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[176] us such slaves as had escaped from our coast to her cruisers, during the progress of the war.1 And, under this treaty, after a tedious controversy, Great Britain--refusing, of course, to surrender persons who had fled from her enemies to her protection — was compelled, in 1818, on the award of Alexander I. of Russia to pay over to us no less than twelve hundred thousand dollars, to be divided among our bereft slaveholders. Before this sum was received (1826-7), our Government had made application to the British for a mutual stipulation, by treaty, to return fugitives from labor. But, though Great Britain, through her colonies, was then a slave-holding nation, she peremptorily declined the proposed reciprocity. The first application for such a nice arrangement was made by Mr. Gallatin, our Minister at London, under instructions from Mr. Clay, as Secretary of State, dated June 19, 1826. On the 5th of July, 1827, Mr. Gallatin communicated to his Government the final answer of the British Minister, that “it was utterly impossible for them to agree to the stipulation for the surrender of fugitive slaves ;” and, when the application was renewed through our next Minister, Mr. James Barbour, the British Minister conclusively replied that “the law of Parliament gives freedom to every slave who effects his landing on British ground.” Yet a Democratic House of Representatives, in 1828, (May 10), requested the President
To open a negotiation with the British Government, in the view to obtain an arrangement, whereby fugitive slaves, who have taken refuge in the Canadian provinces of that Government, may be surrendered by the functionaries thereof to their masters, upon making satisfactory proof of their ownership of said slaves.

A Presidential Election was then imminent, and neither party willing to provoke the jealousy of the Slave Power: so this disgraceful resolve passed the House without a division.

In 1826, Joel R. Poinsett, our Minister to Mexico, acting under instructions from Mr. Clay, negotiated with the Mexican Government a treaty for the mutual restoration of runaway slaves, but the Mexican Senate refused to ratify it. In 1831 (January 3), the brig Comet, a regular slaver from the District of Columbia, on her voyage to New Orleans, with a cargo of 164 slaves, was lost off the island of Abaco. The slaves were saved, and carried into New Providence, a British port, whose authorities immediately set them at liberty. And in 1833 (February 4), the brig Encomium, from Charleston to New Orleans with 45 slaves, was also wrecked near Abaco, and the slaves, in like manner, carried into New Providence, and there declared free. In February, 1835, the Enterprise, another slaver from the Federal District, proceeding to Charleston with 78 slaves, was driven in distress into Bermuda, where the slaves were immediately set at liberty. After long and earnest efforts on the part of our Government, the British Cabinet reluctantly consented to pay for the cargoes of the Comet and Encomium, expressly on the grounds that Slavery

1 “Art. I. All territory, places, and possessions whatever, taken from either party by the other, during the war, or which may be taken after the signing of this treaty, shall be restored without delay; and without causing any destruction struction or the carrying away of the artillery, or other public property originally captured in said forts or places, and which shall remain upon the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, or any slaves, or other private property.”

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