In 1799, the Bachelor's Delight, Captain Amasa Delano's sealer and trader, anchors in the harbor of St. Maria, a small uninhabited island off the south end of Chile, in order to take on fresh water. On the second day, a gray morning, shortly after sunrise, the mate reports the arrival of a strange ship in the bay. Delano registers surprise that the ship bears no flag to identify its nationality. As the ship approaches a sunken reef, Delano, alarmed for the craft's safety, orders his whale-boat dropped and prepares to board the vessel to help pilot it into the bay. On closer examination, he identifies the ship as a "Spanish merchantman of the first class" and a slaver. At one time handsomely ornate, the San Dominick has fallen into decay from insufficient upkeep. Its figurehead is draped with canvas as if it were under repairs. Upon Delano's arrival, he is thronged by people both white and black. Their unanimous outcry
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