Monday, September 26, 2011

News from 1838: Slave Traders & The American Diver

Consecutive features in the Army & Navy Chronicle of 1838:

SLAVE TRADE.—Her Britannic Majesty's ship Snake captured on the 23d Nov. the Portuguese brig Arraganta, from Gallinas, with 330 slaves; she had lost 140 during her passage, from dysentery. The prize was taken to Montego Bay. The British brig Sapo took off the east end of Jamaica, in the early part of December, a Spanish schooner with 260 Africans on board, and carried her into Port Royal. The British schooner Ringdove [pictured above] arrived at Kingston on the 21st, having taken off Mantanzas, Spanish brigs La Vincedora and Vigilante, with Bogal [in present-day Senegal] negroes on board, and sent them into Havana and Matanzas, where they were given up to the Governor.
EXTRAORDINARY LEAP FROM A SHIP'S MAST —Upward of 100,000 persons lately assembled at the Waterloo Dock at Liverpool, to witness an extraordinary feat by a man named Samuel Scott*, a native of Philadelphia. For a considerable time before the event took place, bets run high, and much doubt and speculation were abroad, the affair being considered a hoax practised by the publicans, to get together a crowd of persons in the neighborhood. At twelve o'clock however, the hero, for so indeed he was, ascended the rigging, and amidst the shouts and cheers of thousands, plunged head foremost into the basin from a height of 193 feet. At half past two he announced another leap which was accomplished without accident. A considerable sum of money was collected among the spectators.

*Samuel Scott (b. 1818) gained renown as "the American diver." His last feat was a dive off London's Waterloo Bridge in 1841, during which he was literally hung by his own noose in front of an incredulous crowd. Then he was known as "the unfortunate American diver," per caption below.

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