Report of Commodores proceedings
Report of Commodores proceedings

Royal NavyWest Africa slave trade23 April 1845

Commodore Jones to Mr. Corry.

'Penelope,' St. Vincent, Cape Verds, June l2, 1845.

l. I HAVE the honour to resume the report of my general proceedings in continuation of my Letter of the 23rd April.

2. The 'Rapid' arrived from Sierra Leone on the 5th May, bringing Lieutenant Stupart, of the 'Wasp,' who now completed the witnesses whom I have to send to bear testimony against the Brazilians who murdered the 'Wasp's' prize crew. Those malefactors were now transferred to the 'Rapid,' with all the remaining witnesses, and I placed that vessel under the command of Lieutenant Wilson, of the 'Star,' whose very remarkable deliverance I have reported separately in my Letter of the 28th April. Lieutenant Wilson will thus fill the vacancy of Commander Earle, who died on the 12th April, at Sierra Leone, to my great regret, and the loss of the service.

3. I left Ascension on the 7th May, and having directed the 'Wasp' on the same day to resume her station off Lagos, and the 'Rapid' to follow me in three days, I anchored off Gallinas on the 15th May.

4. I there joined the 'Growler' and immediately sent Commander Buckle to Liberia, on a mission to the Governor, from whom I requested an answer to the communication which, by their Lordships' commands, I had addressed to him on the [gap]. Commander Buckle returned on the 17th, having been received with cold and somewhat sullen civility, by Governor Roberts, who declined to send me any written answer to my former Letter, and did not appear at all pleased with the decision which the British Government had come to upon Liberian affairs. I had to lament the death of Lieutenant John Lodwick, of the 'Growler,' on the 13th May, a brave and good officer, deeply regretted, by his Commander.

5. The Gallinas Chiefs had done nothing in the way of satisfaction for the grievances which we had to complain of against them: but, until I receive their Lordships' further commands respecting them, I was well content to leave our relations with them in their present unsettled state. In the meantime, Commander Buckle, with his division, continue to watch this part of the coast with unceasing vigilance. A good proof of this was given by the 'Eclair,' on the 17th, capturing a very fine Spanish brigantine off Gurghbak, a place about 90 miles distant, to the westward of Gallinas.

6. Having supplied the 'Growler" and 'Eclair' with stores, I arrived at Sierra Leone on the 18th May, where I completed with water and provisions; but there were no coals whatever in the Queen's store at that place.

7. On the 22nd May the 'Rapid' arrived, from Ascension, and on the 23rd the 'Rolla,' from England. The 'Rapid' sailed on the 23rd for the Cape Verd Islands, and on the 24th the 'Rolla' went to join the Gallinas division.

8. On the 27th the 'Hydra' arrived from the Gamba where she had been under the necessity of going for a supply of coals. I directed Commander Young to resume his station in the Bight of Benin, as soon as he had made some necessary repairs in the machinery of the 'Hydra."

9. On the 28th May I left Sierra Leone, and on the 29th communicated with the 'Ardent,' off the Pongas; I had the satisfaction to find, that Commander Russell had very effectually suppressed the Slave Trade in that river for the present. Having supplied him with stores and water, I proceeded to the Cape Verd Islands, and arrived at Boa Vista on the 2nd instant.

10. I immediately took in, from the Contractor's store at that place, 247 tons of coal.

11. The 'Rapid' rejoined me on the 8th, and on the next day I left Boa Vista, and sailed in company with that vessel in quest of the American Commodore Skinner, whom I was on many accounts very desirous of meeting. I hope to fall in with him in a few days more, and I shall then return forthwith to Sierra Leone, on my way to the southward.

12. The 'Rapid' arrived here with me to day, and I shall direct Lieutenant Wilson to proceed to England to-morrow, in pursuance of their Lordships' instructions.

I have, &c.
(Signed) W. JONES,
Commodore, and Senior Officer commanding.

The Right Hon. H. Corry
&c. &c.

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