The secret is told in a word. In Cuba it is the custom to buy such negroes, and ship them as Ladinoes or Creoles — and these respectable men have grown up under the influence of this custom — this practice against law. The subjects of a foreign government are presumed however to known what their own laws are, and when broken, they cannot come here and ask us to invade the rights of others in justification of the breach of their own laws. This could not be done even here. Hence the Spanish Consul says this mode of bona-fide selling is carried on without notice from the local authorities. Not that the act is lawfull in itself, but only because the act is passed over. There is wealth and power on one side, and ignorance and weakness on the other.
The law is the same there, as I pronounce it here. That it is not well executed is no evidence that the law does not exist. Let a case be presented to the courts in Spain, and the proof be made as it is here & the result must inevitably be the same.
Shall these Bozals be given up under the treaty? And if so, for what purpose? I have the question tried there whether they are slaves by the laws of Spain! The Spanish law declares they are not slaves; it would be utterly useless then, to send them back to Cuba.