« PreviousContinue »
1. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell
One Inclosure. 2. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams 3. Earl Russell to Lord Lyons 4. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell
One Inclosure. 5. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell
Two Inclosures. 6. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams 7. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell
Four Inclosures. 8. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams 9. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams 10. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell 11. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell ..
Two Inclosures. 12. Mr. Layard to Mr. Laird, M.P. 13. Mr. Laird, M.P., to Mr. Layard 14. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams 15. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell 16. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell
One Inclosure. 17. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams 18. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell
Three Inclosures. 19. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams 20. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams 21. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell 22. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell
Six Inclosures. 23. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams 24. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell 25. Ear] Russell to Mr. Adams 26. Mr. Adams to Earl Russell
Four Inclosures. 27. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams
November 10, November 14, November 16, January 13, 1864 January 14, —
Correspondence respecting the “Alabama.”
Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.—(Received February 21.)
Legation of the United States, London, February 19, 1863. AT the request of my Government, I have the honour to submit to your Lordship's consideration a copy of a Memorial addressed to the Secretary of State by an Association of Underwriters in New York.
Renewing, &c. (Signed) CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.
Inclosure in No. 1.
the said vessels, in the
Alabama," and by,
of insurance on the ad
YOUR Memorialists, representing the New York Mutual Insurance Company of the City of New York, respectively submit to the Department of State of the United States, the following facts, viz. :
That the said New York Mutual Insurance Company had certain policies of insurance upon the following vessels :-Ship “ Brilliant,” 9,245 dollars; ship “ Manchester,” 7,500 dollars; and the said vessels, in the prosecution of their lawful voyages, were arrested on the high seas by a steamer called the “ Alabama,” and by her boarded and burned, and the New York Mutual Insurance Company have paid the policies of insurance on the abovenamed vessels in consequence of said destruction; and your Memorialists are of opinion that the said steamer having been built at, fitted out, and sailed from a port in Great Britain, and her crew being composed principally of the subjects of the Government of Great Britain, she is to all intents and purposes a British vessel.
And your Memorialists therefore claim from the Government of Great Britain the repayment to them of the above amounts, with interest accruing thereon, and respectfully request the United States' Government to make the necessary claim on their behalf.
H. EARLE, President. (Signed) W. P. HANSFORD, Secretary. New York, January 31, 1863.
Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.
Foreign Office, March 9, 1863. I HAVE the honour to acquaint you that Her Majesty's Government have had under their consideration your letter of the 19th ultimo, inclosing a copy of a Memorial which has been addressed to the United States' Secretary of State by the New York Mutual Insurance Company, claiming the repayment by Her Majesty's Government of certain [877
have been destroyed on the high seas by the Confederate steam-vessel “ Alabama.”
I have now the honour to state to you that Her Majesty's Government entirely disclaim all responsibility for any acts of the “ Alabama,” and they had hoped that they had already made this decision on their part plain to the Government of the United States.
I am, &c. (Signed) RUSSELL.
Earl Russell to Lord Lyons.
Foreign Office, March 27, 1863. MR. ADAMS having asked for an interview, I had a long conversation with him yesterday at the Foreign Office.
He read me a despatch of Mr. Seward on the subject of the “ Alabama” and “ Oreto." In this despatch, which was not unfriendly in its tone, Mr. Seward complains of the depredations on American commerce committed by vessels fitted out in British ports, and manned, for the most part, by British sailors. He alludes to the strong feeling excited in the United States by the destruction of her trading vessels and their cargoes. He repeats the complaint common in America that England is at war with the United States, while the United States were not at war with England. He expresses his hope that Great Britain, in execution of her own laws, will put an end to the fitting out of such vessels to prey on the commerce of a friendly nation.
I said that the phrase that England was at war with America, but America was not at war with England, was rather a figure of rhetoric than a true description of facts. That the facts were that two vessels, the “ Oreto” and the “ Alabama,” had eluded the operation of the Foreign Enlistment Act, and had; against the will and purpose of the British Government, made war upon American commerce in the American seas. That the fitting out of the “ Alabama," the operation against which the Foreign Enlistment Act was specially directed, was carried on in Portuguese waters at a great distance from any British port. That the most stringent orders had been given long ago to watch the proceedings of those who might be suspected of fitting out vessels of war for Confederate purposes. That if there were six vessels, as it was alleged, fitting out in British ports for such purposes, let evidence be forthcoming, and the Government would not hesitate to stop the vessels, and to bring the offenders before a Court of Justice. That Mr. Adams was no doubt aware that the Government must proceed according to the regular process of law and upon sworn testimony.
Mr. Adams, on the other hand, dwelt on the novelty and enormity of this species of warfare. He said that if a belligerent could fit out in the ports of a neutral swift armed vessels to prey upon the commerce of its adversary, the commerce of that belligerent must be destroyed, and a new and terrible element of warfare would be introduced. He was sure that England would not suffer such conduct on the part of France, nor France on the part of England. He should be sorry to see letters of marque issued by the President; but there might be no better resource than such a measure.
I said I would at once suggest a better measure. Mr. Seward had said to Lord Lyons that the crews of privateers had this advantage—that they reaped the whole benefit of the prizes they took, whereas the crews of men-of-war were entitled to only half the value of the prizes they took. Let the President, I said, offer a higher reward for the capture of the * Alabama” and “ Oreto" to the crews of men-of-war than even the entire value of those vessels. Let him. offer double their value as a gratuity, and thus confine his action to officers and men of the United States' navy, over whom he could keep a control, and who were amenable to the laws which govern an honourable profession. But what could Mr. Adams ask of the British Government? What was his proposal ?
Mr. Adams said there was one thing which might be easily done. It was supposed the British Government were indifferent to these notorious violations of their own laws. Let them declare their condemnation of all such infractions of law.
With respect to the law itself, Mr. Adams said either it was sufficient for the purposes of neutrality, and then let the British Government enforce it; or it was insufficient, and then let the British Government apply to Parliament to amend it.
I said that the Cabinet were of opinion that the law was sufficient; but that legal evidence could not always be procured. That the British Government had done everything in its power to execute the law; but I admitted that the cases of the “ Alabama”
was my belief that if all the assistance given to the Federals by British subjects, and British munitions of war, were weighed against similar aid given to the Confederates, the balance would be greatly in favour of the Federals.
Mr. Adams totally denied this proposition. But above all, he said, there is a manifest conspiracy in this country, of which the Confederate loan is an additional proof, to produce a state of exasperation in America, and thus bring on a war with Great Britain with a view to aid the Confederate cause, and secure a monopoly of the trade of the Southern States, whose independence these conspirators hope to establish by these illegal and unjust measures. He had worked to the best of his power for peace, but it had become a most difficult task.
Mr. Adams fully deserves the character of having always laboured for peace between our two nations, nor, I trust, will his efforts and those of the two Governments fail of success.
I am, &c. (Signed) RUSSELL.
Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.—(Received April 4.)
Legation of the United States, London, April 4, 1863. · I HAVE the honour to submit to your consideration the copy of an affidavit voluntarily made by Clarence R. Yonge, being in the nature of accumulative evidence to show the execution of a deliberate plan to establish within the limits of this kingdom a system of action in direct hostility to the Government of the United States. This appears to corroborate in all essential particulars the evidence heretofore adduced from other quarters.
I append the copy of a paper marked A, showing the extent to which Her Majesty's subjects, many of them alleged to belong to the Naval Reserve, have been enlisted in a single example of illegal enterprize.
I pray, &c. (Signed) CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.
Inclosure in No. 4.
Affidavit of Clarence Randolph Yonge.
I, CLARENCE RANDOLPH YONGE, citizen of the State of Georgia, in the United States, late paymaster on board the steamer “Alabama,” formerly called the “ 290,” and also called the “Eurica,” and which was built by Messrs. Laird, at Birkenhead, in England, make oath and say as follows:
I came to England in the steamer “ Annie Childs,” which sailed from Wilmington, in North Carolina, early in February 1862, and landed in England on or about the 11th of March, 1862, and remained at Liverpool until the steamer “ Alabama” went to sea. I came over for the express purpose of acting as paymaster to the “ Alabama." I engaged for that purpose with Captain James D. Bullock, at Savannah, Georgia. He had full authority from the Confederate Government in the matters about to be mentioned. Lieutenant North had been sent over to England by the Confederate Government to get iron-clad vessels built. Captain Bullock had been over previously, and had made the contracts for building the “ Oreto" and the “Alabama,” and was returning to England to assume the command of the latter ship. He was directed at the time to assist Lieutenant North with his advice and experience in building the iron-clads, which Lieutenant North had been sent over here expressly to get built. I was in the Naval Paymaster's Office in Savannah, Georgia, under the Confederate Government. Captain Bullock wanted some one to accompany him, and I was recommended by the paymaster at Savannah to Captain Bullock. I was then released by the paymaster from my engagement, and was subsequently appointed by Captain Bullock, under the written authority of Mr. S. R. Mallory, the Secretary of the Navy, a paymaster in the Confederate Navy, and assigned to the “Alabama.” I continued as paymaster in the navy of the Confederate States of America from the time of my appoiutment in Savannah, Georgia, up to the time of my leaving
master in the Confederate Navy was the 21st of December, 1861. Previous to this time I had attended to Captain Bullock's correspondence with the Confederate Government, and I therefore knew that these two vessels, afterwards called the “ Oreto” and the “ Alabama,” were being built in England for the Confederate Government, and by the same means I knew that Captain Bullock, who is a Commander in the Confederate Navy, was the acknowledged agent of the Confederate Government for the purpose of getting such ships built. There was some correspondence which I saw between Captain Bullock and Mr. S. R. Mallory, the Secretary of the Nary, relative to purchasing two English vessels which had been used as transports in the Crimean war, Captain Bullock advising against purchasing them as being unfit for the service for which they were required. I wrote the letters from Captain Bullock (and which he signed) to the Secretary advising against this purchase. There was correspondence between Mr. Mallory and Captain Bullock (which I saw and copied) to the effect that the money would be ready and lodged in England to pay for these vessels as it fell due. From what I know I am satisfied that the money was all duly paid as it fell due for these vessels. I saw a letter from Captain Bullock to Fraser, Trenholm and Co. (a firm in Liverpool hereinafter again referred to) thanking them. Captain Bullock kept copies of his correspondence, and they are deposited in one of the banks in Savannah.
From the time of my coming to England until I sailed in the “ Alabama” my principal business was in paying the officers of the Confederate Navy, who were over here attached to the “ Alabama," and sent over for that purpose. I used to pay them monthly, about the 1st of the month, at Fraser, Trenholm and Co.'s office in Liverpool, and I drew the money for that purpose from that firm.
Commander James D. Bullock, John Low, lieutenant, Eugene Maffitt, midshipman, E. M. Anderson, midshipman, came over to England in the same vessel with myself. Captain Bullock came over to England, in the first instance, to contract for buiding the two vessels, the “Oreto," now called the “ Florida,” and the “ Alabama.” He came to contract for and in behalf of the Southern Confederacy, with the understanding that he was to have the command of one of the vessels. I have heard him say so; and I have learned this also from the correspondence between him and Mr. Mallory, Secretary of the Confederate Navy, as before mentioned, which passed through my hands.
At the commencement of my engagement with Captain Bullock I acted as his clerk. The contract for building the “ Alabama" was made with Messrs. Laird, of Birkenhead, by Captain Bullock. I have seen it myself. I made a copy from the original. The copy was in the ship. It was signed by Captain Bullock, on the one part, and Messrs. Laird, on the other. I made the copy at instance of Captain Bullock from the original, which he has. The ship cost, in United States' money, about 255,000 dollars; this included provisions, &c., enough for a voyage to the East Indies, which Messrs. Laird were by the contract to provide. The payments were all made before the vessel sailed to the best of my belief. Sinclair, Hamilton and Co., of London, had money. Fraser, Trenholm and Co., of Liverpool, had money. There was Government money in both their hands over here enough for the purpose of paying them. I was over to see the “ Alabama” before she was launched from Messrs. Laird's yard, and was on board the vessel with Captain Bullock, and have met Captain Bullock and one of the Messrs. Laird at Fraser, Trenholm and Co.'s office. Captain Bullock superintended the building of the “ Alabama” and “ Oreto;" also whilst he was here Captain Matthew J. Butcher was the captain who took her to sea. He is an Englishman, and represented himself as belonging to the Royal Naval Reserve. At the time the “ Alabama” was being built by Messrs. Laird, and when I saw them at different times at their yard in Birkenhead and at Fraser, Trenholm and Co.'s office, I have not the slightest doubt that they perfectly well knew that such steamer was being built for the Southern Confederacy, and that she was to be used in war against the Government of the United States. When the vessel sailed from Liverpool she had her shot racks fitted in the usual places; she had sockets in her decks, and the pins fitted which held fast frames on carriages for the pivot guns, and breaching bolts. These had been placed in by the builders of the vessel, Messrs. Laird and Co. She was also full of provisions and stores enough for four months' cruise. When she sailed she had beds, bedding, cooking utensils, and mess utensils for 100 men, and powder tanks fitted in.
We sailed from Liverpool on the 29th day of July, 1862. This was some three or four days sooner than we expected to sail. The reason for our sailing at this time before we contemplated, was on account of information which we had received, that proceedings were being commenced to stop the vessel from sailing. Captain Bullock sent Lieutenant Law to me on Sunday evening the 27th of July, to say that I must be at Fraser, Trenholm and Co.'s office early next morning. The next morning I arrived at half-past
est Indies, wh:55,000 dollars on the origin