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MARCH, 1861.   DOUGLASS' MONTHLY.  425
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Sec. 8.  The first and second clauses of the first section of the second article of the Constitution shall read as follows:

The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.  The President and Vice President shall hold their offices for the term of six years, and shall be ineligible to the office of President for the ensuing six years after having performed the duties of President, and shall be elected as follows:

The Legislature of each State, at its first session after any Federal census, shall divide said State into as many Congressional districts as it shall be entitled to Representatives in Congress;  which districts shall be as compact in form, and as nearly equal in population, as practicable.  In each of said districts, one elector of President and Vice President shall be chosen by the people thereof having the qualifications requisite for electors of representatives in Congress;  and, in addition, two electors for the State at large shall be chosen by the members of the Legislature, assembled in joint convention for that purpose, on the day appointed by Congress.
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SECRET HISTORY OF THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE.

A recent number of New York Evening Post contains a long article on this barbarous traffic, written by one of its able correspondents, from which we take the following extracts:

An organized company exists in the city of Havana, with a capital of $1,000,000, whose sole business is to import negroes into the island of Cuba.  Nine-tenths of the slaves imported are brought in vessels owned by this company, at the head of which is a Spaniard well known in that city-a large merchant-who conducts all its affairs.  His manner of proceeding is this:

He writes to his correspondent in New York to purchase a vessel and procure a master.  This correspondent is probably Mr. ___, a naturalized citizen of the U.S., who places the business in the hands of Mr. ___, a 'facile' ship broker.  This last gentleman obtains the vessel-not too large or too expensive, in order to divide the risk of capture among several with the same amount of capital employed!  And, with as little difficulty, he procures a captain; indeed, so well established is this business, and so well understood, that even the U.S. Marshals might see, if it were not unfortunately true that there are those so 'blind that they will not see.'

The ship bought for cash, the ownership is sworn to, in order to get a register, by this naturalized citizen and his captain.  The next thing is to load and clear her from the Custom House.  Not many months ago this was as easy matter.  The American bark 'Wildfire,' since captured with 500 negroes on board, was loaded in broad daylight with a regular slave cargo, at a pier on the East river, and, to the astonishment of the 'longshoremen in that vicinity, went to sea in tow of a steam-tug direct for Africa.  Everybody knew it except the U.S. Marshal.  A person told me, who I know is well versed in these matters, that for these little 'sins of omission' some convenient friend of the above-mentioned officer was in the habit of receiving a check, payable to bearer, for $1,000.

In this way some seventy vessels are said to have sailed from the port of New York after cargoes of slaves, since 1st January last!

CLEARANCE OF SLAVERS AT HAVANA.

The vessel now takes a legal cargo to Havana, and, opportunely for the prosperity of this traffic, a recent decision of Mr. Attorney-General Black, at the suggestion, I believe, of the American Consul at Havana, relieves the latter gentleman, after the arrival of the vessel in that port, of all responsibility in reference to the legality of her future course.  To those acquainted with the government officials in Havana, their sympathy with this trade and their natural affinity to bribery and corruption, it need not be told how easily such a
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clearance can be obtained (a captain informed me that his clearance cost him six ounces-$102)  Our consul at Havana informed me that within the last twenty days he had passed through his office the clearances of eight American vessels which he KNEW were going after negroes.

PREPARING FOR A VOYAGE.

In the first place the ship takes in a new cargo, which consists of articles used in the purchase of the slaves and their subsistence on the homeward trip, viz:  barrels of bread, tierces of rice, puncheons of rum, beans, jerked beaf, tobacco, vinegar, powder, &c., together with lumber for the slave decks.  (Specie is seldom sent out.)  Next the crew is shipped, consisting usually of men of every nation :-  these men agree to go the voyage upon terms that are well understood-so much advance, (say $50,) and one and a half dollars per man for every negro landed in Cuba.  In addition to the captain, mate and second mate, there comes on board a sallow-faced, gloomy Spaniard, who is generally Don Jose, or Don Somebodyelse, whose frequent voyages to 'the coast' are written in every line of his face. -  He is the 'sobrecargo,' the great factotum and transactor-as when boarded by an American man-of-war-he hoists the Spanish flag and is the Spanish captain.

After this important character comes another man, called the 'contra maestro,' or boatswain.  He is the 'nigger driver,' the brute who manages and beats into submission the human cargo on its homeward trip;  none but a Spaniard could look or be so cruel as he is.  The ship's cargo and crew are now complete, and having 'cleared' from the Custom House and the American consulate, she sails out of port some bright morning with the American flag, that beautiful emblem of liberty to the oppressed, flaunting in the breeze, and speeds on a mission the horrors and cruelties of which my pen cannot describe.

The outward voyage will occupy about forty-five days.  How this is employed by the captain and his incongruous crew I am unprepared to say; [[missing text]] speculations on their probable gains, and guesses as to how many 'damn niggers' will die before they land in Cuba, each one being worth to the meanest and vilest of this crew one dollar and a half.

AT THE CONGO.

But arrived in the river Congo, you perhaps imagine the dark night, the thick jungle and the stealthy tread of the man-stealer as the necessary adjuncts of this traffic.  Quite the reverse, sir;  the ship sails unmolested some thirty miles up the river, and with all the bustle of a new arrival, hauls into a pier opposite the 'factory' and warehouse belonging to the Havana Company, which I before mentioned.  The resident agent comes on board, and warmly welcomes his old friend the 'sobrecargo,' and after being introduced and taking 'a drink' with the captain, they adjourn on shore to a comfortable dinner, where, over their wine, they discuss the price of rum and the price of niggers.

In the meanwhile, on the wharf there assembles the most promiscuous crowd of men that perhaps you ever saw, the result of captures by men-of-war on the coast, and landed at convenient points, in order that they may be again taken with full cargoes, and thus over and over again put prize money in the pockets of her Brittanic Majesty's naval officers.  These men are the outcasts of all civilization - desperadoes, murderers, pirates - Chinese, Portuguese, native Africans, English, Dutch, devils!  As our ship left Havana with a small crew, to save appearances, a fit addition is made to it from these 'experts' in the abominable trade.

The next day, perhaps, a man-of-war steams up the river-for she has a coal depot opposite this very warehouse-and our captain receives a visit from her, cheerfully shows his regular manifest and clearance, certified by the American consul at Havana, and hoists his American flag, and sends back to the steamer a box of very good Havana cigars and a case of good brandy.  Then the steamer
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sails away-perhaps to watch him at sea - for their is no prize money of any account in a vessel unless the negroes are on board!

He begins at once to discharge his cargo into the warehouse, and to receive from there empty casks, which were puncheons of rum brought by the preceding vessel of the company.  These he places in the hold, to be filled with water from the river, and beside them he stows his barrels of provisions, and over all he lays his 'slave deck' upon temporary beams-the lumber for which he brought from Havana with him.

His water full, his provisions are stowed, and his extra cooking-stove on board from the warehouse, he reports himself ready for sea, and the 'sobrecargo' informs him that he has had a chance to select a fine lot of seven hundred and fifty out of a thousand waiting for shipment, at a cost, in bad rum, of $50 a head!  Oh, this boasted Christian, civilized nineteenth century, which permits such a double-edged iniquity, the exchange of bad rum to ignorant barbarians for the blood and sweat of their own kith and kin!

SHIPPING THE NEGROES.

The agent now sends out his spies to report the mouth of the river all clear from cruisers, and with the first fair wind and ever-favoring current, the slaves are driven on board, naked as the day they were born, in one promiscuous huddle of men, women and children.  The lines are cast off, and without a word of farewell these sons and daughters of Africa are carried away from their native soil, never, under any circumstances, to see it again-never to unite the ties that day so rudely severed-to suffer the horrors of the 'middle passage,' during which at least one-third of them must die, and the remainder finally doomed to a bondage compared to which death is a blessing.  All this is done under the American flag, which, in the touching pathos of our national poetry, only 'waves o'er the free.'

A DAY ON BOARD A SLAVER.

A description of life on board for one day will answer for the voyage, usually about thirty-five days in length.  Our ship is one hundred feet long and thirty wide, and on her deck, and under her deck, and on her cabin and in her cabin, are stowed seven hundred and fifty human beings, so cramped and crowded that they can scarcely sit down when standing or stand up when sitting.

Early in the morning the crew lead a hose from the pump, and without regard to sex or condition, give each one a thorough bath, and then proceed to wash from the decks the accumulated filth and excrement of the previous day and night.  Each negro is then compelled to wash out his mouth with vinegar - this is done to prevent scurvy.  Now comes the morning meal, which consists of a pint of water and a quantity of boiled rice and beans.  After breakfast the doctor makes his rounds, pitches overboard the dead and the dying, and administers medicine to such as are not beyond the hope of recovery.  The principal diseases with which they have to contend are dysentery and ophthalmia, both of which are generally fatal, and both owing to confined space and foul atmosphere.

During the day the 'contra maestro' goes about among them with his whip; cows down the boldest, and silences the noisiest with his merciless lash, and sometimes selects the weakest, takes them to the least crowded space, and makes them dance to the tune of his cow-hide--to restore circulation!

Dinner consists of the same, with the occasional addition of scraps of jerked beef.  There is no change from this food during the voyage; at times, when the negroes appear despondent or weak, they are given a little rum.  At night they are compelled to lie down 'spoon fashion' (as a housekeeper places her spoons in a basket;)  a canvas covering is hauled over them, and it is impossible for them to change their position until the following morning.

But we will pass over all of the sickening details of a lengthened voyage, the excitement of a chase, (when the negroes are frequently suffocated under the hatches,) the 
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