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LONDON (Monday, October 30, 1843) - IN A COURTROOM crowded with his "personal friends and eminent city merchants," Pedro de Zulueta was found not guilty of participating in the trade in enslaved Africans. "The announcement was received with loud cheers from all parts of the crowded court room which Zulueta quitted amidst the warmest congratulations of numerous friends." [1] But was Zulueta innocent? Contrary to the decision of the court, I hope this paper will demonstrate that Zulueta and others had been breaking the law with impunity for years. Moreover, the British government took a very proper public stance against the nefarious trade while deliberately turning a blind eye to what was really going on.

The ongoing British involvement in the Slave Trade, 1808 - 43

Though most European nations and North America had made slave trading illegal by 1830, the trade flourished, reaching an estimated minimum of one million Africans imported into the Americas between 1831 and 1867. [2] This trade was made possible because not all slave-trading nations had agreed to cease their participation and because those that had agreed did not enforce their laws. Ships engaged in the trade commonly carried duplicate, if not triplicate, sets of flags and papers. This subterfuge enabled them to evade almost all possibilities of capture by naval vessels engaged in anti-slave trade patrols in West African waters. [3]

In the years following the Abolition Act of 1807 (which came into force on January 1, 1808), there were a number of allegations, not without evidence, that ships sailing under the British flag continued to carry slaves. How many used the device of multiple flags (and hence false papers) is not known. But, for example, the Edinburgh Review reported on four British ships sailing under putative Spanish ownership. [4] Henry Brougham, M.P., attacking the ongoing trade in Parliament in 1810, explained another ruse, whereby the "experienced [British] captain, having been trained up in the slave business from his early years, now accompanies the [Spanish or American vessels new to the trade] as a kind of supercargo, and helps her by his wiles, both to escape detection and to push her iniquitous adventures." Hugh Thomas, in his recent book, mentions yet another tactic: British investment in "supposedly Spanish or Portuguese owned ships." [5]

The Slave Trade Consolidation Act of 1824 made it illegal to trade in slaves; or to carry or contract for their carriage; or to "fit out, man, navigate, equip, dispatch, use, employ ... any ship, vessel or boat" for the trade; or to "loan or advance, or become guarantee or security for" such trade; or to be a partner or an agent; or to ship "money, goods or effects" to be used in the trade; or to "insure ... slaves or any property or other subject matter engaged" in the trade. The fine was £100 for each slave discovered. However, it was stipulated that the seller had to have prior knowledge of the trade for which the goods were intended. One could argue that this gave the green light to those who manufactured for the trade, for example. It was this escape clause that was used by Zulueta and by the very few others who were ever brought before the courts.

The government knew that British manufacturers and merchants supplied 80 to 90 per cent of the goods used to barter for enslaved Africans destined for Cuba and Brazil
From parliamentary and missionary reports, from contemporary books and articles, and from the reports of its own officials, the government (and the literate/interested public) knew that British manufacturers and merchants supplied 80 to 90 per cent of the goods used to barter for enslaved Africans destined for Cuba and Brazil. [6] For example, the British minister in Brazil wrote to Lord Aberdeen in 1829 that a "vast amount of British capital [is] indirectly employed in the slave trade. . . . [There are] few merchants here who do not annually receive large shipments of goods adopted for carrying on the traffic. . . . It is calculated that one third of all British manufactures imported [are] eventually used in the commerce with the coast of Africa." [7]

The Foreign Office papers for this period, preserved at the Public Record Office, are replete with similar information, often giving the names of British merchants who were partners with Brazilian or Cuban traders, or who had their own agents in the Americas. Much of this correspondence was published annually as Slave Trade Papers. Information also flowed back from the Mixed Commission Courts in Sierra Leone and the Americas, as well as from the anti-slavery squadrons. For example, the Havana consul, David Turnbull, sent the name of a Glasgow firm, the partner of a Havana company that "had for several years past been engaged in the Slave Trade. . . . I am satisfied that the present is not an isolated case, but is only one amongst many in which the nefarious trade in slaves is carried on by means of British capital and enterprise. This system would appear to have been in operation for a considerable time past, and to have been carried on through the medium of foreign partners, or Agents of British Mercantile Houses [who] are stationed in Cadiz, or the Havanna, and furnish the Goods required for the purchase of the slaves on the coast of Africa." [8] Thus the government was well aware not only of the vessels involved in the trade, but of their owners and the owners of the cargo they carried. That slave traders often bought the captured slavers at auctions in Sierra Leone, a British-sponsored settlement, was also documented.

Issues relating to the "nefarious trade" were raised in Parliament. For example, in 1815 Mr. Barham, M.P., informed the House of Commons that the price of slaves was increasing and a "large amount of British capital was employed in British ships in the trade." He wanted the use of capital and the insuring of such ships to be made illegal. At the committee hearings on the subsequent bill, which was opposed by Matthew Forster, M.P., and Alexander Baring, M.P., among others, Mr. Douglas, M.P., emphasized that the "Spanish trade was carried on solely by British capital." In the House of Lords, the lord chancellor was among those who opposed the bill, which was "lost." [9]

The question of Mauritius was raised in 1826 by Fowell Buxton, M.P. Mauritius had been a British colony for eleven years, but, he claimed, the trade in slaves was carried on quite openly there. He suggested that Sir Robert Farquhar, M.P., the ex-governor of the island, had owned slaves and had "connived" at their importation. [10] The committee, which has been set up to investigate the allegations, "examined such witnesses as were immediately to hand, in a superficial way, and made a report, that, like many others from Parliamentary committees, amounted to little or nothing." Buxton demanded another inquiry, but it was not held until 1828. This time it was proved that there had been "daily importations [of slaves] from Madagascar and the Seychelles, unchecked by our cruisers and unheeded by local authorities." Despite the evidence the British government at first wanted to set free only those slaves who could prove they had been illegally enslaved! [11]

British involvement continued relatively openly in West Africa. For example, of the fifteen white traders living at Gallinas [Gallinas lies just north of the modern border between Sierra Leone and Liberia. Two rivers actually empty into the Atlantic here: the Kerefe, and the Moa. Eventually this area would become part of Sierra Leone, but in 1839 that colony did not yet extend that far south. - Ed.], the "majority were British or American, and were known simply as Tom or Bill in order to conceal their real names." [12] Of eight vessels that Lieutenant Hill, of the West Africa Squadron, observed in 1939 discharging cargo at Gallinas slave "factories," three were British. [13] The British brig Guiana, owned by James Logan and John Moore of Liverpool, whose master was George Nickel, was captured en route from Bahia to Lagos with a cargo of goods destined for the slave dealers there; the cargo had been insured by "a company at Liverpool, for 60,000 dollars." [14]

British bankers were extending credit to dealers in slaves, and to the mines, plantations and other slave-worked enterprises in the Americas
British bankers were extending credit to dealers in slaves, and to the mines, plantations and other slave-worked enterprises in the Americas. For example, in nine Cuban and Brazilian mines on which the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS) had been able to obtain information, the majority of shareholders were British and "employed" 3,325 enslaved Africans. [15] British companies insured the vessels involved in the slave trade and British bankers financed the expansion of Brazilian trade. [16] British manufacturers' products were used to purchase slaves.

Slave sale in the British colony of Sierra Leone, 1857
In the British colony of Sierra Leone, both trading in slaves and participating in the trade were common practice. [17] By the terms of the various slave trade treaties, vessels (and their cargoes) condemned by the Mixed Commission Court or the Vice Admiralty Courts in Sierra Leone were auctioned to the highest bidder. [18] The bidders were frequently the agents of the slave traders, who could thus purchase their own vessels and return them to the trade. Liberated Africans were regularly kidnapped and sold into slavery; others were "apprenticed" to local traders and planters. These facts were familiar to the home government from the reports of the Sierra Leone government, from the patrolling naval officers, and from parliamentary inquiries. [19]

British capital and British subjects furnish the slaves [for the] mining companies in Cuba and Brazil
In 1841 the anti-slavery campaigner Lord Brougham, speaking in Parliament, "greatly regretted that British capital and British skill were still found engaged in that infernal traffic.... British capital and British subjects furnish the slaves [for the] mining companies in Cuba and Brazil.... British companies consign goods which are only intended for the purchase of slaves. ... Vessels are being built in the UK which, from their structure and internal arrangements, could leave no doubt that they were intended for the slave trade." [20] He asked for an investigation of the allegations in Dr. Madden's report (see below) and stated that the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society could furnish proof of the allegations it contained.

Henry Peter Brougham, Brougham and Vaux, 1st Baron (1778-1868). Scottish jurist and politician
Anti-slavery agitators published many pamphlets and books on the trade - for example, David Turnbull's Cuba, with Notices of Porto Rico and the Slave Trade (London, 1840), Richard R. Madden's Slave Trade and Slavery (London, 1843), Thomas Fowell Buxton's African Slave Trade and Its Remedy (London, 1840); Lieutenant Forbes's Six Months' Service in the African Blockade (London, 1848), and Sir George Stephen's Antislavery Recollections (London, 1854).

Innumerable cases of British involvement in the many aspects of the trade in enslaved Africans were instanced in the pages of the Anti-Slavery Reporter; further evidence was presented at the BFASS annual anti-slavery conventions and published in their convention reports. For instance, in the report for 1840 it was stated that Birmingham manufactured the "collars and shackles" used in the trade quite publicly and that British firearms were manufactured for the African "slave-wars." It also stated that Manchester and Glasgow annually exported half a million pounds' worth of "fabrics used in the purchase of trade," and £200,000 worth of other manufactured goods were sold to the Cuban slave trade. Furthermore, it noted that British "bankers furnished the capital employed in it." The Gold Coast's Governor Maclean estimated that, in 1836 alone, £250,000 worth of British goods had been used in the slave trade. [21]

It should be noted here that by the late 1830s there was "legitimate" trade between Britain and Africa, in the form of palm oil, the export of which had reached some twenty thousand tons by the time Zulueta stood in the London courtroom. Initially, these legitimate traders did business with slave traders and the slavers themselves also traded in oil. However, neither the trade in palm oil, nor the British anti-slavery patrol vessels reduced the numbers of African shipped out. [22]

The conclusion drawn at the 1841 Convention was that "the employment of British subjects, and British capital, directly and indirectly, in support of slavery or the slave trade is . . . to be strongly reprobated." [23]

The government's response

The government's response to the continual stream of information was to order an inquiry. Dr. Robert Madden, whose most recent posting had been as a judge in the Mixed Commission Court in Havana and as Superintendent of Liberated Africans there, was commissioned in 1841 to report on the state of the British settlements on the west coast of Africa. Dr. Madden toured the settlements and found confirmation of previous reports that British subjects residing in Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast, British merchants, and British manufactured goods were involved in the trade. Moreover, he named two large British merchant houses as participants: Zulueta & Co. and Forster and Smith. [24]

Statue idealizing Lord Stanley, London. His youngest son, The Lord Stanley of Preston was Governor-General of Canada, 1888-93, in whose honour hockey's Stanley Cup is named
Shortly after Dr. Madden's return the Whig government resigned. Though Lord John Russell, the Whig colonial secretary, had apparently promised prompt publication of Dr Madden's report, the new government refused, claiming that it was too confidential to be made public. [25] However, Lord Stanley, the new Tory colonial secretary, could not simply ignore the report. Something had to be done. But nothing too hasty, as Matthew Forster, M.P. (of Forster and Smith, cited in Dr Madden's report), beseeched Lord Stanley only days after the new government came to power. He pleaded that "no hasty measures may be resorted to on the evidence or recommendations of parties imperfectly acquainted with the subject." [26]

Stanley's response was nothing if not orthodox: he set up a committee to investigate. Nominated in April 1842, Matthew Forster was among its members. Additional members were appointed in May; hearings were held in June and July. Though the BFASS claimed that committee members were "appointed largely of Forster and Smith employees and friends," I have not been able to substantiate this claim. [27] Forster not only sat on the committee but also gave evidence, asked more questions than any other member, and helped draft the report. In fact, only six of the nineteen members attended the drafting sessions, and of the six, only three had attended 75 per cent or more of the hearings. One of these three was Forster. [28]

Not surprisingly, the committee found that they had "no evidence, or reason to believe, that any British Merchant . . . either owns or equips any vessel engaged in the Slave Trade, or has any share in the risks or profits of any Slave Trade venture." Though British merchants might have some "indirect connexion" with the trade by furnishing goods to slave traders on the coast, the committee could not recommend prohibiting commerce even with those factories on the coast that dealt principally in slaves, "for unless all other countries can be persuaded to take the same view," trade would simply fall into foreign hands. Dr. Madden's important recommendations that captured slavers should be broken up, rather than sold, or that the fastest captured vessels should be converted to naval use were ignored. [29]

There had been complaints in the press and in Parliament, however, about the non-publication of Dr Madden's report. Lord Stanley therefore arranged for Forster to ask a question about publication in the House at an auspicious - that is, irrelevant - moment. This proved to be in the midst of a debate on the Poor Law Commissions. In reply, Stanley stated that as the report "treated matters of the greatest importance and secrecy, he should not feel himself warranted in laying on the table of the House the whole of these matters." [30] Naturally, what these matters of secrecy were was not revealed. Nevertheless, the Madden report was published as an appendix to the committee's report, although both it and the committee's report were censored. Moreover, it was divided into sections, each containing a statement contradicting the author. Only extracts of Madden's sections dealing with British subjects involved in the trade were printed. Dr. Madden claimed that his statements had been significantly altered. [31]

Shortly after publication Forster, not satisfied with the obvious support of the colonial secretary, began a campaign of vilification against Dr. Madden, charging him with being dishonest and incompetent, extorting exorbitant sums from the government for his services, and with using the title of doctor without being entitled to it. A Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, as well as a staunch abolitionist, Dr. Madden defended himself in the daily press and eventually published the whole correspondence. [32]

The government did not leave the issue of slave trading exclusively in the hands of Colonial Secretary Stanley. To ensure the uninterrupted continuation of slaving on the coast, the foreign secretary, Lord Aberdeen, informed the Admiralty in 1842 that "the blockading of rivers, landing and destroying buildings [barracoons], and carrying off persons held in slavery in countries with which Great Britain is not at war, cannot be considered as sanctioned by the law of nations, or by the provisions of any existing treaties." The interdiction of all trade and communication by naval blockades was also thought to be "inadvisable." [33] This not only prevented what the government clearly saw as overzealous activity by some of the anti-slavery squadron, but permitted some coast traders to sue Captain Denman of the Royal Navy for damages in British courts; Denman was eventually exonerated in 1848. [34]

The 1842 Act for the More Effectual Suppression of the Slave Trade

the bill would have no bearing on the use of British goods by slave traders in Africa or elsewhere
Between 1840 and 1843 at least eight petitions, besides that from the BFASS, were presented to the Lords or the Commons, pleading for abolition of the slave trade and/or for an inquiry into the use of British capital and merchandise in the trade. [35] There was no response until August 1842, when Lord Brougham proposed in the House of Lords that measures should be taken against the employment of British capital in the slave trade. Brougham was asked to draft a bill. He was then asked to make alterations. The redrafted bill was discussed on May 16, when further alterations were made. At the final reading on July 21, the bill, with a host of amendments, was passed to the Commons. Members further amended the Bill, so that the final draft was said to be unrecognizable to its author. According to the BFASS, the new act, which had received royal assent on August 24, "strengthen[s] the system of slavery, whilst it denies to the slaves who may have been illegally obtained their right to freedom by leaving the right of their masters to retain them as slaves unquestioned." [36] In the Commons Matthew Forster had taken the lead in attacking the bill' he and his colleagues holding that the measure was "calculated to inflict a most serious injury on the commerce of the country." The attorney general assured everyone that the bill would have no bearing on the use of British goods by slave traders in Africa or elsewhere [emphasis added], [37]

The case against Zulueta

The government's unwillingness to take any action is demonstrated by its failure to prosecute any British merchants, bankers, or manufacturers. No ship arrested in a British port as a slaver was successfully prosecuted. There had been no prosecutions of factors on the slave coast. [38] In the light of the wealth of publicly available evidence regarding multifarious British involvement in the trade in enslaved Africans and in slavery, this inevitably raises the question, Why not? An examination of the prosecution of Pedro de Zulueta might point to a possible answer.

The Colonial Office had known since at least 1835, and perhaps before, of the banking connection between the firm of Zulueta & Co. and the slaver Pedro Blanco, who was well known to the British government. Blanco's other London bankers were the Quaker firm of Baring Bros. & Co., which, as noted above, had its own representative in Parliament. [39] It should also be remembered that Dr. Madden had named Zulueta & Co. as a British merchant involved in the trade.

Evidence from the 1842 Select Committee

Captain H. W.. Hill, of the Royal Navy, commander of the Saracen of the West Africa Squadron, had stated in his evidence to the committee that he had personal knowledge of only one British merchant involved in the slave trade: Zulueta & Co. This company, Hill stated, was the London agent for the most notorious slave trader in the Gallinas, Pedro Blanco, and for another equally well known Havana trader named Martinez. There was only one trade in the Gallinas: the trade in enslaved Africans. [40]

Henry W. Macaulay, who had been a judge of the Mixed Commission Court in Sierra Leone, also mentioned Zulueta in his testimony. The company was known in Sierra Leone as the "correspondents of the largest slave trader on the coast, Pedro Blanco. . . . Anybody engaged in the Spanish trade would be aware that Pedro Blanco was the largest slave trader in the world," the ex-judge maintained. Blanco's bills were drawn on Zulueta & Co. and were "current all along the coast." [41]

Neither Mr. Forster's hostile questioning nor his repeated assertion of the vastness and importance of the firm (in Britain and Spain) could sway either Captain Hill or Judge Macaulay from their beliefs in the links between Pedro Blanco and Zulueta & Co. The company was sent copies of all statements relating to the firm and was invited to make observations on them. On July 22, 1842, Pedro de Zulueta Jr. appeared before the committee. The company, he explained, acted as merchants and commission agents, receiving produce and specie from Cuba and buying vessels and manufactured goods for their clients with the proceeds. These goods were occasionally shipped to Pedro Blanco and others in the Gallinas. The firm's business with the Gallinas in the past twenty years had not exceeded £22,000, in the form of bills drawn by people on the coast, including Blanco. The firm had not had more than approximately £100,000 worth of business altogether with Blanco and Martinez. He knew from general reports that Martinez dealt in slaves, but he did not know if the goods Zulueta & Co. shipped on behalf of Martinez to Blanco and others on the coast were destined to be used in exchange for enslaved Africans. He knew very little of the coast of Africa, "but if we had shipped to the amount of £100,000...we should certainly have known more." [42]

Zulueta maintained that the company had never shipped anything to Africa or received anything from there on their own account: the firm only acted as agents. He could not be held answerable for what was said to be common knowledge on the coast. Though he bought and sold vessels, it was quite untrue that he regularly bought vessels in England and sent them to Cadiz, from which point they sailed to Havana and re-entered the slave trade.

Questioned about a vessel named Augusta, Zulueta asserted that the company had acted as agents for Martinez in all transactions connected with her. On behalf of Martinez the firm had lent money to Captain Jennings for her purchase. It was then chartered by Martinez, loaded with goods on behalf of Martinez by Zulueta & Co. in Liverpool, from which point she sailed for the Gallinas. Yes, the Augusta had not sailed directly to Gallinas, but had taken shelter during a storm in Cadiz, where some of her damaged cargo had been off-loaded. She had then proceeded to the Gallinas.

Zulueta was back the next day, asking to be allowed to give further evidence. He could prove that the Augusta had put into Cadiz only because of a gale: he had made a claim for the damaged cargo from his insurers and had received compensation. As the terms of the insurance policy had stated that intermediate ports were allowed only in case of bad weather, his case was proven. He had also discovered that he had made a mistake the previous day: on inspecting the company's books he had found that their business with Blanco and Martinez had not been to the value of £100,000, but £400,000. [43]

To further polite questioning, Zulueta replied that, yes, his firm had bought vessels for Martinez - for example, the Star and the Arrogante. Both had been to the Gallinas but had not been involved in the slave trade, as far as he knew. No, he did not know if there was any legal trade in the Gallinas. In response to a question about the propriety of his relationship with a slave trader as notorious as Blanco, Zulueta replied, "The propriety or impropriety of our conduct is a different thing from the question of whether we have been legally or illegally engaged." [44]

The committee did not press Zulueta on this distinction or on any of the issues raised. Despite the initial huge underestimation, they did not ask for evidence of the extent of Zulueta's business with Martinez and Blanco; nor did they question whether he might not have equally miscalculated his firm's business with the Gallinas. They did not call for proof of the insurance claim regarding the Augusta. They did not query how Zulueta came to be so innocent of any knowledge of what trade took place in the Gallinas despite twenty years of trading there, or on what could have been exchanged for £400,000 worth of goods.

The government's collusion - it could not have been sheer incompetence - with slavers is further demonstrated by the questioning of Zulueta regarding the Arrogante. Judge Macaulay had drawn the committee's attention to the information on this vessel which had been sent by the British consul in Havana. In the Slave Trade Papers of 1840, the consul had clearly linked Zulueta with Martinez regarding slaving voyages made by the Arrogante in 1838. In fact, the government knew that the vessel had started life about 1830 as the very successful slaver Urraca. [In Cuba, the Arrogante was also known as the Emelia Arrogante - Ed.] Yet Zulueta's claim that the Arrogante had not been involved in slaving was seemingly accepted. Not only could the government have furnished the committee with copies of the letter from its Havana consul, but it could also have reinforced the case against Zulueta by informing the committee of the fact that the vessel had in fact been "condemned" for slaving in 1838. [45] Zulueta was asked the names of the merchant houses in Sierra Leone in whose favor Blanco had drawn bills on Zulueta & Co. He eventually produced some bills for the committee's inspection, but these were not printed in the committee's report! [46]

The case against Zulueta: The history of the Augusta

The vessel at the center of the court case eventually brought against Zulueta was the Augusta. She first appears in this history as the Gollupchick, "master Barnardos, Russian flag," arriving in Cuba in 1838. [47] By then she had been trading between Spanish ports and the west coast African slave traders, including Pedro Blanco, for two years. [48] This curious "Russian" vessel, under a Spanish master and with a Spanish crew, some of whom also had English names, had been seized en route to the Gallinas. The Mixed Commission Court in Sierra Leone decided that the vessel did not fall within its jurisdiction and would have to be sent to the High Court of the Admiralty in London. On hearing this, Barnardos, the master, produced some papers proving that the vessel was Spanish, not Russian. Not accepting these, the court insisted on a London trial. The Gollupchick arrived in Portsmouth on June 11, 1839.

In Britain the Russian consul informed the High Court that the unnamed owner of the vessel wanted to sell the vessel. [49] It was duly sold at auction to a man named Emanuel, who stated that he was acting on behalf of an unnamed friend. Emanuel paid Barnardos for the vessel and sold it on to Captain Thomas Jennings, who, together with Barnardos, paid Emanuel. After some delay, Jennings sailed the vessel to the Liverpool docks of Zulueta & Co. For reasons which may be obvious to some, Jennings failed to take with him the ship's register, which should detail ownership. He also changed the vessel's name to Augusta.

There appear to have been no questions asked by anyone in authority about this curious transaction. Could slave traders as easily buy "condemned" slavers in Britain as they could in Sierra Leone? The answer appears to be yes. In about 1811 Zachary Macaulay, the ex-governor of Sierra Leone, and his nephew Thomas Babington Macaulay formed a firm, Zachary & Babington, which acted as prize agents for the British naval officers who had captured slavers. Such vessels were brought to Britain, registered, and sold by Zachary & Babington at large profit. [50]

In Liverpool the Augusta was chartered by Martinez, with Zulueta acting as his agent for both the charter and the cargo, which was consigned to the Gallinas. As was stated in the committee hearings, the Augusta ran into a gale. Though much closer to Ireland or Cornwall than Spain, and despite remonstrances from the crew, Jennings made for Cadiz. They arrived on December 6, after eighteen days of sailing into the teeth of the gale. Some of the crew were discharged in Cadiz.

On January 7, 1841, the Augusta sailed from Cadiz to the Gallinas, where Captain Hill recognized her as the Gollupchick he had captured some months before. He boarded the vessel and, finding that the cargo was consigned by Martinez to three well-known slave traders, escorted the vessel to the court in Sierra Leone, where she was again "condemned." [51] Justice Logan Hook concluded his judgment by saying: "I have strong impressions on my mind . . . that Martinez & Co or their agents Zulueta & Co are the real owners of this vessel, and that Jennings has been thrust forward as Master and owner." [52] Thus Jennings was tried as master, not as putative owner. Found guilty, he entered an appeal to the Privy Council in August 1841.

What had led the judge to conclude that Jennings was not the owner? Among Jennings's possessions was a letter from Zulueta & Co., addressed to him in Portsmouth, telling him not to pay more than £500 for "the vessel in question." A second letter to the same address, but with the signature cut out, asked what further sums Jennings needed "to clear the ship," and instructed him to proceed to Liverpool. Other correspondence indicated that Jennings had been given £1,000 for "disbursements" to cover all expenses, including his own salary of £15 per month. When the 1842 committee questioned Captain Hill about the inferences he drew from the documents found aboard the Augusta, he replied: "This transaction, with the purchase of the vessel, and a person put in as the nominal owner who was not the owner, cannot but stamp a character that the vessel was engaged, with the knowledge of Zulueta & Co, in some trade that they were desirous should not be discovered." [53]

The case against Zulueta: Government (in)action

As some of the relevant papers have not been preserved, it is not possible to follow fully the twists and turns of the events that led up to the trial. But it appears that in October 1841 Lord Aberdeen, the Tory foreign secretary, was sufficiently concerned about the reports from Cuba regarding the involvement of British merchants and capital in the slave trade that he forwarded some of the documentation to the Treasury. Some eight months later the Treasury's permanent secretary replied that the Treasury lords "are satisfied that the present case . . . is only one amongst many in which the prohibited traffic in Slaves is carried on by means of British Capital and enterprize. . . . They were of the opinion that strong measures should be taken to prevent this nefarious traffic of British Merchants...in direct contravention of 3 George 4 ch.113." [54]

Meanwhile, Lord Stanley sought legal advice on some of Dr. Madden's allegations, apparently those against Forster & Smith. His legal advisers, the firm of Dodson, Pollock & Follett, one of whose members was also the Solicitor General, informed him in February 1842, "There is no direct Enactment simply prohibiting the Sale of Goods to be used for the purpose of the Slave Trade. . . . It is not an offence to manufacture, or to sell in this country Articles exclusively used in the Slave Trade; and which may be presumed, therefore, to be intended to be used for that purpose. We do not think there is any provision in the Existing Statute which would meet this case." They suggested the introduction of a new law. [55] We have no record of Lord Stanley's response to this suggestion. But we do know that a year later, when Lord Brougham's bill was debated in Parliament, it was emasculated by the government of which Lord Stanley was a member.

While Lord Stanley sought advice, the papers on the Augusta were sent by the High Court of the Admiralty to the Treasury, asking for their opinion regarding the sufficiency of the evidence against Zulueta. [56] In March 1842 the Treasury in turn forwarded the papers to Sir George Stephen, an eminent lawyer with well-known anti-slavery interests. The Treasury's George Maule, who clearly has some anti-slavery sympathies, wrote: "With the largest allowance of Charity, one may yet reasonably suspect that the parties in England must have been cognizant of the illegal object of her voyage, but at present there seems to me to be no obvious evidence which would establish any criminal charge against them. I am told that you are able and would be willing to procure further information such as would bring home the offence to the suspected quarter. . . . Will you do me the favour when you pass this way to look in upon me?" [57]

After examining the papers and interviewing Captain Hill, Stephen informed the Treasury that in his opinion there was sufficient evidence to proceed against Zulueta. But nothing was done until almost a year later, when Jennings lost his appeal to the Privy Council. The papers were then sent to Stephen, together with evidence from the Select Committee. What would Stephen advise in the light of these? Not surprisingly, especially as another year had gone by, after reiterating his previous opinion, Stephen urged action by the government. [58] In the meanwhile, a new attorney general had been appointed. He was none other than F. Pollock, of the firm from which Lord Stanley had sought advice a year before. The Treasury informed Pollock that "there are strong requisitions made for your opinion in the case of Messrs Zuluetta [sic] for Slave Trading." [59]

The Treasury had also been in contact the solicitor general, W. Follett, who was another member of the same legal firm. [60] When both legal officers had replied, their opinions were forwarded to the Treasury's Permanent Secretary. Unfortunately, the actual opinions have not been preserved, but they can perhaps be surmised from a Treasury letter to the Colonial Office: "[The legal officers] were of the opinion that there was not sufficient legal evidence disclosed upon which to found a criminal prosecution." [61]

While the government departments corresponded with one another, from George Stephen's point of view, matters had become urgent. Captain Hill had been appointed lieutenant governor of the Gold Coast Settlements and would have to leave England by September at the latest to take up his post. If he were to give evidence at a trial, it would have to take place quickly. Both Stephen and Hill appealed to the Treasury Solicitor, who replied that the case was awaiting decisions from the attorney general and solicitor general.

Sir George decided that action had to be taken. He took the case to the grand jury at the Old Bailey, where a true bill was found on August 23. Stephen again asked the Crown to take up the case. Maule of the Treasury replied that he had "no authority to interpose in any manner in the proceedings." [62]

Whether Lord Stanley wanted to spirit Captain Hill out of the country to prevent him giving evidence is not known. What is obvious is that, despite articles in the newspapers, [63] questions and petitions in Parliament, pressure from the Anti-Slavery Society and advice from the lords of the Treasury, Lord Stanley chose to follow the advice of Zulueta's neighbour on fashionable Cumberland Terrace, the solicitor general. George Maule, the Treasury's solicitor, had been effectively silenced. The government cowered behind a wall of inaction, leaving it up to a private citizen to attempt to bring to justice those Britons involved in the ongoing enslavement of Africans.

The trial

Thus Sir George Stephen took Pedro de Zulueta to court on charges that he did "illegally and feloniously fit out, man, navigate, equip, despatch, use and employ . . . the Augusta in order to accomplish a certain object . . . declared unlawful, that is, to deal and trade in slaves." After a postponement won by Zulueta, the trial commenced on October 27, 1843. [64] According to John Bull, the case "created an extra-ordinary degree of interest in the mercantile and commercial world." [65]

After the case was outlined, the judge prevented the prosecution from introducing as evidence some incriminating letters between Jennings and Zulueta. [66] The submission of the bill of lading for the Augusta, which bore the name of Zulueta & Co, and not that of Martinez, was also disallowed. The prosecution's witnesses, including Captain Hill, reiterated that the only trade in the Gallinas was the slave trade and that no one who had traded there for twenty years could possibly have been ignorant of this.

Mr. Kelly, [67] for Zulueta, argued that the House of Commons' Select Committee had had all the relevant documents in their possession and had examined his client; it had subsequently published a report which "completely acquitted" Zulueta. If Zulueta were not innocent, why hadn't the government brought this case? If the government had believed that trading with countries that dealt only or largely with slaves ought to be made illegal, why hadn't a law to that effect been passed, especially as the issue had been raised in the committee?

His client, Kelly emphasized, was a partner in a respectable commercial house; he could not be expected to know or interest himself in the final destination or the ultimate use of goods he shipped as agent on his clients' behalf. "Was he [Zulueta] to enquire whether the persons to whom the articles were consigned ever traded in slaves? If so, it would annihilate one-third of the commerce of Great Britain. . . . Every house that traded with houses at Havannah [would have to] sacrifice two-thirds of their trade. . . . All monetary transactions would have to stop if the source of the money had to be ascertained " [emphasis added]. [68]

Kelly's case was very detailed - in some respects. He found innocuous explanations for all the troubling evidence: it was all simply good business practice. He called twenty-three witnesses, all eminent men of commerce, banking, the law, the Society of Friends and the diplomatic corps, to attest to the power, prestige, integrity, and honor of the Zulueta family and Pedro himself. No witnesses regarding the facts of the case were called, not even the clerk whose absence occasioned the postponement of the case in September. [69]

Justice Maule summed up. [70] The essence of this complicated case was "whether there was a slave adventure contemplated by the ship Augusta "; and, if such a voyage had been contemplated, was the accused "cognizant of the fact." It had been shown to the court that the Gallinas was solely a slave mart; it was therefore "difficult to see what a person having a cargo of goods taken there could intend to do with them, except to have them employed in the slave trade." If the venture had been innocent, wouldn't Zulueta have called witnesses to attest to this? "If, however, it were dishonest, then it could not be expected. . . that anybody . . . would be called." He could not consider Zulueta to have been "in the situation of a person who was simply a manufacturer and dealer in goods . . . Zulueta was the sole agent of Martinez in Britain and taking that to be so, whatever was done by Messrs Martinez in this country was as much done by Messrs Zulueta & Co as if they had done it themselves." What the prisoner had not done was to demonstrate that he had not participated - only that, given his status, it was "extremely unlikely" that he had engaged in the slave trade. [71]

The jury retired. After one and a half hours' deliberations, it returned a verdict of not guilty." 'The announcement was received with loud cheers from all parts of the crowded court. . . . Zulueta quitted the court amidst the warmest congratulations of numerous friends. . . . The cheers with which he was greeted by the crowd outside were plainly heard." [72] The prosecution was granted costs, but the Corporation of the City of London reportedly failed to refund them to Sir George Stephen. They were eventually paid by some "generous people." [73]

Media responses

The newspapers concentrated on what might have happened had Zulueta lost the case. In an editorial on October 31, 1843, the Times opined that if London merchants were responsible for knowing the destination of cargo they shipped as agents, all commerce would end. "But it is not only on commercial grounds that we condemn such an extension of principle," the editorial continued. "We object broadly to the whole character and tone of feeling exemplified in these ostentatious displays of public zeal against the reflection of an offence against a fashionable code of morality. What is the anti-slavery cry that it should be allowed to cover all this?" [74]

The editor of the Morning Herald believed that Zulueta needed special protection, as he was a foreigner and therefore ignorant of British laws! Had he been found guilty, his business might have been ruined. The paper impugned Sir George Stephen for looking "tolerably sharply after his costs." [75] A week later an anonymous letter writer thanked the paper for its championship of the mercantile community. He was appalled that the honour of a gentleman such as Zulueta - not less distinguished for [his] high standing in society than celebrated for [his] wealth and integrity - could ever have been called into question.

Not even the Morning Chronicle spoke out against Zulueta or the ongoing trade in enslaved Africans; but at least it did carry a letter by an anonymous writer who maintained that the trial had shown the involvement of British capital and that without British manufactures slaves could not be purchased; the trial had demonstrated how British merchants avoided the laws. [76]

Curiously, the monthly topical journals, Westminster Review, the Quarterly Review, the Eclectic Review, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, and the Edinburgh Review did not comment on the trial that had caused a "sensation in the mercantile community." [77] Yet three years before the Eclectic Review had stated that it "affirm[ed] that the direct participation in the slave trade is the same in principle with the indirect." [78] Is it possible that this concentrated silence was produced by some interested parties? Or did these journals simply not want to antagonize their readers, many of whom must have come from the same social class as Zulueta and his elated friends?

A few brave papers did take a somewhat different stance from the "mainstream" press, however. Herepath's Railway Journal pointed out, "If rich men are allowed to substitute the testimonies of their friends to general charger in lieu of giving direct evidence of innocence, then there is an end to all justice as far as the wealthy are concerned. . . . They may commit any felonies they please. They may carry on the nefarious traffic in slave-dealing . . .and laugh at our Act of Parliament with impunity and set our attempts to prevent them at defiance." [79]

The Patriot was most assiduous in its follow-up of the case. On November 2 it pointed out that in its very full report the Times had omitted to include Judge Maule's closing words when granting costs: "I think it is a very proper case for an enquiry." The paper claimed that the log of the Augusta proved that her deviation to Cadiz had been intentional. On November 13 it added to this that Zulueta's insurance agent had admitted privately to the prosecution that Zulueta had not made a claim for any losses on the Augusta. [80] Shouldn't Parliament reexamine the case in the light of this new evidence? The government should be called to account for its negligence in not having taken up the case, the Patriot maintained.

Should the government be indicted?

So who was Pedro de Zulueta, apart from being the solicitor general's neighbour and the hero of the City of London's nabobs? Could there have been other reasons, not insufficiency of evidence, that prevented the government from prosecuting him?

Pedro Juan de Zulueta the elder, originally from the Basque country, had been a businessman in Cadiz as of about 1770. Because of political troubles in Cadiz, he was forced to flee to London in 1823, where he became the business agent of the deposed government. On the restoration of the Spanish monarchy, he returned to Cadiz and was created Conde de Torre Diaz. It was reported that he had been president of the Spanish Cortes. [81] Cadiz had been a slaving port since the thirteenth century and was very active in the trade in the mid-eighteenth century. Much of the trade seems to have been in the hands of Basque immigrants. [82]

Zulueta was a shareholder and founding director of the P&O from its inception in 1834
Pedro Jr. had joined the family firm at the age of sixteen. probably some time in the 1830s, as he is described as a young man and a young father at his trial. In 1836 he became a British subject by letters of denization. [83] He married the daughter of Brodie Willcox, one of the founders of the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Co. Pedro himself was a shareholder and founding director of the P&O from its inception in 1834. [84]

The firm of Zulueta & Co. is described by Pedro de Zulueta in his evidence to the Select Committee as having "connexions to a large extent in Spain, and in the Havannah, and in South America, and several other places." In the 1820s the firm had offices in London at 5 Jeffrey's Square, St.Mary-axe, and then in King William Street; in 1829 its Liverpool offices were at 5 Chapel Walks; from there, it moved a number of times before settling at 11 Tower Street in 1857. [85] Zulueta & Co., according to the evidence, was a general merchant and a firm that extended credit; bought and sold vessels, bonds and securities of state, and anything else demanded by its correspondents. Contemporary commercial directories list the firm in the 1860s as dealing in rice and general merchandise to the west coast of Africa from the Liverpool office; and from the London office it dealt in colonial produce, cottons, and woolens to Mauritius, the Mediterranean, and Spanish and Portuguese settlements. The firm was closed down "for family reasons" in about 1915. [86]

Julian Zulueta was the chief importer of slaves into Cuba, with an office in New Orleans; he was the owner of vast plantations ... his London banker was Baring Bros.
Also of great importance to this history is another branch of the Zulueta family. Pedro's cousin Julian had immigrated to Cuba to join an uncle. He inherited his uncle's coffee farm, married the daughter of a slave trader, and became the agent of his London-based uncle Pedro Juan. By the 1850s, Julian Zulueta was the chief importer of slaves into Cuba, with an office in New Orleans; he was also the owner of vast plantations. Two of his major trading partners were Pedro Martinez and Pedro Blanco, based in Gallinas, but with headquarters in Havana. His British business associates included Lizardi of Liverpool and Simeon Himely and Aubert Powell of London; among his bankers in London was the firm of Baring Bros. [87]

Probably by far the richest man in Cuba, he was described by journalist/writer A. Gallenga as "a born king of men. . . .He has a hand in almost every industrial and commercial speculation in his own country and out of it. . . . He is the heart and soul of every public institution, political and social, in Havannah. . . . His will is supreme." He died a multimillionaire, apparently the richest man in Spain and its empire. [88]

Brodie Willcox, Pedro's father-in-law and P&O codirector, also had some connections with the trade in enslaved Africans. In the 1820s and 1830s Willcox had been the partner of Arthur Anderson in a shipping and insurance business, which became the P&O Company. [89] According to a letter signed by "Legion" in the Morning Chronicle on October 31, 1843, a vessel named Cazador had been seized for slave trading in 1835. It had been sold to the slave trader Del Campo by Anderson. Del Campo is alleged to have paid Anderson in bills drawn on Zulueta & Co. The report on the appeal to the Privy Council on behalf of Cazador reveals that Martinez had been part owner of her cargo. To complete the circle, the appeal was conducted by W. Follett, who later, as solicitor general, advised the government that there was insufficient evidence to bring a case against Zulueta. [90]

In 1837, with an already established steamer service between the U.K. and Spain and Portugal, the P&O Co. won the government contract to carry mail to the Iberian Peninsula, to Malta, Greece, Egypt, and from there overland to the Red Sea and on to India. The contract was worth £29,600 per annum. Incorporated by royal charter in 1840, the company won a separate contract to carry mail to Egypt - this was worth £34,000 per annum. The company also received £20,000 per annum from the East India Company for a minimum of four voyages to India in the first year, six in the second, and thereafter monthly. [91] It should here be noted that Kelly, Zulueta's lawyer as well as the attorney general, had connections with the East India Company.

Thus, at the time when Zulueta was questioned by the committee and then taken to court, he was not only a "merchant of great eminence," but also part of the new commercial "establishment" - moreover, a part on which the government was heavily dependent. [92] And it was not only that was the government dependent upon him - that is, upon the P&O Co. Many merchants trading with the Mediterranean and India were in the same position.

The indictment

It seems perfectly clear from published evidence that British manufacture, commerce, shipping, banking, insurance, and capital continued to be (illegally) employed both in the trade in slaves and in slavery. Not all facets of this involvement were illegal and, as we have learned, there existed a very convenient escape clause for British merchants and manufacturers. But why didn't the government block the escape route? Why were not new measures introduced into parliament, and why were those introduced either lost or emasculated? Why weren't the allegations of Dr Madden and the government's own officials thoroughly investigated? Why, in other words, did the government turn a blind eye? [93]

Pedro de Zulueta himself provided some interesting responses to these questions. To counter the account of the trial published by the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, he published his own. His book begins with an illuminating "Address to the Merchants, Manufacturers and Traders of Great Britain," in which he argues:

(a) trade with countries in which the slave trade or slavery prevailed is not only legal but encouraged by the government;

(b) private prosecutions could easily be seen as stemming from "private resentment or interest, wanton malice, fanatical hallucinations or a desire for vain glory," and might result in the "destruction of civil liberty and individual security";

(c) the major determinant of what business a firm will engage in is the balance between risk and profit, not legality;

(d) the law requiring either a manufacturer or a shipper of goods to know the legal status or the end use of his goods is an impossible requirement; it goes beyond the bounds of commercial transactions and is incompatible with good business practice, that is, with the desire of a company to make as large a profit as possible;

(e) Britain was a country whose "people thrive largely by their mercantile intercourse with Cuba, with the Brazils, with Spain and Portugal, with the United States, with Africa" (that is, all countries where slavery is legal and/or which are involved in the trade in the enslaved), "so much so that they cannot dispense with that trade. . . . Their merchants, manufacturers and ship owners . . . materially contribute to the welfare and prosperity of every class of the community."

Zulueta concluded by appealing for laws to protect the merchants engaged in the above, and for a prohibition on private prosecutions against them. He appealed for these safeguards for merchants "in behalf of a class which yields to no other in the community in high principle or right feeling - a class which is not at all below the standard of morality, religious conviction, tastes, education, which may be set by the most distinguished in this country. . . . [A class] which has become interwoven with the highest ranks in society." [94]

The new class won, of course. "The capitalists had had enough of Britain's noble experiment. Commerce was the great emancipator." [95] It has been calculated that by 1845 13.5 per cent of British exports went to Africa and slave-owning societies. In 1820 British vessels made 58 voyages to West Africa; by 1840, this had risen to 152. Imports from West Africa rose dramatically within this period, from £150,000 to £450,000 while exports rose from roughly £90,000 to £492,000. Could "legitimate" trade have accounted for this increase? As stated at the beginning of this essay, current research indicates that it did not. [96] The official statistics, questioned by many writers, in any case refer only to the visible and known exports. How much profit did the bankers, the shippers, the insurers, the proprietors, and those with forged papers and false flags make between 1808 and 1888 from the trade in women, men, and children and their enforced labour?

*Marika Sherwood is Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, Editor, Black & Asian Studies Association Newsletter, and author of the newly-published After Abolition: Britain and the Slave Trade Since 1807 (London: I B Tauris & Co Ltd, 2007), along with (With Hakim Adi) Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora Since 1787 (London; New York: Routledge, 2003) and Kwame Nkrumah: The Years Abroad, 1935-1947 (Legon, Ghana: Freedom Publications, 1996).


1. The Times (London), October 28, 30,and 31, 1843.

2. There is continuing controversy about the interpretation of the available data on the numbers of enslaved and the rates of mortality. Necessarily, as the trade became illegal, official shipping returns omitted data on slavers. It should be borne in mind that import figures do not take into account the appalling mortality rates during the process of enslavement - the forced march to the coast, confinement in the barracoons and during the Middle Passage. Eltis gives a figure of half a million "embarked" from Africa between 1826 and 1875, but his date is based on recognized slaving vessels. D. Eltis et al., The Transatlantic Slave Trade: A database on CD-ROM (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

3. Northup mentions Dutch slavers using French colours. D. Northup, "The Compatibility of the Slave and Palm Oil Trades in the Bight of Biafra," Journal of African History 17 (1976):355n. W. E. B. Du Bois claimed that British slavers used the American flag. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade (New York: Dover, 1970), 145. J. E. Inikori makes note of British slavers planning to use Spanish colours. J. E. Inikori, "Market Structure and the Profits of the British African Trade in the Late 18th Century," Journal of Economic History (1981): 61, 176). This was also mentioned in the Fifth Report of the African Institution, of 1811. An ex-chief justice of Sierra Leone noted that French slavers went to Spanish ports and American slavers to Tenerife and St. Iago for Spanish papers. R. Thorpe, A View of the Present Increase in the Slave Trade (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1818), 12-13. Curiously, a slaver with Spanish colours was wrecked off the Essex coast in 1840. See The Anti-Slavery Reporter (December 16, 1840), 316. Most reports by West African naval patrols mention the use of multiple flags. See also An Exposition of the African Slave Trade from the Year 1840 to 1850, Inclusive, by the Society of Friends (Philadelphia, 1851; reprint, Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1971), 18. This is a compilation of excerpts from the published parliamentary Slave Trade Papers.

5. Henry Brougham, quoted in The Anti-Slavery Movement in England, by Frank J. Klingberg (1926; reprint, Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1968), 134. Kilingberg notes the "vitality" of the British slave trade, which necessitated the passing of the many anti-slave trade acts, imposing harsher and harsher penalties for any form of participation. Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade: The History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440 - 1870 (London: Picador, 1997), 589.

6. Some of the pertinent published government reports are The Settlements of Sierra Leone and Fernando Po (1830), PP X, and The West Coast of Africa (1842), PP XI and XII. Contemporary books include F. H. Rankin, The White Man's Grave: A Visit to Sierra Leone, in 1834 (London: R. Bentley, 1836); Lt. Forbes, Six Months' Service in the African Blockade (1848; reprint, London: Dawsons, 1969). The reports of the African Institution and the Methodist and Church Missionary societies' correspondence also contain relevant information. See also David Eltis, Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

7. Ponsonby to Aberdeen, June 27, 1829, PRO:FO84/95, quoted in Eltis, Economic Growth, 327 n9. According to J. Cain and A. G. Hopkins, Brazil was "Britain's most accommodating and most successful satellite in South America" during the first half of the nineteenth century. Cain and Hopkins, British Imperialism: Crisis and Deconstruction, 1914-1990 (London: Longman, 1993), 298.

8. Turnbull's dispatch, enclosed in Treasury Secretary C. E. Trevelyan to S. M. Phillipps, April [4], 1842, PRO: HO45/352.See also PRO: FO84/616 Memorandum on British Subjects and Capital Engaged in the Slave Trade, 1834 - 45.

9. Hansard, House of Commons, 1815, vol.30, col. 658, April 18, 1815; vol. 31, May 5, 1815; House of Lords, vol. 31,cols. 557 - 58, June 5, 1815, and cols. 1062 - 64, June 30, 1815.

10. Hansard, House of Commons,1826, vol. 15, cols. 1014 - 37, May 9, 1826. The trade in slaves to Mauritius increased after its sugar received the same preferential duty as that from the West Indies. When Britain acquired Mauritius from the French in 1815 there were approximately 100,000 slaves there and in the Cape of Good Hope. Michael Craton, Sinews of Empire: A Short History of British Slavery (London: Temple Smith, 1974), 47, 274.

11. The quotations are from Antislavery Recollections, by Sir George Stephen (London: T. Hatchard, 1854), 101 - 8. According to Sir George, who was the new governor of Mauritius, General Hall gave evidence against the slavers and was then removed from his post by the "colonial clamoring the pro-slavery side."

12. Adam Jones, A History of the Galinhas Country 1730 - 1890 (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1983), 42.

13. Select Committee 1842, PP 1842 XII,207.

14. Ibid., 318 - 19.

15. Anti-Slavery Reporter (July 17, 1840), 161. David Turnbull noted that the English consul Hardy (it is not clear whether he was consul at Mariel or Matanzas in Cuba) was one of the four "principal proprietors" of a copper mine, where 50 per cent of the workers were slaves. David Turnbull, Travels in the West. Cuba; with notices of Porto Rico, and the Slave Trade (London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1840), 3 - 14. The ore they produced was smelted in Swansea. The company's monthly clear profits were not less than £12,000. At the 1843 Anti-Slavery Convention, it was alleged that "many Englishmen are proprietors" of this company, the Cobre Copper Co. BFASS, Proceedings of the General Anti-Slavery Convention (1843; reprint Miami: Mnemosyne Publishing Company, 1969), 190.

16. David Eltis points out that Brazil had no financial institutions of its own and hence all Brazilian trade depended on British credit. David Eltis, "The British Contribution to the 19th Century Slave Trade," in Economic History Review (1979): 211 - 27. In 1822, £1.2 million Brazilian government bonds were offered on the London market; three years later, £2 million of bonds were floated. J. F. Rippy, British Investment in Latin America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1959), 20.

17. See Christopher Fyfe, A History of Sierra Leone (London: Oxford University Press, 1962). Most contemporary accounts of the colony mention the trade.

18. The Courts of Mixed Commission consisted of a British commissioner and one from the slaver's proven nationality.

19. See, for example, the correspondence between Governors Findley and Hay, from July 17, 1830, in PRO: CO267/105. On July 5, 1830, Governor Findley had issued a proclamation warning against participation in the trade.

20. Hansard, House of Lords, September 20, 1841, vol. 59, cols. 608 - 160.

21. Turnbull, Travels in the West, 367. On Maclean's relationship with Matthew Forster, M.P., a London merchant and defender of slavery, see G. E. Metcalfe, Maclean of the Gold Coast (London: Oxford University Press, 1962).

22. Martin Lynn, Commerce and Economic Change in West Africa: The Palm Oil Trade in the 19th Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 13 (table); David A. Ross, "The Career of Domingo Maritinez in the Bight of Benin 1853 - 64," in The Journal of African History 6/1 (1965): 79 - 90; David Northrup, "The Compatibility of the Slave and Palm Oil Trades in the Bight of Biafra," Journal of African History 17/3(1976),.353 - 64.

23. BFASS, Proceedings of the Anti-Slavery Convention (London, 1841), 515 - 18. On the trade in firearms, see, for example, C. W. Newbury, "Credit in Early 19th Century West African Trade," Journal of African History 13/1 (1972): 81 - 95.

24. Report from the Select Committee on the West Coast of Africa (1842): xii, Appendix.

25. The Anti-Slavery Reporter claimed that the reason for this was "a wish to screen certain individuals from exposure." Anti-Slavery Reporter (April 20, 1842), 61.

26. Forster to Stanley, September 28, 1841, PRO:CO267/170. Quoted in Metcalfe, Maclean of the Gold Coast, 280.

27. Anti-Slavery Reporter (November 2,1842), 180.

28. Calculated from the attendance figures in Report from the Select Committee on the West Coast of Africa, (1842), xii.

29. The Royal Navy's patrol vessels were easily "outsailed" by many of the slaving clippers. Dr. Madden had cited as evidence that the Black Jack, which had been the slaver Henriquetta, had captured nine of the eleven slavers taken between 1830 and 1832. Report from the Select Committee on the West Coast of Africa, 253; C. Lloyd, The Navy and the Slave Trade: The Suppression of the African Slave Trade in the Nineteenth Century (London and New York: Longmans, Green, 1949), 71 - 72.

30. An undated, barely legible note by "S" following letter addressed to Stanley from Dodson, Pollock & Follett, dated December 18, 1842, PRO: CO267/177; Hansard, September 29, 1841, col. 1004.

31. Anti-Slavery Reporter (November 2,1842), 173. See also R. R. Madden, The Slave Trade and Slavery (London:J. Madden and Co., 1843).

32. Madden, The Slave Trade and Slavery, especially 57 - 62. Madden had been a delegate to the 1840 Anti-Slavery Convention; he worked as a special correspondent for the Morning Chronicle from 1843 to 1846, when the newly elected Whig government appointed him colonial secretary of western Australia.

33. Lord Aberdeen (Secretary for War and the Colonies,1834-35; Foreign Secretary, 1841-46) had voted for the abolition of the trade in 1807, and his biographer claims that he "promised protection" for blacks while they served their apprenticeship - a part of the Emancipation processing the Caribbean. Muriel C. Chamberlain, Lord Aberdeen (London: Longmans, 1983), 373.

34. Lloyd, The Navy and the Slave Trade,97-98. Josephus Asiegbu alleges that Lord Aberdeen "encouraged Senor Buronto sue Denman for trespass the seizure of goods and four thousand slaves worth £180,000. . . and other claims . . .total £370,000." Josephus Asiegbu, Slavery and the Politics of Liberation (London: Longmans, 1969), 119. It was calculated that one thousand tons of goods had been landed at the "factories" that Denman had burned down on the Gallinas. An Exposition of the African Slave Trade by the Philadelphia Society of Friends, 14. Captain Theophilus Conneau, writing of the period 1843-46, states, "Many respectable merchants in Sierra Leone, Acora or Anamaboo daily sold all sorts of English manufactured good to noted slavers." Captain Theophilus Conneau, A Slaver's Log Book (1854; reprint, London, 1977), 332. On the Gallinas, see Adam Jones, From Slaves to Palm Kernels (Wiesbaden: F. Steiner, 1983).

35. House of Commons Journal, April 13,1840; October 5, 1841; June 9, 1843; House of Lords Journal, June 8,1841; July 18, 1842; Hansard, House of Lords, September 20, 1841, cols.1114 - 28.

36. Anti-Slavery Reporter (July 26, 1843),140.

37. Anti-Slavery Reporter (September 6,1843), 164. The Reporter carried verbatim transcripts of the debate.

38. See Eltis, Economic Growth, 108.

39. Blanco, described variously as being from Malaga or Cadiz, "maintained a flourishing establishment at the mouth of the Gallinas River. . . . He kept a stock of more than a thousand slaves in tenor a dozen barracoons on a series of marshy islands." And he employed seventeen Europeans and lived in great splendor and is said to have retired a millionaire. Daniel P. Mannix, in collabouration with Malcolm Cowley, Black Cargoes: A History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1518 - 1865 (New York : Viking Press, 1962), 231 - 32. Blanco used British merchants as his bankers: see, for example, Lord Glenelg to Governor Campbell of Sierra Leone, October 25, 1835, PRO:CO 267/139; 1842 PP XI, 631; the Rev. E. Maer sent to the Colonial Office copies of bills drawn by Blanco on "Fres Zulueta y Comp," Liverpool, to the order of G. Salgado, another slave trader (Maer to Lord Glenelg, July 14,1836, PRO: CO267/139). See also Conneau, A Slaver's Log Book, 244.Conneau recounts events of 1836-37, noting, "Mr Blanco purchased to the amount of 5000$ in rum and tobacco, giving drafts on London for the same." On Conneau, see also Adam Jones, "Theophile Conneau at Galinhas," in History in Africa 8 (1981): 89 - 105.

40. Evidence of Captain Hill (1842) PP XI, pp.447 - 49 and 503 - 6. Captain Hill had been on an almost four-year tour of duty with the West Africa Squadron. On Martinez, see David A. Ross, "The Career of Domingo Martinez in the Bight of Benin 1833 - 64," in Journal of African History (1965), 79 - 90.

41. Evidence of Macaulay, ibid., 322 - 23.

42. 1842 PP XI, 679 - 84.

43. This is well over £2 million in today's currency. On the coast of West Africa, no trade except that in human beings was worth so much in the period 1820 - 40. I have found no evidence of Zulueta being involved in the palm oil trade.

44. 1842 PP XI, 285 - 93.

45. Slave Trade Papers (1840 PP XLVI),465 - 67. The Arrogante had been condemned with 332 slaves on board (1845PP XLIX, 591). She was then resold to her previous owner (acting through a local agent), renamed the Iberia, and eventually run onto a reef by a British "cruizer." Exposition of the African Slave Trade, by the Philadelphia Society of Friends, 19.

46. 1842 PP XI, 689.

47. This history is complied from material in the Select Committee report, the reports of the trial, and the papers relating to the condemnation of the Augusta.

48. Slave Vessels Arrived in Transatlantic Ports, PP XLIX, 622. Captain Conneau, one of Blanco's agents, referred to "the Russian Captain - a Spaniard and my intimate friend." Conneau, A Slaver's Log Book, 270. The information that "the use of the Russian flag is becoming rapidly more general in the protection of Spanish slave vessels" was reported in Slave Trade Papers, PP 1839, Class D Correspondence#6, Report by Lt. J. L. R. Holl, February 13, 1839. For details of the Russian ownership, see PP 1841 (I), XXX #51, report from Sierra Leone, May 13, 1839,77 - 81.

49. Consul to H. B. Swabey, Admiralty Registrar, May 21, 1849, PRO: HCA18/172/48.

50. David R. Murray, Odious Commerce: Britain, Spain, and the Abolition of the Cuban Slave Trade (Cambridge, England, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 47. Zachary Macaulay was appointed secretary of the Sierra Leone Co. as well as of the African Institute; nephew Thomas became a Liberal M.P. in 1830; he was appointed to the Supreme Council of India by the East India Co., 1834 - 38.

51. The BFASS report of Zulueta's trial includes a list of the Augusta's cargo: 45 per cent was cotton goods and 25 per cent was guns and gunpowder.

52. Transcript of judgment, dated May 28, 1842,PRO: PCAP1/70, no. 79.

53. 1842 PP XI, 505.

54. C. E. Trevelyan to Viscount Canning, June25, 1841, PRO: T28/98; a copy was sent to J. Stephen, the Colonial Office's undersecretary. What the particular "case" was I have not been able to discover.

55. Dodson, Pollock & Follett to Lord Stanley, February 18, 1842, PRO: CO267/177. Sir William Webb Follett was appointed solicitor general for 1834 - 35, 1841, and again in 1844. From 1841 to 1844 he served as attorney general.

56. R.(?) Rothery, the King's Proctor, to Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, February 15, 1842, PRO: HCA37/15.

57. G. Maule to G. Stephen, March 15, 1842, PRO:TS2/43, f.165. George Maule was assistant solicitor general from 1817 to 1818 and solicitor general from 1819 to 1851.

58. For Jennings's appeal, see Ecclesiastical & Admiralty Appeals, Reports and Orders, Privy Council 1842 - 44 and "Jennings against the Queen" (Brig Augusta)," December 28, 1842, no.79, PRO: PCAP1/79) G. Stephen to R. Rothery, April 10, 11, and 12, 1843, PRO: HCA37/15. See also BFASS, The Trial of Pedro de Zulueta (London: Ward and Co., 1844), iii - iv.

59. G. Maule to F. Pollock, May 26, 1843, PRO:TS2/43, f.502.

60. PRO: TS2/44, f.36, G. Maule to C. E. Trevelyan, July 11, 1843: "I have considered the same [a letter from Mr. Rothery] with the accompanying papers herewith returned and have thought it right to submit the case to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General."

61. H. R. Reynolds, assistant solicitor to J. Stephen of the Colonial Office, September 29, 1843, PRO: TS2/44, f.121; C.E. Trevelyan to Viscount Canning, July 17, 1843, PRO: TS28/99, 297, no. 14989.

62. BFASS, The Trial of Pedro de Zulueta, iv; G. Maule to G. Stephen, August 24, 1843, PRO: TS2/44, f.189.

63. For example, The Patriot (September 28, 1843) asked why the attorney general had not brought the case. Was the Colonial Office the obstacle? "There has been a very suspicious reluctance manifested in certain quarters to take any effective measures. How long will foreign nations consent to our seizing their vessels for acts which we allow British subjects to commit with impunity? How can France and America be expected to execute or observe Treaties for the suppression of the slave trade, while the British Minister in Downing Street is found throwing the shield of official protection over notorious delinquency?"

64. Barnardos, indicted with Zulueta, could not be found.

66. The summary of the trial is compiled from the transcripts published by the BFASS and Zulueta, as well as from the Old Bailey Sessional Papers for the trial.

67. Fitzroy Kelly was the best that money could buy: grandson of Col. Kelly of East India Co. fame and fortune, he was also an M.P.; he became solicitor, then attorney general, and retired as chief baron of the Exchequer. Sir J. F. Pollock, the attorney general, also had East India Co. connections: his brother George was the government director on the board of the company. The main ingredient of gunpowder was imported into Britain by the company.

68. BFASS, The Trial of Pedro de Zulueta, 49 - 50. This argument is used today regarding the shipment of arms to certain countries.

69. The court had to be adjourned until Monday, October 30. The court officers were sworn "to keep the jury in a convenient and private place." The jury, composed mainly of tradesmen, was thus taken to attend chapel; then they "returned to the London Coffee-house, then proceeded by omnibus to the Brunswick Tavern, Blackwall, by a circuitous route . . .where at three o'clock they dined, and returned to the London Coffee-house by half-past six to tea." (PRO: CRIM6/4, case 391; Illustrated London News (April 11, 1843); Morning Chronicle (October 31, 1843). As these proceedings are mentioned in such detail in a newspaper, were they somewhat unusual? Who had paid? At the conclusion of the case, the jury foreman "begged leave to return thanks to all the persons connected with the court for the great kindness and attentions they had received." BFASS, The Trial of Pedro de Zulueta, 73.

70. I have not been able to discover if Justice Maule and G. Maule of the Treasury were related. This was Sir William Henry Maule, judge in the Court of Common Pleas and member of the judicial committee of the Privy Council.

71. BFASS, The Trial of Pedro de Zulueta, 63 - 69.

72. The Times (London), October 31, 1843; Illustrated London News, November 4, 1843; Morning Chronicle, October 31, 1843; Annual Register 1843, 395 - 98.

73. The Patriot, November 9, 1843, and November 30, 1843.

77. The Morning Herald, November 7, 1843.

80. Zulueta's relationship with the agent appears to have gone beyond the confines of insurance. When Zulueta, as owner of the Arrogante, appointed Martinez in Cuba to act as his agent in selling the vessel, the power of attorney had been witnessed by the same man, Sam Birkley. Slave Trade Correspondence, Class B, 1839, 1840 PP XLVI, 465 - 67.

81. The Times (London), October 30, 1843; Pedro de Zulueta, Trial of Pedro de Zulueta (London, 1844), vx.

82. Thomas, The Slave Trade, 41, 280, 676.

83. Slave Trade Correspondence Class B 1839, 1840 PP XLVI, 465 - 67.

84. Prospectus of the Peninsular Steam Navigation Co., 1834. In 1866 Zulueta resigned his directorship because of frequent absences in Spain. His eldest son, Don Brodie Manuel de Zulueta y Willcox, Conde deTorre Diaz, is listed among the members of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in London in 1889. Tamini, Anglo-Spanish-Portuguese-Brazilian Directory (London, 1889).

85. I am grateful to Pauline Cass of the Liverpool Record Office for this information. There is no information on Zulueta & Co., or Brodie Willcox at the record office.

86. 1842 PP XI,.679; Kent's Original London Directory, 1827; Merchant Shippers of London, 1868; Pigot & Slater's Commercial Directory (London, 1843); Boyd Cable, A Hundred Years of the P&O (London, 1937).

87. Baring Brothers were also bankers to Caetano Josť Nozolini, the main slave dealer at Bissau. Thomas, The Slave Trade, 683 - 84.

88. Thomas, The Slave Trade, 645 - 46. See also Eltis, Economic Growth, 149 - 50, 160 - 62, 202; A Gallenga, The Pearl of the Antilles (1873; reprint, New York, 1970), 101.

89. It is not known whether Arthur was related to the Anderson brothers, who were the slave traders ensconced on Bence Island in the estuary of the Sierra Leone River c.1784 - 1807 (at the earliest). Thomas, The Slave Trade, 340, 555.

90. Moore's Reports of Cases Heard by the Privy Council, 2:1837 38. This is the same Follett whose legal advice had been sought by Stanley regarding the Madden report.

91. Cable, A Hundred Years of the P&O. On Anderson's and Willcox's political and commercial connections with Spain and Portugal, see also David Divine, These Splendid Ships: The Story of the Peninsular and Oriental Line (London: F. Muller, 1960).

92. Morning Herald (September 22, 1843), 7; this paper carried columns of report on the trial.

93. There is some discussion of these issues in the following works: Howard Temperley, British Anti-Slavery (London, 1972); Seymour Drescher, Capitalism and Antislavery: British Mobilization in Comparative Perspective (Basingstoke, 1986); Eltis, Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

94. Pedro de Zulueta, Trial of Pedro de Zulueta, xxiii, liii, lxv, lxvi, lxviii, lxx.

95. Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (1944; reprint, London: A. Deutsch, 1964), 172.

96. Calculated from B. R. Mitchell, Abstract of British Historical Statistics (Cambridge, England, 1963), table 11;B. K. Drake, "Liverpool's African Commerce Before and After Abolition" (master's thesis, Liverpool, 1974), 124. See also Drake's "Continuity and Flexibility in Liverpool's Trade with Africa and the Caribbean," Business History (1976): 85 - 97. "Legitimate" trade usually refers to palm oil; much of this was grown and transported by slaves. For an example of slavery at the turn of the twentieth century, see Henry W. Nevinson, A Modern Slavery (1906; reprint, New York: Schocken Books, 1963).

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