Press enter after choosing selection

Another Amistad Case

Another Amistad Case image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Murder and Mutiny!- We have gathered from different exchange papers the following particulars of this extraordinary case, being all that have yet reached us. The Creole, Capt. Enson,of Richmond, sailed from that port for New Orleans on the 27th of October, with a cargo of tobacco, four hundred and thirty-five slaves. - At 8 o'clock on the evening of Sunday, the 8th ultimo, the Captain supposed himself to be in the vicinity of Abaco, and hove the brig to. Extract of a letter from New Orleans to the Charleston Courier: "From the evidence of the acting captain, (who was mate at the time) the crew and passengers, it appears, that on the night of the 7th of November, while lying to, expecting to make Abacco the next morning, about 7 o'clock the Captain and hands having turned into their berths, except the watch on deck, a negro came into the cabin, and told the captain that some of the men were in the hold with the women. The captain requested Merritt, who was attending to the negroes, getting their food, &c. to go and see who it was among the women. Merrill went down among the females, lit the lamp, and discovered a negro named Madison who attempted to get on deck. Meritt caught bim by the leg, and Gifford the mate, held him by the head and shoulders, his body being on deck, and his legs in the hatchway, they intending to chastise him. While scufling with him, a pistol was discharged, and the male Gifford, was struck on the back of the head by the ball, but it did not penetrate. Gifford and Meritt, ran below into the cabin, woke up the captain and Mr. John Hewell. The captain took his bowie knife and rushed on deck. Heweli found a musket and prevented the negroes from coming to the cabin; fired it at them; they threw a handspike at him, and took the musket from him; they were at the entrance of the cabin all this time; Hewell picked up the handspike, drove them from the cabin door to the forward part of the vessel; some of them in his rear stabbed him several times and he returned to the cabin and fell dead. The Captain fought, but was overpowered - thrown down, the knife taken from him; succeeded in getting away from them and running up the rigging. Gifford was already up the same mast, and finding the captain fainting from loss of blood, lashed him to the mast, and went up higher; the sailors took the rigging of the foremost. Merritt hid in the cabin among the women, until the mutineers drove them out; he then went into a berth and pulled a mattress over him; they searched the cabin for him and eventually found him; he begged them to spare his life, and that if they did, he would take them to Nassau; they proposed going to Liberia ; he told them the voyage would be too long, and that there was not water and provision enough in the vessel to carry them that distance; his life was spared, and he was placed in charge of the vessel. McCargo, a passenger,and nephew of one of the owners, lay in his state-room until the next day, and one of the negroes belonging to his uncle prevented the ethers from injuring him; the next morning the captain was ordered below, and so was Gifford; the crew came down; they made the captain go into the forecastle, where they had already placed his wife, child and niece, and ordered his wounds to be dressed, the vessel on her way to Nassau. On arriving at Nassau, the American Consul being informed by the mate and crew of what had taken place, went to the Governor of the island, and acquainted him with the fact: the Governor sent a file of soldiers on board. The third day after being in that port, the passengers, crew, &.C., identified nineteen, who appeared to be the principale, the next day, and they were taken ashore and lodged in jail. The Attorney General of the Island then read, from the quarter deck, the British Laws, and told the negroes that they were free, and might go "any place they pleased." During this time a large nuniber of boats, (those aboard of them armed with clubs,) came along side of the brig. After the reading of the laws by the Attorney General, those in the boats expressing impatience at the time, a signal was given by this officer, by waving a pocket handkerchief, and the slaves were pushed off the vessel into boats, a portion refusing to go; five would not go, and hid themselves. The Captain was taken on shore by the American Consul, and his wounds dressed by a physician. On the arrival of the brig Creole at Nassau, as soon as the news was known among the shipping, a captain commanding a vessel from Maine, lying in the port collected up all his pistols, cutlasses and muskets, and the Consul purchased arms, took his crew in a boat with these arms, for the purpose of manning her and taking her in to this port; the soldiers ordered him to keep off; that if he attempted to get on board they would fire on him; he was compelled to return, the brig proceeded on her voyage with only 5 out of one hundred and thirty six negroes." The Detroit Advertiser says the cargo and slaves were insured in New Orleans by different Companies, to the amount of $120,000. But as there was no policy insuring against mutiny, the insurers will not be holden. The captain is convalescing, and will probably recover, though it will be very slowly. The other wounded are doing well. On their liberation a vessel was immediaiely put up for Jamaica, advertising for emigrants, passage paid, and a number of them have entered their names to go." Beyond this there is but little to state. After the arrival of the Creole at Nassau the slaves acknowledged that a Baptist minister at Norfolk, named Bourne, had advised them with regard to their course and given them directions how to proceed. Mr. Goddard learned at Nassau that Bourne had formerly resided there, and absconded, leaving his farnily. He is an Englishman, and about forty years of age. Concerning this Mr. Bourn, the Journal of Commerce says: "We are authorized to say by a gentleman well acquainted with Mr. Boura that he was excluded several years ago, from all connection with the Baptist denomination, for the crimes of adultry and drunkenness, as well as desertion from his family. He was from England and officiated both at Hondurus and Nassau. From the latter place he fled in 1836 or 1837 to escape the penalty oí his crimes." Forty of the slaves on the Creole were owned by Thomas McCargo, of Richmond - the balance belonged to Johnson and Eperson. Mr. Howell was the agent of McCargo, and was well known in this city. Three of the slaves were killed in the affray, and another died of his wounds after his arrival al Nassau. Five more - four females and a boy - refused to accept their freedom, and came to this port in the Creole. It is worthy of remark that a dog, belonging to the captain, fought furiously against the negroes, and bit several of them seriously. He was fínally killed. The People's Advocate, New Hampshire, introduces the preceeding news with the following remarks: "We are glad to be able to lay before our readers such a piece of intelligence as the following, and we must say that we rejoice that those men have secured their freedom, though by blood. - They are fully justified by the old American doctrine, that "resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." The Southern papers already begin to talk loudly about war, in case Great Britain will not give up these slaves and disclaim the doings of the New Providence authorities. Perhaps they will do it, but British policy and British ínterests must change very much from what they have been if they do it. England will undoubtedly laugh at our claim and refuse to pay a farthing, even though it costs her a twenty years war; and Mr. Everett, if he urges the demand, may probably be told as Lord Pulmerston told Mr Stevenson in regard to the right of search, that "Her Majesty's Government have decided against the claim," and as Lord Aberdeen said in relation to the same matter "It ís for the American Government alone to determine what may be due to a just regard for its National Dignity." If the South want war here is a fine opportunity for them. Obstinate John Bull will not budge one inch for them, and they must pocket the affront or fight, and the latter we tell them plainly they dare not do. There is not courage enough in the South to face a Helderburgh war, and it will not be long before they will seek to bring on a crisis wtth England. Still the issues between the Iwo countries are fearfully multiplying, and the Oregon Territory and the North Eastern Boundary questions, the Bermuda slave cases already in negociation, the McLeod Case, the detension and search of our vessels on the African coast, and this case superadded, leave us scarce a possibility of avoiding war as an ultimate resort.-When it comes slavery will be abolished; let us bear that in mind."