Page:The slave trade of east Africa.djvu/23

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"The process of depopulation to which I have adverted goes on annually. The coast Arabs from Kilwa come up with plenty of ammunition and calico to the tribe called Waigau or Ajawa, and say that they want slaves. Marauding parties immediately start off to the Manganja or Wanyassa villages, and, having plenty of powder and guns, overpower and bring back the chief portion of the inhabitants. Those who escape usually die of starvation. This process is identical with that of which we formerly saw so much in the lands of the Portuguese in the Shiré valley. I cannot write about it without a painful apprehension that to persons at a distance I must appear guilty of exaggeration. But I beg your Lordship to remember, whenever my statements have been tested on the spot, they have been found within, not beyond, the truth. Even the grand Victoria sales were put down at less than half their size."

We have been told by General Rigby, formerly Consul at Zanzibar, that the old slaves still living there state that their homes were in the country bordering on the sea; while now the slave hunter has to penetrate for 400 or 500 miles into the interior, through a country once populous and fertile, but now a waste, ere he can secure the victims for his traffic. We leave our readers to form their own conclusions as to the awful sacrifice of human life caused by the Slave-trade on the East Coast of Africa, and proceed to answer the question which must naturally occur to every one,—"Has nothing been done by our Government to put a stop to this miserable traffic?"

Within the last ten years, more attention has been given by our authorities to the subject; and, in addition to the watch maintained by our small squadron, various measures have been urged upon the Sultan, the adoption of which, it was thought, would materially aid the efforts of our cruisers. But it is a fact, that as yet no palpable check has been placed on the trade. The reason assigned by Dr Livingstone for this failure is the treaty protection afforded by us over the first and most difficult half of the sea voyage, under the policy to which expression was given by Lord Russell, in a despatch dated 14th March, 1864. In that despatch he says, that Her Majesty's Government do not claim the right to interfere in the status of domestic slavery in Zanzibar, nor with the bonâ fide transport of slaves from one portion of the Sultan's territory to another, so long as this latter traffic shall not be made a cloak