of Fairburn and Gillespie, already communicated
to this legation.”

On the 4th of July, 1845, he replied, saying:

“I herewith hand you a list of the depositions in the above cases
on record in this consulate, with a brief synopsis of the evidence
they contain in relation to the brig Ganneclifft,” &c., &c.

The following was the list of depositions having reference to the
Ganneclifft:

  • “Robert Baker, first mate of the brig Montevideo.
  • “James Robertson, second mate ““
  • “Charles Douglass, seaman, ““
  • “Gerritt King, “““
  • “John Johnson, “““
  • “Ezekiel Norton, “““
  • “Edward Jones, “““
  • “Charles Martin, “““

“By the testimony of these witnesses, it appears that while the
brig Montevideo was lying at Cabinda, coast of Africa, in March,
1844, the American brig Ganneclifft arrived at that port under
command of Captain Clapp; that the Ganneclifft arrived on a
Thursday or Friday; that soon after her arrival, pipes of caxaca
were discharged, and pipes of water were taken on board; this was


218

while Captain Clapp and crew had charge of that vessel; that
when she arrived she had water casks stowed fore and aft,
covering the bottom of the vessel, a quantity of farinha, also a
quantity of lumber, which one of the witnesses was told was for a
slave deck; that the Ganneclifft carried to the coast a Portuguese
master and crew; that Captain Clapp and his crew left the Ganneclifft
on a Saturday afternoon or evening, at which time the vessel
was taken charge of by the Portuguese master and crew; that on
Sunday Captain Clapp and two of his men went on board the Montevideo
as passengers, and subsequently came in that vessel to Victoria,
in Brazil; that on Sunday a cargo of blacks or slaves, to the
number of about 600, were put on board the Ganneclifft; that some
of them were put on board in a boat belonging to the Montevideo;
that Captain Pendleton, master of the Montevideo, was on board
the Ganneclifft while the negroes were being shipped. One of the
witnesses states that Captain Clapp was on board the Ganneclifft
on Sunday morning—others that he went on shore at nine o'clock
that morning from the Montevideo. They do not agree where
Clapp was when the negroes were shipped; that the negroes were
shipped between ten o'clock, a. m., and three o'clock, p. m., probably
within a shorter time; that the United States colors were
flying on board the Ganneclifft when the negroes were shipped, and
when that vessel went to sea with her cargo of slaves on board.”

On the 10th of July, 1845, after the foregoing letter to me, it
appears that Mr. Consul Gordon took the deposition of William
Wall, of which the enclosed is a certified copy; and on the 9th day
of August thereafter he took that of Joseph H. Williams, of which
the enclosed is a certified copy. These clearly proved probable
grounds for believing that Clapp was then preparing the Panther
for a slave voyage. Of the depositions of Wall and Williams, Mr.
Consul Gordon gave me no notice whatever, and he took no step
himself to prevent Clapp from sailing, but cleared the vessel for
the coast. And after the Panther was cleared, Clapp, it seems,
discharged several of his American crew and shipped foreigners, it
is supposed, as substitutes, who would not be likely to become
witnesses of his illegal proceedings.

But such is the mass of evidence which I am able to furnish in
relation to these two vessels. The Panther was despatched for exportation
on the 5th, and departed on the 7th of August, for Africa,
by the Cape de Verd Islands, consignee Captain Clapp; manifest,
100 pipes aguardente, 100 ditto empty, 2 barrels toncinho,
(pork,) 250 sacks of farinha, 100 ditto feijao, (black beans,) 50
ditto rice, 1 box mindozas, 4 bbls. ditto, 4 boxes of rusks and biscuits,
5,000 bundles of wood, 200 arrobas of carre secca. And she
carried out a Portuguese passenger named Antonio Rodriques
Chaves. That she was bargained to be sold on the coast, and was
chartered for the slave trade I have not the shadow of a doubt.
She ought never to have been allowed to clear from this harbor by
an American consul.

Enclosed is a handbill published in Liberia, containing an account


219

of the arrival, condition and disposition in that colony, of the
slaves captured on board the Pons. I regret exceedingly to inform
the department of the alleged cause, according to accredited report
here, of the great mortality among these Africans, from the
time of capture of the Pons to that of their arrival at Monrovia.
Galliano on his return here states, as I am informed, that the vessels
and captives were placed under the command of a Lieutenant
Cogsdell, who was so unfit for duty from drunkenness, approaching
almost to mania a potu, that there was no proper authority exercised
to prevent the hungry and thirsty wretches from eating the
raw beans and beef on board; that for several days there was nothing
cooked for them, and they were totally neglected. No less
than about 150 died in the course of about 14 days. Better to have
allowed them to be enslaved in Brazil, say the Brazilians. This
ought certainly to be enquired into, in order that if it be a slander
it may be contradicted. If true, it is disgraceful to our naval
service to have such men wearing its swords and epaulets. The
most of our naval officers are an honor to their profession, and the
fittest of them ought to be ordered on such a service. I speak the
more strongly from my attachment to the navy, and from a desire
to see our national policy successful, and our national philanthropy
in respect to Africa unstained by the inhumanities and indecencies
which are openly attributed here to the service of other nations on
that coast. The slave trade between Brazil and Africa is a terrible
evil, and it is time our nation and its government were made
sensible of our responsibilities in respect to it and no agent of bad
habits ought to be entrusted with them. Is it possible, that no law
can be recommended or passed; that no more power can be conferred
on consuls, and no stronger instructions be given to our
naval cruisers? I am happy to say, that Mr. Parks, our present
consul, is exerting himself energetically and efficiently in all his
duties, but especially in respect to this subject. He has invited
my attendance with him on several late occasions of examination,
and I have given him all the assistance in my power. He has furnished
me with the enclosed list of American vessels arrived at
Rio de Janeiro, and sailed for the coast of Africa from the 1st
July, 1844, to 31st December, 1845.

The Pons and the Enterprize, (late United States schooner of
war,) have both been sold, and they both became slavers. The
latter is here now, having brought and landed her cargo of slaves.
She was sold by the United States for $2,800 at the Brooklyn
navy yard; and the vessel and 3 1/2 months charter of her, brought
on the coast, $15,500. Shanton, her captain, was late a gunner's
mate on board the United States ship Columbus, and is now an
applicant for a warrant in the navy. The Janet was lawfully sold
here. The Z. D., the Harriet, the Roarer, the Cuba, the Lucy Penniman,
the Benlah, the Pilot, the Malaga, and the Treaty, are now
believed to be on the coast, and the Vintage is now here loading
for Africa. Out of twenty vessels in this trade, four only are from
south of Philadelphia, and none from south of Baltimore. They
are principally from New York and the New England States:


220

Vessels.Trips.
From Beverly22
Baltimore44
Boston57
New York33
Philadelphia34
Providence11
Protland11
1922

The Vintage not included in the above. Mr. Parks informs me
that a person of Bangor, Maine, who is the owner of a vessel
which has made several trips to Africa, and whose captain told Mr.
Parks that he was ordered to take a charter to the coast, is the
owner also and supporter of an abolition newspaper, the Bangor
Gazette!! Boyle, the mate of the Kentucky, the vessel on board
which the tragedy of the shooting, hanging, and drowning of some
thirty or forty Africans was acted, and who was one of the men
whose extradition I demanded of the imperial government in the
case of the Porpoise, lately came before the consul and gave a full
deposition as to the history of the cruise of that vessel. It is important
that he should be in the United States at the trial of Libby,
the captain of the Porpoise. Douglass, the captain of the Kentucky,
is supposed to be now in Philadelphia. The Kentucky is
now in this harbor, identified by Boyle, with the name and port
lettered on her stern—“Franklin of Salem.” Of this, I have informed
his Britannic Majesty's minister, Mr. Hamilton, by letter, of
which the enclosed, marked “B,” is a copy. In addition to the
evidence which I now transmit, Mr. Parks will forward a number
of depositions in other cases. The slave deck of the Kentucky
was fitted in this port, whilst an American vessel, with the full
knowledge of her captain, Willis, who sold her to Fonseca, under
the disguise of a charter, and who remained here and sent Douglass
in her as captain to the coast. Willis is now captain of an American
vessel, I believe in the trade between Brazil and the United
States. Driscoll, out on straw bail, whose indictment is still pending
in New York, is now skulking in this city. Ulrick, his mate
on board the Hope, and mate of the Porpoise, when she was seized
here, is now said to be commanding an American vessel on this
coast, and Boyle, the mate of the Kentucky, is now mate of the
Caspian. Are we to be allowed to do nothing towards making an
example of these flagitious cases of outrage upon our laws and of
insult to our authorities? The barbarities practised by these criminals,
who walk thus abroad unwhipped of justice, are shocking to
every sense of humanity. I have concurred with Mr. Parks, in the
propriety of allowing Boyle, since his confession and deposition,
to go home in the Caspian. The United States district attornies
and marshals must act or not at home, in respect to the arrest of
Douglass, who is now in Philadelphia, and of Graham, Willis, and
Ulrick, when they arrive in the United States. It is a great pity


221

that Gray escaped in Delaware, from the absence of the witnesses
against him, who were allowed to go their voyage to the coast, instead
of being sent home.

HENRY A. WISE.
Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

Your excellency doubtless remembers the history of the
case of the brig Kentucky, formerly a merchant vessel of the United
States, sold at Quillimane, on the eastern coast of Africa, and
employed by the Brazilian purchasers, Manoel Pinto da Fonseca
& Co., in the slave trade; the same vessel to which the brig Porpoise
was a tender, and the same on board which the awful tragedy
of the shooting, hanging, quartering and drowning some thirty or
forty of the negro victims was acted, as testified to by a British
subject, named Page, who was forced to return in her to Brazil;
and who was, with your excellency's approbation, at his own request,
sent to the United States as a witness in the case of Libby,
captain of the Porpoise. His deposition is on file in the United
States consulate here, and I think a copy, detailing the shocking
barbarities perpetrated on board the Kentucky, was furnished to
you. The mate of the Kentucky, before her sale—a man named
Boyle, one of the four persons who were arrested as criminals in
this harbor on board the Porpoise, and whose extradition to the
United States was refused by the imperial government—lately
has come before the United States consul at this port, and has detailed
more fully the history of the cases of these two vessels, the
Kentucky and the Porpoise.

Among other things, he states under oath that, having been mate
of the former, he can identify her certainly, and avers that she is
now in this harbor, with the name and port plainly lettered on her
stern, “Franklin, of Salem, Massachusetts,” or, “Franklin, of Salem.”
He declares that at Quillimane, when sold and delivered,
he in part obliterated, and saw in whole obliterated by others, the
name and port of “Kentucky, of New York.” That the latter name
and port were painted in white over a black ground, and were obliterated
with black paint. Now, the name and port—put on, of
course, by the Brazilian purchasers—are in white, as described,
probably over the old name and port; which might be seen, perhaps,
by carefully taking off the now exterior painting. All this is done
to elude the vigilance of the British cruisers, by giving the vessel
the appearance of belonging to the merchant marine of the United
States. I would not hesitate to advise her capture on the high
seas by our own cruisers, with this fraud, clearly proving an illegal
intent, upon her stern; but she is now in Brazilian waters, and


222

neither of our ships of war are in port to receive intimation of her
departure. Apprehending that she might depart soon, and supposing
that the British cruisers would not, under their instructions,
hesitate to seize and bring to trial a vessel so suspicious in her,
character, and one, too, known to have brought one if not two cargoes
of slaves from Africa to Brazil since her sale by her United
States owners to a notorious slave trader, I brought the facts to the
knowledge of her Britannic Majesty's consul, Mr. Hesketh, who
recommends a conference with, or information, rather, to your excellency.
The Grecian, brig of war, is now here, and Captain
Montgomery, I have reason to know, would be an able and efficient
officer to carry your excellency's suggestions or orders into exeecution.
I venture only to bring the case to your consideration,
and leave the proper course to be decided on by your own best
judgment. Page's and Boyle's depositions can be furnished at any
time required by the United States consul.

I have the honor, &c.,

HENRY A. WISE.
To his excellency HAMILTON HAMILTON,
Her Britannic Majesty's Envoy, &c., &c.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

I enclose to you the answer of her Britannic Majesty's envoy,
Mr. Hamilton, to my note in respect to the Kentucky, alias
Franklin, copies of which were transmitted in my last despatch.

Mr. Parks will forward the papers in the cases of the Enterprise
and other vessels engaged in the African slave trade. And it gives
me much pleasure to say, that, in all cases, I have concurred fully
in the steps taken by Mr. Parks, an far as they have come to my
knowledge; and he has in the most proper manner submitted his
course, generally, in the matters relating to the slave trade, to my
counsel and advice, and it has met with my most cordial approbation.

HENRY A. WISE.
Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State.

BRITISH LEGATION,
Rio de Janeiro,

SIR:

I have received the letter which you did me the honor to
address to me on the 2d instant, concerning the vessel formerly
called Kentucky, and in the merchant service of the United States;
afterwards purchased by the notorious slave merchants, M. P. Fonseca
& Co.; and now, under the name of Franklin, of Salem, again
fitting out in this harbor, as your excellency apprehends on very
sufficient grounds, for the African slave trade.


223

A copy of your communication has been forwarded without delay
to the officer commanding her Majesty's brig of war Grecian,
with a recommendation that he adopt, with respect to the suspicious
craft in question—whenever she shall leave the territorial waters
of Brazil, whether in visiting her or detaining her, as the case may
appear to call for—such measures as the instructions issued by the
board of admirality may indicate.

With a copy of Page's deposition your excellency was good
enough to provide me at the time; that of Boyle may, also, be of
service eventually; and I shall request Mr. Consul Hesketh to
make application for one to the consul of the United States.

I have the honor, &c.,

HAMILTON HAMILTON.
To his excellency H. A. WISE,
&c., &c., &c.




Rice University
Date: 2010-06-07
Available through the Creative Commons Attribution license