Imágenes de página

forty eight men, and that, on the 1st April, 1863, she had cleared for that destination in ballast.

It subsequently appeared further that she bad, on the 20th of March, 1863, been registered as the property of a Mr. Thomas Bold, a merchant residing at Liverpool, on the declaration of Bold that he was the sole owner of her. It also appeared that she had been advertised at the Sailors’ Ilome in Liverpool as about to sail for Singapore; that seamen were hired for her at Liverpool as for a ship bound for that port; and that all her crew so hired signed articles for a voyage to Singapore, or any intermediate port, for a period of two years, and that the men believed that this was the real destination of the ship. Soe took her crew on board while lying in the Clyde, off the port of Greenock, and on the 2d of April she sailed.

With respect to the Alar, the small steamer stated by Mr. Adams in his note of the Sth to bave conveyed men and munitions of war to the Japan, the commissioners of customs had, before the date of that note, received from their collector at Newhaven the following report, which they had forwarded to the treasury:

Mr. Dolan to the commissioners of customs.

CUSTOM-House, Newharen, April 6, 1863. HONORABLE SIRS: The steamship Alar, of London, 85 tons, owned by H. P. Maples, sailed on Sunday morning, 5th instant, at 2 a. m., bound, according to the ship's paper viz, the accompanying content, for Alderney and St. Malo. On Saturday, at midnight, thirty men, twenty of whom appeared to be British sailors, ten mechanics, arrived by train. Three gentlemen accompanied them, Mr. Lewis, of Alderney, Mr. Ward, and Mr. Jones. The men appeared to be ignorant of their precise destination; some said they were to get £20 each for the trip. A man, rather lame, superintended them. Shortly after midnight a man arrived from Brighton on horseback, with a telegram, which, for purposes of secrecy, had been sent there and not to Newbaven, it is suspected. Mr. Staniforth, the agent, replied to my inquiries this morning that the Alar had munitions of war on board, and that they were consigned by to a Mr. Lewis, of Alderney. His answers were brief, and with reserve, leaving no doubt on my mind nor on the minds of any here that the thirty men and munitions of war are destined for transfer at sea to some second Alabama. The private telegram to Brighton intimated, very probably, baving been reserved for the last bour, where that vessel would be found. Whether the shipment of the men, who all appeared to be British subjects, can, if it should be hereafter proved that they have been transferred to a Federal or confederate vessel, be held as an infringement of the foreigų. enlistment act, and w bether the clearance of the Alar, if bereafter proved to be untrue, can render the master amenable under the customs consolidation act, is for your consideration respectfully submitted. (Signed)

R. J. DOLAN, Collector.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

“ Alar," Al

British ship,

deruey and St. Malo.


1 Appendix, vol. i, p. 405.

2 Blank in the original.

Warehoused and transshipment goods.

Draw back and restricted goods.

Number and Marks. Numbers.


Remarks. Marks. Numbers. of pack


[blocks in formation]

British goods and foreign goods free of duty, and foreign goods not for drawback:

Sundry free goods.


W. S. FLINT, Examining Officer.
Cleared, dated April 4.

I do declare that the above content is a true account of all goods shipped or intended to be shipped on board the above-named ship, and correct in all other particulars, and that all the requirements of the act 17 and 18 Vict., cap. 101, have been duly complied with. (Sigued)

JOS. BACK, Vaster. Signed and declared, this 4th day of April, before me. (Signed)

W. K. STAVELEY, Collector. (121) *When this report was received no information respecting the

vessel then known as the Japan had reached the commissioners of customs or the government, and on this point no information was or could be conveyed in the report, since none was possessed by the collector at Newhaven.

On the 11th April, 1863, the following statement appeared in the second edition of the Times newspaper:

PLYMOUTH, Saturday Morning. The steamship Alar, Captain Back, of and from Newhaven, for St. Malo, put in here this morning, and landed seventeen men belonging to the steamship Japan, Captain Jones, 600 tons, which left Greenock on the 20th March for a trading voyage in the Chinese seas.

Ou arrival oti' the coast of France she lay to for three days, it is supposed to take in more cargo. On the 4th April, at 11 a. in., one of the condensers of the steam-engines, which are abont 200 horse-power, exploded, and two firemen in the stokehole were scalded, viz, Alexander McDutt, of Edinburgh, and William Hamilton, of Downpatrick, seriously; they were taken immediately into the captain's cabin, transferred to the Alar on the Oth, and are now in the Devon and Cornwall hospital here. The other fifteen are seamen and firemen, who took advantage of the proximity of the Alar, and are said to have “backed out of the voyage to China.” They left by train this morning for Liverpool, Portsmouth, &c. The Japan, which had a complement of eighty men, bas proceeded. The Alar had to lay to in the Channel on Thursday and Friday, in consequence of some tritling damages.

Earl Russell, on observing this statement, gave orders that it should be immediately brought to the notice of the secretary of state for the home department, and the lords commissioners of the treasury. Ward, and on the same day, at 5 p. m., he received from Mr. Adams the following note referring to it :

Appendix, vol. I, p. 402.

2 Ibid., p. 401.

Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.


London, April 11, 1063, MY LORD: I have the honor to inclose to your lordship a slip extracted from the Loodon Times of this day, touching the case of the vessel now called the Japan, but namel at Greenock lately the Virginia. It is needless to add that the statement therein made of the destination of the vessel is known to me to be false. I have reason to believe that she has not gone. The steamer Alar has already transferred to her one 56-pounder gun and four smaller ones, and is expected to return to her.

I pray, &c., (Sigued)

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Copies of this note were immediately sent to the home department and the treasury, with a request that it should receive immediate attention, and that those departments would take such steps as might be legally in their power to prevent å violation of the law.

On the same evening, at 7.40 p. m., orders were sent by telegraph to the collector of customs at Plymouth to make inquiry about the Alar; and at 11.40 p. m. an answer was received from him to the effect that she had arrived that morning, and that the collector had taken the master's statement, and had forwarded it to the board of customs.

The statement so forwarded, and the collector's letter inclosing it, were as follows: 1

Mr. Browne to the commissioners of customs.

Custom-HOUSE, Plymouth, April 11, 1863. HoxORABLE SIrs: I beg to submit, for your honors' information, the inclosed statement of the master of the steamer Alar, of London, to which he has affised his signature. He states that his vessel is a regular trader between Newhaven and the Channel Islands,

Respectfully, &c.,


Statement of Mr. Back, master of the screw-steamer Alar.

I cleared from Newhaven on the 4th April for Alderney and St. Malo, in ballast, and sailed from thence on Sunday the 5th, having on board about thirty passengers, of whon about six were in the cabin, and a quantity of packages, which I supposed contained provisions and passengers' baggage. Before leaving a principal party was pointed out to me by the owner of my ship, and I was informed by him that the provisions belonged to this party, and that I was to obey his instructions.

On Sunday, about 3 p. m., my engine broke down, owing to the bursting of the feedpipe, and I was compelled to rake out fires, and blow off steam; the engineer repaired

damage, and after about seven or eight hours' delay I proceeded on my royage. [125] Broke down again on Monday morning, from * some cause, and proceeded, after

repairs and similar delay. Laying-to on Tuesday afternoon and night, weather very thick, and blowing from westward.

Op Wednesday, about 11 a. m., saw a steamship a long way off to the westward, with signal fying, but I know not what colors. The passenger before mentioned asked ine to bear down to the ship, which I did; but before reaching her, my engine broke down again, when the steamer came up to me, and took my vessel in tow. The steamer towed me toward the coast of France, in order that I might get shelter to effect repairs. She towed me for about an hour, then the rope parted; and in coming back to fetch me again, the tow-rope got foul of the large steamer's propeller, and caused her to fall down upon us, damaging our stanchions, and carrying away our bowsprit.

The passenger before inentioned then asked me to transfer the provisions and bag. gage to the large steamer, which was done, by about twenty of the passengers, who also went on board the steamer, where they remained. I was then asked by a person in authority on board the large steamer, if I wonld take two men who had been badly scalded to any port where there was an hospital, which I consented to do, and ther, with about nine or ten others, and the person who had spoken to me about the sick men, came on board my vessel; and I at once proceeded for the first English port I could make that had an hospital.

2 Appendix, vol. i, p. 408.

I parted with the large steamer on Thursday afternoon. On the afternoon of Friday we again broke down, and were delayed about the same time as before. About 2 a. m. on Saturday the 11th, wesighted the Eddystone, and bore up for Plymouth, which we reached about 4.30 a. m., when we landed the person we had taken with us from Newbaventhe person who spoke to us on board the steamet-about one dozen men, including the men from the steamer, and the two sick men for the hospital. I heard the large steamer was called the Japan, but I did not see her name on her stern, as I had enough to do to attend to my own ship. (Signeal)

J. F. BACK, Master of the Alar. CUSTOM-House, Plymouth, April 11, 1863. (Signed)

N. E. BROWN, Collector. On the 16th April, Earl Russell received from Mr. Adams a note inclosing two depositions purporting to be made by seamen who had shipped in the Japan at Greenock, as part of her crew, and had since returned to Liverpool. The note and copies of depositions were as follows:1

Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.


London, April 15, 1863. My Lord: I have the honor to transmit copies of two depositions of British subjects, who appear to have been solicited to engage in the unlawful expedition of the Japan, alias the Virginia, against the commerce of the United States. "I append a list of the officers and men, subjects of Great Britain, shipped at the Sailors' Home in Liverpool, a large part of whom have been induced to join the piratical expedition. Likewise a list of the men who refused to enlist, left the Virginia, and returned to Liverpool.

It is not withont great pain that I feel it my duty to point out to your lordship these transactions at Liverpool, and the extent to which, if not in some way prevented, they are calenlated to give rise to complaints in the United States of the violations of neutrality deliberately committed by Her Majesty's subjects in the port of Liverpool.

I pray, &c.,


Deposition of Edward Thompson. Edward Thompson, of No. 18 Denison street, in Liverpool, makes oath and says: I am an able seaman, and served for five years in a man-of-wår, on Her Majesty's ship Neptune and others. I was shipped from Liverpool to Greenock to join the steamer Japan, as I was told, bound on a voyage to Singapore. She was advertised in Sailors' Home as bound for this port. I belong to the royal naval reserve. We sailed from Greenock on the 2d day of April instant. Captain Hitchcock was in command. We sailed first down toward the Isle of Man. We then tacked and went north through the North Channel and down the west coast of Ireland, passed Cape Clear, and steered east up the Channel. Ushant light was the first light we sigbted; went toward St. Malo. We then put her to the westward, and dodged at slow steam all night. We fell in with the Alar steamer just off Morleux; we were not more than three or four miles from land at the time. When the Alar saw us she hoisted a flag for a pilot; after she got her pilot op she hoisted a flag of distress. We had taken her in tow before the pilot reached 118. We floated about until night, then got the Alar alongside, and commenced to discharge the cargo into the Japan. We were three nights engaged in discharging the cargo; we did nothing in the day-time. She brought to us guns, shot, shell, rockets, ammunition, rifles, cutlasses, and all sorts of implements of war. I counted nine Whitworth guns to be mounted on the decks. I may be mistaken about the maker's name. I only know they were breech-loading guns. I understood there was one large pivot-gän on board when we left Greenock. I left the vessel on Friday last, in the steamer Alar. After we got all the cargo discharged from the Alar into the Japan, at 4 o'clock on Friday afternoon, while we were off Brest, about two miles from land, the new captain wbo came to us in the Alar, having dressed himself in regimentals, in a blue uniform with a star in the epaulets, bad all hands piped aft by the boatswain. He then directed the lieutenant to read the articles, and then said, “We

are not bound for Singapore; we are going to sail under the confederate flag, the [126] same as the *Alabama, to sink, burn, avd destroy vsssels belonging to the United

States. All of you who wish to join, I will give £10 in cash as soon as you sign the articles, and you who do not wish to join can go back in the Alar. Those who join

. Appendix, vol. i, p. 412.

shall also have £1 per month extra." The captain told us her name was to be the Tirginia, and this was the name mentioned in the articles which we were required to sign. They had the confederate flag on board at the time laid down on the floor of the cabin, but it was not hoisted. The articles were for three years, or during the war with the United States. During the night, while we were discharging the cargo from one vessel to the other, we were at anchor very close into the land; not more than half a mile from the land, opposite a magazine which lies a quarter of a mile frura Ushant light. We went to this place, or very near there, every night. After reading the articles, the men who refused to sign asked about their wages. They were told that Captain Hitchcock would settle this after we arrived at Liverpool. I saw Mr. Hitchcock yesterday at Jones & Co.'s office, No 28 Chapel street, Liverpool. This house of Jones & Co. acted as agents for shipping the men. One of their clerks was at the steamer which took us around from Liverpool to Greenock. They signed all the shipping notes; at least, they were all made payable there at Jones & Co.'s offices, and they have paid them since. They paid me my shipping noto yesterday at their office in Liverpool. There were ten sailors lately belonging to the British navy from Portmouth, who came out in the Alar, but refused to join the vessel. They received £? apiece from Captain Hitchcock not to say anything about the matter. This was paid them while we were returning to Plymouth. Mr. Jones, one of the firm in Chapel street, Liverpool, who came out to us in the Alar, was present at the time when the money was paid, and ordered Captain Hitchcock to pay it to the men. Mr. Jones seemed to (take] charge of everything. The report was that she, the Virginia, was to go to Madeira. She bad not more than five days' coal when we left ber. She is an iron vessel, very slightly built, with a full poop as far as the after scuttle-bole to fireroom and top-gallant forecastle. Three masts, square rigged forward ; fore and aft main and mizzen. She has one funnel between the fore and main mast; a honse orer engine room, with a donkey-engine in it. The Alar is a British steamer hailing from London. When she came out to meet the Japan, or Virginia as she is called, she sailed from Newhaven. (Signed)

EDWARD THOMPSON. Sworn before me at Liverpool this 14th day of April, 1863. (Signed)

A Commissioner to Administer Oaths in Chancery in England.

Deposition of Thomas Mahon.
Thomas Mahon, residing at No. 8 Court, Gore street, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, being
Sworn, says:

I am a native of Liverpool, and am a laborer. On or about the 27th day of March last past, hearivg that a steamer was wanting men for Singapore, I went to the Sailors Home in Liverpool, and was introduced to a man as the captain. I don't remember his name at present; I believe it is Hitchcock. He is in Liverpool now. He told me he was captain of the Japan. He said he wanted firemen and trimmers, and the next day, the 27th, I went with him to the shipping-office, and there signed articles for steamer Japan for Singapore, or any intermediate port, for two years. Captain Hitchcock engaged me, and witnessed niy signing. I was to have £3 108. per month. Abant fifty men in all signed in the same way. When we had signed, we were told to take our clothes to Jones & Co.'s, No. 28 Chapel street, and would then receive au advance note for a month's pay. I took my clothes there, and received a note for £3 108., par able ten days after the ship sailed from Greenock. At Jones & Co.'s we were told by the Captain Hitchcock to meet at the Glasgow boat at 5 o'clock on Monday afternoon at the dock. We went as ordered, and our clothes were brought down, and our fares were paid by a clerk from Joues & Co. We sailed the same evening in the Heron. about fifty in all. We arrived at Greenock about 3 or 4 the next afternoon, and a ing came alongside and took us off the Heron and put us on board the screw-steamer Japan, lying in the river opposite Greenock. Captain Hitchcock came off in the tug and tunik us on board. He went on board with us; he gave us our orders. I had shippeal as coal-trimmer, and believed she was an English steamer, and going to Singapore. She had then the English ensigp flying. Captain Hitchcock remained on board and exercised command." We remained at Greenock till Wednesday. On Thursday, abont 6 in the morning, when we got under way, the pilot said we were going on a trial trip. On the Wednesday night the revenue officers came on board, after the stores came on board, and put seals on the stores. The stores came off in a steamer and a lighter. They consisted of large quantities of spirits, clothing, blankets, beds, knives and forks, tis, and the like. I did not see any other government officers visit the ship. We sailed out, I believe, on the Thursday morning, as we supposed on the trial trip, and steered toward sea. In thé afternoon we returned to the light-house down the Clyde and stopped, but did not anchor. A tug came to us there with some more men and provisions from Greenock, and as soon as we had taken them on board we started down again and steered right to sea. The pilot left us next morning off Castletown, Isle of

« AnteriorContinuar »