File No. 822.5048/1.

The Secretary of State to the American Minister.

No. 10.]

Sir: The Department encloses herewith, for your information, a copy of a personal note from the British Ambassador relating to the alleged traffic at Iquitos in slaves from the Napo river region of Ecuador.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
John E. Osborne.

The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State.

Dear Mr. Secretary: Sir E. Grey desires me to bring to your notice the following information which has just reached him in regard to the alleged traffic [Page 524] at Iquitos of slaves from the Napo region of Ecuador. You will recollect that a note on this subject was addressed to me by Mr. Moore (No. 85) on July 21.

A copy of the despatch from His Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires at Quito, which was forwarded to you in my note No. 183 of July 5th, was also sent to the British Consul at Iquitos, who was instructed to furnish a report on the subject. The Consul has now replied that, as stated by Mr. Jerome, some rubber hunters, mostly not Peruvians and working independently, have brought about four hundred Indians through Iquitos during the last two years. In the Consul’s opinion these Indians are slaves inasmuch as they are practically the absolute property of the rubber hunters; but they are not necessarily ill-treated or unhappy. They are not sold to others but accompany their owners. There is now on the lower Napo a party of one hundred to one hundred and fifty Indians, owned by an Italian born in Ecuador, which is expected to arrive at Iquitos about October. Our Consul thinks that it should be possible to enforce regulations for the prevention of such traffic, as all these parties pass through Iquitos.

I venture to suggest that this information may be of use to the United States Legation at Quito in connection with the report you have called for on the subject.

I am [etc.]

Cecil Spring-Rice.