Page:The slave trade of east Africa.djvu/25

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

21

rial was presented to His Grace the Duke of Argyll, setting forth shortly some of the main facts connected with the trade, and urging that the presence of the envoys afforded an opportunity, that should not be lost, of obtaining from the Sultan a virtual abandonment of the protected slave-trade. The deputation was kindly received by His Grace, who, from his answer, seemed to think that the condition attached by the Sultan to the concession, viz., the release from the subsidy, so complicated the question, as to render it impossible to answer the memorial of the Society until the Indian Government had been consulted. He expressed a hope that, in the meantime, the arrangements which were pending between the Admiralty and the India Office would place the East African Squadron on a more efficient footing.

We now come to the last division of our subject, the measures by which the Society hope, in some degree, to alleviate the curse brought on East Africa, and to turn that curse into a blessing. The annual returns from the East Coast Squadron show that they capture every year a varying number of slaves ranging from 1000 to 1800. These poor creatures are liberated at the nearest British port to the point of capture; and accordingly cargoes of these poor creatures, many of them children, are landed at Aden, Bombay, Mauritius, and the Seychelles Islands. The pamphlet from which we have so largely drawn, in order to point its argument in favour of a Christian settlement on or near the East Coast of Africa, to which these liberated slaves may be brought, sketches shortly the history of the Missions of the Society to West Africa, showing how the settlement of Sierra Leone, formerly only the depot for the liberated slave, has become a Christian capital, and the centre of light for that part of Africa; and proceeds:—

"The practical conclusion to which we now come is, that the efforts of our own Government to suppress the East Coast Slave Trade afford an opportunity for the evangelization of portions of the East Coast tribes similar to that so successfully embraced by the Church Missionary and other Missionary Societies at Sierra Leone; and with hopes of similar success, provided only that a Sierra Leone can be formed on the East Coast. This is a most important point,