Slike strani

from their dress and demeanor, appeared to belong to the better classes, and who seemed to exercise some influence on those women. These men, questioned on their relation to those women, answered that the latter were their wives, and this circumstance was confirmed by the women when again questioned by me on the subject. I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,


Superintendent of Police, &c.

L. ALOISIO, Adjutant.

Report of Moors, (suspected to be slaves,) arrived at Malta as stated hereunder.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Custom-House, October 28, 1871.

MOST ILLUSTRIOUS SIR: I have the honor to inform you that, according to standing orders relative to the Moorish slaves who occasionally pass through this port for the Levant, during the last three months I have had occasion, upon the arrival of the following steamers from Tripoli, to suspect that among the number of individuals who are described in the margin, over against the names of the respective steamers, were (some who were) slaves, and accordingly I have conferred with them in the place hereunder indicated, and have caused to be explained to them, through an interpreter, that under the British rule they enjoyed emancipation if they chose to avail, themselves of such privilege, to which they replied to me with an absolute refusal of wishing to prosecute their journey to Constantinople.

I have examined in the post-office 16 individuals arrived by the Trabulus Garb.
In the lodging-house Strada S. Ursola Valletta, 8 individuals arrived by the Abeasis.
On board the English steamer Mary, 2 individuals.

I have the honor, &c.,

To the most illustrious Mr. G. PSAILA,

Adjutant of Police, &c.

L. ALOISIO, Adjutant.

N. B.-The literal translation of the last sentence of the original misstates the fact. As explained to me by Adjutant Aloisio it should be fully rendered thus: "To which they replied to me with an absolute refusal (to accept their freedom and a declaration) of wishing to prosecute their journey to Constantinople."



Custom-House, April 17, 1872.

MOST ILLUSTRIOUS SIR: I have the honor to inform you that yesterday at about 10 p. m. the Ottoman steamer Trabulus Garb, Captain V. Azzopardi, arrived in this port from Tripoli, and had among her passengers three slave women, accompanied by their masters, described in the list of passengers as their wives, to whom I said distinctly that in the British dominions they enjoyed the privilege of emancipation.

Zatima, of about 18 years of age, belonging to Musa bin Ahmed, asked to be emancipated. She was delivered from slavery, and sent back to Tripoli. The other two refused to be emancipated, and continued their journey to Constantinople.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

To the very illustrious Mr. R. BONELLO,



Superintendent of Police, &c.

MARINE POLICE OFFICE, Valletta, 30 Ottobre, 1873. (1872.)

SIR: I have the honor to report for your information that on the arrival of each of the vessels mentioned with your instruction, I proceeded on board, and in the presence of Acting Inspector G. Gerada, and Sub-Inspectors S. Staines and Inglott, through an interpreter employed on each occasion, I obtained the following answers from the persons marked in the column No. of said list, whom I have, in compliance with the said instructions, individually and separately examined, viz: That embarked at Tripoli and came to Malta of their own free will, and were proceeding to Stambul of their own free will, each expressing herself in the following words, which I fully understood, "Iena introp in-ruh fi Stambul," (meaning, "I like to proceed to Stambul,") and on being asked whether on board there was any one who was their master, or if on arrival at Stambul there would be any one who would be their master, they each answered negatively. I have further to add that several of those women were accompanied by men who from their dress and demeanor appeared to belong to the better classes, and who seemed to exercise some influence on those women. These men, questioned on their relation to those women, answered that the latter were their wives, and the circumstance was confirmed by the women when again questioned by me on the subject. I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

R. BONELLO, Esq., Sup. of Police, &c.



Report of Moors arrived at Malta as stated hereunder, that is, of those suspected of being

[blocks in formation]

* Report dated October 30, 1873, (1872.) Inclosure No. 5 refers to this arrival principally. (See also Inclosure No. 2.)

No. 38.]

Mr. Vidal to Mr. Davis.


Tripoli, Barbary, March 22, 1873. (Received April 29.) SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, this day, of your dispatch No. 22, informing me that it would be desirable to put the Department in possession of more explicit facts in regard to the slave traffic between Tripoli and Constantinople via Malta. When it is considered that a consul in Mussulman countries can neither take testimony from any but his own protegés, nor apply to any colleague or Mahomedan magistrate to make an affidavit in cases in which his protegés are not concerned, the Department will readily appreciate how difficult it would be for me to produce any judiciary proofs in support of the statements contained in my dispatch No. 27. Moreover, I beg to remind the Department that most of those slaves exported from here are females, and that it is positively forbidden by the laws and usages of the country that a Christian man should speak to a Moslem woman.

Nevertheless, I don't say that it would be impossible to give the satisfactory algel proofs, only it might take time; it would require a certain outlay of money which I am not authorized by the Department to spend; and I should have leave to move as I think proper, between Tripoli, Malta, Constantinople, and Smyrna. But first may I be allowed to ask what fact the Department would wish me to prove. Is it that there are negro slaves imported from countries without the pale of the Turkish sovereignty, and bought and sold either here or in Constantinople? I can, at a fortnight's notice, have two or three scores of those unfortunate beings purchased at prices ranging from $24 to $36 a head, put on board a vessel and shipped for any country in the world. But what would that prove? I could not make an affidavit against myself; and were one of my employés to buy those slaves himself, I might establish his own guilt, but not that of any one else.

But perhaps it would be more interesting to prove that those slaves are imported through Malta and, for all we know, that they change hands in that British island. It is not to be forgotten that by virtue of Article I of our treaty of 1862 with Great Britain, the reciprocal right of search and detention can be exercised, near the coast of Africa, only "to the southward of the thirty-second parallel of north latitude," and that Tripoli is considerably north of that line.

Were I to follow a lot of slaves as far as Malta, I would wish to be authorized to act without connection with our consulate in that island, for the following reason: The climate of Soudan being so much hotter than that of Constantinople, the negro slaves from the interior of Africa are generally exported to Turkey in summer time, in order that the change of climate should be less trying to them. Now during those summer months our consul in Malta is compelled, on account of ill health, to leave the cousulate in charge of a gentleman who is a very active and able person, who knows everything that goes on in the island, and is perfectly well aware that there are thousands of slaves carried from Barbary to the Bosphorus, via that British possession. But he is an Englishman; he never put his foot in our country, and to him the political interest of the United States is as nought, while he feels, of course, as all Englishmen do, the liveliest sympathy for the good name of his own country and government.

There is not an Englishman here, in Malta, or in Turkey, who does not know as well as I the existence of the traffic I am now denouncing. The newspapers of Europe have all said something about it; telegrams in regard to that trade have been sent from Constantinople to the four quarters of the continent; but I never heard till this afternoon of an Englishman, in authority in these countries, moving one finger to put an end to that shameful traffic.

But, this very afternoon, by a coincidence which I am at a loss to explain, one of the interpreters of the British consulate, who lives out of the city, very near the seashore, happening to see, by chance, a few black children, who were crying as they were put on board a boat, which took them directly to a brig just in the act of weighing anchor, took his horse, rode with all speed to the British consulate, reported what he had seen; the consul-general communicated the information to the governor-general; the latter sent, in all haste, a custom-house boat after the brig, and, twenty miles from port, as the wind was against her, they caught her. She proved to be the Ottoman brig Malmaison-captain, Ali Salah-which was on her way to Malta, with a cargo of barley and four or five negro slaves as passengers. The vessel was taken back to port, her captain arrested, and an investigation made at once. It was ascertained that one of those slaves was a young girl kidnapped from her mother two or three days before, and another one belonged to the harbor-master himself. In the evening the master of the brig was authorized to proceed to Malta, and the captain of the port was dismissed; so, at least, it is reported. This fact will go far to prove, at any rate, that slavers from Tripoli to Constantinople are not afraid to take the way of Malta. It is also rumored that the authorities in that island will henceforth exert the greatest vigilance in regard to that trade. If such is the case, I cannot understand why they should this

very time be so strict, while they have for more than twenty years willingly shut their eyes. Nor can I understand the secret spring of the action of the British consul here, and the governor's; for those gentlemen, all at once so much interested, in appearance, to suppress the slave-traffic, knew since their arrival here of its being extensively carried on, and never, to my knowledge, attempted to interfere.

However, it may be stopped for a while, for a purpose now unknown to me; but it will soon revive; and it becomes the United States Government, supported, as it is, by four millions of black citizens, to place itself before the civilized world as the special protector of the African race.

Now, it is publicly known here that nearly every Turkish officer or functionary who leaves this place for Constantinople, or sends his family to Turkey, will not fail to improve every one of those opportunities, by sending along a lot of slaves intended for sale. But the worst negro-trafficant in Tripoli is a Moor, to whom I alluded in my dispatch No. 35, as having assisted the pashas of this regency in grinding the people with oppressive taxes. He is the owner of the Trabulus Gharb, a steamer which plies pretty regularly between Malta and this port. At every trip, just one or two minutes before the vessel is ready to start from this port, a number of women, carefully shrouded in their blankets, wearing stockings, so that the color of their feet cannot be seen, hiding their hands in the folds of their baracans, and with the head entirely wrapped in a thick colored handkerchief, leave the quay under the care of a man. They are put in a boat belonging to the Moor, and brought on board the steamer. During the journey, no one is allowed to speak to those mysterious beings; and at Valetta, instead of going on shore, as all other passengers do, they remain on board the steamer until they can be taken to another one, just weighing anchor, for Constantinople; or a sailing-vessel, belonging, too, to the Moor, is just at hand to receive them.

I will not conclude this letter without informing you that I was told by a merchant, just arrived with a Ghadames caravan, that the Sultan of Borgoo, or Dâs-sali-Wadâi, having just successfully invaded the neighboring territory of Bagharmi, enslaved all its population, and carried them away to his own country; in consequence we may expect to see slaves of that kind as cheap as sheep, for some time to come, in Cairo and Constantinople. The invaded territory is comprised between the 13th and 10th degrees of north latitude, and the 39th and 40th degrees of the East Faroe longitude. The conqueror reigns in the territory situated between the Bagharmi in the east and the Dar-foor's land in the west.

Awaiting your instructions in regard to that question,

I am, &c.,

No. 438.]

M. VIDAL, United States Consul.

No. 170.

General Schenck to Mr. Fish.

London, July 3, 1873.

(Received July 18.)

SIR: In my 399 and 415 I gave you information as to the resumption of our negotiations here for a consular convention, and communicated to you a copy of a note relating thereto, received from Lord Granville, dated the 17th of May last.

I am sorry to say now that there does not appear to be a prospect of making any immediate progress in the matter. I have had conversation again two or three times with his lordship, the last occasion being to-day.

He informs me that no time is being lost in the endeavor of Her Majesty's government to carefully consider the subject and to prepare for a satisfactory adjustment of all the questions it involves. He assures me that he appreciates fully the importance, if not the necessity, of settling the terms of an agreement on all the points that may arise between the two countries. These points and questions, he says, have been referred to and are under examination by the board of trade, the department having cognizance of commercial affairs, and have been and still are being discussed in the cabinet; in the mean time, the ex

isting law in Great Britain being defective in scarcely containing any provisions in regard to the powers of foreign consuls within her territory and jurisdiction, or for the regulations which may be prescribed or agreed to by Her Majesty's government for defining and settling those powers, Lord Granville further informs me that they must propose some general legislation which is needed to give all the necessary authority. When this is obtained, they expect to be prepared, and will be willing, to proceed and conclude conventions with the United States, as they will, perhaps, with other powers, covering the whole ground. But the present session of Parliament is now so near its close, a prorogation being expected by the end of this month, they will not be able to present a bill or ask for legislative action until next year.

This explanation and assurance is all I can at present obtain, although I have continued to press the subject on his lordship's attention. But in the interval, and perhaps ere long, Lord Granville thinks he may be ready to communicate to me the counter-project for which we have been waiting.

In like circumstances and on like conditions, I am told, is pending the negotiation for a consular convention between Brazil and Great Britain.

I have, &c.,

No. 171.


No. 440.]

General Schenck to Mr. Fish.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, London, July 5, 1873. (Received July 22.)

SIR: Referring to your confidential dispatch 400, I have to inform you that on the 1st instant, being in conversation with Lord Granville, the subject of the proposed joint note to the maritime powers relative to the three rules under the treaty of Washington was mentioned, and I drew from him a statement of his view of the present position of the correspondence. He said that Sir Edward Thornton had expressly reported that he not only read to you but communicated to you a copy, in writing, of the instructions which were sent to him from here, in answer to your note addressed to the British legation at Washington. This his lordship said he certainly considered as, in usage if not technically, equivalent to the delivery of a note in reply addressed directly to yourself. Precedents were referred to to sustain this view of the practice often prevailing in diplomatic correspondence. Lord Granville thinks, therefore, that he may expect and await, as the next step in this matter, your response to or comments on his communication made through Sir Edward Thornton.

I immediately after the conversation telegraphed the substance of it to you, and I transmit herewith a copy of that telegram.

I have, &c.,


[Inclosure.-Telegram.] General Schenck to Mr. Fish.

LONDON, July 1, 1873.

Respecting note to maritime powers, Lord Granville understands that Thornton not only read to you, but gave you a copy of his instructions, and regards this as in usage equivalent to a written answer by note.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »