Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

To add to our present prospect of immense surplus population, the Josephine, I am advised, may be expected daily with five hundred more. I had the honor to write to you on the 26th, and anticipated that the various bills against this agency would be brought in, and my drafts drawn; advised you thereof, leaving blank the sums.

I was taken ill that next morning, have been confined to my bed for three days with severe indisposition, had to do business with the officer of the Bonito by my bedside, and the accounts have not been sent in nor adjusted; of consequence no drafts are drawn but one in favor of John H. Paxton for eighty-five dollars ($85.)

I write now exceedingly feeble, and most of the time have to dictate to an amanuensis.

I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient servant,

JOHN SEYS, United States Agent for Liberated Africans. Hon. ISAAC TOUCEY,

Secretary of the Navy, United States.

[ocr errors]

UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR LIBERATED AFRICANS,

Monrovia, September 3, 1860. SIR : I had the honor to inform you, by the hand of Lieut. A. K. Hughes, commanding the brigantine slaver, prize to the United States steam frigate San Jacinto, of the capture of that vessel off the Congo river, with 619 slaves on board, there arrival here, (less three who died on the passage to this port,) and there delivered to me. I also informed the Department that whilst we were landing the recaptives from the brigantine, supposed to be the notorious Storm King, of New York, the ship Erie, prize to the United States steamer Mohican, arrived with 867 recaptured Africans, (thirty having died on their way here,) under the command of Lieut. J. W. Dennington.

I have now the honor to inform you, by an opportunity occurring to Baltimore, that so soon after the landing, housing, and providing for these unfortunate exiles from home and friends as it was possible to effect it, I have, with the efficient aid of a large committee of reliable and responsible citizens of Liberia, selected from the different settlements in this country, distributed these Africans among the farmers and householders, on terms which I submit to the United States Government for approval, until I shall receive definite instructions. I pay for each African taken up the river, and put out among the farmers and cultivators, fifty cents per week, and twenty-five cents for those remaining in this city. I also

I furnish each with two suits of clothes, which shall not average more than five dollars to each person, and furnish as bedding, one blanket, or African country cloth, worth from eighty cents to one dollar.

This has given generals atisfaction, and even when added to the expense of landing, paying subordinates, agents, interpreters, doctors' bills, house rent, school teachers, &c., I am under the impression will fall short of the sum per capita paid by the United States Government to the American Colonization Society for the support of those from Key West.

I have the honor to report the arrival here last Saturday of the Sonth Shore, with 254 on board, (108 having died on the way,) and the arrival, as I am informed by dispatches from Cape Mount, of the Castilian at that port with her complement, (ninety-one of whom died on the passage,) and this morning the Star of the Union has anchored in our roadstead with her proportion of these people en route to Sinoe. Thus the three ships chartered by the American Colonization Society have all arrived on our coast.

Hoping to be instructed definitely and explicitly in reference to the further care and support of these recaptured Africans, and others who may be sent here by the very efficient squadron you have appointed on this coastma squadron whose success already exceeds all hitherto accomplished by the United States Government in suppressing the slave trade, I submit this communication to your consideration,

I shall keep a particular and succinct account of all expenditures for the relief of these Africans, and at the end of this quarter, September 30, draw on the honorable Secretary of the Navy for the amount up to that date. Should I, for want of definite instructions in the premises, err in drawing on the wrong department of the Government, subsequent instructions will be gratefully received, and such error corrected.

I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient servant,

JOHN SEYS, United States Agent for Liberated Africans, Hon. Isaac TOUCEY,

Secretary of the Navy, United States of America.

UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR LIBERATED AFRICANS,

Monrovia, October 16, 1862. Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the bark Cora, of New York, a prize to the United States flag-ship Constellation, was brought into this port on Sunday evening last, the 14th instant, with 694 recaptured Africans on board, under command of Master Thomas H. Eastman. After an official communication with the President of Liberia, held early yesterday, I proceeded to make arrangements for landing the said Africans, and by 8 A. M. to-day the whole number were landed, receipts, in triplicate, prepared for the commander of the prize, and every facility rendered for dispatching the Cora on the 18th. This addition—this large addition to the 1,400 by the Storm King and Erie, renders the duties which devolve upon me not only onerous and complicated, but exceedingly difficult and perplexing. I have purchased all the material suitable for clothes for these nude and emancipated creatures which the stores afford here, as well as all which the vessels have brought in, and yet I have not supplied two-thirds of the large number thrown on my care.

Money cannot be had to accommodate me in paying the varied sums due the 400 or 500 persons among whom these thousand of Africans are distributed and supported. The circulating medium of Monrovia (paper money and specie) are both inadequate to the demands, and the utmost inconvenience is consequently sustained. To meet, in some manner, the exigency, I have to issue due bills, which, when they accumulate in the hands of any one merchant or citizen, I redeemed with drafts on the Hon. Secretary of the Navy.

I have the honor, therefore, to advise the Department that I have drawn to the amount of $3,825 98 up to September 29, 1860, and would forward, by the Cora, my accounts and receipts; but while preparing them this.late arrival has rendered it impossible. Besides which, the entirely incomplete state of the bills due, companies partially clothed, persons only paid in part, large numbers yet undistributed, rendered it impossible to furnish the Hon. Secretary with such a specific account as will soon follow by the bark Mendi, of New York. A list of the drafts alluded to I enclose, and hope that they will be duly honored.

I have to inform the Department that a number of our recaptives have wandered away, under the idea of returning to their own country. Several have been retaken and brought back, and are contented. In one day twenty-five were thus apprehended. One man hung himself in a fit of mental despondency, and some forty have died. As a general thing, however, all have found good homes among the citizens, and I can readily find many more homes for the large company by the Cora.

The committee. who sat several days apportioning out the Africans, demand pay. They are poor, were from the upper settlements, and had to pay board. I hesitate until I know officially the approriation made for these recaptives; nor do I increase, though urged to do so, the small allowance I have made per capita for those by the two former prizes. I submit, most respectfully, the propriety of sending to me, insured, a box of specie, in five dollars and quarter eagles, to the amount of $25,000 or $30,000 to meet the

emergency of the case, as well as a large quantity of common domestics, material for the wear of those unfortunate fellow-beings.

The people of the Cora, with few exceptions, are in good condition; and I take great pleasure in testifying my admiration of the kind and humane treatment of Master Eastman and Midshipman Hall to them, and to the skill and management of these officers in making the passage in the short time they did from the place of capture.

Any instructions which the Hon. Secretary may see fit to favor

a

me with, and any directions as to the better performance of these complicated duties, will be gratefully received and appreciated.

I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient servant,

JOHN SEYS, United States Agent for Liberated Africans. Hon. Isaac TOUCEY,

Secretary of the Navy, United States.

Drafts on the Hon. Secretary of the Navy. 1860. Sept. 25. In favor of P. D. Yates.

$1,266 86 29. In favor of J. H. Chavers.

100 00 In favor of C. P. Clarke...

343 84 In favor of H. E. Fuller..

70 00 In favor of A. F. Johns.

143 00 In favor of McGill Bros

790 00 In favor of G. Moore

1,062 28 In favor of Mary Anderson..

50 00

$3,825 98

UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR LIBERATED AFRICANS,

Monrovia, October 17, 1860. This certifies that the agents of the American Colonization Society in Liberia have received the number of Liberated Africans specified in the following list, and, to the best of my knowledge, are carrying out the contract entered into with the United States Government for their support:

[blocks in formation]

UNITED STATES OFFICE FOR LIBERATED AFRICANS,

Monrovia, August 24, 1860. Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the slaver Storm King, a prize to the United States steam frigate San Jacinto, arrived in this port on Tuesday P. M., August 21, with six hundred and sixteen recaptured Africans, under the command of Lieut. A. K. Hughes, United States Navy.

So soon as official communication could be held between the commander of the prize and myself, late the same evening, arrangements were made by me for the landing and support of the said liberated Africans; and the next morning, notwithstanding very heavy rains during the early part of the day, I repaired on board, and with good and comfortable boats, began to disembark this large number of wretched victims to a most inhuman traffic. I found them, men, women, boys, and girls, all in an entire state of nudity; but owing to the unremitting care of Lieut. Hughes, and the very efficient young officers under his command, Midshipmen McCook and Ewing, the Africans had greatly recruited and improved since their capture on the 8th of August, and I found them in a condition vastly superior to any similar cargo of slaves ever brought into this port. Too much cannot be said in praise of Lieut. Hughes for his kndness to these suffering fellow-creatures, his energy and zeal in getting to this port in so short a time, and his constant vigilance over the crew of the notorious Storm King,

Every principle of humanity, decency, and purity, being at variance with the idea of landing among the civilized and refined Christians of Monrovia these naked savages, I dispatched on shore an order for several hundred yards of common calico, and afforded each a covering, at least, in which to land.

While engaged on board the Storm King in landing the Africans, a large ship was signalized from the leeward, soon rounded Cape Mesurado, came to anchor, and was boarded by Mr. Ewing, by order of Lieut. Hughes. The information was soon announced that she was the Erie, of New York, a prize to the United States steamer Mohican, with nearly nine hundred recaptured slaves on board, under command of Lieut. John H. Dunnington, United States Navy, assisted by Midshipman Todd, and ten men, forming the entire prize crew.

Communication being had officially with Lieut. Dunnington, I prepared to receive, house, and otherwise take care of this immense and unprecedented addition to our population in this place.

On boarding the Erie the next day, no language can describe the wretched and emaciated condition of these unfortunate beings. More than thirty had died since the capture, and no doubt the mortality would have been much greater but for the care of Lieut. Dunnington and Mr. Todd, who, with only ten men to work a large ship, three prisoners to guard, and consequently as much to do as commonly falls to men under such circumstances, yet found time, night and day, to feed and take care of the sick and dying.

« ForrigeFortsæt »