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Although these instructions are often considered to have been written by Joseph Denman, they are the fruits of a Committee appointed in 1842 by the Foreign Secretary, Lord Aberdeen, and presided over by Dr Stephen Lushington - then judge of the Admiralty Court. The Committees report is in Parliamentary Papers, 1844, 1, volume 50


INSTRUCTIONS
FOR THE
GUIDANCE OF HER MAJESTY'S NAVAL OFFICERS
EMPLOYED IN
THE SUPRESSION
OF
THE SLAVE TRADE


LONDON:
PRINTED BY T.R. HARRISON, ST. MARTIN'S LANE
1844


 

Section 1st: General Instructions for Commanders of her Majesty's Ships and Vessels employed in the Suppression of the Slave Trade

Section 2nd: Instructions for Commanders of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels as are stationed on the Coast of Africa

Section 3rd: Instructions for Commanders of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels, with respect to British Vessels in British waters, on the high seas, and within foreign jurisdiction, and to Foreign Vessels in British waters

Section 4th: Instructions for Commanders of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels, with respect to Vessels not justly entitled to claim the protection of the Flag of any State or Nation

Section 5th: Instructions for Commanders of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels, with respect to Vessels suspected of hoisting a Flag to which they are not legally entitled, in order to avoid seizure by her Majesty's Ships

Section 6th: Instructions for the Senior Officer of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels on the West Coast of Africa, with respect to the Treaty with the United States of America, signed at Washington on the 9th of August, 1842

Section 7th: Instructions for the Senior Officer of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels on the African stations, negotiating with Chiefs of Africa

Section 8th: Instructions for Her Majesty's Officers appointed to act in execution of the Treaties, Conventions, and Engagements, hereinafter named.

Netherlands, treaty with
Explanatory and Additional articles to, signed December 31, 1822, and January 25, 1823
Additional Article to, signed February 7, 1837
The Hague May 4, 1818
Muscat, Treaty with
Additional Articles, signed December 17, 1839
Article on Slave Trade in Convention of Commerce, signed May 31, 1839
Muscat Sept 10, 1822
Sweden and Norway, Treaty with
Additional Article to, signed June 15, 1837
Stockholm Nov 6, 1824
Brazil, Convention with
Treaty between Great Britain and Portugal, signed at Vienna, January 22, 1815
Convention between do. and do. signed at London, July 28, 1817
Separate article to do. signed September 11, 1817
Additional Articles to do. signed at Lisbon, March 15, 1823
Rio de Janeiro Nov 23, 1826
France, Convention with
Supplementary do. signed at Paris, March 22, 1833
Paris Nov 30, 1831
Denmark, Treaty with Copenhagen July 26, 1834
Sardinia, Treaty with Turin Aug 8, 1834
Spain, Treaty with Madrid June 28, 1835
Hanse Towns, Convention with Hamburgh June 9, 1837
Tuscany, Convention with Florence Nov 24, 1837
Two Sicilies, Convention with Naples Feb 14, 1838
Chile, Treaty with
Additional Convention, signed August 7, 1841
Santiago Jan 19, 1839
Venezuela, Treaty with Caracas Mar 15, 1839
Argentine Confederation, Treaty with Buenos Ayres May 24, 1839
Uruguay, Treaty with Montevideo July 13, 1839
Bolivia, Treaty with Sucre Sept 25, 1840
Hayti, Treaty with Port au Prince Dec 23, 1839
Texas, Treaty with
Declaration, signed at Washington, February 16, 1844
London Nov 16, 1840
Mexico, Treaty with Mexico Feb 24, 1841
Austria, Prussia, Russia, Treaty with London Dec 20, 1841
Portugal, Treaty with
Aditional Articles to, signed at Lisbon, October 22, 1842
Lisbon July 3, 1842
Madagascar, Engagement with Radama, King of Madagascar
Additional Article to do., October 11, 1820
Additional Article to do., May 31, 1823
Tamatave Oct 23, 1817
New Cestos, Engangement with King Freeman and Prince Freeman of New Cestos and adjacent country New Cestos Jan 11, 1841
Gambia, Engagement with the King of Cartabar
Two Additional Articles to do., April 23, 1841
Cartabar April 23, 1841
Cameroons, Engagement with King Bell, of Bell's Town, Cameroons
Declaration, Cameroons, April 25, 1842
Bell's Town,
Cameroons River
May 7, 1841
Cameroons, Engagement with King Acqua, of Acqua Town, Cameroons
Declaration, Cameroons, April 25, 1842
Acqua Town,
Cameroons River
May 7, 1841
Niger, Engagement with Obi Osai, Chief of the Aboh country
Additional Article to do., Aug 28, 1841
Aboh Aug 28, 1841
Niger, Engagement with Ochijeh, the Attah of the Egarra country
Additional Articles to do., Sept 6, 1841
Iddah Sept 6, 1841
Old Calebar, Engagement with Eyo, King of Creek Town, Calebar River
Additional Articles to do., November 30, 1842
Creek Town,
Old Calebar River
Dec 6, 1841
Old Calebar, Engagement with Eyamba, King of Calebar River
Additional Articles to do., November 30, 1842
Calebar Town,
Old Calebar River
Dec 6, 1841

SECTION 1st.

General Instructions for Commanders of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels employed in the Suppression of the Slave Trade.

By the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.

Authority

1. The Slave Trade has been denounced by all the civilized world as repugnant to every principle of justice and humanity. You are, however, to bear in mind, that Great Britain claims no rights whatever with respect to foreign ships engaged in that traffic, excepting such as the Law of Nations warrants, or as she possesses by virtue of special Treaties and Conventions with particular States.

2. In proceeding to deal with a vessel suspected of being engaged in the Slave Trade, you are in the first instance to refer to that part of the Instructions which applies to the particular circumstances of the case. But those Instructions in no degree diminish the necessity of a careful study of the Treaty, Convention, or Law, upon which they are founded. You are, therefore to make yourself thoroughly conversant with the Treaties, Conventions, and Laws, as well as with all the Instructions given to you relative to the Slave Trade; and you are to enjoin the Officers under your command to make themselves acquainted with the parts that refer to the duties which those Officers may have to perform; taking care to afford every facility for this purpose.

3. The powers with which you are invested on this service are entrusted to you for the sole purpose of suppressing the Slave Trade, and are never to be exercised without reasonable grounds of suspicion, that the case is one of a vessel liable, on account of being engaged in the Slave Trade, to be brought to justice by Her Majesty's ship under your command.

4. You are not to visit a vessel under a foreign flag on the High Seas on suspicion of Slave Trade, except in virtue of special authority under Treaty, or in case you have reason to believe that the vessel has no right or title to claim the protection of the flag she bears.

5. You are not on any account to search any vessel, whether British of Foreign, lying within the recognised jurisdiction of a Foreign civilised State, without the formal permission of the local Authorities.

Demeanour to be observed by Officers and Men

6. Towards every functionary, British or Foreign, with whom you may come into contact, you will invariably maintain a respectful and courteous demeanour.

7. Towards the masters and crews of vessels whose cases it will be your duty to investigate, in the service of suppressing the Slave Trade, you will not only use moderation, and discretion, combined with firmness in the execution of the duty entrusted to you, but will take every opportunity of affording them assistance in distress; giving them medical advice when required, and furnishing supplies when they are urgently needed, and can properly be spared by Her Majesty's ships.

8. You will take special care to ensure propriety of language and demeanour on the part of Officers, seamen and marines towards all persons with whom they may come into contact in the service of suppressing the Slave Trade; and they must be reminded that any breach of discipline, or any exhibition of intemperance, will be visited with severe punishment. And in all cases Her Majesty's Officers are to recollect, that they will be held answerable, not only for their own conduct, but for that of their men.

Bringing vessels to

9. You are not, without necessity, to resort to coercive measures for bringing vessels to; and you are to be cautious not to occasion further deviation from the course such vessels are steering, than a due regard to the service on which you are employed may require; and you will bare in mind that, in every case, and in all stages of the proceedings, it is highly important to cause the vessel visited as little delay or inconvenience as possible, consistent with the effectual discharge of the duty to be executed.

Visit and search

10. You are not entitled to insist, that a boat shall be sent to you from a vessel which has been brought to for the purpose of being visited, or that ant person shall come, of that any papers shall be brought, onboard of Her Majesty's ships upon such occasion.

11. On all occasions of visiting suspected vessels, the Officer sent on board is to be in proper uniform, and of the rank required by the Treaty or Instructions under which the visit is made; and the boat in which he goes is always to carry a British flag and pendant; and he is to be provided with to documents conferring authority to Visit and Search, and the Instructions applicable to the occasion.

12. Before an Officer proceeds to search a vessel, the minutest inspection is to be made of her papers, and every information elicited which can be obtained by enquiries courteously made; as by this means the necessity of a search may be avoided.

13. The crew of a boat sent to visit a suspected vessel is never to be suffered to quit the boat unless specially ordered to do so. The Officer is not to order them to quit the boat unless it may be necessary to search the vessel, or unless circumstances of the moment imperatively require it. If further assistance is obtained from the cruizer for the purpose of making a minute search, the additional men must be accompanied by a sufficient number of Officers, to prevent damage to the cargo, or any irregularity or excess.

14. Neither the Master, nor any of the persons on board the vessel are to be removed during the search, without their consent.

15. When, after the examination, there appears to be no sufficient ground for seizure, every thing that has been removed is to be replaced as quickly as possible, and carefully restored to its original state and condition; and the vessel is to be permitted to pursue her course without delay.

16. In the case mentioned in the preceding Article, before the Officer quits the vessel, he is to ask the Master whether he has any complaint to make of the manner in which the search has been conducted, or on any other ground; if the Master should have any complaint to make, the Officer is to request him to specify the particulars in writing, for your information; and you are to investigate the same most carefully, and to lose no time in applying such remedy as circumstances admit, and the case may require.

If you make the search in person, you will yourself follow the directions contained in this Article.

17. In all cases where vessels are visited or searched on suspicion of being engaged in the Slave Trade, the visiting Officer, is to offer to enter on her log a statement of proceedings on board, and, in case the offer is accepted, he is carefully to note down the exact time that elapsed from the time the vessel was boarded to the time she was liberated or seized.

18. When the visiting Officer has verbally reported his proceedings to you, he is, in all cases, whether the vessel be seized or not, to commit the same in writing immediately, with all the particulars, while the facts are fresh in his memory; and this written statement is to specify whether any complaint was made by the Master or any other person on board the vessel. This statement is to be inserted in the log, with the Officer's signature attached, and you will forward a copy of it with your own remarks, to the Senior Officer of the station, and a duplicate thereof to the Admiralty, by the first opportunity.

Detention

19. When you have determined to detain a vessel, you will immediately notify your intention to her Master; you will cause a careful search to be made for all papers and documents on board, and will take possession of the same, causing them to be numbered and described in a list which you will sign. In this list the papers voluntarily delivered up must be distinguished from any that may have been concealed. If any should have been destroyed or thrown overboard, the nature of the papers, so far as it may be known, with the circumstances under which they were made away with. must be carefully stated at the bottom of the list; and some person cognizant of the facts, must be sent with the vessel to make affidavit thereof to the Court of Adjudication.

20. On the detention of the vessel, you will have a note made of the quantity of money or other valuables on board, and sign the same, and have the note duly witnessed, to be produced upon the trail of the case; and you will take especial care that the articles are deposited in safe custody.

21 Whatever arrangement may be made for the disposal of the crew of a captured vessel, the Master and two persons at least of her crew, must be sent, together with the vessel, to be produced before the Court, as necessary witness in every case. And one of those persons should be the Chief Mate, Supercargo, or Boatswain.

Taking in for Adjudication

22. If you do not yourself accompany the detained vessel for trial, you will give the Officer in charge directions in writing, for his conduct during the voyage.

23. You will place under the command of the Officer sent in charge, a crew sufficient for the vessel's safe conduct, with provisions for the voyage; and you will give the Officer strict orders for the preservation of the ship, her cargo, and everything on board, and for the prevention of embezzlement, excess, or irregularity of any sort.

24. You will deliver to the Officer sent in charge all the papers found on board, together with the other necessary documents, and the Officer must be careful to keep them in safe custody during the voyage. You will instruct him to endeavour to obtain, by every proper means, additional information as to the case; and if he succeeds in finding any additional papers or documents, he is to preserve them carefully to be produced at the trial.

25. The Officer in charge, as soon as possible after he has gone on board the vessel, is to draw up, with the assistance of the Master, an inventory of the stores, furniture, and also of the cargo of the vessel, so far as it can be ascertained without disturbing the stowage; and, should it be practicable, the cargo is to be secured by sealing down the hatches. The inventory is to be made out in duplicate, and signed both by the Officer in charge and the Master of the vessel; and one of these documents is to be retained by the Officer, and the other by the Master.

Slaves on board

26. If Slaves should be on board, every effort is to be made to alleviate their sufferings and improve their condition, by a careful attention to cleanliness and ventilation, by separating the sickly from those who are in good health, by encouraging the Slaves to feel confidence in Her Majesty's Officers and men, and promoting amongst them cheerfulness and exercise.

27. The Officer in charge of a captured Slave-ship will be warranted in landing the Slaves, or transferring them to other vessels, whenever such measures are absolutely necessary, but not otherwise; and in such cases a certificate of all the circumstances much be drawn out, and be taken with the vessel to the place of adjudication.

In most cases of seizure under Treaty, this contingency is provided for; under some of the Treaties, the Slaves must be carried eventually to the Port of Adjudication. Reference on this, as on other points, must be had to the Treaty or Convention applicable to the case, and to the Instructions thereon.

Free persons on board a detained vessel

28. All British subjects found employed on board a detained British or Foreign Slave-vessel are to be sent with two witnesses to a British port for trial as soon as possible.

Foreigners on board a British Slave-vessel, or in a Foreign Slave-vessel seized in British waters, are to be dealt with in the same manner as British subjects.

Foreigners forming the crew of Foreign vessels captured under Treaty, are to be dealt with according to the stipulations thereof.

29. The Master and crew, or such part of them as may be left on board a detained Slave-vessel, are to be well treated, and not to be subjected to further restraint than may be required for ensuring the due execution of the service entrusted to the Officer in charge; but it will be necessary to guard against attempts at recapture, whether by open force, or by any other means.

30. The Officer in charge is to keep a log of his proceedings from the time he goes on board until he is relieved of his charge; he is to note in this log any perceptible changes in the state, quantity or position of the cargo, and all accidents to the vessel, or her rigging, and their results.

31. In all cases of capture a full and accurate account of everything captured or destroyed and of the disposal of the same is to be sent in, together with a report of the case, by the Officer in charge to the Senior Officer on the station, and a duplicate thereof to the Secretary to the Admiralty, by the earliest opportunity.

32. If a vessel, at the time of seizure, should be run on shore and wrecked, or afterwards lost or abandoned, the Slaves, the stores, cargo &c., that can be saved and transported, are to betaken to the Port of Adjudication, together with the necessary witnesses. All papers which may be found are to be carefully preserved, and an affidavit of the facts must be made as the foundation of the proceedings before the Court for trial of the case. When there are no Slaves on board, the equipments, or such parts thereof as are saved, should be carried to the Port of Adjudication for the purpose of supplying evidence of the Slave-Trading.

Proceedings at the Port of Adjudication

33. On arriving at the Port of Adjudication, the Officer in charge is to make himself acquainted with the course of proceeding in the Court before which the vessel is to tried. In all cases it will be necessary for him to make an affidavit verifying the papers brought into Court, and to annex the papers thereto. If any should have been destroyed or concealed, the particulars are to be stated in that affidavit. In cases of capture under Treaty, the Instructions thereon must be referred to for the forms of documents, and course of proceedings at the Port of Adjudication, In other cases the affidavit as to ship's papers should be drawn up in the form standing as an Appendix to this Section, unless there should be a different form prescribed by the Court before which the vessel is adjudicated.

34. If, upon any occasion of capture, there are not any papers found on board, an affidavit to that effect will be the ground of the proceedings.

35. On delivering the vessel to the person authorised by the Court to receive her, the Officer in charge is to produce the Inventory drawn up by himself and the Master; and he is to request that a receipt may be given for all the articles contained in the Inventory, excepting of course where any deficiencies may appear; and where this is the case, he will report the cause thereof to the Court, and to his Commander, on his return to the ship.

36. The Officer sent in charge will give his best assistance in every way, when called upon, to the Court, for the due adjudication of the case of the vessel and her cargo, if any; and, upon judgement being given, will immediately report in writing to the Officer, under whom he is serving, his proceedings, and the judgement of the Court, and will send a duplicate of that report to the Admiralty, by the first opportunity.

Given under our hands, this 12th day of June, 1844
G. COCKBURN
W.H. GAGE

By command of their Lordships,
SIDNEY HERBERT


SECTION 2nd.

Instructions for Commanders of such of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels as are stationed on the Coast of Africa.

By the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.

Legitimate commerce

1. You are to use every endeavour to encourage legitimate commerce, and to protect all British subjects carrying on innocent traffic in the interior, or on the coast.

Information to be collected

2. You will take every proper opportunity of obtaining information on the state of the several native tribes and settlements in the neighbourhood of your station; particularly as respects the Slave Trade in all its branches, and the legitimate commerce of all kinds carried on in those settlements; the connexion which exists between the legal trade and the Traffic in Slaves; the situation and number of Slave factories; the amount and description of the native produce capable of being cultivated for exportation; and the kinds of European manufactures desired by the natives; you will include in your subjects for enquiry, information on the personal character of the chiefs; the habits and pursuits of the people; the nature of the Government; the power and resources of the country; and the navigation of the coast and rivers, together with the facility of landing.

3. You will make a half-yearly report to the Senior Officer, in which you will communicate all the information which you may be able to collect on all the points above mentioned, as well as any other particulars likely to be useful in suppressing Slave Trade, or extending lawful commerce, and promoting friendly intercourse between the natives and British subjects.

But in the case of any matter of immediate importance coming to your knowledge, you are to report it with as little delay as possible.

Negotiation

4. You are not on any account to engage in any negotiation with the native chiefs, without the express authority of the Senior Officer.

Intercourse with the natives

5. In all intercourse with the natives, you will endeavour to conciliate their good-will by kindness and by forbearance, and will take care that Her Majesty's Officers, seamen and marines shall uniformly pursue a similar conduct. You will impress upon the natives the earnest desire of Great Britain for the improvement of their condition, and will very clearly point out to them the distinction between the export of Slaves which Great Britain is determined to put an end to, and the system of Domestic Slavery with which she claims no right to interfere.

British subjects in captivity

6. You will not, without special orders from the Senior Officer on the station be justified in using force on shore, excepting for the purpose of rescuing British subjects, or British liberated Africans from Slavery, in cases where force is indispensably necessary for that purpose, and where it is not practicable to make reference to the Senior Officer for instructions; but you are not to adopt any coercive measures, unless you are satisfied that the force under your orders is adequate to effect the object without exposing those sent on the service to great risk and danger; and you must strictly confine the employment of force to the liberation of the persons so detained.

Native boats carrying on foreign slave trade

7. In all cases, however, vessels or boats of native Africans found in waters not within the recognised jurisdiction of a foreign civilized State, and actually engaged in carrying Slaves, for the export traffic, are to be stopped, and Slaves in them intended for the traffic, are to be taken to a British colony to be liberated; but the native crews belonging to such vessels or boats are not to be subjected to any ill-treatment, and are to be permitted to proceed with their vessels or boats and other property, whither they please.

Given under our hands, this 12th day of June, 1844
G. COCKBURN
W.H. GAGE

By command of their Lordships,
SIDNEY HERBERT


SECTION 3rd.

Instructions for Commanders of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels, with respect to British Vessels in British waters, on the high seas, and within foreign jurisdiction, and to Foreign Vessels in British waters

By the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.

Authority

l. THE Act of the 5th of Geo. IV., cap. 113, and the Act of the 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 98, are the Statutes by which you will be governed in respect to Slave Trade carried on by British vessels, or by Foreign vessels in British waters.

Offences against the Statutes: Act 5 Geo 4, cap. 113

2. Sections 1 to 12, and section 43 of the 5th of Geo. IV. apply to the duties which you have to perform under that Statute; to these sections, therefore, your attention must be particularly directed. By the 1st section all previous Statutes relating to the Slave Trade are repealed.

By the 2nd section, Slave Trade, as therein described, is prohibited.

By the 3rd and subsequent sections to the 11th inclusive, particular acts of Slave Trade and their penalties are enumerated.

To constitute the offence prohibited by the 7th section, it is not sufficient that the money, goods, or effects, of British subjects be shipped or received on board, and afterwards employed in the Slave Trade, but to bring the act within the Statute as an offence, the person who ships, or the person who receives on board, the money, goods, or effects, must be conscious that they are to be so employed.

The term "engaged in Slave Trade" whenever used in this present Instruction, is meant to express the committing of any of the acts prohibited by the 2nd and subsequent sections to the 11th inclusive.

By the 12th section, jurisdiction is given to Vice-Admiralty Courts in cases of forfeiture and penalties under the Statute.

By the 43rd section authority is given to every Officer of her Majesty's Navy to seize vessels and Slaves, and goods, monies, or effects subject to forfeiture under the Statute

Act 6 & 7 Vict cap. 98

3. By the Act of the 6th and 7th Vict. cap. 98, all persons holden in servitude as pledges for debt, and commonly called "pawns," or by what other name called or known, are to be deemed Slaves, or persons intended to be dealt with as Slaves.

British subjects and Foreigners

4. These Statutes apply to acts done by British subjects everywhere; but acts done by Foreigners can only be dealt with as criminal under these Statutes, when such Foreigners are taken or found within British jurisdiction, or on board British vessels.

Equipment for Slave Trade

5. Articles of equipment for Slave Tide, although not expressly described in these Statutes, will be prima facie evidence of a British vessel being engaged in Slave Trade: and the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Customs require a bond from the owners of all British vessels entering outwards with casks or vessels intended to contain palm oil, specifying that such casks or vessels are solely intended for palm oil, or for other purposes of lawful commerce; and a custom-house certificate will be given to the masters of vessels for which bonds may have been so entered into.

Detention

6. By these Statutes, you are authorized to search any British vessel met with on the high seas, in British waters, or in waters not belonging to any recognized State, if you have reason to suspect that she is engaged in the Slave Trade contrary to the Statutes; and if the suspicion is confirmed, you are authorized to detain her.

But if such a vessel is found within the ports or territorial jurisdiction of a foreign State, she must not be seized, save by the permission of the Government of that State. Should such a case arise it will be your duty to ask permission from the foreign Government, and in case the permission be granted, then to seize and send in the vessel as before mentioned; but if the permission be refused, then, so long as the vessel remains within such foreign jurisdiction, you must confine yourself to reporting the circumstances to the Senior Officer.

A Foreign vessel in British waters may be seized by Her Majesty's Officers for being engaged in the Slave Trade contrary to the Statues.

Taking in for Adjudication

7. When a vessel is seized under these Statues, anywhere but in the British seas, she is to be taken to the nearest and most convenient Court of Vice-Admiralty for adjudication; and, with respect to proceedings at the Port of Adjudication, you are in such cases to be governed by the Instructions, Section 1st.

If the vessel be taken in the British Seas, you will report the capture to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and await further instructions.

Crew of the detained vessel

8. The Master, Supercargo, and crew of a British Slave-vessel, are criminals by the Law of Great Britain, and you will be responsible for their safe custody. It will be your duty to take the proper measures for delivering the whole of them over to the Civil Power, taking care to furnish also the witnesses necessary to prove the facts.

General observations

9. Her Majesty's Officers must recollect that, while they are to use their utmost endeavours to prevent any participation in the Slave Trade by vessels subject to the Laws of Great Britain, the discretionary authority with which they are invested for this purpose must never be exercised with unnecessary severity: and that in the event of any Officer using his power in a wanton or unwarrantable manner, he will incur the serious displeasure of Her Majesty's Government, and will be liable to a prosecution by the aggrieved parties in the Civil Courts of Law; and in the event of his having detained a vessel improperly, he will be personally liable to an award of heavy damages in a Court of Vice-Admiralty.

Given under our hands, this 12th day of June, 1844
G. COCKBURN
W.H. GAGE

By command of their Lordships,
SIDNEY HERBERT


SECTION 4th.

Instructions for Commanders of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels, with respect to Vessels not justly entitled to claim the protection of the Flag of any State or Nation

By the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.

1. By the Statutes of the 2nd and 3rd Victoria, cap. 73, and of the 5th and 6th Victoria, cap. 114, it is enacted, that Her Majesty's Officers may, under an Order from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, or from one of Her Majesty's Secretaries of State, seize vessels engaged in Slave Trade, in cases where such vessels are not justly entitled to claim the protection of the Flag of any State or Nation: and, under the same Statutes, the High Court of Admiralty and all Courts of Vice-Admiralty are authorised to adjudicate upon vessels so seized. You will, therefore, when furnished with an Order, as aforesaid, proceed to carry the Statutes into effect accordingly.

2. You may detain vessels described in the preceding Article wherever you meet with them, except within the jurisdiction of a foreign recognized State.

3. Any proof of Slave-Trading which would justify the detention of a British vessel, will also authorize you to detain a vessel of this description; and according to the 4th section of the first-named Statute, if, in the equipment of such vessel, or on board of her, there shall be found any of the things therein enumerated, the vessel is to be seized by you and brought to adjudication.

4. When a vessel is seized by you under these Statutes, you are to send in with her a copy, verified by your signature, of the Order furnished to you to carry the Statutes into effect, and that copy is to be delivered by the Officer in charge to the Court before which the case is to be adjudicated.

5. In all proceedings with respect to the visit, search, and detention of vessels not justly entitled to claim the protection of the Flag of any State or Nation, you will follow the Instructions laid down in Section 1st.

Given under our hands, this 12th day of June, 1844
G. COCKBURN
W.H. GAGE

By command of their Lordships,
SIDNEY HERBERT


SECTION 5th.

Instructions for Commanders of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels, with respect to Vessels suspected of hoisting a Flag to which they are not legally entitled, in order to avoid seizure by her Majesty's Ships

By the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.

1. WHEN you meet with a vessel in any place not within the jurisdiction of any recognised foreign State, and suspect her of fraudulently assuming a Flag to which she is not entitled, and of being engaged in the Slave Trade, you will proceed to visit her, provided there be sufficient cause to believe, -

In the last case it will be necessary that the vessel should be found within the limits of search prescribed by the Treaty, and that you should be in possession of authority to search under the Treaty.

Visit

2. On meeting with a vessel to which these Instructions apply, you are, if the state of the wind and weather admit, to communicate your intention to visit, by hailing, and then cause your ship to go a-head of the suspected vessel, and drop a boat on board of her, to ascertain her national character; so that, in the event of her proving really to be a vessel of that foreign State whose Flag she bears, and not liable to be detained, and searched under Treaty, she may not be delayed in the prosecution of her voyage.

3. If the strength of the wind or other circumstances should render such mode of visit impracticable, you are to require the suspected vessel to be brought-to, for the purpose of ascertaining her national character, and, if necessary, you will be justified in enforcing this; understanding always that you are not to resort to any coercive measure, until every other means of effecting the visit shall have failed.

4. If you do not visit the suspected vessel in person, you are to entrust that duty to an Officer not under the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, unless such Officer be second in command of Her Majesty's ship; and you must be careful not to commit this duty to any Officer on whose judgement and discretion yon cannot place full reliance.

5. The visiting Officer is to be accompanied by another Officer to whom directions are to be given, to observe carefully everything occurring during the visit, in order to give his testimony respecting the same.

6. If the visiting Officer, on boarding the vessel, is at once satisfied by circumstances, that she is entitled to the Flag she bears, and not liable to be detained in virtue of Treaty, he is immediately to quit her. If not so satisfied, he will require to see her papers, and, if necessary, enforce the production of them; making what further enquiries may be requisite, but without searching the cargo. If by the examination of the papers, or other proofs, he is satisfied that the Flag is genuine, and the vessel not liable to be detained in virtue of Treaty, he is likewise in this case immediately to quit her.

On leaving the vessel, he will always offer to note on her log-book the cause of suspecting her national character, the duration of the delay; if any delay took place, the date and place of visit, and the name of Her Majesty's ship and of the Commander; and he will sign this note adding his rank in the Navy. This entry, however, is not to be made without the consent of the Master of the vessel.

Search

7. If the investigation made as before directed should afford sufficient grounds for concluding that the Flag has been fraudulently assumed, you will, if the visit be made by you in person, proceed to search the vessel and cargo. If the visit be made, not by you, but by an Officer under your directions, the visiting Officer will immediately report the fact to you, and if you agree in this conclusion, you will order the vessel and cargo to be searched.

The visiting Officer will not, without such order, proceed to search, excepting when you have specially given him discretionary authority so to do.

8. It will be the duty of the Officer making the search to ascertain in the first instance,-
Whether the vessel is amenable to his authority as British, or as not entitled to any Flag, or by virtue of Treaty.

If this preliminary examination shall satisfy the Officer, that the vessel is British, or not entitled to any Flag, or that she may be liable to detention by Her Majesty's ship in virtue of Treaty, he will then prosecute a further search, for the purpose of ascertaining whether she is engaged in the Slave Trade.

These investigations are not to be proceeded in one step after it shall have been ascertained that the vessel cannot be legally detained by the visiting ship; as soon as that fact is ascertained, she must be allowed to proceed on her voyage forthwith.

Detention

9. In order to justify detention the vessel must not only be amenable to the authority of Her Majesty's ship, but must also be liable to seizure as being engaged in Slave Trade.

Therefore no vessel can be seized under the following circumstances: -

10. In case you shall have discovered that the vessel assuming a Flag fraudulently, is amenable to your authority, and that there is reason to suppose she is engaged in the Slave Trade, you will carefully examine the Treaty or Law under which she would be adjudicated if you detained her, and will consider whether the evidence of Slave Trade be sufficient by such Treaty or Law to justify seizure.

If the vessel be British property, you will refer for your guidance to the Act of the 5th Geo. IV, cap. 113, and to the 6th and 7th Vict, cap. 98, and Section 3rd of these Instructions.

If the vessel be not entitled to the Flag of any State, you will refer to the Act of the 2nd and 3rd of Victoria, cap. 73, and Section 4th of these Instructions.

If the vessel belong to a Nation which has concluded with Great Britain a Treaty for the suppression of the Slave Trade, you will refer to that Treaty and the Instructions thereon.

Upon finding that the evidence is sufficient, you will seize her, and send her in for Adjudication to the proper Port, governing yourself strictly in all your proceedings, by the rules and regulations laid down for your guidance, according to the case.

Report

11. In all cases in which visit has been made on the suspicion of the fraudulent assumption of a Foreign Flag, a statement of the circumstances which have attended the performance of the duty is to be immediately drawn up by the visiting Officer, and entered on the log of Her Majesty's ship, and signed by him.

The Officer who accompanied the visiting Officer, as hereinbefore directed, is also immediately to draw up in detail and deliver to you a statement of all the circumstances that took place.

Each of these statements is to set forth whether any complaint was made by persons on board the vessel visited; and if such complaint were made, the particulars thereof are to be inserted, with any observation which may be considered necessary.

12. In all cases of vessels visited under this Instruction, you will, whether the vessel be detained or not, send a full statement of all the particulars to the Senior Officer of the station, and a duplicate thereof to the Secretary to the Admiralty, by the first opportunity.

13. You will incur the serious displeasure of Her Majesty's Government if you proceed to exercise your authority without reasonable grounds of suspicion; or if, in the execution of your duty, you shall exceed or depart from this Instruction.

Given under our hands, this 12th day of June, 1844
G. COCKBURN
W.H. GAGE

By command of their Lordships,
SIDNEY HERBERT


SECTION 6th.

Instructions for the Senior Officer of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels on the West Coast of Africa, with respect to the Treaty with the United States of America, signed at Washington on the 9th of August, 1842.

By the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.

WE transmit to you herewith an extract from the Preamble of a Treaty between Her Majesty and the United States of America, dated the 9th of August, 1842, and a copy of Article VIII thereof, by which it is stipulated, that the Contracting Parties shall each maintain on the coast of Africa a naval force of not less than eighty guns, for the purpose of enforcing, separately and respectively, the laws, rights, and obligations of each country for the suppression of Slave Trade; that the two squadrons are to be independent of each other, but that the Officers in command shall receive such orders from their respective Governments as shall. enable them to act in concert, and co-operate with each other; and we desire that you will take every opportunity, and use your utmost efforts to carry out the objects of the Treaty as here described; remembering that it is for this purpose, above all others, that Her Majesty's ships upon the west coast of Africa are placed under your command.


With this view, you are to take the earliest opportunity of putting yourself in communication with the Senior 0fficer of the United States' squadron, for the purpose of coming to such an understanding as may best conduce to the end which your respective Governments have in view.

It will be the duty of yourself and of the Commanding Officers of Her Majesty's ships under your orders, upon all occasions to communicate to the Officers of the United States any information which may be of service in detecting the frauds of the Slave Traders, and especially to give notice of any vessel supposed to belong to the United States, and suspected of being engaged in the Slave Trade, which may be met with or heard of in the course of a cruize; and you will give directions to the Officers under your orders to pay strict attention to this duty.

The occasions upon which it may be convenient for a vessel under your orders to cruize in company with a vessel of the United States, will depend on circumstances which can best be judged of on the spot, and must be left to your own decision, or to that of the Commanding Officers of vessels under your orders, when the latter are separated from a Senior Officer, and provided that the adoption of such a course will not interfere with their instructions from you. The system of joint cruizing should be adopted, whenever in the judgement of the Officers of both Nations, it can be done with advantage; and under any such arrangement, the Commanding Officers of her Majesty's ships on the African station will continue to be guided by the Instructions under which they act when cruizing singly, so far as related to the visit, search and detention of vessels belonging to nations with whom Great Britain has concluded Treaties for the suppression of the Slave Trade, and of vessels not entitled to claim the protection of any nation.


But in the event of meeting with a vessel believed to be British, and suspected of being engaged in the Slave Trade, the Commander of the British cruizer will invite the Commander of the cruizer of the United States to join him in visiting her. So also in the case of a vessel hoisting British colours, and suspected of having no right to carry them. If, on the other hand, a vessel should appear under the colours of the United States, and if the British Commander should not have reason to believe that she is other than a vessel of the United States, he will carefully abstain from all interference with her, unless his co-operation. shall be requested by the Commander of the United States' cruizer.

It is only when the British Commander shall have reason to believe that the United States' Flag is dishonestly used, and that the vessel is engaged in. the Slave Trade, and either is British, or belongs to a nation which has given to Great Britain the right to detain her vessels when so engaged that he is, in co-operation with the Officer of the United States, to cause her to be visited and dealt with according to her nationality.

In carrying this part of his Instructions into execution, he will do right to leave the Commander of the United States' cruizer to take the first step of visiting the vessel, and ascertaining whether she is entitled to bear the Flag of his country; provided that in so doing no such delay is incurred as may enable her to escape altogether unvisited.


The Commanding Officers of Her Majesty's vessels on the Africa station are to bear in mind, that it is no part of their duty to capture, or visit, or in any way to interfere with vessels of the United States, whether those vessels shall have Slaves on board of not; and you will give strict instructions to the Commanding Officers of the vessels under your orders, to abstain therefrom; at the same time, you will remember, that the Government of the United States are far from claiming that the Flag of the Union should give immunity to those who have the right to bear it; and that, most assuredly, Great Britain never will allow vessels of other nations to escape visit and examination by merely hoisting an United States Flag, or the Flag of any other nation which has not granted to Great Britain the Right of Search. Accordingly, when from intelligence the Officer commanding Her Majesty's cruizer may have received, or from the manoeuvres of the vessel, or other sufficient cause, he may have reason to believe that the vessel does not belong to the nation indicated by her colours, he is, if the state of the weather will admit of it, to go a-head of the suspected vessel, after communicating his intention by hailing, and to drop a boat on board of her to ascertain her nationality, without causing her detention, in the event of her really proving to be a vessel of the nation, the colours of which she has displayed, and, therefore, one which he is not authorized to search; but should the strength of the wind, or other circumstance, render such mode of visiting the stranger impracticable, he is to require the suspected vessel to be brought-to, in order that her nationality may be ascertained, and he will be justified in enforcing it, jf necessary; understanding always, that he is not to resort to any coercive measure until every other shall have failed; and the Officer who boards the stranger is to be instructed, merely in the first instance to satisfy himself by the vessel's papers, or other proof, of her nationality; and if she prove really to be a vessel of the nation designated by her colours, and one which he is not authorized to search, he is to lose no time in quitting her, offering to note on the papers of the vessel the cause of his having suspected her nationality, as well as the number of minutes the vessel was detained (if detained at all) for the object in question; such notation to be signed by the boarding 0fficer, specifying his rank, and the name of Her Majesty's cruizer; and, whether the Commander of the visited vessel consents to such notation on the vessel's papers or not (and it is not to be done without his consent), all the said particulars are to be immediately inserted in the log-book of Her Majesty's cruizer; and a full and complete statement of the circumstances is to be sent, addressed to the Secretary of the Admiralty, by the first opportunity, direct to England, and also a similar statement to you as the Senior 0fficer on the station, to be forwarded by you to our Secretary, accompanied by any remarks you may have reason to make thereon.

Of course in cases when the suspicion of the Commander turns out to be well-founded, and the vessel boarded proves, notwithstanding her colours, not to belong to the nation designated by those colours, the Commander of Her Majesty's cruizer will deal with her as he would have been authorized and required to do, had she not hoisted a false flag.

Given under our hands, this 12th day of June, 1844
G. COCKBURN
W.H. GAGE

By command of their Lordships,
SIDNEY HERBERT


SECTION 7th.

Instructions for the Senior Officer of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels on the African stations, negotiating with Chiefs of Africa.

By the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.

1. The suppression of the Slave Track may be materially assisted by obtaining the co-operation of the Native Chiefs of Africa in the object; you are therefore authorized to conclude Engagements for this purpose with the African Chiefs; but you must strictly adhere to the regulations herein laid down on the subject.


Information to be obtained

2. You will procure the fullest and most correct information as to the state of those parts of the coast in which Slave Trade is carried on, so as to enable you to determine with what Chiefs it may be expedient to enter into negotiations for the conclusion of Engagements.

With this view, you will endeavour to ascertain the power and the influence of the several Chiefs; their personal character, and the habits of the people; the extent and force of the country; the sources, amount, and description of the legitimate trade carried on.

You will endeavour to obtain the most accurate information as to the Slave Trade; its present extent, and whether it has recently increased or diminished; you will enquire by whose agency, whether, native or foreign, it is principally prosecuted; in what mode it is conducted; in what form the price of Slaves is received, whether in money or goods, and if in goods, the description of the same; how they are obtained; from whom and into what places imported; from what parts of the country the Slaves are brought, and how procured; from what parts of the coast they are usually embarked, and whether with the assistance of any, and what Chiefs.

You will investigate the means whereby the Slave Trade may most effectually and speedily be extinguished, and you will enquire into the inclination and the power of the Chiefs to carry into effect an Engagement for that purpose, and the means which Great Britain may have for enforcing it.


Negotiation

3. You are not to attempt to enter into any negotiation until you have obtained the fullest information that the circumstances admit of with respect to all the matters of enquiry before specified. And you must not enter into any Engagements excepting with independent Chiefs of considerable power and influence upon the coast.


Engagement

4. When you shall desire to open negotiations with any African Chief, you will, after taking every proper precaution for the safety of yourself and your people, at the same time avoiding giving offence to the Natives, obtain a personal interview with the Chiefs, and endeavour to induce them to conclude an Engagement according to the Draft of Engagement forming the appendix to this Instruction. (Vide Appendix to Section 7th.)


5. If at the time of the negotiation the foreign Slave Trade actually exists in the territory of the Native Chief, you will propose the two Articles marked " Additional," annexed to the Draft and will consider them an indispensable part of the Engagement.

6. Every opportunity is to be taken of impressing the minds of the Native Chiefs and their people, with a conviction of the efforts Great Britain has made for their benefit, and of her earnest desire to raise them in the scale of nations. It is most desirable to excite in them an emulation of the habits of the Christian world, and to enable them to make the first practical step toward civilization by the abandonment of the Slave Trade.

7. Special care must be taken not to offend the prejudices of the Natives; and every proper respect must be paid to their peculiar usages, so far as the same are not of an inhuman character; and allowance must be made for any jealousy or distrust that may be shown by them.

8. You will not conclude the Engagement without reference home, except it be completed in the exact terms of the Draft of Engagement forming the Appendix to this Section; and if any further stipulation should appear to you to be necessary or desirable, whether on commercial or on other grounds, it will be your duty to make a report on the subject to your Government.

9. Threats or intimidation are never to be used, to induce the Native Chiefs to conclude the Engagement: on the contrary, forbearance and conciliation must be in all cases the rule of conduct; and if the Native Chiefs refuse the Engagement, every means must be taken to encourage in them feelings of confidence, and to leave a favourable impression that may facilitate the renewal of negotiations at a future period.

10 On the conclusion of an Engagement, according to the Draft, you will consider yourself authorised to declare Her Majesty's approval of the same.

The Engagement must always be signed in duplicate.

11. Immediately after the conclusion of the Engagement, you will require the Chiefs to proclaim a law to their people, by which its stipulations shall be publicly made known.


Additional Articles

12. In case the Slave Trade is actually carried on within the jurisdiction of the Chief at the time the Engagement is concluded, and that, consequently, the two Additional Articles form part of the Engagement, you will then require, that all the Slaves held for exportation shall be delivered up to you to be made free at a British colony. You will also demand, that all implements of Slave Trade, such as shackles, bolts and handcuffs, chains, whips, branding-irons, &c, or articles of Slave equipment for fitting up vessels to carry Slaves, shall be given up to you, or destroyed in your presence. You will also insist on the immediate destruction of the barracoons, or buildings exclusively devoted to the reception of Slaves, and, if necessary, you will enforce all these demands.


Question of Force

13. Upon the fulfilment of the Engagement thus far, you will use every effort to induce the Chiefs to carry into effect the other provisions of the Engagement, especially as regards the white Slave-dealers, and you are for this purpose to afford any assistance that the Native Chiefs may require, but you are not to use force, unless at their signed request in writing.

14. You are not, without the signed consent in writing of a Native Chief, to take any step upon his territory for putting down the Slave Trade by force, excepting when, by Engagement, Great Britain is entitled to adopt coercive measures on shore for that purpose.

15. After the conclusion of an Engagement, and the carrying of the same into effect so far as above directed, you will send home one of the originals of the Engagement, and a report of your proceedings thereupon, for further instructions. You will cause a vigilant watch to be kept over the proceedings of the Chiefs, until yon are satisfied of their fidelity to their Engagements. After which, you will visit the Chiefs in person, or send a Commander of one of Her Majesty's ships, at least once in six months, to see to the due execution of the Engagements on the part of the Chiefs


Foreign Slave Trade carried on by Chief outside his territory

16. In the event, however, of ultimate failure of the negotiation, yon will finally state to the Chief, that every civilian Naval Power in the world has declared that it has abandoned the Slave Trade; that most nations have united with Great Britain in endeavours to put it down; that Great Britain will not allow the subjects of the Chief so far to frustrate those endeavours, as to carry Slaves for sale, to or from any places beyond the limits of his own territory, and that Her Majesty's Officers have orders to liberate Slaves when found embarked in boats of his subjects for that purpose.

17. All the proceedings adopted in conformity with these Instructions, whether with regard to the negotiation or the carrying into effect of Engagements, are to be conducted by you; but if circumstances prevent you from doing so in person, you may specially authorize for the purpose another Officer: but you will take great care, in such case, to select one on whose judgement and discretion you can rely with confidence.


Reports to be made

18. You will forward to the Admiralty a detailed report of all proceedings which may have taken place on the occasion of visiting any port or place for the purposed mentioned in this Instruction. And in those cases in which you shall have deputed to another Officer the duty of visiting the place, the Officer so deputed will forward directly to the Admiralty a duplicate of his report to you.

19. You will make to the Admiralty an annual detailed report on the state of legal commerce, and the extent of Slave Trade, throughout your station, recapitulating therein the principal points of your occasional reports during the year, and adding thereto such other information as may serve to give to Her Majesty's Government a correct view of the course of your proceedings and of their result in the service of suppressing the Slave Trade.

Given under our hands, this 12th day of June, 1844
G. COCKBURN
W.H. GAGE

By command of their Lordships,
SIDNEY HERBERT


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