Page:The slave trade of east Africa.djvu/14

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although there are branches of the East Coast slave-trade wholly unconnected with either Zanzibar or Muscat, there can be no question that, since the decline of the Portuguese power, and the extinction of the American trade, the principal abettors of the trade have been the rulers of Muscat and Zanzibar. In former days, about twenty to twenty-five years ago, our cruisers used to seize slavers in the Mozambique Channel, bound for Cuba or South America, and the writer well remembers the arrival at the Cape of Good Hope of ship-loads of these poor creatures, who were liberated there, and apprenticed by the Government to such of the inhabitants as would undertake for five years the support and training of the boy or girl committed to their care. In place of this trade, now defunct, there is a small trade in slaves carried on with Madagascar and the French islands of Mayotta, Nos Bé, and Reunion; the latter used to go under the name of the free engaugés system—a name pronounced by Colonel Playfair, the late Consul at Zanzibar, to be but a synonym for the slave-trade.

We now come to the main division—the Northern Slavetrade—which is carried on entirely by Arabs, and the chief points between which it is pursued are from the mainland opposite and to the south of Zanzibar, to the islands of Zanzibar and Peniba, and thence to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. The "dhows" used in the trade are rapid sailers before a wind, and carry as many as 250 slaves. The season for making the run North is during the southerly monsoon, from January to July and August, and the traders avail themselves of the northerly monsoon to come down to Zanzibar to make their purchases. In dealing with the subject as it now is before us, we shall, we think, present it best to our readers by endeavouring first to follow the course of the "merchandize" from its first acquisition to its final deportation, and then to detail some particulars showing the extent and present results of the trade, and the efforts made for its suppression, calling attention, in concluding, to the remedial measures proposed by the Church Missionary Society.[1]

Let us, for our first purpose, accompany the slaving expe-

  1. See Appendix, Note A, p. 22.