I HAVE SELECTED this voyage as being one for which the papers are complete, the profits considerable, the family of the owner (that of Thomas Leyland) interesting, and there are heirs.
The voyage to Bonny (modern Nigeria) and then to Havana, of the Liverpool ship Enterprize, captain Cesar Lawson, owned by Thomas Leyland, in 1803.
I. LETTER OF INSTRUCTION TO CESAR LAWSON
Liverpool July 18, 1803
Our ship, Enterprize, to the command of which you are appointed, being now ready for sea, you are immediately to proceed to in her and make the best of your way to Bonny on the coast of Africa. You will receive herewith an invoice of the cargo on board her which you are to barter for prime negroes, ivory and palm oil. By law this vessel is allowed to carry 400 negroes and we request that they may be all males if it is possible to get them anyway buy as few females in your power, because we look to a Spanish market for the disposal of your cargo, where females are a very tedious sale. In the choice of the Negroes, be very particular, select those that are well formed and strong; and do not buy any above 24 years of age, as it may happen that you will have to go to Jamaica, where you know any exceeding that age would be liable to a Duty of £10 per head. While the slaves are on board the ship, allow them every indulgence consistent with your own safety, and do not suffer any of your officers or crew to abuse or insult them in any respect. Perhaps you may be able to procure some Palm Oil on reasonable terms, which is likely to bear a great price here, we therefore wish you to purchase as much as you can with any spare cargo that you may have. We have taken out letters of marque against the French and Batavian republic, and if you are fortunate enough as to fall in with and capture any of their vessels, send the same to this port, under the care of an active prize master, and a sufficient number of men out of your ship; and also put a copy of commission on board her, but do not molest any neutral ship, as it would involve us in expensive lawsuits and subject us to heavy damages. A considerable part of our property under your care will not be insured and we earnestly desire you to look out to avoid the Enemy’s cruisers, which are numerous and you may hourly expect to be attacked by some of them. We request you will keep strict and regular discipline on board the ship; do not suffer any drunkenness among any of your officers or crew, for it is sure to be attended with some misfortune, such as insurrection, mutiny, or fire. Allow to the ship’s company their regular portion of provisions etc., and take every care of such as may get sick. You must keep the ship very clean and see that no part of her stores are embezzled, neglected or idly wasted. As soon as you have finished your trade and laid in a sufficient quantity of yams, wood, water, and every other necessary for the middle passage, proceed with a press of sail for Barbadoes and on your arrival there call on Messrs Barton, Higginson and Co., with whom you will find letters from us by which you are to be governed in prosecuting the remainder of the voyage. Do not fail to write to us by every opportunity and always enclose a copy of your preceding letter.
You are to receive from the House in the West Indies, who may sell your cargo, your coast commission of £2 in £102 on the gross sales, and when this sum with your Chief Mate’s privilege and your Surgeon’s privilege, gratuity and head money are deducted, you are then to draw your commission of £4 in £104 on the remaining account. Your chief mate, Mr James Cowill, is to receive two slaves on an average with the cargo, less the island and any other duty which may be due or payable thereon at the place where you may sell your cargo; and your surgeon Mr Gilb’t Sinclair is to receive two slaves on an average with the cargo less the duty before-mentioned, and one shilling s’tg head money on every slave sold. And in consideration of the aforementioned emoluments, neither you nor your crew, nor any of them, are directly or indirectly to carry on any private trade on your or their accounts under a forfeiture to us of the whole of your commissions arising on this voyage. In case of your death, your chief mate, Mr Cowill, is to succeed to the command of the ship, and diligently follow these and all our further orders. Any prize that you may capture, direct the prize master to hoist a white flag at the fore and one on the main top gallant mast-heads, on his approach to this port, which will be answered by a signal at the light house.
We hope you will have a happy and prosperous voyage and remain your obedient servants
THOMAS LEYLAND, 1/2 share
R. BULLIN, 1/4 share
THOMAS MOLYNEUX, 1/4 share
P.S. Should you capture any vessel from the Eastward of cape Good Hope, send her to Falmouth and there wait for our orders. In case of your capturing a Guineaman with slaves on board, send her to Messrs Bogle, Jopp and Co., of Kingston, Jamaica.
I acknowledge to have received from Messrs Thomas Leyland and Co the orders of which the aforegoing is a true copy, and I engage to execute them as well as all their further orders, the dangers of the sea only excepted, as witness my hand this 18 July 1803.
Sailed from Liverpool 20 July 1803
August 26 detained the Spanish brig St Augustin. . . .
September 10, recaptured the John, of Liverpool . . . with 261 slaves on board. . . .
September 23 The Enterprize arrived at Bonny, and sailed from thence on December 6th. . . .
(In January 1804, the Enterprize arrived at Havana and there sold 392 slaves.
On March 28, she sailed from Havana and arrived at Liverpool on April 26, 1804.)
III. OUTFITTING OF THE SHIP
The outfitting cost £8,018 9s 7d, of which the most important items were the cost of the ship (£2,100 0s 0d), and the carpenter’s fees (£1,340 9s 11d). Advance on wages to the ship’s company, which numbered 65, including the captain, was £727 14s 0d.
The cargo loaded cost £9,050 8s 8d, of which the most important item was India goods (£3,197 0s 8d). Other important items were powder and neptunes (£942 19s 3d), callicoes and bandanas (£918 14s 0d), brandy (£620 0s 0d), arms (£484 14s 6d), Manchester goods (£446 17s 0d), beads (£414 11s 4d), and iron (£357 17s 0d). There were also articles of cooperage, manillas, ironmongers goods, lead bars and shot, split beans, red ells, earthenware, wine (from Thomas Leyland and Co.), worsted caps, hats, chairs, sticks and umbrellas, and, very low on the list (£22 13s 6d), medicine.
Kings and Princes of the Slave Trade
1. Henry the Navigator whose captains looked for gold, but found slaves (c. 1440).
2. Pope Pius II (Piccolomini) who declared that baptized Africans should not be enslaved (1462).
3. Ferdinand the Catholic who, as Regent of Castile, first approved the despatch of African slaves to the Americas (1510).
4. Charles II of England who backed the Royal Africa Company, on a golden “guinea.”
5. Louis XIV of France who started the practice of giving bounties to French slave traders.
6. William IV who, as Duke of Clarence, opposed abolition in the House of Lords.
7. Maria Cristina, Queen Mother of Spain in the 1830s, whose slave interests in Cuba were vast.
8. Sir Robert Rich, among the earliest entrepreneurs to carry slaves to Virginia.
9. John Blount: the brain behind the South Sea Company, whose main business was to ship Africans to the Spanish Empire.
10. Humphrey Morice: Governor of the Bank of England, MP, London’s major slave trader (c. 1730).
11. Thomas Golighty, mayor of Liverpool, JP, who traded slaves up till the last legal minute in 1807.
12. Henry Laurens: a major slave trader in Charleston, South Carolina, who, in the 1760s, opposed the traffic, before becoming President of the Continental Congress (1776).
13. Philip Livingston of New York who traded slaves in his youth, signed the Declaration of the Independence in his maturity, and founded a chair of Theology at Yale in his old age.
14. Colonel Handasyd Perkins of Boston whose firm specialized in carrying slaves from one Caribbean island to another (1790s).
15. Aaron Lopez of Newport, born in Portugal, the only important Jewish slave trader in the Anglo-Saxon world.
16. Antoine Walsh of Nantes who conveyed 10,000 slaves from Angola to the Americas, and Bonny Prince Charlie to Scotland.
17. Pierre-Paul Nairac, the most active slave trader of Bordeaux, who was refused a peerage because he was a Protestant.
18. Joaquim Pereira Marinho, among the last great slave traders of Brazil, a philanthropist in Bahia.
19. Julian Zulueta of Havana, the greatest merchant in the last days of the Cuban trade, carried his vaccinated slaves by steamer to his plantation.
20. King Tegesibu of Dahomey who made £250,000 a year from selling Africans about 1750: far more than any English duke received as income.
21. King Alvare of the Congo who provided slaves to the Portuguese (c. 1686).
22. The King of Benin (c. 1686) whose ancestors refused to sell men; but his descendants sold everyone.
23. Francisco Felix de Sousa (Chacha), a Brazilian who dominated the slave trade in Dahomey in the 1840s.
24. Portuguese traders in Benin (c. 1500) who obtained five slaves for a horse.
25. John Newton, the slave captain who wrote “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds.”
26. Hugh Crow from Liverpool: one of 1,000 captains from there who sailed for Africa to obtain slaves.
27. Newport slave traders carouse in Surinam (c. 1755). Those still sober include Esek Hopkins, later commander of the United States Navy, and Joseph Wanton, later Governor of Rhode Island.
28. “Captain Jim” de Wolf of Bristol, Rhode Island: in his youth a slave captain, then a merchant, later a United States Senator and cotton manufacturer.
29. Pierre Desse, a slave captain of Bordeaux in the illegal days (c. 1825).
30. Robert Surcouf, corsair of Saint-Malo, who revived the French slave trade after 1815.
31. Lisbon: at least 100,000 slaves were brought here from Africa in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
32. Liverpool: the largest slaving port in Europe; her merchants sent 4,000 slaving vovages to Africa between 1700 and 1807.
33. Elmina, the Portuguese stone-built castle on the Gold Coast, captured by the Dutch in 1637. Slaves were exported from here for 350 years.
34. Nantes: France’s main slaving port sent 2,000 voyages to Africa for slaves.
35. Cape Coast castle, built by Heinrich Carloff, became the English headquarters on the Gold Coast in the 1660s.
36. Rio de Janeiro, the major slave port of Brazil, whose merchants sent for and received several million Africans c. 1550-1850.
37. Havana: in the nineteenth century the largest slave port in the world, both as receiver of slaves and as a planner of voyages. Here the British are seen moving into the city after their defeat of Spain in 1762.
Scenes of the Slave Trade
38. South Sea House. In quiet counting houses, as in imposing commercial edifices such as this headquarters of the South Sea Company, the slave trade was planned.
39. Rochefort: in this French Atlantic harbor (depicted by Joseph Verney for King Louis XV) copper pots and other cargoes were shipped to exchange for slaves in Africa.
40. The most important cargo in the slave trade was cloths such as this “indienne” made in Nantes in imitation of Indian textiles.
41. Metal, such as these copper bars, also figured substantially in the slave trade.
42. Cowrie shells from the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean were a currency in West Africa. One slave might cost 25,000 of these. Here is a headdress made from the shells.
43. A slave ship in the eighteenth century built for Pierre Rasteau of La Rochelle.
44. A typical Liverpool slave ship, depicted on a plate.
45. The Wanderer: “you’d think she could fly instead of sailing.” The last ship to bring slaves to North America (1859).
46. Black captives like this Egyptian slave from Ethiopia were sought after in the Mediterranean from time immemorial.
47. In Africa, slaves were captured in raids for both the Atlantic and trans-Sahara trade.
48. Slaves were transported to the port or market in long marches lasting for weeks, as graphically described by Mungo Park (c. 1790).
49. Branding a slave with the initials of the buyer (c. 1820).
50. The brand of the Cadiz Company (c. 1768). “G” is for Gaditano (the adjective for Cadiz), “R” is for Rey, King.
51. Slaves being taken by canoe to Dutch ships, near Elmina.
52. Inside a slave cabin (c. 1815).
53. A rebel slave at bay (c. 1830).
54. Captain Kimber sued William Wilberforce when the latter talked of his activities depicted in this cartoon (c. 1790).
55. What the captains most feared: a slave rebellion (c. 1820).
56. The rebellion on the Amistad (1839) was one of the very few successful slave rebellions.
57. Sales of slaves were carefully registered. This shows a list of slaves imported into Havana in 1791.
58. The Rua do Valongo in Rio de Janeiro, a notorious slave market (c. 1800).
The Uses of Slaves
59. Slaves in a mine in Hispaniola in the sixteenth century. The pursuit of gold on this Spanish island led to the traffic in slaves.
60. A black slave in sixteenth-century Spain, depicted by Christopher Weiditz.
61. Slaves as servants: with a lady of quality in Brazil.
62. Slaves at work on a tobacco farm in Virginia.
63. Slaves on a sugar plantation in Antigua.
64. Slaves in a diamond mine in Brazil.
65. Shipping sugar from Antigua (c. 1823).
66. Profits from sugar and slaves allowed successful merchants, such as Richard Oswald, to commission houses such as Auchincruive, Ayr, built by the Adam Brothers.
67. Montesquieu who mocked the slave trade in his L’Esprit des lois and inspired two generations of abolitionists (c. 1748).
68. Thomas Clarkson of Cambridge who devoted his life to gathering material about the slave trade (c. 1785).
69. William Wilberforce who led the parliamentary fight for the abolition of the slave trade by Britain 1789-1807.
70. Anthony Benezet, a Quaker pamphleteer, dedicated his life to the Abolitionist cause.
71. Lord Palmerston who devoted his zeal to seeking the international abolition of the traffic in slaves.
72. Canovas del Castillo who introduced a bill in the Spanish Cortes, abolishing the Spanish slave trade (1867).
73. The meeting in Exeter Hall, London, 1840, where “the great and the good” of Britain show themselves converted to abolition. The Prince Consort is in the chair.
74. This picture designed by Josiah Wedgwood (c. 1790) was the symbol of the abolitionists.
75. Equiano: a slave who lived to tell the tale (c. 1793).