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Unknown Extract of a despatch from Mr. Crawford to Lord Clarendon

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05832.01 Author/Creator: Unknown Place Written: Havana, Cuba Type: Manuscript document signed Date: 6 May 1857 Pagination: 3 p. ; 32 x 20.5 cm.

Summary of Content: A manuscript extract from a May 6, 1857 dispatch from British consul at Havana, Joseph T. Crawford, to Lord Clarendon, giving names and tonnage of five American vessels sent to Havana, presumably for the slave trade. The ships are the schooner "Abbot Devereaux," brig "R.B. Lawton," schooner "J.H. Record," barque "Clara B. Williams" and barque "Minetonka." This is followed by a one paragraph update, written in the same hand as the extract, and signed "G.G.," noting the August 1, 1857 capture of the "Abbot Devereaux," with 266 slaves on board, by the HMS "Frazer" and the September 2, 1857 capture of the "Restauracion" by the HMS "Alecto." The excerpt from Crawford's dispatch reads, in part: "Besides the great number of Vessels which it is known have been bought in the Ports of the United States to be employed in Slave Trading, the following American Vessels have been purchased and have come here to be sent to the coast of Africa...The first mentioned cleared for Monrovia [Liberia] - The last mentioned for 'Madagascar,' the others for Boston; All these vessels sail under the flag of the United States until they have got their cargo of slaves on board and most likely even after that they will use American colors, if fallen in with by any of Her Majesty's Cruizers, altho' they have no Papers of nationality whatever on board. The Spanish Brig 'Venus' which cleared out in ballast from this Port for Buenos Ayres, is also said to have proceeded to the Coast of Africa for a Cargo of Slaves, as well as the Ship 'Restauracian' from Matanzas." George William Frederick Villiers, Earl of Clarendon was the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Parts of Crawford's correspondence with him regarding the use of Havana by American-registered ships to further the illegal slave trade were ultimately sent to President James Buchanan, who shared them with Congress. That correspondence reveals the friction between the two nations: British officicals complained that the Americans were not doing enough to police their own ships; the Americans claimed the British were harassing legitimate vessels.

Background Information: George William Frederick Villiers, Earl of Clarendon was the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

People: Clarendon, George William Frederick Villiers, Earl of, 1800-1870

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: African SquadronAfrican American HistorySlaverySlave TradeNavyGovernment and CivicsAfricaGlobal History and CivicsMaritimeForeign AffairsCaribbeanLatin and South AmericaColonizationAmerican FlagPresident

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

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