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should be returned to them, for to the Commission it would belong, in consequence of the detention by the Marte, to condemn the Vessel, to declare the Slaves free, and to give them their Certificate of Emancipation." Under these circumstances, it is worthy of observation that the Court of Admiralty in their Decree have entirely refrained from touching upon this most important point, upon which it was their peculiar province to decide, and for which decision it certainly appears that they had sufficient grounds; thus utterly disregarding the reservation made by the Mixed Commission.

With respect to the Secret Decree of the Court of Admiralty, I have only to observe that, if its object be to impress upon His Catholic Majesty the inexpediency of allowing Negroes in the state of those belonging to the Maria de la Gloria, to enjoy at once an unrestrained liberty, I entirely coincide as to the propriety of that object; but I apprehend that such a System never was in the contemplation of the Parties to the Treaty, or of the Government of this Island. Your Excellency at least, I have reason to believe, was prepared for the event of the Negroes being declared free by the Mixed Commission, and had resolved upon the adoption of a System respecting them, which would at the same time have secured their permanent welfare, and the order and tranquillity of the country. But if the object of that Court be (as it would appear from the tenour of their observations) to recommend to His Catholic Majesty not to carry into effect the Stipulations of the Treaty of 1817, nor the Provisions of His Royal Cedula issued in consequence of the same, the subject is of a more important nature, and will necessarily call for the intervention of His Britannic Majesty's Government.

Such are the observations I have felt it to be my duty to make to my Government respecting the Proceedings in the case of the Portuguese Brig Maria de la Gloria; and as, in the course of them, I have necessarily had frequent occasion to advert to the measures adopted by the Court of Admiralty, I beg leave explicitly to state, that I have done so by no means with the intention of venturing to point out to that Tribunal the line of conduct they ought to adopt. Neither are my remarks to be considered in the light of animadversions addressed by me to your Excellency upon the Proceedings of the same, a step I am not authorised to take. I make the observations to my Government, because I conceive it to be my duty to do so; and I repeat them to your Excellency, in the most perfect spirit of fairness and justice, in order that you, and any Department they may concern, may not be taken unawares, and may be prepared in the event of His Britannic Majesty's Government thinking it expedient, in consequence of my Report, to make a Representation upon the subject to that of His Catholic Majesty. I avail myself of this occasion, &c., &c.

His Excellency the Captain General.


(Enclosure 10.)-Minute of the Proceedings of the Mixed Commission. (Translation.)

In the always most faithful City of Havannah, on the 18th of September 1824, the Members of the Mixed Commission met (as they had done upon some previous occasions) for the purpose of taking into consideration the preceding Official Letter of His Excellency the Captain General, and the Copies of the Proceedings of the Court of Admiralty, which Documents were read with attention, and after a long conference respecting them, in which the principle was laid down that it did not belong to the Commission to discuss the Proceedings of the Tribunals of the Country, unless the peculiar powers of the former are concerned, the said Members resolved unanimously that, without losing sight of that principal, they could not avoid observing that, by the above-mentioned Copies of their Proceedings, it appears that the Court of Admiralty have abstained from inquiring into, or at least from pronouncing an opinion respecting the conduct of the Captain of the Privateer in the capture of the Brig Maria de la Gloria, a conduct which well deserved to be scrupulously examined into, for having sent in that Vessel without her Captain, without any of her officers, and even without her own Papers; which omissions, added to the circumstance of the Privateer being upon the Coast of Africa, although her Commission was limited to the American seas, and also to the course taken by the captured Brig with her cargo of Negroes at the time she was detained by His Catholic Majesty's Brig Marte, give rise to serious and obvious suspicions: influenced by these considerations, the Commission, upon the occasion of transmitting the Cause to His Excellency, made the special reservation of re-assuming the cognizance of the same, if, in the course of the Proceedings to be taken respecting the conduct of the Captain of the Privateer, it should be discovered that he had in any way been concerned in the traffic by which those Slaves were acquired; which reservation is rendered nugatory, the same suspicions still existing; and the Mixed Commission, therefore, make this observation, limited however to this particular point, without touching upon the others contained in the Copies of the aforesaid Proceedings.

And considering that the Captain General will make to The King a full Report of this Case, the said Members resolved that an Official Letter should be addressed to His Excellency with a Certified Copy of this Resolution, in order that, if he thinks proper, he may likewise submit the present observation to His Majesty for the purposes that may be judged necessary; and they signed this in the presence of the Secretary.

September 18, 1824.



No. 81.-H. T. Kilbee, Esq. to Mr. Secretary Canning.-(Rec. Dec. 1.) SIR, Havannah, September 20, 1824. THE disposal of Negroes, emancipated under the Slave Trade Treaty, is a subject which, in consequence of the Proceedings in the Case of the Maria de la Gloria, will probably be taken into consideration by the Spanish Government; and I venture to suggest to you the expediency of its being declared by that Government, that such disposal should be confided in all Cases to one Authority alone, and that of course the Chief of the Island.

This arrangement is in conformity with our Treaty, and would, I conceive, be productive of many beneficial effects to emancipated Negroes. The mode of treating them would thereby be rendered uniform; and the Chief Authority would be better able, and I will venture to say better inclined, than any other to exact the fulfilment of such conditions as may be considered necessary to ensure to them good treatment, and the future enjoyment of their liberty without restrictions.

The great danger to which such Negroes would be exposed, while in the hands of the Persons with whom they should be deposited or apprenticed, would be that, by being reported as dead or run away, and substituted in the place of deceased Negroes, they should thus be reduced to a state of Slavery. To guard against this evil is no easy matter; but I would recommend that, independent of any other punishment which might be inflicted upon the perpetrator of so foul a crime, he should be liable to the payment of a fine of four or five hundred dollars (about the value of the Negro); the half of which should be given to the Person denouncing the transaction. I would likewise recommend, that there should be appointed a Superintendent of emancipated Negroes, whose duty it should be to visit them and see how they were treated, and to make a Monthly Report upon the subject to the Captain General and to the Mixed Commission, the appointment and removal for misconduct of which Officer, I should certainly wish to see in the hands of the latter. His salary might easily be obtained by requiring the Individuals, with whom such Negroes should be deposited, to pay four or five dollars a-year for each Negro; and he would thus have a direct interest in their preservation.

While I am upon this subject, I cannot avoid mentioning, that when the Case of the Maria de la Gloria was first submitted to the Mixed Commission, it being generally believed that the statement of her being Portuguese property was a mere fabrication, and that she was really Spanish, and would consequently be condemned and the Slaves emancipated; the Captain General did me the honour to consult me frequently respecting the disposal of the latter, manifesting a warm interest upon the subject, and a decided disposition to adopt

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any arrangement calculated to promote their comfort, happiness and
I have, &c.,

The Right Hon. George Canning.


No. 82.-H. T. Kilbee, Esq. to Mr. Secretary Canning.-(Rec. Dec. 1.)
Havannah, September 20, 1824.
THE great number of Vessels that have lately sailed from hence
for the coast of Africa, rendering it probable that some of them may
be fallen in with, and detained on their return by His Majesty's Ships
on this Station, I take the liberty to suggest that the latter may all be
furnished with the Instructions required by Treaty.

I mention this subject because in the course of conversation, some time ago, with the Commanding Officer of one of the small Schooners fitted out at Jamaica for acting against Pirates, and which is just the kind of Vessel likely to fall in with a Slave Trader, he informed me that he was not provided with these Instructions; adding, that his Vessel did not require them, as she was to be considered as a tender belonging to the Flag Ship at Jamaica, which was duly authorized to detain Slave Vessels. I am quite convinced that my Spanish Colleagues would not be satisfied with this argument. Captain Forbes likewise, of His Majesty's Ship Thracian, lately shewed me what he conceived to be the proper Instructions for detaining Spanish Slave Vessels; but, although he had several Orders and Documents which related to the subject, he was not in possession of the Original Instructions annexed to the Treaty. The Vessel has been a good while from England, and has, I believe, frequently changed Commanding Officers; in which changes, the Document in question has probably been mislaid.

There is another point connected with His Majesty's Ships in these Seas, destined to cruize against Spanish Slave Vessels, to which I would request your attention; namely, the expense of maintaining the Negroes from the time of the entrance of a detained Slave Vessel into this Port, until her condemnation.

This is a very important consideration, on account of the extreme dearness of every thing in this Country. The Right Hon. George Canning.


No. 83.—H. T. Kilbee, Esq. to Mr. Secretary Canning.-(Rec. Dec. 1.)
Havannah, September 21, 1824.
SINCE the date of my Despatch of the 4th of September, three Ves-
sels have cleared out for the Coast of Africa; namely, the Ship Urraca,
Don Juan Ferrer y Roig, Master, nominally for the Island of Mada-
gascar, but really destined for Mosambique, and the Schooners Josefa
and Feliciana, Don Joze Antonio Tomas and Don Jayme Aulet,
Masters, for St. Thomas'. The first is a large ship well armed, and

having a Crew, I understand, of upwards of eighty men.

two are old Slave Traders.

I have, &c.,

The Right Hon. George Canning.

The other


No. 84.-H. T. Kilbee, Esq. to Mr. Secretary Canning.-(Rec. Dec. 28.)
Havannah, October 9, 1824.

THE enclosed Memorandum contains the information which, in obedience to the Instructions communicated in your Despatch of the 24th February, I have been enabled to collect, as to the practice respecting the manumission and free labour of Slaves, existing in this Island. I have consulted the most eminent lawyers and individuals connected with the Government upon the subject; and I venture to assure you that you may rely upon the correctness of the statement, so far as it goes, which I have now the honour to submit to you.

With respect to the Memorandum enclosed in your Despatch above referred to, it is incorrect in supposing that Negroes are appraised at 400 dollars, or any fixed price. I have known one sell for 1000 dollars; but the Tribunals will not permit such excessive valuations, when made for the purpose of enabling the Slave to liberate himself, or to improve his condition. Eight hundred dollars may be considered the maximum in such cases; and even this is thought high. Fullgrown Negroes on Plantations are, one with another, generally valued at 500 dollars; house servants may be averaged at 600; and mechanics at rather more. Even those imported clandestinely are, I understand, sold for upwards of 400 dollars; and previous to the Abolition, when Colonial produce was much higher than at present, prime Negroes newly imported sold for 500 and 550 dollars, cash. The Memorandum is also incorrect in stating, that "if the Master requires the service of his 'Coartado' Slave, he can oblige the man to work, paying the Slave a certain sum;" the fact being, that in all cases the Master is entitled to the service of his Slave, whether "Coartado" or not, without any remuneration whatever. You will find, by the enclosed statement, how far this principle is modified in practice. The Memorandum, moreover, confounds Reales de Vellon with Reales de Plata (those alone current in all Spanish America); of the former of which there are twenty to the dollar, of the latter only eight.

If there should be any question of introducing into the British Possessions the system respecting Slaves which exists in this Island, there are some circumstances favourable to the Slave which are peculiar to the latter, and ought to be had in recollection.

Wages here are extremely high: a common field Negro earns four reales a-day, and is fed; the salary of a regular house servant is from twenty to thirty dollars a-month, besides being fed and clothed; and mechanics are paid from ten bits, or reales, to three dollars a-day. With

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