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‘File 5/74 Practice attributed to British authorities of surrendering fugitive slaves’ [‎22r] (58/150)

The record is made up of 1 volume (65 folios). It was created in 6 Aug 1897-14 May 1900. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.

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No. 120, dated the Slst March 1898.
No. 31, dated Bushire, the 26th April 1898.
From— Lieutenant-Colonel M. J. Meade , 0%. Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. , Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. ,
To—The Secretary to the Government of India, Foreign Department.
I have the honour to forward a copy of a letter* from the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency.
at Ma skat regarding the practice as to
fugitive slaves.
2. The Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Maskat has further informed me verbally that
even slaves whose release is not provided for under the conditions of the engage
ments with the Sultan (No. XXVII, Aitchison's Treaties, Volume XI, page 77)
are in practice always released whenever their cases are brought to his notice.
These include slaves born in slavery and those imported prior to the date of
the agreement.
3. Slaves imported to the Arab Coast and Bahrein subsequent to the
i. Bahrein. dates of the agreements noted in the mar-
Bahrein.
C Kas-ul-Khimah.
X Shargah.
Um-nl-Kowain.
Debay.
Ajman.
Abu Thahi.
Agreements—
No. XXXVII with Bahrein ; similar engngements
with other Chiefs, No. XXV1I1; additional article
■with all the Chiefs— Vide Aitchison's Treaties,
Volume X, pages 133-l.i4 and 117-118.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
gin, with the various Sheikhs, are given
manumission certificates on taking refuge
at the British Agencies. Slaves who were
born in slavery, or who were imported
prior to the execution of the agreements
with the Sheikhs, are returned to their
masters. The practice in Bahrein in regard
to such slaves has, however, been to make
the masters sign papers agreeing to treat them kindly if returned, with the
condition that they will be liable to be released if it is found that they are
being badly treated.
4. Slaves taking refuge on board men-of-war are released under Article
XXVIII of the General Act of the Brussels Conference.
5. Slaves who take refuge at the British Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. at Bushire, or at
other British Consulates and Agencies in Persian territory, are given manumis
sion certificates, under the conditions of the Convention between Great Britain
and Persia concluded in 1882— Vide No. XXV, Aitchison's Treaties, Volume X,
page 95.
No. 120, dated Maskat, the Slst March 1898.
From— Major C. G. F. Fagan , Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. and Her Britannic Majesty's Consul
at Maskat,
To —The Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , Bushire.
I have the honour to inform you that slaves taking refuge at this Consulate
are given their freedom under the provisions of the Treaty of 1873, concluded
with the late Sultan Sayyid Toorkee by Sir Bartle Frere {vide page 77,
Aitchison's Treaties, Vol. XI), while those who seek protection on board Her
Majesty's vessels are granted their freedom under Article XXVIII of the
General Act of Brussels Conference.
y-
w/
/

About this item

Content

The volume contains correspondence exchanged between the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in Bushire (Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm J. Meade) and his assistant (John Gaskin), the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. Muscat (Major Christopher Fagan, and from October 1899 Major Percy Cox), and staff of the Government of India. Correspondence begins with an enquiry from the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. in London to the Government of India, in response to a letter sent to The Times newspaper by the Anti-Slavery Society, relating to British authorities’ procedure in surrendering fugitive slaves in Aden and Muscat.

The Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. and Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. Muscat discussed the procedure of assessing and granting manumission. The assistant secretary to the Government of India enquired into the possibility of applying the current practice of manumission at Muscat to the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. generally. Internal Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. memorandums between Meade and Gaskin, noted that such measures would further intensify hostile feelings on the part of the Arab shaikhs to the British Government, and it was noted that the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi was seeking closer links with the French Consul at Muscat (folios 17-18). The memorandums also explore the merits of making the children of slaves legally free, but this measure was rejected on the grounds that it would be too expensive to administer.

In office notes from early 1899, Fagan described in detail the manumission procedure there, including the Sultan’s role in the process (folios 29-30). It was noted (folios 24) that slaves seeking refuge in Muscat tended to be manumitted, irrespective of whether their case merited manumission according to the Treaty signed with the Sultan of Muscat. In 1899 Meade embarked on a tour of the Arab shaikhdoms, in order to inform the Shaikhs of their obligations in relation to the suppression of the slave trade. The memorandum gives details of the tour made on HMS Lawrence and the Meade’s meetings with the shaikhs of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ra's al-Khaymah and Umm al-Qaywayn, and their respective responses (folios 47-49).

In a letter to the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. of February 1900, Cox noted what he regarded as a lack of British Protection in current manumission certificates (folios 53-55). Enclosed with Cox's letter is a specimen manumission certificate issued by the Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. in Muscat (folio 56). Cox noted in his letter that the British Consul at Muscat issueds certificates in his own name, and not in the name of the British government.

Extent and format
1 volume (65 folios)
Arrangement

Correspondence in the volume is arranged in rough chronological order, from the earliest at the front, to the latest at the rear.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The volume is foliated from front cover to inside back cover with pencil numbers in the top-right corner of each front-facing page.

Written in
English in Latin script
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‘File 5/74 Practice attributed to British authorities of surrendering fugitive slaves’ [‎22r] (58/150), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/201, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023511679.0x00003b> [accessed 8 December 2019]

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