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'Further Papers respecting the Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa and the System Pursued for its Suppression' [‎72v] (12/50)

The record is made up of 1 volume (25 folios). It was created in 29 Oct 1869. It was written in English and French. 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. 7.
Mr. Melvill to Mr. Otway.—{Received August 24.)
(Confidential.) o#ce, 25, 1869.
^ WITH reference to Mr. Otway's letter of the 5th, and to my reply of the 18th June
last on the subject of the distribution and condition of slaves liberated at the Mauritius,
Aden &c I am directed by his Grace the Duke of Argyle to forward to you herewith, for
the information of Lord Clarendon, copy of a letter from the Assistant Resident at Aden
which has been received in answer to the communication addressed to him on the
subject, T c
1 am, &c.
Inclosure 1 in No. 7.
Captain Goodfellow to the Under-Secretary of State for India.
^ r eCret ' ) Aden, July 13, 1869.
IN acknowledging the receipt of your letter dated 25th ultimo, and inclosures, calling
for information on the subject of the condition and distribution of slaves landed and
liberated by Her Majesty's cruizers at this port, I have the honour to report, for the
information of his Grace the Secretary of State for India, that the subject of exempting this
settlement from the charge of cargoes of slaves captured by Her Majesty s ships has
already been represented to his Excellency the Governor in Council of Bombay, and the
Commodore Commanding-in-chief East Indies, is aware of the strong objections that exist
which render it undesirable to overburden this confined and already overstocked settlement,
comprising an area of only about fifteen square miles, more than halt of which may be
styled uninhabitable, with the presence of any large numbers of these unfortunate helpless
beings, hence I presume that any further remarks on the subject of the concluding
paragraphs of Mr. Otway's letter would be unnecessary. With regard to the distribution
and condition of the slaves that have been landed and liberated at Aden, I do myself the
honour to submit a Tabular Statement of the numbers that have been discharged here, and
beg to remark that the fact of so many having to be sent to the Presidency of Bombay,
goes to prove what 1 have already stated in regard to the necessity that exists for exempting
this port entirely at the present as it can absorb no more as a depdt, or, at any rate, should
it be decided to constitute Aden an entrepdt for manumitted slaves that, owing to the
limited and scanty accommodation and necessarily small establishment to supervise as well
as the dearness of food and water and expenses of transit, some limit should be put on the
numbers to be landed here.
In the statement which accompanies I have to observe, with regard to the numbers
that have been distributed locally, that most of them have been intrusted in the care of
respectable natives of India resident at Aden, some have been employed in the Harbour
Department, some by the Peninsula and Oriental Company, and others have been able to
obtain employment for themselves, and several women have been legally married.
In a barren solitary settlement like Aden, where we are so completely hemmed in on
all sides, it is an impossibility to find employment for this class ; there are no schools or
instructors, nor is there any legitimate means of affording them employment: their condition
during detention here cannot, therefore, be said to be much bettered. Nor can I report that
the mode of assignment for service or apprenticeship is as satisfactory as it should be ; it is
so far so that they are virtually free, and in time able to obtain employment for themselves
—chiefly as sailors on board the steamers and vessels, as well as some country craft which
frequent this port, as also in other ways when they have learned the language and become,
• .as most of them soon do, dissatisfied with their new mode of life, and, in their anxiety to
sfeek a change, run away from their protectors, and then give this Department endless
trouble as well as responsibility, which it is hoped may be averted.
Owing to the limited accommodation at our disposal, and the proximity in all parts of
the Peninsula to military cantonments, the care of these truly unfortunate beings on first
arrival here is a hard one ; on being disembarked from the man-of-war there is always at
first a fear of some contagious disease existing, such as small-pox, &c., hence they are
located in the only available detached position we have, namely, an Island in the Inner

About this item


This file contains correspondence between British officials regarding their attempts to monitor and prohibit slave traffic on the East Coast of Africa. The correspondence dates from March 1869 to October 1869.

Of particular interest are the following folios:

  • Folio 71 - French Government boat registration papers that had been given to 'Arab Dhows' allowing them to travel under the French flag.
  • Folio 73 - A chart entitled 'Memorandum of Number of Slaves landed and liberated at Aden, and how disposed of'.
  • Folio 74 - A copy of the Slave Trade Jurisdiction (Zanzibar) Bill, May 1869.
  • Folios 89-91 - 'A Memorandum by Mr. Churchill [Henry Adrian Churchill, Britain's Agent in Zanzibar] respecting Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa'.
Extent and format
1 volume (25 folios)

The file is arranged in rough chronological order, with the earliest correspondence at the beginning of the file and the latest at the end of the file.

Physical characteristics

Condition: contained within a bound volume that contains a number of other files.

Foliation: The foliation for this description commences at f 67, and terminates at f 91, as it is part of a larger physical volume; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. An additional foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 5-134; these numbers are written in pencil, but are not circled, and can be found in the same position as the main sequence.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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'Further Papers respecting the Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa and the System Pursued for its Suppression' [‎72v] (12/50), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B84, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 February 2020]

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