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'Further Papers respecting the Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa and the System Pursued for its Suppression' [‎90r] (47/50)

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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20 per cent, of
g in the port of
3 that they were
izibar Arabs and
mcession, for it
ching his ports,
ominions during
a more valuable
would be more
v Her Majesty's
ingxlhows laden
:h(#*^ear beyond
st, Opposite the
'emba, between
light be carried
the 1st January.
v ;
jesty's vessels of
, to detain dhows
je conducive to
uthorities in the
ited passes con-
il as in Arabic,
ill description of
kewise be urged
nent similar to
ng-masters, and
; of Africa might
Zanzibar permis-
written in Arabic, they are, in nine cases out
of ten, unintelligible for want of an inter
preter on board to read them ; and they do
not in any case mention the names of the
crew or the number of passengers. A part
of the crew may be landed, and slaves may
be embarked in lieu thereof, or slaves may
be embarked as passengers.
It is, however, of vital importance, that
mistakes be not made in seizing legal
traders, whom it is desirable to encourage
as much as possible.
A certain latitude must necessarily be
given to commanders of Her Majesty's
cruizers to enable them to grapple with the
Slave Trade, but they are liable frequently
through inexperience, and the interested
motives of their subordinates, to being led
astray and to act unjustly.
3. Nature of the cruizers required. Steam
launches and coast-guard boats.
4. Difficulties have been experienc p in
the disposal of the slaves once captured, and
a vessel has frequently to abandon the
sion to issue provisional certificates of regis
try and articles of agreement to dhows
navigating exclusively on the coast.
Every man-of-war employed on this coast
to suppress the Slave Trade should have an
Arabic and Soahili interpreter. Malta or
Aden should be able to furnish good Arabic
scholars, and the youths brought up at the
Nassik school at Bombay would make very
good Soahili interpreters. These should be
salaried servants of the Crown, and should
have no personal interest in the capture of
Officers should remain longer on the
station, and experienced Commanders should
not be removed just when they are becoming
efficient, which is but too often the case.
To put a stop to all dissatisfaction on the
part of the local authorities, captures should
be brought before the Vice-Admiralty Court
established in the countries to which the
captured dhows belong. Thus the capture
of a Zanzibar, Johanna, or Somali dhow
should be brought before the Zanzibar Court,
and a Muskat, Soor, or Bahrein dhow before
the Muskat Court. In the same manner a
Mokulla, Shahr, or Djedda dhow should
go before the Aden Court. Commanders of
Her Majesty's cruizers may then destroy
dhows if they consider themselves justified
in so doing; but the case being tried before
the proper Court, plaintiffs will be in a
position to obtain damages if they have
been unjustly deprived of their property.
The captain of a captured dhow should
always be informed in writing, under receipt,
of the port of adjudication of his dhow, and
he should be taken there if possible.
In my opinion the "Nymphe" and
" Daphne " class of vessel is too large for
the nature of the work assigned to it in the
Indian Ocean. A better class of vessel would
be the "Lynx" and "Penguin" class, for
such vessels can follow up a slaver in shallow
water, and can be easily beached if anything
goes wrong. They can do quite as much as
a larger vessel, and are by no ineans as ex
pensive. They burn less coal and do not
require so many hands. They should be
furnished with steam launches, made to con
sume wood and coal indifferently, and capable
of holding thirty men; such launches would
be invaluable to go up the creeks.
The Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. should have at its
disposal a sailing-vessel, if not a small
steamer, capable of being employed as a
cruizer and as a mail-boat to bring the mails
from the Seychelles. The presence of such
a vessel at Zanzibar would be very desirable.
I do not pretend to offer a perfect remedy
to this evil, but if slaves captured in the
neighbourhood of Zanzibar are brought to

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' [‎90r] (47/50), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B84, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 February 2020]

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