Lapas attēli

ber, she remained in this neighborhood, and actually came into this harbor again a month afterward.


*The only official notification of which I am in possession with respect to the coaling of any of the vessels (belligerents) is one from Jamaica, to the effect that the Alabama coaled there on the 30th January.

J. W.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 49.]

Rear-Admiral Wilkes to Governor Walker.

Barbados, March 6, 1863.

SIR: In our intercourse this morning I had the opportunity to state to you the object of my visit to this island, viz, to inquire into the infraction of Her Majesty's orders relative to the admission of the rebel privateer the Florida, Maffit commander, into this port, being permitted to take in a supply of coal after having obtained a full supply (160 tons) but thirty days ago at Nassau on the 27th of January, 1863, of which fact I presumed your excellency must have received notice, if not officially, at least through the public prints, and the avowal on the part of the said Maffit while in this harbor that he had done so, and had destroyed various American merchant-vessels while pursuing their lawful voyages on the high seas, and that he intended to depredate on the same again on leaving this port, though not in this immediate vicinity. The language of Earl Russell's dispatch, Her Majesty's secretary of state for foreign affairs, to the Duke of Newcastle, Her Majesty's secretary of state for the colonies, dated 31st January, 1862, seems to be explicit on this point, and I take the liberty to call your attention to the part which particularly refers to it, viz, "No ship of war or privateer of either belligerent shall hereafter be permitted, while in any port, roadstead, or waters, subject to the territorial jurisdiction of Her Majesty, to take in any supplies except provisions, and such other things as may be requisite for the subsistence of her crew; and except so much coal only as may be sufficient to carry such vessel to the nearest port of her own country, or some nearer destination; and no coal shall be again supplied to any such ship of war or privateer in the same or any other port, roadstead, or waters, subject to the territorial jurisdiction of Her Majesty, without special permission, until after the expiration of three months from the time when such coal may have been last supplied to her within British waters as aforesaid.”

In the conversation this morning I understood your excellency to say that you had given your permission, without any inquiry as to whether the said privateer Florida had obtained any supplies elsewhere or not, although your attention was called to her suspicious character by the United States consul at this port, under protest that she had, and was about to use the supply afforded to her of coal to depredate on the commerce of the United States, which supply was clearly intended, by the above dispatch of Earl Russell, only to enable her to her reach a home port, and that it was not to be expected that you should institute any such inquiries. The knowledge of the depredations of the Florida had become known to the inhabitants of Bridgetown, and mentioned in the protest of the United States consul, and I could not avoid surprise to learn from your excellency that no investigation had been ordered by which the facts would have been elicited, and action taken on them, by which an infraction of Her Majesty's regulations was then taking place and been proved. Your excellency's excuse that you had received no official communication from the governor of Nassau of the fact of her visiting that colony, for not stopping and denying the Florida coal and supplies, I scarcely believe will be deemed satisfactory to your or my


The United States are endeavoring to act up to, and carry out, the literal construction of Her Majesty's rules prescribed for the belligerents; and it cannot but recur to you that, with this desire, and reposing full faith in all her Majesty's officials, who are bound to carry out these rules in their spirit and literal construction, that my Government should deem this act of the supplying a rebel privateer with aid to carry ont her nefarious operations against its commerce, when passing on the high seas at some thousands of miles distant, (as your excellency stated, said Maffit had informed you was his intention,) without which aid the rebel privateer would have been comparatively harmless, and when apprised of his intention, without any action on your part of examination and inquiry, was both untoward and unfriendly.

Having stated these facts, I have to request your excellency will afford me the opportunity of laying before my Government the circumstances under which the Florida was permitted to take in a supply of coal and other provisions to con[94] tinue her cruise and operations, after having so recently coaled and provisioned at Nassau, one of Her Majesty's colonies in the West Indies, ample time having

been afforded—some thirty days-for the information to have reached this island and government, and if any cause existed why an investigation was not instituted after the letter to your excellency was received from the United States consul, the resident official of my Government at this island, when the Florida was lying in these waters under your jurisdiction.

I take this occasion to express to your excellency my thanks for your kind offer of aid and assistance; being in want of nothing, we shall take our departure on the expiration of the limit assigned in Her Majesty's rules, by which time I hope to receive your excellency's reply to this dispatch, and have, &c.

Very respectfully,


[Inclosure 3 in No. 49.]

Governor Walker to Rear-Admiral Wilkes.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, Barbados, March 6, 1863-10.35 a. m.

SIR: I have had the honor this moment to receive your excellency's letter of yesterday's date, with a verbal intimation to the effect that you are to sail at 11 o'clock. Even if time permitted, I doubt very much whether it would be desirable to enter into correspondence with your excellency upon the points adverted to in your communication, beyond repeating the assurance which I have already conveyed to you personally of my desire to carry out most faithfully the instructions which I have received from Her Majesty's government as to the observance of a due neutrality during this painful struggle, and that in sanctioning the coaling here of the Florida I did no more than what I had sanctioned in the case of the United States steamer of war San Jacinto.

It will, of course, be my duty to forward your representation to Her Majesty's government, to whom I had already reported the fact of the Florida as well as the San Jacinto having been allowed to repair and coal here.

I have, &c.,


[Inclosure 4 in No. 49.]

Mr. Clawson to Mr. Holligan.

February 24, 1863.

SIR: I have to report for his excellency's information the arrival of the confederate ship of war Florida, (8,) Captain Maffit, for Mobile, in want of coal and provisions.

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SIR: I have to report, for his excellency's information, the arrival of the Federal ship of war San Jacinto, (12,) Captain Rockendorff, from Bermuda in ten days, in want of water and coal, and some trifling repair to the engine. Reports the Immortalité at Bermuda.

I am, &c.,





*Inclosure 6 in No. 49.]

Sir W. Byam to Governor Walker.

LEEWARD ISLANDS, ANTIGUA, Government House, March 4, 1863. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's circular dispatch of the 25th ultimo, acquainting me that the so-called Confederate States steamer of war Florida had arrived at Barbados, and had represented herself to be in distress for want of coals and provisions, and that you had given her special permission to ship them.

I have, &c.,


President, Administering the Government.

[Inclosure 7 in No. 49.]

Mr. Trowbridge to Governor Walker.


May it please your excellency:

February 24, 1863.

Captain D. H. Blake, of the United States merchant bark Sarah A. Nickels, came into this port this morning for fear of being captured by the so-called Confederate steamer Florida. He is desirous of departing on his voyage at 5 p. m. this evening. I would therefore most respectfully request that your excellency will cause this steamer Florida to remain at anchor in this port until to-morrow evening at 5 p. m.

I have, &c., (Signed)

United States Consul.

[Inclosure 8 in No. 49.]

Mr. Holligan to Mr. Trowbridge.

SECRETARY'S OFFICE, February 25, 1863. SIR: I am directed by the governor to inform you that on receipt of your letter of yesterday's date, his excellency required of the commander of the Florida that he should not proceed to sea until twenty-four hours should have elapsed after the departure of the bark Sarah E. Nichols.

I have, &c.,


Colonial Secretary.

[Inclosure 9 in No. 49.]

Mr. Trowbridge to Governor Walker.

February 24, 1863.

May it please your excellency:

I respectfully beg leave to call your attention to the fact of the privateer Florida's arrival at this port this morning under the so-called confederate flag-a flag that is not recognized by Her Majesty's government or any other nation-for the purpose, ostensibly, of obtaining coal and provisions.

It is well known that she has within the past two months captured and burnt several United States merchant-vessels on the high seas which were engaged in lawful trade.

There are now several United States merchant-vessels in this port, one of them desirous of leaving this evening. I trust that, in view of these circumstances, and

taking into consideration the pacific and friendly relations at present existing between Her Majesty's government and the United States, your excellency will be pleased to prevent this vessel from obtaining coal here, or any other supplies that will aid her in carrying on her illegal pursuits. I trust your excellency will be pleased to order that this vessel shall depart from this port at once.

As representative for the United States of America, I feel it my duty, and do [96] hereby *protest in the name of the United States against this privateer vessel being permitted to obtain coal or any supplies contraband of war. I have, &c., (Signed)


United States Consul.

No. 50.

Opinion of law-off


The law-officers of the Crown to Earl Russell.

TEMPLE, April 18, 1863. (Received April 18.) MY LORD: We are honored with your lordship's commands signified in Mr. Hammond's letter of the 6th instant, stating that he was directed by your lordship to transmit to us a letter from the Colonial Office, inclosing a copy of a dispatch from the governor of the Windward Islands, forwarding copies of correspondence which had taken place between his excellency and Rear-Admiral Wilkes respecting a complaint made by the latter that undue partiality had been shown by the governor to the confederate vessel Oreto, and to request that we would take the same into our consideration, and favor your lordship with our opinion whether there has been any breach of Her Majesty's regulations.

Mr. Hammond was also pleased to state that he was directed by your lordship to inclose a previous letter from the Colonial Office on the same subject.

In obedience to your lordship's commands we have taken these papers into our consideration, and have the honor to report

That we are of opinion that his excellency the governor of the Windward Islands does not appear to have been guilty of showing any undue partiality to the Oreto, or to have committed any literal breach of Her Majesty's regulations. We would take the liberty of observing further, that his excellency owes no account to Admiral Wilkes of his conduct in the matter of his discharge of his duties towards Her Majesty; and that the very offensive tone and language of that officer's letter ought to apprise his excellency of the inexpediency of long personal interviews and explanations with him. It is manifest that upon this, as upon other occasions, these interviews and explanations are made the pretext for writing subsequent letters of this description, intended to be used hereafter very disingenuously, as proof of charges made at the time of the favor shown by Her Majesty's officers to the Confederate States.

We feel ourselves called upon, while giving to Governor Walker full credit for honest and impartial conduct, to add that, in our opinion, the letter and spirit of Her Majesty's regulations (quoted in Rear-Admiral Wilkes's dispatch of the 6th March, 1863) have not been adhered to with sufficient strictness in either of the cases mentioned, that of the San Jacinto or that of the Oreto. The limits of the supply of coal in particular, prescribed by that regulation, ought to be observed, both as to the quantity of coal to be supplied in the first instance, and as to the interval of time which, in the absence of "special permission," (a per

mission not contemplated except under "special" circumstances of a kind different, in our opinion, from those which occurred in the two cases in question,) ought to elapse between two successive supplies of coal from British ports.

We have, &c.,



No. 51.

Mr. Hammond to Sir F. Rogers.

FOREIGN OFFICE, April 25, 1863.

SIR: With reference to your letters of the 23d and 31st ultimo, I am directed by Earl Russell to transmit to you, to be laid before the Duke of Newcastle, a copy of the opinion of the law-officers of the Crown with regard to the complaint made by Rear-Admiral Wilkes, that undue partiality had been shown by the governor of the Windward Islands to the confederate vessel Oreto.1


I am, &c.,


*No. 52.

Lord Lyons to Earl Russell.

WASHINGTON, April 17, 1863. (Received April 30.)

MY LORD: I have the honor to transmit to your lordship copies of a note from Mr. Seward, and its inclosure, and copy of my Complaint of United reply. They relate to a complaint that the regulations re- States Gorrnment. specting belligerent ships in British harbor shave been transgressed at Barbados, in favor of the confederate steamer Florida; but there does not seem to be any reason for me to enter into direct communication with the governor of Barbados on the subject.

Your lordship will see that, in this letter from Rear-Admiral Wilkes, which forms inclosure No. 2, the rear-admiral states that the United States are endeavoring to act up to and carry out the literal construction of Her Majesty's regulations.

I have always been myself of opinion that the course best calculated to avoid unpleasant discussions with this Government is to adhere as closely as possible to the regulations. A departure from them, even in favor of the United States cruisers, is likely (as indeed happened at Bermuda) to lead to misunderstandings respecting the nature and extent of the concession intended, and to demands for similar concessions on other occasions; while the displeasure occasioned here by any favor granted to a confederate ship is in no degree diminished by proof that a similar favor had been previously granted to a United States ship.

I have, &c.,


1 No. 50.

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