No. 484.
Mr. Vidal to Mr. Hunter.

No. 31.]

Sir: I have the honor to send you herewith inclosed, marked No. 1, A, (with its translation in English, B,) an article from the Italian newspaper, the Malta Couriere Mercantile, in regard to the slave traffic from Tripoli to Constantinople.

It is unnecessary for me to observe that the article from which ever pen it may proceed, is intended as a blind, acknowledging, as it does, the traffic when it cannot be concealed any longer, but giving a praiseworthy part to the Constantinople police. It may be that it suited the Turkish strategy of the rulers of Constantinople to free the ten slaves alluded to in that article and arrest their owners; but it is not the less true that the slave traffic in Constantinople is carried on by high and low people; that there are this day, perhaps, fifty thousand slaves or more in that capital, and that a thousand of these were brought from Tripoli to the full knowledge of the British consul, the Turkish authorities of the place, and with their own connivance.

I am, &c.,

[Page 1145]
[Inclosure 1, B.—Translation.]

In spite of the efforts of the Constantinople police to prevent the slave traffic, it continues to be carried on with a perseverance worthy of a better cause. A short time ago another vessel left Tripoli of Barbary having on board twenty-five young slaves of both sexes to be sold in Smyrna and Constantinople. They succeeded in selling fifteen in Smyrna, where the authorities seemed to proceed with less severity than in the capital, and the vessel proceeded to Constantinople with the balance of its human cargo. But the police having vent of it, went on board and arrested the two dealers in human flesh, and brought the ten slaves found on board to the prefecture, where they received their emancipation papers. The authority will provide for their support until they can procure them a free and respectable position. Those Africans were brought to Constantinople, as it is alleged, by express order of a cadi just returned from Tripoli, where he was in charge of a judicial office. That man intended to keep them in Constantinople as slaves.

O. T.