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14 house, the necessary permit from the authorities for the transportation of the negroes, a passport, and all the other documents required by the law of Spain for navigating a vessel and for proving ownership of property: a circumstance particularly important in the opinion of the undersigned." Here your honors will observe the same distinction of "merchandise and negroes," which was made by the District Attorney, showing the universal sense of the difference between merchandise and persons. He goes on: "During the night of the 30th of said month, or about daybreak on the following day, the slaves rose upon the crew, and killed the captain, a slave of his and two sailors - sparing only two person, after ill-treating and wounding them, namely, Don Jose Ruiz and Don Pedro Montes: of whom the former was owner of forty-nine of the slaves, and the later of the other four. These they retained, that they might navigate the vessel and take her to the coast of Africa. Montes, availing himself of his knowledge of nautical affairs, and under favor of Divine Providence- 'the favor of Divine Providence!' - succeeded in directing the vessel to these shores. He was spoken by various vessels, from the captains of which the negroes bought provisions, but whom, it seems, he was unable to make known his distress, being closely watched. At length, by good fortune, he reached Long Island, where the 'Amistad' was detained by the American Brig-of-war 'Washington,' Captain Gedney, who, on learning the circumstances of the case, secured the negroes, and took them with the vessel to New London, in the state of Connecticut. "The conduct of that commander and his subalterns toward the unfortunate Spaniards has been that which was to be expected from gentlemen, and from officers in the service of an enlightened nation friendly to Spain. That conduct will be appreciated as it deserves by my august sovereign, and by the Spanish government, and will be reciprocated on similar occasions by the Spaniards- a people ever grateful for benefits received." [We shall see some proofs of Spanish gratitude, as we proceed in the case.] "The act of humanity thus performed would have been complete, had the vessel at the same time been set at liberty, and the negroes sent to be tried by proper tribunal, and by the violated laws of the country of which they are subjects. The undersigned is willing to believe that such would have been the case, 15 had the general government been able to interpose its authority in the first instance, as it has probably done during the short interval between the occurrence of this affair and the period when the undersigned received an authentic statement of the facts." This is what the Spanish minister demanded, that the vessel should be set at liberty, and the negroes sent to Cuba to be tried. And he is so confident in the disposition the United States in favor of this demand, that he even presumes the President of the United States had already immediately dispatched an order to the Court in Connecticut, to stay its proceedings and deliver up the negroes to the Government of Spain. What combination of ideas led to that conclusion in the mind of Mr. Calderon, I am not competent to say. He evidently supposes the President of the United States to possess what we understand by arbitrary power - the power to decide cases and to dispose of person and of property, [[italics]] mero motu [[/italics]], at his own discretion, and without the intervention of any court. What led him to this imagination I am unable to say. He goes on to say that the officers of the Washington, in the service of the United States, have presented to that [[italics]] incompetent Court [[/italics]], - the U.S district Court in Connecticut- a petition, claiming salvage: " a claim which, in view of existing treaties, the undersigned conceives cannot be allowed in the sense in which it is made." This is that most grateful nation! The deliverers of these two Spaniards, the representative of a most grateful nation insists, are not deserving of any recompense whatever! Now, I beg your Honors to see if there is, among all these specifications, any one demand that corresponds with that which the Secretary of State avers to have been made. He demands, 1st. That the vessel be immediately delivered up to her owner, together with every article found on board at the time of her capture by the Washington, without any payment being exacted on the score of salvage, or any charges made, other than those specified in the treaty of 1795, article 1st. Yet he had already said the captain, and owner, Ferrer, was killed. "2d. That it be declared that no tribunal in the United States had the right to institute proceedings against, or to impose penalties upon, the subjects of Spain, for crimes committed on board a Spanish vessel, in the water of Spanish territory."
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