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President Grant authorizes ratifications "...for the suppression of the African Slave Trade," 1870

President Grant authorizes ratifications "...for the suppression of the African Slave Trade," 1870

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President Grant authorizes John Lothrop Motley "to exchange the ratifications of the [Addition] Convention to the Convention of April 7. 1862 between Great Britain & the U.S. for the suppression of the African Slave Trade."

Although the United States and Great Britain passed laws officially abolishing the slave trade in 1807, they had difficulty enforcing the ban and persuading other nations to enter into treaties upholding it. As a result, the trade continued for some 60 years—one fourth of all slaves transported to the New World from the inception of the slave trade arrived after 1807.

To hasten the end of the slave trade, the United States and Great Britain signed the Treaty for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade in 1862. Ratified on April 7, it gave authority to the American and British navies to search and detain American or British merchant vessels suspected of involvement in the slave trade. It also established three Mixed Courts of Justice—in Sierra Leone, the Cape of Good Hope, and New York—to adjudicate the cases of seized vessels.

With the slave trade finally ended (the last shipment of slaves to the Americas occurred in 1867), the U.S. and Britain enacted an “Additional Convention” in 1870 to modify the 1862 treaty. Declaring that it was “no longer necessary to maintain the three Mixed Courts of Justice,” the new Convention for the Suppression of the Slave Trade abolishes the Mixed Courts, and establishes that future cases will be adjudicated by the regular maritime courts of each nation.

In this document, dated July 19, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant authorizes John Lothrop Motley, the U.S. Minister to Great Britain, to “exchange the ratifications of the Adddition [sic] Convention to the Convention of April 7, 1862 between Great Britain & the U.S. for the suppression of the African Slave Trade.” The document has significance as a record of the formal end of the transatlantic slave trade. The year 1870 is noted in the title of W.E.B. Dubois’s monumental work, The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870. And Grant himself comments on the 1870 Convention in his State of the Union Address delivered on December 5 of that year: “Since the adjournment of Congress the ratifications of the treaty with Great Britain for abolishing the mixed courts for the suppression of the slave trade have been exchanged. It is believed that the slave trade is now confined to the eastern coast of Africa, whence the slaves are taken to Arabian markets.”
President Grant authorizes John Lothrop Motley "to exchange the ratifications of the [Addition] Convention to the Convention of April 7. 1862 between Great Britain & the U.S. for the suppression of the African Slave Trade."

Although the United States and Great Britain passed laws officially abolishing the slave trade in 1807, they had difficulty enforcing the ban and persuading other nations to enter into treaties upholding it. As a result, the trade continued for some 60 years—one fourth of all slaves transported to the New World from the inception of the slave trade arrived after 1807.

To hasten the end of the slave trade, the United States and Great Britain signed the Treaty for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade in 1862. Ratified on April 7, it gave authority to the American and British navies to search and detain American or British merchant vessels suspected of involvement in the slave trade. It also established three Mixed Courts of Justice—in Sierra Leone, the Cape of Good Hope, and New York—to adjudicate the cases of seized vessels.

With the slave trade finally ended (the last shipment of slaves to the Americas occurred in 1867), the U.S. and Britain enacted an “Additional Convention” in 1870 to modify the 1862 treaty. Declaring that it was “no longer necessary to maintain the three Mixed Courts of Justice,” the new Convention for the Suppression of the Slave Trade abolishes the Mixed Courts, and establishes that future cases will be adjudicated by the regular maritime courts of each nation.

In this document, dated July 19, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant authorizes John Lothrop Motley, the U.S. Minister to Great Britain, to “exchange the ratifications of the Adddition [sic] Convention to the Convention of April 7, 1862 between Great Britain & the U.S. for the suppression of the African Slave Trade.” The document has significance as a record of the formal end of the transatlantic slave trade. The year 1870 is noted in the title of W.E.B. Dubois’s monumental work, The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870. And Grant himself comments on the 1870 Convention in his State of the Union Address delivered on December 5 of that year: “Since the adjournment of Congress the ratifications of the treaty with Great Britain for abolishing the mixed courts for the suppression of the slave trade have been exchanged. It is believed that the slave trade is now confined to the eastern coast of Africa, whence the slaves are taken to Arabian markets.”

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05/12/2014

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