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His Majesty then requested us to address a letter to Her Majesty the Queen of England, his friend, that she would allow Whydah to become a free port; stating that he had 5 agents, mentioning at the same time their names, viz., Isidore, Ignacio, and Antonio-3 sons of the late Da Souza-also Domingo Martins and Joaquim Antonio. His Majesty's simple request was to have papers and flags to allow them to pass without hindrance or molestation from Her Majesty's cruisers. Our reply was, that it was impossible; he appeared much perplexed, and harped upon the same theme for some time; at last His Majesty said, "Surely my friend, the Queen of England, will allow papers and colours for one vessel for myself to go free from the men-of-war." His pride must have fallen, when the great King of Dahomey condescended to ask for one vessel, on similar terms as the five. When he found it impossible to induce us to change our theme, and write thus to the Queen of England, he felt much chagrined, and his countenance changed, and became a shade lighter.

We then told him as he had declined the Queen of England's liberal offer, that there was only the last resource; to go on the old plan and take his chance; that it was not within range of possibility that any favours could be shown His Majesty's vessels beyond the minor ports.

I then found that our mission was drawing to a close, and being determined to draw his attention to Abbeokuta, I asked his permission to allow me to read the Earl of Chichester's letter from the Queen to Sagbua, chief of the above-mentioned town. Finding the Queen's expressions of kindness to the chief so strong, with thanks for his kindness and protection to the missionaries, &c., His Majesty appeared to be greatly excited and jealous, and said that he was going to war with that place; they were bad people; that the white men and ladies must be removed. I then told him that I was going to visit it as soon as the dry season set in, that would be about December; he then said, "you must take the Englishmen away from that place."

Mayogau, His Majesty's Prime Minister, made a very harsh remark, and said, "What right have the white men to go and teach those fellows book palaver ?'

His Majesty then said, that when Freeman, from Cape Coast, visited Abomey, when he left he promised to send a white teacher, but he had not done so, neither had he heard any more on that matter.

He was then asked if a white missionary were sent to Abomey, would His Majesty afford him his protection and give him a grant of land to build a house; he replied in the affirmative, but he must reside at Whydah. It appears that he is averse to their residing at

Abomey; but I really believe he was prompted by his Minister in a whisper to make that reply, relative to the missionary residing at Whydah instead of Abomey.

I had another important request to lay before His Majesty with his permission, which was granted. I then stated that Mrs. McCarthy, wife of John McCarthy, liberated Africans from Sierra Leone, late Ahgway, and residents of Whydah, complained to me that her husband, John McCarthy, was confined as a prisoner in His Majesty's court-yard; that he had been seized between Attabpam and Popoe, on his return from the former to the latter. Not any person knew anything about the matter. I told the Cabooceer of Whydah that he must know her; but he denied it. The King ordered the Mayogau to inquire into the affair. After which the Queen's despatch was read, and he made his mark; we witnessed it. He had not any more to say: only that he would communicate with me at Fernando Po, either by letter or by a messenger, by any vessel that may be going that route from Whydah. It rained; we continued a short time, but no appearance of dry weather, we asked permission to depart. He said we must taste with him before we left; we went through the ceremony. He conducted us outside of the porch; shook hands. With his respects and best wishes for our safe arrivals at our different destinations, we left the palace of Abomey for our own domicile. It rained the remainder of the day.

Next morning it was fine and dry. The King sent our presents for the road, of cowries, cloth, rum, &c.; also a little girl each, After which we entered our house and held a short conference; present the Mayogau, Yahvogau, and Nawhey, relative to Mr. McCarthy; his wife was presented with her child. The Mayo said he would send her with a messenger to the home of the Cambaadee, and they should both return here during the day. They asked when we intended to leave; we told them on the morrow, if we received a decisive answer about the man McCarthy. They said that was small palaver, and would soon be settled. They took their leave.

Next morning early the same party came again. We had to sit and hear the salutes fired; 21 guns for the Queen, and 13 for each of us, which took full 2 hours. After which the McCarthy question was again mooted; we stating, that they did not make their appearance yesterday as they all, particularly the Mayogau, promised. The latter said that he sent her to the King yesterday, and that he sent her to the Cambaadee's, to see if her husband was there. I then told them "I know from good authority that she is also a prisoner, but not with her husband; it is a farce; you are making fools of us." Commander Forbes expressed himself very warmly, and told them that he was going to England, and would report to the Queen that 2 British subjects were detained as prisoners in

Abomey; at the same time he threw his memorandum-book on the table. They looked at him seriously, and said, "We hope you are not vexed; if so, we must tell our master the King." Rose and shook hands, and left us to take our breakfast before we started. A few packages being left detained us. Commander Forbes kindly offered to remain and start them off before him; and recommended me to leave for Cana. I left at 10 o'clock, and arrived at noon; half an hour afterwards Forbes joined. He remained to get a hammock and carriers for a sick man. I went on, and arrived at Toobodoo at 2.20 P.M. Commander Forbes did not arrive until 5 o'clock. During his detention, a messenger arrived in post haste, bringing with him McCarthy and his wife.

I presume they must have communicated the warm debate on the matter this morning; it shows a dread of the King's meeting the displeasure of Her Majesty's Government.

We started at 5 o'clock next morning; crossed the swamp, of which we had 13 hours before we arrived at our halting-place. Ultimately arrived at Whydah on the 9th; found Her Majesty's sloop Bonetta. Gladiator and Jackall arrived on the 11th. We succeeded in embarking through the surf on the 12th.

The King of Dahomey has been greatly exaggerated as to his wealth and power. I am perfectly satisfied that he is under the control and opinion of several of his principal officers; and it is too obvious that he has not the slightest desire to abandon the abominable traffic.

The only effectual means to bring him to a full sense of this error, if international law will admit of it, is to take his own advice, and blockade Whydah.

Lagos is another point. If the legitimate chief could be seen and communicated with, so as to make a Treaty with him for the suppression of the foreign Slave Trade, and place him at Lagos, his former seat of Government, it would release the people of Abbeokuta from the jeopardy that they are continually in, from the fear of the King of Dahomey.

Her Majesty's steamer Gladiator has captured 2 empty slavers. Her Majesty's steamer Hecla, 2 with slaves, lately from Lagos. I believe they have been trying it hard there latterly.

Her Majesty's brig Wolverine took a felucca 2 or 3 days ago.

I can only state that the King of Dahomey's power and wealth have been much exaggerated. As reported, he has 18,000 Amazons as a body guard; we have only seen and counted 3,000, and about the same number of men, at a grand review. He stated himself, the same day, that we did not see all his warriors; he had a great body guarding his frontiers. I estimate his army at 20,000 or 25,000.

His Majesty's account of his total expenditure of cowries for the

year is only 42,000; his first account 32,000; about two-thirds more than we could account for.

I was anxious to get a just estimate of the number of tuns of palm-oil shipped from Whydah, &c., but I could not get any but exaggerated accounts, so I have declined making any statement at present, until my next visit at the latter end of the year.

I transmit to your Lordship an original letter, dated the 4th instant, addressed by the King of Dahomey to Her Majesty. Viscount Palmerston, G. C.B. JOHN BEECROFT.

(Inclosure.) The King of Dahomey to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. Abomey, July 4, 1850. From Gezo, King of Dahomey, to Her Majesty Queen Victoria,

BEING desirous that the Slave Trade should be stopped in the minor ports prior to my entering into a Treaty, I have to request that you will endeavour to blockade the slave ports between Quittah and Lagos, and then I can endeavour to enter into an agreement for the stoppage of the Slave Trade in my own country.

At present, my people are a warlike people, and unaccustomed to agricultural pursuits; I should not be enabled to keep up my revenue, were I at once to stop the Slave Trade.

I am always desirous of being at peace with Great Britain.

I am anxious that some person should be sent as Governor of the British fort at Whydah, and, having known him, should wish for Lieutenant Forbes, R.N.

Witness to the royal mark.

I am, his

&c.

GEZO, King of Dahomey.

mark.

JOHN BEECROFT, H.M.'s Consul, Bights of Benin and Biafra.
F. E. FORBES, Lieutenant Commanding H.M.'s ship Bonetta.

P.S.-Some years ago
I entrusted 2 boys and a girl to the care
of Mr. Freeman, I am anxious they should be returned.
I am anxious that missionaries should settle at Whydah.

No. 10.-Viscount Palmerston to Consul Beecroft. (Extract.) Foreign Office, October 11, 1850. I HAVE received your despatch of the 22nd of July.

Her Majesty's Government much regret the failure of your endeavours to induce the King of Dahomey to enter into a Treaty for the suppression of the Slave Trade; which failure, however, appears to be by no means attributable to any want of diligence, or zeal, or effort, either on your part or on that of Lieutenant Forbes.

Her Majesty's Government are also much concerned at learning that the King of Dahomey has expressed an intention of going to war with the chiefs of Abbeokuta; and I have accordingly addressed

a letter to the King upon these matters, which I have to instruct you to cause to be transmitted to him at an early moment and by a safe conveyance.

I inclose for your information a copy of this letter. J. Beecroft, Esq.

SIR,

PALMERSTON.

(Inclosure.)-Viscount Palmerston to the King of Dahomey. Foreign Office, October 11, 1850. I AM commanded by Her Majesty to acknowledge the receipt of the letter which you addressed to her on the 4th of July last; and I have, in the first place, to beg you to accept the best thanks of the British Government for the very kind and hospitable manner in which you received Mr. Beecroft and Commander Forbes, during their late visit to your Majesty's capital of Abomey; and I beg to assure you, Sir, that this friendly conduct on your part has still more increased the earnest desire of the British Government to cultivate the most intimate relations between the kingdoms of Great Britain and of Dahomey.

But as nothing more contributes to the maintenance of friendship than a frank explanation of mutual feelings and opinions, I deem it of importance to advert to the statement which you made to Mr. Beecroft that you intended to make war upon the chiefs of Abbeokuta, aud I feel it right to inform you that the Queen of England takes a great interest in favour of that city and its people; and that if you value the friendship of England you will abstain from any attack upon and from any hostility against that town and people.

The British Government would be very sorry that you should make such an attack, 1st, because Her Majesty's Government would deeply regret that any evil should happen to the people of Abbeokuta; and, 2ndly, because Her Majesty's Government would feel much concern if anything should be done by your Majesty which would lead to an interruption of the friendly relations between yourself and the Government of England.

With respect to what you have written about the Slave Trade, the British Government is much disappointed at your answer, for they had hoped and expected that you would have complied with their very reasonable request, accompanied as it was by a handsome offer of full compensation for any temporary loss which you might sustain by putting an end to the Slave Trade. But as you have declined to consent to what the British Government has asked you to do, the British Government will be obliged to employ its own means to accomplish its purpose, and as England is sure to succeed in any object which it is determined to attain, the result will be, that the Slave Trade from Dahomey will be put an end to by the

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