Page:The slave trade of east Africa.djvu/36

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English man-of-war should always be present in the harbour of Zanzibar during the visits of the Northern Arabs; and, during the months when the dhows are known to run slaves, the force usually stationed on their route should have a depôt in their vicinity, so that after a single capture the cruiser may not, as usually happens, be obliged to retire and land the slaves at the most important crisis for action."


Mr. Consul Churchill to the Chief Secretary to Government, Bombay; dated Zanzibar, August 14, 1867.

After referring to Earl Russell's instructions to Colonel Playfair in 1864, not to lose sight of the importance of the Sultan entering into a Treaty engagement to prohibit the transport of slaves coastwise from one portion of his dominions to another, and also to the failure of the Sultan's prohibition of the transport of slaves between 1st January and 30th April, he says:—

"It became evident that the time had come for Earl Russell's instructions to be pressed on the Sultan for his acceptance.

"In my conversations with the Sultan, and with his Chief Secretary, Sheikh Suliman, I made a point of making His Highness understand the necessity of proving to Her Majesty's Government his earnestness to co-operate with us; and I did not fail to make him see that, sooner or later, the transport of slaves coastwise would have to be prohibited.

"I told His Highness that Her Majesty's Government did not claim the right of interference in the status of domestic slavery in his dominions; but that if domestic slavery was his sole object, I looked upon the liberty his subjects enjoyed, in virtue of Treaty, of carrying slaves from one end of his dominions on the coast to the other, as totally incommensurate with the object in view, inasmuch as his subjects could procure enough slaves from the coast opposite Zanzibar to supply the agricultural wants of the island; and therefore, if he was sincere in his assurances of friendship and fellow-feeling with us, he could not refuse to reduce the limits within which the transport of slaves for domestic purposes would be permitted; and I pointed out to him on the map Rasydege, in South Latitude 7°, as the Southern, and Mombas, in Latitude 4°, as the Northern limit, between which points he might have the privilege of transporting slaves without interference, provided he agreed to abandon the rest.

"His Highness did not appear surprised at the magnitude of my demand, comprising as it does three-fifths of his seaboard. He appeared to have been quite prepared for this demand; and he promised to assemble his Court Council, and bring his reply in person to Her Majesty's Consulate in two days.

"For precision's sake I have caused the Sultan's declaration to be