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This definitive success will be without doubt the fruit of your majesty's intimate relations with the Government of Great Britain, because a concurrence of conciliating intentions and of reciprocal sacrifices, is alone of a nature to prosper a work equally meritorious before God and in the eyes of men.
It is only at the close of this negotiation that the measures of mutual inspection, decreed for the strict execution of a law become general, will crown the noble efforts of all the Powers called to govern the different parts of the globe, by the same sentiments of fraternity, of justice, and of religion.
&c. &c. &c.
Despatch from Viscount Castlereagh to Earl Bathurst, dated Aix-la
Chapelle, Norember 24, 1818.
My Lord: I have the honor to transmit to your Lordship theenclosed protocol of the conferences of the allied ministers, of the Ulth and 19th instant, containing the votes of the different Powers on the subjects of the slave trade, which I have already forwarded to your Lordship.
I have the honor, &c.
CASTLEREAGH. Earl BATHURST, &c. &c. &c.
First EXCLOSURE IN No. 12.
Protocol of the Conference between the Plenipotentiaries of the Five
Powers, held at Aix-la-Chapelle, the uth of November, 1818.
The Duke de Richelieu read his observations upon the means proposed by the plenipotentiaries of Great Britain for inspecting and repressing the illicit slave trade. The observations of the Duke de Richelieu, as well as the opinion of the Austrian cabinet, and that which the Prussian cabinet made known in a preceding sitting, are annexed to the protocol.
SECOND ENCLOSURE IN No. 12.
Protocol of the conference between the Plenipotentiaries of the Five Pow
ers, held at Aix-la-Chapelle, the 19th of November, 1818. To resume the discussion of the ulterior measures to be adopted against the slave trade, Lord Castlereagh read a memorandum, in which he observed, upon the different propositions which have occupied the preceding conferences, and expressed his sincere regret that the present re-union had not brought about a more decisive result for the final success of the abolition, nor, above all, some resolution directly applicable to the repression of the cruel abuses by which the fraudulent commerce has hitherto eluded and frustrated the measures already agreed upon, and the laws and regulations already in force in various States.
After having analysed and discussed in detail the objections brought forward to combat the system of reciprocal visit of ships suspected of being engaged in the illicit trade, and especially those which were developed in the note of the plenipotentiaries of France, as well as the means of execution proposed by the plenipotentiaries of Russia, Lord Castlereagh, in again calling the most serious attention of the Powers to a cause so deserving of their intorest, desired that the ministers of the courts taking part in the conferences in London should be enjoined to continue their deliberations upon this question, without waiting the effect which the formal mcasure adopted towards his Majesty the King of Portugal and the Brazils might produce; particularly as the result of this step was not an indispensable preliminary to the resolutions to be adopted with common consent for effectuully suppressing the illicit traffic on the coast to the North of the line.
The memorandum of Lord Castlereagh was annexed to the protocol, and the plenipotentiaries agreed to instruct the Ministers of the Courts in Lon. don, in the sense of this last proposition.
On the reading of this protocol, the plenipotentiaries of Russia added, that, independent of the instruction agreed upon between the courts, the ambassador of his majesty the emperor, in London, would be informed of the desire of his imperial majesty to see the ministerial conference in London occupied not only with the general question, relative to the basis of the system to be adopted against the illicit trade, but, at the same time, the practical question of the amount of force necessary to be provided for the execution of the general measures; his majesty the emperor of Russia being ready to furnish his contingent as soon as the regulations to be established for this purpose shall be agreed upon.
Despatch from Viscount Custlereagh to Earl Bathurst, dated Paris,
December 10, 1818. My LORD: Since I arrived here I have deemed it my duty to renew, with the Duke de Richelieu, the subject of the abolition, in order that I might be better enabled to judge as to the course it would be most advisable to pursue, for resuming, in London, under the protocol signed at Aix-la-Chapelle, on the 19th November, the deliberations on this question.
In conference with his excellency, it was agreed that I should have an interview with the minister of the marine and colonies, the Count de Molé, and with the count de Laisné, the minister of the interior, as the two departments in the government the most competent to advise the king upon the propriety, as well as upon the effect which those regulations might be expected to produce upon the public mind in France, which I had been directed, in conjunction with the Duke of Wellington, to press at Aix-la-Chapelle.
I had, accordingly, a conference with these ministers, of nearly three hours, in which I was enabled to go through with them, in the utmost detail, the whole of this important subject; to all the bearings of which they appeared to me to give their utmost attention, and with a desire that the difficulties which they conceived, at least for the present, to stand in the way of their adopting the measure, might be found, in the end, not to be insurmountable.
It is unnecessary that I should attempt to report to your Lordship the particulars of this extended conversation, as they would not vary, in any essential point, from the arguments brought forward by the Duke de Richelieu, and which are already so fully before the prince regent's government; I have no reason to draw any more unfavorable inference from the manner in which these ministers treated the subject, and they assured me of their disposition to render public in France every information which might tend to throw light on this interesting question, and to strengthen it in the public favor,
Upon the whole, my lord, whilst I cannot give you hopes of any immediate progress, I venture, nevertheless, to indulge a sanguine expectation, that, if the object be pursued with the same persevering and conciliating temper on the part of Great Britain, which has already achieved so much for the cause of abolition, the French Government may be brought, at no distant period, to unite their naval exertions with those of the other allied Powers for the suppression of the illicit slave trade, under the modified regulations submitted for this purpose to the plenipotentiaries assembled at Aix-laChapelle.
I have the honor to be, &c.
CASTLEREAGH. Earl BATUURST, &c. &c. &c.
SEVENTEENTH CONGRESS-FIRST SESSION.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 1821.
On motion of Mr. Sawyer, Resolved, That the Committee on so much of the President's message as relates to the suppression of the slave trade be instructed to inquire into the expediency of continuing in force, for a further term, an act, passed 3d March, 1819, which, by the act of the 15th May, 1820, was extended to two years, and entitled an act to protect the commerce of the United States and punish the crime of piracy.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 1822, On motion of Mr. Mercer, Resolved, That the Committee on the suppression of the slave trade be instructed to inquire whether the laws of the United States prohibiting that traffic have been duly executed, and, if so, into the general effect produced thereby, on the trade itself; also, to inquire into and report the defects, if any exist, in the operation of those laws, and to suggest adequate remedies therefor.
Mr. Gorham, from the committee, consisting of Mr. Gorham, Mr.
Hemphill, Mr. Poinsett, Mr. Phillips, Mr. John T. Johnson, Mr. Borland, and Mr. Van S'wearingen, reported the following bill, in addition to “ An act to continue in force an act to protect the commerce of the United States and punish the crime of piracy," "and also to make further provision for punishing the crime of piracy."
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the first, second, third, and fourth sections of an act, entitled “ An act to protect the commerce of the United Statesand punish the crime of piracy,” passed on the 3d day of March, 1819, be, and the same are hereby, continued in force, in all respects, as fully as if the said sections had been enacted without limitation in the said act, or in the act to which this is in addition, and which was passed on the 15th day of May, 1820. Nore.
::- This bill was not acted upon during the session which it was reported; it was taken up at the succeeding session of Congress, and passed both Houses without amendment, and received the approbation of the President of the United States on the 30th of January, 1823.
APRIL 12, 1822. Report of the Committee on the Suppression of the Slave Trade, consisting
of Mr. Gorham, Mr. Hemphill, Mr. Poinsett, Mr. Phillips, Mr. John
T. Johnson, Mr. Borland, and Mr. Van Swearingen. The Committee on the Suppression of the Slave Trade, to whom was reser
ferred a resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 15th of January last, instructing them to inquire whether the laws of the United States prohibiting that traffic have been duly executed; also, into the general operation thereof; and if any defects exist in those laws to suggest adequate remedies therefor, and to whom many memorials have been referred touching the same subject, have, according to order, had the said reso
lution and memorial under consideration, and beg leave to REPORT:
That, under the just and liberal construction put by the Executive on the act of Congress of March 3d, 1819, and that of the 15th May, 1820, inflicting the punishment of piracy on the African slave trade, a foundation has been laid for the most systematic and vigorous application of the power the United States to the suppression of that iniquitious traffic. Its unhappy subjects, when captured, are restored to their country, agents are there appointed to receive them, and a colony, the offspring of private charity, is rising on its shores, in which such as cannot reach their native tribes, will find the means of alleviating the calamities they may have endured before their liberation
When these humane provisions are contrasted with the system which they superseded, there can be but one sentiment in favor of a steady adherence to its support. The document accompanying this report, and marked A; states the number of Africans seized or taken within or without the limits of the United States and brought there, and their present condition.
It does not appear to your committee that such of the naval force of the country as has been hitherto employed in the execution of the laws against this traffic, could have been more effectually used for the interest and honor of the nation. The document marked B is a statement of the names of the vessels, and their commanders, ordered upon this service, with the dates of their departure, &c. The first vessel destined for this service arrived upon the coast of Africa in March, 1820, and in the few weeks she remained there, sent in for adjudication four American vessels, all of which were condemned. The four which have been since employed in this service, hare made five visits, (the Alligator having made two cruises in the past Summer) the whole of which have amounted to a service of about ten months by a single vessel, within a period of near two years; and since the middle of last November, the commencement of the healthy season on that coast, no vessel bas been, or, as your committee is informed, is, under order, for that service.
The committee are thus particular on this branch of their inquiry, because unfounded rumors have been in circulation, that other branches of the public service have suffered from the destination given to the inconsiderable force above stated, which, small as it has been, has in every instance been directed, both in its cutward and homeward voyage, to cruise in the West India scas.
Before they quit this part of their inquiry, your committee feel it their duty to state, that the loss of several of the prizes made in this service, is imputable to the size of the ships engaged in it. The efficacy of this force, as well as the health and discipline of the officers and crews, conspire to recommend the employment of no smaller vessel than a corvette or sloop of war, to which it would be expedient to allow the largest possible complement of men, and, if possible, she should be accompanied by a tender, or vessel drawing less water. The vessels engaged in this service should be frequently relieved, but the coast should at no time be left without a vessel to watch and protect its shores.
Your committee find it impossible to measure with precision the effect produced upon the American branch of the slave trade by the laws above mentioned, and the seizures under them. They are unable to state, whether those American merchants, the American capital and seamen which heretofore aided in this traffic, have abandoned it altogether, or have sought shelter under the flags of other nations. It is ascertained, however, that the American flag, which heretofore covered so large a portion of the slave trade, has wholly disappeared from the coasts of Africa. The trade, notwithstanding, increases annually, under the flags of other nations. France has incurred the reproach of being the greatest adventurer in this traffic, prohibited by her laws; but it is to be presumed that this results, not so much from the avidity of her subjects for this iniquitous gain, as from the safety which, in the absence of all hazard of capture, her flag affords to the greedy and unprincipled adventurers of all nations. It is neither candid or just to impute to a gallant and high minded people the exclusive commission of crimes, which the abandoned of all nations are alike capable of perpetrating, with the additional wrong to France herself of using her flag to cover and