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the West Africa settlements of a high duty upon rum and tobacco, imported there from foreign countries. Mr. Bartlett complains that the duty in question was imposed without reasonable notice being given, and alleges that at the time it took effect he had certain vessels on said coast with cargoes of before-mentioned articles, upon which ho sustained great loss, by reason of the sudden imposition of said duty.

The papers are respectfully referred to you for such action as you may deem proper. I am, &c.,



[Inclosure 1, with dispatch of June 7, 1873.]

Mr. Bartlett to Mr. Richardson.

BOSTON, June 5, 1873.

ESTEEMED FRIEND: You have been so kind to send me statements of the condition of your finances, which show a gradual reduction beyond what could be expected with the increased expenses of carrying on, and it looks now you have matters on a good basis.

I have a matter come up on the coast of Africa which, if carried out, would prove very disastrous.

The English government some few years since made a purchase from the Dutch, by exchange of territory and cash, of certain towns on the Gold Coast. During the last four months the Ashantees have been at war with the Fantees, living in the so-called English settlements, of which the object is to get a foothold in Elmina. Before the English got possession of Elmina and other towns, the Dutch paid the king of Ashantee a certain annuity, but since the English have ruled they have stopped this subsidy, which is a part reason of the war.

In 1867 the English commenced agitating the duty, and gave notice of a duty of 6d. (sixpence) per gallon on rum, to commence one year from notice. Last year they put on one shilling on rum, and one penny per pound on tobacco. Both were more than the natives could pay, and this last was done without notice.

During the month of April, 1873, (this year,) the administrator, without any notice, called his council together and made the duty two shillings and sixpence (2s. 6d.) per gallon on rum, and on tobacco sixpence (6d.) per pound, which is about sixty (60) cents per gallon on rum, and twelve (12) cents per pound on tobacco.

At this time I had four vessels on the coast with cargoes averaging nearly full, and have one here just ready to leave. This duty puts an embargo on the whole, and my grievances are that if proper notice had been given, as is customary, I should not have been liable to this loss, which, under the present duty, will be disastrous.

General Butler is here, and Judge Russell thought he would interest himself, and with you see if the matter could not be brought before the home government, to allow time for such an event, as with this duty the government will not gain, but lose; besides injuring the commerce. My whole business is now at a stand-still on the coast, and what is done, you see, should be at once, as my interest is suffering, and will be until some relief is given, and if you will be kind enough to help the matter along you will be doing me great service.

Allow me, &c.,


I have sent a printed copy of the ordinance to Judge Russell, who will forward it to Washington to-day.

[Inclosure No. 2, with dispatch June 7.]

Collector Russell to Mr. Butler.

Collector's Office, June 5, 1873.

DEAR GENERAL: The exporters of rum, having been saved once by your efforts, call on yon again, as you will see by the inclosed. Mr. Bartlett is a most worthy man, and an intimate friend of Secretary Richardson.

Yours, very truly,



[Inclosure No. 3, with dispatch of June 7; being also an inclosure of Mr. Bartlett's dispatch to Gen eral Butler.]

Mr. Bartlett to Mr. Russell.

BOSTON, June 5, 1873.

DEAR SIR: Our merchants trading at ports on the Gold Coast, West Coast of Africa, are being seriously interfered with and damaged by the action of the representatives of the English government at the so-called "West Africa Settlemnets."

Their action at the present time amounts to an embargo on trade, and if allowed to proceed will involve the loss of a large amount of property to the American merchants trading at these ports, and put an end to the American trade.

The trouble is caused by the passing of an ordinance, a copy of which I herewith inclose, placing excessive duties on all importations.

This ordinance was passed without giving any warning to the people in the settlements, or to those engaged in trade there, and as will be seen, was to take effect on and after its passage; and at that time there were on the coast seven American vessels with their outward cargoes and parts of cargoes on board, viz, the ships Susan L. Fitzgerald and Sea-Gull, barks Manchester, Speedwell, Dawn, Wheatland, and Roebuck, having on board in the neighborhood of 387,000 gallons rum and 123 hogsheads leaf-tobacco, on which the duty, as assessed, would amount to about $265,000 gold; besides which, when the news was received here, the barks Sterling and Albertina had sailed from this port, having on board 42 hogsheads tobacco, and about 140,500 gallons rum, and the bark Star King, now loaded with 21 hogsheads tobacco and about 75,000 gallons rum, was loading, and as the cargo in its present condition is unsalable in this market, she must be sent to meet a positive loss.

The action of the government on the Gold Coast is unwarrantable and unjust, and since the cession of the Dutch possessions to the English government in 1833, their whole aim seems to have been to ruin the American trade and the merchants engaged therein.

The first commencement was the levying of a duty, to take effect on the 1st of January, 1868, of a sixpence sterling per gallon on rum, and no duty on any other goods, of which they were kind enough to give a year's warning; after which, between the 1st and 19th of April, 1872, they put on a duty of one shilling per gallon, on rum, and one penny per pound on tobacco, and as, by the great exertions of the natives who met this duty and impoverished themselves, it was overcome, they have now again without warning raised the duty to the present tariff, as per inclosed ordinance, which amounts to an embargo, and threatens not only ruin to the trade, but the loss of a large amount of property now in Africa and on its way there.

The duty is payable in coin, of which but little finds its way to the settlements, and consequently it would be impossible for the natives to meet the duties even were they possessed of enough means in other kinds of property.

The English officials in Africa pretend the necessity of the present tariff on account of the prevailing so-called Ashantee war, which has been brought about by the cession of the Dutch ports to the English, as the Dutch government formerly paid an annuity to the King of Ashantee on account of their possessions, which the English, since taking possession, have failed to do.

The Dutch, when in possession, levied no duties, but the moment the English came into control, our troubles began and have continued to the present fatal position.

It does not appear that the duties which have heretofore been collected have been used for the benefit of the natives, but only as a revenue to the English government, and have been a steady drain on the country.

Cannot this matter be brought before the Secretary of State and something be immediately done to relieve our inerchants from their present embarrassed position? Your obedient servant,

No. 1.]




In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. Robert William Harley, C. B., administrator-in-chief of the West Africa Settlements [17th April, 1873.]

At a legislative council held in the Palaver Hall, Cape Coast Castle, on the seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-three. AN ORDINANCE to make further provision for the service of the settlement during the current year

Whereas it has become necessary to make further provision for carrying on the service of this settlement during the current year, and with that object to alter temporarily the duties of customs upon the several articles herein mentioned,

Be it therefore enacted by the administrator-in-chief and legislative council of the settlement on the Gold Coast, as follows:

I. From and after the passing of this ordinance the duties specified in the Schedule A hereof, shall be due and payable on the import or removal from bond of the articles therein mentioned, into any part of Her Majesty's possessions on the Gold Coast: Provided that no duties shall be payable on wines or spirituous liquors, or tobacco removed from bond, for transshipment beyond the settlement.

The articles specified in Schedule B hereof shall be exempted from duty.

II. The value of goods on which ad-valorem duty shall be charged shall be ascertained from the invoice-prices of the goods at their ports of shipment:

Provided that if it should appear to the collector, or sub-collector, or other customofficer, on sufficient information, that the invoice-price is not truly stated, or that any false or fraudulent statement has been made, as to any goods imported with intent to defraud, such goods shall be forfeited.

III. All goods which may be forfeited in terms of the last preceding section shall be sold under directions from the administrator, and the money arising from the sale shall be paid, one moiety into the colonial treasury, and the other moiety to the informer giving information which shall have led to any such forfeitures.

IV. It shall be lawful for the administrator to remit the whole or part of the duties chargeable on any gunpowder or fire-arms imported by any native king or chief of the protectorate, or which he is satisfied has been sold to any such king or chief for defensive purposes.

V. This ordinance shall cease and determine on the thirty-first day of December, one thonsand eight hundred and seventy-three, whereupon the "revised-tariff ordinance, 1872" shall eo ipso revive and come into full operation.

VI. This ordinance may be cited as the "customs-tariff ordinance, 1873."

Passed in the legislative council this seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-three.

I assent in the name of Her Majesty.

CAPE COAST CASTLE, April 18, 1873.

Acting Clerk of Council.

R. W. HARLEY, Colonel, Administrator-in-Chief.

I certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the original ordinance deposited in the record office.

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On all other goods of every kind an ad-valorem duty of ten per cent. on the invoiceprice.


Corn, rice, and grain; meal and flour of every kind; biscuits; fresh, salted, and preserved meats, and fish, live stock.

Books and newspapers.

British coins, and other coins in the 'settlement.

Passengers' luggage.


Packages in which goods are usually imported.

General Butler to Mr. Fish.

WASHINGTON, June 8, 1873. (Received June 9.) SIR: Inclosed I send to the State Department a copy of a letter to the Hon. Thomas Russell, collector of the port of Boston, from one of our successful and best merchants, in relation to the action of the British officials on the coast of Africa, imposing tariffs upon merchandise there in contravention of the commonest rights, and as it seems to me, from my limited knowledge upon the subject, without due authority. You will observe from the statements of the letter, to which most implicit credence

may be given, that very large American interests are being thus sacrificed to the supposed necessities of an Ashantee war. I believe, after reading the communication, duplicate of which has been referred to the State Department by the honorable the Secretary of the Treasury, you will have no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that the resources of diplomacy, most energetically applied, should be brought into requisition in this behalf.

I have, &c.,


[For inclosure, see Mr. Bartlett to Mr. Russell, p. 380.]

Mr. Brooks to General Butler.

BOSTON, June 6, 1873.

DEAR SIR: Referring to a letter handed you yesterday by Collector Russell, written by Mr. Matthew Bartlett, a copy of which I herewith inclose, I have to request that if there is any way the matter can be presented to the English government so that it will afford relief to our merchants engaged in trade with the people of the Gold Coast, West Africa, that you will have the kindness to bring all possible influence to bear. The matter is a very serious one to me, having the whole of my property invested in vessels and cargoes now there and on the way.

The English government officials on the Gold Coast have been and are constantly doing all in their power to kill off what little American trade there is left, and the present action in placing equal to an embargo on the trade seems, to say the least, very unjust. I am not sufficiently well informed whether anything under the circumstances could be done by the administration that would prove of benefit, but am satisfied that if you can see any chance to help us you will, as you always have, do all that can be done. I have, &c.,

No. 408.]


No. 168.

Mr. Fish to General Schenck.

Washington, June 21, 1873.

SIR: It is understood that the Japanese government has officially proposed to the government of His Majesty the King of Italy a provisional arrangement on the following basis:

1st. Italians may circulate freely in the interior of the empire on condition that, on leaving the limits of the consul's jurisdiction, they shall be under the protection and jurisdiction of the territorial authorities, as is the practice in all the countries of Europe.

2d. For this purpose Italians of good character shall individually obtain passports from the minister of foreign affairs and through their own authorities.

3d. In case Italians or their property suffer damage, the Italian gov ernment shall have the right to demand reparation in accordance with Japanese laws; but the government shall not interfere in any affairs until the Italian subjects have employed all means in their power to procure justice before Japanese tribunals, and there has been, in cases where there existed no reasonable doubt, an evident refusal of justice. 4th. The government of Japan engages that in case of criminal judg ment to be given against Italians, they shall not be subjected to corporal punishment.

I am informed unofficially, that the proposal, though entertained for a time by Mr. Visconti, is not at present favorably considered by him, and that it is by no means certain that the proposal will be accepted. There may be special reasons why Italians should seek free access to the parts of the interior of Japan where the egg of the silk-worm is prepared for export, could this be done without affecting the position. of other foreigners in Japan. The President might look without disfavor on efforts in this direction to gratify them; but it is impossible to shut the eyes to the fact that there is a large party in Japan who regard the ex-territorial right, now possessed by the treaty powers, as a denial of the independence of Japan, and who, availing themselves of aid from any quarter, in shaking them off, will regard the proposed arrangement as a step in that direction. Thus, though it is true that any advantages gained to Italians in this respect must inure, under the provisions of existing treaties, to those of our countrymen who may desire to avail themselves thereof, yet the President is forced to consider the wider question, whether justice is administered in Japan with certainty, equity, firmness, and celerity, and on the basis of such principles of jurisprudence common to Europe and America, as may warrant the surrender of the defensive rights which we now possess.

Japan has had no firmer friend than the United States; no one more ready than we to recognize her rightful autonomy. But, on a candid review of the situation, the President is forced to the conclusion that it is not yet safe to surrender to the local authorities the guaranteed rights of ex-territoriality. We have not such knowledge of the administration of justice in that kingdom, and of the means for the protection of the liberties and rights of foreigners, as would justify such surrender at this time. It appears to us, also, that the welfare, safety, and the interests of all foreigners in Japan are at the present dependent, in a large degree, upon the unity of action and of policy of all the treaty powers, and that the acceptance by any one of those powers of privileges for its own citizens, which may be proposed as an inducement to separate that state from the other treaty powers, in the policy which has heretofore been common to all, would tend to the serious discomfort of all the powers in their future relations with Japan, and would weaken their position in the negotiations which must soon be entered into for the revision of the treaties.

You are therefore instructed to seek an interview with Earl Granville, at which you will communicate to him verbally these views of the President, and will say that Mr. Marsh and Mr. Bingham will be instructed in this sense, and you will endeavor to have similar instructions transmitted to the British minister at Rome and at Japan. Should the government of Great Britain desire to suggest any different action to effect the desired object, you will report it for consideration. But as at present advised, separate instructions and action would appear to be suffi cient.

Instructions identical with these (mutatis mutandis) are sent to Mr. Washburne, Mr. Bancroft and Mr. Gorham.

I am, &c.,


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