General Schenck to Mr. Fish.
London, August 23, 1873. (Received September 9.)
Sir: In my No. 448 of the 16th ultimo, I gave you a full report of my conversation with Earl Granville in relation to the increase, without notice to traders, of the duties on rum and tobacco at British settlements on the Gold Coast of Africa. On that same day I sent him a note, communicating, as a succinct statement of the grievance complained of, an extract from the letter of Mr. Bartlett, of Boston, to the Secretary of the Treasury.
On the 29th of July Lord Granville replied, acknowledging the receipt of my note, and informing me that its contents had been communicated to the proper department of Her Majesty’s government, and that he would have the pleasure on a future occasion of addressing me further on the subject.
I have since received from his lordship another note, dated the 13th instant, in which he states that the secretary of state for the colonies has requested the governor in chief of the West African settlements to report whether any remission should be made in the case of goods indented for before the passing of the ordinance increasing the duties. At the same time his lordship informs me, with regard to certain of Mr. Bartlett’s allegations, that not only was the stipend which was formerly paid to the King of Ashantee not stopped upon the transfer of Elmina to the British government, but the King was informed by Mr. Pope [Page 485] Hennessy that it would be doubled as an additional proof of friendship, and that no territory was purchased from the Dutch government, the only payment made to them being in respect of stores left behind in the forts.
I wait now, of course, and the question rests, until a report can be had through Her Majesty’s colonial office from the coast of Africa. In the mean time, as I suggested to you in my No. 448, the trade to that quarter must be greatly affected or interrupted by other causes.
The war on the Gold Coast continues. The Ash an tees appear to have overrun, and to hold possession of, nearly all the British territory, and that which has been occupied by Her Majesty’s allies, the Fautees. The British forces are shut up in their fortified defenses at Elmina and in Cape Coast Castle. In these circumstances there can be, I should think, very little trade or communication with the natives in the interior of the country.
I am, &c.,