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Unknown Extracts from the "Private Instructions" of the Navy Department to the Commander in chief of the U.S. Naval Forces on the West Coast of Africa

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00722.04 Author/Creator: Unknown Place Written: s.l. Type: Manuscript document Date: circa 1857 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 35 x 21 cm.

Summary of Content: Includes extracts from GLC00722.01, noting that the U.S. flag "loses its true character, when it is worn by those who have no right to wear it...such a pretension would subject the flag to degradation and dishonor." Also includes a description of how slave traders disguise their illegal activities, and tips to spot them. Says this service will require the "greatest prudence, and the soundest discretion." Closing paragraph gives instructions for drawing funds from Baring Brothers and Co. in London. In part: "The cunning of the slave trader is constantly forming new disguises to elude detection, and escape the consequences of his crime...It is their practice to run into some river or inlet, make their bargain with the slave factor, deposit their hand cuffs and other things calculated to betray them and then sail on an ostensible trading voyage to some neighboring fort...There is a variety of signs and indications...double sets of papers...an unusual number of water tanks or casks...two logs...the wages of sailors engaged in it [the slave trade] are much higher than are paid in any regular or lawful trade...Consular certificates are often forged, and in lieu of the proper Consular seals, the impression is made with an American half dollar...."

Background Information: Thomas A. Conover was a Captain, later Commodore in the United States Navy.

People: McBlair, William, d. 1863

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: AfricaAfrican American HistoryAfrican SquadronMilitary HistoryNavyMaritimeSlave TradeSlaveryLawAmerican FlagFinanceForgery and FraudGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign Policy

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