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By 8 o'clock A. M. to-day the entire complements of both vessels, nearly, if not quite, 1,500 souls, were all landed safely and provided for.
I have the honor to inform the Department that, so soon as possible, I informed the President of Liberia of the arrival of the Storm King, (see Document No. 1,) and most courteously requested permission to land the recaptured Africans. His Excellency's reply, with the entire correspondence up to date, I have the honor to forward copies of; to all of which I had the speedy, prompt, and definite attention and instruction of the United States Government, that so soon as possible I may be advised as to the course I am to pursue.
The spacious receptacle of the American Colonization Society being most kindly put at my use by their agent here, H. W. Dennis, Esq., has been of much service to me; but it could only accommodate the people from the Storm King, and with the utmost difficulty could I procure untenanted houses in Monrovia for the large number by the Erie. I have had to rent five or six houses for their
An influx of 1,500 persons into a place like this, where there is not often a large overplus of breadstuffs and meats, obliged me to make formal and official requisitions of Lieuts. Hughes and Dunnington for all the remaining stores of the Storm King and Erie, to both of which they have kindly responded, and will take my receipts.
The recaptured slaves by the Erie requiring medical aid forthwith-two died immediately after landing—and the prisoners on board the Storm King being very ill, I employed Dr. Roberts to accompany me on board, and subsequently to attend the Africans. I am happy to report that one of the prisoners, already given up by the surgeon of Her Britannic Majesty's steamer Lynx, then in port, has been much restored under the care of Dr. Roberts, and the utmost attention is paid by him to the Africans.
Nothing can exceed the kindness and willingness of the citizens of Liberia to aid in the reception of, and attention to, these people; and though the majority of them are not able without some femuneration to support them, yet with that aid which the Government of the United States so benevolently affords, there is every reason to hope that these liberated slaves by the Storm King and Erie will prove as docile, industrious, and worthy citizens of Liberia as those by the Pons and Echo.
I am fortunate in being able to report that, as it was impossible for me to attend in person to the wants of so large a number of persons located in different parts of the city, I succeeded in obtaining the services of the Hon. B. R. Wilson, judge of the quarterly court of this county, to superintend the recaptives by the Erie, and his own son-in-law, Henry Fuller, Esq., to take charge of those by the Storm King. These efficient gentlemen, with a number of Congoes from the Pons and Echo, who are employed by me as interpreters and overseers, assist me much in the multifarious duties connected with my office.
It will be necessary, for many reasons which may be adduced, to place out these Africans in the families of the citizens of Liberia as soon as possible, the more especially as by reliable intelligence we may expect daily the arrival of the liberated slaves from Key West, and there will be no room in the buildings now employed in Monrovia for all.
It will be my policy, in view of the intentions of the United States Government respecting liberated Africans, to employ teachers, form schools, and make it obligatory on those who take these natives in their care to send them, at least part of every day, to school.
In accordance with my letter of instructions accompanying my appointment in 1857, and never rescinded, it will be my duty to keep an accurate account of all expenditures for the support of these Africans, forward the same to the Department at the end of each quarter, with proper vouchers and receipts, and draw for the
I have the honor to be, sir,
JOHN SEYS, United States Agent for Liberated Africans. Hon. Isaac Toucey,
Secretary of the Navy of the United States.
Correspondence between the Rev. John Seys, United States Agent
at Monrovia for Liberated Africans, and the President of Liberia, in reference to the recaptives of the Storm King and Erie, slavers captured by the United States steamers San Jacinto and Mohican.
UNITED STATES OFFICE FOR LIBERATED AFRICANS,
August 22, 1860. Sir: I have the honor to inform your Excellency that six hundred and fifteen or twenty recaptured Africans arrived in this port last evening in the brigantine Storm King, a prize to the United States steamer San Jacinto. Capt. Dornin, in his official dispatch to me as the United States Agent for Liberated Africans, sends them to me under the command of Lieutenant Hughes, of the San Jacinto.
From the perfect understanding had between your Excellency, Flag Officer Inmann, of the United States squadron on this coast, and myself-an understanding fully matured and confirmed in a subsequent interview between the honorable Secretary of State and myself-I have the honor to request your Excellency's permission to land the same liberated Africans in this place, with the assurance from me that they shall all be fed, clothed, housed, and
otherwise taken care of, for one year, at the entire expense of the United States Government.
I shall be most happy to have your Excellency's counsel and dictation in reference to the distribution of the said Africans throughout the conntry, as well as among the citizens of Liberia.
Your Excellency's reply at the earliest possible period will be duly appreciated. I have the honor to be, Your Excellency's most obedient servant,
JOHN SEYS, United States Agent for Liberated Africans. His Excellency S. A. BENSON,
President of the Republic of Liberia.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Monrovia, August 22, 1860. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of this day's date, directed to the President, conveying to him the intelligence of the arrival in this port last evening of the brigantine Storm King with 615 or 620 recaptured Africans, a prize to the United States steam frigate San Jacinto; and you info.im the President that Capt. Dornin, her comma
mander, has, in an official dispatch, sent them under the command of Lieut. Hughes, of San Jacinto, to your care as the United States Agent for Liberated Africans, and you now solicit permission of this Government to be allowed to land the said recaptives in this place, with the assurance that they shall all be fed, clothed, housed, and otherwise taken care of for one year, at the expense of the United States Government.
In reply, I have the honor to remark, that the Government and people of Liberia feel the liveliest interest in the effectual and humane efforts that are being employed by the United States Government for the suppression of the slave trade on this coast, and in view of what this Government regards as a just sense of propriety, and in accordance with the claims of humanity, will do whatever it can in facilitation of this object; and I embrace the present opportunity to state explicitly, though concisely, the policy this Government is now forced to adopt, owing to the great and unprecedented influx of recaptured Africans (wild heathens from various tribes) there will likely be in Liberia, which is, in substance, that these recaptives must be placed immediately upon being landed in charge and under the supervision of this Government, and a contract entered into by which this Government will have the assurance, and be placed in possession, as occasion may require, of a similar amount per head for the support, &c., &c., of said recaptives, as has been allowed by the United States to the American Colonization Society per head for feeding, clothing, sheltering, &c., &c., of the three prizes of recaptives taken on the coast of Cuba in the months of April and May of the present year.
A moment's reflection will, no doubt, convince you of the propriety of this course. These recaptives must have good and prompt training, not for one year only, but for several years, in which case they will likely prove a blessing to Liberia; otherwise a great evil to this Republic and to themselves.
The President has instructed me to present his views to you on the subject of the support and training of the recaptives, and he feels assured that none but this Government can organize and carry out a system adequate to carry them through the desired and absolutely necessary training to fit them for.the full enjoyment of the privileges of citizens of a free country.
The greater portion of these recaptives must of necessity be located on public lands, under teachers and instructors, for several years, on the manual labor system, the plan of which will have to be organized by, and under the exclusive supervision of this Government, so that there may be no failure in their being properly trained up to become in due time good and industrious citizens of the Republic.
In this work, this Government claims to be infinitely more interested than any Government or body of people can possibly be; it is, therefore, a work that cannot be intrusted to another.
If the amount allowed per head by the United States Government for shelter, food, clothing, &c., &c., be not sufficient to carry them through the necessary training, regarded indispensable by this Government, we will have to tax ourselves, and supply the deficiency.
Presuming these views will be deemed by you fair and reasonable towards the Government which you so nobly represent, and will meet with your concurrence, you are at liberty to land the recaptives from the Storm King at your own convenience.
I have the honor to be, sir,
JOHN N. LEWIS.
UNITED STATES OFFICE FOR LIBERATED AFRICANS,
August 23, 1860. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, yesterday, of your communication of the 22d, and would have replied but for my absence on board the prize Storm King, now in port.
I have perused with the utmost attention the views of his Excel
lency President Benson, as contained in your dispatch, and feel deeply to appreciate the readiness of this Government in co-operating with the United States Government and the American Colonization Society in their most laudable and noble efforts to arrest the nefarious slave trade. These assurances on the part of this Government are in perfect keeping with the articles of compacts entered into between what then were only colonies of Liberia and the American Colonization Society, at the time the former became an independent and sovereign people. In that compact, Article IV, now before me, it is expressly stated that “recaptured Africans shall be admitted as heretofore, the United States Government making provision for their support."
In view of this, the United States Government has uniformly made provision for any and all recaptured Africans brought into this Republic, and keeps an agent, who has been duly accredited at the Government of Liberia for this purpose, on the spot.
Under these circumstances, the making provision for, and the taking care of, all liberated Africans coming into Liberia, so as that they shall not be any burden or expense whatever to the Government or people of Liberia, will be carrying out the letter and spirit of the compact referred to above; and more than this, the United States Government has given no pledge to do, nor can their agent, in the absence of any special instructions in the premises, venture to assume the responsibility of doing.
I am compelled, then, to decline entering into any contract that the United States Government will pay any sums of money to this Government, or make any arrangement with it, based on any contract made with the American Colonization Society in the case of the Africans captured on the coast of Cuba. I know not what that arrangement is, nor have I any instructions to make the capture of slaves on the coast of Cuba any criterion, so far as their expenses are concerned, for the expenditure of means to support the recaptives sent to me by the United States squadron now on this coast.
I beg leave, however, to assure his Excellency President Benson that the entire correspondence which I have the honor to hold with the Government in this matter shall be submitted by the very first opportunity to the United States Government, and I shall urge their immediate definite instructions in the premises. I need not add that it will be my pleasure, as well as duty, so soon as I receive such orders, to carry out whatever arrangement the United States Government may see fit to make with the Government of Liberia.
Meantime the recaptives by the Storm King, and 800 more who. arrived yesterday afternoon in the ship Erie, prize to the United States steamer Mohican, of which I have the honor to inform the Government officially, and beg leave to land, shall all be taken the very best possible care of that the place and the facilities of the place will admit
. As the Colonization receptacle cannot hold all, I am renting houses, and the citizens are ready to take and board in