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Thursday week no one was admitted without a pass, and these passes were issued to but few persons, and those who are known here as active Secessionnists engaged in sending aid and relief to the rebels.
I understand that her armament is to consist of eleven guns, and that she is to enter at once, as soon as she leaves this port, upon her business as a privateer.
The vessel is very nearly completed, she tas had her first trial trip. This trial was successful, and entirely satisfactory to the persons who are superintending her construction, She will be finished in nine or ten days. A part of her powder canisters, which are to number 200, and which are of a new patent, made of copper with screw tops, are on board the vessel ; the others are to be delivered in a few days. No pains or expense have been spared in her construction. Her engines are on the oscillating principle and are 350 horse-power. She measures 1,050 tons burthen, and will draw fourteen feet of water when loaded. Her screw or fan works in a solid brass frame casting, weighing near two tons, and is so constructed as to be lifted from the water by steam-power. The platforms and gun carriages are now being constructed.
When completed and armed she will be a most formidable and dangerous craft, and if not prevented from going to sea will do much mischief to our commerce. The persons engaged in her construction say that no better vessel of her class was ever built.
I have, &c. (Signed) THOMAS H. DUDLEY.
Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.
Foreign Office, June 25, 1862. I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 23rd instant, calling attention to a steam-vessel which you state is now fitting out at Liverpool, with the intention of carrying on hostilities against the Government of the United States; and I have to acquaint you that I have lost no time in referring the matter to the proper Department of Her Majesty's Government.
I am, &c. (Signed) RUSSELL.
Foreign Office, July 4, 1862. WITH reference to my letter of the 25th ultimo, I have the honour to inclose a copy of a Report from the Commissioners of Customs, respecting the vessel which you have been informed is being built at Liverpool for the Government of the so-styled Confederate States, and in accordance therėwith I would beg leave to suggest that you should instruct the United States' Consul at Liverpool to submit to the Collector of Customs at that port such evidence as he may possess tending to show that his suspicions as to the destination of the vessel in question are well founded.
I am, &c. (Signed) RUSSELL.
Inclosure in No. 3.
The Commissioners of Customs to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.
Custom-House, July 1, 1862. YOUR Lordships having referred to us the annexed letter from Mr. Hammond, UnderSecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, transmitting, by desire of Earl Russell, copy of a letter from the United States' Minister at this Court, calling attention to a steamer reported to be fitting out at Liverpool as a Southern privateer, and inclosing copy of a letter from the United States' Consul at that port, reporting the result of his investigation into the matter, and requesting that immediate inquiries may be made respecting this vessel, and such steps taken in the matter as may be right and proper :
That immediately on receipt of your Lordship’s reference we forwarded the papers to our Collector at Liverpool for his special inquiry and report, and we learn from his reply that the fitting out of the vessel has not escaped the notice of the officers of this revenue, but that as yet nothing has transpired concerning her which has appeared to demand a special Report.
We are informed that the officers have at all times free access to the building-yards of the Messrs. Laird at Birkenhead, where the vessel is lying, and that there has been no attempt on the part of her builders to disguise, what is most apparent, that she is intended for a ship of war; and one of the Surveyors in the service of this revenue, who had been directed by the Collector personally to inspect the vessel, has stated that the description of her in the communication of the United States' Consul is correct, with the exception that her engines are not constructed on the oscillating principle.
Her dimensions are as follows:--- Length, 211 feet 6 inches ; breadth, 31 feet 8 inches ; depth, 17 feet 8 inches ; and her gross tonnage by the present rule of measurement is 682:31 tons.
The Surveyor has further stated that she has several powder-canisters on board, but as yet neither guns nor carriages, and that the current report in regard to the vessel is that she has been built for a foreign Government, which is not denied by the Messrs. Laird, with whom the Surveyor has conferred ; but they do not appear disposed to reply to any questions respecting the destination of the vessel after she leaves Liverpool, and the officers have no other reliable source of information on that point. And having referred the matter to our Solicitor, he has reported his opinion that at present there is not sufficient ground to warrant the detention of the vessel, or any interference on the part of this Department, in which Report we beg to express our concurrence.
And with reference to the statement of the United States' Consul, that the evidence he has in regard to this vessel being intended for the so-called Confederate Government in the Southern States is entirely conclusive to his mind, we would observe that, inasmuch as the officers of Customs at Liverpool would not be justified in taking any steps against the vessel unless sufficient evidence to warrant her detention should be laid before them, the proper course would be for the Consul to submit such evidence as he possesses to the Collector at that port, who would thereupon take such measures as the provisions of the Foreign Enlistment Act would require. Without the production of full and sufficient evidence to justify their proceedings, the seizing officers might entail on themselves and on the Government very serious consequences.
We beg to add that the officers at Liverpool will keep a strict watch on the vessel, and that any further information that may be obtained concerning her will be forthwith reported.
(Signed) THOS. F. FREMANTLE.
GRENVILLE C. L. BERKELEY.
Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.— (Received July 8.)
Legation of the United States, London, July 7, 1862. I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 4th instant, covering a copy of the Report from the Commissioners of Customs respecting a vessel presumed by me to be in course of preparation at Liverpool to carry on hostile operations against the United States.
In accordance with your Lordship's suggestion I shall at once instruct the Consul of the United States to submit to the Collector of Customs at that port such evidence as he possesses to show that the suspicions he entertains of the character of that vessel are well founded.
I pray, &c. (Signed) : CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.
Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.--(Received July 22.)
Legation of United States, London, July 22, 1862. I HAVE the honour to transmit copies of six depositions taken at Liverpool, tending to establish the character and destination of the vessel to which I called your Lordship's attention in my note of the 23rd of June last.
The originals of these papers have already been submitted to the Collector of the Customs at that port, in accordance with the suggestions made in your Lordship's note to me of the 4th of July, as the basis of an application to him to act under the powers conferred by the Enlistment Act. But I feel it to be my duty further to communicate the facts as there alleged to Her Majesty's Government, and to request that such further proceedings may be had as may carry into full effect the determination which I doubt not it ever entertains to prevent, by all lawful means, the fitting out of hostile expeditions against the Government of a country with which it is at peace.
I avail, &c. (Signed) CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.
Inclosure in No. 5.
I, THOMAS H. DUDLEY, of No. 3, Wellesley Terrace, Princes Park, in the borough of Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, Esquire, make oath, and say as follows:
1. I am the Consul of the United States of North America, for the port of Liverpool and its dependencies.
2. In the month of July, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, information was sent by the United States' Government to the United States' Consulate at Liverpool, that a Mr. J. D. Bullock, of Savannah, in the State of Georgia, who was formerly the master of an American steamer called the “ Cahawba,” was reported to have left the United States for England, taking with him a credit for a large sum of money to be employed in fitting out privateers, and also several Commissions issued by the Southern Confederate States for such privateers; and in the month of August, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, information was sent by the United States' Government to the United States' Consulate at Liverpool, that the said Captain Bullock was then residing near Liverpool, and acting as the agent of the said Confederate States in Liverpool and London.
3. In accordance with instructions received from the Government of the United States, steps have been taken to obtain information as to the proceedings and movements of the said J. D. Bullock, and I have ascertained the following circumstances, all of which I verily believe to be true, namely :-That the said J. D. Bullock is in constant communication with parties in Liverpool who are known to be connected with, and acting for, the parties who have assumed the Government of the Confederate States; that the said J. D. Bullock, after remaining for some time in England, left the country, and, after an absence of several weeks, returned to Liverpool in the month of March last from Charleston, in the State of South Carolina, one of the seceded States, in a screw-steamer then called the “Annie Childs,” which had broken the blockade of the port of Charleston, then and now maintained by the United States' navy, and which vessel, the “Annie Childs,” carried the flag of the Confederate States as she came up the Mersey; that shortly after the arrival of the said J. D. Bullock at Liverpool in the “Annie Childs,” as above mentioned, he again sailed from Liverpool in a new gun-boat called the “ Oreto," built at Liverpool by Messrs. W. C. Miller and Sons, shipbuilders, and completed in the early part of the present year, and which gun-boat, the “ Oreto,” though she cleared from Liverpool for , in reality never went to
, but proceeded to Nassau, New Providence, to take on board guns and arms, with a view to her being used as a privateer or vessel of war under a Commission from the so-called Confederate Government against the Government of the United States, and which said vessel, the “ Oreto,” is stated to have been lately seized at Nassau by the commander of Her Majesty's ship “ Greyhound;" that the said J. D. Bullock has since returned again to Liverpool, and that before he left Liverpool, and since he returned, he has taken an active part in superintending the building, equipment, and fitting-out of another steam gun-boat, known as which is now lying, as I am informed and believe, ready for sea in the Birkenhead Docks with a large quantity of provisions and stores and thirty men on board : that the said J. D. Bullock is going out in the said gun-boat “ No. 290,” which is nominally commanded by one Matthew J. Butcher, who, I am informed, is well acquainted with the navigation of the American coast, having formerly been engaged in the coasting-trade between New York, Charleston, and Nassau.
4. From the circumstances which have come to my knowledge, I verily believe that the said gun-boat “ No. 290,” is being equipped and fitted out as a privateer or vessel of war, to serve under a Commission to be issued by the Government of the so-called Confederate States, and that the said vessel will be employed in the service of the said Confederate States to cruize and commit hostilities against the Government and people of the United States of North America.
(Signed) T. H. DUDLEY. Sworn before me, at the Custom-house, Liverpool, the 21st July, 1862.
(Signed) J. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector.
I, Matthew Maguire, of Liverpool, Agent, make oath and say as follows:
1. I know Captain J. D. Bullock, who is commonly reputed to be the Agent of the Confederate States of America at Liverpool.
2. I have seen the said J. D. Bullock several times at the yard of Messrs. Laird and Co. at Birkenhead, where a gun-boat known as No. 290 has lately been built, whilst the building of the said vessel has been going on.
3. On the 2nd day of July now instant, I saw the said J. D. Bullock on board the said vessel at Messrs. Laird and Co.'s yard. He appeared to be giving orders to the workmen who were employed about such vessel.
. (Signed) MATTHEW MAGUIRE. Sworn before me, at the Custom-house, Liverpool, the 21st July, 1862.
(Signed) J. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector.
I, Allan Stanley Clare, of Liverpool, in the County of Lancaster, Articled Clerk, make oath and say as follows :
On the 21st of July now instant, I examined the book at the Birkenhead Dockmaster's office at Birkenhead, containing a list of all vessels which enter the Birkenhead docks, and I found in such book an entry of a vessel described as “ Number Two Hundred and Ninety,” and from the entries in said book in reference to such vessel, it appears that she is a screw-steamer, and that her registered tonnage is 500 tons, and that Matthew J. Butcher is her master.
(Signed) A. S. CLARE. Sworn before me, at the Custom-house, Liverpool, the 21st July, 1862.
(Signed) J. Price EDWARDS, Collector.
I, John de Costa, of No. 8, Waterloo Road, Liverpool, Shipping Master, make oath and say as follows:
1. I know and have for several months known by sight Captain Bullock, who is very generally known in Liverpool as an Agent or Commissioner of the Confederate States in America.
2. In the month of March last I saw the screw-steamer “Annie Childs,” which had run the blockade from Charleston, enter the River Mersey. She came up the Mersey with the Confederate flag flying at her peak, and I saw the “Oreto,” a new gun-boat which had been recently built by Messrs. W. C. Miller and Sons, and which was then lying at anchor in the river, off Egremont, dip her colours three times in acknowledgment of the “Annie Childs,” which vessel returned the compliment, and a boat was immediately afterwards dispatched from the “ Annie Childs ” to the “ Oreto,” with several persons on board besides the men who were at the oars.
3. On the 22nd day of March last I was on the North Landing Stage between 7 and 8 o'clock in the morning. I saw the said Captain Bullock go on board a tender which afterwards took him off to the said gun-boat - Oreto," which was then lying in the Sloyne. Just before he got on board the tender he shook hands with a gentleman who was with him, and said to him, “ This day six weeks you will get a letter from me from Charleston,” or words to that effect.
saw the “ Oreto” go to sea. She came well in on the Liverpool side of the river, and from the Prince's pier-head, where I was standing, I distinctly saw the said Captain Bullock on board her with a person who had been previously pointed out to me by a fireman who came to Liverpool in the “Annie Childs," as a Charleston pilot who had come over in the “Annie Childs,” with Captain Bullock, to take the gun-boat out.
(Signed) JOHN DE COSTA. Sworn before me, at the Custom-house, Liverpool, the 21st July, 1862.
(Signed) J. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector.
We, Henry Wilding, of Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, Gentleman, and Matthew Maguire, of Liverpool aforesaid, Agent, make oath, and say as follows:
1. I, the said Matthew Maguire, for myself say that, on the 15th day of July now instant, I took — Brogan, who I know to be an apprentice working in the shipbuilding.yard of Messrs. Laird and Co., at Birkenhead, to the above-named deponent, Henry Wilding, at his residence at New Brighton.
2. And I, the said Henry Wilding, for myself say as follows:-I am the Vice-Consul of the United States of North America at Liverpool.
3. On the 15th day of July now instant, I saw the said Brogan, and examined him in reference to a gun-boat which I had heard was being built by the said Messrs. Laird and Co., for the so-called Confederate Government, and the said — Brogan then informed me that the said vessel was built to carry four guns on each side, and four swivel guns; that Captain Bullock had at one time, when the vessel was in progress, come to the yard almost every day to select the timber to be used for the vessel. That the said Captain Bullock was to be the captain of the said vessel, and that the said Captain Bullock had asked the said — Brogan to go as carpenter's mate in the said vessel for three years, which the said Brogan had declined to do, because Mr. Laird, who was present at the time, wculd not guarantee his wages. That the said vessel was to carry 120 men, and that 30 able seamen were already engaged for her. That the petty officers for the said vessel were to be engaged for three years, and the seamen for five months. That the said vessel was then at the end of the new warehouses in the Birkenhead docks, and that it was understood she was to take her guns on board at Messrs. Laird and Co.'s shed further up the dock; and that it was generally understood by the men in Messrs. Laird and Co.'s yard that the said vessel was being built for the Confederate Government.
4. The vessel above-mentioned is the same which is now known as “ No. 290,” and I verily believe that the said vessel is in fact intended to be used as a privateer, or vessel of war, under a commission from the so-called Confederate Government, against the United States' Government.
(Signed) HENRY WILDING.
MATTHEW MAGUIRE, Sworn before me, at the Custom-house, Liverpool, the 21st July, 1862..
(Signed) J. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector.
I, William Passmore, of Birkenhead, in the county of Chester, mariner, make oath and say as follows:
1. I am a seaman, and have served as such on board Her Majesty's ship "Terrible,” during the Crimean war.
2. Having been informed that hands were wanted for a fighting vessel built by Messrs. Laird and Co., of Birkenhead, I applied on Saturday, which was I believe the 21st day of June last, to Captain Butcher, who, 'I was informed, was engaging men for the said vessel, for a berth on board her.
3. Captain Butcher asked me if I knew where the vessel was going. In reply to which I told him I did not rightly understand about it. He then told me the vessel was going out to the Government of the Confederate States of America. I asked him if there would be any fighting ; to which he replied, yes; they were going to fight for the Southern Government. I told him I had been used to fighting vessels, and showed him my papers. I asked him to make me signal man on board the vessel, and, in reply, he said that no articles would be signed until the vessel got outside, but he would make me signal man if they required one when they got outside.
4. The said Captain Butcher then engaged me as an able seaman on board the said vessel at the wages of 41. 10s. per month; and it was arranged that I should join the ship in Messrs. Laird and Co.'s yard on the following Monday. To enable me to get on board, Captain Butcher gave me as a pass-word, the number“ 290.”