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seers of the poor of the port or place where such ship or vessel may be brought or found," and account of your proceedings, together with the number and descriptive list of such negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, must be immediately transmitted to the Governor or Chief Magistrate of the State. You will communicate to me minutely all your proceedings. I am, Sir, respectfully, &c.
PAUL HAMILTON. H. G. CAMPBELL,
Commanding Naval Officer, Charleston, S. C.
Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain John H. Elton, commanding the United States' brig Saranac, New York, dat
Navy DEPARTMENT, July 16th, 1817. “The recent occupation of Amelia Island by an officer in the service of the Spanish Revolutionists, occasions just apprehensions that, from the vicinity to the coast of Georgia, attempts will be made to introduce slaves into the United States, contrary to the existing laws, and further attempts at illicit trade in smuggling goods in violation of our revenue laws. You are hereby directed to detain and search every vessel, under whatever flag, which may enter the river St. Mary's, or be found hovering upon the coast, under suspicious circumstances, and seize every vessel freighted with slaves, or whose doubtful character and situation shall indicate the intention of smuggling. In the execution of these orders, you will take special care not to interrupt or detain any vessels sailing with regular papers and a national character, upon lawful voyages to or from a port or ports of the United States. The traffic in slaves is intended to be restrained, and in the performance of this duty, you will exercise your sound judgment in regard to all vessels you may visit.”
Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain John H.
Elton, commanding the United States' brig Saranac, St. Mary's, Georgia, dated
NAVY DEPARTMENT, Nov. 7th, 1818. “You are authorized to detain and send in for adjudication, all vessels under whatever flags, which may be found hovering upon our coast, or within the jurisdictional limits of a marine league, of a suspicious character, or that shall have slaves on board, or that you shall ascertain, upon due examination, to be other than regular trading vessels, with papers and documents in perfect order, conformably to the laws of nations, and the existing treaties of the United States with foreign Powers. You will send such vessels as you may so detain into the port of Savannah, with all the papers found on board, under your seal, addressed to the District Attorney of the United States for the District of Georgia.”
Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain John D.
Henley, dated November 14, 1817. «Should you fall in with, on your way to St. Mary's, or find in Amelia, any vessels acting as privateers contrary to the laws of the United States, .you will capture such, and send them to Savannah, Georgia, to be dealt with according to law. You will detain all prize or other vessels having slaves on board, as the presumption is strong that they are intended to be smuggled into the United States."
Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain Daniel T. Patterson, Commanding Naval Officer, New Orleans, dated
NAVY DEPARTMENT, December 17, 1817. “ Previously to the loss of the United States' brig Boxer, it was determined to increase the naval force in the Gulf of Mexico, for the better protection of our commerce and the revenue, as well as to prevent the introduce tion of slaves into our territory.
“ For this purpose the United States' ship John Adams, under the command of Captain John D. Henley, has been ordered to the Gulf, with the brigs Prometheus and Enterprise, and schooner Lynx."
Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore John D. Henley, commanding United States' Naval Force of Amelia Island, dated
NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 16, 1818. “Maintain a strict discipline among the officers and crews of the several vessels, especially as to their conduct when on shore at St. Mary's or Amelia, and when circumstances shall perinit, you will send the small vessels upon the neighboring coast, to watch the movement of privateers and vessels with slaves on board, all of which can have no other object than to introduce them into the United States, in violation of existing laws.”
NAVY DEPARTMENT, May 30, 1818. SIR: I enclose to you herewith, for your information and government, four copies of an act of Congress, passed on the 20th day of April last, entitled « An act in addition to an act to prohibit the introduction of slaves
into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the ist day of January, 1808, and to repeal certain parts of the same.
I am, very respectfully, &c.
BENJAMIN HOMANS. Captain D. T. PATTERSON,
Commanding Naval Officer, New Orleans.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, May 30, 1818. Sir: Agreeably to a request recently made by Commodore Henley, I transmit, herewith, for your information and government, four copies of the act of Congress, passed on the 20th day of April last, entitled “ An act in addition to an act to prohibit the introduction of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the 1st day of January, 1803, and to repeal certain parts of the same."
I am, very respectfully, &c.
BENJAMIN HOMANS. Captain A. J. DALLAS,
Commanding U. S. Naval Force, near St. Mary's, Ga.
JANUARY 21, 1819. Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting the informa
tion called for by the Resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 4th instant, in relation to ships engaged in the Slave Trade, which have been seized and condemned, and the disposition which has been made of the negroes, by the several State Governments under whose jurisdiction they have fallen.
January 20th, 1819. SIR: In obedience to a resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 4th instant, directing the Secretary of the Treasury “to report to this House the number and names of the slave ships, if any; the ports from which they sailed, and where, and by whom owned, which have been seized and condemned within the United States, for violations of the laws thereof, against the importation of slaves; and if any negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, have been found on board such vessels, their number, and the disposition which has been made of them by the several State Governments under whose jurisdiction they have fallen,” I have the honor to submit the enclosed communication from the Register of the Treasury, the Collector of Mobile, and the Marshal of the Alabama Territory.
From these documents, but little information is derived. Independent of the proceedings now pending in the Alabama Territory, it is understood
that proceedings have been instituted under the State authorities, which have terminated in the sale of persons of color illegally imported into the States of Georgia and Louisiana, during the years 1817 and 1818.
There is no authentic copy of the acts of the Legislatures of those States, upon this subject, in this Department; but, it is understood, that, in both States, Africans and other persons of color, illegally imported, are directed to be sold for the benefit of the State. In the former State, however, they are directed to be placed at the disposition of the society for colonizing the free blacks, upon condition of their transportation to some foreign State, and on payment of the expenses incurred by the State in relation to them. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
W. H. CRAWFORD. The Hon. the SPEAKER
of the House of Representatives,
REGISTER'S OFFICE, 7th Jan. 1819. Sir: The resolution of the House of Representatives of the United States, which you did me the honor to refer, calling for information relative to the slave trade, and if any violations thereof had arisen, under the act of July, 1807, I beg leave to state, that it doth not appear, from an examina- . tion of the records of this office, and particularly of the accounts (to the date of their last settlement) of the Collectors of the Customs, and of the several Marshals of the United States, that any forfeitures had been incurred under the said act.
Although there are no records at the Treasury, of the facts, yet, from a memorial now before Congress, it appears there had been one ship condemned in the port of Charleston, South Carolina, for a violation of the act above mentioned, called the
Upon the sale of which, the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars, it is alleged, remains in the hands of the clerk of the court of that district.
Another, and the only additional case that can, at present, be brought into view, in relation to an infraction of the provisions of the aforementioned act, is explained in the certified copies herewith presented, marked A, of the proceedings of the court of Alabama Territory, the originals being filed in the office of the Comptroller of the Treasury.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
JOSEPH NOURSE Hon. W. H. CRAWFORD.
ST. STEPHEN's, ALABAMA TERRITORY,
July 22d, 1818. Sir: Enclosed is a copy or transcript of the minutes of our last General Court. The proceeding in this case is perhaps unprecedented, but your bet
ter judgment can more correctly determine. I believe the law recognises the Marshal only, as the proper person to have the charge of property seized for a violation of the laws of the United States: but that course would have deprived those particular friends of Judge Toulmin of a grand speculation, of which they boast very much. If it was proper that the court should let out the negroes, as a saving to the Government, or parties interested, they could have been hired out for a very considerable sum, clear of all expenses; but this course would have destroyed a grand individual speculation. And, on the contrary, had the negroes been left, as is usual, in the hands of the Marshal, he would have been entitled to a small pittance for keeping, to which the Judge could not reconcile his malice. You will also observe that this court has granted a commission to take depositions in the Havana, a foreign government, and in a government where there is no difficulty in procuring any testimony. There has been considerable expense, on the part of the Government, and I can hazard an opinion, that, if this course of proceeding is admitted, the property will not be condemned. Your obedient humble servant,
Marshal Alabama Territory. Jos. ANDERSON, Esq. Comptroller U. S.
P. S. Should you think this proceeding unlawful, you will please to lay the papers before the proper authority, and indulge me with your opinion,
JULY TERM, 1818.
and cargo, and the Constitution and cargo.
Ordered, That commissions do issue to take depositions in the Havana, to be directed to Messrs. Gray and John Murdock, in Pensacola, to be directed to Gen. Gaines, Colonel King, and Captain Call, or either of them, and that the said depositions be taken as evidence, as well in the case of the United States, against the said vessels and cargoes, as in the several libels for restitution for the negroes on board the said vessels. And that the vessels and cargoes, in these cases, be delivered to claimants on bond and security, to be approved by the court, being entered into in the appraised value thereof, conditioned to have the property forthcoming, to abide the judgment of the court.
Ordered, That Samuel H. Garron, Lewis Judson, David Files, John W. Simonton, John Whitehead, and Jotham S. Patton, or any four of them, David Files being one, be accepted as securities to be given under this order, and that Henry D. Merritt, Christopher Strong Stewart, and Daniel Duval, be appointed appraisers of the vessels and cargoes aforesaid.
Ordered, On the agreement of the parties, That the one hundred and seven negroes found on board the vessel Merino, the schooner Louisiana, and the Constitution, and libelled in this court, be placed in the possession of James Caller, Benjamin S, Smoot, and David Files, on their entering