Imatges de pÓgina

out of the custody of the coroner, and the balance condemned by the District Judge of the State; and the informers received their part of the nett proceeds from the State Treasurer. Five negroes, that were seized about the same time, were tried at Opelousas, in May last, by the same judge: he decided that some Spaniards (that were supposed to have set up a sham claim, stating that the negroes had been stolen from them on the high seas) should have the negroes, and that the personis that seized them should pay one half the costs, and the State of Louisiana the other. This decision had such an etfect as to render it almost impossible for me to obtain any assistance in that part of the country. There has been lately up the Bayou Nementou two schooners from Galveston; they sold a part of their cargoes,

and deposited the balance, and I could get no assistance to take them. I made two seizures of wine, a part of one of their cargoes, in the neighborhood of the Vermillion bridge, about 20 miles to the Westward of this place. I summoned assistance, a part of which refused to assist, a part deserted while guarding the property, and the balance, not being sufficiently strong to protect it, it was taken from them the ensuing night. The smugglers had forcibly prevented our removing the property in the day time.”


Port of Darien, July 5th, 1818. SIR: On the 14th March, I did myself the honor to address you on the subject of Africans illicitly introduced into the United States. Not being lavored with a reply, it may be proper for me to state, that, a demand being subsequently made, by the Executive of this State, for all such Africans in my possession, in compliance therewith, I delivered over to his agent ninety-one negroes.

I have the honor to be, &c.

W. I. MCINTOSH, Collector. The Honorable WILLIAM H. CRAWFORD,

Secretary of the Treasury.

Extract of a letter from the Collector of New Orleans to the Secretary

of the Treasury, dated April 17th, 1818. “It has been stated to me, on the authority of a letter to a respectable gentleman of this city, that there were three schooners lying in the river Mermentau, belonging to Commodore Aury's squadron, smuggling their cargoes on shore. The audacity of the piratical set, since they find GalVeston has not been, and, as they say, will not be, suppressed, knows no bounds. In order to keep them somewhat more in check, and to defeat their nefarious schemes, as far as in my power, until Government aid us with such force as it máy deem best suited to the purpose, I have determined to station an additional revenue boat and crews, with an active and enterprising officer, at and near Fort Śt. Philip, and to increase the crews of the boats at the Balize and Fort St. John. It will, I think, render their operations a little more difficult, and I confidently rely on your approbation. The additional expense can be no consideration. But no efforts of the officers of

customs alone can be effectual in preventing the introduction of Africans from the Westward: to put a stop to that traffic, a naval force, suitable to those waters, is indispensable, and vessels captured with slaves ought not to be brought to this port, but sent to some other in the United States, for adjudication. Enclosed you will also find an act passed by the Legislature of this State, respecting slaves imported in violation of the laws of Congress, of the 2d March, 1807. The object and policy of this law requires no comment from me. Vast numbers of slaves will be introduced to an alarming extent, unless prompt and effectual measures are adopted by the General Government.

“ The master of an American schooner from Havana reports, that he was offered a full freight of Africans for this river, which he refused.”


Port of Darien, March 14, 1818. Sir: I had ihe honor to address you per last mail, and to enclose you papers respecting 47 African negroes, taken, by the Surveyor of Darien, from one Jared E. Groce, on their way to the Alabama Territory, through the Indian nation, and 41 others at the Creek agency, from the negro houses of the agent for Indian affairs. It is a painful duty, sir, to express to you, that I am in possession of undoubted information, that African and West India negroes are almost daily illicitly introduced into Georgia, for sale or settlement, or passing through it to the Territories of the United States for similar purposes. These facts are notorious; and it is not unusual to see such negroes in the streets of St. Mary's, and such too, recently captured by our vessels of war, and ordered to Savannah, were illegally bartered by hun. dreds in that city, for this bartering or bonding (as it is called, but in reality selling,) actually took place before any decision had passed by the court respecting them. I cannot but again express to you, sir, that these irregularities and mocking of the laws, by men who understand them, and who, it was presumed, would have respected them, are such, that it requires the immediate interposition of Congress to effect a suppression of this traffic: for, as things are, should a faithful officer of Government apprehend such negroes, to avoid the penalties imposed by the laws, the proprietors disclaim them, and some agent of the Executive demands a delivery of the same to him, who may employ them as he pleases, or effect a sale by way of a bond for the restoration of the negroes when legally called on so to do; which bond, it is understood, is to be forfeited, as the amount of the bond is so much less than the value of the property. And again, sir, an officer disposed to perform his trust with fidelity, is placed at the mercy of the State: for, to carry the intention of the federal laws into execution, great expenses may be incurred, and for which, the State seems not to have made any provision; but has, by its own law of the last session of the Legislature, invested the Executive with the power of becoming a speculator on the exertions and integrity of such federal officers as feel the weight of their responsibility, and who are willing to perform their duty. For instance, sir: after much fatigue, peril, and expense, 88 Africans are seized and brought by the Surveyor to Darien; they are demanded immediately by the Governor's agents, notwithstanding the knowledge which his Excellency had, that these very

Africans were for some weeks within 60 miles of his Excellency's residence, (the seat of Government) there was no effort, no stir made by him, his agents, or subordinate State officers, to carry the laws into execution; but no sooner than it was understood that a seizure had been effected by an officer of the United States, a demand is made for them; and it is not difficult to perceive, by a compliance, that the very aggressors may, by a forfeiture of the mock bond, be again placed in possession of the smuggled property, at but little additional expense to him, but at the entire ruin of the officers who had executed with fidelity the laws they felt bound to observe. There are many negroes (independent of those mentioned as having been bartered in Savannah, &c. before any decision had passed respecting them) recently introduced into this State and the Alabama Territory, and which can be apprehended. The undertaking would be great; but, to be sensible that we shall possess your approbation, and that we are carrying the views and wishes of the Government into execution, is all we wish, and it shall be done, independent of every personal consideration.

I have, &c.

WM. I. MINTOSH, Oollector. The Hon. Wm. H. CRAWFORD,

Secretary of the Treasury.


Savannah, 25th November, 1817. SIR: I have the honor of informing you that the schooner Tentativa, reported to be under Spanish colors, with one hundred and twenty-eight slaves on board, was brought into this port on the 19th instant, by a part of the crew of the United States' vessel the Saranac, John H. Elton, commander, having been captured by said vessel, and, at the time, abandoned by her crew. The Tentativa has been libelled by the proctor for the captors; and the slaves, by order of the court, delivered over to the proctor for the captors and the Collector of this port, to be taken care of by them until demanded by the competent authority: this order was procured by the proctor for the captors, with a view of preserving the lives of the slaves, they

eing destitute of provisions and clothing, and must have perished had they been longer at sea. Four of them have already died, but the remaining part of them have been so disposed of as to ensure comfort to them for the present. Under the order of court, and the influence of humanity, it appears to be my duty to interest myself for the sufferers; and having an estate near the city, I inquired of my agent how many of these people he could accommodate with house-room, and, upon his statement, I have taken possession of forty in number, all of whom I have clothed, and shall continue otherwise to succor, until demanded by the competent authority.

I have, &c.

A. S. BULLOCK, Collector. The Honorable WM. H. CRAWFORD,

Secretary of the Treasury.

Extract of a letier from the Deputy Collector of Nova Iberia, to the Se

cretary of the Treasury, dated September 27th, 1818.

"On the 8th day of July last, Captain Amelung, with eighteen of his mpany, agreed to go with me to the Bayou Nementou, to suppress smuggling. On the day and succeeding night after our arrival there, we took thirteen prisoners that came armed to support smugglers, &c. The next day we took one of their vessels; set some hands to work in repairing her, and Captain Amelung returned to Nova Iberia for the balance of his company, returned with them, and we proceeded on with twenty-five men to the Bayou Cureuseau. On our arrival there we made more prisoners; seized three African negroes, two vessels, and part of their cargoes. Runners had been sent ahead of us, and five or six vessels run out of the Bayou a few days prior to our arrival there. A large number of African negroes had been on that bayou, eighty of which left there a short time before our arrival, and about twenty passed us the night before we arrived. We proceed. ed down the Cureuseau, and came round to the Bayou Nementou. Captain Amelung furnished me with a lieutenant and eighteen men, and returned by land to Nova Iberia with the balance of his company. We proceeded with the vessels down the Nementou; met a fellucca, commanded by one of Lafitte's captains, off the mouth of the Bayou. The captain took us for smugglers; we got him on board of one of our vessels, and, notwithstanding his directing his men in French, when he left his own vessel, to cut their cable if he did not return with the boat, run downour boat, and kill every man on board, we buarded her after they cut their cable, and took her without the loss of

Her cargo consists of coffee, cocoa, refined wax for candles, oil, dry goods, and about 10,000 lbs. of quicksilver. I arrived here yesterday, having suffered much. During the line storm we lost three anchors, sprung one mast, carried away our yards and sails. I left the vessels in the Vermillion bay; shall start immediately to bring them round to this place. If there was one small cutter on this coast she would be of great service.

one man.


Savannah, 22d May, 1817. Sır: I have just received information from a source on which I can implicitly rely, that it has already become the practice to introduce into the State of Georgia, across the St. Mary's river, from Amelia island, East Florida, Africans, who have been carried into the port of Fernandina, subsequent to the capture of it by the Patriot army now in possession of it.

As this species of traffic may be carried on for an indefinite period of time, without the interposition of Government, I have deemed it my duty to give you the earliest advice of it.

Immediately after the receipt of your letter of the 19th March last, I instructed Captain Smith to cruize with the cutter to the Southward as far as St. Mary's bar, with a view of preventing the landing of such people on the seaboard; but it is not in his power to guard the St. Mary's, which is the route for the introduction of them. It becomes more necessary for a guard to be organized by Government, as this State has never legislated on the subject of the importation of slaves. Were the Legislature to pass an act giving compensation, in some mariner, to informers, it would have a tendency in a great degree to prevent the practice; as the thing now is, no citizen will take the trouble of searching for and detecting the slaves. I further understand that the evil will not be confined altogether to Africans, but will be extended to the worst class of West India slaves.

I am, &c.

A. S. BULLOCK, Collector. The Hon. Wu. H. CRAWFORD,

Secretary of the Treasury.

ary next.


October 7th, 1818. Sir: It is understood that Judge Webb, one of the Judges of the Territory, has resigned. Permit me, Sir, to suggest the importance of an early appointment to the vacancy, in order that the person appointed might be present at the next session of the General Court, on the first Monday of Janu

There are now pending before that court a number of cases of very great importance to the public interest, particularly those of the three vessels, their cargoes, and upwards of one hundred slaves.

I hope the Attorney of the United States has informed the Treasury Department of the proceedings of the court in these cases; not having seen him since, I have not attempted a statement of proceedings, to me so very strange. This, however, appears certain, that the vessels and cargoes and the slaves have been delivered on bonds, the former to the owners, and the slaves to three other persons. The grand jury found true bills against the owners of the vessels, masters, and a supercargo-all of whom are discharged; why or wherefore, I cannot say, except that it could not be for want of proof against them.

It is certainly a matter of great importance that these cases be stamped with the full force of the law, to prevent future importations. Two of the vessels were cleared at Havana for New Orleans, and one for this port; and all American registered vessels, the former at New Orleans, the latter at this port.

Perhaps the magnitude and importance of these cases would render it expedient to employ additional counsel, in aid of the United States’ Attorney, as he will be opposed by able lawyers from New Orleans. Should you deem this proper, be pleased, Sir, to direct the sum which may be allowed.

I have the honor to be, &c.

ADDIN LEWIS, Collector. The Hon. W. H. CRAWFORD,

Secretary of the I'reasury.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 6th, 1820. Sir: In obedience to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 31st December last, requiring the Secretary of the Navy to furnish copies of such communications as he may have received since 1816, and such information as he may possess, in relation to the introduction of slaves into the United States, with a statement of the measures adopted to prevent the same, I have the honor to transmit sundry extracts of letters, numbered 1 to 4, in

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