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'Further Papers respecting the Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa and the System Pursued for its Suppression' [‎76v] (20/50)

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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It is said that the Sultan's pass, which was in Arabic, was shown to the officers of
the boat, but was torn up by them, and that the officers asked why the dhow had no pass
from the Consul, and said that she could not go to Madagascar.
The dhow was then taken alongside the ship, to which her goods were transferred, the
dhow's crew and passengers being told to keep their personal effects. The mast, boat,
and fittings were also taken out, with everything that was of use, after which the dhow
was set on fire. The supercargo states that there was no interpreter among the ship's
people, but that one of the dhow's men could speak with them, and explained what they
The " Peterel " then steamed away to Mambi, where the dhow's crew and passengers
were landed for five days, while the ship was refitting, their request to be taken to Comoro
or Madagascar being refused. Eventually the " Peterel" took them to Mozambique, where
there was lying a steam-vessel called " Tynemouth," belonging to Hassan Bey, and bound
to Zanzibar. The supercargo states that they were asked to pay 4 rupees each for their
passage, but as they had no money, the captain of the man-of-war arranged for their
passage, and supplied them with some biscuit and cloth for the voyage.
None, even of the slaves, it is said, were retained on board the " Peterel," and the
master of the dhow adds that the slaves were then working as before, as sailors, and had
gone some ten or fifteen days before to Pemba, in another dhow belonging to the same
Of this evidence Mr. Kirk observes that in his opinion it confirms the suspicions on
which the officers of the " Peterel" seem to have acted. He states that on the return of
the dhow's crew to Zanzibar, due notice was given that anv appeal or statement must be
made in time to be sent in the " Tynemouth " to the Cape of Good Hope, where, in all
probability, their case would be tried before the Vice-Admiralty Court; but that His
Highness and those concerned neglected the opportunity, although the vessel remained at
Zanzibar for nearly a month, and Mr. Kirk adds that he had warned those interested that
by this wilful neglect of the proper steps for their self-defence, they had, in his opinion,
forfeited all right to be again heard.
It would appear, however, that the Sultan of Zanzibar has expressed his dissatisfac
tion at the destruction of the dhow, and insists upon the fact that none of those who were
on board the dhow were ever suspected by the " Peterel" to be slaves, for that they were
all, including the female slave, sent back to Zanzibar, and he contends, therefore, that it
could not be on the ground of having had a slave on board that this dhow was destroyed,
but for some other reason to him unknown; and Mr. Kirk states that His Highness
desires to be informed what the grounds were on which the vessel of his subject has
been burned, and if condemned in the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape, the reason why.
1 must confess that, on view of the evidence as reported by Mr. Kirk, the Sultan's
dissatisfaction with the proceedings of the captors in this case appears to be far from
Except the presence on board of the slaves, of whom 14 are said to have been
employed as sailors, not only at that time, but on former and subsequent voyages, and the
other is stated to have been a domestic slave purchased many years previously; the
nCe j e ^ n( ^ a PP ear disclose any plausible ground even for the detention of this
ow; and, if that were really the ground of detention, the captors were bound, unless
unavoidably prevented, to send all the slaves to the port of adjudication.
Nor, again, would the fact that there were slaves on board be enough to justifv the
seizure, unless there were also reason to suppose that thev had been shipped for exporta
tion, which is direct y contradicted, not only by the evidence of the master and the
supercargo, but by the conduct of the captors themselves. At present, however, vour
-Lordships are in possession of an ex parte statement only, and it would be evidentlv
premature to express a decided opinion upon the case.
Possibly the demeanour of the witnesses and other circumstances attending their
raammation may ha'e been such as to throw doubt upon their evidence, and to lead
Mr. Kirk to the conclusion that the dhow was engaged in a questionable voyage- but
4S^«pllation 006 al0ne ' the COndUCt 0f the ca P tors oertainl y ^
Of the second case, that of the dhow captured by the " Nymphe," fuller details are
g'ven in the accompanymg papers It came before Mrf Kirk, as Acting Judge of the W
vessel resulted ln a decree for the restitution of the captured
vessel. Ihe crcumstauces, as tney appear from Mr. Kirk's letter of the 22nd of Mav
and the inclosure therein, are as follows
A Mombas Arab named Ali bin Wassur, also described in these paners as the
Governor of Mombas, had sent a dhow to Zanzibar, with instructions to agent, an

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' [‎76v] (20/50), 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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