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195. Consul Forbes to Lord J. Russell. May 11 Correspondence

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No. 2.-Consul Foote to Lord J. Russell.-(Received March 14.) (Extract.)

Lagos, February 4, 1861.

HAVING good reason to believe that several of the Sierra Leone emigrants resident at Lagos not only held slaves, but purchased, bartered, and traded in them, I posted up in a conspicuous place at the entrance of my office a notice requiring all British subjects to


present themselves at this Consulate for enrolment in the Consular register.

Up to this moment not one Sierra Leone emigrant has presented himself.

I accordingly deemed it expedient to issue another public notice of which the inclosure is a copy, further fixing a period for the said enrolment; also informing these emigrants and others claiming British protection, that I shall withhold the protection of my flag from all claiming such protection, who may either hold, deal in, purchase, or barter slaves.

I have also directed the Clerk of the Court to refuse to entertain for trial any case brought for entry, where the plaintiff, being a British subject or under British protection, may either be a slaveholder, or directly or indirectly connected with the trade.

The foregoing, in the case of coloured British subjects, will cast them completely under the rule of the king, and I believe will be the means of eventually checking an inhuman and barbarous custom, which is a still greater outrage when perpetrated by the very individuals who have themselves escaped from a cruel bondage, after entailing a heavy cost of life and treasure upon Her Majesty's Government.

Lord J. Russell.



British Consulate, Lagos, February 4, 1861. NOTWITHSTANDING that due notice has been posted up at this Consulate requiring all persons claiming British protection to repair to this Consulate to register their names, the requisition has not yet been complied with.

The Undersigned, therefore, again repeats that he will not recognize or protect in any difficulties or suits whatsoever, such as neglect or refuse to make application to be enrolled, and that the 28th day of February is the utmost limit of time the Undersigned can allow for the completion of such enrolment.

The Undersigned further gives notice that, upon the completion of said list, a copy will be transmitted to King Docemo, in order that the King may distinguish between such coloured persons as may be subject to his rule, and those who are entitled to British protection.

The Undersigned further gives both British subjects and such coloured persons as may be temporarily under British protection, fully to understand that such as deal or trade in, purchase, sell, barter, or transfer slaves or persons intended to be dealt with as slaves, or who have become security for the loan or advance, or contract for the lending or advancing money, goods, or effects

employed, or to be employed, in accomplishing any contract in relation to the trading in or holding slaves, shall not be considered as entitled to British protection, nor can they under any circumstances appeal for aid or assistance from this Consulate.


No. 6.-Consul Foote to Lord J. Russell.-(Received April 10.) MY LORD, Lagos, March 9, 1861.

I HAVE the honour to inclose the accompanying copy of a despatch sent to me by the Alake of Abbeokuta, in which the Alake denies having agreed to any Treaty by which the whole of the lands of the Egbas, as far as they extend, are open to American coloured emigrants.

I have lost no time in forwarding the copy of the Alake's despatch, as it is of importance that the African Aid Association, who are greatly interested in the colonization of this part of Africa, should be made acquainted with the facts in connection with the scheme of Messrs. Campbell and Delany.

Lord J. Russell.

I have, &c.


(Inclosure.)—The Alake of Abbeokuta to Consul Foote.

Abbeokuta, March 4, 1861.

THE Alake and Chiefs send their respects to you, and wishing you a good health.

The Alake and Chiefs having learnt that Dr. Delany and Mr. Campbell, two American coloured men, who came to Abbeokuta last year and returned back to America, on their reaching home, published in newspaper to this effect, that the Alake and Chiefs signed a Treaty with them on their request. In that newspaper, the Alake and Chiefs do understand were printed, that the whole lands belonging to the Egbas as far as they extend, are open to them, and they are at liberty, at any time, to go wherever they please and form a colony.

The Alake and Chiefs declare that this is a downright fabrication, and that they signed no Treaty, but that the Alake granted Dr. Delany and Mr. Campbell's request to make farms is true, as will be seen as follows:

Ake, Abbeokuta, February 8, 1861. The Alake, in the presence of the Undersigned, denied having signed any Treaty with the Americans, and also denied having granted them leave to form a colony without the walls of Abbeokuta.

The Alake states that he remembers Dr. Delany and Mr. Camp

bell coming to him to ask for a lot of land for farming, which he granted them, but he had no other transaction with them.

The Alake will not accept the person of any white man who does not come to him recommended by the English Consul, the Church, or Wesleyan Missionaries.









DAVID WILLIAMS, King Alake's Clerk.


No. 8.-Lord Wodehouse to Consul Foote.

Foreign Office, April 23, 1861. I AM directed by Lord John Russell to transmit to you the accompanying copies of a letter, and its inclosures, from the African Aid Society, containing explanations in regard to the alleged denial on the part of the Alake and Chiefs of Abbeokuta that they had signed a Treaty with the Commissioners on behalf of the free American blacks, granting permission to them to settle on the unoccupied lands belonging to Abbeokuta; and I am to instruct you to endeavour to ascertain and to report to his Lordship how this matter really stands. H. G. Foote, Esq.

I am,



(Inclosure 1.)-Lord A. Churchill to Lord Wodehouse.
African Aid Society, 12, York Buildings, Adelphi,
April 22, 1861.


OUR Secretary acknowledged the receipt of your Lordship's letter of the 15th instant, inclosing a letter from the Alake of Abbeokuta, forwarded through Mr. Consul Foote of Lagos.

The Alake therein states that he signed no Treaty with Dr. Delany and Mr. Campbell on behalf of the African race in America, but that he did grant permission to those gentlemen to reside in the town, and form farms without the walls.

Fortunately, the arrival in this country of Samuel Crowther, Junior, son of the celebrated missionary of that name, has enabled the Committee to inquire into the truth of the allegations of the document purporting to have come from the Alake.

I have the honour now to inclose the statement of Mr. Crowther in reply, he having been the attesting witness to the signatures of

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the impugned Treaty. The Committee believe that Mr. Crowther's statement is substantially correct.

It is true that this Treaty, published here and in America on the authority of Dr. Delany and Mr. Campbell, differs verbally in Article I from the understanding arrived at between those gentlemen and the Alake. The version given by Mr. Crowther fully explains how this deviation occurred, the modification of the original text proposed by the Alake being really intended as an explanation of the construction put by him upon Article I of the Treaty to which he affixed his signature.

The Committee believe that so far from this construction vitiating the position and rights the coloured immigrants would enjoy under the Treaty, it will, so soon as they are informed of its nature, impart additional confidence to them, in the assurance it conveys that the Alake was prepared to give them the most efficacious protection in his power on their undertaking to reside within the walls of Abbeokuta.

They are confidently informed by parties acquainted with the country that there does exist on the part of the natives a desire to enjoy the advantages that would accrue from the contact of civilized coloured people from America, and the skill and knowledge they are able to impart.

They wish, however, to state, in addition, that there appears reason to believe that much jealous apprehension is felt by strangers at present residing there, as to the probable commercial competition that would attend the influx of intelligent coloured people from America.

This, they trust, will have its due weight with your Lordship in considering the contents of the documents to which this letter refers.

Lord Wodehouse.

I have, &c.

ALFRED S. CHURCHILL, Chairman of the African Aid Society.

(Inclosure 2.)-Mr. Crowther to Lord A Churchill.

MY LORD, 50, Baker Street, Portman Square, April 18, 1861. DURING Dr. Delany's and Mr. Campbell's visit to Abbeokuta, the Rev. S. Crowther (my father) and myself were asked by the above gentlemen to accompany them to the Alake, or King of Abbeokuta, to witness and attest to the signing of the following Treaty; we walked together to the King's palace between 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when the following Treaty was read and signed by the King of Abbeokuta in the presence of his courtiers, the elders of the town, and the Representatives of the Chiefs, on the one part, and Dr. Delany and Mr. Campbell, Commissioners, on the other part, the Rev. S. Crowther and myself witnessing to it.

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