Imágenes de página


received her armament at a distance of more than a thousand miles from England, and was armed for war, not within the dominions of Her Majesty, but either in Portuguese waters or on the high seas.

The guns and ammunition which were put on board the Alabama off Terceira had been procured and exported from England in an ordi. nary merchant-steamer, which loaded them as cargo and sailed with a regular clearance for Nassan.

The Alabama was commissioned by the government of the Confederate States, and commanded and officered by American citizens. Of the crew a considerable number were British subjects, who were induced by persuasion and promises of reward to take service in her while she was off Terceira. Others were American citizens, and the proportion which these bore to the rest increased during her cruise.

After having been armed and commissioned as a ship of war of the Confederåte States, the Alabama was admitted in that character into ports of all the countries visited by her, among which were several of the colonies of Great Britain. In these she was received on the same footing as elsewhere, without favor or partiality. No serious endeavor to capture the Alabama appears to have been

made on the part *of the Government of the United States. The [119] Tuscarora, which had been summoned by Mr. Adams to an Eng

lish port in order to intercept her on her departure, failed to do so, apparently through the remissness of the Tuscarora's commander. During the whole cruise, which lasted nearly two years, and until she sailed from the port of Cherbourg to engage the Kearsarge, she was only encountered twice by United States ships; once in the Gulf of Mexico, when she voluntarily provoked an action and sunk her opponent, and a second time when she eluded the pursuit of the San Jaciuto, at Vartinique.

Her Britannic Majesty's government canuot admit that, in respect of the Alabama, it is justly chargeable with any failure of international duty, for which reparation is due from Great Britain to the United States.

[merged small][ocr errors]




PART VII.- The Georgia.

On the 8th April, 1863, Mr. Adams addressed to Earl Russell a note

respecting a steam-vessel, built in Dumbarton, in Scotland,

and at first known as the Japan, but subsequently as the Georgia.

This vessel had put to sea six days before the date of Mr. Adamıs's note, and was at that date out of the Queen's dominions. No information whatever relating to her had previonsly reached Her Majesty's government. Mr. Adams's note was as follows:1

Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.


London, April 8, 1863. MY LORD: From information received at this legation, which appears entitled to credit, I am compelled to the painful conclusion that a steam-vessel has just departed from the Clyde with the intent to depredate on the commerce of the people of the United States. She passed there under the name of the Japan, but is since believed to bave assumed the name of the Virginia. Her immediate destination is the island of Alderney, where it is supposed she way yet be at this moment. A small steamer called the Alar, belonging to Newhaven, and commanded by Henry P. Maples, has been loaded with a large supply of guns, shells, shot, powder, &c., intended for the equipment of the Virginia, and is either on the way or has arrived there. It is further alleged that a considerable number of British subjects have been enlisted at Liverpool, and sent to serve on board this cruiser.

Should it be yet in the power of Her Majesty's government to institute some inquiry into the nature of these proceedings, in season to establish their character if innocent, or to put a stop to them if criminal, I feel sure that it would be removing a heary burden of anxiety from the minds of my countrymen in the United States.

I pray, &c.,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. From dispatches addressed by Mr. Adams and Mr. Dudley to their own Government, it appears that the consuls of the United States at Glasgow and Liverpool, and Mr. Adams himself, bad for a long time been in possession of information respecting this vessel, and that she had long been an object of suspicion to them. Mr: Adams, on the 9th April, 1863, wrote as follows to Mr. Seward :

Lastly, comes the case of the Japan, alias the Virginia. I have been long in the possession of information abont the construction and outfit of that vessel on the Cirde, but nothing has ever been furnished to me of a nature to base proceedings upon. Learning, however, that she had gone to the island of Alderney to take her armament there, I made up my mind to send notice of it to the British government, and leave it to them to act in the case as they might think fit.

Mr. Dudley, on the 3d April, had written as follows to Mr. Seward : Mr. Underwood, our consul at Glasgow, has no doubt informed you about the steamer now called the Japan, formerly the Virginia, which is about to clear from this port for the East Indies. Some seventy or eighty men, twice the number that wonld be required for any legitimate voyage, were shipped at Liverpool for this vessel, and sent to Greenock on Monday evening last. They are shipped for a voyage of three years. My

Appendix, vol. i, p. 399.

belief is that she belongs to the confederates, and is to be converted into a privateer; quite likely to cruise in the East Indies, as Mr. Young, the paymaster from the Alabama, tells me it has always been a favorite idea of Mr. Mallory, the secretary of the confederate navy, to send a privateer in these waters. I sent a man from here to Glasgoy to accompany these men, to endeavor to find out the destination of the vessel, &c. He has not been snccessful yet in his efforts. He has been on board, and writes that she has no armament, and he is still there watching her.

No communication respecting this vessel was made to Her Majesty's government until the 8th April, six days after her departure from British waters.

The receipt of Mr. Adams's note of the 8th April was unofficially acknowledged by Mr. Hammond, one of the under-secretaries of state for foreign affairs, as follows:

[ocr errors]

Mr. Hammond to Mr. Adams.


FOREIGN OFFICE, April 8, 1863. MY DEAR SIR: I found your immediate letter on my arrival at the office at 12.45,

and as your mail goes, I believe, to-day, you may like to know at once that within (121) half an hour of that time it was sent to the *home office, within whose particu

lar jurisdiction are the Channel Islands. A copy will also be sent to the treasury as soon as it can be made.

You shall have an official acknowledgment of your letter as soon as I can get Lord Russell's signature, but he is out of town.

Very faithfully, &c.,

E. HAMMOND. Copies of Mr. Adams's note were, on the same day, sent to the home office and the treasury, and those departments were requested to adopt, without delay, the measures most suitable for ascertaining the correctness of the report, and, if it should prove to be well founded, then to take the most effectual measures allowed by law for defeating the alleged attempt to fit out a belligerent vessel from a British port, and for bringing to justice all persons connected with the vessel who might have rendered themselves amenable to the law.,

In pursuance of this request, the following letter was addressed by the under-secretary of state for the home department to the lieutenantgovernor of Guernsey :?

Mr. Waddington to Major-General Slade.

WIUTKHALL, April 8, 1863. Sur: I am directed by Sir George Grey to transmit to you herewithi, as received through the foreign office, a copy of a letter from the United States minister at this court, respecting a steam-vessel named either the Japan or the Virginia, reported to bave left the Clyde for Alderney, where she is to receive on board an armament convered to that island by a small steamer, the Alar, belonging to Newhaven, and is to be eventually employed in liostilities against the United States; and I am to request that you'will make immediate inquiry into the truth of the allegations contained in that communication.

I have to call your attention to the statuto 59 Geo. III, cap. 69. Section 7 appears to be applicable to this case, if the information which bas been given to the minister of the United States of America should turn out to be correct. In that case the lawofficers of the Crown should be instructed to take without delay the proper proceedings authorized by the law of Alderney, to enforce the provisions of the act in question, and the officers of customs may be called upou to assist, if necessary.

Sir George Grey will be glad to be informed of the result of the inquiry, and of any steps that may be taken in consequence.

I have, &c.,

H. WADDINGTON. The lieutenant-governor, on receiving these instructions, desired Captain de Saumarez, commanding Her Majesty's ship Dasher, to proceed at once to Alderney. It was found, however, that Mr. Adams's information as to the immediate destination of the two vessels mentioned in his note was erroneous.

* Appendix, vol. i, p. 399.

· Ibid., p. 401.

The commissioners of customs were, on the same day, (8th June. directed by the lords commissioners of the treasury to instruct their officers at Alderney to co operate with the lieutenant-governor of Guernsey. This order was torth with executed, and the commissioners wrote to the same effect to their officers at Guernsey. They likewise instructed the collectors of customs at Greenock and Glasgow to report all the information which they might be able to obtain respecting the Japan.

The collector at Greenock reported as follows:

Mr. Hodder to commissioner of customs. :

CUSTOM-HOUSE, Greenock, April 10, 1863. HONORABLE SIR: With referer the board's commands signified by Mr. Gardner's letter of yesterday's date, directing me to report to the board all the particulars I may be enabled to ascertain respecting a vessel called the Japan or Virginia, which it is alleged has recently sailed from the Clyde, to be employed against ships of the United States, I beg to report an iron vessel named the Japan, Thomas Hitebcock master, registered at Liverpool as 427 tons, official No. 45868, was built at Dumbarton and measured by the measuring officer at Glasgow, came down the river and proceeded to Gareloch Head, to adjust her compasses, and afterward brought up at the Tail of the Bank, where she remained three or four days. This vessel was, on the 31st ultimo, entered outward by Colin S. Caird, for Point de Galle and Hong-Kong, with a crew of forty-eight men. On the 1st instant she shipped the under-mentioned bonded stores, which were sent from Liverpool, viz: 115 gallons of spirits, 32 gallons of wine, 244 pounds of tea, 590 pounds of coffee, 212 pounds of tobacco, 10 pounds cigars, 18 cwt. 3 quarters 2 pounds of sugar, 2 cwt. 2 quarters 8 pounds of molasses, 2 cwt. 1 quarter 5 pounds of raisins, and I cwt. 1 quarter 8 pounds of currants; and cleared the same day in ballast for Point de Galle and Hong-Kong:

It appears she left the anchorage at the Tail of the Bank early on the morning of the 2d instant, with the ostensible purpose of trying her engines, intending to return, having

on board several joiners who were fitting up her cabins, and I am informed that [122] after she left this the joiners were employed in *fitting up a magazine on

board, and were subsequently landed on some part of the coast lower dowu the Clyde.

It is reported that she did not take her final departure until the 6th or 7th instant; but I cannot ascertain where she went after leaving this anchorage.

I have questioned the officer who performs tide-surveyor's duty afloat, and who visited her, on the evening of the 1st instant, to see that the stores were correct. He informs me he saw nothing on board wbich could lead him to suspect that she was intended for war purposes. I can testify that she was not heavily sparred ; indeed she could not spread more canvas than an ordinary merchant-steamer. I beg to add, when the tide-surveyor was on board, the joiners were fitting doors to the cabins.

I am, &c.,



The officer acting for the collector at Glasgow transmitted the subjoined report, made by the measuring surveyor at that port. He added, that the Japan had not cleared from Glasgow :

Custom-House, Glasgow, April 10, 1863. Sir: In compliance with your reference, I beg to report that an iron screir-steamer, called the Japan, was recently built by Messrs. W. Denny, Brothers, at Dumbarton.

I surveyed her on the 17th January last, and visited on two subsequent occasions for the purpose of completing my survey. She appeared to me to be intended for commercial purposes, her frame-work and plating being of the ordinary sizes for vessels of her class. Appendix, vol. i, p. 403.

2 Ibid., p. 404.

I annex a copy of my certificate of survey, which shows the vessel's tonnage and description, and beg to add that the formula and certificate of survey for the Japan were forwarded to Liverpool on the 2d ultimo, with a view to her being registered as a British ship. Respectfully submitted. (Signed)


Measuring Surveyor. FORM No. 1A. Steamer.

Certificate of surrey.!

Name of ship. British or foreign built. Port of intended registry.

How propelled.

[blocks in formation]

Length from the fore part of stem under the bowsprit to the aft side of

the head of the stern-post. Main breadth to outside plank.. Depth in bold from tonnage-deck to ceiling at midships.

Name and address of builder-W. Dennys, Brothers, Dumbarton.

[blocks in formation]


No. of tong. Tonnage under tonnage-deck..

554.54 Closed-in spaces above the tonnage-deck, if any; viz:

Space or spaces between decks.

85. 67 Round-house.. Other inclosed spaces, if any, paming them-store-room on deck...

1.39 Excess of space appropriated to the crew above do of the remaining tonpage..



648.28 Deduction for space required for propelling-power as measured..

221.03 Register tonnage, (after making deduction for space for propelling-power in steamers).

427. 25 Length of engine-room, 54 feet 3 tenths. Number of engines, two. Combined power, (estimated horse-power,) number of horses-power, 200 horses. Name and address of engine-makers, Denny & Co., Dumbarton. I, the undersigned Martin Costello, measuring surveyor for this port, having surveyed the above-named ship, hereby certify that the above particulars are true, and that the name and the port of registry are properly painted on a conspicuous part of her stern in manner directed by the merchant shipping act, 1854. Dated at Glasgow, the 4th day of February, 1863. (Signed)


Surveyor. It appears from these reports that the vessel, when surveyed by the measuring surveyor, presented nothing calculated to excite suspicion ;

that she had the appearance of being intended for commercial (123] parposes, her frame work and plating being such as are *ordinary

in trading vessels of her class; that she had been regularly entered outwards for Point de Galle and Hong-Kong, with a crew of

Appendix, vol. i, p. 423.

« AnteriorContinuar »