As I’ve mentioned earlier, the slave trade was continuing illegally, though few slaves were reaching the U.S. Many were landed in Cuba, however. British and American warships patrolled the coast of Africa in an effort to intercept slavers. Numerous papers, including the New York Times, reported the capture of the Cora off Africa on September 30, 1860.
THE SLAVE-TRADE; The Bark Cora, of New-York, Captured on the African Coast. SEVEN HUNDRED AFRICANS ON BOARD, History of the Vessel and Her Movements List of Her Cargo.
UNITED STATES SHIP CONSTELLATION.
ST. PAUL DE LOANDO, Sunday, Sept. 30, 1860.
We arrived here this afternoon, after a cruise of 23 days’ duration off the coast, during which we have visited all the slave ports of importance from this place as far to the northward as Loango. Nothing very remarkable occurred until the evening of the 25th, being about 80 miles from the coast and to the southward of the congo river, when a sail was discovered about five miles to windward, steering northwest. We made all sail, and after three-and-a-half hours’ chase succeeded in overhauling her, firing four 32-pound shot before she hove-to. She proved to be the bark Cora, of New-York, one day out from the coast, and having on board 705 slaves.
Sailing master EASTMAN, with an armed crew of fifteen men, was immediately sent on board and took charge of her as a prize. Her officers and crew, amounting to 28 persons, were transferred to this ship, and with the exception of her first, second and third mates, who were sent to the United States in her as prisoners, were brought to this port. During the chase she made every exertion to escape, showing no light and throwing overboard her boats, hatches, spare spars, and in fact clearing her spar deck of everything moveable to lighten the vessel.
She had on board a Spanish and an American crew. An individual giving the name of LORRETTO RINTZ (supposed to be fictitious) was found on board, and stated that he was master of the vessel. His real name is supposed to be LATHAM, by whom the vessel was cleared at New-York. Six of the Spanish crew were sent in her to take charge of the slaves until she arrives at Monrovia, where they with the slaves be landed, and the latter delivered to the United States agent for liberated Africans, after which the vessel is to proceed to Norfolk. Master T.H. EASTMAN, Midshipman W.B. HALL, and a crew of fourteen men, were sent to the United States in charge of’ the prize. No colors or papers were found on board.
She is a fine bark, newly coppered, of about 450 tons, and about eight years in service, and was formerly owned by Gov. MORGAN, of New-York. She is also a very fast sailor, and it is doubtful whether she would have been captured had any other vessel of the squadron been in pursuit of her. To increase the vigilance of the men stationed at the “look-outs,” Capt. NICHOLAS offered a reward of $50 to be paid to the person first sighting a vessel with slaves on board, and after the capture of the Cora paid the above amount to one of our seamen. Since her capture the reward has been raised to $120, the ward-room officers giving fifty and the steerage twenty. Hereafter slavers had better give the Constellation a wide birth.
Thanks to a tip from Robert Gray —
The Constellation was the last all-sail ship built for the US Navy, built at the Norfolk Naval Yard. The ship was in service until 1955 (in later years as a training ship). The ship has been fully restored, and is now docked in Baltimore, where tourists can visit.