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[Slave Trade.]

Documentos Relativos ao Apresamento, Julgamento e Entrega da Barca Francesa Charles et Georges e em geral ao engajamento de negros, debaixo da denominação de trabalhadores livres nas Possessões da Coroa de Portugal na Costa Oriental e Occidental de Africa para as Colonias Francezas apresentados ás Cortes na Sessão Legislativa de 1858.


Lisbon, Imprensa Nacional, 1858.


Folio.  (2) ff., 249, 16, XVIII pp., (1) f. with errata.  Contemporary quarter cloth (rubbed).   Copy partly unopened.   Some slight spotting on preliminary pp. & on end papers.  (Signature 26 incorrectly signed 25 on p. 101, signature 30 unsigned on p. 117).

The documents relating to the famous case of the French barque, the Charles et Georges, found on the Mozambique coast with 110 negroes on board to be sold to the French sugar plantations in the Mascarene Islands.    The captain was sentenced to two years in irons and a prize crew brought the ship into Lisbon.   France's reaction was sharp;  she sent two ships of war to the Tagus, demanded the restitution of the vessel, the freeing of the captain and compensation for the workers lost.   Portugal appealed to England to use her good offices but received little encouragement from London and was obliged to yield to French demands (see Duffy, A Question of Slavery, pp. 47-50).   "The affair did little to enhance the reputation of any of the parties concerned, except the Portuguese who had tried to enforce international law and had been bullied into allowing it to be broken.   The French in particular came out badly, not only because the ship was in fact a slaver but, even worse, because the bulk of its cargo was made up of very young Africans, many only children, and so their official plea of 'voluntary contracts' was manifestly a lie.   One immediate effect of the case was to lead the Emperor, who was horrified by the report of the Procureur Impérial, to order an immediate cessation of the traffic in indentured labourers, which Napoleon quite rightly stigmatized as slavery under another name" (W.H.C. Smith, Napoleon III, p. 244).   The documents cover the period 1854-58 and reproduce official correspondence between the Portuguese, French and English authorities.   According to Innocêncio the work was not offered for sale but copies were distributed by the Portuguese Foreign Office to legislative bodies, the Diplomatic Corps, high ranking civil servants and to some private individuals.   

Innocêncio II, 181.   Costa, Bibliografia geral de Moçambique, 138.   Not in Mendelssohn.  



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