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Home-Loney-Background-Niger expedition-Parliamentary Papers (1/4) (2/4) (3/4) (4/4)

No. 1

Copy of a LETTER from Lord John Russell to the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury.

Downing-street, 26th December, 1839.

My Lords,

THE state of the foreign Slave Trade has for some time past engaged much of the attention of Her Majesty's Confidential Advisers. In whatever light this traffic is viewed, it must be regarded as an evil of incalculable magnitude; the injuries it inflicts on the lawful commerce of this country, the constant expense incurred in the employment of ships of war for the suppression of it, and the annual sacrifice of so many valuable lives in this service, however deeply to be lamented, are not the most disastrous results of this system. The honour of the British Crown is compromised by the habitual evasion of the treaties subsisting between Her Majesty and Foreign Powers for the abolition of the Slave Trade, and the calamities which, in defiance of religion, humanity, and justice, are inflicted on a large proportion of the African continent, are such as cannot be contemplated without the deepest and most lively concern. The Houses of Lords and Commons have, in their addresses to the Crown, expressed in the most energetic terms the indignation with which Parliament regards the continuance of the trade in African slaves, and their anxious desire that every practicable method should be taken for the extinction of this great social evil.

To estimate the actual extent of the foreign Slave Trade is, from the nature of the case, an attempt of extreme difficulty; nor can anything more than a general approximation to the truth be made. But after the most attentive examination which it has been in my power to make of official documents, and especially of the correspondence communicated to Parliament from the department of Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I find it impossible to avoid the conclusion, that the average number of slaves introduced into foreign states or colonies in America and the West Indies, from the western coast of Africa, annually exceeds 100.000. In this estimate, a very large deduction is made for the exaggerations which are more or less inseparable from all statements on a subject so well calculated to excite the feelings of every impartial and disinterested witness. But making this deduction, the number of slaves actually landed in the importing countries affords but a very imperfect indication of the real extent of the calamities which this traffic inflicts on its victims. No record exists of the multitudes who perish in the overland journey to the African coast, or in the passage across the: Atlantic, or of the still greater number who fall a sacrifice to the warfare, pillage, and cruelties by which the Slave Trade is fed. Unhappily, however, no fact can be more certain than that such an importation as I have mentioned presupposes and involves a waste of human life, and a sum of human misery, proceeding from year to year, without respite or intermission, to such an extent as to render the subject the most painful of any which, in the survey of the condition of mankind, it is possible to contemplate.

The preceding statement unavoidably suggests the inquiry why the costly efforts in which Great Britain has so long been engaged for repressing the foreign Slave Trade have proved thus ineffectual? Without pausing to enumerate the many concurrent causes of failure, it may be sufficient to say that such is the difference between the price at which a slave is bought on the coast of Africa and the price for which he is sold in Brazil or Cuba, that the importer receives back his purchase-money tenfold on the safe arrival of his vessel at the port of destination. It is more than probable that the general profits of the trade, if accurately calculated, would fall exceedingly below this estimate, as indeed it is certain that in many cases it is carried on at a ruinous loss. But your Lordships are well aware how powerful, and constant an impulse may be given to any species of illegal traffic, however hazardous, when they who engage in it are allured by the hope of very large and quick returns, if their good fortunes could enable them to escape the penalties of the law. It may, therefore, be readily understood how effective is such a stimulus, when as in the case in question, the law itself is regarded with general disfavour in the society to which the violater of it belongs, and is reluctantly executed by the government of that society. We must add to this exciting motive the security which is derived from insurances, and insurance companies, which are carried on to a great extent, and combined powerful interests. Under such circumstances, to repress the foreign Slave Trade by a marine guard would scarcely be possible if the whole British navy could be employed for that purpose. It is an evil which can never be adequately encountered by any system of mere prohibition and penalties.

Her Majesty's Confidential Advisers are, therefore, compelled to admit the conviction that it is indispensable to enter upon some new preventive system, calculated to arrest the foreign Slave Trade in its source, by counteracting the principles by which it is now sustained. Although it may be impossible to check the cupidity of those who purchase slaves for exportation from Africa, it may yet be possible to force on those by whom they are sold the persuasion that they are engaged in a traffic, opposed to their own interests when correctly understood.

With this view it is proposed to establish new commercial relations with those African chiefs or powers within whose dominions the internal Slave Trade of Africa is carried on, and the external Slave Trade supplied with its victims. To this end the Queen has directed Her Ministers to negotiate Conventions or Agreements with those Chiefs and Powers, the basis of which conventions would be, first, the abandonment and absolute prohibition of the Slave Trade; and, secondly, the admission for consumption in this country, on favourable terms, of goods the produce or manufacture of the territories subject to them. Of those Chiefs, the most considerable rule over the countries adjacent to the Niger and its great tributary streams. It is, therefore, proposed to dispatch an Expedition which would ascend that river by steam-boats, as far as the points at which it receives the confluence of some of the principal rivers falling into it from the eastward. At these, or at any other stations which may be found more favourable for the promotion of a legitimate commerce, it is promised to establish British factories, in the hope that the natives may be taught that there are methods of employing the population more profitable to those to whom they are subject than that of converting them into slaves, and selling them for exportation to the slave traders.

In this communication it would be out of place, and indeed impracticable, to enter upon a full detail of the plan itself; of the ulterior measures to which it may lead, or of the reasons which induce Her Majesty's Government to believe that it may eventually lead to the substitution of an innocent and profitable commerce, for that traffic by which the continent of Africa has so long been desolated. For my immediate purpose it will be sufficient to say that, having maturely weighed these questions, and with a full perception of the difficulties which may attend this undertaking, the Ministers of the Crown are yet convinced that it affords the best, if not the only, prospect of accomplishing the great object so earnestly desired by the Queen, by her Parliament, and her people.

Having instituted a careful inquiry as to the best and most economical method of conducting the proposed Expedition, I find from the enclosed communication from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that it will be necessary to build three iron steam-vessels for this service, and that the first cost of those vessels, including provisions and stores for six months, will amount to 35,000 l. It further appears that the annual charge of paying and victualling the officers and men will be 10,546 l. The salaries of the conductors of the Expedition, and of their chaplain and surgeon, will probably amount to 4.000 l. In addition to this expenditure, presents must be purchased for the Chiefs, and tents. mathematical instruments, with some other articles of a similar kind, will be indispensable for the use of the persons who are to be engaged in this service, when at a distance from their vessels. I have some time since given directions for the completion of this additional estimate, but with those directions it has not hitherto been found practicable to comply. The charge for this branch of the proposed service will not be very considerable.

I have to convey to your Lordships my recommendation that in the estimates to be laid before the House of Commons for the services of the year 1840, the sums be included which are necessary to provide for the expenses of the promised Expedition to the Niger, on the scale already mentioned, under the several heads of expenditure.

I have, &c.
(Signed) J. Russell

The Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury.


No. 2

Extract of a LETTER from R. More O'Ferrall, Esq. to James Steven, Esq., dated 16th November, 1939.

I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to transmit hierwith, for the information of Lord John Russell, a copy of a report from Sir Edward Parry relative to the equipment and expense of the proposed steam-boat expedition to the River Niger.


Enclosure in No. 2

Sir Edward Parry's report with reference to Mr. More O'Ferrall's Minute on Mr. Stephen's Letter of the 6th November, 1839.

In order to afford a reasonable prospect of success in the object which Her Majesty's Government has in view in sending an expedition up the River Niger, I conceive that three steam-vessels are indispensable. In many cases a fourth vessel of the smaller class might afford very important facilities, but in the estimates of the expense I am about to offer the calculations are confined to three.

The vessels should be built very strongly of iron, expressly for this service, the two larger to have very roomy and airy accommodations for their officers and crews, and to be of exactly the same size, rig, and power, with all their stores precisely alike. The third vessel, intended for detached service up smaller rivers, for conveying intelligence or sick persons, and especially for sounding ahead of the other vessels in difficult or unknown navigation, should also have her stores of every kind as much like those of the other two as possible.

The steam-engines of the three vessels, that is, two in each of the larger and one in the other, should be of the same power, constructed by the same manufacturer, and precisely alike in the most minute particular, so that the duplicate (or spare) parts may fit any of the engines without selection or alteration.

This arrangement, both as regards the engines and all the other parts of the equipment. is obviously of the greatest importance, in increasing the resources of the Expedition, where the means of repair must he limited, and the distance from any regular establishment great, for a considerable time. It rrfay also be observed, that the expense of duplicate parts for the engines, and the quantity of spare stores of every other kind, are greatly reduced by this arrangement.

After consulting with Captain Trotter and other competent persons, I am of opinion that the vessels should be of about the following dimensions: -

The two larger vessels
Length on deck136 feet.
Breadth of beam 27 "
Depth of hold 10 "
Tonnage, about440 tons
Draught of water not to exceed4 feet 9 inches
Two sliding keels6 feet deep

Each of the larger vessels to have two engines of 35 horse power each engine, that is, an aggregate power of 70 horses: to carry coals for 15 days (of 12 hours), and to be fitted with projections over the gunwale on each side, like the vessels on the American rivers, for the convenience of stowing a supply of wood for fuel.

The smaller vessel
Length on deck110 feet.
Breadth of beam22 "
Depth of hold8 feet 6 inches
Draught of water not to exceed3 feet

To carry one engine of 35-horse power, and coal for 10 days (of 12 hours).

The estimated expense of building and equipment is as follows :-

 £
Cost of the two larger vessels, including engines, masts, rigging, sails, anchors, cables, and fixtures24,000
Cost of the smaller vessel, including the same6,750
Ordinary provisions for six months1,146
Preserved meats and soups extra for sick1,104
Stores for six months2,000
Total first cost, and equipment for six months35,000

It will be necessary also to furnish the Expedition with a supply of articles as presents to the natives, which are not included in the foregoing estimate.

The annual charge for paying and victualling the officers and men upon the annexed scale of establishment (which is considered to be a proper one), will be nearly as follows:-

 1st Vessel2d Vessel3d Vessel
 £££
Wages303227892077
Victuals990974684
 402237632761
Total Annual Charge for Wages and Victuals £10,546

It will, in my opinion, be highly expedient to contract with one iron shipbuilder for the whole of the vessels and engines; the selection of the manufacturer of the engines, as well as the plan of their construction, being strictly subject to the approval of the Admiralty.

And as there are only two or three individuals who understand the peculiar art of iron shipbuilding, and Messrs. Laird, of Liverpool, are the most eminent and experienced in this line, I recommend that they be desired to furnish plans and estimates for this undertaking. Messrs. Laird have already built several iron vessels for enterprises of this nature; among the rest, for the Euphrates expedition; and one of these gentlemen being himself an African traveller of considerable reputation, they would not only bring to the subject much more information and experience than any other persons can possess, but would also take a deep personal interest and pride in making the vessels in all respects fit for this important undertaking. I may add, that Messrs. Laird are now under contract with the Admiralty for furnishing an iron steam-vessel for a Dover packet, with her engines and everything complete for sea, in the manner above recommended.

I find on inquiry, that one of such larger vessels as I have proposed might with great exertion be completed, with her engines, in eight months from the date of the order, a second in nine months, and the third in ten months. But as their complete equipments for sea would require some weeks after they are out of the manufacturer's hands, and the Expedition ought to be bona fide ready to leave England by the 15th of October, no time should be lost in calling for the plans and estimates. Indeed I have reason to believe that the demand for iron vessels, especially for foreign countries is becoming so urgent, that unless the order be very soon given, it is doubtful whether the vessels could be completed in time to proceed to the Niger next year at all.

As vessels of the description here proposed, though in all respects adapted to river navigation, cannot carry out with them, across the sea, anything like sufficient resources for an enterprise of this nature, it will be necessary that they should be accompanied, or perhaps preceded, by a transport to convey a supply of provisions and stores; a portion of these to be put on board the steam-vessels at the mouth of the Niger, and the remainder to be landed at Fernando Po, or some other convenient place, as a depot for future use.

(Signed) E.W. Parry.
Admiralty, 14th November, 1839.

ClassesFirst VesselSecond VesselThird VesselTotal
Captain (6th rate)1--1
Commander-112
Lieutenant2215
Master1113
Chaplain1--1
Surgeon1113
Purser11-2
Assistant Surgeon1113
Mates or Midshipmen44311
Master's Assistant1113
Clerk1113
1st Class Engineer1113
2nd ditto2215
Stokers44412
Seaman's Schoolmaster1113
Gunners' Mates2215
Carpenters' Mates1113
Caulker1113
Boatswains' Mates2226
Quartermasters3328
Captain's Coxwain1113
Sailmaker1113
Captain of Forecastle11-2
Ship's Cook1113
Captain of Main and Foretop2215
Cooper11-2
Carpenter's Crew2215
Purser's Steward1113
Able Seaman44210
Captain's Steward1113
Captain's Cook1113
Gun-room Steward1113
Young Gentlemen's Steward1113
Serjant of Marines11-2
Corporal1113
Privates66315
Fifer11-2
Total585740155

 


Treasury Chambers, 30th December, 1839.

Sir,

The Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury having had under their consideration the letter addressed to them by Lord John Russell on the 26th instant, submitting a plan for the effectual abolition of the slave trade, and recommending that the expenses thereof may be included in the estimates to be submitted to Parliament. I have it in command to request you will state to his Lordship that my Lords will be prepared to sanction such estimates as may be required for the service in question.

I have, &c.
(Signed) G.J. Pennington.

R. Vernon Smith.

James Stephen, Esq.
&c. &c.
Colonial Department, Downing-street, 7th February, 1840.


No. 3

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 1.) from Lord John Russell to Her Majesty's Commisioners of the Expedition to the Niger.

[Included here]


Enclosure in No. 3.

Draft of Agreement to be Proposed to African Chiefs.

There shall be Peace and Friendship between the people of Great Britain and the people of __, and the Slave Trade shall be put down for ever in __, and the people of Great Britain and the people of __, shall trade together innocently, justly, kindly,and usefully: and A, B, &c., Commissioners on the part of the Queen of Great Britain, and C on the part of the Chief of __, do make the following Agreement for these purposes.

I. The Slave Trade shall be utterly abolished in __, and from the signing of this Agreement no persons whatever shall be removed out of the country for the purpose of being treated or dealt with as slaves; nor shall any persons whatever be allowed to be brought through the country, or any part thereof, for the purpose of being treated or dealt with as slaves, by way of exportation or otherwise: nor shall any persons whatever be imported into the country for the purpose of being dealt with as slaves, and no subject of __ shall be in any way concerned in the exporting or importing slaves, or carrying on the Slave Trade either within or without the limits of the country. The Chief promises to inflict reasonable punishment on all his subjects who may break this law.

II. The officers of the Queen of Great Britain may seize every vessel or boat of __ found anywhere carrying on the Trade in Slaves, and may also seize every vessel or boat of other nations, with whom a similar Agreement has been made, found carrying on the Trade in Slaves in the waters belonging to the Chief of __; upon such seizure, and after regular condemnation according to the provisions of this Agreement, the slaves shall be made free, and the vessels or boats shall be destroyed, unless sale thereof shall be mutually agreed upon by the Parties to this Agreement; if sold, the produce of the sale shall be divided equally between the Queen of Great Britain and the Chief of __.

III. That in all cases of the seizure of vessels and boats, with slaves on board, under the provisions of this Agreement, the said Commissioners, or those of them who may be present, and in their absence, the Commissioned or Commanding officer on board the British vessel making the seizure, shall in presence of the Chief or head man appointed by him make due examination and inquiry into the case, and shall condemn the said vessel or boat with the slaves on board, if satisfied that the provisions of this Agreement have been thus contravened, or otherwise acquit and restore the same.

IV. That from and after the signing of this Agreement no person whatever coming into the country shall be reduced into slavery, or treated or used as slaves. All white persons whatever, and all British subjects of whatever colour, at present detained in slavery shall be immediately set free.

V. British people may freely come into the __ country, and may stay in it or pass through it; and they shall be treated as friends while in it; and they may leave the country with their property when they please.

VI. Christians of whatever nation or country peaceably conducting themselves in the dominions of the Chief of __ shall be left in the free enjoyment and exercise of the Christian religion, and shall not be hindered or molested in their endeavours to teach the same to all persons whatever willing and desirous to be taught: nor shall any subject of __ who may embrace the Christian faith be on that account, or on account of the teaching or exercise thereof, molested or troubled in any manner whatsoever.

VII. British people may always trade freely with the people of __, in every article which they may wish to buy or sell; and neither the British people nor the people of __ shall ever be forced to buy or to sell any article, nor shall they be prevented from buying or selling any article with whomsoever they please; and the customs and dues taken by the Chief of __ on British goods imported for sale shall in no case be more altogether than one __th part of the goods imported, or their ascertained value.

VIII. The paths shall be kept open through the __ country to other countries; so that British traders may carry goods of all kinds through the __ country to sell them elsewhere; and the traders of other countries may bring their goods through the __ country to trade with the British people.

IX. British people may buy, and sell, or hire lands and houses in the __ country; and their houses shall not be entered without their consent, nor shall their goods be seized, nor their persons touched; and if British people are wronged or ill-treated by the people of __, the Chief of __ shall punish those doing such wrong.

X. But British people must not break the Laws of the __ country; and when they are accused of breaking the Laws, the Chief may detain the person charged with committing any grievous crime, in safe custody, taking care that he be treated with humanity; and shall send a true account of the matter to the nearest place where there is a British force; and the commander of such British force shall send for the British person, who shall be tried according to British Law, and shall be punished, if found guilty; and a report of such punishment shall be forwarded to the Chief, for his satisfaction.

XI. If the __ people should take away the property of a British person, or should not pay their just debts to a British person, the Chief of __ shall do all he can to make the people restore the property, and pay the debt; and if British persons should take away the property of the __ people, or should not pay their just debts to the people, he shall be subject to the laws of the country for the recovery of the same; provided always that no injury be done to his person. The Chief of __ shall make known the fact to the Commander of the British force nearest to the __ country, or to the resident Agent, if there is one; and the British Commander, or the Agent, whichever it may be, shall do all he can to make the British persons restore the property, and pay the debt.

XII. The Queen of Great Britain may appoint an Agent to visit __, or to reside there, in order to watch over the interests of the British people; and to see that this Agreement is fulfilled; and such Agent shall always receive honour and protection in the __ country; and the __ Chief shall pay attention to what the Agent says; and the person and property of the Agent shall be sacred.

XIII. The Chief of __ shall, within forty-eight hours of the date of this Agreement, make a Law for carrying the whole of it into effect; and shall proclaim that Law, and the Chief of __ shall put that Law in force, from that time for ever.

XIV. The Queen of Great Britain, out of friendship for the Chief of __, and because the Chief of __ has made this Agreement, gives him the following articles:— ___ and the Chief of __ hereby acknowledges he has received those articles.

And so, we __ and __ have made this Agreement, and have signed it at his day of __, and this Agreement shall stand for ever.

[Witnesses.]
[Signatures.]


Additional Terms.

For special cases.

Stipulation.

That from the signing of this Agreement, no human being whatever shall be sacrificed on account of religious or other ceremonies or customs.

Stipulation.

The Chief of __ sells, and from this time forward makes over to the Queen of Great Britain the land from __ to __, and everything in it, entirely and for ever, for the sum of __, of which __ is now paid to him. And the British people after they shall have had possession of the said land for __ months shall, in case they wish to keep the same, pay to the Chief of __, the remainder of the price above stated, either at once, or in five annual instalments; and when the land, according to this Agreement, has been delivered over to the British people, the same shall remain the property of the Queen, to all intents and purposes.


No. 4

Copy of a DESPATCH from Lord John Russell to Her Majesty's Commisioners of the Expedition to the Niger.

[Included here]


Enclosure in No. 4
Dr Lushington and Sir T.F. Buxton to Lord John Russell.

[Included here]


No. 5

Copy of a DESPATCH (no. 3) from Lord John Russell to Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger.

Downing-street, 30th January, 1841.

Gentlemen,

I transmit to you herewith a copy of a letter which has been received from the Board of Admiralty, covering a report from Commander Tucker, of the results of a mission upon which he had been sent to King Denny, of Sandy Point, in the river Gaboon, together with a letter from that Chief to Her Majesty, in which he solicits various articles of dress, and two easy chairs.

As it is probable that you will have to communicate with King Denny, in the prosecution of the great objects of the expedition under your charge, I think it desirable to authorise you to acquaint him, that he shall be supplied with the articles in question upon his engaging to abolish the Slave Trade.

I have, &c.
(Signed) J. Russell.

Her Majesty's Commissioners,
&c. &c. &c.


Enclosure in No. 5.

Admiralty, 1st September, 1840.

Sir,

I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, to transmit to you herewith a copy of a letter from Commander William Tucker, of Her Majesty's Sloop Wolverene, relative to an interview between that officer and King Denis, on the presentation of the gold medal and chain, transmitted by Her Majesty, and I am to request you will lay the same before Lord John Russell for his information.

I am, &c.
(Signed) John Barrow.

James Stephen, Esq.,
&c. &c. &c.


Her Majesty's Sloop Wolverene,
Fernando Po, 31st May, 1840.

Sir,

In the absence of the Commamder-in-Chief, I have the honour to report to you for the information of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that in obedience to their Lordships' orders to Commander the Honourable Joseph Denman, of the 8th January, 1840, I proceeded to and arrived in the river Gaboon, on the 15th inst., to Present King Denis with the gold medal and chain transmitted with their Lordship's letter; and considering the services King Denis had already rendered Her Majesty's subjects, and wishing to obtain his agreement for the total suppression of the Slave Trade, in his territory, and that it would be good policy to make him as friendly inclined towards England as I possibly could, particularly as the French have attempted to purchase from him the left point at the entrance of the river, in order to erect a fort, and are gaining great influence in the Gaboon, which is one of the finest rivers in Africa, navigable for a vessel of the Wolverene's draught of water for about 70 miles, and having a rise of seven feet, and a place at Parrott's Island, beautifully situated for laying a vessel on shore, to careen her for re-coppering or repairing, and probably the best adapted for trade, having an inexhaustable supply of dye-woods of various kinds, gums also of various kinds, a great supply of ivory, bees-wax, and ebony. I took such measures as I thought would be most pleasing to His Majesty, and such as their Lordships would approve.

I, therefore, on anchoring off his town, knowing the delight of the negroes in having salutes fired. I sent an officer to His Majesty, to request he would send me his national flag to hoist at the mast-head, and I would salute him; he replied, "that the English colours were his, and if I would hoist the English white ensign, when I fired the salute, he should know it was for him, and he should be proud," and I saluted him with 19 guns on the next morning, the 16th instant, as per previous arrangement. His Majesty visited the sloop most gorgeously dressed, with a retinue in various European and native costumes, and requested me to salute him, and let him see the men exercise, which I did again with 19 guns, and exercised the men at the guns, swords, and muskets, with which he was much pleased. His Majesty requested me to show him the medal, and to present it to him in the afternoon on shore with the marines, and small-arm men in attendance. I regret to inform you His Majesty was not pleased with the present, and asked why the Queen, meaning Her Majesty, the Queen of England, had not sent him out something good for him, such as a dress, with plenty of gold upon it, or an easy chair, and requested the purser to write the accompanying letter to Her Majesty, which he dictated, and asked me to deliver in person on my going to England, but which I now transmit, thinking it probable their Lordships will consider it more advisable it should be presented in the customary way.

His Majesty requested me to give him a flag for his national colours, and as I believe no nation has colours the same as the signal flag letter I, I gave it to him. and it was hoisted at his flag-staff, when he left the ship, about 3 P.M., under a salute of 19 guns; at the appointed time, 1 P.M., I landed with all the officers in full uniform with the marines, and both divisions of boarders with their cutlasses, and having drawn the party up in a semicircle, in front of His Majesty, I suspended the medal round his neck, and delivered Her Majesty's gracious message, on which the marines fired a feu de joie; having been presented to His Majesty's wives, and visited the town, I returned on board, and sailed the next morning, giving His Majesty a final salute of 19 guns.

I regret to inform you that I tried my utmost to persuade His Majesty to put a stop to the Slave Trade in his dominions without success. His Majesty replying, that he made too much money by it; that if he stopped it, the Kings on the other side of the river would sell all the slaves, and get plenty of money, whilst he got none; and that if no vessel came to his river for slaves, he be very glad, at the same time, I beg to inform you, that if I can visit the Gaboon again, I have great hopes I shall soon be able to persuade His Majesty to make an agreement, which, when once made, I am confident he will keep.

I have. &c.
William Tucker,
Commander and Senior Officer.

R. More O'Ferrall, Esq.,
&c. &c. &c.


To Queen of England.

Sister,

King Denny. of Sandy Point, river Gaboon, must embrace you for the things you send me by Captain Tucker, your war ship Wolverene, who dashed them me this day with grand ceremony, which much pleased me.

King Denny was too much glad to save Queen's men belong Lynx, which cost one hundred and twenty dollars, which I too much glad to give Queen.

King Denny wish very much to be brother to Queen, and will be very glad suppose Queen no let Spanish ship come for slaves; and suppose Queen send plenty English ships to me for trade for ivory, gum, bees-wax, dye-wood, and ebony.

And King Denny wish my sister, send me great coat, with secampotos or epaulettes, waistcoat, and trowsers, plenty gold in them; cocked hat, with gold and feather; sword and belt, plenty gold; and two easy chairs: and King Denny wishes Queen health and good bye.

King Denny very glad he hear Queen got husband.

King Denny,
his + mark

King Denny Town,
3rd day of Moon:
i.e. 16th May, 1840.


No. 6

Copy of a DESTATCH (No. 4) from Lord John Russell to Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger.

Downing-street, 30th January, 1841.

Gentlemen,

With refence to my Instruction, No 3, of this day's date, I now transmit to you the accompanying copy of a letter from the Board of Admiralty, covering copy of a report and of its enclosures from Commander Tucker, who suggests that in consequence of the Slave Trade being still carried on in the rivers Bonny, Nun, and Brass no presents should he sent front this country to the King of Bonny, until the export of slaves from his dominions shall have ceased.

You will have the goodness therefore to avail yourself of any opportunity which may occur during your expedition, to intimate to the King of Bonny that Her Majesty's Government are determined to withhold all such marks of favour until they shall be assured that he has put a final stop to the traffic in question.

I have, &c.
(Signed) J. Russell.

Her Majesty's Commissioners,
&c. &c. &c.


Enclosure in No. 6.

Admiralty, 5th January; 1841.

Sir,

I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you herewith for the information of Lord John Russell, a copy of a letter from Commander Tucker of Her Majesty's sloop Wolverene, dated the 14th of September last. No. 72, suggesting that no presents should be sent to the King of Bonny until the export of slaves from his dominions be finally stopped.

I am, &c.
(Signed) John Barrow

James Stephen, Esq.
& c. & c. & c.


Her Majesty's Sloop Wolverene, off the river Brass,
14th September, 1940.

Sir,

With reference to my letter of the 4th June ultimo, No. 38, I have the honour to send, for the information of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, the following extract from Lieutenant Levinge's, commanding Her Majesty's brigantine Buzzard, letter of proceedings of the 23rd ultimo, and the following copy of a letter from Lieutenant Burslem, commanding Her Majesty's brigantine Viper, both relating to the Slave Trade carried on in the rivers Bonny, Nun, and Brass, and in consequence to request that no presents may be sent out for the King of the Bonny until the export of slaves from his dominions be finally stopped; and to inform you, that should Her Majesty's Government have already sent out a present for the King, and it be sent to me to deliver, I shall feel it my duty to withhold it until I receive further instructions, which, I trust, will be approved.

I have, &c.
(Signed) William Tucker,
Commander and Senior Officer.

R. More O'Ferrall, Esq., M.P.
&c. &c.

(Extract.)
William Tucker, Commander and Senior Officer.
"Dollars and doubloons were plentiful in Bonny, which is always the case after the arrival of a slaver in the Nun or Brass, as most of the slaves shipped off from there are purchased at Bonny"

(Copy.)

William Tucker, Commander and Senior Officer.

Her Majesty's Brigantine, Viper, at Sea,
10th September, 1840.

Sir,

I have the honour to acquaint you that from information I received in the river Bonny, a constant supply of slaves are sent by canoes through the creeks to the rivers Nun and Brass, for shipment; three hundred and sixty having been taken by a Spaniard previous to my arrival in the river.

I also beg leave to state, that having had an interview with the King relating to the above, he told me it was impossible for him to put a stop to his subjects trading in slaves.

I have, &c.
(Signed) G. J. Burslem.
Lieutenant Commander

W. Tucker, Esq.
&c. &c.


No. 7

Copy of a DESPATCH from Her Majesty's Commisioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord John Russell.

12, Old Quebec-street, Portman-square,
18th February, 1841.

My Lord,

Your Lordship having called upon us to state our opinion as to the proper time for the Niger Expedition to leave England, and also as to the proper period for it to enter the river Niger; we beg to state, that from the best information we have been able to obtain, we consider the first week in April the most eligible time for the departure of the steam vessels from this country, this would afford ample time for assembling the vessels at the Cape de Verde islands, and for sailing thence so as to arrive at the mouth of the Niger about the end of June. We are also of opinion that the 1st of July is the earliest time at which the river could be entered without risking the health of the crews by detention in the Delta; and we have come to this conclusion from late intelligence, which we have reason to believe authentic, that the Æthiope steamer, drawing about the same water as the vessels intended for the Niger Expedition, could not get beyond the Delta last year, for want of water, until the beginning of July.

We have, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter, First Commissioner.
William Allen, Second Commissioner.
Bird Allen, Third Commissioner.
W. Cook, Fourth Commissioner.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 8

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 6) from Lord John Russell to Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger.

Downing-street, 23rd February, 1841.

Gentlemen,

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th instant, in which you report your opinion as to the proper time for the Niger Expedition to leave England, and also as to the proper period for the Expedition to enter the river Niger; and I request that you will apprize me whether, as you will now have had an opportunity of perusing Mr. Jamieson's second letter to me, you retain the opinion which you had previously formed as to the time at which the Expedition should sail.

I have, &c.
(Signed) J. Russell.

Her Majesty's Commissioners,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 9

Copy of a DESPATCH from Her Majesty's Commisioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord John Russell.

Old Quebec-street, Portman-square,
23rd February, 1841.

My Lord,

In answer to the inquiry contained in your Lordship's letter of this day's date, whether, after reading Mr. Jamieson's second letter we still retain the opinion we had previously formed, as to the time at which the Expedition should sail, we have the honour to state, that although the information contained in Mr. Jamieson's letter of the 13th instant gives us encouragement to hope that the Expedition may find sufficient depth of water to advance through the Delta without delay, early in June, we do not conceive it advisable for the vessels to leave England until after the time of the Equinox, when gales of wind usually prevail, which may be considered over, at latest, in the early part of April. This arrangement would afford time for the Expedition to arrive at the mouth of the Niger in the beginning of June, though it might not admit of our remaining at the Cape de Verde Islands so long as we had anticipated.

We beg to add, that the delay of a few weeks in this country may he very advantageously occupied in completing the medicating apparatus of the steam vessels of the Expedition, which on board the Albert and Wilberforce cannot be accomplished before the 17th of March.

We have, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter, First Commissioner.
(At sea in the Wilberforce on her passage to Woolwich),Second Commissioner.
Bird Allen.Third Commissioner.
W. Cook, Fourth Commissioner.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 10

Copy of a DESPATCH from Lord John Russell to Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger.

Downing-street, 27th February, 1841.

Gentlemen,

I have had under my consideration your letter of the 23rd instant, together with a letter under date of the day following, which Captain Trotter has addressed to one of my Under-Secretaries of State.

Under all the circumstances which you have represented, I agree to your postponing your departure from this couutry until the "first week" in the month of April next; and I concur with you in opinion that the beginning of June will be the best time for ascending the Niger beyond the Delta.

I am, &c.
(Signed) J. Russell.

Her Majesty's Commissioners,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 11

Copy of a DESPATCH from Her Majesty's Commisioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord John Russell.

12, Old Quebec-street, Portman-square,
15th March, 1841.

My Lord,

In reference to that part of your Lordship's instructions to us, dated the 30th January, 1841, which authorizes the selection of interpreters at Sierra Leone and elsewhere, we beg to inform your Lordship that the Board of Admiralty has arranged with Captain Trotter that the Harriot transport, under the direction of an Officer, of Her Majesty's steam-ship Albert, shall sail about the 19th instant from Plymouth for Sierra Leone to collect Kroomen for the Expedition, and return with them to the Cape de Verde islands, there to meet the vessels of the Niger Expedition on their arrival from England. We beg leave to suggest to your Lordship the propriety of profiting by the same opportunity to engage the services of the interpreters required for the Expedition, and as the Rev. Mr. Schön, at Sierra Leone, has been for some time making a selection of proper persons to act in that capacity, that he he authorized to engage them, with the power of offering three months' wages in advance, as many valuable men might, probably, then be induced to volunteer who would not otherwise leave their families without some such inducement.

By the above arrangement, it is hoped that the necessity of the steam-vessels going to Sierra Leone may be avoided; and in the event of your Lordship giving your sanction to it, it would be advisable that the Treasury should authorize the payment of 80l. to Mr. Schön in the event of his requiring it for the above service, to be paid out of the money voted for wage's and victuals to interpreters.

We have, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter, First Commissioner.
William Allen, Second Commissioner.
Bird Allen, Third Commissioner.
(Absent) Fourth Commissioner.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 12

Copy of a DESPATCH (NO. 8) from Lord John Russell to Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger.

Downing-street, 25th March, 1841.

Gentlemen,

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 15th instant, and to acquaint you that the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury have authorized the Officer in charge of the Commissariat at Sierra Leone to advance the sum of 80 l. to the Rev. Mr. Schön, in the event of his requiring it, for the purpose, stated in your letter.

I am, &c.
(Signed) J. Russell.

Her Majesty's Commissioners,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 13

Copy of a DESPATCH from Lord John Russell to Captain Trotter, R.N.

Downing-street, 29th March, 1841.

Sir,

I think it desirable to communicate to you a remark which has been made to me, namely, that the most unhealthy time of the year, on the Niger, is during the months of October and November, when the lands are drying after the rains.

It would appear to be desirable, therefore, that after you shall have ascended the river you should make every inquiry as to the best time for the return of the Expedition.

I am, &c.
(Signed) J. Russell.

Captain Trotter, R.N.,
&c. &c.


No. 14

Copy of a DESPATCH from Captain Trotter R.N. to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel Albert,
Woolwich, 20th April, 1841.

My Lord,

In reference to your Lordship's instructions, under date of the 30th January, 1841, I beg to observe, that it may happen that the objects of the Commission may be essentially advanced by one or more of the Commissioners being appointed for the purposes mentioned in the latter part of the 43rd section, or for other purposes not at this moment contemplated; and that the instructions furnished to us do not appear to allow the Commissioners to act unless all the Commissioners are present.

I would suggest in consequence, for your Lordship's consideration, that instructions be given to the Commissioners, authorizing them to detach one or more Commissioners, with power to act in making treaties or agreements with such Chiefs as lie beyond the immediate reach of the whole Commission, or could not be conveniently visited by them, such treaties or agreements being held subject to the sanction of the Commission; and the details of the proceedings of such Commissioners, when detached, to be embodied in the general report of the Commissioners to Her Majesty's Government.

It is stated in the first paragraph that the opinion of the gentleman whose name stands first on the Commission is to prevail, should any variance of opinion exist on the part of the Commissioners; but in the event of the absence of the First Commissioner, or of his return to England, under the 49th clause, no authority is given for the exercise of a similar control by any of the remaining Commissioners.

It would seem expedient for the proper understanding of my fellow Commissioners, in the event of my absence or retirement, as above, that they should know the manner in which doubtful points are, under such circumstances, to be determined — whether by a majority of voices, or by the decision of the person who will then remain at the head of the Commission. I would suggest that instructions to this effect, be added to those we have been furnished with.

I would further beg leave to suggest, for your Lordship's consideration, as conducive to the benefit of the service we are about to be engaged in, that powers should be given to fill up vacancies that may arise among the Commissioners, or those attached to the Commissioners, whether arising from death or otherwise.

I have, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter, Captain.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 15

Copy of a DESPATCH from Lord John Russell to Captain Trotter R.N.

Downing-street, 24th April, 1841.

Sir,

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 20th instant, in which you call my attention to various questions in regard to which you are desirous that specific instructions should be furnished to the Commissioners of the Niger Expedition for their guidance.

I consider that all the questions to which you have adverted are of a nature to be left to the exercise of the discretion of the Commissioners, with the understanding, as is provided for in the first paragraph of my instructions of the 30th of January, that in the event of the Commissioners being unable to agree, the opinion of that gentleman is to prevail whose name shall stand first at the time in Her Majesty's Commission.

I regret to find, by the date of your letter, that instead of departing at the beginning of this month, the Expedition will hardly have left England by the end of it.

I am, &c.
(Signed) J. Russell.

Captain Trotter, R.N. &c. &c.


No. 16

Copy of a DESPATCH from Captain Trotter R.N. to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel Albert,
Portsmouth. 27th April, 1841.

My Lord,

In your Lordships instructions, No. 4, to the Commissioners of the Niger Expedition, under date of the 30th January, you directed them, in the event of an opportunity presenting itself, to intimate to the King of Bonny that Her Majesty's Government are determined to withhold from him all marks of favour until they shall he assured that he has put a final stop to the export of slaves from his dominions.

I have subsequently had transmitted to me by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, for my information and guidance, a copy of a letter from the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and sundry enclosures, being copies of a correspondence which has recently passed between that department and Her Majesty's Treasury, "upon the subject of the agreements with the Chiefs of Bonny and of the Cameroons for the suppression of the Slave Trade, and containing the opinion of Viscount Palmerston upon the conditions of the agreement to be made with the Chiefs of Bonny."

One of the enclosures, dated Foreign Office, 31st, March, 1841, addressed by Lord Leveson to the Secretary of Her Majesty's Treasury, conveys Viscount Palmerston's opinion that the presents in question ought to he sent according to stipulation, and discontinued only in future if the African Chiefs do not keep their engagement. A copy of this enclosure is herewith transmitted. I have, in consequence, to request your Lordship's directions as to whether the instructions referred to (directing the Commissioners to Announce to the King of Bonny that Her Majesty's Government are determined, for the present, to withhold all marks of favour,) are to be considered as suspended by this communication.

I beg further to inform your Lordship, that in Mr. Backhouse's letter to the Secretary of the Admiralty, dated Foreign Office, 8th April, 1841, being the first of the enclosures referred to, further reference is made to this subject. A copy of this letter is likewise enclosed, and in reference thereto I beg to be informed if the Commissioners of the Niger Expedition are to consider it as containing instructions for their guidance in any treaty they may make with the Chiefs of the Bonny.

As I consider that the delivery of presents to the Chiefs, at stipulated periods, may in many cases be a measure well calculated to ensure fulfilment of such treaties as may be entered into by the Commissioners of the Niger Expedition, I would strongly urge that they be empowered to add similar clauses to all treaties when circumstances, in their opinion, appear to render it advisable; and in case of this suggestion meeting with your Lordship's approval, I request to be further informed to what extent the Commissioners may consider themselves authorized to make such annual grants to Chiefs up the Niger, or elsewhere, as a condition for their giving up the Slave Trade. Such grants would, of course, be entered into by the Commissioners in those cases only where the conditions could readily be complied with by Her Majesty's Government, and the amount would, in each case, be apportioned to the peculiar circumstances.

In further reference to the treaty directed to be made with the Chiefs of Bonny, I beg to draw your Lordship's attention to another enclosure on the subject in the communication already alluded to from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, a copy of which is likewise annexed, and to request to be informed whether, in the event of negotiations for the agreement, directed to be made by Lord Palmerston, having been already commenced by naval officers or other persons, before the arrival on the coast of the Niger Expedition, the parties negotiating are to proceed to bring them to a close, or if the final arrangements will devolve on the Commissioners: and how the Commissioners are to act if, after their arrival on the coast, they find that treaties have already been completed at Bonny, or in other places, under instructions from the Admiralty or Foreign Office.

If copies of any existing treaties with Chiefs on the West Coast of Africa could be furnished to the Commissioners, they might prove of essential convenience to them.

I have, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter, Captain.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c.&c. &c.


Enclosure in No 16

Foreign Office, 31st March, 1841.

Sir,

I have laid before Viscount Palmerston your letter of the 13th instant, requesting the opinion of his Lordship, whether it would be proper to make the payment stipulated in the Treaty lately formed with the Kings of the Cameroons, without obtaining some better security than we possess at present, that the Slave Trade will be really abolished in the district subject to the jurisdiction of those Chiefs; and that the presents given, with a view to effect the abolition of the Slave Trade will not be turned into a means of extending that infamous traffic: and I am in answer to request that you will state to the Lords of Her Majesty's Treasury the opinion of Viscount Palmerston, that the presents in question ought to be sent according to stipulation; and should be discontinued in future if the African Chiefs do not keep their engagements.

I am, &c.,
(Signed) Leveson.

The Secretary of Her Majesty's Treasury,
&c. &c. &c.


Foreign Office, 8th April, 1841.

Sir,

With reference to previous correspondence respecting agreements with African Chiefs for the suppression of Slave Trade, I am directed by Viscount Palmerston to transmit to you, to be laid before the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, copies of correspondence which has recently passed between this Office and Her Majesty's Treasury, upon the subject of agreements with Chiefs of Bonny and of the Cameroons, and I am to request you will state to the Lords of the Admiralty the opinion of Lord Palmerston, that in the agreement purposed to be concluded with the King and Chiefs of Bonny, it will be better to specify the conditions to be entered into by both parties, and that those conditions should be, that the Slave Trade shall be totally put an end to within the dominions of the King of Bonny: that Great Britain will make for five years an annual gift to the King and Chiefs of Bonny of goods to the value of 2,000 dollars. That the first gift shall be made on the ratification of the agreement, on condition that from that time and for ever Slave Trade shall be totally put a stop to in the said dominions, and that no slaves shall be passed through or exported from those dominions, and that at each future time of making the gift there shall be furnished to Great Britain a document from the merchants frequenting the Bonny, certifying the fact that no Slave Trade has to their knowledge existed there during the preceding year, and if at any time whatever, either from the want of that document, or from any other circumstance, it shall appear that Slave Trade has been carried on through or from the Bonny, the presents will be discontinued, the Slave Trade will be put down by Great Britain by force; and the Chiefs of the Bonny will subject themselves to a severe act of displeasure on the part of Great Britain.

I am, &c.,
(Signed) J. Backhouse.

The Secretary of the Admiralty,
&c. &c. &c.


Foreign Office, 8th April, 1841.

Sir,

With reference to your letter of the 13th ultimo respecting the agreement which has been proposed to be made with the Chiefs of the Bonny for suppressing the Slave Trade in their country: and the agreement which has been actually concluded with the Chiefs of the Cameroons for the suppression of the Slave Trade in their's, I am directed by Viscount Palmerston to request you will state to the Lords of Her Majesty's Treasury, Lord Palmerston's opinion that it will be expedient that an agreement with Chiefs of the Bonny should be concluded according to the terms proposed in the communication from Capain Craigie, enclosed in Lord Leveson's letter of the 17th June, 1839, and that presents of goods should be made in the first instance according to stipulation, and should be discontinued in future, if the native Chiefs do not keep their engagement, and I am to transmit to you to be laid before the Lords of Her Majesty's Treasury the accompanying copy of a letter, which in conformity with Lord Palmerston's directions I hare addressed upon this Subject to the Secretary of the Admiralty, and I am to add for the information of the Lords of Her Majesty's Treasury, that copies of this correspondence have been transmited to the Colonial Department.

I am, &c.,
(Signed) J. Backhouse.

The Secretary of Her Majesty'sTreasury,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 17

Copy of a DESPATCH from Lord John Russell to Captain Trotter R.N.

Downing-street, 29th April, 1841

Sir,

I have had under my consideration your letter of the 27th instant, in which you call my attention to certain questions arising out of instructions which have been convaoyed to you by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty in regard to agreements already entered into or to be entered into with the Chiefs of the Bonny River.

First, you inquire whether my instructions to the Commissioners of the Niger Expedition, No. 4. of the 30th of January last are to be considered as suspended by the subsequent instructions of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.

In answer to that inquiry, I have to acquaint you that as the agreement with the Chiefs of the Bonny has been entered into in pursuance of directions from Viscount Palmerston and the Board of Admiralty, you should now conform to the instructions which you have received from the Lords Commissioners relating to the Chiefs of the Bonny, and that my instructions of the 30th of January are accordingly to be considered as suspended.

Secondly, you inquire whether the Commissioners of the Niger Expedition may consider themselves authorized to promise annual grants of presents to African Chiefs up the Niger, or elsewhere, on condition that they give up the Slave Trade.

On that subject I have to acquaint you in reply, that the promise of annual grants of presents to Chiefs up the Niger may be so difficult of execution, that I cannot authorize any such stipulation beforehand, which Her Majesty's Government may not be able hereafter to fulfil, thereby exposing this country to the risk of losing character and credit with the African Chiefs. In cases, however, where the conditions can be readily complied with, I leave to the Commissioners some latitude of discretion to depart from my general instructions to them on that head.

Thirdly, you inquire, witn reference to the treaty to be entered into with the Chiels of Bonny, how the Commissioners are to act, if negotiations should already have been entered on by naval officers, before the arrival of the Niger Expedition on the coast of Africa.

In answer to that question, I have to state that in the case so contemplated, the Commisioners must not interfere, unless they shall be asked to do so by the naval officer commanding on the station.

I am, &c.,
J. Russell.

Captain Trotter, R.N.,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 18

Copy of a DESPATCH from Lord John Russell to Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger.

Downing-street. 29th April, 1841.

Gentlemen,

I transmit to you, herewith enclosed, a list of persons in the employment of the African Civilization Society, who, with my concurrence have been instructed to send from Africa reports of their proceedings to the Society; and I have accordingly to desire that you will allow these persons to send home their communications to the Society, as opportunities may offer. It being, however, understood that they are not to be published either by the Society or by the writers until the publication of them shall have been expressly sanctioned by Her Majesty's Government.

I have, &.,
(Signed) J. Russell.

Her Majesty's Commissioners,
&c. &c. &c.

Enclosure in No. 18.

Names of Civilians accompanying the Niger Expedition, in connection with the African Civilisation Society.
Dr. Theodore VogelBotanist.
Mr. Charles Gottfried RoscherMiner and mineralogist.
Dr. William StangerGeologist and explorer.
Mr. John AnsellCollector and gardener.
Mr. Lewis FraserNaturalist.
Mr. James UwinsDraughtsman.

No. 19

Copy of a DESPATCH from Captain H.D. Trotter to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel, Albert,
Hamoaze, I2th May, 1841.

My Lord,

In reference to that part of your letter of the 24th April, in which your Lordship regrets that instead of departing at the beginning of April, the expedition will hardly have left England by the end of it, I beg leave to inform your Lordship that the Soudan sailed from Woolwich on the 30th March, the day after your Lordship visited that ship and the Albert; and by a letter received yesterday from Commander Bird Allen, dated the 3rd May, from Lisbon, he had been obliged by the late southerly gales to put in there on the 2nd instant, after being nearly five weeks from Woolwich, the greater part of which time he was wind-bound here.

The Albert was ready for sea when the Soudan left Woolwich, but it was considered desirable to wait for the Wilberforce, which vessel having been launched several weeks after the Albert, was in consequence later in being completed. By great exertions on the part of the officers and men, the Wilberforce was got ready and left Woolwich in company with the Albert on the 22nd April; but, owing to detentions on account of the weather, they did not arrive at this place until the 28th. Here we completed our stores, took in coals and our forty-feet galleys, and fitted the creosote pipes, which had followed us from Woolwich; and since the 1st of May we have been detained by strong gales from the south-west, which have hitherto rendered our departure impossible. To-day, however, for the first time, there is a prospect of fair weather, and we are at this moment getting up steam to proceed on our voyage, and with the present favourable appearances of the weather, we shall probably arrive at the Cape de Verds as soon as the Soudan.

Although the Expedition has been detained so long by an unusual prevalence of southerly winds, and other unavoidable circumstances upon which naval equipment must always depend, there is every reason to hope that it may arrive at the river Niger in the first week in July, which, as I informed your Lordship in conversation, was the period which, by the last account from Fernando Po, Mr. Becroft proposed to ascend the Niger, unless he received different orders from Mr. Jamieson.

We have gained some great advantage by the delay, for had we sailed sooner we must have gone without our creosote pipes altogether, and with our medicator incomplete, the heating apparatus which forms part of it not having been finished till the very day we left Woolwich.

I have, &c.,
(Signed) H.D. Trotter, Captain.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 20

Copy of a DESPATCH (No 5) from Her Majesty's Commisioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel, Albert,
Sierra Leone, 2nd July, 1841.

My Lord,

We have the honour to inform your Lordship that Her Majesty's steam vessels, composing the Niger Expedition, have arrived at this port on their way to Cape Coast Castle. It was not intended that the Soudan should come here but, having separated from the transports in squally weather, she was obliged to put in for a supply of fuel.

The steam-vessels having taken in coals and provisions, and the tender which was bought for the use of the Expedition having been equipped, we shall be able to proceed on our voyage today.

We have delivered to the acting governor of Sierra Leone the letter with which your Lordship charged us, and have explained to that gentleman and to Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Mixed Commission Court the objects of our Commission. They have shown themselves anxious in every way to forward the views of Her Majesty's Government for the promotion of the great objects in which we are engaged.

The acting governor finding that the intercourse between Timbo and this colony has been of late so much obstructed by predatory chiefs, that the traders in gold have been unable to make their accustomed visits to the coast, has resolved on sending persons to endeavour to re-establish the communication. His Honour will, at the same time, use his influence at Timbo to have a messenger sent on to Boussa in the hope of obtaining intelligence from the Expedition.

A sufficient number of interpreters and Kroomen, and other natives, have been engaged, there being no difficulty in obtaining volunteers from among those liberated Africans, who are natives of the countries bordering on the banks of the Niger, south of Boussa, most of whom appear desirous of revisiting their former homes. We have not been able to obtain any information respecting the upper parts of the Niger, but from the accounts which we have received from various persons brought from Bornu. Nufi, Yarriba, Houssa, &c., we learn that the countries bordering on the middle and lower parts of that river, supply the western coast of Africa with slaves, and that a large proportion of them are sent overland from Rabba to the different parts in the Bight of Benin. We would, therefore, take the liberty of representing to your Lordship, that we consider a strict blockade of the parts in the Bight of Benin would have the effect of diminishing the demand for slaves, thus rendering the chiefs on the banks of the Niger more disposed to listen to our proposals for the abolition of the traffic.

On reaching this place we heard with much regret of the lamented death of Sir John Jeremie. The colony, however, at the present time, is unusually healthy, and we are itankful to say that there is not a case of fever in the whole Expedition.

We have, &c.,
(Signed) H.D. Trotter,
William Allen,
Bird Allen,
W. Cook.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 21

Copy of a DESPATCH (No 6) from Her Majesty's Commisioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel, Albert,
Accra Roads, 4th August, 1841.

My Lord,

We have the honour to inform your Lordship of our arrival at this place, on our way to the Niger; the vessels of the expedition having touched here for the purpose of completing provisions, fuel, &c., from the Harriot transport, and to embark some canoes for the use of the Expedition, which service being performed, we proceed this day direct for the entrance of the Nun.

On our way hither we called at Cape Coast Castle, and delivered your Lordship's letter to Mr. Maclean, the President of the Court of Magistrates, and explained to him the objects of our Commission, and obtained from him much valuable information respecting the present state and customs of the Chiefs in the interior. In Despatch No. 5, dated the 2nd of July, 1841, we apprized your Lordship of the arrival and sailing of the Expedition from Sierra Leone; between that place and Cape Palmas the vessels encountered unlooked for contrary winds and adverse currents, which compelled the Albert to anchor off the river Sinou, in Liberia, to get a supply of fire-wood for the engines, and the Wilberforce to anchor off Bassa and Cape Palmas for the same purpose. Our passage down to this part of the coast has been, in consequence, very tedious.

A few cases of fever have occurred in the Expedition, chiefly among the coloured men, one of whom, we regret to say, died on board the Wilberforce on the 23rd ultimo: but the health of the officers and crews is now very satisfactory.

We have, &c.,
(Signed) H.D. Trotter,
William Allen,
Bird Allen,
W. Cook.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 22

Copy of a DESPATCH (No 7) from Her Majesty's Commisioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel, Albert,
Nun River, 18th August, 1841.

My Lord,

We have the honour to inform your Lordship, that the Expedition has entered the Nun branch of the Niger in safety, and, having completed our arrangements and despatched the Harriot transport to Fernando Po, we shall be able to proceed up the river to-morrow. We have been detained here a few days to repair the rudders of the three vessels, the moveable parts of which had been injured at sea, the rise and fall of the tide affording facilities for doing so.

We regret to say that since the date of our last communication, a man belonging to the Albert has died of fever, though not of an endemic character. There is one case of slight fever on board that vessel, which, in the opinion of the surgeon, is the first which has shown any evidence of endemic origin, and there is another of a similar kind on board the Wilberforce; both men are West Indian negroes, who entered on board the ships in England. We are happy to say that the symptoms in both cases are favourable, and that, with these exceptions, there is no sickness in the Expedition.

We have, &c.,
(Signed) H.D. Trotter,
William Allen,
Bird Allen,
W. Cook.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 23

Copy of a DESPATCH (No 8) from Her Majesty's Commisioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam Vessel Albert, in the River Niger,
30th August, 1841.

My Lord,

We have the honour to inform your Lordship that on the 26th of August the steam-vessels composing the Niger Expedition safely reached Ibu (or more properly Abòh, which we find is the correct name of the town), belonging to Obi Ossaï, a powerful Chief, who is sovereign of that portion of the Eboe or Ibu country situated on the banks of the Niger. With this Chief we have succeeded in concluding a treaty (a copy of which we beg to transmit herewith), sincerely hoping it may receive the sanction of Her Majesty's Government.

Captain Wiliam Allen and Mr. Cook having reached Aboh in the Wilberforce on the 20th ult., the day before the Albert and Soudan, immediately requested an interview with Obi, who came on board early the following morning, and perfectly remembered Captain William Allen, who had visited him on a former occasion. This circumstance, we have no doubt, tended materially to bring about the confidence and good feeling which Obi manifested towards the Commissioners at every subsequent interview. In order to gain time, Captain Allen and Mr. Cook at once explained the principal objects of the Expedition to the King, who readily promised to go the next morning on board the Albert, then in sight.

Early on the 27th the Chief arrived in due state, accompanied by several of his family and headmen. The objects of our mission as well as each article of the treaty were then duly explained to him by an intelligent interpreter, brought with us from Sierra Leone and we were exceedingly pleased with the intelligence, judgment, and apparent sincerity of Obi's remarks. His ready acquiescence, was usually expressed by the emphatic use of the word "makka" (it is good) at the end of each sentence, and his gratification by the frequent snapping of his fingers, while the momentary opposition elicited by some of the Articles only tended to show us how clearly he understood the object of the treaty.

Obi having become wearied by the length of the conference, retired on shore for the evening, but on the following morning the treaty was duly signed on board the Albert by the Chief, and was attested by his eldest son and two of his brothers. Presents to about 49l. in value were then given to him and his chief men.

Some of the officers, with the interpreters, accompanied Obi on shore on the first evening, and were present at an assemblage of the headmen and principal inhabitant's of the town when the Chief fully explained the object of our visit and the nature of the agreement he was about to make for the abolition of the Slave Trade. This information was received with evident satisfaction by all who heard it.

The officers found the paths to be so flooded, from the high, state of the river, as to be nearly impassable. This circumstance, added to the advanced state of the season, and our desire to proceed as rapidly as possible to the upper parts of the river, determined us not to wait to witness any further promulgation of the treaty; we therefore continued our voyage as soon as Obi had left the Albert, being impressed with the conviction that he would fulfil his promise to make known the law of abolition as quickly as possible through the towns and villages under his jurisdiction.

The town of Abòh is situated near the apex of the Delta, and consequently commands the whole traffic between it and the sea coast: and as Obi is principal merchant as well as sovereign of the country, the due performance of the treaty by this Chief will be a very great obstacle to the transmission of slaves for sale down this river. We may here state our opinion, that the readiness with which the treaty was concluded was mainly attributable to the severe check which the cruel traffic in human beings has sustained by the strict naval blockade of the principal mouths of this river, which has been so effectually maintained for some months past under the judicious arrangements of Captain Tucker, of Her Majesty's ship Iris, the senior officer in command of the West African squadron.

By our last despatch your Lordship will have perceived that we entered the Niger by the Nun Branch, and our hasty ascent through the Delta did not afford the opportunity of seeking for a more convenient channel.

For the first twelve miles we observed nothing but mangroves, interspersed with low palm oil trees and ferns; after which we observed a few spots cultivated with plantains, succeeded by villages on the immediate banks of the river. On our first approach, the natives were evidently alarmed, and men only made their appearance, armed with knives, spears, or guns; but when we stopped and waived to invite them on board, they laid aside their arms, and frequently came alongside to exchange goats, fowls, or yams for handkerchiefs or anything we would give them.

At many of the villages we saw canoes with traders in palm oil from Brass and Bonny, who appear to have the exclusive trade in the Ejòh country, between those places and Abòh. This gave evidence of the existence of some legitimate traffic, while a few examples of industry, such as the manufacture of earthen pots and canoes, in addition to the cultivation of the soil, gave hopes that, with, proper encouragement, there would be no deficiency of labourers.

We regret that the advanced period of the season, and our rapid progress, did not admit of our obtaining satisfactory information relative to the social or moral condition of the inhabitants; nor could we, for the same reasons, make any reasonable estimate of the extent of the population.

In conclusion, we would take leave to dwell on two points of primary importance, as conducive to the great cause of the abolition of the Slave Trade, and which we submit as worthy of the immediate attention of Her Majesty's Government and all well-wishers to African civilization. We allude to the speedy promotion of innocent and legitimate trade, and to a supply of religious teachers for such of the principal towns on the Niger as may be ready to receive them.

On the first point, we consider it a fact worthy of remark, that the substance of Obi's frequent interruptions was, that if he abolished the Slave Trade, his people must have some occupation by which to obtain subsistence, and that he therefore wished plenty of ships to be sent to trade with him; and although we endeavoured to impress upon his mind that trade can only be expected to flow in as the nntural effect of demand and supply, we found it difficult for an African King, himself the chief merchant of his territory, to conceive that, to a sovereign so powerful as he believes our gracious Queen to be, there can be any difficulty in sending as many ships as she pleases to the waters of Abòh. The Slave Trade has so long been the chief means of obtaining European goods, which have become almost necessaries to these people, that if a more legitimate channel of supply be not speedily found, we almost fear their recently formed good intentions will be but of short duration. On the second point, it is a source of much gratification to us to be able to record that Obi not only readily entered into that part of the treaty relative to the teaching of Christianity, but showed his sincerity by a spontaneous request that we would allow the interpreter to remain and teach his people the principles of our religion; and this he did so earnestly that, though we could not dispense at the time with the man's services, we have determined to send him back to Aboh the first convenient opportunity.

We have, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter.
William Allen.
Bird Allen.
W. Cook.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


Enclosure in No. 23.

A TREATY between the Queen of Great Britain, and Obi 0saï, Chief of Abòh (Eboe or Ibu)

[Included here]


No. 24

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 9.) from Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger, to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam Vessel Albert, in the River Niger,
30th August, 1841.

My Lord,

We beg to inform your Lordship, that in our conference with Obi, the Chief of Abòh, held on the 27th of August, 1841, we intimated to him that in return for the permission which he had granted for British agents and others to reside in his territory, he was at liberty, if he thought proper, to send people from Abòh to England, upon which he told us that he had already sent two of his people on board the Quorra steamer, on her passage down the river, and had never heard of them since; how could he, therefore, send his sons to England. We replied, that we would inquire into the circumstances of the case; and, as Mr. M‘Gregor Laird, who we are informed had charge of the Quorra at the time alluded to is now in England, we beg to submit King Obi's remarks for your Lordship's consideration, as we consider it desirable to be able, at the earliest opportunity, to explain to that Chief what has become of his subjects, in case his statement should be found to be correct.

We have, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter.
William Allen.
Bird Allen.
W. Cook. Commissioners.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 25

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 2.) from Lord Stanley to Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition of the Niger.

Downing-street, 8th January, 1842.

Gentlemen,

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 9, of the 30th of August last, relative to two persons, subjects of the King of Abòh or Eboe, whom that Chief had, in the year 1833, permitted to follow Mr. Macgregor Laird, in his trading excursion up the river Niger.

I concur with you in the opinion that it is very desirable that you should be enabled to state to Obi what has become of the individuals in question; and for that purpose, I transmit to you enclosed, a copy of a letter, which has been received from Mr. M. Laird, respecting them. If the Chief should manifest a desire for further information, you will of course make inquiries at Sierra Leone, and Fernando Po.

I have, &c.
(Signed) Stanley.

Her Majesty s Commissioners,
&c. &c. &c.


Enclosure in No. 25.

15, Great St. Helen's, Bishopsgate-street, 18th December, 1841.

Sir,

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 13th instant, transmitting me by desire of Lord Stanley, copy of a despatch from Her Majesty's Commissioners for conducting the Expedition to the Niger, relative to two subjects of His Majesty King Obie, stated to have been sent on board the Quorra steam vessel, when under my command.

In reply, I have the honour to state for the information of his Lordship, that on the 10th July, 1833, being then at anchor in the river Niger, about 60 miles above the town of Eboe I received on board four native boys from the late Mr. Richard Lander, (who had borrowed them from King Obie, to assist the crew of the row boat in which he was ascending the river) for a passage to Eboe. On my arrival at Eboe, on the 10th August, two of these boys expressed a great desire to remain on board and on my visiting King Obie, I asked for them; they were readily given and accompanied me to Fernando Po; one of them I left there, the other I brought to this country, taught him to read, and kept him for two years or more as my servant. His health not agreeing with the climate, I paid his passage to Fernando Po, in the Golden Spring, Captain Irving. As he proved useful on board that vessel, he was kept, and made one or two voyages as steward, he then entered the service of Mr. Oldfield, and I believe is now with that gentleman at Sierra Leone, and is known by the name of "Snowball."

Mr. Oldfield, who resided some years at Fernando Po, informed me that the other lad was comfortably settled there, I forget under what name.

As these lads were released from a most cruel and debasing slavery, it is probable they will prefer remaining in their present position, to returning to their native country, and I beg to express my hope that they may be allowed to do so.

I have, &c.
(Signed) Macgregor Laird.

James Stephen, Esq.
&c. &c. &c.


No. 26

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 10) from Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger, to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam Vessel, Albert, in the River Niger, 8th September, 1841.

My Lord,

We have the honour to transmit to your Lordship, the duplicate of a Treaty concluded at Iddah, on the 6th instant, with the Attàh (king or sovereign) of the Èggarah country. This document was signed with all due formality in the presence, and with the full concurrence of his headmen, and the principal people of the town.

This Chief's territories are said to extend along the river as far as the Abòh country on the south, and to Nufi country on the north; but we have not as yet been able to ascertain the precise limits.

In the portion of the river between the dominions of the Chief of Aboh and the confluence of the Niger and the Chadda, there are two principal markets, Oniàh, erroneously written Kiri on Captain Allen's chart, and Kiri, or Ikiri misnamed Bokwèh; between these the inhabitants of the intermediate towns and villages carry on the entire trade, under the control of the Chief of Egarrah, himself a great trader, and without whose knowledge no mercantile transaction can be entered into. We may, therefore, reasonably expect that the Slave Trade down the river will receive an effectual check by his adherence to this Treaty.

Owing to the absolute necessity of making as rapid a progress into the interior as possible, and to various casual circumstances, we have as yet had little opportunity of gaining any information as to the religious, moral, or social state of the inhabitants in the parts of the river which we have passed, but we were able to ascertain that human sacrifices take place at Iddah on the death of the Chief, and having reason to believe from circumstances attending our inquiries, that an Article on this subject might be safely proposed, we have great pleasure in being enabled to state that we found no hesitation on the Attah's part, to agree to the additional stipulation for the entire abolition of this barbarous practice.

The success we had previously met with at Abòh on this point was not remarkable, since the Chief denied the existence of the practice. At Iddah, however, it's regular recurrence was acknowledged, and as the influence of the Attàh is of wide extent, not only on the banks of the Niger, but over considerable inland districts, we hope that his example may have some effect on the surrounding tribes.

Your Lordship will perceive that it is stipulated in an Additional Article appended to the Treaty, that we have permission to purchase for Her Majesty, any land which we may consider suitable for the erection of forts. Our proposition to establish ourselves in their country was received with marked approbation by the Chief and his headmen, who promptly offered to give land in whatever quantity and position we might find convenient for the purpose.

When on this subject, the Attàh evinced a desire to cede to the Queen the sovereignty as well as the proprietorship of any land we might purchase, doubtless being anxious to interpose a powerful ally between the Falatahs and his once populous, but now abandoned town of Adda Kuddu, which they had frequently destroyed; while on our part we considered that much valuable time might be saved by accepting, conditionally, his offer, inasmuch as we had then an opportunity of carrying up accredited agents to define the boundaries, and make over the land: and finally, we thought it highly conducive to the views of Her Majesty's Government to seize this fair occasion of forming a nucleus of civilization, in a beautiful but almost deserted territory, to which we might easily invite a fugitive population to return and live in freedom under our laws.

It gives us great pleasure to inform your Lordship, that the Chief of Èggarah, as we had previously experienced in our interview with the King of Abòh, expressed a wish that one of our interpreters might be left at Iddah for the instruction of himself and people, but we regret that circumstances did not permit us to comply with this request.

We cannot, however, conclude this dispatch, without mentioning our belief to your Lordship, that Christian missionaries and teachers may be safely and advantageously introduced into this part of Africa, a measure which, by the blessing of Almighty God, would tend effectually, in our opinion, to enlighten this unhappy country, and to put an end for ever to the abominable Slave Trade.

We have,&c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter.
William Allen.
Bird Allen
W. Cook.
Commissioners

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


Enclosure in No. 26.

A TREATY between the Queen of Great Britain, and Òchejih, the Attàh of the Èggarah Country.

There shall be peace and friendship between the people of Great Britain and the people of Èggarah, and the Slave Trade shall be put down for ever in die Èggarah country, and the people of Great Britain and the people of Èggarah shall trade together innocently, justly, kindly, and usefully; and Captain Henry Dundag Trotter, Commander William Allen, Commander Bird Allen, and William Cook, Esq., Commissioners on the part of the Queen of Great Britain, and Òchejih, the Attàh of Èggarah, on his own part and that of his people, do make the following Agreement for these purposes:—

1. The Slave Trade shall be utterly abolished in the Èggarah country; and from the signing of this agreement no persons whatever shall be removed out of the country for the purpose of being treated or dealt with as slaves; nor shall any persons whatever be allowed to be brought through the country, or any part thereof, for the purpose of being treated or dealt with as slaves, by way of exportation or otherwise; nor shall any persons whatever he imported into the country for the purpose of being dealt with as slaves, and no subject of the Èggarah country shall be in any way concerned in the exporting or importing slaves, or carrying on the Slave Trade either within or without the limits of the country. The Chief promises to inflict reasonable punishment on all his subjects who may break this law.

2. The officers of the Queen of Great Britain may seize every vessel or boat of Èggarah found anywhere carrying on the trade in slaves, and may also seize every vessel or boat of other nations, with whom a similar agreement has been made, found carrying on the trade in slaves in the waters belonging to the Chief of Èggarah. Upon such seizure, and after regular condemnation. according to the provisions of this Agreement, the slaves shall be made free, and the vessels or boats shall be destroyed.

3. That in all cases of the seizure of vessels and boats with the slaves on board, under the provisions of this Agreement, the said Commissioners, or those of them who may be present, and, in their absence, the commissioned or commanding officer on board the British vessel making the seizure, or any agent authorized for that purpose, shall, in presence of the Chief or headman appointed by him, make due examination and inquiry into the case, and shall condemn the said vessel or boat with the slaves on board, if satisfied that the provisions of the Agreement have been thus contravened, or otherwise acquit and restore the same.

4. That from and after the signing of this Agreement no person whatever coming into the country shall be reduced into slavery, or treated or used as slaves. All white persons whatever, and all British subjects of whatever colour, at present detained in slavery, shall be immediately set free.

5. British people may freely come into the Èggarah country, and may stay in it, or pass through it, and they shall be treated as friends while in it, and they may leave the country with their property, when they please.

6. Christians, of whatever nation or country, peaceably conducting themselves in the dominion of the Chief of Èggarah, shall be left to the free enjoyment and exercise of the Christian religion, and shall not be hindered or molested in their endeavours to teach the same to all persons whatever willing and desirous to be taught; nor shall any subject of Èggarah, who may embrace the Christian faith, be on that account, or on account of the teaching or exercise thereof, molested or troubled in any manner whatsoever.

7. British people may always trade freely with the people of Èggarah in every article which they may wish to sell, and neither the British people nor the people of Èggarah shall ever be forced to buy or sell any article, nor shall they be prevented from buying or selling any article, with whomsoever they please, and they shall not be compelled to employ an agent; and the customs and dues taken by the Chief of Èggarah on British goods sold in the Èggarah country shall in no case be more altogether than one-twentieth part of the goods so imported, or their ascertained value; and there shall be no duty, toll, or custom levied on goods exported.

8. The paths shall be kept open through the Èggarah country to other countries, so that British traders may carry goods of all kinds through the Èggarah country to sell them elsewhere; and the traders of other countries may bring their goods through the Èggarah country to trade with the British people.

9. British people may buy and sell or hire lands and houses in the Èggarah country, and their houses shall not be entered without their consent, nor shall their goods be seized nor their persons touched; and if British people are wronged or ill-treated by the people of Èggarah, the Chief of Èggarah shall punish those doing such wrong.

10. But British people must not break the laws of the Èggarah country; and when they are accused of breaking the laws, the Chief may detain the persons charged with committing any grievous crime in safe custody, taking care that he be treated with humanity, and shall send a true account of the matter to the nearest place where there is a British force, or authorized agent, and the commander of such British force, or authorized agent, shall send for the British person, who shall be tried according to British law, and shall be punished if found guilty, and a report of such punishment shall be forwarded to the Chief for his satisfaction.

11. If the Èggarah people should take away the property of a British person, or should not pay their just debts to a British person, the Chief of Èggarah shall do all he can to make the Èggarah people restore the property, and pay the debt; and if British persons should take away the property of the Èggarah people, or shall not pay their just debts to the Èggarah people, he shall be subject to the laws of the country for the recovery of the same, provided always that no injury be done to his person. The Chief of Èggarah shall make known the fact to the commander of the British force nearest to the Èggarah country, or to the resident agent, if there is one, and the British commander or agent, whichever it may be, shall do all he can to make the British persons restore the property and pay the debt.

12. The Queen of Great Britain may appoint an agent to visit Èggarah, or to reside there, in order to watch over the interests of the British people, and to see that this Agreement is fulfilled; and such agent shall always receive honour and protection in the Èggarah country, and the Èggarah Chief shall pay attention to what the agent says, and the person and property of the agent shall be sacred.

13. It is understood that all British vessels or boats are at liberty to navigate the river Niger, and its branches and tributaries, without the payment of any duties, tolls, or customs whatsoever. The Chief of Èggarah promises to use his utmost endeavours to facilitate the conveyance of messengers and despatches to or from British people.

14. The power of sanctioning or modifying this Treaty is expressly reserved to Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain.

15. Any infringement of this Treaty will subject the Chief of Èggarah to the severe displeasure of the Queen of Great Britain, and the loss of the duties herein stipulated for.

16. The Chief of Èggarah shall, within forty-eight hours of the date of this Agreement, make a law for carrying the whole of it into effect, and shall proclaim that law, and the Chief of Èggarah shall put that law in force from that time for ever.

17. The Queen of Great Britain, out of friendship for the Chief of Èggarah, and because the Chief of Èggarah has made this Agreement, gives him the following presents:-
1 double-barrelled gun.1 piece of baft.
1 pair of ornamented pistols.1 pair of boots.
1 gilt sabre.1 pair of slippers.
1 case containing scissors, knife, and razor.1 large looking-glass.
12 hatchets.12 small looking-glasses.
2 handsaws.1 elephant gun.
12 hoes.1 drum.
1 silk velvet tobe.1 tambourine.
1 printed muslin tobe.1 large silk umbrella.
1 velvet cap.1 piece of Turkey red twill.
1 pair of silk trousers.2 pieces of handkerchiefs.
1 silk waistcoat.1 telescope.
10 yards of crimson silk.12 padlocks.
10 yards of merino.2 lamps.
5 yards of scarlet cloth.12 snuff-boxes.
5 yards of blue cloth.12 coronation medals.
2 pieces of printed cotton.12 nuptial medals.
4 strings of beads.1 piece of muslin gold and mull.
2 cut garnet necklaces.5 ounces of real coral.
2 pairs of bracelets.1 quire of writing paper.
2 bangles.12 spectacles.
1 piece of shirting.2 pairs of earrings.
1 piece of madapollan.1 oil press.

And the Chief of Èggarah hereby acknowleges he has received these articles. And so we, Captain Henry Dundas Trotter, Commander William Allen, Commander Bird Allen, and William Cook, Esquire, on behalf of the Queen of Great Britain, and Òchejih, the Attàh of Èggarah, have made this Agreement, and have signed it in triplicate at Iddah, in the presence of Almighty God, this sixth day of September, in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ one thousand eight hundred and forty-one; and this Agreement shall stand for ever.

(Signed) H.D. Trotter, First Commissioner.
William Allen, Second Commissioner.
Bird Allen, Third Commissioner.
W. Cook, Fourth Commissioner.
Witnesses,
Henry Cooke Harston, Lieutenant of Her Majesty's steamer Wilberforce.
William Stanger, M.D., Geologist.
James Frederick Schön, Missionary.
William Bowden, Secretary.
Signed in the presence, and with the authority of Òchejih, Attàh of Èggarah, by the Judge of Iddah, it being contrary to custom for the Attàh to sign any document.
Lobo,Chief Judge of Iddah.
his + mark
Witnesses,
Hackah, Second
Judge his + mark
Gibbereen, Malam
his + mark

Additional Articles to the Treaty, made between the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and Òchejih the Attàh of Èggarah, the sixth day of September, One thousand eight hundred and forty-one.

1. That from the signing of this Agreement no human being whatever shall be sacrificed on account of religious or other ceremonies or customs in the Èggarah country.

2. The Chief of Èggarah sells, and from this time forward makes over to the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, entirely and for ever, all such land and everything in and upon it, as Her Majesty's Commissioners may select, it being understood that the land shall consist of at least two portions, one of which shall be situated near or in the neighbourhood of the confluence of the rivers Niger and Tchadda, and the other on an Island between Iddah and such place aforesaid; the boundaries thereof to be marked out by the agents sent by the Chief of Èggarah for that purpose, who shall be fully authorized by the Chief of Èggarah to make over and deliver the said land to Her Majesty's Commissioners in the same manner as if the Chief of Èggarah were himself present. And the British people may erect forts wherever they please upon the same, the said land to be held by the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland free of all claims to future tribute, toll, or taxation of any kind whatever; in consideration of which seven hundred thousand cowries, or goods to that amount, will be given to the Chief of Èggarah, one-fifth part of which shall be paid to the agent as security for the purchase as soon as the said land shall be delivered over to the said Commissioners. And the Queen of Great Britain shall, after her people have had possession of the said land twelve months, in case they wish to keep the same, pay to the Attàh of Èggarah the remainder of the price above stated, either at once or in annual instalments, not exceeding five, as most convenient to the Queen; and when the land according to this Agreement has been delivered over to the British people, the same shall remain the property of the Queen of Great Britain to all intents and purposes for ever.

3. It is also agreed and hereby declared that the Queen of Great Britain, her heirs or successors have the power of assuming sovereignty over the land to be purchased according to the last Article; and it is hereby stipulated that such sovereignty shall commence on the part of Great Britain from the day on which the Queen, her heirs or successors may determine to accept it, provided that it shall be so accepted within five years from the date hereof.

The present Additional Articles shall have the same force and effect as if they were inserted word for word in the Treaty signed at Iddah this sixth day of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one.

Done at Iddah this 6th of September, 1841.

(Signed) H.D. Trotter, First Commissioner.
William Allen, Second Commissioner.
Bird Allen, Third Commissioner.
W. Cook, Fourth Commissioner.
Witnesses,
Henry Cooke Harston, Lieutenant of Her Majesty's steamer Wilberforce.
William Stanger, M.D., Geologist.
James Frederick Schön, Missionary.
William Bowden, Secretary.
Signed in the presence, and with the authority of Òchejih, Attàh of Èggarah, by the Judge of Iddah, it being contrary to custom for the Attàh to sign any document.
Lobo,Chief Judge of Iddah.
his + mark
Witnesses,
Hackah, Second
Judge his + mark
Gibbereen, Malam
his + mark

No. 27

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 11) from Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel Albert, confluence of
the rivers Niger and Chadda, 16th September, 1841.

My Lord,

Our last Despatch, No. 10, dated Iddah, September 8th, 1841, apprised your Lordship of the proceedings of the Commission up to that period. Our negotations at Iddah having terminated, the Expedition sailed thence on the 8th instant, and arrived at Addah Kuddu on the 10th instant, where we found duly authorized agents from the Attàh of Èggarah ready to define the boundaries of any land we might require for Her Majesty and to make over the same conditionally, in the manner stipulated for in our Treaty of the 6th instant.

We have now the honour of enclosing to your Lordship the Deed of Cession of the land which we have purchased on behalf of Her Majesty. It is situated on the right bank of the river, and has a commanding position suitable for the erection of a fort at either extremity; that to the north is the table mountain, called Pattèh, 1,200 feet above the level of the river, and near the southern extremity there is a hill on Beaufort Island which commands the united stream of the Niger and Chadda, a position of great importance from its vicinity to the great slave market, held at Kiri. This district, extending 16 miles along the river, and about four miles in width, contains several towns and villages, but being exposed to the predatory incursions of the Falatahs, a large portion of it, including the market town of Addah Kuddu, is now totally abandoned.

In providing for the establishment of forts by Great Britain in a district subject to the invasion of a neighbouring tribe, your Lordship must remember that the Falatahs the invading party, are only formidable when compared with the docile, inoffensive race they oppress; the mere occupation of one or two stations by a few British subjects would have the effect of establishing confidence among the natives, who, once assured of the protecting care of Great Britain, would be easily induced to build up their former habitations, and thus furnish a useful population and have a beneficial effect on the surrounding tribes.

The consideration of these circumstances, added to the fear of delay and difficulty which we might hereafter experience in procuring accredited agents to define and make over the required territory, determined us to secure at once the possession of a district so well calculated to carry out the beneficent objects of Her Majesty.

It is impossible at this time to send home plans or drawings of the land. We can only refer your Lordship to Captain William Allen's Chart of the Niger, where the boundaries can be easily traced according to the description mentioned in the Deed of Cession, neither can we send any report regarding the salubrity of the climate. The elevation of Mount Pattèh and appearance of the district lead us to hope it is the most desirable we have hitherto seen, and the same remark would be true regarding the fertility of the soil which, although not of the best quality, grows a considerable quantity of cotton; and the agent for the Model Farm Society, meeting in Mincing-lane, London, has requested to be landed upon it, which request we have complied with, and we have rented 500 acres to the said Society for a period of five years subject to the approval of Her Majesty, for the annual sum of one penny per acre, payable by the Society to Her Majesty's Treasury.

We have, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter.
William Allen,
Bird Allen,
W. Cook.

The Right Hon Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


Enclosure in No. 27.

Deed of Cession of a portion of land, situated on the right bank of the Ujimmini or river Niger, made by the Attàh of Èggarah, in favour of the Commissioners for and on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland.

Whereas the Commisioners have arrived in the Ujimmini or river Niger, sent by the Qquuen of Great Britain and Ireland, to open a friendly communication with the Kings and Chiefs of Africa, whose territories border on the Niger and its tributaries, and whereas these Commissioners are invested with powers to treat with any of those chiefs for the conditional purchase of land over which they may have the sovereignty, and whereas the Attàh of Èggarah is assured of the full and declared intention of the British authorities to allow all persons the occupation of their houses, and the land they may at the present time have under cultivation, and is fully convinced of the pacific and just intentions of the Queen of Great Britain, and of the great reciprocal benefits which may result from British subjects being established in his territory, and is moreover desirous of manifesting his friendship for the Queen and her people; and whereas the Attàh has in the Treaty which he made with the said Commissioners at Iddah on the sixth of September, One thousand eight hundred and forty-one, agreed to sell and make over to Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, her heirs and successors, entirely and for ever, all such land, together with everything in it as the said Commissioners, with the concurrence of the Attàh's agents, shall select within that part of the Attàh's territory, situated near the confluence of the rivers Niger and Tchadda.

The undersigned agents do hereby, in virtue of the power and authority granted to them by the Attàh of Èggarah, and in his name, make over to the said Commissioners, for and on behalf of the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, all the lands whereof the boundaries shall be as follows, namely: A tract of land, situated on the Ujìmmini, or river Niger, bounded on the north by a rivulet flowing between the mountains which are named in Captain William Allen's published chart of the Niger Pattèh and Victoria; on the south, by the first rivulet which empties itself into the river Niger to the southward of the island named Barraga, and called in the same chart, Beaufort Island, and including within the said boundary the neighbouring mountains of Etse and Erro, marked in Allen's chart. Soracte and Saddlebach; on the east by the river Niger, and on the west by straight lines joining the western bases of the mountains, named in the same chart, Outram, Deacon, and Soracte, and the nearest points of the aforesaid rivulets. And by this Document the undersigned have solemnly made over to the Queen of Great Britain, her heirs and successors, for ever, all the land aforesaid, free of all claims to future tribute, toll, or taxation, according to the terms of the aforesaid Treaty of the sixth of September, One thousand eight hundred and forty-one, guaranteeing to Her Majesty the full and peaceful possession of the same entirely and for ever, with power for Her Majesty to assume the sovereignty thereof, according to the stipulations of the said Treaty; in consideration of which the Attàh is to receive seven hundred thousand cowries, or goods to that amount, one-fifth part to be paid at the present time to the said agents as security for the purchase and delivery of the said land, the remainder to be paid as soon as the British people shall have had possession of the land for twelve months, provided they wish to retain the same, either in one payment or in annual instalments, not exceeding five, as may be most convenient to the Queen of Great Britain.

It is hereby understood that in consequence of the abhorrence with which slavery is viewed by Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland in every shape and form, British countenance and protection must not be expected by persons holding slaves within the land now purchased.

It is, however, reserved for the Queen of Great Britain to sanction, modify, or annul the whole, or any part of this Deed of Cession.

And the undersigned Agents do hereby acknowledge to have received from the said Commissioners one hundred and sixty thousand cowries in part payment of the purchase and conveyance of the said land, and do by these presents bind the Attàh to a faithful performance of the Agreement in the presence of Almighty God. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands this fourteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and forty-one.

Done in triplicate on board Her Britannic Majesty's ship Albert, at anchor at the confluence of the rivers Niger and Tchadda.

(Signed) Massabah, Malam.
Baje, Attàh's Secretary.
his + mark
Belluh, Eldest son of the Chief of Locojah.
his + mark

Witnesses,
James Frederick Schön, Missionary.
J.P. Brown, Interpreter.
William Bowden, Secretary.

The contents of this document were fully explained by me to the Attàh's agents in the Houssa language.

(Signed) James Frederick Schön, Missionary.

Attested:
H.D. Trotter, Commissioner.
William Allen, Commissioner.
Bird Allen, Commissioner.
W. Cook, Commissioner.
William Bowden, Secretary.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel Albert,
14th September, 1841.


No. 28

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 12) from Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord John Russell.

Het Majesty's Steam-vessel Albert, at the confluence of the
rivers Niger and Chadda, 18th September, 1841.

My Lord,

We have the honour to inform your Lordship, that the officers and men of the steam-vessels of the Expedition, up to the time of their arrival at Iddah, continued in the enjoyment of perfect health, there being no case of fever in any of the ships; hut we regret to state that since that time, the 3rd September, sickness has prevailed to a considerable extent, both among the officers and men, of whom one officer, Mr. Nightingale, assistant-surgeon, and four men of the Albert, two men of the Wilberforce, and one of the Soudan have died, and as the fever is still going on and 60 men are in the sick list of the three vessels, Captain Trotter, as commander of the Expedition has, in conformity with the opinion of Dr. M‘William, the head surgeon, deemed it absolutely necessity to despatch the Soudan to Fernando Po, and if requisite to Ascension, with such of the sick and convalescent as are considered by the surgeon of the respective ships to require a change of climate.

Dr. M‘William is of opinion that the other two vessels may proceed further up the river, believing that such a step might prove beneficial. The Commissioners have decided on sending two of their body up the Chadda, and Commander William Allen and Mr. Cook have been deputed to proceed on this service in the Wilberforce, while Commander Bird Allen has been removed from the Soudan into the Albert to proceed up the Niger.

The circumstances in which we are placed will, we trust, be a sufficient apology for writing so hurried a despatch, the Soudan being obliged to leave without delay.

We have, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter.
William Allen.
Bird Allen.
W. Cook.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 29

Copy of a DESPATCH from Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel Wilberforce,
Clarence Cove, Fernando Po, 9th October, 1841.

My Lord,

We have the honour to inform your Lordship, that on the departure of the Soudan, on the 19th September, with the invalids of which your Lordship was apprised in our last despatch; it was deemed advisable to separate the Commission, in order that Captain Trotter and Commander Bird Allen might be enabled to make Treaties with the Chiefs on the Niger, and that Commander William Allen and Mr. Cook should proceed up the Chadda for the same purpose.

On the 21st, the sickness on board the Wilberforce had increased to such an alarming degree, that it became impossible for the vessel to proceed up the Chadda. She was, therefore, ordered to the sea, and Ascension, while the Albert, being considered by Captain Trotter in an efficient state as regarded officers, proceeded up the Niger, as before decided on.

The Wilberforce arrived at Fernando Po on the 4th instant, and found that the Soudan had been fortunate enough to meet Her Majesty's Brig Dolphin, at the mouth of the Nun, and that on board this vessel, 35 of the sick had been immediately sent off to Ascension. We regret to say that four officers and two men of the Expedition are since dead. The sick on hoard the Wilberforce are all in a fair way of recovery.

Commander William Allen has despatched the Soudan, under the command of Lieut. Strange, to the assistance of Captain Trotter, and she vas preceeded by the Ethiope steamer, belonging to Mr. Jamieson of Glasgow, the master, Mr Becroft, having handsomely volunteered his services.

The Wilberforce proceeds this day to Princes Island without an officer fit for duty, except the commander and surgeon. Not having an engineer fit for duty, we have been obliged to avail ourselves of the services of one of the engineers of the Pluto, and the assistance of Lieut. Blount, the commander of that vessel, who has kindly offered to accompany us to the island of Princes.

We have, &c.
(Signed) William Allen.
W. Cook.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 30

Copy of a DESPATCH (separate) from Captain Trotter to Lord John Russell.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel Albert, Fernando Po,
25th October, 1841.

My Lord,

It is my painful duty to inform your Lordship that the steam-vessels of the Niger Expedition have been obliged to return from the Niger, owing to a most calamitous fever having broken out; the Soudan was obliged to descend the river, in consequence on the 19th, and the Wilberforce on the 21st of September, having reached no higher than the confluence of the Niger and Tchadda, but the Albert at that time being still able to proceed higher up, and thinking it of consequence to reach Rabbah this year to finish the Treaties on the Niger, and hoping to get into a better climate as we advanced, I proceeded up the river with Commander Bird Allen, the Commission having previously deputed Commander William Allen and Mr. Cook to form treaties on the coast, should they have an opportunity. On our arrival at Egga, however, the sickness had increased to so alarming an extent, that it was found necessary to descend the river forthwith, leaving the Amelia, the Albert's tender, at the confluence on the way down (manned with natives of Africa) for the defence of the Model Farm, Mr. Carr, the superintendent, having requested protection.

I consider the advance of the Albert as far as Egga to have been of some importance, inasmuch as we have obtained a good deal of information relative to the subjugation of the Nufi nation by the Falatahs, and a very little mediation on our parts might probably have the effect of making the Nufi people more independent and less oppressed, and tend materially to the diminution of the Slave Trade. It is most desirable that we should have a communication with Rabbah next year, but it is impossible till I get to Ascension in the Albert, and ascertain the condition of the crew of the Wilberforce (which vessel I hope is now there), and the Soudan, and consult with my brother Commissioners, to be able to inform your Lordship how far the Expedition can be put in force again next year, to carry forward the objects of the mission. Only nine white persons have escaped the fever, out of about 150: and the Expedition has already Iost 22 white persons by death, and it is Dr. M'William's opinion, that the nature of the fever has been such as to make it inadvisable in general for those who have had the disease to return to the coast of Africa.

It is with sorrow I have to report to your Lordship the death of Commander Bird Allen, of the Soudan, the Third Commissioner, who expired this morning, after a continued fever of 34 days. The loss of his services will be much felt by the Commissioners; and the navy has lost a most valuable officer. He was universally esteemed and respected by the Expedition.

I have thought it my duty to write full particulars to the Admiralty, of the condition of the ships, as far as I know it, and I take the liberty of referring your Iordship to that office for any particulars that may be desired on the subject.

I am still only convalescent, and quite unequal to writing more fully on the subject of the Commission by the present opportunity, but as I consider it to be my duty to proceed to England by the first ship thence from Ascension, in order to lay before the Admiralty the exact state of the steam-vessels, I hope in the month of March, to have the honour of laying before your Lordship the opinions of the Commissioners on the feasibility of further operations up the Niger. If my services, then, are further required, I shall be able to rejoin the Expedition before July, which is the earliest month for entering the Niger.

I have, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter.

The Right Hon. Lord John Russell,
&c. &c. &c.




No. 31

Copy of a LETTER from Sir John Barrow, Bart, to G.W. Hope, Esq.

Admiralty, 19th January, 1842.

Sir,

I AM commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you herewith the copy of a letter of the 25th October, from Captain Trotter, of Her Majesty's steam vessel "Albert,” commanding the Niger Expedition; and in transmitting these papers for Lord Stanley's consideration, I am to express the great regret of my Lords, who feel it their duty to submit to his Lordship the propriety of altogether withdrawing the Expedition.

I am, &c.,
John Barrow.

G.W. Hope, Esq., &c. &c.


Enclosure in No. 31.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel Albert, Clarence Cove,
Fernando Po, 25th October, 1841.

Sir,

My last letter to you, dated the 18th September, from the confluence of the Niger and Chadda, would acquaint the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that fever had broken out on board the vessels of the Expedition, and that I had found it necessary to dispatch the Soudan to the sea with all the cases the surgeons deemed to require a change of climate, directing Lieutenant Fishbourne to take charge of her in the absence of Commander Bird Allen, engaged in his duty as Commissioner.

I also informed their Lordships, in the same letter, that the Albert was about to proceed up the Niger, and the Wilberforce up the Chadda, in prosecution of the objects of the mission.

After the departure of the Soudan, however, two of the engineers of the Wilberforce were taken ill, and the crew had become so weakened by an increased number of cases of fever, that Commander William Allen found it impossible to proceed up the Chadda, and I accordingly ordered him to take his vessel forthwith to the sea, and if necessary, on to Ascension.

As there was still an engineer quite well on board the Albert, and another convalescent, and I considered the ship in other respects quite able to continue longer up the river, and as Dr. M‘William, the surgeon, thought the fever, when we reached higher up the stream, might probably assume a milder character, and the change of air might soon restore the patients still remaining on board who were not desirous of going in the Wilberforce to the sea, and it being of importance to reach Rabbah this year to finish the chain of treaties with Chiefs on the banks of the Niger, I deemed it my duty to try the experiment, and accordingly I weighed at the same time with the Wilberforce, on the 21st September, and the Albert proceeded up the river while she moved down.

The cases of sickness however, continued to increase, till at length, when we got to Egga, on the 28th of September, the only remaining engineer was taken ill, and no officers, excepting Dr. M‘William, Mr. Willie, mate, and myself, were free of fever. We continued wooding and preparing to return down the river till the 4th of October, when I was myself seized with fever, and Mr. Willie a day or two afterwards.

On the 5th October, Mr. Willie weighed and dropped down the river, but was soon prevented by sickness from carrying on duty, and Dr. M'William, assisted by only one white seaman, lately recovered from fever, took charge of the vessel, not thinking it right, in my state of fever, to report Mr. Willie's illness.

For want of engineers, we should have had to drop down the whole length of the river without steam had not Dr. Stanger, the geologist, in the most spirited manner, after consulting Tredgold's work on steam, and getting some little instruction from the convalescent engineer, undertaken to work the engine himself. The heat of the engine-room affected the engineer so much as to throw him back in his convalescence and prevent his rendering any further assistance, but Dr. Stanger took the vessel safely below Eboe, without anything going wrong with the machinery, whilst Dr. M'William, in addition to his enormous press of duty as a medical officer, conducted the ship down the river in the most able and judicious manner. I may here mention that the doctor steered the ship entirely by Commander William Allen's excellent chart of the Niger, of the correctness of which we had a good opportunity of judging on ascending the river, and which proved eminently useful on the passage down; and Mr. Brown, clerk, a native of Africa, who had been up the river before, also rendered him considerable assistance in the pilotage.

When about 100 miles from the sea, Captain Beecroft happily made his appearance in the Æthiope steamer, having been requested to ascend the river and communicate with us by Commander William Allen, of the Wilberforce; and it was really a Providential mercy that he arrived when he did, for had any accident, however trivial, happened to the engines, they could not have been worked any longer, as Dr. Stanger had no knowledge of the manner of rectifying it. Fever still prevented my going on deck, and there was no executive officer to take the vessel over the bar, and only one convalescent sailor doing duty, and no black sailor who could properly take the helm; Captain Beecroft, however, came on board with an engineer, and not only took the vessel over the bar, but brought her all the way across to this anchorage (a distance of 160 miles) where we arrived in safety on the 17th instant.

The assistance rendered by Captain Beecroft, independent of the services of his vessel, the Æthiope, was, I can assure their Lordships, almost indispensable to the safety of the Albert; and I consider it to have been so highly conducive to the preservation of many valuable lives which might have been sacrificed, had we run aground in the Delta and remained there even for a few days, that I shall present him with 105l., and his engineer with 10l 10s. by bills on the Accountant-General of the Navy, and I trust their Lordships will sanction this expenditure when they take the circumstances of the case and the highly meritorious conduct of Captain Beecroft into consideration. I recommended to their Lordships before leaving England, the introduction of the sum of 2000l. into the miscellaneous estimates of this year, for the contingent expenses of the Expedition, by which this expense might be met.

The morning after our arrival here the sick were all landed in comfortable quarters provided for the officers and men in the most kind and prompt manner by the agent of the West African Company; and we have reason to believe the climate to be healthy for the present. The air is cooler than the Niger by about 12 degrees.

I omitted to mention that off the bar of the Nun we met the Soudan about to reascend the river under charge of Lieutenant Strange, in the absence of Lieutenant Fishbourne who had been sent sick to Ascension. She was in a very inefficient state, and returned with us to this anchorage. Mr. Strange is at present in charge of the Albert as well as the Soudan; the officers of this ship of every rank being in sick quarters, with the exceptance of Mr. Mouat, assistant clerk, doing duty at the hospital.

I regret to state that, in addition to the loss of Mr. Nightingale, assistant surgeon, and four seamen, as mentioned in my letter of the 18th September; that between the confluence and Egga, Mr. Lodge, the second engineer, threw himself overboard in a fit of delirium and was drowned; and that afterwards two seamen and one marine of this ship died, and Mr. Kingdon, seamen's schoolmaster of the Soudan; and that Mr. Willie, mate, and the purser's steward, have died here since our arrival; and it is my painful duty to add that the death of Commander Bird Allen, of the Soudan, has this moment been reported to me, and that Mr. D.H. Stenhouse, acting lieutenant of the Albert, is lying in the most precarious state.

For several days after Mr. Willie was taken ill, he insisted occasionally upon getting out of his cot (which was on deck) and giving orders; and I fear the extra exertions of this zealous young officer contributed much to aggravate his case.

I am happy to say there is a general improvement taking place in the remainder of the sick, with the exception of Dr. M'William and Mr. Woodhouse, assistant surgeon, who have lately been taken ill, the latter with the "river fever," and Dr. M'William's, it is feared, may prove to be so likewise; but these cases, I trust, will not prove severe, now that we are in a better and cooler climate. I hope all the patients will be so far improved, and the engineers so much recovered, as in a short time to be able to proceed with the Albert to Ascension.

I call the disease the "river fever," because the surgeons report it to be of a nature that is not treated of in any work on the subject, and it has such peculiarities as they appear never before to have witnessed either in African or West Indian fevers.

The Soudan, as alluded to before, left the confluence on her passage down the river on the 19th September, under charge of Lieut. Fishbourne, with the master, a mate, and the second engineer, able to do a little duty, but on the following day these officers were too ill to afford Mr. Fishbourne any assistance. He had, however, two stokers able to drive the engines, who were for a time well enough to do duty, and he reached the mouth of the Nun in the short space of two days afterwards: during the last 24 hours before reaching Fernando Po, he was compelled to work the engines and do every other duty himself; such exertions could not fail to hurt his health, and he was seized with fever at this place after his arrival, though I am happy to say he was doing well on board the Wilberforce when she sailed for Ascension.

I beg strongly to recommend the zeal and exertions of this officer for the favourable consideration of their Lordships.

The Soudan opportunely met the Dolphin at the mouth of the Nun, and received prompt assistance from her commander, who embarked 35 patients, all that were fit to be removed, and sailed with them for Ascension, under charge of Mr. Stirling, assistant surgeon of the Wilberforce.

Before the Soudan reached Fernando Po, Mr. Marshall, acting surgeon, and Mr. Waters, clerk in charge, fell a sacrifice to the climate, and a stoker of the Soudan and the seamen's schoolmaster of the Albert died after their arrival.

Mr. Thompson, assistant surgeon of the Wilberforce, had charge of the sick on board the Soudan, on her passage down the river, and his exertions and fatigue from which he is now suffering were only equalled by those of Mr. Fishbourne.

The Wilberforce left the confluence on the 21st September, but owing to the necessity of cutting fuel did not reach the mouth of the Nun until the 25th, nor Fernando Po, till the 1st October. Dr. Pritchett, the acting surgeon of that ship, had 26 cases under treatment when she left the confluence, and the number increased afterwards, and I can assure their Lordships that the exertions of that officer were of no ordinary kind, and his duties on the way to Ascension, now that he has no assistant, are likely to be still more arduous: this officer's services, as well as those of Mr. Thompson, acting surgeon of the Soudan, render them highly deserving of their Lordships' consideration for promotion. The Inspector of Fleets and Naval Hospitals, will, when he receives their reports, be well able to judge of their merits and arduous service on the Expedition.

The Wilberforce, during her passage down, and at Fernando Po, had the misfortune to lose her purser, Mr. Cyrus Wakeham, and Peter Fitzgerald, a stoker; also Mr. Harvey, acting master of the Albert, and Mr. Collman, acting assistant surgeon of the Soudan.

I have before mentioned the exertion and judgment displayed by Dr. M'William, the surgeon of this vessel, in bringing her down the greater part of the Niger in safety; but this would be considered the more remarkable, if it were possible to convey to their Lordships the exertions and fatigue he had to go through in his attendance upon the sick. I cannot speak too much in praise of this valuable officer, nor feel thankful enough that a man of so much talent and energy was appointed to the Expedition.

I have already alluded to Dr. Stanger's praiseworthy conduct in his acquiring a knowledge of the steam-engine, by which we were enabled to get down the river so much more speedily than we otherwise could have done; but this gentleman, if possible, was still more useful in the medical assistance which he rendered to Dr. M'William, who latterly had no assistant surgeon to relieve him in his duties. I am sorry that Dr. Stanger is beginning to feel the effect of his exertions, having had fever (though slightly) within the last two days. I must also mention, Mr. Mouat, assistant clerk, who having served several years with a surgeon in London, was able to render great satisfaction in the medical department up the river, and is particularly of use at this moment when Dr. M'William and Mr. Woodhouse, assistant surgeon, are ill. I beg to recommend to their Lordships consideration the propriety of remunerating this gentleman for his services, more particularly as his pay as clerk's assistant is so very small. In bringing before their Lordships' notice the admirable conduct of the surgeon and acting surgeons of the Expedition, I wish by no means to disparage the exertions of Mr. Woodhouse, the assistant surgeon of the Albert, or those of the deceased medical officers, which were very great though not of so responsible a nature as those of Dr. M'William and Dr. Pritchett, or of Mr. Thompson, who, before he descended the river with the large number of the sick in Soudan, was for a length of time doing duty in that vessel, during the protracted illness of the the late acting surgeon, Mr. Marshall. The number of deaths that happened after the vessels got through the Delta, until the sailing of the Wilberforce hence for Ascension, is shown in the enclosed paper. I have no exact return of the number taken ill in the Wilberforce, but I believe it may be stated that only five white persons escaped the fever in that vessel, whilst there are only four who have not been attacked in the Albert up to the present time, and no white person in the Soudan escaped it; and when I add that Dr. M'William is of opinion that few, if any, will be fit to return to the coast of Africa who have had the fever, and that every lieutenant, excepting Mr. Strange, all the medical officers but Dr. Pritchett and Mr. Thompson, (it is doubtful yet whether Dr. M'William has the river fever or not) all the mates, masters, second masters, and clerks, the whole of the engineers and stokers of the Expedition, and the gunner of the Albert, (the only vessel that has an officer of that rank) have been attacked, their Lordships will be able to form an idea of the paralysed state of the steam-vessels.

It will be impossible for me to inform their Lordships as to the efficiency of the Expedition for future operations, until I can get to Ascension; I may, however, observe that it will be found scarcely possible to officer and man more than one of the steam-vessels, unless assistance be sent from England, or obtained from the strength of the African squadron.

As the Æthiope will probably go home in April next, I have obtained the promise of Captain Beecroft to leave his surgeon behind if he can be spared, who would take an acting order as assistant surgeon, and willingly, go up the Niger again, and if he can spare his black engineer also, he will endeavour to induce him to remain out with the view of joining the Expedition.

Could their Lordships obtain an assistant-surgeon and black engineers in England to volunteer for the Expedition, it would be most desirable, as it is quite a contingency our obtaining the individuals alluded to belonging to the Æthiope.

Dr. M'William is quite of opinion, as far as he can judge, that the Niger is not fit for white constitutions, and I shall take care to keep this in view when making arrangements at Ascension, so that the fewest possible number of white men be continued in the steam-vessels.

Captain Beecroft, whose knowledge of the river exceeds that of any other person, is of opinion (and I quite concur with him on the subject,) that the Niger should not be entered before the beginning of July, as it is doubtful whether the river will have sufficiently risen to insure the passage up without detention; so that their Lordships may calculate upon the Albert and Wilberforce remaining at Ascension till the 1st of June.

It will be necessary for one steam-vessel to go up the Niger next year, as I left the Amelia tender at the confluence of the Niger and Chadda for the protection of the people of the model farm. Not thinking it right to leave up the river any white person after the fatal sickness we had experienced, I placed the vessel in charge of a trustworthy black with 12 other natives of Africa under him, all intelligent, steady men.

Their Lordships will remember that they gave permission for the utensils of the model farm to be carried out by the Expedition, which were landed at the desire of Mr. Carr the superintendent, at a spot which he selected for the site of the farm, situated immediately opposite to the confluence, and as Mr. Carr made a request for naval protection to his people in the absence of the steamers, which I considered very reasonable, I obtained volunteers to remain there in the Amelia before the Albert went to Egga, and on my return to the confluence I was too ill to do duty, but Dr. M'William, at my desire, sent nine months provisions on board, and cowries were left to buy several months more. In our distressed state it would have been impossible to tow the Amelia down the river, but independently of that consideration, it was, I conceive, necessary to leave a vessel for the protection of the farm people.

It is also very desirable that a vessel should get up to Rabbah, if possible, next year, not only to complete a series of treaties which have been already commenced, but to show the people of Rabbah that a man of war can get up to their town, and the presence of one of Her Majesty's vessels there might, I conceive, have a beneficial effect in their future treatment of the Nufi nation, whom we found much oppressed by the Falatahs, and also tend much to the extinction of the Slave Trade on the upper part of the Niger. This, however, cannot be determined upon till I meet my brother Commissioners at Ascension.

Should only one of the steamers ascend the Niger next year I would prefer one of the larger ones to be selected from their superior velocity and stowage. Under present circumstances I would countermand the coals which I requested might be forwarded to Bonny, though if already shipped they will doubtless prove very useful, for it is more difficult to procure wood in that than in most other African rivers, owing to the prejudice of the natives against Kroomen cutting it.

I conceive it will be my duty to go to England by the first opportunity from Ascension after my arrival, in order to lay the exact condition of the Expedition before their Lordships, and I have every reason to think I shall be able to arrive in March, which would give me ample time to rejoin the Expedition should their Lordships require my further services.

I may state for their Lordships' information, that the Albert and Wilberforce could not proceed to England with safety excepting in the summer months, and I consider the Soudan as quite incapable of returning to Europe at all. I am preparing to leave the Soudan in this sheltered harbour in charge of native ship keepers, and as Captain Beecroft has promised to make his engineer light the fires occasionally and work the engine, and as Lieutenant Blount, of the Pluto, will be able to do the same when he comes into port, there is every probability of the machinery being kept in good order.

I am in daily expectation of the arrival of the Golden Spring with fuel from England, of which there is scarcely enough remaining here to fill the Albert's bunkers, the Pluto having used a large quantity of our store. I hope a supply of fuel may have been sent to Ascension before this time, so as to enable us to keep the machinery of the vessels in good order at that island.

I am, &c.
(Signed) H.D. Trotter, Captain.

The Secretary of the Admiralty.


Names of Officers and Men of the Niger Expedition who have died between the 1st of September, 1841, (the time of the Vessels getting through the Delta of the Niger, on the passage up, and of the first breaking out of the "River Fever" on board the Soudan,) and the 25th October, 1841. The list does not include any who may have died on the passage to Ascension in the Dolphin or Wilberforce.

Her Majesty's Steam Vessel Albert.

Names.Rank.Date of Decease.
F.D. NightingaleAssistant SurgeonDied in Albert.
G.B. HarveyActing MasterDied in Wilberforce.
W.C. WillieMate18 Oct., 1841; died in Albert.
Albion LodgeSecond Engineer7 Oct., 1841; ditto.
John PeglarArmourer6 Sept., 1841; ditto.
George PowellCooper11 Sept., 1841; ditto.
John BurgessSailmaker's Crew14 Sept., 1841; ditto.
James RobertsonStoker17 Sept., 1841; ditto.
John FugeShip's Cook27 Sept., 1841; ditto.
George SymesCaulker17 Oct., 1841; ditto.
Robert MillwardPurser's Steward22 Sept., 1841; ditto.
Lewis J. WolfeSeamen's Schoolmaster27 Sept., 1841; died in Soudan.

Her Majesty's Steam Vessel Wilberforce.

Cyrus WakehamPurser-
KneeboneA.B.-
RablinSupper-
FitzgeraldStoker-

Her Majesty's Steam Vessel Soudan.

Bird AllenCommander25 Oct., 1841.
W.B. MarshallActing Surgeon21 Sept., 1841.
H. CollmanAssistant SurgeonDied in Wilberforce.
N. WatersClerk in charge22 Sept., 1841.
William LevingeCaptain's Steward-
James ThomasCarpenter's Crew21 Sept., 1841.
Christopher BigleyStoker2 Oct., 1841.
William KingdonSeamen's Schoolmaster12 Oct., 1841; died in Albert.

H.D. Trotter, Captain.


No. 32

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 25.) from Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord Stanley.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel, Wilberforce, Ascension, 23rd November, 1841.

My Lord,

In our Despatch of the 9th October, a duplicate of which is herewith enclosed, your Lordship was apprised of the proceedings of the Expedition up to that period; we have now the honour to inform you that the Wilberforce sailed from Fernando Po on the 9th October.

From the state of the sick on board, including all the engineers, we were only enabled to put to sea, by the kind assistance of Lieutenant Blount, of Her Majesty's steam-vessel Pluto, who accompanied us as far as the Ilha das Rollas, and stayed by us as long as it was deemed necessary.

After remaining some time at the islands of Princes, St. Thomas's, and Annobon, to allow our engineers to gain strength, we arrived here on the 17th instant.

During this period we buried two men; the remainder of the crew of this vessel are all recovered or convalescent.

We regret to inform your Lordship that four men from the Albert, and the same number from the Soudan, died on board Her Majesty's brig Dolphin, on the passage from the Nun to this island; since which one lieutenant and 20 men have been invalided, and the probability is that the greater number of those who have had fever will wish to return to England.

In pursuance of orders from Captain Trotter, the Wilberforce will proceed to Fernando Po about the end of December, when we shall endeavour to carry out your Lordship's instructions by negociating with the chiefs in the Bight of Biafra, until we fall in with Captains Trotter and Bird Allen.

We have, &c.
(Signed) William Allen,
W. Cook Commissioners.

The Right Hon. Lord Stanley,
&c. &c. &c.


No. 33

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 3.) from Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord Stanley.

Her Majesty' Steam-vessel Wilberforce, Ascension, 7th January, 1842.

My Lord,

We regret to have to state, that by the arrival here of Her Majesty's brigantine Buzzard, very disastrous accounts have reached us, respecting the Expedition. We are unable as yet to make any official report to your Lordship; we beg leave therefore to give the substance of the verbal information which we have received from Lieutenant Levinge, who fell in with Her Majesty's steam-vessel Albert at Princes Island, on the 22nd December, on her way to the Ilhas das Rollas to procure wood for fuel, and may therefore be expected here in a very few days.

It appears that Captain Trotter only reached Egga, forty miles above the confluence, and was on his return when all hands became sick. Fortunately the Ethiope steamer, commanded by Mr. Beecroft, who, we informed your Lordship, had so handsomely volunteered his services, met the Albert, and assisted her down the river. Captain Trotter was dangerously ill, and took a passage for England in the Warree, a schooner belonging to Mr. Jamieson of Glasgow, but we cannot learn at what date.

Commander Bird Allen, of the Soudan, and several officers and men belonging to the Albert, are reported to be dead; indeed she is said to have only two seamen on board, and to have been obliged to borrow an engineer from the Pluto.

Lieutenant Strange, who was ordered by Commander William Allen to the assistance of Captain Trotter, met the Albert coming out of the river. As all the officers and crew of the Soudan were dead or absent from her, Captain Trotter, we understand, has ordered her to be laid up at Fernando Po.

Her Majesty's steam-vessel Wilberforce is now in an efficient state, having been thoroughly cleared out and refitted, and though short of complement, especially, in officers, the crew is perfectly healthy; the greater part of those whom it was necessary to send to England having been exchanged for able seamen.

We were on the point of sailing for Fernando Po, in pursuance of orders from the senior naval officer, but in consequence of this melancholy intelligence we deem it advisable to await the arrival of Her Majesty's ship Albert,

We have, &c.
(Signed) William Allen,
W. Cook, Commissioners.

The Right Hon. Lord Stanley,
&, &c. &c.


No. 34

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 4.) from Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord Stanley.

Her Majesty's Steam-vessel Wilberforce, at Ascension, 12th February, 1842.

My Lord,

We have the honour to inform your Lordship of the arrival of Her Majesty's steam-vessel Albert, with most of her remaining officers and men, much debilitated by the severe fevers and sufferings which they have undergone, so that it will be some time ere she can be again efficient.

As the Wilberforce is, however, quite ready for service, and her crew have had sufficient time to recruit their strength, we have deliberated seriously on the steps most advisable to take in our difficult position, deprived as we are of the able counsels of Captain Trotter, and of the lamented Commander Bird Allen, and we have decided on the expediency of making an attempt to enter the river as early as possible, in order to carry into execution the commands of Her Majesty's Government.

For the purpose of making your Lordship fully acquainted with the reasons which have led us to this determination, we think we cannot do better than enclose a copy of the minutes of our proceedings, which we accordingly lay before your Lordship.

Lieutenant Toby, who has been obliged to invalid from this ship, and will take charge of this despatch, will have the honour of giving your Lordship any information as to the state of the vessels.

We have, &c.
(Signed) William Allen,
W.Cook, Commissioners.

The Right Hon. Lord Stanley,
&c. &c, &c.


Enclosure in No. 34.

At a meeting held on board Her Majesty's Steam-vessel Wilberforce, at Ascension, on the 3rd February, 1842, present Captain William Allen, William Cook, Esq., Commissioners: after the usual opening with prayer, &c.—

Despatches were read from Captain Trotter to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and to the remaining Commissioners. Captain Allen then said that these communications contained subjects for the most serious deliberation. They conveyed the sad intelligence of the death of many of their companions; and the Commission in particular was reduced to half its number by the sickness and absence of Captain Trotter, and by the lamented death of Captain Bird Allen. These misfortunes he feared would go far to paralyse the efforts of the Expedition. It is therefore incumbent on us to examine carefully our present condition, and to ascertain what prospect there is of attaining the objects for which so great, an expense has been incurred by the country.

The first subject for consideration he thought was, whether it be advisable to fill the vacancy in the Commission.

Captain Trotter, in his letter, says, “It is inadvisable to fill up the vacancy until it be seen who will have sufficient strength to return to the coast of Africa, and be able to re-ascend the Niger, and fulfil the duties of Commissioner.”

In this opinion Captain Allen fully concurred, believing that any appointment would be premature until the period for active operations shall commence, or the wishes of Her Majesty's Government be known.

Captain Trotter is clearly of opinion that one vessel at least should be sent up the Niger during the ensuing season, for the purpose of making a treaty with the King of the Falatahs, and to communicate with the persons left at the model farm, but Captain Trotter also states, that the earliest time that a vessel can enter the river with the certainty of being able to pass the shoal water above Abòh, will be about the 1st of July. He therefore informs the Commissioners that he had written to the Admiralty to say that the vessels might be expected to remain at Ascension till the 1st of June. Captain Trotter was partly led to this opinion by statements made by Messrs. Beecroft and Midgley, persons of great experience in the Niger and on the coast. The first of these gentlemen gives it as his opinion, from the difficulty which he found in the Ethiope drawing five feet ten inches water at the latter end of May, that a vessel drawing four feet, wishing to reach Rabbah as quickly as possible, should not enter the river previous to the 1st of July; if she draws five feet, not before the end of July; and a vessel wishing to ascend as high as Adda Kuddu in March, should not draw more than three feet.

Mr. Midgley's opinion relates to the healthy or unhealthy time of the year; he states that the rainy season, namely, June, July, August, and September, are the most healthy whilst April and May, October and November, are the most unhealthy.

Captain Allen said he was deeply impressed with the importance of making a treaty with the King of Rabbah, since it was evident from the information during the recent visit of the Albert to Egga, joined to his own previous knowledge, that the Falatahs of Rabbah are the oppressors of all the surrounding nations, and consequently they will be found to be the principal obstacle to the accomplishment of the beneficent intentions of Her Majesty and the British public.

With respect to the people left at the model farm, there were reasons even stronger than those adduced by Captain Trotter, which claimed the earliest attention of the Commissioners.

Rumours have reached them which were unknown to Captain Trotter, that the infant settlement had been attacked and every one murdered by the natives; these reports came in Her Majesty's brigantine Buzzard, by the circuitous route of Benin; and though from the peculiar mode of intercourse in the interior they must necessarily have passed through many persons, they were liable to exaggeration, and consequently not entitled to much credit, yet the voice of humanity, as well as the honour of the nation, called upon them to communicate as early as possible, and to ensure their safety.

A letter, which was read from Mr. Brown, a native clerk attached to the Expedition, led to suspect also that Mr. Carr, the superintendent of the model farm, who was returning to the settlement in a canoe belonging to the people of Brass River, was attacked by natives, and probably murdered. This statement, however, seemed to be too vague to merit much confidence, yet as the safety of a British subject was involved, it became necessary to inquire into it.

In alluding to the efficiency of the Expedition, Captain Trotter could not of course be acquainted with the state of the Wilberforce; but Captain Allen had great satisfaction in being able to say that she was in all respects ready for service, as her crew were in excellent health, and with two officers who had volunteered from the Albert, he was able to man both the Wilberforce and the Soudan.

With reference to Mr. Beecroft's statements, although Captain Allen had the greatest respect for the energy and talent of that gentleman, he could not quite agree with him as to the proper time for entering the river, especially as he could not be supposed to have had sufficient means for ascertaining the best channel, and there was reason to believe that in his written statement he had purposely kept within the mark.

Captain Allen knew from personal experience that there is shoal water a little way above Abòh, but as he trusted he could lighten the vessels considerably, he hoped to be able to pass that part, and to reach at least the confluence during the lowest season; and in this belief he was confirmed by the examination of the journal of Messrs. Laird and Oldfield, as well as his own charts and journals.

With respect to Mr. Midgley's report, Captain Allen agreed that the rainy season is the most healthy, but he also found that in the interior the months of April and May were not only very pleasant, but he had reason to believe healthy; and, although from sickness and other causes, the Expedition had not attained all the objects which had been hoped for, and therefore in England it may be regarded as a total failure, still he believed that all the ardour of those composing it was not destroyed, but that the officers and men he had the honour to command, who had recovered their health, feel with him, that their duty to their country imperatively calls upon them to make another attempt.

It was with much regret he differed from Captain Trotter and the authorities he had quoted, but such was his confidence in the zeal, talent, and energy of that officer, that he is quite sure if he were here he would not hesitate to proceed as early as possible to the relief of the settlers at the model farm, and to complete the operations which were so well commenced.

The importance of ascertaining the state of the river when at the lowest is unquestionable; and although a vessel entering at the end of July might be more sure of passing up without obstruction, she would be only twenty days in advance of the season of our former disasters; we should then still remain in ignorance of the length of time that the navigation of the river may be open to commercial enterprise; and this opportunity once lost, such would probably be the feeling of our country, that many years might elapse ere Africa can receive the blessed light of religion, and the advantages of civilization which we hoped to have been the humble means of introducing.

He would therefore propose to devote the remaining energies of the Expedition to the noble cause for which it was intended.

And, as the Wilberforce is efficient, and the Soudan may easily be made so, he would proceed to Fernando Po, and there lighten both vessels as much as possible; proceed up the Niger when at its lowest or at the commencement of its rise, communicate with the Ezzeh Obi Ossai of Abòh, with the Attàh of Iddah, with the settlers of the model farm, make a treaty with the King of the Falatahs at Rabbah, and then return, unless everything should prove favourable; in that case an attempt might be made to explore the Chadda.

In the event of any sickness breaking out, he should immediately return to the sea, without waiting to ascertain the result.

Mr. Cook said he is of opinion the river will have reached nearly the lowest in January; and as before the middle of March the quicksands, which compose the greater part of its bed, will become so drained and consolidated as to throw the stream into one channel, it will be found deeper and more rapid at that time than after it begins to rise, or before it has reached its lowest.

He thought it improbable that a river which Park describes at Sego to be "as broad as the Thames at Westminster," and which, in its course through a country more or less mountainous of upwards of a thousand miles, must receive many large rivers as tributaries before it is joined by the Chadda, can afterwards dwindle into an insignificant stream, not having a depth of five or six feet, though he should not have been surprised at its not carrying this depth through the many channels of the Delta.

He has carefully read over Mr. Beecroft's statement to Captain Trotter, and although he believes that gentleman would not intentially state an untruth, he thinks it very doubtful doubtful whether he (Mr. Beecroft) possessed the means of correctly ascertaining the deepest channel between the Delta and Rabbah, he would further say, that in a conversation Mr. Beecroft informed him that, had his vessel, the Ethiope, drawn only five feet, he could have reached at least the confluence without having occasion to lighten her.

He also believes that March and the two following months will be found comparatively healthy, and the best time for transacting business in the interior; he, therefore, recommends that an attempt to ascend the river be made in March, when, the current having less strength than during full flood, the proper channel may be traced with less difficulty, and the facilities which it affords for the purpose of navigation can be more correctly ascertained.

Captain Allen still thought it safer to enter the river when the commencement of the flood may be expected to be at hand, since, should a channel not be found, they might, if in health, be able to wait a few days, and, in the event of the vessels getting aground, the rising river would soon relieve them.

It was ultimately agreed that it is expedient an attempt be made to enter the river as early as possible, in order to carry into execution the commands of Her Majesty's Government.

We have, &c.
(Signed) William Allen,
W. Cook, Commissioners.


No. 35

Copy of a DESPATCH (No. 5.) from Her Majesty's Commissioners of the Expedition to the Niger to Lord Stanley.

Her Majesty's Steamer Wilberforce, Ascension, March, 1842.

My Lord,

We have the honour to inform you that Her Majesty's steamer Wilberforce sails this day for the coast of Africa, for the purpose of proceeding as early as possible up the river Niger, in conformity with the resolutions passed on the 3rd February, of which we informed your Lordship in our Despatch of the 12th February.

We are happy to inform your Lordship that her officers and men are in excellent health.

We have, &c.
(Signed) William Allen,
W. Cook, Commissioners.

The Right Hon. Lord Stanley,
&c, &c, &c.


No. 36

Copy of a LETTER from Sir John Barrow, Bart., to G. W. Hope, Esq.

Admiralty, 23rd March, 1842.

Sir,

I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you herewith, for the information of Lord Stanley, copies of a letter from Captain Trotter, dated the 15th instant, and of a report from the same officer, on the state of the efficiency of the vessels of the Niger Expedition, and I am to request you will inform me of his Lordship’s opinion with reference to the proposition respecting the employment of Mr. Becroft in exploring the rivers of Africa, and the other points alluded to.

I am, &c.
John Barrow.

G.W. Hope, Esq.,
&c. &c.


Enclosure in No. 36.

16, Upper Seymour-street, Portman-square,
15th March, 1842.

Sir,

I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you herewith, for the information of Lord Stanley, copies of a letter from Captain Trotter, dated the 15th instant, and of a report from the same officer, on the state of the efficiency of the vessels of the Niger Expedition, and I am to request you will inform me of his Lordship's opinion with reference to the proposition respecting the employment of Mr. Becroft in exploring the rivers of Africa, and the other points alluded to.

I am, &c.
John Barrow.

G.W. Hope, Esq.,
&c. &c.


Enclosure in No. 36.

16, Upper Seymour-street, Portman-square,
15th March, 1842.

Sir,

I beg you will have the goodness to lay before their Lordships the accompanying report of the vessels of the Niger Expedition, which I have drawn up at Sir George Cockburn's request. I regret that I have been so long in doing so, but the state of my health has totally prevented me preparing it sooner. I shall, as soon as I am able, draw up for their Lordships' information an account of the proceedings of the Niger Expedition from the time of the vessels leaving England.

I am, &c.,
(Signed) H.D. Trotter, Captain.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty.


Captain Trotter's Report of the State of Efficiency of the Vessels of the Niger Expedition, &c. &c.

The Wilberforce was at Ascension on the 25th January, ready for sea, and efficient in every respect, with the exception of having no mates; and Commander William Allen (the senior officer of the Expedition in my absence) had determined to remain there till the arrival of the Albert, then daily expected, by which vessel he would receive instructions from me to wait there till the 1st of June for further orders from their Lordships; and if he received no orders by that time, he was to proceed to Fernando Po, where I informed him he might expect a communication from the Admiralty by the first week in July.

The Albert, I have every reason to believe, is as efficient as the Wilberforce, excepting with regard to the number of her white crew, which she probably may have had an opportunity of completing, as the Wilberforce has done, from the crews of merchant ships touching at Ascension.

The Soudan is laid up at Fernando Po, under the care of black ship keepers, and is equally efficient in point of hull and engines and general equipment, but she has only belonging to her, besides the commander, a lieutenant, second master, one engineer, and one seaman, who are now at Ascension, the remainder having died or been invalided, and she is not to complete her complement, till further orders from England.

It may be assumed that the Albert and Wilberforce have enough hands to bring them to England, and probably might spare a few white men to lend to the Soudan, were their Lordships to order the three vessels home; and in that case all the Kroomen of the Expedition, with the exception of a few which it might be necessary to retain in the Soudan for the passage to England, might be discharged at Ascension, in order to be conveyed to Sierra Leone by the first opportunity; excepting also a few black stokers, whom it may be advisable to take to England as alluded to hereafter.

There are no mates now belonging to the steam-vessels; and as in the late promotion, so considerately bestowed by their Lordships on several officers of the Expedition, Mr. Fairholme, mate of the Albert, was promoted to the half-pay list of lieutenants, I would submit the propriety of appointing him an additional lieutenant of the Albert to do duty coming home, for which he would be quite equal, although the severe illness which he had up the river makes it very inadvisable that he should return to the coast.

Should the Albert and Wilberforce be ordered home, it would be advisable that they should not arrive in the winter months, for being flat-bottomed, they are very leewardly in spite of their sliding keels, and having also a very small horse power, they would be in considerable danger if exposed to a gale of wind and a lee shore on making the land.

The Soudan being equally flat-bottomed with the others, and still more leewardly, ought also to come home before winter, and would require to be convoyed by another vessel as she was on her passage out. Indeed Commander Bird Allen was of opinion that she ought not to be sent alone even from the coast of Africa to Ascension, and he had good opportunities of judging of her qualities as a sea-boat.

In justice to Mr. Laird, the builder of the vessels, I must observe that it is their peculiar form (which was intended, and is very suitable for river navigation) and not any deficiency of strength which makes me doubt the propriety of their being ordered home at any but the summer season. The hulls and engines, on the contrary, have proved most excellent, and at the time of my leaving the coast were in want of no repairs whatever.

It would be desirable to send out a small supply of coals to the western islands for the use of the steam-vessels on their passage home.

Should their Lordships determine to send one of the steamers up the Niger to communicate with the Amelia tender and the people at the model farm, I would respectfully submit the following propositions for their Lordships' consideration; namely, — That instructions be given to the senior officer of the Expedition to select the vessel which he may deem most suitable for the purpose, and direct the commander to take the fewest possible number of white officers and men up the river. These not to exceed on any account three executive officers (including the commander), two medical officers, three engineers, two stokers (but black ones if they can be had, which is probable), and three seamen or marines, all being volunteers, selected from those whose constitutions are judged to be most adapted to the climate. The other white officers and men to be kept outside the river, and the crew to be completed by an additional number of Kroomen at the discretion of the commander.

A vessel of the West African squadron might be ordered to anchor off the mouth of the Nun to receive the whites left behind, and to remain there during the stay of the steam-vessel up the river, which need scarcely exceed a fortnight if the Soudan went up, and would occupy about two days less if one of the other vessels should be selected, allowing in either case a stay of 36 hours after joining the Amelia.

The Soudan might be the proper vessel for going up the river, provided arrangements could be made to complete her supply of coals at the mouth (as was done before); but as it is doubtful whether this could be conveniently effected again, the probability is that it will be necessary for the Albert or Wilberforce to be sent up, for in making the passage from Fernando Po to the mouth of the Niger in July or August (the proper months for ascending the river, but during which there is often very bad weather), the Soudan might possibly expend all her coal by the time she entered the river, and her passage up would in that case be considerably prolonged by having to stop to get wood, whereas the Albert and Wilberforce having greater speed and greater stowage for coal in proportion to the expenditure, would reach the Amelia without any detention for want of fuel.

If however it should be thought more convenient to send the Soudan up the river, she might be towed to the mouth by one of the other steamers, or by the Pluto, if she is still on the station, and might then be filled up with coal and join the Amelia, without stopping to cut wood. On her coming down the river she might return to Fernando Po for coals and stores, and afterwards, if she were required at Sierra Leone or the Gambia, where the services of a steamer would often be acceptable, she might easily get along the coast by stopping occasionally to cut fuel, and in the following summer would be nearer England if that were her ultimate destination.

If it should be a matter of indifference in other respects whether the Albert or Wilberforce were sent up, the Albert might be preferred, as some of her tanks were left at the model farm, in order to lighten her, and the Wilberforce having a few inches less depth of hold would not be able to take them on board; there is no other reason for preferring one ship to the other, both being of similar dimensions and alike in every, other respect.

I may here state that the Amelia, which was left for the defence of the people at the model farm, and is at anchor nearly opposite to the confluence of the Niger and the Tchadda, is a vessel of about 80 tons, iron fastened, and badly found as to stores and sails, and her coppers are in a bad state. The only sails upon which she could depend were borrowed from the Soudan, which would again require them if ordered to England; otherwise, if she had a refit, she might be usefully employed either in removing to Ascension any stores belonging to the expedition which are still at Fernando Po and not required there, or in taking the Kroomen back to Sierra Leone; but as the making them efficient would probably be attended with much expense and inconvenience, I would suggest that the senior officer of the Expedition have power to sell her if an opportunity offer.

Before leaving Fernando Po, finding that store-house rent was necessarily very heavy there, and that many stores had received injury from the humidity of the climate, I directed Commander Fishbourne, if he had an opportunity of hiring a vessel on reasonable terms (which it was not unlikely would be the case) to send all spare provisions and stores, including some coals, to Ascension, where they would be relieved from the charge of rent and be kept in better preservation.

Until the arrival of the Albert at Ascension, Commander Allen would not be able to inform their Lordships of the quantity of provisions and stores required to be sent from England; but a communication to that effect may be daily expected. In the meantime, I may say generally that should the three steam vessels be ordered home at once, no stores of any kind will be required from England, though, should a short trip up the river be made by one of the steamers, she may probably require a few wrought-iron fire bars for the furnaces, and some oil and tow for the engines.

A list of the officers now serving in the steam-vessels is annexed to this report, and marked A, but I am sorry to say that, with the exception of Lieutenant Strange, I know of no officer who has not suffered, and generally very severely, from the effects of the climate.

In my letter to their Lordships of the 25th of October, from Fernando Po, I mentioned that the fever which attacked the Expedition was one of no ordinary degree of severity, but the great numbers that were taken ill, amounting to about 154 white persons out of 162, is a still more remarkable circumstance, and it is the opinion of Dr. M‘William, the surgeon of the Albert, that very few of the sick would have survived had they not been removed to the sea. The mortality, as it was, proved very great, amounting to 43, or more than one-fourth of the whole; the extreme and protracted debility of those who have recovered has also been very unusual.

The list marked B, appended to this report, shows the number that had died in each vessel up to November 27th, when I left Africa.

As none of the engineers of the vessels would probably be fit to go up the river again, even if they wished it, excepting Mr. Cross, acting third engineer of the Albert, lately a stoker in the Pluto, and as he has not had much experience, I would suggest that at least two engineers should be allowed to volunteer, and be sent out from this country, and also six stokers, to supply the place of the present temporary black stokers, although, if any of the latter wished to return with the vessels to England, it would be advisable to allow them to do so when they would be ready to join any steamer hereafter ordered to Africa.

Before closing this report, I beg to state that Mr. Jamieson, of Liverpool, the owner of the Ethiope steamer, whose commander, Captain Beecroft, rendered the Albert so much assistance in her descent of the Niger, has very generously offered the services of that gentleman, should their Lordships wish to employ him in the exploration of the rivers of Africa, and I know of no one so calculated to be of use in this respect, whether I regard his temper and talents, his integrity, the influence winch he acquires over the minds of the natives of Africa, or the fitness of his constitution for the climate; but as Mr. Jamieson has no one else to whom he considers he could entrust the charge of his steamer, he has intimated that he cannot dispense with Mr. Beecroft's services, unless the Ethiope be taken off his hands. I may remark that the Ethiope, having greater speed than our vessels, would be a very suitable vessel to ascend the Niger, and she has a black engineer, whose services might perhaps be retained.

I annex a letter which I have received from Mr. Jamieson, giving the dimensions and other particulars of the Ethiope.

I have omitted to mention a suggestion of Commander William Allen, in one of his late letters from Ascension, where he appears to have been prosecuting magnetical observations with great assiduity. He suggests that before the steam-vessels return to England he be allowed to proceed in one of them to the east coast of South America, for the purpose of carrying on magnetical observations in that country; and as he has had some experience in surveying, and is already supplied with many valuable magnetic and surveying instruments, it may be worthy of the consideration of their Lordships whether he might not be advantageously employed in the way he suggests, as well as in connexion with the hydrographical department.

Lieutenant Sidney, of the Wilberforce, one of the assistant surveyors of the Expedition, would be an able assistant to Commander Allen.

I would only further observe, that should their Lordships intend to employ men-of-war steamers on the west African station, the Albert, Wilberforce, and Soudan are particularly well calculated, by their small draught of water, for entering the rivers, which they could do at all times, and as they might be kept very light if stationed between the rivers Gambia and Gallinas, where they would always have supplies near at hand, namely at Sierra Leone, they would have sufficient speed to come up at most seasons with any slave vessel they might chase outside.

I allude particularly to that part of the coast, because great mortality has occasionally occurred in the rivers in the neighbourhood of Sierra Leone and the Gambia, by sending away boat crews in search of slave vessels, a practice which need not be continued if such steamers were employed; and I may add that little coal would be required, as wood is abundant in the rivers, and Kroomen might be kept permanently on shore to cut it, and keep up a constant supply.

(Signed) H.D. Trotter, Captain R. N.

London, 15th March, 1842.



(A.) — List of Officers belonging to the Vessels of the Niger Expedition.

RatingAlbert.Wilberforce.Soudan.
No. allowed.Names.No. allowed.Names.No. allowed.Names.
Captain1H.D. Trotter (in England)----
Commander--1W. Allen1E.G. Fishbourne (in charge of Albert)
Lieutenants2J.N. Strange
W.H. Webb
2H.0. Toby
F.W. Sidney
1W. Ellis
Master1W. Forster1W.H.J. Green (acting)1None
Second Master1None--Anderson (acting in lieu of Mate)
Mates4None4None3None
Surgeon1J.0. M‘William1M. Pritchett1J.R.H. Thomson (acting)
Assistant Surgeon2None2J. Sterling1None
Purser1W. Bowden1W.R. Bush (acting)--
Clerk2R. Mouat (acting)1J.H.R. Webb1None
Chaplain1T. Müller (acting)----
Gunner1None----
Engineer, 1st class1J. Langley1W. Johnstone1G.V. Gustaffson
„ 2d class2None2G. Garritte
J. Graystock
--
„ 3d class-— Cross (acting)--1None

(B.) — Number of Deaths amongst the White Crews of the Steam-Vessels, caused by the Climate of the Niger.


 Albert.Wilberforce.Soudan.Total.
Officers.Men.Total.Officers.Men.Total.Officers.Men.Total.
River Fever71219156581338
Effect of Climate-33------3
 71522156581341


No. 37

Copy of a LETTER from James Stephen, Esq. to John Barrow, Bart.

Downing-street, 30th March, 1842.

Sir,

Having laid before Lord Stanley your letter of the 23d instant, with the report therein enclosed from Captain Trotter on the condition of the vessels of the Niger Expedition, I am directed to request that you will state to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that it is not the intention of Her Majesty's Government to renew that Expedition, but that it may be desirable to communicate, in the course of the ensuing summer, with the model farm or settlement recently established on the banks of the Niger, and to afford to the persons left there the means of coming away, should they be so disposed. A single vessel, however, will, in Lord Stanley's opinion, be sufficient for that purpose, and it should be manned, as far as possible, exclusively by black or coloured men. At all events, his Lordship hopes that the number of white officers and men which Captain Trotter mentions as desirable for manning such vessel may be considerably reduced.

It will rest chiefly with the Lords Commissioners to consider that officer's proposal to purchase the merchant steamer Ethiope for this purpose, in preference to employing either of the vessels engaged in the late Expedition. If their Lordships should recommend that measure with a view to the efficient and economical discharge of the public service, his Lordship would, on his part, be prepared to recommend the arrangement for the sanction of the Board of Treasury. Captain Becroft's experience of the coast and river, and his apparent power of resisting the effects of the climate of Africa, are certainly strong recommendations in his favour; and the circumstance of the Ethiope having a black engineer is not to be overlooked.

As to the disposal of Her Majesty's steamers Albert, Wilberforce, and Soudan, Lord Stanley does not feel himself called upon to offer any opinion, further than to call the attention of the Lords Commissioners to the alleged peculiar fitness of those vessels for coast-service in Africa, and to state that the plan of closely watching and entering the mouths of the different rivers by armed steamers, with a view to the suppression of the Slave Trade, is a measure which seems to have been very successful, and which his Lordship would wish to see persevered in vigorously and efficiently. I am to add, that it appears to Lord Stanley to be extremely desirable that an early decision should be taken as to the purchase of the Ethiope, and the employment of the other vessels, and that his Lordship would wish to be furnished with an estimate of the expence of the proposed arrangement.

The nature of the instructions to be given to the officer who may be selected to proceed up the river to the model farm will form the subject of consideration hereafter. For the present, Lord Stanley would only observe that the employment of that officer should be confined to the single object of communicating with the settlement, unless the state of health of the party should be unusually good and circumstances favourable, in which case his Lordship would not object to an attempt being made to open a communication with Rabbah.

I have, &c.
(Sigried) James Stephen.

Sir John Barrow, Bart.
&c. &c.


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