« PreviousContinue »
List of vtsth, from the Vnitid Statu consul at Liverpool, which have either railed from Great Britain and Irthmd since the lit of August last, or are now in course of preparation to sail, With contraband of war. Jot the purpose of breaking the blockade of the rebel ports.
SnAMgRs.—Bahama, from Liverpool on the 13th August, with men and cannon ; Bonita, (late the Economist.) Iona, Pearl, Kelpie, Giraffe, Antona, Calypso, Havelock. Nicolai I, Julie Usher, (late Annie Childs,) Stanley, Albion, Denbigh, Pet, Neptune, Sheldrake, Gypsey Queen, Comubia, Eagle, Ruby, Florida, Juno, Thistle, Northuiubia, Douglas, Britannia, Royal Bride, Douro, Beacon, Gcorgiana, Prince Albert, Leipsig.
Saiuxg Tesslls — Ellen, Agrippina, (sailed from Cardiff. October 10, with shot, shell and coal. This is the vessel that carried ai ms and coal from London to the No 290 at Terceira. See depositions of Bidden and King.) Severn, Queen of the Usk, Digby, Clarence, Mary Prances, Chatham, Peep o'Day, Speculation, Monmouth, Intrinsic.
Mr. Morse to Mr. Adams.
United States Consulath,
London, December 24, 1862.
Sib: In compliance with your request, I herewith forward a list comprising most of such steaineis and sai.ing vessels as are known to me to have left the port of London laden with supplies for the insurgents now in rebellion against the United States.
1 do not pretend that all the vessels which have left this port in the confederate service are known to me, but believe the following list of vessels can be reliid on as being a part of those which have left with supplies, principally contraband of war, with the intention of either running the blockade directly, or of going to a neighboring Atlantic or Gulf port, and there dii-charging their cargoes into another class of vessels, the more easily to get such cargoes to their places of destination.
The tonnage given is the net tonnage, or the carrying space of the vessel, the space taken up by machinery, &c, being deducted.
The screw steamer Fingal left Greenock in the summer of 1861. Her cargo was sent there to her by the steamer Colletis from London.
Vessels which have left ports, on the east coast of England, and which may not nave been reported by any other consul:
Circassian, Modern Greece, Stettin. Bahama, and Bermuda, from Hartlepool; Hero, Pataras, Labnan, Sidney Hall, and Tubal Cain, all screw steamers; and brig Stephen Hart
During the last six or eight weeks there have been great exertions made in this country to procure good, fast steamers, and to forward them, laden with supplies for the insurgents, to the ports of the rebel Mates, or to ports adjacent to the coast of those States. Many of the boats in this service have been purchased on the river Clyde. Three new ones, destined for the Bame service, have recently been launched there, and have nut yet gone to s*-a They have been named Emma, Gertrude, and Louisiana; and several more are building there
The ownership of these steamers, the cargoes they carry out, and the manner of conducting the trade, is a questiou of much interest to Americans. During the early stages of the war the trade was carried on principally by agents sent over from the Confederate States, aided by a few mercantile houses and active sympathizers in this country. These agents, with their friends here, purchased the supplies, and procured steamers, mostly by charter, and forwarded the goods.
But by far the largest portion of the trade, with perhaps the exception of that in small arms, is now, and for a long time has been, under the management and control of British merchants. It is carried on principally by British capital, in British ships, and crosses the Atlantic under the protection of the British flag.
Parties conic from Richmond with contracts made with the rebel government by which they are to receive a very large percentage above the cost in confederate ports of the articles specified British merchants become interested in these contracts, and participate in their profits or 1 ss. 1 have seen the particulars of one such contract drawn out in detail, and have heard of others.
There are good reasons for believing that a large portion of the supplies more recently 6ent to the aid of the insurgents has been sent by merchants on their own account. Several will join together to charter a steamer and make up a cargo independent of all contractors, each investing as much in the enterprise as he may deem expedient, uccording to his zeal in the rebel cause, or his hope of realizing profits from the speculation.
Again: some one will put up a steamer to carry cargo to a rebel port at an enormous rate of freight, or to ports on the Atlantic or Gulf coast, such as Bermuda, Nassau, Havan i, Mutamoras, &c , at a less freight, to he from there reshipped to such southern ports as appears to U'oid the best opportunities for gaining an entrance. Ships bound on these voyages are. of couise, not advertised, or their destination made known to the public. Their cargoes are made up of individual shipments, on account and r^k of the shippers, or go into a j 'int stock concern, on account and risk of the company, each member thereof realizing profit or suffering loss in proportion to the amount he invested in the adventure. Ilotti steamers and cariroes are ofteu, if not generally, insured in England "to go to America with liberty to run tht blockade'*
Some individuals and mercantile firms appear to have entered into the business of suppi) ing the n bels with the means of carrying on and prolonging the war with great zeal and energy on their own account Mr. Z C. Pearsons, of Hull, has been largely inte rested in this contraband trade, but appeare not to have been very fortunate in its pursuit, fop he has had i-eveial valuable steamers taken by our blockading squadrons, and, in addition to this bad luck, appears to have received in payment for the goods he did get in a kind of paper or payment that could not be marie available here.
Of the firms which are the most largely engaged in this mode of rendering aid to and sustaining the rebellion, Krazier, Trenholm & (;o., of Liverpool, and the firm of W. S. Lindsay & Co , of London, are among the more prominent.
The foregoing list of vessels, steam and sailing, was taken from memorandums. Had my other duties allowed me time to examine my despatches for the last year and a half, I could no doubt udd others to the list, and give you some interesting particulars concerning many of them. Hut for want of that time I am obliged to submit it, imperfect as I fear it is. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
F. H. MORSE, Contul.
Hon. C. F. Adams,
United Statu Minister at London.
Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.
No. 2S7.J Legation Ok The United States,
London, January 1, 1863. Sib: Learning from the consul at Liverpool that the person reported as the purchaser of the Sumter is a man well known in that place as the agent of« Messrs. Fraser, Trenholm & Co., I immediately addressed a note to Lord Russell on the subject, a copy of which I have the honor to transmit. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.
Hon. William H. Seward,
Secretary of State, Wash ington, D. C.
Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.
Legation Ok The United States,
London, December 30, 1862.
My Lord: On the 19th of this month, I am informed by the consul of the United States at Gibraltar, a public sale is said to have been made of the steamer Sumter, a vessel which had committed much depredation upon the commerce of the United States, and which had taken shelter in that port from pursuit by the national ships
Having the strongest reason, from the known character and previous conduct of the alleged purchaser, to believe that this sale is effected solely for the purpose of rescuing the vessel from its present position, and of making use of her Majesty's flag to convert it to new purposes of hostilities to the United States, I must pray your lordship's attention to the necessity under which I am placed of asking the assistance of her Majesty's government to prevent any risk of damage to the United States from a fraudulent transaction in one of her ports, or, in default of it, of declining to recognize the validity of the transfer, should that vessel subsequently be found by the armed ships of the United States failing on the high seas.
Renewing the assurances of my highest consideration, I have the honor to be, my lord, vour most obedient servant.
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.
No. 440.] 'Department Of State,
Washing/on, January 5, 1S63.
Sir: Your last despatches, like their immediate predecessors, have come within the hour appointed for the closing of the outgoing European mails. I acknowledge now the receipt of the more important one, which bears the date of December 18, and is numbered 275.
So much of this paper as relates to the transmisson of supplies, and to naval preparations by the insurgents' emissaries in Europe, will be immediately communicated to the Navy Department.
Our iron-clad steamers are now gathering upon the southern coast. We have lost the Monitor by her foundering at sea, and the accident justly produces a profound national regret. Her achievements had made her an object of pride— I might almost say an object of affection. But every one feels that she had
already vindicated the invention and compensated the cost of her construction*Her place will be easily filled by another vessel, in which the fault to which we owe the loss of the Monitor has been corrected.
With the exception of the army of the Potomac, all our forces are now in a condition of activity. We are yet in a state of suspense about the result of a series of battles which occurred on the 31st December, and 1st, 2d, and • 3d of January, in the neighborhood of Murfreesboro'. The telegraph thus far tells us of wonderful bravery, attended with varying phases of battle, and of great loss of life on both sides.
The forces of General Sherman, belonging to the army of General Grant, having descended the Mississippi, are beseiging Vicksburg. Our latest advices do not inform us that the fleet under Admiral Farragut has as yet passed up the river from New Orleans. The force operating in Arkansas has been eminently successful. It is probable that the steamer which will convey this despatch will, at the time of her departure from Boston, receive later and more significant military information than any which it is now in my power to communicate.
While it would be unwise to promise immediate and decisive operations of our naval forces, I think you may rest assured that at least the rigor of the blockade already experienced at Charleston and Mobile is likely to be increased to such a degree as to defeat the aids which are proceeding to those ports from Europe.
The government of the United States has not recognized any obligation to justify its proceedings in the prosecution of the war against the insurgents. Still less would it in any case enter into the example set by its disloyal citizens in Europe by directing the attention of foreign states to the extraordinary severities decreed and practiced by the insurgents upon prisoners of war. The insurgents make up their records for themselves, and Christian people everywhere will judge whether the war waged against the government is entitled to sympathies so steadily invoked in the names of freedom and humanity.
Thus far no prisoner of war captured by the national military forces, nor any person arrested by the civil authority, has suffered any other penalty than mere duress for a limited period.
The intenscness of cruelty which reveals itself in the so-to-speak official utterances of the insurrectionary authorities indicates an alarm, a consciousness of exhaustion and of danger, which cannot be misunderstood. In the face of such utterances, appeals like that of the Confederate Aid Society in London, to which you have directed my attention, cannot excite sympathy among a people who, in every communication that they make to us, demand the most rigid observance of the rules of civil law and judicial administration. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
Charles Francis Adams, <$t\, Sfc., Ifc.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Adam*.
No. 443.] Department Of State,
Washington, January 5, 1863. Sir: I revert to the now almost forgotten case of the Emily St. Pierre, whose captain and crew overpowered the prize crew on her deck when on her way to port for adjudication, and carried her into a British port in violation, as we think, of the law of nations. In answer to our claim for restitution, Earl Russell said, in substance, that relief could only be obtained through judicial process. The establishment of the principle applicable in such cases is desirable for the interest of both countries. With a view to this point you will submit to Earl Russell the statements contained in the annexed extract from a despatch which hag recently been received from the United States minister at the Hague. From these statements it would appear that the British government in the Crimean war demanded the restitution of a vessel in circumstances similar to those which belong to the case of the Emily St. Pierre. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
Charles Francis Adams, Esq., Ifc., 4.c, fr.
Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.
No. 292.J Legation Of The United States,
London, January 8, 1863.
Sir: In connexion with the papers already transmitted with my despatch No. 280, in relation to the position of the Sumter at Gibraltar, I have now to place in your hands a copy of Lord Russell's reply to my note to him of the 30th ultimo.
Having received further information from Liverpool as to the character of the purchaser of the Sumter, which tended to show still more clearly the nature of the whole transaction, and presuming that some attempt might be made to get off the vessel before the British government could be ready to act, on Saturday I decided upon sending a further telegraphic instruction to Mr. Sprague, a copy of which is also transmitted. I am very sensible of the responsibility I assume in hazarding a possible collision with Great Britain in this case. But as the British law is very strong on this point, the government can scarcely resist its application in this instance to the full extent, no matter what may have been our own practice. In point of fact, however, there is no inconsistency as to the latter, the suspicion of fraud being such as to vitiate the whole transaction. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.
Hon. William H. Sewabd,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
1. Earl Russell to Mr. Adams, Junuary 1, 1863.
2. Telegram, Mr. Adams to Mr. Sprague, January 3, 1863.
3. Telegram, Mr. Sprague's reply, January 5, 1863.
Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.
Foreign Office, January 1, 1863.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 30th ultimo, calling my attention to the circumstances attending the sale of the steamer Sumter at Gibraltar. I have the honor to state to you, in reply, that the law officers of the crown have already the case before them.
I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
Charles Francis Adams, Esq., $e., Sfc., $r.