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extensive, that it induced all the Planters, and most of the principal Inhabitants, to leave the Islaod and go over to that Continent.
I beg leave to mention one other circumstance, which I think injurious to the mercantile interest of this Country, which is the prohibition of Arms and Gunpowder into Africa; as, however laudable the motive may be, the desired end is not obtained, and it has only transferred a very lucrative trade from our own Subjects into the hands of the Danes, Dutch, &c., who, by importing these very Articles, are enabled, as I have before mentioned, to undersell and monopolize the trade, to the great prejudice of our own Merchants, some of whom evade the Order in Council by clearing out for Madeira, land their Cargo at that Island, and procure a Certificate from the British Consul of having done so, which Certificate he is obliged to grant; it it is then re-shipped in the same Vessel, and proceeds to the Coast.
I have the honour, &c., John Wilson Croker, Esq.
JAMES LUCAS YEO.
No. 2.-Commodore Sir James Lucas Yeo to J. W. Croker, Esq.
His Majesty's Ship Inconstant, Sir,
Off Cape Coast Castle, 12th March, 1817. I BEG leave to inform you, for their Lordships' information, that having landed the Specie at Sierra Leone, I sailed from that River on the 21st of January to visit our different Settlements on the Coast, and to look after an Armed Schooner under Spanish Colours, who had plundered an English Brig and several other Vessels, but without success; for though there is little or no doubt but most of the Armed Vessels under Spanish Colours, trading for Slaves, are guilty of Piracy, yet it is very difficult, if not impossible, to detect them in the act. This is neither the only nor the least evil our trade has and will suffer from so extensive a Slave Trade under the Spanish Flag, for now they feel their own security and do not fear any molestation; they do not hesitate to take their Slaves on board in the vicinity, and even between the British Forts; the consequence will be, that they will supply the Natives with every article they stand in need of, (Arms and Powder included,) at a much cheaper rate than our Merchants can afford to do, and will revive a Traffic, which is certainly most popular with every African I have seen.
The Natives at our different Forts begin already to hope for a participation in the Trade. I am sorry to say that these Vessels receive great encouragement and assistance from the Dutch Governor in Chief, Daendels; and as Elmina is only 7 miles from Cape Coast Castle, it cannot fail to prove productive of most mischievous effects to our Settlements.
Having visited our Forts, and run the Coast down as far to the Southward as the River Gaboon, I proceeded to the Island of St.
Thomas's for refreshments and water; after a stay of three days, I sailed thence on the 7th, and arrived here yesterday, where I expected to meet the Cherub, but find that, being short of provisions, she had quitted the Coast for England 5 days before my arrival.
Being aware that there are a number of British Vessels trading on the Coast, I deem it expedient to remain for their protection, antil the rains are about to commence, which is the beginning of May, when I shall quit the Coast and proceed to England, agreeably to my Instruetions.
I have the honour to be, &c. John Wilson Croker, Esq.
JAMES LUCAS YEO.
No.3.—Commodore Sir J. L. Yeo to J. W. Croker, Esq.
His Majesty's Ship Inconstant, (Extract.)
On the Coast of Africa, 12th May, 1817. I am happy to inform you, that a few days before my departure from Cape Coast, 3 of the Company's Officers had proceeded up the Country as an Embassy to the King of the Ashantees, one of whom is to remain there as a Resident Factor. I am convinced that this is the only way by which we can ever obtain, either a knowledge of the Country, or its Inhabitants, or hope to benefit the one or civilize the other; and though these Gentlemen will no doubt obtain very useful information, yet I am more certain in my own mind that, under the present system, there is no prospect, nay, no possibility, of our acquiring any great pational honour, or commercial advantages in Africa.
I do not wish or intend to convey any thing to the prejudice of the Company's Servants, either as Men or Merchants; but I do contend, that they have neither the talent, enterprise, activity, or inclination for such an undertaking : sew of them ever leave their store or shop during the day, it is their natural occupation; nor can it be expected they will sacrifice their own interests and health for the general good.
In order to form a plan of operations calculated to discover new sources of commercial wealth, and to direct them towards the Coast, it will be necessary to establish a Government ilat can secure property, and that care be taken to select proper Officers and others to be employed; who ought to possess information, honour, and moral conduct, without which, I will venture to predict, all will prove futile, and unworthy the British Nation. John Wilson Croker, Esq.
JAMES LUCAS YEO.
No. 4.-Commodorc Sir J. L. Yeo to J. W. Croker, Esq.
His Majesty's Ship Inconstant, (Extract.)
Barbadoes, 291h May, 1817. I now proceeded off Cape Mount, and ran the Coast down as far as Cape Coast Castle; off the River Cavalley we visited 2 English Traders belonging to Liverpool, 1 of which had been plundered off Cape Mezurado, by a large armed Schooner under Spanish Colours, cruizing off there, taking in Slaves.
A few days before our arrival at Cape Coast, a large armed Ship of 26 guns appeared off that Castle, and the Company's Officers, taking ber for a Man-of-War, sent a Canoe on board; the Captain made most particular inquiries where the Inconstant was to be found, adding, that he had come to blow her out of the water. This Ship did not show any Colours, but was full of Men, and no doubt a Slave Ship under the Spanish Flag. John Wilson Croker, Esq.
JAMES LUCAS YEO.
No. 5.-Captain Fisher to J. W. Croker, Esq.
His Majesty's Ship Band, SIR,
Sierra Leone, 21st April, 1816. I BEG leave to acquaint you, for the information of their Lordships, that the Bann captured, on the 16th of March last, off Princes' Island, the Portuguese Brig San Antonio, from Camaroon, bound to Bahia, with nearly 600 Slaves. To feed or attend such a number in a Vessel of 120 tons was impossible, and seldom has a more dreadful scene been witnessed than she presented: in a passage of 80 leagues more than 30 had died, whilst at least an equal number appeared in a dying state ; amidst a group of these unhappy creatures, in the last stage of misery and starvation, lay a neglected corpse, in a state too dreadful for description; this, too, in a most unhealthy climate, at the worst season, wbilst tornadoes were frequent and violent, and the rains almost incessant. It is impossible, in the compass of a public Letter, to describe half the sufferings of these victims of oppression.
By removing a large portion of them into His Majesty's Ship, by diet, cleanliness, and medical attendance, (of which they had hitherto been destitute) in short, by exerting every means in my power, and supplying them as well as the exhausted state of provisions permitted, being warmly supported by the humanity of my Officers and Men, I have succeeded in towing her hither with less loss than I had reason to apprehend. I have the pleasure to add, that I have not, during this service, lost one of my own Men.
I trust their Lordships will approve my having come up with her; it was necessary to tow her up, or to abandon her to certain destruction: 43 died on the passage, notwithstanding all our care, and many more are still in a very precarious state.
I am completing my water, and taking on board provisions, and shall proceed immediately for Barbadoes, in compliance with my Orders.
I have, &c. John Wilson Croker, Esq.
No. 6.-Captain Fisher lo J. W. Croker, Esq.
His Majesty's Ship Bann, (Extracts.)
At Spithead, 4th July, 1816. The Bann arrived at Goree, the 30th December, 1815; at Sierra Leone the 9th January instant : on the 12th, whilst refitting, I received intelligence that 2 Schooners were taking in Slaves at Gallinas; sailed next morning early, and on the 18th captured, as I had the honour to report, the American Schooper Rosa, under Spanish Colours, with 276 Slaves; I returned with her, and having completed my wood and water, &c. &c., proceeded on the 28th to cruize down the Coast, landing, on the application of Governor M'Carthy, 60 Krou Men at Seltra Krou; arrived at Cape Coast Castle on the 17th February, and in compliance with an Application from Governor White proceeded to Axim, (the Application and Enclosures, with all the proceedings consequent thereon, I have enclosed for their Lordships' information); on the 29th February returned to Cape Coast, and having taken on board such gold and ivory as the Merchants wished to send, continued my cruize down the Coast, stopping one day at Accrah.
On the 5th March, captured off Whydah (as I had the honour to report from Princes' Island), the Temerario, of 18 Guns and 80 men, and having repaired her damages, dispatched her on the 9th for Sierra Leone; arrived at Princes' Island on the ilth, completed our water and procured refreshments, and on the 15th, in the morning, proceeded for Gaboon; on the 16th, in the evening, still in sight of the Island (having been driven back by two tornadoes) captured the Portuguese Brig San Antonio, with nearly 600 Slaves on board, taken in at Camaroon, in violation of the Treaty, a Copy of which was on board her: this capture, with my reasons for going to Sierra Leone with her, I have had the honour to report.
On the 25th April we were ready to proceed to Barbadoes; but I was induced by information to look into Gallinas before I quitted the Coast: off Sherbro' Island I fell in with a large armed Felucca, under Spanish Colours, which I was induced by circumstances to send into Sierra Leone.
The Bann has captured 4 Slave Vessels, with 36 guns and 164 men; released 900 Slaves; and deprived them of the means of transporting 800 more, exclusive of La Neuve Aimable, a large Schooner under Spanish Colours, with 400 Slaves, which, having sprung a leak, bore up for Sierra Leone, and was boarded off the Harbour by the boats of the Colonial Brig and the Bunn, His Majesty's Sloop Ferret being in company. John Wilson Croker, Esg.
No. 7.-Captain Fisher to J. W. Croker, Esq.
His Majesty's Ship Cherub, (Extract.)
Princes' Island, 4th February, 1817. In obedience to the Orders of Commodore Sir James Lucas Yeo, I take the first opportunity of transmitting, for the information of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, the proceedings of His Majesty's Ship under my command.
On the 17th ultimo, she captured off Cape Lahon, the Portuguese Ship Esperanza, with 413 Slaves, taken on board at Whydah, in latitude 6° 20' N. in violation of the Treaty: having dispatched her for Sierra Leone, I arrived off Fort Apollonia, the weathermost of the British Forts, on the 21st, having been much delayed by calms, one of which lasted 13 days; having communicated with the Fort, and ascertained that all was well at the windward Forts, I proceeded for Cape Coast, communicating with Commenda; finding every where accounts of Piracies committed by large armed Schooners, generally showing Spanish Colours, but manned with Ruffians of all Nations. I enclose annexed an Extract from the Log of the American Schooner, John Willis, which had been plundered of all her provisions, and had seen an English Brig plundered of her provisions and stores, her sails unbent and taken away, and her standing rigging cut away. I found it necessary to supply him with a small quantity of provisions. Arrived at Cape Coast the 21st, at night, where I received further accounts of Piracies on the Coast by armed Schooners, and was informed by Governor Smith, that a large armed Spanish Ship, with 140 men, was Slaving in the immediate neighbourhood of the Company's Forts, and learned from various sources that she was in close correspondence with Governor Daendels of Fort Elmina, who supplied her with every thing necessary for carrying on the Slave Trade, and was supposed to be concerned in her, and that they had publicly expressed their wish to fall in with a British Mau-of-War.
I feel it my duty to state, that Governor-General Daendels, of Fort Elmina, gives every encouragement to the Slave Trade; two Portuguese Slave Vessels have been supplied with water and canvas there : his connexion with the Spanish Ship is unquestionable. This example has already had a serious influence upon the Natives living under our Forts.
The French Slave Vessels are numerous: there are now three at Gaboon.
(Enclosure.)-Log of the American Schooner, John Willis, of Boston,
off Little Lesters. SUNDAY, 15th December, 1816.-Throughout moderate, agreeable weather; trading with the Natives for Ivory. At 8 A. M. observed a large Schooner under the Spanish Flag lying at anchor, 34 miles to