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On the 26th June, the case of the Amelia came on before the Court of Vice-Admiralty at Sierra Leone, when, no claimant appearing, she was adjudged as a forfeiture to our sovereign lord the King, and the captors, the boats of his majesty's brig Tigress, Lieut. R. Bones, commander. The brig Kitty of Liverpool, who originally detained her, presented a claim, which was directed to be entered on the Records of the Court.
Since the captives, eighty-five in number, were landed from the Amelia, none of them have died; although the marks of their former distress are still clearly to be discovered. The governor has allotted a portion of land, on the ridge of mountains to the westward of Freetown, for a township, near a brook, on which they have already erected a large temporary house, and purpose, notwithstanding the rainy season having completely set in, to clear a spot of ground for the cultivation of their favourite food, cassada: on the return of the season, they mean to build themselves com fortable houses. Should they ultimately settle here, it is proposed to call this village New Cabenda.
According to Ned's information, Cabenda is but an inconsiderable town. No Portuguese have a fixed residence there: one or two sometimes remain, when they lodge in houses formed under ground. The diet of the natives is chiefly vegetable. They cultivate cassada (which is their principal food, and which they have various modes of preparing), groundnuts, Indian-corn, plantanes, bananas, and pulse of various kinds. Their domestic animals are sheep, goats, hogs, fowls, &c. They have no large cattle. The principal trade of the country is slaves. The people belonging to the present importation are from the Cabenda and Malemba terri tory, and from a country nained Bomo, near the Congo river.
Copies of sundry original Papers referred to in the Letter of Instructions inserted above.
POWER OF ATTORNEY FROM THE SIAM OWNER, AND THE AMERICAN
Theofilo de Mello Neg. matriculado na Real Junto do Commercio
Faco meo baste. Procurador ao Sr. Alexandre Campbell para que possa fazer tudo quanto for abem da Negm, do Brigue Amelia pudendo vender a ditto Bre. convindo ros mens Interesses segundo us Ordens que lhe tenho dado servindo estas depe. deste Instrumento.
Bahia, 25 de Outubro de 1810.
I, PATRICK TOOLE, Vice-Consul to the United States of America, in T. DE MELLO. the city of St. Salvadore, do bereby certify unto whom it doth or may concern, that the foregoing is a true and faithful Power of Attorney, passed and signed in my presence by Theophilo de Mello, merchant in this place, in favour of Alexander Campbell, supercargo of the Portuguese brig Amelia, captain Jozi Carlos de Almeida, and to whose signature all due faith and credit ought to be given.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed my scal of office, in St. Salvadore, this 25th day of October, 1810.
(Signed) PATRICK TOOLE, U. S. Vice-Consul*.
* It appears, from the similarity of hand-writing in a note found among the papers, that the American Consul is the partner of Messrs. Sealy and Roach; and the receipt for the 4000l, affords strong presumptive proof that the ultimate destination of the brig could not be unknown to this house.
LETTER OF CREDIT ON LIVERPOOL.
Mr. Alexr. Campbell, Charleston.
By desire of Mr. Francis Depau, and for his account, I herewith present you with a letter, in virtue of which you are at liberty to value upon my house in Liverpool, Messrs. Dixon, Lavater, and Co., to the amount of 4000l. Stg. (say, four thousand pounds sterling), at sixty days after sight, payable in London, which, accompanied with your letter of advice, as being for account of Mr. Francis Depau, will find due and prompt protection. I remain, with regard, Sir, yours, (Signed) J. W. HEMMERICH,
Partner of Dixon, Lavater, and Co.
LETTER OF ADVICE.
Bahia, 31st August, 1810.
By virtue of a letter handed me by your partner, Mr. J. Wm. Hemmerich, in Charleston, giving me a credit for 40007. sterling (say, four thousand pounds sterling,) on your house, for account of Mr. Francis Depau, I have this day drawn on you, gentlemen, for said four thousand pounds sterling, favour of Messrs. Sealy, Roach, and Toole, at sixty days after sight, being for the use of the brig Agent; and be pleased to place the same to account of Mr. Francis Depau, merchant, Charleston, South Carolina. I remain, gentlemen,
Your most obedient servant.
Messrs. Dixon, Lavater, and Co., Liverpool.
RECEIPT AND NOTE OF HAND, FOR THE REMAINING PART OF THE
Received of Mr. Alexr. Campbell, his draft, dated 31st August 1810, in our favour, at 60 days' sight, on Messrs. Dixon, Lavater, and Co., Liverpool, for four thousand pounds sterling, which has been applied in purchases for his account.
We also declare, that the following merchandize remain in our hands for sale, received by the brig Agent, for which we will account with Messrs. Francis Depau and Co., of Charleston, viz.
150 Barrels Flour.
137 Barrels Rosin.
400 do. Tar.
(Signed) SEALY, ROACH, AND TOOLE.
Bahia, 27th October, 1810.
CASE OF THE SCHOONER ESPERANZA,
CONDEMNED IN THE VICE-ADMIRALTY COURT OF SIERRA LEONE,
This schooner was built in Virginia, and was called The Fair Trader.
which letter Mr. Waine had carelessly omitted to destroy, or to leave bes hind him. It was found on board, and is as follows.
"Bostou, Nov. 15, 1809. For "Captain Waine will proceed from this to St. Michael's, and endeavour to get his vessel put under Portuguese colours if he can do it in safety. He will obtain permission to proceed to Africa, and thence to the Havannah, and have the vessel consigned, by the Portuguese merchant, to Francisco Hernandez, of that place, with orders to dispose of the cargo, and account with Jacob Ogden, jun. or John B. Frazier, for the net proceeds. Captain Waine will also receive powers from his merchant to sell the vessel in Havannah if he chooses, or to proceed from thence elsewhere. The merchant in St. Michael's should be induced to write as soon as possible, and send the necessary information, that we may make insurance in this place. If Captain Waine should find his expenses exceed in amount the cash which he has with him, he will draw on J. B. Frazier and J. Ogden, and his bills shall be duly honoured. Captain Waine will see that the proper documents are forwarded to us to cancel our bonds. If he should not be able to accomplish his business in St. Michael's as it should be, he will then proceed to Teneriffe; and if Mr. Wm. Stocker is still there, he will deliver the letter to him, and receive his advice in all his transactions in that place; but if he should have left before the arrival of the schooner, he will present the letter which is directed to Messrs. Madin Brothers, and explain to them, verbally, the precise situation of the business, and destroy the letter to Stocker immediately. Always bear in mind that it is necessary to send us the proper information, to enable us to make insurance. Before the transfer is made, it will be well to see if the present captain and his two mates will be allowed to go in her. The men should be induced to go if possible, even if it were necessary to increase their wages considerably. The second nate may be allowed, exclusive of his wages, one of the cargo, on the safe arrival of the vessel at the Havannah. It has been agreed that the first mate should have two; and if the cargo should amount to 175 on arrival in Havannah, he is to have three. Yourself to receive five per cent. on the amount of sales in Havannah. It is an object to get a peaceable young man for your captain, to carry the papers. Before you undertake to transfer the vessel, you will see your way clear, and ascertain whether any difficulties will be likely to arise in the course of your business that are insurmountable. On your arrival at St. Michael's, you will pretend you are after supplies of poultry and wine; and as soon as possible do you explain your wishes to your merchant, and state to him the whole design of the voyage. Request him to forward to us a letter, directed to Hernandez, directing him to take charge of vessel and cargo on her arrival in Havannah. You will endeavour to have the complete arrangement of the expedition placed in your hands. The Portuguese captain should be made to understand that he must leave all to you. You had better get sufficient power from your new owner to place the expedition altogether under your controul. If you find you cannot do your business to your satisfaction, you may advise with your friend about touching at Fayal, where vessels' papers have frequently been changed with the greatest facility; being careful always who you get to cover the property. If you think best to go there, you are at liberty to do it. It will be a great object to get your papers without unloading; but you must get the proper documents to send us to cancel our bonds. Act in all cases carefully, and endeavour to foresee the difficulties you will have to encounter. Do not let the American consul suspect that you were originally designed for the voyage which you will probably undertake from one of the Western Islands. The vessel must carry her
cargo to Havannah; she is not at liberty to carry it any where else; and if it should so happen the vessel could not be cleared from a Portuguese pert to carry her return cargo to Havannah, you will proceed to Teneriffe, and present the letters which we gave you, and finish our business there."
Accordingly Mr. Waine proceeded to St. Michael's, where, with the help of Messrs. Ivens and Burnett, merchants there, he had the vessel transferred to one Jeronimo Vicente, who lent his son, bearing the same name, to Mr. Waine, as a captain, at forty dollars a month, Mr. Waine being converted into the supercargo. The new owner then signed a letter of instructions; which is evidently in the hand-writing of Ivens and Burnett, and in which Mr. Waine is directed to rcmit the proceeds, meaning, as clearly appears from other papers, merely the price of his and his son's services, to William S. Burnett, Esq. No. 78, Queen-Street, Cheapside, London; or to hand them to Mr. Jacob Barker, of New-York, who is to pass them to the credit of Messrs. Hicklin and Angliu, of St. Michael's. A letter was also found on board from John Stoughton, of Boston, dated Nov. 14, 1809, to Bernard Cologan, Esq. Tenerife, recommending Mr. Weine as brother to a deserving gentleman, and an enterprising young
Notwithstanding all this documentary evidence, Benjamin Waine swore positively, in reply to the standing interrogatories of the Court of Admi ralty, that Jeronimo Vicente was sole owner of the said schooner, and that the slaves on board were to be sold for the real account, risk, and benefit of the said Vicente. He took upon himself further to swear, that be believed that at the time of lading the said slaves, and at the present time, and also, if the said slaves should be unladen at the destined port, "they did, do, and will belong to the said Vicente, and no other."
James Usher, the chief mate, was born in Rhode Island; is a freeman of the town of Bristol, in that state; is married, and his wife and family reside in that town. The vessel carried rum, tobacco, and lumber from Boston to St. Michael's, where she was sold to a Portuguese, and took in slave irons, and also dry goods, beads, arms, &c., which were afterwards exchanged for negroes. Ninety-three slaves, some rum and tobacco, were on board at the time of the capture. This gentleman would not swear that the sale at St. Michael's was real.
Besides the above persons, the following Americans were on board :--James Hington, second mate; Jephthah Tripp, Charles Willis, Thomas Thompson, Obed B. Hussey, Richard Williams, Charles Grace, and Je remiah Vail, seamen; John Brown, cook; and Thos. W. Tapley, boy.
CASE OF THE BRIG LUCIA,
CONDEMNED IN THE VICE-ADMIRALLY COURT OF SIERRA LEONE,
This vessel sailed from Charlestown, in South Carolina, ostensibly bound to the Havannah, in July or August 1809. The real purpose of the voyage was to go to Madeira, there procure Portuguese papers, and proceed thence to the coast of Africa for slaves, to be carried for sale to the Havannah. Being unable to reach that island, the vessel went into Grand Canary. Here the owners, Freeman Wing and Archibald M'Williams, transfer the vessel and cargo to one Don Joseph Navarro, by a bill of sale, the price being to be paid at the Havannah. These two persons continue on board; also the American crew, to whom four Spaniards are added.
Thomas Boston, a seaman, born in Nantucket, who has a wife living in Charlestown, which is the place of his abode, deposes, that the Lucia was the Albert of Charlestown until her name was changed at Grand Canary; that she continued, before and after this change, under the direction of Freeman Wing, the supercargo. He believes, in his conscience, that no sale was really made, but that the property is now, as at first, vested in the said Wing and Mr. M'Williams.
Both Wing and M'Williams admit themselves to have been owners of the brig previous to her sale at Grand Canary. Wing was born in Massachusetts; lives at Charlestown, where he has a wife. The vessel was taken 24th March 1810, with 129 slaves on board.
John Higgs, a seaman, resides chiefly at Rhode Island.
Thomas James Bolton, a passenger, was born in Massachusetts; has lived of late on the coast of Africa, as a slave-trader.
Henry Wing states, that he assisted in getting irons and handcuffs on board at Charlestown. In consequence of this, it had become plain that the vessel was going for slaves: seamen, therefore, could not be got, owing to their dislike to this voyage, until double wages were given. He believes Freeman Wing to be owner of brig and cargo.
Extract from the Reasons of Judgement given by the acting Judge.
"This vessel sailed from Charlestown, in America, in the months of July or August 1809, bound for Madeira; but not being able to fetch that island, on account, as it is said, of contrary winds, she put into Grand Canary. Through this part of the voyage we find Freeman Wing acting as master, and Archibald M'Williams, a British subject, appearing only as a passenger. Here, however, Wing and M'Williams turn out to be the real owners of the property; for they jointly, and on their own behalf, and for their own benefit, proceed to dispose of both vessel and cargo. It will scarcely appear credible to this court that M'Williams should take a passage from America merely to return to it again by the way of Grand Canary, the coast of Africa, and the Havannah: yet such is the fact on evidence.
"This vessel is ostensibly sold at Grand Canary to Don Joseph Navarro; and there is not only a copy (for it is not an original) of the bill of sale, but also other papers, which have a regular appearance; but as it is observed by the learned judge, now of the High Court of Admiralty, it was natural to suppose the papers would be regular, for it is the tention of the fraud, if it be a fraud, to deceive by the regularity of the papers: they are the necessary apparatus and machinery of such a case; but if there are circumstances and facts appearing in the case, leading justly to the conclusion that those papers, though formal in themselves, and though formally supported on oath, are nevertheless false, it would be ridiculous to say that the court is bound by them. It is a wild conceit, that any court of justice is bound by mere swearing: it is the swearing credibly that is to conclude its judgement. Unquestionably a court of admiralty will proceed with caution in determining against regular papers, regularly supported; but if the papers say one thing, and the facts of the case another, the court must exercise a sober judgement, and determine according to the common rules of evidence to which the preponderance is due.'
"But let us examine whether there is reason to draw the conclusion, that any real transfer of property ever took place, and whether or not these papers were not procured with a fraudulent intention, with a view to conceal the real owners of the property. The vessel appears to have