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the part of a foreign vessel of war on a colonial coast, and as this is calculated very seriously to interfere with British commerce, we would solicit your taking such steps as to you may be considered best.
We have, &c.
DE PASS, SPENCE & CO.
G. N. EBDEN.
Mr. Elliot to Mr. Hammond.—(Received December 24.)
Downing Street, December 24, 1863. I AM directed by the Duke of Newcastle to transmit to you, for the consideration of Earl Russell, copies of two despatches from the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, with a copy of another from the Governor of St. Helena, respecting the movements and proceedings of the United States' sloop-of-war “ Vanderbilt."
By two of these despatches it will be seen that there is ground to apprehend that this sloop has seized a British vessel unlawfully. The next despatches from the Cape may be expected to bring fuller particulars and more direct evidence, but in the meanwhile the Duke of Newcastle loses no time in putting Earl Russell in possession of so much information has as yet been received on the subject.
T. FREDK. ELLIOT,
Inclosure 1 in No. 2.
Sir P. Wodehouse to the Duke of Newcastle.
My Lord Duke,
Government House, Cape Town, October 26, 1863. I HAVE the honour to report to your Grace, that the United States' war-steamer “ Vanderbilt,”. has again visited this colony.
On her arrival in Table Bay, the Commander landed and delivered to me a letter, in which he represented himself to be in want of coals and repairs. On my objecting, with regard to the former, that three months had not elapsed since he had taken in a supply at Simon's Bay, he urged, that under Her Majesty's instructions the Governor of a colony possessed the power to grant “special permission," as an exception to the general regulations on the subject, and he added, that it was within his own knowledge that the Confederate steamer “Georgia” had called at Barbadoes twenty-seven days after coaling at the Bahamas ; that the “Florida” had at Bermuda taken in coals sufficient for å month, when three days would have taken her to a Confederate port, and that he himself had lately been allowed to coal at the Mauritius, although the Governor was aware of his having coaled at Simon's Bay. I informed him, that I would send an answer to his application on the following day, and accordingly, after duly considering all the circumstances of the case, I directed the Colonial Secretary to acquaint him, that I did not feel at liberty, under all the circumstances of the case, to grant “special permission” for the shipment of the coals.
I inclose copies of the correspondence, and trust your Grace will approve of the decision.
I have, &c. (Signed) , P. E. WODEHOUSE.
Inclosure 2 in No. 2.
• Vanderbilt,” Cape Town, October 22, 1863. I HAVE the honour to make known to your Excellency the arrival here of this ship.
come to this harbour for the purpose of making some necessary repairs to my machinery, and also to get a supply of fuel.
I therefore ask your Excellency's permission to lie here for the above-mentioned purposes the necessary time, say, from four to six working days.
I have, &c. (Signed) CHAS. K. BALDWIN.
Inclosure 3 in No. 2.
Colonial Office, October 23, 1863. I AM directed by the Governor to acquaint you, that he has given his best consideration to the letter which he had the honour of receiving from you yesterday, as well as to the verbal representations you made to him relative to the issue of coals to American vessels-of-war by the “special permission” of the Governors of other British colonies, as an exception to general directions of the British Government on the subject.
Looking to the stringent nature of the instructions he has received, the Governor entertains some doubt whether the authority to grant “special permission” be really vested in himself. But he considers that there are special circumstances affecting the ship under your command sufficient in themselves to guide him in dealing with your application.
It has been the unvarying desire of Her Majesty's Government to abstain, as far as practicable, from affording to either of the parties engaged in the American civil war, assistance in the prosecution of hostilities towards each other; and accordingly, in regulating the issue of coals at British ports to their ships-of-war, the object has manifestly been to restrict those issues to the supplies needed for carrying them to some defined destination in foreign parts, or from some foreign port to their own country, and not to facilitate their cruizing for an indefinite period for purposes of the war.
Applying this principle to the case of the “ Vanderbilt” the Governor finds that on her way from South America to the Cape she coaled at the British colony of St. Helena ; that shortly after that she coaled again at Simon's Bay, and that after remaining in the neighbourhood of our ports for a time, she proceeded to Mauritius, where she coaled again, and then returned to this colony.
It is also matter of notoriety that the object of her movements has been to intercept the Confederate cruisers which have lately visited our shores. Under these circumstances, with the information now before him, the Governor believes that he would be acting in opposition to the spirit of Her Majesty's instructions if he were to grant s special permission ” for the issue of coals within the limited term of three months.
His Excellency has no objection to offer to your remaining in port for the time required for the completion of indispensable repairs.
I have, &c: (Signed) RAWSON W. RAWSON.
Inclosure 4 in No. 2.
Sir P. Wodehouse to the Duke of Newcastle.
My Lord Duke,
. Government House, Cape Town, November 20, 1863. WITH reference to my recent despatches respecting the Federal and Confederate war-steamers “Vanderbilt” and “Alabama," I have the honour to forward communications received from the naval Commander-in-chief of this station, from which your Grace will learn that acts of very questionable legality have been committed by the Federal steamer “ Vanderbilt.”
As the crew of the captured vessel have not yet reached Cape Town, I am not in a position to supply your Grace with more precise information by this mail.
I have, &c. (Signed) P. E. WODEHOUSE.
Rear-Admiral Sir B. Walker to Sir P. Wodehouse.
“ Narcissus," Simons Bay, November 15, 1863. I BEG to forward for your Excellency's information, the copy of a letter I have received from Captain Forsyth, of Her Majesty's ship “ Valorous," who has this morning returned to this anchorage from Ichaboe, reporting the capture of the colonial vessel “Saxon,” by the United States' ship-of-war“ Vanderbilt,” at Angra Pequena, on the 30th ultimo.
I have, &c.
Inclosure 6 in No. 2.
Captain Forsyth to Rear-Admiral Sir B. Walker, November 15, 1863.
[See Inclosure 2 in No. 1.]
Inclosure 7 in No. 2.
Sir C. Elliot to the Duke of Newcastle.
My Lord Duke,
· St. Helena, November 17, 1863. THE United States' sloop “ Vanderbilt” called off this port on the 10th instant, but did not anchor. Commander Baldwin was so good as to send me a few newspapers, from which I collect that he had come on from the Cape of Good Hope, after having been as far to the eastward as the Mauritius. The “ Vanderbilt” left this place, steering about west-north-west.
2. I learn from an officer who visited the “ Vanderbilt,” that it was said on board she had called at Angra Pequena Bay, and captured there or in that neighbourhood the British barque “Saxon,” belonging, as I am informed, to a firm at Cape Town. It was said that this barque had on board part of the cargo of the American barque “Sea Bride,” taken a few months since by the “ Alabama," and armed, as I am informed, from that vessel, either as a tender to the Confederate ship, or under a commission, said to be issued by the Commander of the “Alabama.” It has also been stated here that the “ Vanderbilt” found and appropriated a considerable quantity of coal at Angra Pequena, intended for the “ Alabama ;" whether waterborne or on shore I cannot say.
3. Your Grace will probably have correct particulars of the case direct from the Cape, but I have thought it right to mention what has reached me upon the subject.
I have, &c.
Messrs. Sinclair, Hamilton, and Co., to Earl Russell.—(Received January 5.) My Lord,
11, St. Helen's Place, London, January 4, 1864. WE have the honour to address your Lordship as the Agents in this country of Messrs. W. Anderson, Saxon, and Co., Cape Town, Cape Good Hope, with reference to the seizure by the United States steamer “ Vanderbilt,” of the British barque “Saxon," belonging to them.
We are informed that that vessel has been sent to New York in charge of a prize crew. The original crew are, we believe, now at Cape Town, except the chief mate, who is said to have been killed, but as the crew had not arrived at the date of the last advices, we must await arrival of the next mail before we can lay before your Lordship the depositions of the master and crew of the “ Saxon.”
the Commander of Her Majesty's ship“ Valorous.” Our information is, that the “ Saxon” was seized while at anchor, as we believe, in British waters. The ground of the seizure is alleged to be, that the "Saxon” had on board cargo that had been landed by the Confederate vessels-of-war and had been taken from Federal prizes. We have no detailed information on this subject, but assuming the fact to be as stated, we are advised that it would form no ground for the seizure of the ship.
We have further to inform your Lordship, that Messrs. W. Anderson, Saxon, and Co., had stored, on Penguin Island, British territory, 250 tons of coals, which are reported to have been either seized or destroyed by the Commander of the “ Vanderbilt.” For the present we shall abstain from remarking further on this proceeding until we receive direct evidence of the facts; but in the meantime we have to beg that your Lordship will cause such steps to be taken as may be necessary for the protection of our friends Messrs. Anderson, Saxon, and Co., whose rights as British subjects have thus been infringed.
We have, &c. (Signed) SINCLAIR, HAMILTON & CO.
Mr. Hammond to Messrs. Sinclair and Co.
Foreign Office, January 6, 1864. I AM directed by Earl Russell to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, respecting the seizure of the barque “ Saxon” by the United States steamer “ Vanderbilt ;” and I am to inform you that this case is under the consideration of Her Majesty's Government.
I am, &c. (Signed) E. HAMMOND.
Consul Archibald to Earl Russell.—(Received January 9.) My Lord,
New York, December 23, 1863. I HAVE the honour to transmit, herewith enclosed, for your Lordship’s information; a copy of my despatch of this date to Lord Lyons, reporting the arrival at this port of the barque « Saxon,” in charge of a prize crew.
I have, &c. (Signed) E. M. ARCHIBALD.
Inclosure 1 in No. 5.
Consul Archibald to Lord Lyons.
New York, December 23, 1863. I HAVE the honour to report to your Lordship the arrival at this port, in charge of a prize crew, from the United States ship “ Vanderbilt,” of the British barque “ Saxon” of Cape Town.
The “Saxon” was captured by the “ Vanderbilt” at Angra Pequena, on the West Coast of Africa, on the 29th October last. Her cargo consists principally of wool, and is stated to have been part of the cargo of the American barque “Conrad,” heretofore captured by the Confederate States' ship “ Alabama." The enclosed slip from the newspapers of this morning contains all the information I have as yet obtained in reference to this capture.
I have, &c. (Signed) E M. ARCHIBALD:
Report of the Capture of the “Saxon.” The barque “Şaxon,"captured on the west coast of Africa by the cruizer “ Vanderbilt.”
THE barque “ Saxon,” of Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, arrived at this port last evening, from Angra Pequena, West Coast of Africa, in charge of Acting-Master E. S. Keyser, of the United States' steamer “ Vanderbilt.” The “ Saxon” was captured by the “Vanderbilt” on the 28th of October, at the above place, about four hundred miles north of the Cape of Good Hope. She had on board part of the cargo of the barque “ Conrad," which vessel was captured by the privateer “Alabama," and afterwards converted into the privateer “ Tuscaloosa.” The cargo is principally wool. . .
The “Saxon” was formerly the American barque “Lucy Johnson," of New London, but was wrecked at Table Bay, and was subsequently purchased by Messrs. Anderson and Saxon, of Cape Town; she is about 250 tons burthen.
The “ Vanderbilt," also, found at Penguin Island, 200 tons of coal, which had been left there for the benefit of the rebel privateers. It was confiscated by the Captain of the « Vanderbilt." All on board the “Vanderbilt” are well.
Consul Archibald to Earl Russell.—(Received January 19.) My Lord,
New York, January 5, 1864. REFERRING to my despatch, of the 23rd ultimo, reporting the capture and arrival at this port of the barque “Saxon," of Cape Town, I now have the honour to transmit, herewith inclosed, for your Lordship’s information, a copy of my despatch of this date to Lord Lyons, reporting the further proceedings in the case of the “Saxon," and inclosing a copy of a deposition made before me by the late second mate of that vessel.
I have, &c. (Signed) E. M.'ARCHIBALD.
Inclosure 1 in No. 6.
Consul Archibald to Lord Lyons.
New York, January 5, 1864. REFERRING to my despatch of the 23rd ultimo, in reference to the capture and arrival at this port of the barque “ Saxon” of Cape Town, I now have the honour to report that testimony in preparatorio has been taken before the Prize. Commissioners, and a libel has been filed, the process on which is returnable on the 19th instant. I have accordingly directed an appearance and claim to be entered in my name, as Consul, on behalf of absent owners of vessel and cargo, who appear to have no agent or correspondent at this port, in order to prevent a judgment by default, and to gain time for their defence, and for proof in support of their claims.
Of the crew of the “ Saxon” the captors brought over the second mate, named David Aitcheson, and the cook, named William Johnson. I was yesterday enabled to obtain the deposition of the second mate in relation to the circumstances connected with the capture of the "Saxon," and more especially respecting the shooting of the chief mate, James Gray, by a Mr. Donohoe, an officer of the “ Vanderbilt,” who was at the time on duty on board the “ Saxon.”
The second mate, Aitcheson, is a very intelligent young man, and from the statements in his deposition, a copy of which I have the honour to transmit, herewith inclosed, for your Lordship’s information; the shooting of the mate Gray appears to have been an act of wilful murder. I presume that a report of the facts of the case will, before this time, have reached Her Majesty's Government from Cape Town. The second mate has shipped at this port on board the barque “ Cleveland," a British vessel which sailed from hence yesterday, bound for London, where he can be had for ·further examination, if requisite. I have been unable to obtain the name and address of the