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This is the best opportunity for your Excellency to speak to Lord Clarendon of the following fact, which is a matter of astonishment to the Imperial Government.
It is known that the British Consul in Pernambuco, after the demission of the Delegate, and subsequently to the order sent from the Imperial Government to put him on his trial, communicated to him the approbation and thanks of Her Britannic Majesty's Government for his proceedings in the affair of Serinhaem.
Your Excellency will observe to Lord Clarendon that this fact, if it be true, as it is believed, is more likely to encourage slavetraders than the indifference, which is not proved, imputed by the British Government to that of Brazil.
The Imperial Government considers that this act, by which the British Government constituted itself judge between the Government of Brazil and its subordinates, interposing in a process awaiting the decision of the magistrates of the country, besides being an encroachment on the independence of Brazil, tends to diminish the moral force of the Imperial Government in repressing the Slave Trade.
Her Britannic Majesty's Government must be aware of the character and tendency of the step taken by it, for which the Imperial Government has a right to demand, and does demand, a just and frank reparation. The voluntary withdrawal of the British Consul in Pernambuco, the cause of all these misunderstandings, and who has other past circumstances against him, would be the least that the British Government could do to neutralize the effects of the acts which so deeply afflict the Imperial Government, and excite the resentment of the nation.
Your Excellency will have also an opportunity in this conference to remark to Lord Clarendon, that the proceeding of the British Government is so much the more unjust inasmuch as it has not taken efficacious measures to restrain the fitting out of vessels by the slave-traders in the ports of The United States.
After the Conference your Excellency may offer a copy or extract of the present despatch to Lord Clarendon, and you will duly advise this Ministry of everything. Senhor Moreira.
I repeat, &c.
JOSE MARIA DA SILVA PARANHOS.
(Inclosure 3.)-The Earl of Clarendon to Mr. Jerningham.
No. 199.-The Hon. P. C. Scarlett to the Earl of Clarendon. (Received January 13, 1857.)
Rio de Janeiro, December 11, 1856. I HAVE received a despatch from Mr. Cowper at Pernambuco, informing me that the Court called the "Relação," which sat in
judgment on all those persons who were accused before it of having a band in the landing and theft of African slaves at Serinhaem, has absolved the parties so accused, including those who are known to be guilty, and those who are considered by Mr. Cowper as innocent of the charges which were made against them.
This iniquitous decision, according to Mr. Cowper, has been arrived at by an equal division of the votes of the six judges who tried the case, the parties being then by law entitled to an acquittal on account of the doubt.
Against this decision the Promoter Publico, or Attorney-General of Pernambuco, appealed to the Superior Tribunal of Rio de Janeiro; but I am informed that Brazilian law does not admit of any appeal under such circumstances, and those who were accused stand for ever absolved.
The Minister of Justice, however, Senhor Nabuco, in consideration of a strong opinion he entertains of the injustice of the decision, and of the bad effect it will have in setting at liberty those who are believed by the Brazilian Government to be guilty, has determined to dismiss from their offices all the judges who were engaged in the cause; and as this act is an arbitrary one, he means to appeal to the Chamber in the ensuing session for a justification of his own conduct. The Earl of Clarendon.
P. CAMPBELL SCARLETT.
No. 203.-The Earl of Clarendon to the Hon. P. C. Scarlett. SIR, Foreign Office, January 26, 1857. I HAVE received your despatch of the 11th ultimo, referring to the acquittal, by the Court of Relação at Pernambuco, of all the persons accused of participation in the Serinhaem Slave Trade affair, and stating that the Brazilian Minister of Justice has determined, in consequence of the bad effect that this acquittal must have, to dismiss the judges who were engaged in the cause.
I have to acquaint you that Her Majesty's Government have been gratified at learning that the Brazilian Government have viewed this acquittal with displeasure, and it appears to Her Majesty's Government that the determination of Senhor Nabuco to dismiss the judges is an evidence of his sincerity in this matter. I have received from Consul Cowper a despatch suggesting that Her Majesty's Government should propose to the Brazilian Government to sancțion the appointment of a Mixed Commission, to sit in Pernambuco, in order to investigate the conduct of the late Presi dent of that province, and the truth of Mr. Cowper's statements with regard to the Serinhaem affair; and Mr. Cowper states that he will be ready to abide the result of the proposed inquiry.
I have to instruct you to make such a proposal to the Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs, in answer to the charges made by the mperial Government against Mr. Cowper, and as a proof that Her
Majesty's Government are desirous that his conduct which they think honourable and praiseworthy, should be investigated.
The Hon. P. C. Scarlett.
I am, &c.
No. 209.-The Hon. P. C. Scarlett to the Earl of Clarendon. (Received February 14.)
Rio de Janeiro, January 12, 1857. AT my interview with Senhor Paranhos yesterday I communicated to him the contents of your Lordship's despatch of November 25, with reference to the imprisonment of Colonel Drummond, his son Dr. Antonio Drummond, and Manoel Fidelis, the captors of the Serinhaem slaver, whilst other parties, considered by Mr Cowper as real culprits, were at large.
Your Lordship is now aware that the Relação of Pernambuco acquitted all the accused, including Colonel Drummond, and that the Government here instantly dismissed the Judges of that Court on account of their decision.
I regret to say, however, that, although the tribunal above mentioned appears to have confounded both guilty and innocent in one acquittal, Mr. Cowper writes to me that Colonel Drummond, of whose innocence he has never entertained a doubt in his correspondence, appears, since that decision, to have been condemned by the Juiz de Direito of Rio Formoso for doing too little in the Serinhaem affair, and is to be fined to the amount of one-quarter of his income.
As this information from Mr. Cowper is not official, I am in the hope that he may have been erroneously informed.
Senhor Paranhos, to whom I mentioned this report, did not deny the truth of it, but appeared to be ignorant of the details. The Earl of Clarendon.
P. CAMPBELL SCARLETT.
No. 211.-The Earl of Clarendon to the Hon. P. C. Scarlett. Foreign Office, February 25, 1857. I HAVE received your despatch of the 9th ultimo, inclosing an abstract of a report which you have received respecting the large importation of slaves into the province of Rio de Janeiro from the northern provinces, and the neglect of the Brazilian Government to take any measures for the introduction of European colonists into Brazil; and I have to observe that the report in question furnishes arguments which you should press on the Brazilian Government, in order to induce them to conclude with Great Britain a Treaty which may be really effectual for the purpose of preventing the revival of the Slave Trade. I am, &c.
No. 215.-The Earl of Clarendon to the Hon. P. C. Scarlett. Foreign Office, February 28, 1857. WITH reference to your despatch of the 12th ultimo, I transmit herewith copy of a despatch which I have received from Consul Cowper, by which it appears that the Juiz de Direito of Rio Formoso has condemned Colonel Drummond to be deprived of his titular office of police magistrate, to be rendered incapable of holding office for the future, and to be fined one-half of a year's income.
Her Majesty's Government learn with deep regret these proceedings against Colonel Drummond, as they are convinced that the slave-traders will derive encouragement from the well-founded fear which the gentry and landowners of the province of Pernambuco must in future feel, of the consequences of attempting to check the revival of the traffic in slaves. I am, &c. The Hon. P. C. Scarlett.
No. 249.-The Earl of Clarendon to Consul Morgan. Foreign Office, January 27, 1857. I HAVE received your despatch of the 10th of October last, inclosing copies of a correspondence which you have had with a British subject named Giolma, who has undertaken the management of a Company established for insuring the lives of slaves; and I have to acquaint you that I have consulted the proper Law Officers of the Crown with regard to the question of the legality of Mr. Giolma's proceedings in this affair, and that they are of opinion that the enactments of the Act 5 Geo. IV, cap. 113, secs. 2 and 8, are directed against the insurance of adventures in slaves, and not in terms against insurances effected on their lives, and that, therefore, Mr. Giolma is not liable to the penalties imposed on those who "insure or contract for the insurance of slaves and their procurers, counsellors, aiders, and abettors."
It seems clear, however, that a British subject in assuming duties connected with effecting insurances on the lives of slaves, is acting against the spirit of the statute; but in order to affect Mr. Giolma criminally, he must be shown to come within its direct enactments. which in this case cannot, it would appear, be done.
J. Morgan, Esq.
I am, &c.
No. 255.-The Earl of Clarendon to Consul Vines.
Foreign Office, July 8, 1856. I HAVE received your despatch of the 29th of April last, in which you express an opinion that the freedom of the three slaves, Jacinto, Ildefonço, and Lazaro, who belonged to Mr. Dickson's late wife, might be secured, on their arriving at the age of 21, if the Judge of the Court of Orphans at Pará were instructed by the Imperial authorities at Rio de Janeiro to apportion the slaves to Mr. Dickson and the land to his children.
I have to state to you, in reply, that it appears to me that Her Majesty's Government would not be justified in making suggestions to the Brazilian Government, or in undertaking any ex parte interference with regard to the lawsuit relating to the late Mrs. Dickson's property, which is now before the Brazilian law courts, unless it can be shown that justice has been denied to Mr. Dickson.
S. Vines, Esq.
No. 274.-Consul Cowper to the Earl of Clarendon.-(Rec. Nov. 11.)
I CANNOT abstain from recurring to the subject of the coasting Slave Trade carried on in this empire, that your Lordship's good offices may be exerted in defence of that race, which has suffered, is suffering, and I fear has yet to suffer, such unmerited and inhuman treatment.
One of the arguments advanced in favour of the African Slave Trade is, that the slaves are removed from a state of barbarism and paganism, to one of civilization and Christianity, and notwithstanding the practical untruth of this assertion (for no slave ever made a further acquaintance with civilization than enabled him to contrast his own miserable state with that of the dominant race; or with the blessings of Christianity, further than the initiatory act of baptism), I am willing to allow the argument such merit as it deserves.
But it can have neither weight nor place in discussing the coasting Slave Trade, which presents its naked and corrupt body to the view without a healthy or redeeming spot. Children are torn from their parents, parents from their children, the tie of husband and