Lapas attēli

New York. The Alabama never steamed while I was in her more than eleven knots, and cannot make any more. We signed articles while in Moelfra Bay for Nassau, or an intermediate port. Captain Butcher got us to sign. The provisions were put on board at Laird's yard before sailing; they were for six months. When we left her she had about ninety men and eight guns mounted, three on each side and two pivots. HENRY REDDEN. Declared and subscribed at Liverpool aforesaid, the 3d day of September, 1862, before me.



WILLIAM G. BATESON, Notary Public, and a Commissioner to Administer Oaths in Chancery.

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Earl Russell, on the 22d September, 1862, replied as follows:

Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.

FOREIGN OFFICE, September 22, 1862. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, inclosing a copy of a letter from the United States consul at Liverpool, together with the deposition of Henry Redden, respecting the supply of cannon and munitions of war to the gun-boat No. 290. You also call attention to the fact that you have not yet received any reply to the representations you have addressed to Her Majesty's government upon the subject.

I had the honor, in acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 23d of June, to state to you that the matter had been referred to the proper department of Her Majesty's government for investigation. Your subsequent letters were also at once forwarded to that department, but, as you were informed in my letter of the 28th of July, it was requisite, before any active steps could be taken in the matter, to consult the law-officers of the Crown. This could not be done until sufficient evidence had been collected, and from the nature of the case some time was necessarily spent in procuring it. The report of the law-officers was not received until the 29th of July, and on the same day a telegraphic message was forwarded to Her Majesty's government stating that the vessel had sailed that morning. Instructions were then dispatched to Ireland to detain the vessel should she put into Queenstown, and similar instructions have been sent to the governor of the Bahamas in case of her visiting Nassan. It appears, however, that the vessel did not go to Queenstown, as had been expected, and nothing has been since heard of her movements.

The officers of customs will now be directed to report upon the further evidence forwarded by you, and I shall not fail to inform you of the result of the inquiry. I am, &c., (Signed)


Mr. Adams's note, with its inclosures, having been referred to the commissioners of customs, they, on the 25th September, 1862, reported as follows:2

The commissioners of customs to the lords commissioners of the treasury.

CUSTOM-HOUSE, September 25, 1862. Your lordships having, by Mr. Arbuthnot's letter of the 16th instant, transmitted to us, with reference to Mr. Hamilton's letter of the 2d ultimo, the inclosed communication from the Foreign Office, with copies of a further letter, and its inclosures, from the

United States minister at this court respecting the supply of cannon and muni[104] tions of war to the gun-boat No. 290, recently built at *Liverpool, and now in the service of the so-called Confederate States of America, and your lordships having desired that we would take such steps as might seem to be required in view of the facts therein represented, and report the result to your lordships;

1 Appendix, vol. i, p. 211.

2 Ibid, p. 213.

We have now to report

That assuming the statements set forth in the affidavit of Redden (who sailed from Liverpool in the vessel) which accompanied Mr. Adams's letter to Earl Russell to be correct, the furnishing of arms, &c., to the gun-boat does not appear to have taken place in any part of the United Kingdom, or of Her Majesty's dominions, but in or near to Angra Bay, in the Azores, part of the Portuguese dominions. No offense, therefore, cognizable by the laws of this country appears to have been committed by the parties engaged in the transactions alluded to in the affidavit.

With respect to the allegation of Redden that the arms, &c., were shipped on board the 290 in Angra Bay, partly from a bark (name not given) which arrived there from London, commanded by Captain Quinn, and partly from the steamer Bahama, from Liverpool, we beg to state that no vessel having a master named Quinn can be traced as having sailed from this port for foreign parts during the last six months. The Knight Errant, Captain Quine, a vessel of 1,342 tons burden, cleared for Calcutta on the 12th April last with a general cargo, such as is usually exported to the East Indies, but, so far as can be ascertained from the entries, she had neither gunpowder nor cannon on board.

The Bahama steamer cleared from Liverpool on the 12th ultimo for Nassau. We find that Messrs. Fawcett, Preston and Co., engineers and iron-founders, of Liverpool, shipped on board that vessel nineteen cases containing guns, gun-carriages, shot, rammers, &c., weighing in all 158 cwt. 1 qr. 27 lbs. There was no other cargo on board, excepting 552 tons of coals for the use of the ship; and the above-mentioned goods having been regularly cleared for Nassau in compliance with the customs laws, our officers could have no power to interfere with their shipment.

With reference to the further statement in the letter of Mr. Dudley, the consul of the United States at Liverpool, that the bark that took out the guns and coal is to carry out another cargo of coal to the gun-boat 290, either from Cardiff or Troon, near Greenock, we have only to remark that there would be great difficulty in ascertaining the intention of any parties making such a shipment, and we do not apprehend that our officers would have any power of interfering with it were the coals cleared outwards for some foreign port in compliance with the law.



A copy of this report was sent to Mr. Adams by Earl Russell. As to the vessel stated in Redden's deposition to have been commanded by a Captain Quinn, she may perhaps have been the Agrippina, McQueen, master, which appears, by the register of clearances kept in the port of London, to have cleared from that port for Demerara in August, 1862.

Her Britannic Majesty's government has reason to believe that Butcher, while the vessel afterward called the Alabama was in the waters of the Azores, falsely stated both to the Portuguese officials and to the British vice-consul that she was the steamship Barcelona, from London to Nassau, and that he desired only to coal the vessel in smooth water, having no occasion to communicate with the town. These false statements were made in order to escape interference on the part of the authorities of Terceira.

Depositions purporting to be made by other persons who had taken service in the Alabama, and had afterward left that ship during her cruise, were afterward furnished to Her Majesty's government by Mr. Adams. Among these was a deposition purporting to be made by one John Latham, part of which was as follows:1

Deposition of John Latham.

I, John Latham, of 36 Jasper street, Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, engineer, make oath and say as follows:

1. About the 8th or 10th of August, 1862, I signed articles at the Sailors' Home, Liverpool, to ship in the steamship Bahama, Captain Tessier, for a voyage to Nassau and back. The Bahama went out of the Bramley Moore dock the same night about 12

' Appendix, vol. i, p. 226.

o'clock, and went into the river and lay-to. Captain Semmes, Captain James D. Bullock, and some other officers came on board, and about half past 7 o'clock a. m. a tug boat came alongside with some seamen on board; the tug-boat accompanied us out about ten miles. The tug then left us, and a tall gentleman, with a reddish face and pock-marked, who came from Cunard, Wilson and Co.'s office, left us and went into the tug; as he left us, he said, "I hope you will make a good thing of it, and that you will stop where you are going to." We then proceeded on our voyage, and stood out some days, when we found we were going to the Western Isles.

2. About the 17th or 18th of August we arrived at Terceira, and we there found the Alabama and the bark Agrippina. Captain Butcher, who was on board the Alabama, hailed us and told us to go round the island, and he would be after us, but it would take them three-quarters of an hour to get his steam up. We went on, and he followed us, and the Alabama went under the lee of the island, and a shot was fired across the [105] Bahama's bows from a battery on shore, so we stopped out until the *morning. In the morning we went alongside the Alabama, and some small cases and a safe containing money was passed into the Alabama from our ship, and we then parted and anchored a little distance from her, and the bark Agrippina went and discharged the remainder of her cargo into the Alabama. During this time Captain Semmes and Captain Bullock were going backward and forward to the Alabaina, but would not. let any of the officers go. On Sunday, the 24th of August, Captain Semmes came on board the Bahama, and called us under the bridge, he himself and the officers standing on the bridge; he addressed us and said, "Now, my lads, there is the ship," (pointing to the Alabama;) "she is as fine a vessel as ever floated; there is a chance which seldom offers itself to a British seaman, that is, to make a little money. I am not going to put you alongside of a frigate at first; but after I have got you drilled a little, I will give you a nice little fight." He said, "There are only six ships that I am afraid of in the United States Navy." He said, "We are going to burn, sink, and destroy the commerce of the United States; your prize-money will be divided proportionately according to each man's rank, something similar to the English navy." Some of the men objected, being naval reserve men. Captain Semmes said, "Never mind that, I will make that all right; I will put you in English ports where you can get your book signed every three months." He then said, "There is Mr. Kell on the deck, and all those who are desirous of going with me let them go aft, and give Mr. Kell their names.” A great many went aft, but some refused. A boat came from the Alabama, and those who had agreed to go went on board. Captain Semmes and the officers went on board. Mr. Low, the fourth lieutenant, then appeared in uniform, and he came on board the Bahama, endeavoring to induce the men to come forward and join, and he succeeded in getting the best part of us. I was one who went at the last minute. When I got on board the Alabama, I found a great number of men that had gone on board of her from Liverpool. Captain Semmes then addressed us on board the Alabama, and Captain Butcher was there also, who had taken the vessel out. Captain Semmes said he hoped "we should all content ourselves and be comfortable, one among another; but any of you that thinks he cannot stand to his gun I don't want." He then called the purser, and such as agreed to serve signed articles on the companion-hatch, and on signing the men received two months' pay in advance, or one month's wages and a half-pay note. I took a month's wages and a half-pay note for £3 108. a month in favor of my wife, Martha Latham, 19 Wellington street, Swansea; the note was drawn on Fraser, Trenholm & Co., of Liverpool, but it was paid at Mr. Klingender's in Liverpool; the note was signed by Captain Semmes, Yonge, who was the paymaster, and Smith, the captain's clerk. I sent £5 and this half-pay note ashore by Captain Bullock, and he forwarded it with a letter to my wife.

3. Captain Bullock, on the passage out, and after we arrived at Terceira, used arguments to induce us to join the Alabama. On several occasions he advised us, and urged the men to join.

4. As soon as the men who had consented to go had all signed articles, the English ensign which the Alabama had been flying was pulled down, and the confederate flag hoisted, and a gun was fired. The men who declined joining left the ship with Captains Bullock and Butcher for the Bahama, and we proceeded under the command of Captain Semmes.

Her Majesty's government neither affirms nor denies the truth of the statements of these persons, some of which statements, however, it has reason to believe to be incorrect. But Her Majesty's government believes it to be true that the vessel known at first as the 290, and afterwards as the Alabama, having left Her Majesty's dominions unarmed, was armed for war after arriving at the Azores, either wholly in Portuguese waters, or partly in Portuguese waters and partly on the high seas; that her crew were, after her arrival in the Azores, hired and

signed articles for service in the confederate navy, either in Portuguese waters or on the high seas; that Captain Semmes took command of her after she arrived at the Azores; and that, after she had been armed as aforesaid, she was commissioned (being then out of the dominions of Her Britannic Majesty) as a ship of war of the Confederate States. Her captain and officers were, as Her Majesty's government believes, all American citizens, and were at the time commissioned officers in the confederate service, except the assistant surgeon, who was a British subject. John Low, one of the lieutenants, who has been stated to have been an Englishman, was, as Her Majesty's government believes, a citizen of the State of Georgia. Of the common seamen and petty officers Her Majesty's government believes that a considerable number were British subjects, who were induced by Captain Semmes (himself an American citizen) to take service under him; but the ship's company was afterward largely increased by the addition of many American seamen, drawn from the crews of United States vessels captured by the Alabama during her cruise. In this way her crew, which is stated to have numbered about 84 men when the ship left the Azores, had increased to nearly 150 when she arrived at Martinique.


In the above-mentioned deposition of John Latham, which was received by Her Majesty's government from Mr. Adams on the 13th January, 1844, it was stated that a considerable number of the seamen who had been induced to take service in the ship belonged to the royal naval reserve; and a list or schedule was given, purporting to be a list of the crew, and to specify the names of nineteen such seamen. quiries were thereupon made at the admiralty with reference to the matter, and the subjoined letters, addressed by the secretary of that department, to one of the under secretaries of state for foreign affairs, show both what steps had been previously taken by the lords [106] *commissioners of the admiralty, and what was afterward done in consequence of such inquiries:

The secretary to the admiralty to Mr. Hammond.

ADMIRALTY, June 24, 1864.

SIR: With reference to your letter of the 21st instant, relative to the statement that many of the crew of the late confederate ship Alabama were naval-reserve men, I am commanded by my lords commissioners of the admiralty to acquaint you, for the information of Earl Russell, that the only men who were suspected of having joined confederate vessels, and who were ascertained to be improperly absent, were discharged from the naval-reserve force on the 25th January last.

My lords, however, concur with his lordship that it will be desirable to ascertain whether any of the men on board the Alabama did belong to the naval reserve, and they will take the necessary steps as requested.

I am, &c.,


The secretary to the admiralty to Mr. Hammond.


ADMIRALTY, January 29, 1864.

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 22d instant, respecting the naval-reserve men who are said to form part of the crew of the confederate steamship Alabama, I am commanded by my lords commissioners of the admiralty to acquaint you, for the information of Earl Russell, that only three of the nineteen men described in the printed list as naval-reserve men can be identified, viz: David Roach, Peter Hughes, and Michael Mars; and, of those three, the last (Mars) has been already discharged, in consequence of having joined the Alabama, as will be seen by the inclosed copy of a report from the registrar general of seamen, who has been directed to make inquiries on the subject. I return the printed list of the crew, which accompanied your letter, with the registrar general's notations against the names.

I am, &c.,


1 Appendix, vol. i, p. 237.


2 Ibid., p. 233.

Mr. Mayo to the commodore comptroller general of the coast guard.


January 27, 1864. SIR: In accordance with the request contained in your letter of the 25th instant, I beg to acquaint you, for the information of the lords commissioners of the admiralty, that the register-books of the royal naval reserve have been searched, with a view of ascertaining whether the nineteen men described in the annexed list as forming part of the crew of the Alabama belong to the royal naval reserve, and the following is the result of the investigation:

A seaman of the name of David Roach (R. N. R. No. 11919) is reported to have been at Liverpool on the 2d of October, 1862, and a seaman of the name of Peter Hughes (R. N. R. No. 10849) is reported to have been discharged from the Great Eastern, at Liverpool, on the 16th June, 1862. As no subsequent account has been received of either of these naval-reserve men, it is possible that they may be the same men as David Roach and Peter Hughes described in the accompanying list of the crew of the Alabama; but of this I have no proof.

A seaman of the name of Michael Mars formerly belonged to the royal naval reserve, but he was discharged from the force, in consequence of having joined the Alabama. With regard to the remaining sixteen men, who are said to be members of the royal naval reserve, I have to state that I have not been able to trace them in our books by the names given. No persons of the names of William Brinton, Brent Johnson, Samuel Henry, John Duggan, Joseph Connor, William Purdy, Malcolm Macfarlane, John Emory, William Nevins, and William Hearn, have been enrolled in the reserve, and I am unable to identify as members of the royal naval reserve the seamen serving on board the Alabama in the following names, for the reasons given: William Crawford, native and resident of Aberdeen, and not of Liverpool; James Smith, thirty-two enrolled of this name; John Neil, sailed in Goldfinder, 11th April, 1862-no account since; Thomas Williams, seventeen enrolled of this name; Robert Williams, six enrolled of this name. I have, &c., (Signed)

F. MAYO, Registrar General.

The secretary to the admiralty to Mr. Hammond.1

ADMIRALTY, July 27, 1864.

SIR: I am commanded by my lords commissioners of the admiralty to acquaint you, for the information of Earl Russell, that the board of trade have succeeded in identifying three of the late confederate ship Alabama's men as naval-reserve men, viz, Thomas McMillan, Peter Hughes, Charles Seymour, and that their lordships have ordered them to be dismissed from the force.


I am, &c.,


*With respect to the greater number of the names entered in the aforesaid schedule, it was found that no persons bearing those names had in fact been enrolled in the naval reserve.

The subsequent history of the Alabama, so far as it is known to Her Britannic Majesty's government, from the reports of its colonial officers and from other sources, is as follows:

On or about the 18th of November, 1862, the Alabama arrived at Martinique, and anchored in the harbor of Fort de France, where she received permission from the governor to remain for such time as she needed, and to land her prisoners. Her Britannic Majesty's consul at Saint Pierre, in a report made at the time, stated that shortly before her arrival, suspecting that preparations were being made for her to coal there, he had communicated the grounds of his belief to the governor. The following is an extract from the report:

I next deemed it proper to acquaint the governor with what I had just learned. He did not seem much surprised, and observed that, if the Alabama came into port, he would act exactly as he had done on a former occasion in the case of the Sumter, when the French government had altogether approved of the measures he had taken in regard to that vessel.

The Alabama remained at Fort de France till the evening of the 19th,

1 Appendix, vol. i, p. 237.

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