Page images
PDF
EPUB

ple here that such is their desire; and that His Catholic Majesty is really of opinion that the true interests of the Island are intimately connected with the carrying that measure effectually into execution.

The Slave Trade with this Island is now as extensive as ever it was, and is necessarily carried on with greater cruelty. The Abolition by Spain, therefore, is merely nominal, and instead of promoting, only serves to injure the cause of justice and humanity. The Right Hon. George Canning.

HENRY T. KILBEE.

(Enclosure 1.)-List of Arrivals and Departures of Vessels from and for the Coast of Africa.-August 1821 to December 1824.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

(Enclosure 2.)-Cedula of the King of Spain, relating to the Slave Trade,

EL REY.

December, 1817.

LA Introduccion de Negros Esclavos en América fue una de las primeras providencias que dictaron Mis Augustos Predecesores para el fomento y prosperidad de aquellos vastos Dominios, muy poco tiempo despues de haber sido descubiertos.

La imposibilidad en que estaban los Indios de ocuparse en diferentes trabajos útiles, aunque penosos, nacida del-nin

(Translation.)

THE KING.

THE Importation of Black Slaves into America was among the earliest measures directed by My August Predecessors for the cultivation and prosperity of those vast Dominions, within a short period after their discovery. The Indians being disqualified from engaging in various useful, though laborious, occupations, by their ignorance of the accommodations

gun conocimiento que tenian de las comodidades de la vida, y de los cortísimos progresos que entre ellos habia hecho la sociedad civil, exigió por entonces que el beneficio de las minas y el rompimiento y cultivo de las tierras se entregaran á brazos mas robustos y activos. Esta providencia, que no creaba la Esclavitud, sino que aprovechaba la que ya existia por la barbarie de los Africanos para salvar de la muerte á sus prisioneros, y aliviar su triste condicion, lejos de ser prejudicial parra los Negros de Africa, trasportados á América, les proporcionaba no solo el incomparable beneficio de ser instruidos en el conocimiento del Dios verdadero, y de la única Religion con que este Supremo Ser quiere ser adorado de Sus criaturas, sino tambien todas las ventajas que trae consigo la civilizacion, sin que por esto se les sujetara en su Esclavitud á una vida mas dura que la que traian si endo libres en su propio Pais. embargo, la novedad de este sistema requeria mucho detenimiento en şu egecucion, y asi fue que la introduccion de Negros Esclavos en América dependió siempre de permisos particulares que Mis Augustos Predecesores concedian segun las circunstancias de los lugares y de los tiempos, hasta que la de Negros bozales fue generalmente permitida, asi en buques Nacionales como Extrangeros por Reales Cédulas de veinte y ocho de Setiembre de 1789, doce de Abril de 1798, y veinte y dos de Abril de 1804, en cada una de las cuales se senalaron diferentes

Sin

of life, as well as by the small progress of civilization among them, it became necessary to intrust to arms more vigorous and more active the working of the mines, and the breaking up and tillage of the soil. This plan, which did not occasion, but only availed itself of, the Slavery already practised by the barbarous Nations of Africa, with a view to save their prisoners from death, and to alleviate their melancholy condition, so far from being prejudicial to the Negroes of Africa, when transferred to America, afforded them not only the incomparable benefit of being instructed in the knowledge of the true God, and of the only Religion through which that Supreme Being is desirous that His creatures should adore Him, but also all the advantages attending a state of civilization, without, however, subjecting them in their slavery to hardships more intolerable than those they had endured when free in their own Country. But as the novelty of this system required great circumspection in its execution, the introduction of Black Slaves into America depended always on particular permissions granted by My August Predecessors, according to the circumstances of places and times, until it was generally permitted to import Negroes, in National vessels as well as Foreign, by the Royal Cedulas of the twenty-eighth of September, 1789, of the twelfth of April, 1798, and of the twenty-second of April, 1804, in each of which different periods for that Importation were

plazos para dicha introduccion: todo esto manisfestaba bien clara mente que la Cristiana sabiduría de los Reyes consideraba siempre estas providencias como escepciones de la Ley sujeta á condiciones variables. Aun no habia espirado el concedido en la de veinte y dos de Abril de 1804, cuando la Divina Providencia me restituyó al Trono á que Me habia destinado, y de que intentó pérfidamente despojarme un injusto Usurpador. Las turbulencias y disensiones suscitadas en Mis Dominios de América durante Mi ausencia, fijaron desde luego Mi soberana atencion; y meditando con incesante desvelo las providencias mas adecuadas para restablecer el buen órden en aquellos remotos Paises, y darles todo el fomento de que son capaces, no tarde en advertir que habian variado enteramente las circunstancias que movieron á Mis Augustos Predecesores para permitir el Tráfico de Negros bozales en las Costas de Africa, y su introduccion en ambas Américas. ellas ha crecido prodigiosamente el número de Negros indígenas, y aun el de los libres, á beneficio de la regulacion suave del Gobierno, y de la cristiandad y temple humano de los Propietarios Españoles: el de Blancos se ha aumentado mucho, y el clima no es tan prejudicial para estos como lo era antes de que las tierras se desmontasen y pusiesen en cultivo. Aun el bien que resultaba á los habitantes de Africa de ser trasportados á Paises cultos no es ya tan urgente y esclusivo, desde que

En

appointed; all which clearly indicated that the Christian wisdom of the Kings uniformly considered these measures as exceptions to a Law which was liable to undergo modifications according to circumstances. The term granted on the twenty-second of April, 1804, was not yet elapsed, when Divine Providence reinstated Me in the Throne to which it had destined Me, and of which an unjust Usurper perfidiously attempted to despoil Me. The commotions and differences which had broken out in My American Dominions during My absence, engaged immediately My attention: and meditating incessantly on the measures which might be most proper for restoring good order to those remote Countries, and affording them all the protection of which they are capable, I quickly discovered that an entire change had taken place in the circumstances which induced My August Predecessors to permit the Traffic in Slaves on the African Coasts, and their importation into both the Americas. In those regions a prodigious increase is perceivable in the number of indigenous Negroes, and even in that of the Blacks of free condition, owing to the mildness of the Government, no less than to the christian and humane conduct pursued by the Spanish Proprietors; the Whites, also, are greatly augmented, from the climate being no longer so dangerous to them as it was prior to the lands being cleared of wood, and put under cultivation. Nor is the benefit which the Inhabitants of Africa derived from being

una Nacion ilustrada ha tomado sobre sí la gloriosa empresa de civilizarlos en su propio suelo: al mismo tiempo la general cultura de Europa, y el espíritu de humanidad que ha dirigido sus ultimas transaciones, al restaurar el edificio que la depravacion del régimen del Usurpador habia des truido hasta sus bases, han escitado un conato general entre los Soberanos de Europa de ver abolido este tráfico; y en el Congreso de Viena, conviniendo en la necesidad de la abolicion, se ocuparon en facilitarlo por medio de las negociaciones mas amistosas con las Potencias que tenian Colonias, encontrando en Mî aquella disposicion que era consiguiente á tan laudable empeño. Estas consideraciones movieron Mi Real Animo á informarme de personas instruidas y zelosas de la prosperidad de Mis Estados sobre los efectos que en ellos produciria la abolicion del Tráfico de Negros. Vistos sus informes, deseoso de asegurar el acierto en materia de tanta trascendencia y gravedad, los remití á Mi Consejo de las Indias con Real Orden de catorce de Junio de 1815, para que me consultara lo que se le ofreciese y pareciese. Agregados todos estos copiosos materiales y los antecedentes del asunto, y visto lo que el propio Supremo Tribunal me ha expuesto en su consulta de quince de Febrero de 1816, correspondiendo á la confianza que en él tengo depositada, y conformándome con su parecer sobre la abolicion del Tráfico de Negros, y convenido con El Rey del Reino Unido de la Gran Bretaña é Irlanda

carried to cultivated Countries

any more so urgent and exclusive, since an enlightened Nation has undertaken the glorious task of civilizing them in their own native land, while the general intelligence of Europe, and the spirit of humanity which has influenced its late transactions in restoring the edifice which the corrupt policy of the Usurper had destroyed to its very foundation, have roused the Sovereigns of Europe to a general effort for having this Traffic abolished; and at the Congress of Vienna, concurring in the necessity of the abolition, they sought to bring it about by the most amicable negociations with such Powers as possessed Colonies, and they met in Me a disposition suited to a design so laudable. These considerations impelled My Royal Mind to procure information from persons at once acquainted with the subject, and anxious for the prosperity of My Dominions, as to what effects were likely to be produced in the latter by the abolition of the Slave Trade. Being desirous to ensure success in a matter so momentous and so grave, I transmitted their information to My Council of the Indies, with the Royal Order of the fourteenth of June, 1815, to give me such an opinion as the merits of the case should justify. After collecting all these copious materials, after taking a survey of the former steps adopted on this subject, and after considering what the Supreme Tribunal just mentioned has stated to me in its Exposition of the fifteenth of

« PreviousContinue »