An example of the Questions and Answers asked of a the Master following

the capture of a vessel that may be involved in the slave trade, and his answers.

Q A [with the aid of an interpreter]
Is the above your name as you have written it ? Yes
Of what country are you a subject ? I am African, but a Portuguese subject, born at Princes [Island].
What is the name of the vessel you command ? Donna Francisca
Of what nation is she ? Portuguese
Where were you bound and from whence did you come, when detained by the Water Witch ? I was sailing from Princes [Island] to St Thomas [Island] and from thence to Benguala.
What was the object of your voyage ? I had a cargo for Benguala.
Of what ? Ivory, wax and fish
When did you take the cargo in ? I took it in on the Coast of Cana after I left St Thomas’
What did you go to St Thomas’ for ? To land passengers.
Were they passengers in your passport ? No.
Where did you take the passengers in your passport ? At Princes Island, I landed 3 at St Thomas’ and took 3 from there.
What did you go to Cana for ? I went for Ivory and wood, and I also bought mats.
Did you lay in anything else there ? No.
How many water casks did you take in ? 8 only, of 28 gallons each, and four of 60 gallons each, and a small on for deck.
Of what tonnage is the Donna Francisca ? 15 tons
What was the object of buying mats ? Because they are the best market for Benguala
What are they generally used for ? Vessels of all nations buy them.
How many days had you left Princes when detained by the Water Witch ? I left Princes on the 8 Aug ; I stopped 10 days at St Thomas’ ; and 8 at Cana.
How long is the passage from Cana to Benguala ? A month and a half.
Is this the first voyage of the Donna Francisca ? The first voyage, she was built at Princes and finished about 5 months ago.
Who is the owner of the vessel ? Donna Francisca, my wife’s mother, who resides at Princes.
Were you trading on your own account ? For Donna Francisca.
Why did you take the farinha out of the bags and stow it in the interstices of the vessel ? It was intended for the sailors.
What made you take in so many water casks & why were they made in such manner as to fit exactly the hold of the vessel ? To ballast the vessel, and for room for the men to sleep on the vessel being very sharp she has stone ballast under – I had no cargo.
What cargo did you intend taking at Benguala ? Fish, wax and ivory.
Were you bound to Cana when you left Princes ? No.
Were you going to Benguala without a cargo ? Yes, but my brother sent for me to Benguala to bring fish and ivory.
Did your brother direct you to buy the mats ? No.
Are there other vessels like yours building at Princes ? Two, but not like this having more beam & larger.
Have you ever been taken prisoner before ? No.
Did you not go to Sierra Leone I the Fair Rosamonde ? Yes, I was a passenger in a vessel taken by the Fair Rosamonde.
Was that vessel condemned at Sierra Leone ? Yes, because she had slaves.
What others besides yourself were taken to Sierra Leone ? Only the Captain, myself and the cook, who later died.
Are you a mariner yourself ? No, I’m a merchant.
Have you made any other voyage in a slave ship ? Only the one taken to Sierra Leone.
Were you examined before the Court at Sierra Leone ? Yes.
What became of the rest of the crew belonging to the vessel taken by the Fair Rosamonde ? They were left at Princes.
Why were you taken being only a passenger ? Because I was the supercargo engaged in the Slave Trading, this was about 3 years ago.
Who sailed you vessel the Donna Francisca ? The pilot.
Are you aware the mats are always used for Slave Vessels ? Yes, but not in such a large quantity as I have.
Are you not aware that you are liable to seizure for having a large quantity of mats and water casks on board ? No.
Why were you so far out from the Coast when captured ? The mate said that we should be becalmed if too close to the land.

Antonio Barrete d'Almeide, being asked if he had anything to offer in defence, stated that he positively was not engaged in the Slave Trade.

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