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by United States Consul N. P. Trist, of Havana, was one. (See Sen. Ex. Doc. 125, 26 Cong. 2 Sess.)

Then came Buxton's book on "The Slave-trade and Its Remedy." It was an appeal to sentiment rather than reason, but it gave facts which have never been seriously disputed, and which excited horror wherever read. It was proved beyond dispute that more than 250,000 lives were deliberately sacrificed in Africa and more than 60,000 on the high seas in each year in order to supply the Americans with the slaves wanted.

Meantime there were a number of matters in controversy between Great Britain and the United States, and the people were sensible enough to get commissioners to consider them instead of going to war. Out of this commission came a treaty of which the part important for this history was a solemn agreement on the part of the United States to keep a squadron of warships cruising on the African coast to operate in conjunction with a British squadron of equal force for the suppression of the slave-trade.

Our laws had, therefore, permitted the President to send naval vessels to Africa to suppress the slavetrade. By Article 8 of what is known as the Ashburton Treaty we became in honor bound to "maintain in service, on the coast of Africa, a sufficient and adequate squadron or naval force of vessels, of suitable numbers and descriptions, to carry in all not less than eighty guns, to enforce, separately and respectively, the laws, rights, and obligations of each of the two countries for the suppression of the slave-trade."

Daniel Webster signed the treaty for the United States, and Lord Ashburton for Great Britain, on August 9, 1842.



How the Laws were Interpreted-Slavers that would Make a Fierce Fight-Famous American Privateers that Became Slavers-Whole Cargoes of Slaves Thrown to the Sharks to Avoid the Confiscation of Vessels-Tales of the Rapido, the Regulo, and Hemans's Brillante-A Cargo of Slaves Bound to Anchor and Chain and Thrown Overboard-A Slaver Who Coolly Murdered His Sweetheart and ChildA Trade that was Lucrative in Proportion to Its Heinous


THE trade being now outlawed, the tender solicitude of legislators for what were called lawful traders, that is, traders who exchanged rum and cast-iron muskets for ivory and palm-oil, was so great that the law regarding slavers was restricted in ridiculous fashion. Nor was it ridiculous alone from the point of view of one who sees that to trade rotten muskets for good palm-oil and ivory was degrading to the trader. The lawful traders, so called, on the coast of Africa were almost invariably panders to the slavetraders. Says Drake, in his "Revelations of a SlaveSmuggler" (p. 66), regarding the goods he exchanged for slaves: "Our spirits, cotton, powder, and guns are bought from English trading stations on the Congo. We buy on the coast, and pay higher for these goods, rather than that the old factories should break up;

they being very convenient sometimes as temporary slave depots."

To protect these panders it was provided in the conventions between England and various continental governments for the suppression of the trade that "no visit or detention can take place, except by a commissioned officer having express instructions and authority for the same; nor can he detain or carry into port any vessel so visited, except on the single and simple fact of slaves found on board."

In like fashion it was held for a time in our courts that the presence of slaves on a ship was necessary to secure her conviction as a slaver. Eventually the presence of slave-goods was sufficient to convict, and in English courts the slave-goods were also considered good evidence as to an English slaver, but it appears that when a slaver under any other flag was to be tried there it was always necessary to show that the slaves were on board lest some harm be done to the "lawful trader."

As to the effect of the laws on the slavers-the men in the trade-there is one feature of this effect that seems to have been overlooked by the writers who have considered the subject. It is a most interesting fact that from the moment it was outlawed the slave-trade became more attractive to certain adventurous spirits of the age. For it need not be doubted that men lived in those days whose souls as eagerly sought the thrill of a fight for life—whose souls more eagerly sought for the smell of burned gunpowder and the sight of blood-splashed decks than for the gold doubloons that rewarded the successful voyage. The sea was alive with men who had served in

the privateers during the long-continued wars, and real black-flag pirates abounded. To declare by legislative enactment that the slave-trade was illegitimate was for these men but to increase its attractiveness.

Still all slavers were greedy, more or less, and an immediate effect of the laws was to reduce the price of the slaves on the coast of Africa. Slavers, when the trade was lawful, had often paid as high as $100 for a good negro in Africa. The price now went down to $15 and $20. On the other hand, the market in the West was at least made firm. Prices were not raised in Cuba or Brazil, perhaps, but there was never any trouble in disposing of the cargo even when the slaves were reduced so much that they had to be carried ashore in arms, like babes, from the landing barges. The price in the United States would have been increased by the laws, only for the fact that Virginia had become an exporter of slaves; but, as it was, the price was already high enough to yield a profit that now seems well-nigh incredible. The slave that cost $20 in Africa would, if landed in fairly good order in Georgia bring no less than $500 net, even after allowing for dividing with underground agents there. In short, outlawing the trade enhanced its attractiveness in every way to the wilder spirits.

So it came to pass that a naval cruiser's success in capturing a slaver sometimes depended on the relative size, speed, and armament of the two ships. In the House Reports No. 348, 21st Congress, first session, is a list of eighteen slavers that resisted the cruisers by force of arms. Of these, five were former well-known American privateers. They were the Commodore Perry, the Commodore McDonough, the Argus, the

Criterion, and the Saucy Jack. Built for speed, and manned by men who had seen service in voyages for legal plunder, these privateers were the ideal slavers. They went down the slave-coast flying any flag that pleased the fancy. If they fell in with a slaver of less force than their own they transferred her cargo to their own decks. If they met a small cruiser they cleared for action, and it is a matter of record that they made such a good fight, in many cases, that they beat off armed agents of the law. Of the five, four were captured, but, each of the brief reports says, “after a severe action." The Saucy Jack seems to have justified her name, for she not only escaped capture but "convoyed several vessels to and from the coast."

The Paz was a noted Yankee slaver. "Under the American flag" she "beat off the Princess Charlotte and killed several of her men." The Camperdown, an English slaver brig, of sixteen guns, "destroyed the sloops Rambler and Trial, of Sierra Leone, and carried off their black crews as slaves," and "made slaves of all the people going off in canoes.'

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And then there was the slaver Velos Passagero. She carried twenty guns and a crew of one hundred and fifty men. Having five hundred and fifty-five slaves on board, she fell in with the British sloop-ofwar Primrose, but not until forty-six of her crew had been killed and twenty wounded by the war-ship's close-range fire, would she yield. The sloop lost three killed and twelve wounded.

Extended reports of these battles are not now to be found, but the brief statements of losses show how stubbornly the outlaws resisted arrest when they were of a force to give hope of success.

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