Lapas attēli

the colonial secretary, that when I boarded any ship of war belonging to either bellig erent, I was to hand to the captain of such vessel a copy of the proclamation regarding neutrality, and to point out the clause forbidding belligerent vessels to anchor in the port or roadstead of Nassau without having previously obtained the governor's permission, adding at the same time that, circumstances permitting, his excellency would always be most happy to extend the hospitality of the port to such as might require it.

The first vessel which I had occasion to visit after the receipt of the above instructions was the Federal gun-boat Stars and Stripes. I pointed out to the captain the requirements of the proclamation, but he said that, "owing to certain injuries received by his machinery, and the roughness of the weather, he must anchor at once, or his ship would go on shore." I therefore suggested to him the propriety of coming ashore with me, and proceeding to Government House to explain personally to his excellency the necessities of his position. He landed in the garrison boat, and went with me to the governor.

A short time after this the Confederate States steamer Florida ran into the port at daybreak, and cast anchor before I was able to board her. I gave a copy of the proclamation to Captain Maffit, who stated his entire ignorance of any such restrictions, and expressed his regret for having unwittingly violated the regulations of the port, and also asked me what course he had better follow. I told him that he had better come ashore in my boat, and go with me to the governor, explain matters, and obtain the necessary permission to remain. He therefore, like the captain of the Stars and Stripes, landed in the government boat, and proceeded with me to his excellency the governor.

Trusting that his excellency will consider the above explanation sufficient for the purpose for which he may require it,

[blocks in formation]

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, on Saturday afternoon, of your excellency's dispatch, graciously granting permission for the United States steamer R. R. Cuyler to anchor and procure the necessaries which she might require.

Captain Winslow has requested me to convey to your excellency his high appreciation of your kindness, and to tender you his sincere thanks for the courtesy, his severe illness alone preventing him from doing so in person.

I am also authorized to say that the usual honors of a salute would have been paid had the size and armament of the vessel permitted it.

It becomes me also, as a representative of the United States Government, to express my thanks to your excellency for this manifestation of friendship; and also to beg that your excellency will convey to the commander and surgeon of Her Britannic Majesty's frigate Melpomene my acknowledgment and thanks for their prompt and kind services to my invalid countrymen.

I have, &c.,

United States Consul.

[Inclosure 5 in No. 45.]

Mr. Whiting to Governor Bayley.


August 25, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's dispatch of this date, and to assure you that Captain Winslow will be careful to avoid any infringement of Her Majesty's proclamation, should he come to anchor at this port. [81] Captain Winslow, however, has assured me that he did not wish to anchor, and only needed some medical supplies for himself and officers, many of whom are quite low with fever.

I am not aware that the Cuyler has yet let go an anchor off this port; should she come to anchor, I will communicate your excellency's instructions to her commander.

I have, &c.,


United States Consul.

[Inclosure 6 in No. 45.]

Mr. Nesbitt to Mr. Whiting.

Nassau, September 29, 1862.

SIR: You are aware that, by the Queen's proclamation of the 31st January last, any belligerent vessel must obtain the governor's permission before anchoring in this port. The governor has directed me to call your attention to this formality, and to the propriety of attending to it, before the United States armed vessels drop their anchors I have, &c.. (Signed)



Colonial Secretary.

[Inclosure 7 in No. 45.]

Mr. Whiting to Governor Bayley.


September 29, 1862. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's communication of this date, and to inform your excellency that the restrictions imposed upon the national cruisers of the United States of America have long since been communicated to the Government which I have the honor to represent.

I shall also take the earliest opportunity of advising arriving war-vessels of the United States of the prohibition contained in your excellency's late and previous communications.

[blocks in formation]


Reply to States Government.

MY LORD: I have to state to your lordship that I have received from the Colonial Office a copy of a dispatch from the governor of the Bahamas in answer to the complaint to which you drew plaints of United my attention in your dispatch of the 24th of February, that undue partiality had been shown at Nassau to the confederate steamer Florida.

That answer is to the same effect as the explanation addressed to you by Governor Bayley, of which you sent me a copy in your dispatch of the 30th March. It is, however, accompanied by a letter from Mr. Williams, the fort adjutant, of which, as it entirely supports the statement of the governor that he has preserved an attitude of perfect fairness and impartiality toward both belligerents, I send you herewith a copy.

Inclosure 3 in No. 45.

Governor Bayley states that he has no distinct recollection of the special reasons which induced him to impose the restrictions mentioned by Consul Whiting on the Dacotah's coaling; but he says it is not improbable that it was in consequence of the pertinacity with which Federal vessels about that time resorted to the harbor of Nassau on pretense of coaling, but really with the object of watching the arrival and departure of English merchant-vessels supposed to be freighted with cargoes for the southern ports.

The governor adds that he is satisfied that he has acted with [82] perfect impartiality in *all his dealings with Federal and confederate men-of-war; that he is not surprised that his conduct should have been misrepresented by so hot-headed a partisan as Mr. Whiting, and that, if at any time he has appeared to assume an unfriendly or inhospitable mien, the charge can be fully explained and defended by his desire to maintain the security of a British possession and the rights of British subjects.

I am, &c.,


Charge against Captain Maffit of il

No. 47.

Sir F. Rogers to Mr. Hammond.

DOWNING STREET, April 11, 1865. (Received April 11.)

SIR: I am directed by Mr. Secretary Cardwell to transmit to you, for the consideration of Earl Russell, the inclosed copies of two dispatches from the governor of the Bahamas, forwarding legal enlistment. copies of correspondence with the United States consul at Nassau, on the subject of charges made by him against Captain Maffit, who formerly commanded the confederate cruiser Florida, of illegally enlisting seamen for that vessel in the port of Nassau.

I am also to inclose, in connection with these dispatches, copy of a further dispatch from Governor Rawson, with copy of a letter from Her Majesty's consul general at Havana, on the subject of the rumor that a privateer was being fitted out at that port.

I am, &c.,


[Inclosure 1 in No. 47.]

Governor Rawson to Mr. Cardwell.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, Nassau, March 10, 1865. SIR: I have the honor to submit, for your consideration, copies of a correspondence Charge against Cap With the United States consul at this port, consequent upon his calling upon me to proceed against Captain Maffit, who formerly commanded the confederate cruiser Florida, for the illegal enlistment of seamen for that vessel in the port of Nassau.

tain Maffit.

2. The consul's letter was not delivered in time to reach my hands before a late hour of the night of the 23d ultimo, after Captain Maffit had actually left the port. Nevertheless, as it was possible that Captain Maffit might return hither, I lost no time, on the following morning, in instructing the attorney general to communicate with the consul, for the purpose of obtaining the necessary information to enable him to act upon his representation.

3. The attorney general accordingly wrote at once to the consul. His reply, dated the same day, but delivered three days later, contains a declaration, taken by a notary,

of the transshipment of guns and stores on board of the Oreto, alias Florida, in 1862, and enters into some other irrelevant matter. It was sent to me by the attorney general with a letter refuting the charge of inertness which the consul brings against him in it. 4. Upon ascertaining that the above document, which contains no evidence of enlistment by Captain Maffit, had never before been brought to the notice of this government, although it is dated 4th September, 1862, I directed the colonial secretary to send him the reply, dated 2d instant, in which I point out that the document does not contain any evidence of enlistment, and that, with regard to the other matters alleged in it, I would take all fitting steps.

5. At the same time, I instructed the attorney general to endeavor to obtain information concerning the several persons and occurrences described in the consul's letter and its inclosure. If his inquiries should yield any tangible proof of a violation of the law by persons within the jurisdiction of the courts of this colony, proceedings shall be taken against them, and I will communicate the results to you.

6. Meanwhile I desire to call your attention to three points in the correspondence of the consul.

7. First. Captain Maffit arrived at Nassau, in the blockade-runner Owl, on the 31st January. The consul must have been immediately aware of his arrival. It is scarcely

credible that he had not long known the existence of the document now [83] produced, after the lapse of two years and a half; but he took no action in the matter until Captain Maffit was on the point of leaving the port and it was too late for the government to act upon his representation.

8. The consul alleges, as the reason of the long delay in bringing this charge, that "Captain Mathit has not been here at any other time when the witnesses could be obtained." Captain Maffit was here in the Florida for some days in January, 1863. On the 8th September, 1862, the then consul of the United States called attention to the arming of the Oreto, and was invited to bring forward any credible evidence which he might possess with reference to the transaction. The document now produced is dated the 4th September. It must, then, have been in his possession. He did not bring it forward. I inclose copies of his letter and of the reply to it.

9. That, certainly, was the proper time for presenting this declaration; and the attorney general was justified in making the reply, described in his letter, to the unofficial statement of Mr. Jackson, that the charge was a stale one, and that he would require clear and positive evidence before he could proceed against Captain Maffit. I inclose a memorandum, since received from the attorney general, of his interview with Mr. Jackson. The consul, I conceive, is not justified in accusing the government for not acting upon such statements, still less in commenting upon the acts of the governor in a letter addressed to his subordinate officer.

10. Secondly. The consul, in his letter of the 24th ultimo, and in a former letter, written concerning the steamer Mary, (herewith inclosed, as well as in a former dispatch, relating to that subject,) appears to think it a hardship, and a cause for complaint, that he should be called upon to furnish evidence in support of the charges which he brings forward, or to assist the government in prosecuting the inquiries which he has himself provoked. I cannot suppose that this is in accordance with the instructions or desire of his government; and I should be glad to be instructed whether I should not do right to call upon him for more precise and formal depositions in all or any of such cases.

11. The consul does not appear to perceive the difference between the proceedings which the government can take against a suspected vessel, and the legal formalities by which it is bound in prosecuting a criminal charge against any person connected with it. 12. I would direct your attention to the kind of information upon which he addresses the government, as shown in my dispatch of the 8th ultimo, and in the concluding paragraph of his letter to the attorney general, inclosed in this dispatch.

13. But a still more objectionable proceeding on the part of the consul appears to be that of introducing into his correspondence irrelevant and unfounded accusations against this government. In forwarding the correspondence relative to the improper landing of boats from the United States gun-boat Honduras, (dispatch of 9th ultimo,) I called attention to a charge of this description contained in his letter of the 7th February last, (copy herewith inclosed.) It is repeated in a different form in his letter to the attorney general. I need scarcely enlarge upon the difficulty, on the one hand, of challenging such statements, without provoking an inconvenient and endless correspondence; and, on the other hand, of carrying on a correspondence with a consular officer who writes in this spirit and adopts this tone in his communication with a friendly government. It is this dilemma which alone has induced me to trouble you upon the subject, and to suggest some interference on the part of Her Majesty's government.

14. I have deemed it best not to notice these statements otherwise than by informing the consul, when they were repeated, that I should bring them to your notice. It has occurred to me that, if you view his correspondence in the same light as myself, a representation might be made to his government, suggesting that he should be re

quired to withdraw the first objectionable letter, in which an accusation is more directly made against this government, or to withdraw or substantiate that part of it which contains the accusation. But I am happy to have the opportunity of leaving the whole subject to your superior judgment.

15. I annex a copy of the letter in which I have communicated to Her Majesty's consul at Havana the extraordinary rumor referred to in the last paragraph of the consul's letter to the attorney general.

[blocks in formation]

SIR: I have the honor to call your excellency's attention to a violation of the laws of Her Majesty the Queen's dominions by the enlistment of men within this colony by Captain Maffit, now here as captain of the blockade-running ship Owl, having shipped men in this port for the rebel privateer Oreto or Florida.

These enlistments took place after the trial in relation to that vessel was held, and two, at least, of the men thus enlisted are now in this city, and can be pointed out if desired. I understand further, that there are affidavits of theirs now in the possession of Mr. Dillett. The reason of this long delay is that Captain Matit has not been here at any other time when the witnesses could be obtained. He is understood to be ready to depart from here soon, and I would respectfully suggest that measures should be taken at once to vindicate the laws openly and notoriously violated in this instance. I have, &c., (Signed)


[Inclosure 3 in No. 47.]

The attorney general, Nassau, to Mr. Kirkpatrick.

Nassau, February 24, 1865.

SIR: His excellency the governor has placed in my hands your letter of yesterday's date, and has instructed me to put myself in communication with you, in order to obtain the necessary information to enable me to act in reference to the matter brought by you under his excellency's notice.

I have therefore to request that you will furnish me with a detailed statement of your proofs and the names of the witnesses who can be produced to sustain the same. I have, &c.,



[Inclosure 4 in No. 47.]

Mr. Kirkpatrick to the attorney general, Nassau.

Nassau, February 24, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your favor of this day, asking me to furnish you the evidence, with details of the matters submitted to his excellency the governor by me yesterday. Inclosed you will find copies of the affidavits taken at the time of the transaction, and Charles Jackson, esq., can point out the wstnesses who are now here. I deeply regret that steps were not taken for the immediate arrest of the party before he left in the vessel this morning, or late last night; or when unofficially brought to your notice, as I understood it was yesterday morning, and regret also that the government has not felt called upon to vindicate their violated laws, without waiting for others less interested to call their attention to them, and then also be called upon to furnish evidence to prosecute for these violations; and I regret still more that more simple and entirely harmless violations (if violations at all) when innocently committed by officers of the United States, have been made the subject of severe condemnation. Notwithstanding I am willing and desirous to furnish the government here with any

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »