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answered, " that they thought otherwise," and pointed out to him the construction they put on the Act of Parliament in question, and the Treaties and Convention therein recited, and on the day following addressed a Letter to the Colonial Secretary, stating, “ that in their opinion the Clause of the Act in question did not apply to the Court of the British and Portuguese Mixed Commission.”
On the 30th of June, Mr. Savage, the Claimant's Proctor, addressed a written Communication to the Court, with several Enclosures, in consequence, as he states, of the Communication from the Acting Governor to the Commissioners; he sets forth “ that on the 27th of June, the Seizor's Proctor addressed to him a Letter as follows, containing an Enclosure, to wit: • Sir,
Sierra Leone, June 27, 1826. • I beg leave to enclose you a Copy of a Letter I have just received from Mr. Cole, the Collector and Quarantine Master, respecting the support hitherto supplied the Slaves on board the Perpetuo Defensor and Susan, and I beg leave to remind you, that there are no provisions now on board the Vessels, and to press upon your attention the urgency of your victualling the said Slaves. I have, &c. W. H. Savage, Esq. 'J. D. LAKE, for Commodore Bullen, C. B.'
« The Enclosure is as follows: 'Sir,
Sierra Leone, June 27, 1826. • The Colonial Surgeon having reported to the Government that the contagious disease has totally disappeared from among the Slaves on board the Perpetuo Defensor and Susan, and that they should, in consequence, be released from Quarantine, I am commanded to give you notice, that the support of these people (hitherto furnished by me) will be discontinued as soon as I receive instructions from his Honour the Acting Governor to carry the recommendation of the Surgeon into effect. I am, &c.
• THOMAS COLE, • John Dean Lake, Esq.
“Colr. and Quarantine Master.' “And to which he made immediate Reply, declining to provision the Slaves, for the reasons therein alleged.— The Reply was as follows : , • Sir,
Sierra Leone, June 27, 1826. IN Reply to your's of this date, I am requested by the Claimant to say, that the Perpetuo Defensor had, when seized, provisions adequate to the full supply of the Africans, the Cargo of the said Vessel, during the voyage; that her having been seized and brought to this Place, has consumed a period far beyond that necessary for the completion of the voyage, and if, therefore, the provisions are expended, it can arise solely from this cause, and not through any omission or fault of the Claimant.
• I must inform you, the Claimant is without the pecuniary means of procuring them food for their subsistence. The Seizors, or their Agent, therefore, are called upon, for the cause of humanity in this
Case, either to petition the Colonial Government to provision them, or do it themselves, leaving the Costs thereof to after consideration.
I have the honour to be, &c. Jokn Dean Lake, Esq.'
· W. H. SAVAGE.' “As in fact, from there being no Mercantile Communication in this Colony with any Portuguese House, it was found impossible to raise money to effect such an object, as subsisting the Slaves (upwards of 300 in number), without a guarantee; the Registrar of the Court having, however, since he, Mr. Savage, wrote the last Letter, distinctly stated to him, that the Judges of the Court did consider the Claimant bound to support the Slaves, and that, if not fed, should any thing arise to cause a deterioration of their number it would fall on the Claimant, he resolved to become guarantee for the supplies, to prevent any unfortunate result during the uncertainty existing, and gave directions that they should be provided for accordingly, and, on the 28th instant, provisions were sent on board both Vessels, which, however, he had some difficulty in getting received. On the same day, he wote the following Letter to the Proctor of the Seizor, to inform him of his intention : •Sir,
• Sierra Leone, June 28, 1826. *) BEG leave to acquaint you, that I have received directions from the Claimant, in the Case of the Brig Perpetuo Defensor, to supply the Africans on board with provisions, as well as those also on board His Majesty's Colonial Brig Susan, which I shall endeavour to carry into effect immediately; but I have most distinctly to state, that the supply of the latter will only be continued until the sitting of the Court, when the sense of the Court will be taken thereon, as the Claimant considers those People who have been so remo
moved, while Vessel was in charge of Captor, in the light of Persons landed in British Territory, and who will, therefore, claim every privilege the said removal may entitle them to.
*I am also to inform you, that the Claimant is himself personally unable, from severe indisposition, to look after the Vessel, and that all his Officers have been removed by the Captor; but he will endeavour to engage an Officer this day, who, if engaged, shall proceed on board to-morrow morning.
• The removal of the European part of the Crew of the Perpetuo Defensor, except 2 men and the Master, makes it almost impossible to expect that the Slaves may be prevented from doing as they think fit, and, therefore, I must most particularly press on you, that, for the interest of the Seizor, the Officer and men, put on board by the Seizor, may remain to assist in keeping the Slaves on board until the final Judgment of the Court shall be given. I have, &ic. John Dean Lake, Esq.
.W. H. SAVAGE.'
" In writing the Letter of the 27th, and thereby distinctly stating, the Claimant did not possess the means to supply the Slaves with provisions, he considered that the future support of the Slaves would have been arranged, under the authority of the 32d Section of the Act of the 5th George 4th, Cap. 113, (this is the same Clause referred to by the Acting Governor in his Letter to the Court), that, during the Perpetuo Defensor's havingbeen in charge of the Seizors, upwards of 240 Slaves were removed to the Colonial Brig Susan, and on his mentioning this to the Acting Governor, he most positively stated to him, that, whatever might be the Decree of the Court, those Persons could not, nor would he as Governor permit, that they should be put back into the Perpetuo Defensor, as Slaves, the Acting Governor having also distinctly stated to him, that, provided those Slaves, or any other, were restored by Decree, he would not permit them to be victualled or watered from this Colony, it therefore became a positive fact that the Slaves, from the moment they are brought in here, the Claimant cannot advantage by any Decree of Restitution so as to effect their removal ;
that their being at once allowed to land, must only facilitate the proceedings, and ought not, he humbly conceived, debar the Claimant from indemnification.
“ The circumstance of the Slaves having been taken out of irons and permitted at large in the Vessel, the intercourse held with the liberated Africans who have been employed about them, their seeing others, who had been detained as Slaves, going on shore, has tended to create a feeling of insubordination which, if it is manifested, the present slender Crew of the Perpetuo Defensor must be unable to repress: 10 persons only of the original Crew of 54, having been suffered to remain by the Seizor, present additional reasons imperatively requiring the landing of the Slaves without injury to the interest of the Claimant."
An Affidavit of the Master of the said Brig, in support of many of the Allegations contained in the aforesaid Communication from Mr. Savage to the Court, was brought into Court at the same time.
On the same day, the 30th, was brought in, the Affidavit of John B. Garel, who therein sets forth, “that, on the 28th day of the present month, he was requested by William Henry Savage to proceed on board the Brig Perpetuo Defensor, and His Majesty's Colonial Brig Susan, and to take with him rice as provisions for the Slaves on board those Vessels, and to see they were generally supplied with every thing necessary ;--that he did therefore take 20cwt of rice, and on the same day proceed on board, and has ever since continued to supply the said Slaves with rice, salt, and palm-oil, and, on this day, by the further direction of the said W. H. Savage, is supplying them with fresh beef, and attending to see them furnished with water; that, when he first went on board the Perpetuo Defensor, there was only a Quarter
Master in charge on board : Deponent asked him to be permitted to count the number of Slaves, provided the said Quarter-Master could not tell the number; that the said Quarter-Master said that he could not tell the number, and therefore, he, Deponent, began to count them, and got to about 50, when a black man, who told this Deponent he belonged to the Maidstone Frigate, spoke to the Slaves in their own language, as this Deponent believes; the Slaves on being so spoken to began to shew signs of displeasure, and mixed themselves so with the others, that Deponent could not count them; that on taking the said provisions the first time on board, could not induce any Person, either on board the said Brig or the Brig Susan, to take charge of the said provisions, but that Deponent had been suffered to leave the rice on board the Susan, and issues the same every morning."
On the 1st of July, while the Commissioners were sitting, adjudicating some other Cases, the Chief Justice was called on by Mr. Samo, the Acting King's Advocate, and Doctor Barry, Deputy Inspector of Hospitals, who produced an Affidavit of the beforementioned John Tollervey, of His Majesty's Ship Maidstone, who therein deposed, “ that 91 Natives of Africa were then confined on board a Vessel in the Harbour, called the Perpetuo Defensor, and, as he, the Deponent, verily believed, were intended to be carried away from the Port of Freetown, for the purpose of being dealt with as Slaves," and, on this evidence, insisted they were entitled to a Writ of Habeas Corpus; this was, however, denied by the Chief Justice, who stated to those Gentlemen the reason why he could not issue any such Process Notwithstanding this refusal, Mr. Samo sent, on the 3d instant, a written application to the Chief Justice, under date of the 2d, enclosing a Letter to him from Dr. Barry, and the same Affidavit of Mr. Tollervey, and again praying for a writ of Habeas Corpus. On the 4th of July, by appointment, the Chief Justice heard Mr. Samo and Dr. Barry on the part of the Slaves, and examined on oath every Person they thought proper to bring as a Witness in the case, the principal one of whom was Mr. Ferguson, the Surgeon of the Royal African Colonial Corps. Dr. Barry acknowledged that he himself had never been on board the Vessel. Mr. Savage, the Claimant's Proctor, with the Claimant himself, were also heard, and two Affidavits of their's, sworn before a Justice of the Peace, allowed to be read in evidence, when the Chief Justice again refused to grant the Writ of Habeas Corpus, and gave his reason for such refusal. This matter was heard in the presence of His Majesty's late Commissary Judge, the Clerk of the Crown, and Mr. Tollervey, the Prize-Master, in addition to the Persons before mentioned. The Copies of the Documents in this Case, certified from the Crown Office, are sent with this Report.
On the following day, the 5th of July, the Slaves on board the Susan Colonial Brig were, by order of the Acting Governor, taken pos
session of by Mr. Cole, the Collector of Duties, and landed and disposed of, without either the knowledge or consent of the Court, in the same manner as those have been that have been adjudged to be emancipated by the Courts of Mixed Commission; and on the 6th of July the Slaves on board the Perpetuo Defensor, 88 in number, being in a state of insubordination, were landed by the Claimant's Proctor, and, by order of the Acting Governor, received and disposed of by Mr. Cole, as the others had been that were landed the day before from the Susan. This was also done without either the knowledge or consent of the Court.
Mr. Lake, the Seizor's Proctor, about this time petitioned the Court to have 4 black Seamen and 4 of the Slaves examined on Special Interrogatories, which Mr. Savage, on the part of the Claimant, objected to, first because there was no Portuguese Commissioner in the said Court; secondly, because the Regulations did not point out any such mode for ascertaining the facts of any Case; and, thirdly, because the People to be examined had not the dread either of temporal punishment, or religious obligations, to speak the truth, and that, being Persons not speaking an European language, it was impossible to make them understand the questions put through an Interpreter, who must also be a liberated African, equally ignorant.
To the first objection of Mr. Savage it was answered, " that it was neither the fault of the British Government or the British Commissioners that there was no Portuguese Commissioner, and that if the Court, in the absence of the Foreign Commissioners, could legally condemn and release Vessels, they could also do any other act for which the Court was constituted, and could therefore order the examination of the Seamen and Slaves of any Vessel before the Court.” To the second objection it was answered, “ that it had been an undeviating practice of the Courts of Mixed Commission, since their establishment, to examine, not only the Master and two or three of the principal Persons on board the detained Vessel, but also others of the Crew, also the Slaves, and any one else, by whose examination truth was likely to be elicited.” To the third objection, it was answered, “ that it contained assertions, the truth of which must be ascertained at the time of examination, except that which states the ignorance generally of the liberated Africans, which is not true, as it is notorious that many of them had resided some time in the Colony, and were Persons of some intelligence, and might be procured by Mr. Savage as Interpreters, if he chose.” The prayer of Mr. Lake's Petition was therefore granted, and he this day produced Jose da Costa, Manoel Nogera, Antonio Mozambique, and Juan, Seamen of the Brig, who, being duly sworn, deposed, each and severally," that they shipped on board the Perpetuo Defensor, at Rio Janeiro; that Angola is the name of the first land they made, coming out from whence they went to Ambrise;" and Jose Costa, for himself, deposed, “ that they there