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From the New York Commercial Advertiser.
OUR AFRICAN TRADE. The seizure of the brig Tigris, of Salem, by her Britanic Majesty's brig Waterwitch, on the coast of Africa, under some real or imaginary pretext of being engaged in the Slave Trade, her arrival at Boston, and the subsequent prosecution of Capt. Free and his crew for an alleged criminal offence, have very naturally and justly awakened public attention to this matter, and induced much inquiry into the legality of these proceedings on the one part, and the consequence of tolerating them on the other, 'The ground of accusation against Captain Frye, when closely scrutinized, appears trifling enough; certainly altogether loo slight for such momentous results, . 10 him and his owners, as have followed in its train. . If he violated any law of the United States, or of nations, he appears to have done it quite unwittingly. He is charged, in substance, with having on board his vessel a native Asrican boy, now alleged to be a slave, and to have been hired from some: person claiming to be his owner. If the charge is true the act of Captain Frye would seem to belong rather to the category of abolition than of slavery offences, for he certainly has brought one slave to liberty. The moment the boy touched the deck of the Tigris he became free. He was removed from beyond the control of his owner, and it will hardly be pretended or imagined that Captain Frye harbored any design of bringing a slave to Salem, in old Massachusetts, and retaining him there in slavery. No more effectual mode of emancipating him, if he was a slave, could be devised, than the receiving him on board the Tigris and bringing him to New England.
American vessels—and English vessels too, for that matter;-have long been in the habit of replacing or adding to their crews at any port in Europe, India, South America, the Sandwich Islands, &c. whenever death, deser. tion or other cause rendered that proceeding necessary. Whalers ship ad. ditional hands, native or foreign, at almost every island in the Pacific, with. out regard to color of skin or straightness of hair; and vessels of all, nations touching upon the coast of Africa, make a regular practice of ein ploying na. tives to assist in loading and unloading cargo, or any other duty that may be in hand. These men generally come alongside in their own bọais, as soon as a vessel arrives, eagerly seeking for employment, and some are almost invariably engaged. Whether they are slaves or freemen the captain neither knows nor inquires. What concerns him most is the relief afforded to his own crew, and their greater security from disease, afforded by this transferring of their labor to nalive auxiliaries. The employment, moreover, yields a welcome compensation to the natives. It remains to be seen what equivalent is given them for its loss by the interference of British conimanders and lieutenants, who seize the vessels, turn the crews ashore to die, imprison the captains, and send ship and cargo to Sierra Leone for condem, nation, or quite as effectually break up the voyages by sending them home to the United States in ballast.
The former was the case with the ship Seamew, Captain BRIANT, also belonging to the owners of the Tigris, reported a few days since by Captain Taylor, of the brig Waverly. She was seized on the coast by the Persian, the crew lest on shore, and Captain Briant earried off to Sierra Leone, a prisoner on board his own vessel. She had on board 1400 bags of coffee, some other African produce, and the unsold portion of her outward cargo. The cause of seizure, whatever it might be, was so slight that the Court at Sierra Leone refused to take cognizance of it, and she sailed from Sierra Leone in company with the Waverly, bound, as was supposed, to that part of the coast where she was seized, in order to be there given up to Capiain Briant. But in the mean tiine her crew may have died or dispersed, no one
knows whither. If an opportunity of leaving the coast presented itsell, no doubt they took advantage of it, and in that case Captain Bryant would be obliged to ship a new crew of real slavers, who perhaps would take the first chance of running away with the vessel and converting her into a slave trader or a pirate; or of native blacks, in which case he would perhaps be again seized by some English cruiser; or he might let his ship lie at anchor and send home for a crew, the cost of which would be much the same as that of making the whole voyage. During this delay all the perishable portions of his cargo would be ruined, others more or less injured, the voyege broken up, and the owners subjected to heavy loss instead of reaping any profit from their adventure.
Captain Taylor also reports having left at Sierra Leone the bark Jones of New York, liberated, there being no proof of her having engaged in any
il. legal traffic; she was lying there “in charge of a shipkeeper only.” This vessel was seized by the Dolphin, English brig of war, at St. Helena—. not on the coast of Africa-on the 15th of September, and sailed on the 17th for Sierra Leone, in charge of a prize master and crew from the Dolphin, having on board the mate, cook and steward as passengers, and leaving at St. Helena the captain and supercargo, while the crew were transferred to the Dolphin as prisoners. No allegation of slaving was made in this case--110 cause of seizure was stated—nor would the commander of the Dolphin pay any attention to the remonstrances or inquiries of the captain, consignee, or American consul. Our first accounts were that the Jones had been seized on false information given by the mate and cook—both since dead—but Captain Taylor reports that she was brought to Sierra Leone, " because the captain would not exhibit her papers.”
Had the commander of the Dolphin any right to demand an inspection of these papers ? And even if he had, was the refusal to show them any legal ground of capture? The Jones was not at sea, be it remembered, but in a British port, where she had been lying twenty days, landed and sold a part of her outward cargo and taken in another. It is presumable that her invoice was at the office of the consignee, her manifest at the Custom House, and her register, crew.list and other papers at the American consulate-for so the law and custom of the port require. If any of her papers were informal the defect would doubtless have been noticed and remedied in the proper quarter; and if the British commander had made application in that quarter he might have abundantly gratified his curiosity, or quieted his suspicions.
It is very probable that the captain had no papers to show when called on; but even if he had them in possession, and was wrong in refusing to exhibit them, the penalty of his offence surely ought not to be a virtual confiscation of vessel and cargo. This would be to visit the punishment of his offence upon the owners, who were not only innocent but absent.
Suppose the captain of a British merchant vessel, lying in the port of New York, were summoned to exhibit his papers by the captain of a revenue cutter-the answer a negative or an evasion, even accompanied with insolence--would the commander be justified in seizing the vessel and send. ing her off to Liberia, leaving the captain to kick his heels about our streets, and the crew prisoners on board the cutter? Such would be nothing more than a parallel to the case of the Jones.
The almost simultaneous seizure of the Jones, Seamew, and Tigris, by the Dolphin, Waterwich, and Persian, has given rise to strong suspicions that the commanders of the latter have acted under instructions from the British Government, and that the motive is to be found in the expediency of breaking up the American trade on the case of Africa. This trade is much' more extensive and valuable than people in general know or imagine. The iwo houses that own the Seamew, Tigris, and Jones have been engaged in it twelve years, and have imported into Salem and New York 800,000 pounds of ivory, which has been sold for $900,000, and coffee, hides, gum and other articles of African production to the amount of a million more ; all purchased with the proceeds of outward cargoes, vinety per cent of which have been articles of American production and manufacture.
The manufacture of ivory in the United States consumes almost the whole import of the article, and gives employment to some seven hundred workmen. "Most of the articles made are cheaper and better than can be found in Europe, forming an important article of export, and competing successfully in any foreign market where they can be introduced on equal terms. Ivory is ob. tained, except in small quantities, from no other quarter of the world than Africa ; and if the American trade on the African coast is broken up, our manufacturers will become dependent on England for their supplies of the material; of course they will not have the choice of the market as to quality, they will have to pay higher prices, and the fabric will at once be deteriorated in value and enhanced in cost, to the ruin of our export for the supply of foreign demand, and eventually the introduction of foreign supply to our own market.
Such is thought by some to be the real object of these repeated seizures: the object avowed is 10 vindicate the honor of the American flag which is unlawfully assumed by foreigners to cover their nefarious traffic in slaves: but when did it become a conceded principle that other nations might at pleasure take upon themselves the office of vindicating our flag?
It is undoubtedly the duty of our Government to see that the flag of the United States streams from the halyard of no slaver; but if the American government neglects that duty, it is the right of the American people to remedy the wrong—not of British cruizers. Apparent sanction of the Slave Trade, through Executive negligence, is undoubtedly a cause of loud complaint ; but still more loudly to be deprecated, more sternly resisted, is the assumption by any foreign government, of the right to exercise authority in the administration of our laws or the fulfilment of our duties.
EXTINCTION OF THE SLAVE TRADE. The following is the concluding part of the speech of the Rev. R. MONT GOMERY, at Glasgow, on the 24th of September :
“In connexion with this period, however, we cannot forget the name of Thomas CLARKSON. And here, my Lord, how deeply interesting it is, to
, mark the ways in which the God of wonders often connects moral influ; ences together !--At the time to which we now allude, Clarkson carried off the Chancellor's Prize Essay, for that year in Cambridge, the subject of which was connected with slavery. It was after reading this essay in the Senate House, while on his way to London, that the awful statements and appalling facts contained in his essay, returned on his mind with double force; and in one of these mournsul reveries, in which the high mysteries of our nature come so strangely into action, he sat down on the green turf by the roadside, and pondered deeply and sadly on the wrongs of Africa !-and there was formed, my Lord, that magnificent resolution, which, as a germ, contained all the energies and principles which he thereafter brought to bear on the cause of abolition. It occurred to him that if the essay were true, the cause must be tremendous, and called for instant aid; and to connect with this reverie the fact that, in a few years after this, the curse of slavery was rolled off from myriads of the human race! (Cheers.) But, my Lord, we now hasten with many apologies for this protracted harangue to introduce the venerable name of CLARKSON's great coadjutor, even that of WILLIAM WILBERFORCE. (Cheers.) And is it too imaginative, or rather is it not becoming this temple, dedicated to the sublime impressions of eternity, to think, that if the holy dead can recognize the conduct of the living, that patriarch of liberty, whose spirit now brightens before that throne, may be permitted to gaze on this assembly, and wast a blessing on that cause on earth, the trophies of which he remembers in heaven !- But here, my Lord, we need not linger; the character and conduct of WILBERFORce requires neither eulogy nor history; they form part and parcel of our national sym. pathies. We would simply remind the meeting that although associated with WILBERFORCE, were those giants of intellect, Pitt, Fox, and BURKE, -it was only after innumerable delays, cabals and conspiracies, that WilBERFORCE succeeded in carrying his glorious measure, and as the chime struck midnight in May, 1807, the last act of the GRENVILLE administration was, to sign and seal the "Magna Charta for Africa in Britain."
And now, my Lord, from this hurried retrospect of past exertions, we turn to the future, and ask, What remains to be done!-and what is our corresponding duty? Our reply is, let the past instruct the present, and front the triumphs of what has been effected, let us reason hopefully to what may be achieved.
And this suggests an allusion to WILBERFORCE in the way of encouragement. Now, what is it that demands our chief admiration in contemplating the career of this eminent man? Why, my Lord, we do not hesitate to remark, while the result of his labors has been duly lauded, the moral process whereby that consummation was reached, bas scarcely yet been sufficiently admired. Here, just as in the history of struggling intellect, when the palms are won, and the laurel binds the fevered brow of triumphant genius—the voice of fame is loud and long; yet all the solitude and sorrows, all the waste of heart and wear of mind, all the toilsome days and sleepless nights, are seldom estimated. So in the career of WILBERForce's philanthropy-his success has been nobly congratulated; but the heroic self-denial, and all the high elements of patient zeal, and fortitude which he evinced throughout his arduous and protracted fight, against the world's antagonism, are too often unremembered in an estimate of what is great and good in his history. With this great man, indeed we may assent, that the energy of opposing circumstances ouly served to draw forth the energy of victorious principle. So, iny Lord, from some green eminence in this romantic land, have I oft beheld with delighted gaze the galant bark, contending nobly with the winds and waves around it at times amid the darkening heavens and the uprising billows, the bark would seem to sink and disappear—but when the sunbeam came through the riven cloud, and flashed along the deep,—there was the little bark-bearing on to the har. bor, where at length it arrived, and dried its dripping sails in the sun. So ainid all the clashing waves and contending winds of opposition did Wil. BERFORCE, with never-sailing heroism, carry forward the sacred cause of human freedom, and bear it finally unwrecked and uninjured into the haven of a vation's welcoming siniles!--My Lord, be it for us now, who are on the eve of following out his glorious precedent, to remember, that with WICHERFORCE, success was neither the molive nor standard' of duty; and that (under the Divine blessing) he was indebted for his costly triumph in the cause of humanity, to a fine combination of unquailing principles, set in motion by indomitable resolution. Be a spirit like this, our inspiration now! By combining prayer 10 God, with exertion towards man, let us inarch forward to meet the holy cause, that now demands all our energy, prudence, and zeal. And, so inay the period soon arrive, when the spirisa
of divinest freedom shall inspire the hearts, purify the homes, and exalt the characters of Africa's now degraded offspring; when, not a limb that moves within her vast domain but shall be found as feiterless as man was made to be! And then, my Lord, visions fairer than christian patriot ever concieved, nobler than painting ever sketched,' and richer than poetry ever drew, shall be realized and seen ; and the land where Tertullian penned his buri ing page, and Cyprian died the martyr's death, shall awake from thc dark slumber of a thousand years of ignorance, slavery and crime, and more than rival what it once possessed, when Egypt was the cradle of science, the seminary of art, and the birthplace of literature. (Great Cheering.) And why? because, my Lord, Africa may have that which imparis to science its enobling strength, to art, its presiding beauty, and to literature, its sanctifying life and glory,-even that which heightens the moral lustre round the throne,-"being glory to God in the highesi,"—while at the same time it awakens peace on earth, and good will to men”-éven the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Yes, my Lord, it is because this Society recognizes that great verity, for which we should all be ready to bleed on the block, and to burn in the flame--viz. that Christianity, and Christianity alone, is the conservatrix of liberty, and the true reformer of the world, -it is on this account, my Lord, pre-eminently, I would give this Society my very cordial though insignificant support. For is the Son shall make the Africans free, they shall be free indeed. (Cheers.) And now, where savage waters wind their lone course-unwhitened by a single sail-there may commerce lift her thousand signals, streaming in the gale; instead of forest depths, where the tiger preys, and the lion howls,—there may the thronged city, the busy wharf, the crowded street be hereafter seen, with all the glow of commercial life and the grace of social advancement; and instead of the war-whoop of contending tribes, the tyrant's lash, the clank of chains, and thraldom's bitter sigh-there may be heard the voice of prayer, the sound of praise, and the sweet music of the "church going” bell. (Applause.) My Lord, the cold head and the calculating heart may pro-, nounce this to be mere poetry—but He who ruleth on high, may in mercy render it prediction! And, therefore, in conclusion, I most warmly anticipate the time when the energies of Scotland, England, and Ireland, will be found condensed into one high, magnificent, and holy enterprise-for carrying out the principles of this Society, and for putting down that consummate treason against God and man-slave trade. (Cheers.)
Yes! soon may that vessel be launched, from whose deck the voice of this united empire will proclaim the commencing jubilee of Afric's glorious freedom, and the termination of her shameful wrongs for
“Thus saith Britania, empress of the sea,
AFRICAN Mission. The shipment of the necessary supplies and specie fur the support of the African mission now calls for about $3500. This sum, it will be seen, has been borrowed, until the amount can be obtained from the future income of this department. The urgency of this appeal will be appreciated by those who desire to see the missions of our church to this benighted land, liberally sustained. Are there not motives enough at the present encouraging period to animate the members of the Church at farge, in so promising an effort for Africa ? Lise has been preserved—the first difficalties overcome the labors of the missionaries have been signally blessed---new stations have been opened for these labors, and the earnesi plea of the brethren is that inore missionaries may join them. Are they to