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Conover, Thomas A. (1794-1864) to William McBlair

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05832.03 Author/Creator: Conover, Thomas A. (1794-1864) Place Written: s.l. Type: Manuscript letter signed Date: 19 October 1857 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 34.5 x 21.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Directing McBlair to proceed to the Congo River area to suppress the illegal traffic in slaves and ordering him to cooperate with British naval forces already in the area. Sends "private instructions" (possibly related to GLC00722.04) on how to deal with foreign vessels. Tells McBlair "The slave trade appears to be centered chiefly at and near the mouth of the Congo River" and that he should patrol mostly around this area while searching for illegal slave trading ships. Written on board the U.S.S. "Cumberland" at St. Paul de Loando, now called Luanda, the capital of Angola. These orders were published in the Congressional proceedings alongside a copy of Lt. Davidson's report on his interview with the captain of the HMS "Vesuvius" (see GLC05832.02). In part: "I desire that you will embrace every opportunity of making such arrangements...for co-operation with British Cruisers, and for cruising in company with them, that each may be in a condition to assert the rights and prevent abuse of the Flag of its own country. You are hereby authorized to make such arrangements...for adopting a system of Signals between the two Squadrons....I enclose extracts from my 'Private Instructions' which will be your guide in your intercourse with foreign vessels, and may be of service to you in the peculiar duties appertaining to the suppression of the slave trade...."

Background Information: Thomas A. Conover was a Captain, later Commodore in the United States Navy, and the Commander of the African Squadron.
William McBlair was a United States naval officer in command ...of the ship "Dale," responsible for catching illegal slave trading ships off the coast of Africa. Later served in the Confederate Navy.See More

People: Conover, Thomas A., 1794-1864
McBlair, William, d. 1863

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: African SquadronAfrican American HistorySlaverySlave TradeNavyGovernment and CivicsAfricaGlobal History and CivicsMaritimeForeign AffairsAmerican FlagCodes and Signals

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

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