THE SLAVE TRADE.--Probably there is no place in the United States, where so
many vessels are fitted out for the African slave trade, as the port of New
York. A late paper, gives the number as between 30 and 40 that were fitted out
at that place during the last ten or twelve months. And there seems to be evident
disposition on the part of public officers, whose duty it is to put a stop to
such unlawful proceedings, rather to aid in getting of the suspected vessels,
than to arrest them in the execution of their infamous design. An instance of
this occurred in New York last week. Several officers, among them a nephew or
relative of the famous Capt. Rynders (of cruising memory, and present U. S.
marshal of New York,) visited a suspected vessel, and as is alleged through
the powerful influence of some $1500 or $2000 given to them by somebody, the
vessel suffered to depart. From the account given of the character of the craft,
her rig and build, equipment and stores on board, and other circumstances, no
rational doubt can be entertained but that she was fitted out expressly for
a slave voyage to the coast of Africa.
Things have gone on in this way for years, and the trade has rapidly increased,
and so brazen faced and daring have the miscreants become, that they boldly
make use of and fit out their ships in the principal port of the great free
state of New York, and thus boldly trample on and set at defiance the laws of
the United States.
It is stated, but we can hardly believe it, that even women in New York, have
money invested in this inhuman and accursed traffic. If this is the disgraceful
fact, it cannot be that they are American women, born and nursed in the atmosphere
of freedom. An American free state woman, guilty of furnishing money to help
carry on and sharing the profits arising from the slave trade, is too shameful
and too monstrous for belief.
A recent letter from an officer of the United States ship Portsmouth, on the
African coast, says-- "The few months' experience we have had on the coast,
has thoroughly convinced us, that the whole slave coast is, we may say, lined
with slavers, who are generally from New York, cleared from the Custom-House,
bringing all the appliances of the trade with them, and maneuvering about on
the coast, under various pretenses and disguises of legal traffic."
The same officer, speaking from personal observation of the sufferings endured
by the wretched beings on board of the slave vessels, says-- "Indeed, human
language is incapable of describing, or imagination of sketching even the faint
outline of a dimly floating fancy of what their condition is-- homesick, seasick,
half starved, naked, crying for air, for water, the strong killing of the weak,
or dying in order to make room, the hold becomes a perfect charnel-house of
death and misery-- a misery and anguish only conceivable by those who have endured
it. Ophthalmia breaks out; every new case is thrown overboard, under the supposition
that the disease is contagious, and those who are dying meet the same fate.
This is no fancy sketch."
And what administration is it, that suffers the continuance, of this horrid
and disgraceful traffic, when it has ample power to suppress it? Reader! it
is the administration of James Buchanan. The gentleman that has done many things
since he has been President of the United States that will not tell well in