Her Majesty's Commissioners to Earl Russell.—(Received October 30.)
Cape Town, September 19, 1862.
WE have the honour to inclose to your Lordship reports of the cases of twenty-three dhows adjudicated in the Vice-Admiralty Court of this Colony on the 18th instant, and condemned as good prizes to Her Majesty's ship "Ariel
We have, &c.
(Signed) GEO. FRERE.
FREDERICK R. SURTEES.
Inclosure in No. 25.
Reports of Cases of Twenty-three Dhows condemned in the Vice-Admiralty Court on the 13th September, 1862.
No. 1. A dhow of 76 76/94 tons, captured off Comoro, August 28, 1861.—On the 28th August, 1861, Sub-Lieutenant Clark
was cruizing in a cutter of the "Ariel
" off Comoro, when at 3 p.m. a dhow was seen at anchor off the north-west point of the island. Lieutenant Clark
at once bore down to and boarded her. She had a crew of fourteen Arabs, and Arab colours, but no papers of any description. She had a slave-deck constructed of bamboo, and capable of carrying about 70 slaves; three large water-tanks capable of holding about four tons of water, and other slave-fittings. Lieutenant Clark
detained the dhow until the 31st August, when the "Ariel
" having arrived, Commander Oldfield
seized the dhow on the charge of being engaged in the Slave Trade, the crew admitting that they had just run a cargo of slaves. Being unfit for a voyage to a port of adjudication, the dhow was destroyed. She was of 76 tons burden.
No. 2. A dhow of 80 10/94 tons, captured off Mohilla, August 30, 1861.—On the 30th of August, 1861, the "Ariel
" was standing to the westward of Mohilla, when shortly after daylight two dhows were observed running along the land to the eastward. Commander Oldfield
intercepted them. One being a legal trader was allowed to proceed on her course; the other ran towards the beach and anchored within a couple of hundred yards from the
shore, her crew and a crowd of persons, apparently slaves, abandoning her as the ship's boat approached. She was found to be fully equipped for the Slave Trade, having a slave-deck laid, fit to carry about 90 slaves, which had evidently just been used for that purpose; a large number of coarse slave-mats, twelve feet by four, which had also just been used; two large water-tanks, two casks, and a number of earthenware pots capable of holding from three and a half to four tons of water; a number of earthenware pots for feeding slaves, and a quantity of cocoa nuts and rice for slave food. She had neither papers nor colours. Commander Oldfield
seized her on the charge of being engaged in the Slave Trade, and as she was unfit for a voyage to a port of adjudication, destroyed her. She was 55 feet in length and of 80 tons burden.
No. 3. A dhow of 162 tons, captured at Comoro, August 31, 1861.—On the 31st August, 1861, Commander Oldfield
, then in command of the "Ariel
," off the north-west point of Comoro Island, having received information that a slave dhow had landed a cargo of slaves in a creek to the north-west of the island, dispatched Sub-Lieutenant Fellowes
in the gig of the "Ariel
" in search of the dhow. At about 6 p.m. Lieutenant Fellowes
discovered her in a creek, hauled up on shore within a stockade. She was deserted and dismantled, and without papers aud colours. She had a slave-deck partly removed, the crew having evidently been disturbed in the operation of removing it; two large water-tanks, each capable of holding two tons of water; two large pots for cooking food, and a quantity of coarse matting. She was seized, and being stranded and unfit for a voyage to a port of adjudication, burnt. She was 73 feet in length, and of 162 tons burden.
Nos. 4 and 5. A dhow of 40 32/94 tons; a dhow of 117 12/94 tons, captured at Angoxa, September 7, 1861.— On the 7th September, 1861, the boats of the "Ariel
," under the command of Captain Oldfield
, entered the Angoxa river, and found four dhows at anchor. The local Governor informed Captain Oldfield
that two of the dhows he honestly believed to be lawful traders, but that the other two were Soorie Arab slavers, and that Captain Oldfield
had his full authority to search them and judge for himself. On the same evening Captain Oldfield
boarded the two suspected dhows, and found them fitted for the Slave Trade. Both were deserted and without papers or colours, and both had slave-decks covered with matting, one capable of carrying from 60 to 80 slaves, the other at least 150, with large cooking ranges and water-tanks, and in all respects fully equipped as slavers. Upon the evidence of these fittings, and upon being further informed by the Governor that the dhows had been hired by the Sultan of Angoxa to carry cargoes of slaves, Captain Oldfield
seized and destroyed both dhows, they being unfitted for a voyage to a port of adjudication. One was of 40 tons and the other of 117 tons burden.
Nos. 6, 7, and 8. A dhow of 79 54/94 tons, a dhow of 68 56/94 tons, a dhow of 79 54/94 tons, captured in St. Antonio River, September 8, 1861.—On the 8th of September, 1861, the "Ariel
" was lying at anchor off Angoxa, when at about 2 p.m. three dhows were observed standing to the southward, whereupon the "Ariel
" weighed and bore towards them. The dhows then bore up and ran to the northward, and the "Ariel
" made chase. At 5 p.m. the dhows ran into St Antonio River, whereupon Commander Oldfield
dispatched Lieutenant Fairfax
in command of the gig
and pinnace of the "Ariel
" to continue the chase. At about 9 p.m. Lieutenant Fairfax
discovered two of the dhows hauled up in a small creek, and boarded them. On searching the first he found her wholly deserted, and without papers or colours. He also found that she was fitted with a slave-deck constructed of rattans, and capable of carrying about 100 slaves. He further perceived that from the human ordure upon it, the deck had evidently just been used for that purpose. There were on board the dhow of number of large coarse slave-mats, and a large water-tank and seven large water-casks, capable of holding altogether upwards of three tons of water. He then seized and destroyed the dhow, she being unsuited for a voyage to a port of adjudication. She measured 50 feet in length, and was 79 tons burden. On boarding the second dhow Lieutenant Fairfax
found her also wholly deserted, and without papers or colours. She likewise had a slave-deck constructed of rattans, capable of holding from 80 to 100 slaves, three large water-tanks and two large water-casks, capable of holding altogether from three and a half to four tons of water, a great number of mats, and a large quantity of coarse rice, such as is used for slave food. The dhow was then seized and destroyed, being unfit for a voyage to a port of adjudication. She was 54 feet in length, and of 68 tons burden. Shortly afterwards, in a bend of the river, Lieutenant Fairfax
discovered the third dhow. She, too, was deserted and without papers or colours, and was fitted with a rattan slave-deck capable of carrying about 100 slaves, which from the human ordure upon it had evidently been quite recently used for that purpose. Lieutenant Fairfax
found a great number of mats which had apparently been recently used by slaves, also a large number of earthenware vessels such as are used in feeding slaves. Lieutenant Fairfax
seized and destroyed the dhow, she being unfit for a voyage to a port of adjudication. She was 50 feet in length, and of 79 tons burden.
No. 9. A dhow of 122| 62/94 tons, with 82 slaves, captured off Pouna Point, March 2, 1862.—On the 2nd March, 1862, Lieutenant Clark
, in command of the "Ariel
’s" pinnace, cruising off Pouna Point, at about 6 p.m., saw a dhow at anchor near the shore. Having boarded her, Lieutenant Clark
found she was regularly fitted for the Slave Trade, and had 82 slaves on board — 42 males and 40 females. She had no papers or colours, but had a crew of nine Northern Arabs on board, besides nine other persons, also Northern Arabs, said to be passengers. Lieutenant Clark
seized the vessel, and conveyed her to Zanzibar, where he arrived on the 12th March, and landed the crew and passengers of the dhow. On the 3rd March one of the slaves died of dysentery, and at Zanzibar two others contrived to escape. On the 24th March the "Ariel
" arrived in Zanzibar harbour, when the slaves, 79 in number, were transhipped to her, and the dhow abandoned to the British Consul, she being unsuited for a voyage to a port of adjudication. The slaves were subsequently landed at Seychelles The dhow was 62 feet in length, and her burden was 122 tons.
No. 10. A dhow of 130 81/94 tons, captured in Mazinga Harbour, Madagascar, March 14, 1862.—It having been reported to Captain Oldfield
that two of the boats of the "Ariel
" had chased two dhows into Mazinga Harbour, Madagascar, he stood into that harbour early on the morning of the 14th March, and found several dhows at anchor. Upon boarding one of the dhows he found her deserted, and without papers or colours. She had a slave-deck thirty-three feet long, and was capable of carrying upwards of 200 slaves. From the quantity of human excrement on the slave-deck and in the hold, it was clear the vessel had just landed a large cargo of slaves. She was therefore seized by Captain Oldfield
, and being unfit for a voyage to a port of adjudication, was destroyed. She was 64 feet long, 17 feet 6 inches in breadth, and had a poop 21 feet long. She was of 130 tons burden.
No. 11. A dhow of 66 56/94 tons, captured at Pemba Island, March 20, 1862.—On the 20th March, Sub-Lieutenant Clark
was cruizing in the "Ariel
's" pinnace off Pemba Island, when at 7 p.m. a dhow was observed at anchor in Port Chak-Chak. The pinnace stood into the port, and Lieutenant Clark
boarded the dhow, which had on board a crew of fifteen persons, Northern Arabs, and 6 slaves, male children, but no papers or colours. Lieutenant Clark
seized the dhow, and, it being too dark to prosecute any further search that night, made the pinnace fast to her and remained alongside all night. At daylight on the following morning another dhow was seen sailing up the harbour, whereupon Lieutenant Clark
proceeded to examine her, leaving James Blackmore, seaman, the only hand he could spare, in charge of the dhow detained on the previous evening. The second dhow proved to be a regular trader, whereupon Lieutenant Clark
returned to the prize, which he found had been run on shore. Upon boarding her Lieutenant Clark
found her deserted by the crew, who had carried away the slaves. Blackmore, the seaman left in charge of her, was mortally wounded by sabre-cuts on the head, and soon afterwards died. The dhow being hard aground Lieutenant Clark
set fire to her after first measuring her. She was 53 feet long, 15 feet in the beam, and 18 feet deep, and was 66 tons burthen.
No. 12. A dhow of 180 50/94 tons, captured off Zanzibar, March 24, 1862.—On the 24th March the "Ariel
" was at anchor in Zanzibar harbour. At daylight a dhow was observed at the entrance of the harbour standing to the northward. Commander Oldfield
intercepted and searched the dhow, being authorized by His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar to search all suspected vessels leaving his territories. She turned out to be a Somali Arab vessel, equipped for the Slave Trade, with a crew of thirty-five persons. She had a slave-deck and a cargo of 54 slaves on board, 35 males and 19 females. The crew produced a pass from his Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar, which pass Commander Oldfield
transmitted to His Highness through the British Consul at Zanzibar. His Highness caused the case to be investigated on the 27th March, and decided that the dhow had no claim to his protection, having been guilty of violating his ordinance expressly prohibiting the Slave Trade and the Treaty with Great Britain, and thereupon adjudged her in open Durbar to be a lawful prize, whereupon Commander Oldfield
formally seized her. Her crew were distributed amongst vessels bound out of His Highness's dominions. The dhow being a large and tolerably built ship, was despatched with the negroes to Seychelles, where the slaves were landed with the exception of such as died, and 13 who were subsequently brought to Simon's Town, and delivered to the Curator of Slaves there. The dhow being unfit for a voyage to the Cape was destroyed. She was of 180 tons burthen.
No. 13. A dhow of 42 12/94 tons, captured off Pemba Island, March 30, 1862.—On the 30th of March the "Ariel
" was cruizing off Pemba island. At daylight in the morning a dhow was observed under sail under the land, and was intercepted by Sub-Lieutenant Clark
in the pinnace of the "Ariel
," and boarded. The vessel was a Boddeen dhow, such as is commonly navigated by the Northern Arabs, and had a crew of eight men of that race on board. She had Arab colours flying, and was fitted as a slaver. She had 6 slaves on board, 5 female and 1 male. The crew, on being interrogated, admitted that the vessel was bound to Lamoo to take in a cargo of slaves. Lieutenant Clark
thereupon seized the dhow and took her alongside the "Ariel
." The crew were examined by Captain Oldfield
and Lieutenant-Colonel Pelly, Her Majesty’s Consul at Zanzibar, who was on board the "Ariel
," when they produced a pass bearing the signature of His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar, which was represented as having been issued in the year 1861; but upon the Consul examining the pass it proved to be an old one granted to some other vessel in 1857, and the crew having, upon further examination, confessed that they were bound to Lamoo, there to take in slaves, Commander Oldfield
seized the dhow. Her crew were landed, and the slaves transferred to the "Ariel
," on board of which vessel they were subsequently conveyed to the Seychelles and delivered over to the Acting Civil Commissioner, Captain Cecil Dudgeon. The pass produced by the crew was retained by the Consul for the purpose of being handed over to the Sultan of Zanzibar. The dhow, which measured 45 feet in length, 11 feet in beam, and 8 feet in depth, and was of 42 tons burthen, being unfit for a voyage to the port of adjudication, was destroyed.
No. 14. A dhow of 198 18/94 tons, captured off Brava, April 4, 1862.—On the 4th April, the "Ariel
" was cruizing off Brava Harbour when at sunrise a large dhow was observed standing to the northward. On the "Ariel
" standing towards her she bore up for Brava harbour, followed by the "Ariel
." At 7 a.m., the Ariel
anchored at the entrance of the harbour, and Captain Oldfield
proceeded in the gig, with the whale-boat under the command of Lieutenant Blount
in attendance, to search the dhow, which had also anchored. Upon boarding the dhow Captain Oldfield
found a crew of fifteen or twenty men, Northern Arabs, but neither papers nor colours. The dhow had a slave-deck with appropriate fittings for carrying upwards of 200 slaves, three large water-tanks holding four tons of water, a quantity of slave-mats, and a large quantity of coarse rice and inferior dates, such as are used for slave food. Captain Oldfield
seized the vessel on the charge of being engaged in the Slave Trade. The Arab crew having attempted to rise upon him and his men, were driven into their boat, in which they escaped to the shore, and the dhow being unsuited for a voyage to a port of adjudication was destroyed. She was 75 feet in length, 19 feet in breadth, 12 feet in depth, had a poop 18 feet long, 17 wide, and 5 deep, and was of the burthen of 198 tons.
No. 15. A dhow of from 150 to 175 tons, captured sixteen miles north of Brava, April 4, 1862.—On the same day (4th April), at daylight, a dhow was observed to the north of Brava, rounding to the northward. At 9 a.m., the "Ariel
" stood for her, when she immediately bore up for the land, upon which the "Ariel
" made chase. At 11 a.m., the dhow anchored on the edge of the surf, about sixteen miles north of Brava, and the "Ariel
" at 12·20 anchored about 800 yards off her. It was observed that she was full of slaves, and that the crew with their effects were escaping to the land. Captain Oldfield
proceeded with two gigs of the "Ariel
" and boarded the dhow, which was thoroughly equipped for the Slave Trade, and had from 80 to 100 slaves on board. When boarded the crew had cut her cables, and she was fast drifting into the surf. Her position rendered it impossible to remove the slaves, one man excepted. The dhow drifted on to the beach, and the boats were in the most imminent peril; that commanded by Captain Oldfield
being swamped, and the crew with difficulty saved, while the shore was lined with armed men, who with muskets and spears attacked the boats and such of the slaves as attempted to make for them. Captain Oldfield
thereupon declared the dhow seized as a slaver, and she soon afterwards became a total wreck. The slaves escaped to the shore, where they were seized by the armed men, apparently Somali Arabs, and the dhow being deserted, her destruction was completed by shelling her. She appeared to be from 150 to 175 tons burthen.
No. 16. A dhow of 125 2/94 tons, captured six miles north of Brava, April 4, 1862.—While engaged in destroying this dhow above-mentioned, Captain Oldfield
observed another dhow standing from the south. When about three miles distant from the "Ariel
" she altered her course to the southward. At about 1 p.m., the "Ariel
" weighed and made chase. When about six miles north of Brava the chase finding the "Ariel
" had got within shot range, anchored about 500 yards off the shore, and her crew, consisting apparently of Northern Arabs, with about 25 or 30 slaves, were distinctly seen to take to their boats, which in three or four trips carried them all to the shore. The dhow was boarded and found to be fitted with a slave platform and other slave-fittings, and being without papers or colours she was seized and destroyed.
No. 17. A dhow of 141 40/94 tons, with 100 slaves, captured at Brava, April 5, 1862.—On the 5th April, the "Ariel
" was at anchor in Brava Roads, when, at daylight, four dhows were observed standing to the northward. At 8 a.m., the "Ariel
" weighed anchor, and stood in-shore to intercept them. Three of the dhows were found to be lawful traders. The fourth was without colours or papers, had a crew of nine Northern Arabs, and was regularly fitted for the Slave Trade. She had a slave-deck, and had on board 100 negro slaves — eighty-one males and nineteen females. Commander Oldfield
seized the dhow, and afterwards destroyed her, she being unfit for a voyage to a port of adjudication. The crew were landed, and the slaves transhipped to the "Ariel
," on board of which they were conveyed to Seychelles, where they were landed.
No. 18.—A dhow of 189 16/94 tons, captured off Pemba Island, April 21, 1862.—On the 21st April, Lieutenant Fairfax
, cruizing in the "Ariel
's" whaler off the northern point of Pemba, at 5·20 p.m., observed a dhow anchor off Masnea, and boarded her. She had neither papers nor colours, but a crew of thirty Somali Arabs, and four negroes, believed to be slaves, in a state of nudity. She had a slave-deck capable of carrying 250 slaves, watertanks capable of holding upwards of five tons of water, and a great quantity of matting. Lieutenant Fairfax
announced his intention of detaining the dhow, whereupon her crew manifested signs of resistance. The Lieutenant then returned to his boat and fired a couple of rockets at the dhow to enforce submission. The crew of the dhow and the negroes then made their escape to the shore, some by means of the boats, and others by swimming. The dhow was then seized, and, having been damaged by the rockets, destroyed.
No. 19. A dhow of 94 14/94 tons, captured off Juba Island, April 22, 1862.—On the 22nd April, Sub-Lieutenant Fellowes
cruizing off the Juba Islands in the "Ariel
's" cutter, about 10·30 a.m. observed a dhow running to the northward, and stood towards her. She instantly made for the shore and the cutter gave chase. After an hour's chase, the dhow was run ashore amidst the breakers on the mainland to the northward of the Juba Islands. The cutter approached within two hundred yards, as near as was safe, and the crew of the dhow were observed to make their escape on shore with about 60 negro slaves. The wreck broke up rapidly, but the coxswain and three men from the cutter swam off to her and measured her. She proved to be of 94 tons burthen.
No. 20. A dhow of 121 10/94 tons, captured off Murka Harbour, April 30, 1862.—On the 30th of April, Lieutenant Fairfax
, in command of the whale-boat of the "Ariel
," lying at anchor in the Murka Harbour, saw a dhow running into the harbour, and proceeded to intercept her. On the boat approaching her the dhow opened a heavy fire, and wounded three of the boat's crew. Lientenant Fairfax
and his men boarded the dhow, upon which her crew jumped overboard and swam ashore. She had neither papers nor colours, and was equipped for the Slave Trade, with a slave-deck and corresponding fittings, and had a cargo of 35 slaves on board, ten males and twenty-five females. The dhow, which had drifted towards the shore during the capture, was anchored, but about 5 p.m. parted, drifted on shore, and became a total wreck, the whole of the slaves escaping, with the exception of one female, who was put on board the "Ariel
," and subsequently landed at Seychelles. The dhow was of 121 tons burthen.
No. 21. A dhow of 115 to 140 tons, captured off Madagascar Harbour, May 1.—On the 1st May, 1862, Lieutenant Fellowes
, cruizing off Madagascar with the "Ariel
's" cutter and gig, observed, about 3 p.m., a dhow run into Madagascar harbour, and anchor. Lieutenant Fellowes
followed with the boats, and as they approached the dhow, he observed the Arab crew drive sixty or eighty negro slaves overboard into the surf, whence they swam ashore, where they were collected into a gang by a number of armed Arabs, apparently Soories, who kept up a fire on the boats. When the boats neared the dhow, her crew escaped to the shore in their boats, having first cut the cables of the dhow, which drifted on shore and became a wreck. The crew of the gig attempted to board the dhow as she lay on the beach, but the Arabs on shore kept up so hot a fire that it was not deemed prudent to risk the men's lives. The dhow became completely broken up, and was abandoned, after being declared to be seized as a slaver. She was of the Buddeen build, and appeared to be of from 115 tons to 140 tons burthen.
No. 22. A dhow of 49 38/94 tons captured near St. Antonio River, July 14, 1862.—On the 14th July, Lieutenant Fairfax
was despatched by Commander Oldfield
in command of the cutter, whaler, and gig of the "Ariel
," to inspect the St. Antonio River. At about 2 p.m. he observed a dhow under sail, which, on seeing the boats, bore up, and ran for the shore, off which she anchored. As the boats approached, a number of people were seen to quit the dhow, some swimming and some in boats, and by the time the boats reached her she was entirely abandoned. She had neither papers nor colours, and was completely equipped for the Slave Trade. She had a slave-deck 25 feet long, fit to carry fifty slaves; two large water-tanks, and one cask, holding together about three tons of water, a quantity of coarse rice, earthenware pots, and wooden dishes on board. She was moreover recognized as a dhow which had been recaptured from Sub-Lieutenant Fellowes
off the coast of Madagascar, on the 11th of February, 1862, wounding three of his crew of five men, she having then 30 slaves on board. She was therefore seized, and, being unsuited for a voyage to a port of adjudication, destroyed. She was 48 feet in length, and of 49 tons burthen.
No. 23. A dhow of 68 28/94 tons, captured in St. Antonio River, July 14, 1862.—About 3 p.m. on the same day Lieutenant Fairfax
observed a dhow in a bend of the river. She had apparently just anchored, her sails being bent and loose, and sixty or eighty people, a large portion of whom Lieutenant Fairfax
took to be slaves, were in the act of leaving her, some by swimming, others by boats. Those whom Lieutenant Fairfax
took to be slaves, were driven by the Arab crew of the dhow into the bush as they landed. The boats pulled towards the dhow, and Lieutenant Fairfax
boarded her. He found her quite deserted. She had neither papers nor colours, and was completely fitted for the Slave Trade. She had a slave-deck capable of carrying 150 slaves; three large water-tanks, capable of holding between four and five tons of water; and a quantity of earthenware pots and wooden dishes. Lieutenant Fairfax
seized the dhow as a slaver, and destroyed her, she being unfit for a voyage to a port of adjudication. She was 72 feet in length, and of 168 tons burthen.