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[99] in order to give an appearance of truth to this *pretense, a number of persons were taken on board, who, after accompanying her for a short distance, returned to Liverpool in a tug-boat. She had not been registered as a British ship, nor had she been cleared at the custom-house for an outward voyage. She took her departure before the report of the law-officers had been received at the Foreign Office, and therefore before any orders for her detention had been given. Whither she was bound, or in what direction she was likely to shape her course, was unknown to the officers of the government, as it was to Mr. Adams, Mr. Dudley, and their informants and advisers. From Mr. Dudley's communications with his own government, it appears that on the 30th July he thought she would probably go to Nassau; afterward he gave some credence to a rumor that she was bound for a Spanish port, and subsequently believed that she would try to reach some port in the Confederate States. Her Majesty's government was equally without means of knowledge. It will have been seen, however, that orders to detain her were sent by the government, not only to Liverpool, whither it was still possible that she might return, but to other ports, which (or the roadsteads adjacent to which) she might probably enter before proceeding to sea. She did in fact enter a roadstead on the coast of North Wales, which lies at a considerable distance from both Beaumaris and Holyhead, but had quitted it before the officers of customs authorized to detain her could arrive on the spot.

It will have been seen also that when she quitted Liverpool, and up to the time of her final departure from British waters, she was entirely unarmed, and had on board no guns, gun-carriages, or ammunition. As to the persons who composed her crew, and the terms on which they were hired, and as to any other persons who may have gone to sea on board of her, Her Majesty's government had not, through its officers at Liverpool or otherwise, any means of information. It appears, however, from depositions which have been subsequently communicated to Her Majesty's government by Mr. Adams, and Her Majesty's govern ment believes it to be true, that the crew, after the ship had left Liverpool, signed articles for Nassau or some intermediate port; that persuasion was afterward used, while the ship was at sea, but still under the British flag, to enlist in the naval service of the Confederate States, and that such of them as were induced to do so signed fresh articles after the arrival of the vessel at the Azores.

Mr. Adams had, in the month of June, 1862, requested Captain Craven, commanding the United States war-steamer Tuscarora, to bring his ship from Gibraltar to Southampton, in order to wait for and capture the vessel should she put to sea. The Tuscarora came to Southampton accordingly in the beginning of July, and, on the 17th July, Mr. Adams wrote to Mr. Seward, "I have supplied to Captain Craven all the information I can obtain respecting the objects and destination of this vessel, and have advised him to take such measures as may, in his opinion, be effective to intercept her on her voyage out. He will probably leave Southampton in a day or two."

The Tuscarora, however, lay at Southampton until the evening of the 29th July, when her commander, after receiving two telegraphic messages from Mr. Adams informing him that the vessel had sailed, and arging him to put to sea immediately, took his departure for Queenstown. An account of the failure of the Tuscarora to intercept the vessel is given in the subjoined dispatch addressed by Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward :1

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Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

London, August 7, 1862.

SIR: In my dispatch of the 30th July I brought down the narrative of the proceedings in the case of the gun-boat No. 290, to the morning of the 29th. Later in the day I sent another telegram to Captain Craven, giving further intelligence from Liverpool, urging his departure from Southampton; also, that he should let me know his next movements, and cautioning him about the line of British jurisdiction. To this message the captain immediately replied, announcing his departure at 8 o'clock, and his intention to touch at Queenstown for further information. On the 30th of July I wrote to Captain Craven, by mail to Queenstown, giving fuller details, received at half-past 11 o'clock from Mr. Dudley, touching the movements of the gun-boat off Point Lynas on that day. Early on the morning of the 31st I sent a telegram to Captain Craven, at Queenstown, apprising him that No. 290 was said to be still off Point Lynas. At about 10 o'clock p. m. of that evening I received a telegram from Captain Craven, dated at Queenstown, announcing his reception of my dispatch, and his intention to await further instructions. This was answered by me early the next morning in the following words, by telegram: and,

"At latest, yesterday, she was off Point Lynas; you must catch her if you can, if necessary, follow her across the Atlantic."

On the same day I received by mail a note from Captain Craven, dated the 31st, announcing the receipt of my dispatches, and his decision to go to Point Lynas at noon on the 1st instant.

[100]* Captain Craven seems to have sailed up Saint George's Channel. This last movement must have been made in forgetfulness of my caution about British jurisdiction, for, even had he found No. 290 in that region, I had in previous conversations with him explained the reasons why I should not consider it good policy to attempt her capture near the coast. In point of fact, this proceeding put an end to every chance of his success.

On the 5th instant I received a letter from him dated the 4th, at Queenstown, inclosing a report of his doings, addressed to the Secretary of the Navy, left open for my inspection, which I forward by this steamer, and at the same time apprising me of his intention to go round to Dublin, and await a letter from me prior to his return to his station at Gibraltar. To this I sent the following reply:

"London, August 6, 1862.

"I will forward your letter to the Secretary of the Navy. Having in my hands sufficient evidence to justify the step, I was willing to assume the responsibility of advising you to follow the boat No. 290, and take her wherever you could find her. But I cannot do the same with other vessels, of which I have knowledge only from general report. I therefore think it best that you should resume your duties under the general instructions you have from the Department, without further reference to me.” It may have been of use to the Tuscarora to have obtained repairs at Sonthampton to put her in seaworthy condition. But had I imagined that the captain did not intend to try the sea, I should not have taken the responsibility of calling him from his station. I can only say that I shall not attempt anything of the kind again. I have, &c., (Signed) Captain Craven's failure to intercept the vessel appears to have been regarded by Mr. Adams as evincing remissness and dilatoriness on the part of the former, and a want of the promptitude and judgment which ought to have been used under the circumstances of the case. It is probable, indeed, that he would have succeeded in intercepting her if he had used the needful activity and dispatch.


For some weeks after the sailing of the vessel (which, up to the time of her departure, had continued to be known only as "The 290," from the number which she bore in the builders' yard) nothing more was heard of her. On the 1st September, 1862, a steamship named the Bahama, which, on the 13th September, had cleared from Liverpool for Nassau, returned to the port and was entered as in ballast from Angra, in the Azores. On the 3d September, 1863, the assistant collector of customs at Liverpool sent to the board of customs, with reference to this ship, the subjoined letter and inclosures:1

1Appendix, vol. i, p. 208.

Mr. Stuart to the commissioners of customs.

CUSTOM-HOUSE, Liverpool, September 3, 1862. HONORABLE SIRS: With reference to the collector's report of the 1st ultimo, I beg to transmit, for the information of the board, the annexed reports from the surveyor and assistant surveyor, detailing some information they have obtained respecting the gun-boat No. 290. I also inclose a specification of the cargo taken out by the Bahama, and which there appears no reason to doubt was transferred to the gun-boat.

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SIR: I beg to state that a steamship called the Bahama arrived here last evening from Angra, (the capital of the island of Terceira, one of the Azores,) having previously cleared from Liverpool for Nassau.

In consequence of a paragraph which appeared in the newspaper of this morning in reference to the above vessel, I deemed it expedient to send for the master, Tessier, and to inquire the nature of the cargo shipped on board in Liverpool. He states that he received sixteen cases, the contents of which he did not know, but presumed they were arms, &c., and, after proceeding to the above port, transferred the sixteen cases to a Spanish vessel, and returned to Liverpool with à quantity of coals.

The master also states that, when off the Western Islands, he spoke the confederate gun-boat Alabama, (No. 290, built in Mr. Laird's yard at Birkenhead,) heavily armed, having a 100-pounder pivot-gun mounted at her stern, which he believes is intended to destroy some of the sea-port towns in the Northern States of America. The above case having excited much interest in the port, I deemed it expedient to report the facts for your information.




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Specification of shipment per Bahama, August 11, 1862.

Cwts. qrs. lbs.

weighing 49 1 14 . weighing 12 0 14 1 14

OP 1.-1 case containing 1 cast-iron gun..
2.-1 case containing 1 broadside carriage.
3.-1 case containing rammers, sponges, handspikes, &c... weighing 2


OP 1.-1 case containing 1 cast-iron gun....
2.-1 case containing 1 broadside carriage....
3.-1 case containing rammers, sponges, handspikes,

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[Inclosure 3.]

Mr. Morgan to Mr. Stewart.

SURVEYOR'S OFFICE, September 3, 1862.

SIR: I beg to report, for your information, that the British steamship Bahama, Tessier master, which vessel cleared out for Nassau, and sailed on the 13th ultimo with nineteen cases, contents as per specification annexed, has returned to this port, and entered inwards in ballast from Angra.

The master of her is not disposed to enter very freely into conversation upon the subject, but from others on board there appears to be no doubt that the cases above referred to were transferred to the gun-boat No. 290.

Captain Semmes, formerly of the confederate steamer Sumter, took passage in the Bahama, together with some fifty other persons, and they are described as being the permanent crew of the 290, now known as the Alabama.

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The Bahama had cleared for Nassau in the ordinary way, with a cargo of munitions of war, which it was probable were intended for the Confederate States. Her clearance and departure presented, so far as Her Majesty's government is aware, no circumstances distinguishing her from ordinary blockade-runners. No information was ever given or representation made to Her Majesty's government as to this ship, or her cargo, before she left British waters. But even had a suspicion existed that the cargo was exported with the intention that it should be used, either in the Confederate States or elsewhere out of Her Majesty's dominions, in arming a vessel which had been unlawfully fitted in England for warlike employment, this would not have made it the duty of the officers of customs to detain her, or empowered them to do so. Such a transaction is not a breach of English law, nor is it one which Her Majesty's government was under any international obligation to prevent.

On the 5th of September, 1862, Earl Russell received from Mr. Adams a note inclosing a letter from Mr. Dudley, and also a deposition purporting to be made by one Redden, a seaman, who had sailed in the Alabama on her outward voyage, and had returned in the Bahama to Liverpool. The note and its inclosures were as follows:1

Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.


London, September 4, 1862.

MY LORD: I have the honor to transmit the copy of a letter received from the consul of the United States at Liverpool, together with a deposition in addition to the others already submitted with my notes of the 22d and 24th of July, going to show the

further prosecution of the illegal and hostile measures against the United States in [102] connection with the outfit of the gun-boat No. 290 from the port of *Liverpool. It

now appears that supplies are in process of transmission from here to a vessel fitted out from England, and now sailing on the high seas, with the piratical intent to burn and destroy the property of the people of the country with which Her Majesty is in alliance and friendship. I pray your lordship's pardon if I call your attention to the fact that I have not yet received any reply in writing to the several notes and representations I have had the honor to submit to Her Majesty's government touching this flagrant

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SIR: I have just obtained the affidavit of the boatswain's mate who shipped in and went out in the No. 290, now called the Alabama. I inclose it to you, with bill for his services, signed by Captain Butcher. He returned on the Bahama. He states that the Alabama is to cruise on the line of packets from Liverpool to New York; that Semmes told them so. This may have been said for the purpose of misleading us. The bark that took out the guns and coal is to carry out another cargo of coal to her. It is to take it on either at Cardiff or Troon, near Greenock, in Scotland; the bark to meet

1 Appendix, vol. i, p. 209.

the Alabama near the same island where the armament was put on board, or at least in that neighborhood. There will be no difficulty to get other testimony if it is required.

I am, &c.,


P. S.-There were two American vessels in sight when they parted with the Alabama, which Captain Semmes said he would take. They no doubt were taken and destroyed, the first-fruits from this vessel.

[Inclosure 2.]

T. H. D.

Deposition of H. Redden.

Henry Redden says: I reside at 16 Hook street, Vauxhill road, and am a seaman. In April last I shipped as boatswain's mate of a vessel lying in Laird's dock at Birkenhead, known as 290, and worked on board until she sailed.

We sailed from Liverpool about 28th July; Captain Butcher was master; Mr. Law, a southerner, was mate; Mr. Lawrence Young was purser. A Captain Bullock went out with us, but left with the pilot at Giant's Cove, near Londonderry. There were five ladies and a number of gentlemen went with us as far as the Bell buoy. We went first to Moelfra Bay, near Point Lynas, when we anchored and remained about thirty hours. The Hercules tug brought down about forty men to us there; nothing else was then taken on board. Her crew then numbered ninety men, of whom thirty-six were sailors. She had no guns on board then, nor powder nor ammunition. We left Moelfra Bay on the Thursday night at 12 o'clock, and steered for the North Channel. We discharged Captain Bullock and the pilot on Saturday afternoon. We first steered down the South Channel as far as Bardsea, when we 'bout ship and steered north. From Derry we cruised about until we arrived at Angra, eleven days after leaving Holyhead. About four days after we arrived, an English bark, Captain Quinn, arrived from London with six guns, two of them 98-pounder (one rifled and the other smooth-bore) pivot guns, and four 38-pounder breech guns, smooth-bore broadside guns, 200 or 300 barrels of powder, several cases of shot, a quantity of slops, 200 tons of coal. She came alongside and made fast. We were anchored in Angra Bay about a mile and a half or two miles from shore. After being there about a week, and while we were taking the guns and ammunition on board, the authorities ordered us away. We went outside and returned at night. The bark was kept lashed alongside, and we took the remainder of the guns, &c., on board as we could. While we were discharging the bark, the steamer Bahama, Captain Tessier, arrived from Liverpool. Captain Bullock, Captain Semmes, and forty men came in her. She also brought two 38-pounder guns, smooth-bore, and two safes full of money in gold. She had a safe on board before, taken on board at Birkenhead. The Bahama was flying the British flag. The Bahama towed the bark to another place in the island, and we followed. The next morning we were ordered away from there, and went out to sea until night, when we returned to Angra Bay. The Bahama, after towing the bark away the evening of ber arrival, came back to the Alabama, or 290, in Angra Bay, made fast alongside of her, and discharged the guns on board of her and the money.

The men struck for wages, and would not then go on board. There were four engineers, a boatswain, and captain's clerk named Smith, also came in the Bahama, and they were taken on board the same evening. All three vessels continued to fly the British flag the whole time. The guns were mounted as soon as they were taken on board. They were busy at work getting them and the Alabama or 290 ready for fighting while the Bahamia and the bark were alongside. On the Sunday afternoon following (last Sunday week) Captain Semmes called all hands aft, and the confederate flag was hoisted, the band playing "Dixie's Land." Captain Semmes addressed the men, and said he was deranged in his mind to see his country going to ruin, and had to steal out of Liverpool like a thief. That instead of them watching him he was now going after them. He wanted all of us to join him; that he was going to sink, burn, and destroy all his enemies' property, and that any that went with him was entitled to two-twentieths prize-money; it did not matter whether the prize was sunk, or burned,

or sold, the prize-money was to be paid. That there were only four or five [103] northern ships that he was afraid of. He said he did not want any to go that were not willing to fight, and there was a steamer alongside to take them back if they were not willing.

The vessel was all this time steaming to sea, with the Bahama at a short distance. Forty-eight men, most of them firemen, refused to go, and an hour afterward were put on board the Bahama. I refused to go, and came back with the rest in the Bahama. Captain Butcher, Captain Bullock, and all the English engineers came with us, and landed here on Monday morning. When we left the Alabama she was all ready for fighting, and steering to sea. I heard Captain Semmes say he was going to cruise in the track of the ships going from New York to Liverpool, and Liverpool to

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