Imágenes de página

British ports the base of insurgent op erations ; hospitality shown to the insurgents;

such deep-seated sense of wrong in the United States. Over much of this feeling the kindly expression of regret in the Treaty of Washington bas forever cast the mantle of oblivion.

The reports of the diplomatic and consular officers of the United States, made from the British dominions to their Government during the war, which are printed in the volumes which will accompany this case, are full of proof of a constant state of irritating hostility to the United States, and of friendship to the insurgents in the several communities from which they are written. These dispatches are interesting, as showing the facilities which the complicity of the community often, if not always, gave to the scheines of the insurgents for violating the sovereignty of Great Britain. The reports from Liverpool, Nassau, Bermuda, and Melbourne are especially interesting in this respect, and tend to throw much light on the causes of the differences which are, it is to be loped, to be forever set at rest by the decision of this Tribunal. *As soon as the authorities who were directing at Richmond the [218]

fortunes of the insurgents were sure that their right to un sporta carry on a maritime war would be recognized by Great

Britain, their Secretary of the Navy recommended to Mr. branch of their com Jefferson Davis to send an agent to Great Britain for the Government treatment purpose of contracting for and superintending the constructoblicines menosion of men-of-war; and Mr. James Dunwoody Bullock, who and in furnishing had been an officer in the Navy of the United States, was,

in accordance with that recommendation, sent there in the

summer of 1861, and entered upon his duties before the autumn of that year. Mr. North, also formerly of the United States Navy, was empowered "to purchase vessels”l for the insurgents; and Mr. Caleb Huse, formerly of the Ordnance Department of the Army of the United States, was sent to London for the purchase of arms and munitions of war," Mr. Bullock, Mr. North, and Mr. Huse continued to discharge their duties during most of the struggle, and served the purposes of those who sent them there, with intelligence and activity.

The means for carrying on these extensive operations were to be derived from the proceeds of the cotton crop of the South. It will probably *be within the personal recollection of the several [219] gentlemen, members of the Tribunal, that in the year 1860 the world was dependent upon the fields of the insurgent States for a large portion of its supply of cotton, and that, when the blockade was estab. lished by the United States, a large part of the crop of 1860 was still unexported. This, and all subsequent crops that might be produced during the struggle, would yield their value in gold as soon as landed in Liverpool.

The insurgent agents took advantage of this fact. They secured, through their assumed authority as a Government, the control of so much as might be necessary for their purposes, and they early made arrangements for a credit in Liverpool upon the faith of it.

them with arms, mu. nitions, and means for carrying on the etruggle.

Walker to Green, 1st July, 1861, Vol. VI, page 30. 9“It was estimated that only abont 750,000 bales at most of the crop of 1860 remained on hand in the South when the blockade began. The crop of 1861 was about 2,750,000 bales—a little more than half the total quantity consumed in 1860—and this supply, or so much of it as could be properly picked, cleaned, and balet, would, together with what remained from the previous year, have been available for exportation in the winter and spring of 1861–62. The quantity actually sent abroad, however, up to July or August, 1862, was reckoned not to exceed 50,000 bales, the great bulk of which, but not the whole, went to England."-Bernard's Neutrality of Great Britain,

page 286.

The firm of Fraser, Trenholm & Co.

It so happened that there was at Charleston, at that time, a wellestablished commercial house, doing business under the name of John Fraser & Co. The head of this firm was

George A. Trenbolin, of Charleston. Another prominent member [220] was Charles K. Prioleau, also a citizen of the United States.

Before or about the time the insurrection broke out, and, as the United States believe, in auticipation of it, this house established a branch in Liverpool, under the name of Fraser, Trenholm & Co. Prioleau was dispatched thither to take charge of the Liverpool business, and became, for purposes that may easily be imagined, a naturalized British subject. George A. Trenholm remained in Charleston, and, in due course of time, became the Secretary of the insurgent Treasury, and a member of the so-called Goverument at Richmond. An arrangement was made by which the cotton of the insurgent authorities was to be sent to Fraser, Trenholm & Co., to be drawn against by the purchasing agents of the insurgents.

The first amount (five hundred thousand dollars) was placed to their credit in Liverpool, somewhere about the month of May, or early in June, 1861; and, under the name of " depositories,” Fraser, Trenholm & Co. re

mained a branch of the Treasury of the insurgent Government. [221] *Thus there was early established in Great Britain a branch of

the War Department of the insurgents, a branch of their Navy Department, and a branch of their Treasury, each with almost plenary powers. These things were done openly and notoriously. The persons and places of business of these several agents were well known to the communities in which they lived, and must have been familiar to the British officials. If there was any pretense of concealment in the outset it was soon abandoned.

On the 22d of July, 1861, Huse writes to the officer in charge of the insurgent Ordnance Department, complaining of the activity of the agents of the United States in watching and thwarting his movements. “ It is difficult,” he says, "for a stranger to keep his actions secret when spies are on his path.” He says that he shall have ready, by the 1st of August, some of the goods that had been ordered on the 17th of the previous April, and more by the 1st of October, and that “the shipping of the articles will be left in the hands of the Navy Department."2 On the 18th of September, the steamer - Bermuda” ran the blockade,

and arrived at Savannah with "arms and munitions on board."3 (222] She came*from Fraser, Trenholm & Co., consigned to John Fraser

& Co. Information of the character and purposes of this steamer, and of the nature of her freight, had been given to Lord Russell by Mr. Adams on the 15th of the previous August, and he had declined to “interfere with the clearance or sailing of the vessel.95 On the fourth day after her arrival at Savannah her consignees offered to charter her to the insurgents, and the offer was accepted.96

I“ Of twenty steamers, which were said to bave been kept plying in 1863 between Nassau and two of the blockaded ports, seven belonged to a mercantile firm at Charleston, who had a branch house at Liverpool, and through whom the Confederate Government transacted its business in England.” “The name of the Charleston firm was John Fraser & Co.; that of the Liverpool house, Fraser, Trenholm & Co. Of the five pembers of the house, four, I believe, were Soutlr Carolinians, and one a British subject."Bernard's Neutrality of Great Britain, page 289 and notc. The British subject referred to by Mr. Bernard was Priolea u, naturalized for the purpose.

* Huse to Gorgas, Vol. VI, page 33.
* Lawton to Cooper, 20th September, 1861, Vol. VI, page 36.
* Adams to Russell, Vol. I, page 760.
5 Russell to Adams, Vol. I, page 762.
6 Benjamin to John Fraser & Co., 27th September, 1861, Vol. VI, page 37.

blockaded coast.

The experience of the “Bermuda," or the difficulties which she e countered in running the blockade, seem to have induced the insurger authorities to think that it would be well to have some surer way ft receiving the purchases made by their agents in Liverpool. The strii gency of the blockade established by the United States, and the natur of the coast that was blockaded, made it necessary to have a set agents in the West Indies also.

The coast of the United States, from Chesapeake Bay to the Mexica Character of the frontier, is low, with shoaly water extending out for some di

tance to sea. A range of islands lies off the coast, froi Florida to Charleston, and islands also lie off Wilmington and *the coast to the north of it. The waters within these islands are [224 shallow, affording an inland navigation for vessels of light draught. The passages to the sea between the islands are generally of the sami character. The outlying frontier of islands, or of shallow waters, i broken at Wilmington, at Charleston, and at Savannah. At these thre points large steamers can approach and leave the coast; but these point were at that time guarded by the blockading vessels of the United States so as to make the approach difficult. Vessels not of light draught an great speed were almost certain of capture; while vessels of such draugh and speed could not carry both coal and a cargo across the Atlantic.

To avoid this risk it was resolved to send the purchases which migh be made in England to Nassau in British bottoms, and there transshij them into steamers of light draught and great speed, to be constructed for the purpose, which could carry coal enough for the short passage into the waters that connected with either Charleston, Savannah, oi Wilmington. The first order from Richmond that is known to have been given for such a shipment is dated the 22d of July, 1861.2 The attention of the Tribunal of Arbitration is *invited to the [224]

accompanying map, showing how admirably the tion of Nassau und British ports of Nassau and Bermuda were adapted for the

illegal purposes for which it was proposed to use them Nassau was surrounded by a cluster of British islands, so that even & slow-sailing blockade-runner, pressed by a pursuing man-of-war, could in a short time reach the protection of British waters. Bermuda had the advantage of being more directly off the ports of Wilmington and Charleston. Neither Nassau nor Bermuda, however, was more than two days distant from the blockaded ports for the swift steamers that were employed in the service.3

On the 4th of October, 1861, Mr. Benjamin, writing from Richmond, and signing himself as “ Acting Secretary of War," addressed Mr. Mallory as “ Secretary of the Navy," and asked if he could “spare an officer from his department to proceed to Havana and take charge of funds there, to be used by agents of this department in the purchase of smallarms and ammunition.94

*Mr. Lewis Heyliger, of New Orleans, was apparently desig- [225] nated for this purpose. On the 30th of November, 1861, he takes

Huse to Gorgas, 15th March, 1862, Vol. VI, page 69. Walker to Huse and Anderson, Vol. VI, page 31. 3“ The British Island of New Providence, in the Bahamas, became the favorite resort of ships employed in these enterprises. Situated in close weighborhood to the coast of Florida, and within three days' sail of Charleston, it offered singular facilities to the blockade-runners. The barbor of Nassau, usually quiet and almost empty, was soon thronged with shipping of all kinds; and its wharves and warehouses became an entrepot for cargoes brought thither from different quarters. Agents of the Confederate Government resided there, and were busily employed in assisting and developing the traffic.- Bernard: Neutrality of Great Britain, page 299.

4 Benjamin to Mallory, Vol. VI, page 39.

Geographical situa



[ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »