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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Slavery in Cuba. A Report of the Proceedings of the Meeting, Held at the Cooper Institute. New York City, December 13, 1872.
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question. I am unwilling to say a single word that could wound the sensitiveness of the Spanish Government upon this subject, nor do Her Majesty's Government pretend in the slightest degree to interfere in the internal affairs of Spain, or to dictate any course of legislation to that Government, but they have a just claim, by virtue of the Treaty, to interfere on behalf of the emancipados, and if the Spanish Government neglect to take advantage of this opportunity of dealing with the question of slavery in Porto Rico, when their hands are so strengthened by the petition presented to Congress by the deputies from that island, and from other influential quarters, Her Majesty's Government can only reluctantly come to the conclusion that there is no further hope of any spontaneous action on the part of the Spanish Government in dealing with the matter, and they must consequently fall back upon their Treaty right in favor of the emancipados.
I leave entirely to your discretion the use that should be made of this despatch, and the time and mode of communicating its contents to the Spanish Government.
I am, &c.,
P.S.—I transmit to you a copy of a despatch, received since the above written, from the Acting British Counsul-General in Cuba, substantiating the statements above made concerning the emancipados.
Acting Consul-General Crawford to Earl Granville.—(Received November 13.)
(Extract.) Havana, October 24, 1871.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Hammond's despatch of the 13th ultimo, enclosing a translation of a letter from General Cordoba to Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affairs at Madrid, embodying the observations of the Captain-General of Cuba, upon some of Mr. Dunlap's statements respecting the condition and prospects of the negroes called "emancipados" in Cuba.
Upon careful revision of my Report upon this subject, contained in my despatch of the 28th of July last, I do not find anything to rectify, neither do I see that General Valmaseda's statements contradict that Report, except as regards the use of the lash.
His Excellency cannot answer for the acts of the late administration, and, as far as he is concerned, I have every reason to believe that he has adopted all possible means to prevent coercion in the contracts entered into by the emacipados; but in the Island of Cuba it is extremely difficult to guard against abuses, especially when it concerns an unfortunate class of negroes. The horrible treatment of the emancipados forms, indeed, a very dark page in the history of this island.
Whether the emancipado is allowed to exercise his own free will in the choice of a master, or not, does not in any way alter the injustice practiced toward him in denying him his liberty—in binding him to serve for a term of years without the certainty of freedom, after all—and in
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