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The principal features of this law will be found in its IVth, Vth, VIth, VIIth, and VIIIth Articles.

The IVth Article declares that the importation of slaves into the territory of Brazil is considered as piracy, and shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions enacted in that respect in the IInd Article of the Law of the 7th of November, 1831.

The Vth Article closes a great gap in Brazilian legislation in regard to Slave Trade. Your Lordship will have remarked the almost certain impunity which attended the acts of slave-dealers in Brazil, whose ships were allowed full liberty to carry cargo to Africa, and bring back slaves without molestation from the Public Prosecutors in Brazil; doubtless, greater vigour on the part of the Imperial authorities would have greatly checked those proceedings, which did incalculable damage to the character of Brazil and to the true interests of her people; but the then existing Brazilian law was silent as to the seizure, trial, and condemnation of slave-ships.

This great want has been supplied by the Vth Article of the Law of the 4th September, which is calculated greatly to embarrass the proceedings of the slave-dealers in Brazil, by providing for the seizure and trial of vessels engaged in Slave Trade.

The VIth Article will, I imagine, coincide entirely with the views held by Her Majesty's Government with regard to the treatment and disposal of Africans who may be rescued by the Brazilian authorities from the power of the slave-dealers; Africans captured by Brazilian cruizers or by other Brazilian authorities, and placed under the protection of the Imperial Government, cannot for the future be apprenticed or hired to private persons; they are to be re-exported to Africa at the cost of the State.

Your Lordship will learn from another despatch of this date and series, that the Brazilian Government have recognized the State of Liberia, and send to the Government of that country (by the packet which carries this despatch) a Consul-General and Chargé d'Affaires, who will negotiate for the reception in Liberia of such Africans as may be placed in the position contemplated by the VIth Article of this law.

The VIIth Article requires that passports shall not be given to merchant-ships destined for the coast of Africa, unless their owners or masters sign a declaration that they will receive no slaves on board, and will give bond for the due performance of this obligation, in a sum of money equal to the value of the ship and cargo.

The VIIIth Article is one of the most important in this law. It introduces a new feature into Brazilian legislation, by establishing Courts of Vice-Admiralty for the trial of cases of slave-trading, and by taking the trial of principals in such cases out of the hands of the common jury.

Such are the principal features of this new Brazilian law against Slave Trade.

I have now the honour to call your Lordship's attention to the Decree No. 708, establishing the Regulations for the execution, in the first instance, of the above law of the 4th of September.

These Regulations are divided into 3 chapters, accompanied by 3 Articles explanatory of certain passages in the body of the Regulations.

The 1st chapter relates to the seizure of slave-ships, and determines the form of process in the first instance.

The 2nd chapter details that process.

And the 3rd chapter declares and determines what are the signs and evidence which constitute a legal presumption of the employment of vessels in Slave Trade.

The 3 Articles which are annexed to these general Regulations are:

1st. An extract from that part of the Commercial Code of Brazil which determines the character of Brazilian merchant-vessels;

2ndly. A republication of 3 Articles of the Decree of the 7th of December, 1796, which establishes the Rules to be followed in regard to vessels which have been seized and detained by the public authority;

3rdly. A republication of 5 Articles of the Decree No. 707, of the 9th October, 1850, which establishes the form of process in regard to the trial of prisoners.

Your Lordship will perceive that the XVth Article of the 1st chapter enacts the establishment of Vice-Admiralty Courts for the trial of cases of slave-trading, at Rio Janeiro, Pará, Maranham, Pernambuco, Bahia, and Porto Alegre.

It is to be hoped that when this Law and the Regulations for its execution are brought to bear upon the Brazilian Slave Trade, the effect will be commensurate with the expectations which are formed of it.

The Regulations for the execution of this law in the second instance are not yet completed; but I am informed that they are in an advanced stage and will soon be published.

The slave-dealers, however, I plainly perceive, are not intimidated by this law. They are about to pursue another mode of importing African slaves into Brazil. They have the effrontery to declare that a reaction will commence in this country in favour of Slave Trade; and they hope to evade the most rigorous of its provisions by pursuing a course which I have the honour to detail to your Lordship in my other despatch of this date. I have, &c. Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B.


No. 143.-Mr. Hudson to Viscount Palmerston.-(Rec. December 31.)
Rio de Janeiro, November 11, 1850.

THE recent legislation of Brazil in respect of Slave Trade, and the seizure of slave-ships in Brazilian waters, under Article I of the Convention of 1826, has produced a change in the mode of intro-.. ducing African slaves into this country.

The slave-dealers have found that the Brazilian Law of the 4th of. September, 1850, which makes Slave Trade piracy, and enables the public prosecutor to lay an action against slave-ships, renders the importation of slaves into Brazil more dangerous to themselves, and more hazardous to their vessels; and, consequently, in order to keep the price of slaves within the reach and the capability of the planter to purchase, they require another class of vessel, of a less costly build, rig, and equipment, than those fine schooners, brigs, and barques, which heretofore have been so much employed in Slave Trade.

It is now the intention of the slave-dealers to purchase, or, if possible, to construct of cheap materials, smaller and less suspiciouslooking vessels on the coast of Africa, and of that class known in. Brazil under the denomination of "palhabote," schooner-rigged, with main-sail, fore-sail, and jib, without top-masts, and with stays instead of shrouds, resembling the New York pilot-boat, or the "pungy" of Chesapeake Bay. These vessels, on their arrival off the coast of Brazil, are to discharge their slaves into large fishing-launches (calangeiras), which run into shallow water and land the Africans on the beach; and the vessel in which the slaves arrived is then to be either burnt or sunk.

By these means the principals in the transaction hope to avoid the penalties attached by the Brazilian Law of the 4th September, 1850, to the crime of slave-trading, all proof being destroyed of their guilt.

Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B.

I have, &c.


No. 151.—Mr. Hudson to Viscount Palmerston.—(Rec. December 31.). Rio de Janeiro, November 11, 1850.


I HAD the honour, in a despatch of the 9th of September, to report to your Lordship the presentation to the Brazilian Legislature, of a Bill for the sale, management, and better administration of waste lands in Brazil; and I drew your Lordship's attention particularly to that Bill as affording one of the best means of aiding in the repression of Slave Trade, by throwing open to free labour. vast tracts of fertile land, which, for want of due regulations as to its sale and settlement, are closed and valueless, both to the colonist and to the State.

This Bill having passed the Brazilian Legislature and become

law, I considered it my duty to call the attention of the Minister for Foreign Affairs to your Lordship's despatch of the 4th of November, 1848, in proof of the desire of Her Majesty's Government to assist Brazil in her efforts to substitute the labour of free men for that of slaves.

I accordingly waited upon Senhor Paulino, and placed in his hands your Lordship's despatch above referred to, and pointed out all the advantages which might be derived from the proposition of Her Majesty's Government.

I was deeply pained to learn from Senhor Paulino, that no steps for the settlement or colonization of the waste lands in Brazil can yet be taken, as no provision for measuring them has been yet agreed upon.

Until, therefore, those steps are taken, this law, which otherwise would have rendered effective aid in repressing Slave Trade, by affording to the Brazilian planter a contrast between the skilful, willing, and ready labour of the free man, and the tedious, slow, and thoughtless process of the unwilling slave, must remain a dead letter.

I have the honour to transmit herewith to your Lordship the copy and translation of the law in question.

Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B.


I have, &c.


No. 153.-Viscount Palmerston to Mr. Hudson.

Foreign Office, January 17, 1851. I HAVE received and laid before the Queen your despatch of the 11th of last November, inclosing a copy and translation of a note, dated the 24th of the preceding month, which you had received from M. Paulino de Souza, in reply to a note which you addressed to that Minister on the 16th of April, 1850, respecting the continued importation of slaves into Brazil, and the condition of the negroes emancipated by the Mixed Commission which was established at Rio de Janeiro.

I have now to state to you, that you need not give any written reply to this answer, unless M. Paulino wishes to have one; but you should state verbally to M. Paulino, with regard to the laws passed and the measures adopted in Brazil for the repression of the Slave Trade, that Her Majesty's Government are waiting with anxious interest to see the result which may follow from a strict and impartial application of those laws, and from a vigorous, systematic, and uncompromising execution of those measures; but that the experience of the past prevents Her Majesty's Government from considering the mere enactment of a law, or the issuing of an order, as equivalent to a practical result.

With respect to the statement made by M. Paulino, that if the British Government would discontinue the measures which it has adopted on the coast of Brazil for the suppression of the Slave Trade, the Brazilian Government would make proposals for a Convention on that subject between the 2 Governments, you should say that Her Majesty's Government are sorry that they cannot act upon this suggestion; because it amounts to this, that if the British Government will abstain from employing certain practical means which experience has proved to be efficient, the Brazilian Government will make proposals which may very possibly be such as Her Majesty's Government could not agree to, and thus the only result would be that during the interval of time which would be lost in such a fruitless negotiation, the Slave Trade would be carried on with its former intensity on the Brazilian coast.

If the Government of Brazil have any proposals to make in regard to a Slave Trade Treaty which the British Government is likely to accept, the sooner those proposals are made the better, and they will receive due consideration; but the Brazilian Government, in framing them, would do well to bear in mind the Draft of Treaty which was communicated to it in December, 1847, by Lord Howden.

With respect to the emancipated negroes, Her Majesty's Government would be glad to learn that they had been sent to Liberia, where their freedom would be secured; but it is manifest that if they were sent to any Portuguese possession or to the territories of any native Chiefs, their freedom would be in much danger.

J. Hudson, Esq.

I am,



No. 154.-Viscount Palmerston to Mr. Hudson.

SIB, Foreign Office, January 23, 1851. I HAVE received and laid before the Queen your despatch of the 11th of November last, and its inclosure, reporting the determination which has been taken by the Brazilian Government to recognize the Republic of Liberia: to accredit an Agent to the President of that State; and to send thither the survivors of the negroes who were emancipated by the Mixed Commission heretofore established at Rio de Janeiro.

I have the satisfaction of informing you that Her Majesty's Government entirely approve of the whole course of the conduct which you have pursued with respect to these emancipated negroes; and that the intention which is entertained by the Government of Brazil of sending them to Liberia is entirely unobjectionable to Her Majesty's Government. I am, J. Hudson, Esq.



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