This collection contains the original
French documents relating to a secret African slave trade expedition undertaken by the
French ship Le Jeune Louis in 1824-1825.
A French brig "Le Jeune Louis" under the command of the supercargo Jean-Baptiste Menard
went on a secret slave-trading expedition organized by Menard and backed by Francois
Fernandez of Bordeaux and others. The ship embarked from Nantes in November 1824. The crew
signed an affidavit stating that the brig's official cargo, palm oil, had been taken by an
American ship and that the vessel was proceeding on ballast. The brig escaped two men-of-war
before it was boarded by an Engish frigate. The English officer who inspected the ship was
satisfied with the captain's explanation on the nature of its cargo. In late December, Le
Jeune Louis arrived at the mouth of the Niger river; Menard purchased 394 African slaves and
in late April continued to Havana. Fever and dysentery claimed lives of 115 Africans. Nine
more committed suicide. Captain Menard died five days after the departure from African coast
on April 24, 1825. Bejaud, the ship's surgeon, took command of the cargo after the death of
Menard. But he died shortly after on May 5, 1825, along with eight crew members. Francois
Demouy assumed the command. Le Jeune Louis arrived to Havana in June 1825; the cargo was
sold there at 250 piastres each. Six weeks later it departed for Flushing. Demouy was
interrogated in Flushing and was unable to prove to the court that the purpose of his voyage
was not slave trade. Ship returned to Antwerp where Jean Donnet was the shipping agent.
1.25 Linear Feet
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