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Special Message

April 30, 1828

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

In the month of December last 121 African negroes were landed at Key West from a Spanish slave-trading vessel stranded within the jurisdiction of the United States while pursued by an armed schooner in His Britannic Majesty's service. The collector of the customs at Key West took possession of these persons, who were afterwards delivered over to the marshal of the Territory of East Florida, by whom they were conveyed to St. Augustine, where they still remain.

Believing that the circumstances under which they have been cast upon the compassion of the country are not embraced by the provisions of the act of Congress of 3d March, 1819, or of the other acts prohibiting the slave trade, I submit to the consideration of Congress the expediency of a supplementary act directing and authorizing such measures as may be necessary for removing them from the territory of the United States and for fulfilling toward them the obligations of humanity.


John Quincy Adams, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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