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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY,

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.

was a British cruiser and at once set the American flag. That settled her fate, for she was a legitimate prize to an American warship. The Portuguese captain put on his hatches, but no sooner had the American naval officer boarded her than they were taken off and the "slaves gave a shout that could have been heard a mile."

A remarkable fact about this ship was that she had no slave-deck. About eight hundred and fifty of her cargo had been stowed in bulk on the water-casks and provision barrels in the hold. Eighteen had died during the night. In the fourteen days that elapsed while going to Monrovia one hundred and fifty more died, and eight died while in the harbor before they could be landed.

Foote's chief prize was a big ship called the Martha. The Perry arrived at Ambriz on June 5, 1850, in search of her flagship, John Adams, but learned that she had gone to Loanda. Sailing thence the Perry, while at sea, next day, saw a big ship standing in for the coast and at four o'clock in the afternoon brought her to. At this time the Perry had not shown her flag and the stranger hoisted the American flag. Her name and port, "Martha, New York," were painted across her stern.

Accordingly a boat was sent to her, when her captain saw, by the uniform of the boat's officer, that the Perry was an American cruiser. At that the Martha's American flag was hauled down and the Brazilian hoisted, while a writing-desk was thrown overboard on the side of the Martha opposite the boat.

A Portuguese who claimed that he was captain protested when Lieutenant Rush, the American boarding

officer, reached the deck,' but Rush said that the ship had made herself a legal prize as a pirate by throwing away her papers. The writing-desk had been picked up and its contents discovered meantime. The American captain, though disguised as a common sailor, was identified. He finally admitted that she was a slaver and that she was to have taken on board 1,800 slaves that night.

The Martha and all her crew were sent to New York, where the ship was condemned. Her captain was released on $3,000 bail, which he at once forfeited. The mate was not well taken care of by the slavers, for he was sent to prison for two years.

The farce which our courts played regularly in those days was exhibited in this case, for the percentage payable to the slaver captain on an ordinary cargo of slaves landed-say four hundred-was $12,000. Rarely, if ever, was a greater bail than $5,000 exacted.

And it is to be further noted that when Foote captured the Martha he had "her crew put in irons," but "both American and Brazilian captains, together with three or four cabin passengers [probably slaveagents] were given to understand that they would be similarly served in case of the slightest evidence of insubordination!" They lived in the cabin.

Foote declares that the yellow fever, that has carried off its tens of thousands of white men, was generated from dead slaves in the slavers at Rio de Janeiro in 1849. He is right beyond question. It is a fact that may even now give us pause. The sufferings of the slaves were avenged on the white race with merciless severity. There is a universal law of compensation.

Foote believed that the activity of the American squadron in the early fifties had broken up the slavetrade. How far wrong he was appears in the report of the Secretary of the Navy for 1860, wherein no less than eleven slavers are mentioned as prizes taken in 1859. The one most important to this history was the ship Erie, captured on August 8, 1860, off the Congo, by the sloop-of-war Mohican, Commander Sylvester W. Godon. She had eight hundred and ninety-seven slaves on board. She landed those that survived at Monrovia.

The number of slavers captured that year was most remarkable. At first glance one would say that the Buchanan administration was honestly striving to enforce the law, but the fact is, this flurry of activity was but a part of a scheme to enlarge the borders of American slave territory. Buchanan and his Secretary of the Navy, Isaac Toucey, deliberately told Congress that the administration was "active in its endeavors to suppress the African coast slave-trade," when they were active only in an effort to annex Cuba to the United States. On the same page where Toucey boasts that his department was "active" (p. 9, report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1860), he says: "Cuba is now the only mart in the world open to this trade. If Cuba were to pass under the Constitution of the United States by annexation the trade would then be effectually suppressed."

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