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at that time of returning to Liverpool, he would have no hesitation in speaking of the matter to his oflicers and the persons from the Sumter. I may also state that Captain Bullock referred to is in Liverpool; that he is an ofticer of the confederate navy; that he was sent over here for the express purpose of fitting out privateers and sending over munitions of war; that he transacts his business at the office of Frazer, Trenholm & Co.; that he has been all the time in communication with Fawcett, Preston & Co., who fitted out the Oreto, and with Lairds, who are fitting out this vessel; that he goes almost daily on board the gun-boat, and seems to be recognized as in authority.

A Mr. Blair, of Paradise street, in this town, who furnished the cabins of the Laird gun-boat, has also stated that all the fittings and furniture were selected by Captain Bullock, and were subject to his approval, although paid for by Mr. Laird.

The information on which I have formed an uudoubting conviction that this vessel is being titted out for the so-called confederate government, and is intended to cruise against the commerce of the United States, has come to me from a variety of sources, and I have detailed it to you as far as practicable. I have given you the names of persons making the statements; but as the information in most cases is given to me by persons out of friendly feeling to the United States, and in strict confidence, I cannot state the names of my informants; but what I have stated is of such a character that bttle inquiry will confirm its truth.

Everything about the vessel shows her to be a war-vessel; she has well-constructed magazines; she has a number of canisters, of a peculiar and expensive construction, for containing powder; she has platforms, already screwed to her decks, for the reception of swivel-guns. Indeed, the fact that she is a war-vessel is not denied by Messrs. Laird; but they say she is for the Spanish government. This they stated on the 3d of April last, when General Burgoyne visited their yard, and was shown over it and the various vessels being built there by Messrs. Jolin Laird, jr., and Henry H. Laird, as was fully reported in the papers at the time.

Seeing the statement, and having been already informed from so many respectable
sources that she was for the so-called confederate government, I at once wrote to the
minister in London to ascertain from the Spanish embassy whether the statement was
true. The reply was a positive assurance that she was pot for the Spanish government.
I am therefore authorized in saying that what was stated on that occasion, as well as
statements since made that she is for the Spanish government, are untrue.
I am satisfied beyond a doubt that she is for a confederate war-vessel.
If you desire any personal explanation or information, I shall be happy to attend
you whenever you may request it.

I am, &c.,

THOMAS H. DUDLEY. The statement in the above letter that the Florida was receiving armament at Nassau was erroneous. The Florida, as has been already shown, did not receive any armament at Nassau.

To this letter the collector replied as follows:

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The collector of customs, Liverpool, to the United States consul.

LIVERPOOL., July 10, 1862. SIR: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of yesterday's date, received this morning,) and to acquaint you that I shall immediately submit the saine for the consideration and direction of the board of customs, under whom I have the honor to servo. I may observe, however, that I am respectfully of opinion the stateinent made by you is not such as could be acted upou by the officers of this revenue, unless legally substantiated by evidence.

I have, &c.,


copy of Mr. Dudley's letter of the 9th July was on the 10th July transmitted by the collector to the commissioners of customs, together with the following report from the surveyor of customs :: [86]

Surveyor's report.

SURVEYOR'S OFFICE, July 10, 1862. Sir: I beg to report that, agreeably with your directions, I have this day inspected the steamer lying at the building-yard of the Messrs. Laird, at Birkenhead, and find Appendix, vol. i, p. 186.

Ibid., p. 185.

that she is in the same state, as regards her armament, as on the date of my former
She has no guns or carriages on board, nor are her platforms fitted to the deck.

Very respectfully,


The papers transmitted by the collector as aforesaid were referred by the commissioners of customs to the solicitor to the customs, who is the official alviser of the department on matters of law; and he, on the 11th July, 1862, reported as follows:

Report from the solicitor to the customs.

There is only one proper way of looking at this question. If the collector of customs were to detaiu the vessel in question, he would no doubt have to maintain the seizure by legal evidence in a court of law, and to pay damages and costs in case of failure. Upon carefully reading the statement I find the greater part, if not all, is hearsay and inadmissible, and as to a part the witnesses are not forthcoming or even to be named. It is perfectly clear to my mind that there is nothing in it amounting to prima facie proof sufficient to justify a seizure, much less to support it in a cont of law, and the consul could not expect the collector to take upon himself such a risk in opposition to rules and principles by which the Crown is governed in matters of this (Signell)

F. J. HAMEL. JULY 11, 1862.


The commissioners of customs accordingly wrote to the collector as follows: 1

The commissioners of customs to the collector at Liverpool.

Custom-HOUSE, London, July 15, 1862. SIR: Having considered your report of the 10th instant, inclosing a communication which you had received from Mr. T. H. Dudley, American consul at Liverpool, apprising you of certain circnmstances relative to a vessel which he states is now beiug fitted out by Messrs. Laird, at Birkenhead, as a gun-boat for the so-called confederate government of the Southern States of America, and intended to be used as a privateer against the United States, and having communicated with our solicitor on the subject

We acquaint you that there does not appear to be prima facie proof suflicient in the statement of the consul to justify the seizure of the vessel, and you are to apprise the consul accordingly.

We transmit, for your information, a copy of the report of our solicitor on the matter, dated the 11th instant. (Siguel)


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Copies of the above papers were, on the 17th July, sent by the commissioners of customs to the treasury for the information of the lords commissioners of the treasury.

Up to this point the information which was in the possession of Her Majesty's government respecting the vessel consisted chiefly, and almost entirely, of hearsay statements, made by persons who could not be produced, as to alleged admissions by other persons who were represented to be either concerned in her eguipment or identified in interest with the Confederate States, and whom, according to the rules of English legal procedure, Her Majesty's government could not compel to give similar admissions or evidence. It was, however, apparent that she was intended for war; and there was some (though very slight) evidence tending to connect her with persons who were believed or known to be partisans or agents of the government of the Confederate States. Mr. Dudley admitted, at the same time, that he could not give the names of

Appendix, vol. I, p. 187.

his informants. The Captain Bullock mentioned above was, in fact, (as Her Majesty's government believes,) an officer and agent of the government of the Confederate States, but Her Majesty's government had at that time no means of proving him to be such.

On the 22d July, 1862, the commissioners of customs received from the collector at Liverpool the following letter: * The collector of customs, Lirerpool, to the commissioners of customs.

LIVERPOOL, July 21, 1862. HONORABLE SIRS: The United States consnl, accompanied by his solicitor, Mr. Squarey, has just been here with the witnesses whose affidavits are inclosed, requesting me to seize the gnn-boat alluded to in your honors' order of the 15th instant, upon the evidence adduced to him that the gun-boat has been fitted out by Messrs. Laird, of Birkenhead, for the confederate government of the Southern States.

The only evidence of importance, as appears to me, is that of Williain Passmore, who had engaged himself as a sailor to serve in the vessel.

I shall be obliged by the board being pleased to instruct me by telegraph how I am to act, as the ship appears to be ready for sea, and may leave any hour she pleases.


S. PRICE EDWARDS. P. S.-Nothing has been done to her since my first representation, nor has anything besides coals been placed in her.

S. P. E.

Inclosed in this letter were copies of six sworn depositions, which were as follows:



him my

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 & 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 ineu 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 shich 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 be replied, yes, they were going to fight for the southern government. I told him I had been used to fighting-ressels, and showed

papers. I asked him to make me signalman on board the vessel, and, in reply, be said that no articles would be signed until the vessel got outside, but he would make me signaimap 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 £4 108. per month, and it was arranged that I should join the ship in Messrs. Laird & Co.'s yard on the following Monday. To enable me to get on board Captain Butcher gave me a password, the number - 290.”

5. On the following Monday, which was, I believe, the 23d of June last, I joined the said vessel in Messrs. Laird & Co.'s yard, at Birkenhead, and I remained by her till Saturday last.

6. The said vessel is a screw-steamer of abont 1,100 tons burden, as far as I can judge, and is built and fitted up as a fighting-ship in all respects; she has a magazine and shot and canister racks on deck, and is pierced for guns, the sockets for the bolts of which are laid down. The said vessel has a large quantity of stores and provisions on board, and she is now lying at the Victoria whart' in the great float at Birkenhead, where she has taken in about 300 tons of coal.

7. There are now about thirty hands on board her, who have been engaged to go out in ber; most of them are men who have previously served on board fightingships, and one of them is a man who served on board the confederate steamer Sumter. It is well known by the hands on board that the vessel is going out as a privateer for

· Appendix, vol. i, p. 188.

the confederate government, to act against the United States, under a commissioa from Mr. Jefferson Davis. Three of the crew are, I believe, engineers; and there are also some fireinen on board.

8. Captain Butcher and another gentleman have been on board the ship almost every day. It is reported on board the ship that Captain Butcher is to be the sailing-master, and that the other gentleman, whose name I believe is Bullock, is to be the fighting captain.

9. To the best of my information and belief, the above-mentioned vessel, which I have heard is to be called the Florida, is being equipped and fitted out in order that she may be employed in the service of the confederate government in America, to cruise and to commit hostilities against the Government and people of the United States of America. (Signed)

WILLIAM PASSMORE. Sworn before me at the custom-house, Liverpool, this 21st day of July, 1852. (Signed)

S. 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 comunissioner of the Confederate

States in America. [88] *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 tho confederate flag tlying at her peak; and I saw the Oreto, a ner gun-boat which had been recently built by Messrs. W. C. Miller & Sons, and which was then lying at anchor in the river off Egremont, dip her colors three times in acknowledgment of the Annie Childs, which vessel returned the compliment, auda boat was immediately afterward dispatched from the Annie Childs to the Oreto, with several persons on board, besides the men who were at the oars.

3. On the 22d day of March last I was on the north landing-stage between 7 and o'clock in the morning; I saw the said Captain Bullock go on board a tender, whieb afterwards took him off to the said gun-boat Oreto, which was then lying in the Slorue, Just before he got on board the tender he shook hands with a gentleman wlio 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.

4. On the same day, between 11 and 12 o'clock, as well as I can remember, I saw the Oreto go to sea. She came well in on the Liverpool side of the river, and from the Princess 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 Anvie Childs with Captain Bullock to take the gun-boat out. (Signed)

JOHN DE COSTA. Sworn before me at the custom-house, Liverpool, this 21st day of July, 1862. (Sigued)

S. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector.


I, Allen Stanley Clare, of Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, articled clerk, make oath and say as follows :

1. On the 21st day 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 No. 290, and from the entries in the 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. (Sigved)

ALLEN S. CLARE. Sworn before me at the custom-house, Liverpool, this 21st day of July, 1862. (Sigued)

S. 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 Richard Brogau, whom I know to be an apprentice working in the shipbuilding yard of Messrs. Laird & 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, pow instant, I saw the said Richard Brogan and examined him in reference to a gun-boat which I had heard was being built by the said Messrs. Laird & Co. for the so-called confederate government, and the said Richard 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 Richard Brogan to go as carpenter's mate in the said vessel for three years, which the said Richard Brogan bad declined to do, because Mr. Laird, who was present at the time, would not guarantee his wages. That the said vessel was to carry 120 men, and that 30 able seamen were already enwayed for her. That the petty ofticers 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 thie Dew warehouses in the Birkenhead dock, and that it was uuderstood she was to take her guns on board at Messrs. Laird & Co.'s shed, further up the dock; and that it *3$ generally understood by the men in Messrs. Laird & Co.'s yard that the said vessel was being built for the confederate goverument.

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 froin the so-callesi confederate government, against the United States Goveroinent. (Signed)


MATTHEW MAGUIRE. Sworn before me at the custoin-house, Liverpool, this 21st day of July, 1862. (Signed)

S. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector.

5. I. Thomas Haines Dudley, of No. 3 Wellesley Terrace, Prince's Park, in the borough of Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, esq., being one of the people called Quakers,

affirm and say as follows : [9] *I am the consul of the United States of North America for the port of Liver

pool and its dependencies. 2. In the month of July, in the year 1861, information was sent by the United States Government to the United States consulate at Liverpool, that a Mr. James D. Bullock, of Savannab, in the State of Georgia, who was formerly the master of an American steamer called the Cabawba, was reported to bave 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 privajeers, and in the month of August, in the year 1861, 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 James D. Bullock, and I have ascertained the following circumstances, all of which I verily believe to be true, viz, that the said James D. Bullock is in constant communication with parties in Liverpool who are known to be connected with and aeting for the parties who have assumed the government of the Confederate States. That the said James 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 np the Mersey. That shortly after the arrival of the said James D. Bullock at Liverpool in the Annie Childs, as above mentioned, he again sailed from Liverpool in a new gunboat called the Oreto, built at Liverpool, by Messrs. W. C. Miller & Sons, ship-builders, and completed in the early part of the present year, and which gun-boat, the Oreto, though she cleared from Liverpool for Palermo and Jamaica, in reality never went to those places, but proceeded to Nassan, 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 James 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 snperintending the building, equipment, and fitting ont of another steam gun-boat, known as No. 290, which has lately been launched by

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