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are more inclined to take it quietly, but will want watching closely.
Several of the natives left the place, and took their property with them, owing to the Chiefs' threats that they would fight sooner than give in; but all are now returning, and, with the exception of an occasional fire in the town (supposed by some of the residents to be the work of an incendiary, with the hope of the fire spreading to the houses of the whites, in which supposition I do not quite agree), all is quiet.
No. 11.-Acting Consul McCoskry to Earl Russell.-(Rec. Dec. 12.)
I HAVE the honour to report the arrival here, on the 16th ultimo, of Commodore Edmonstone in Her Majesty's ship Arrogant. At my request Commodore Edmonstone had an interview with King Docemo on board Her Majesty's ship Prometheus, and explained to him the objects of the Government in wishing to put Lagos under British jurisdiction; he pointed out the advantages that would accrue to the whole population, and urged him to assist in executing the laws as they would henceforth be administered.
I am glad to say that since this interview with the Commodore, Docemo and his people have been much more docile, and he has on several ocasions used his influence to cause the natives to submit to our jurisdiction.
The Brune gun-boat has been condemned as unserviceable, and the Prometheus will remain in the river till a vessel arrives to take her place. I have, &c.
No. 12.-King Docemo to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. MADAM, King's Palace, Lagos, January 10, 1862. THE King of Lagos' compliments to Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain:
And herewith beg to forward Her Majesty with some past events, as well as the present.
That some years since the usurper, Prince Kosoko, had possession of the Throne of Lagos, without right, but with power and mischief, and would not submit to the request of Her Majesty. He was expelled from the Island of Lagos, and the late King Akitoye, my father, through the assistance of your Majesty's Representative, reinstated to his Throne.
As soon as he was reinstated, forgiveness was offered to the followers of Kosoko, on condition that they surrender, and acknowledge allegiance to the King, thereby claiming his clemency. In reliance on this many returned to Lagos and surrendered themselves;
the principal of them were Chief Possa and Ajeniya, who, in like manner, submitted themselves with their people.
As the late King was a Prince of known clemency he did not deny them the promised forgiveness; but notwithstanding all these kindness the two mentioned Chiefs (through the instigation of Kosoko, who is living at some distance) raised their arms against the late King, with the intention of taking his life, if possible, that Kosoko might claim the Throne.
But Providence did not suffer it to happen; the late King has been promptly assisted by Her Majesty's naval force, and these rebels were again driven away; and Kosoko, who have been sent for by the said Chiefs prior to their rebellion, having arrived during the time of the fighting, with his war-people, was also repulsed with his troops.
This led the late King to make a solemn Declaration, that so long as Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain is on his behalf, as well as on behalf of his successors, these rebels will no more step on the island of Lagos.
After the late King's death, I Docemo, as the rightful heir to the Throne, has been enabled, through Her Majesty's Representative, to possess the same.
On my accession I ratified the Declaration aforesaid. The Representative of Her Majesty then proceeded to Epé, where Kosoko resides, and get Kosoko, with his principal Chiefs, to sign a Treaty, to the effect that they will not, for the future, return to Lagos. But on December 9, 1861, Commander Bedingfeld wrote to inform me that his old friend, Tappa by name, who is Prime Minister to Kosoko, is about to pay him a friendly visit on board Her Majesty's ship Prometheus, and that he will be under Commander Bedingfeld's protection during his stay on the island of Lagos.
The King have not given Commander Bedingfeld a reply to this ere Tappa's arrival to the town was announced, which was on the 14th instant.
During Tappa's visit and interviews with the King it became evident that Commander Bedingfeld has invited Tappa to come to Lagos, previous to his informing the King, in violation of the aforementioned Treaty.
Notwithstanding this, the King entertained Tappa and his followers, as becometh so high a personage, when Commander Bedingfeld accompanied Tappa over to the Palace on the 16th instant.
Previous to the dismissal Commander Bedingfeld told the King that they will call on him the following day, on particular matter. On the 18th of the same month they called, when Commander Bedingfeld told the King that they wished to have Tappa at Lagos,
as the Consul for the people at Epé, and that whether the King is pleased to it. He agreed to the same, and spoke to Tappa personally, that he will be glad to receive him if he is willing to reside on the island of Lagos. The King further spoke to Commander Bedingfeld that his wishes is that peace and prosperity might flourish throughout his territories.
When, to the King's astonishment, Tappa stood up, and said that he will not come to Lagos without Kosoko.
That when he (Tappa) was invited to come to Lagos it was publicly at Epé, by Commander Bedingfeld, as follows:
We (that is, the British) have now taken Lagos; you may come whenever you like (it may be well to remark that Commander Bedingfeld has visited Epé in last, 1861). To which Commander Bedingfeld replied, that they will not bring Kosoko to Lagos at present.
This speech make the dealings of Commander Bedingfeld with the King appear suspicious.
This Kosoko, who would not submit to the request nor take the advice of Her Majesty's Representatives when he was on the Throne, but always ready to show his power and treat Her Majesty's Representatives with contempt, was, on that account, expelled from the island of Lagos and banished to Epé, where he is at present, with a strict order not to be seen on the island of Lagos any more.
That your Majesty is very anxious to uphold the observance of Treaty stipulations, the King of Lagos rely on a full confidence that Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain will not suffer permit Kosoko to return to the island of Lagos.
For this Kosoko's dreadful actions and cruel treatment are observed in many instances.
During the time of the civil war with the late King Akitoye, as soon as the late King left the island Kosoko cruelly murdered the parents of many children who are now grown up into age, and will avail the first opportunity to revenge, if possible; he cut asunder many infants, and throw into the river many alive persons; butchered many Prince and Princess of the late King.
These and many other cruel deeds, which would tingle the ears and make the blood run cold to describe.
The King wants nothing but peace and tranquillity to reign throughout his lands.
But Commander Bedingfeld daily occasions dissatisfaction, which does not become one that seeks the interest of the country, and a Representative of your Majesty's Government.
The King hopes this few statements will meet Her Majesty and Royal family in a pleasant health. May Heaven grant Her Majesty's heart's desire, the civilization of Africa, and continue to be
the African's guide and protector, is the prayer of your Majesty's obedient and faithful friend.
No. 18.-Acting Consul McCoskry to Earl Russell.-(Rec. Feb. 10.) MY LORD, Lagos, January 7, 1862. I HAVE the honour to inclose the returns of produce, as far as I have been able to obtain them, of the exports from the several ports in the Bight of Benin.
The return from Lagos, Palma, and Badagry can only be regarded as correct, the means of communication between here and the other ports not enabling me to get more than an approximation to the truth.
Whydah alone is now to be looked upon as the slave-exporting station. Shipments may occasionally be made at other places, but the slaves will in most cases be found to have collected there.
At Aghwey and Popoe a civil war interrupts legitimate com. merce, but I have heard of no slaves being shipped there of late. There is a decrease of the exports of produce owing to the general disturbed state of the countries in the Bight of Benin. I have, &c.
(Inclosure.)-Return of the Exports from Lagos, from July 1 to December 31, 1861; and January 1 to June 30, 1861.
No. 14.-Consul Freeman to Earl Russell.—(Received April 12.) (Extract.) Lagos, March 8, 1862.
I HAVE the honour to report to your Lordship that, after several lengthened discussions with Docemo and his Chiefs, I have terminated to their satisfaction all the questions arising out of the Treaty of Cession signed on the 6th of August last.
I should have settled everything immediately on my arrival but I encountered a strong opposition from Docemo and his Chiefs, who even went so far as to declare that they were forced into signing the Treaty of Cession without understanding its contents. Knowing this to be false, as at the formal signing of the Treaty there were present many people perfectly conversant with both the English and Yoruba languages, I endeavoured to ascertain the source of these new difficulties, and I soon discovered that they were caused by White-capped Chiefs. These Chiefs are the rightful possessors of the land upon which they depend for their subsistence. Whenever war breaks out, and the King is attacked, they retire into the bush, to return again when peace is re-established, and are then acknowledged by the victors as the legal owners of the soil. Thus the King and war-men hold no lands unless by grant from the White-capped Chiefs.
These Chiefs had been persuaded by certain parties, whether maliciously or through ignorance it is difficult to ascertain, that the cession of Lagos to the British Crown involved the abrogation of all private rights of property, and they, therefore protested that the King could not give away their lands, and that they did not understand such to be the meaning of the Treaty when it was signed. Hence the origin of their holding back from a final settlement.
On the 11th ultimo I received the King and his Chiefs at my house, and detailed to them the reasons which induced Her Majesty's Government to obtain the cession of this island; pointed out the changes which will result therefrom, and explained to them that far from depriving them of their private property, the cession will render it more valuable to them.
They declared they had never viewed the question in that light before, and they left my house quite satisfied. Two days after the King came again in the evening, and signed an additional paragraph to the Treaty, by which he agrees to receive in compensation for the revenue he gives up, an annual pension of 1,200 bags of cowries, equal, at the present rate of exchange, to 1,0307. sterling. Earl Russell. W. P. W. FREEMAN.