Lapas attēli

[Inclosure 114 in No. 24.)

Vr. Il'ard to Mr. Blanchard.

FEBRUARY 21, 1865. Sir: I am desired by his excellency the governor to acquaint you that he received your letter of the 18th instant in the afternoon of that day, (Saturday,) and that on Monday, the 20th, he caused it to be referred, through the honorable the attorney general, to the Crown solicitor, for any explanation he might wish to offer.

2. After stating that it was only in consequence of his accidentally returning to his office at half past 5 p. mn., after it had been closed for the day, that the interview between you and himself occurred at all, Mr. Gurner states that he informed you that, not being a magistrate, he could not take an information, and adds that he was in a hurry to save a railway train, and therefore left more suddenly than he otherwise should have done; but he positively asserts that neither in manier nor language did he insult you.

3. His excellency feels sure that the Crown solicitor's tone and manner have been misapprehended, and confiilently assures you that there was no intention on the part of that officer to fail in the respect due to your position as the consul of the United States of America.

I have, &c.,


Prirate Secretary.

(Inclosure 115 in No. 24.)

Governor Sir C. Darling to Mr. Carduell.


GOVERNMENT HOUSE, Melbourne, February 23, 1865. SIR: I have thought it desirable to put Her Majesty's government in possession of the inclosed confidential report upon the armament, speed, and other qualities of the Confederate States vessel Shenandoah.

It proceeds from an officer of the Victorian volunteer staff, specially attached to the paval brigade, and who was formerly a lieutenant in Her Majesty's navy. I have every reason to think his opinion and statements may be relied upon.

I have, &c.,



1 Inclosure 116 in No. 24.1

Captain Payne to Colonel Henderson.


Report on condi trou of Shenandoal,

MELBOURNE, February 10, 1865. Sir: With reference to your memorandum, marked confidential, directing me to report upon the armament, speed, and other qualities of the confederate war-steamer Shenandoah, I have the honor to inform you that I have taken every opportunity that presented itself for obtaining the information you desire, and beg now to report

1st. That the armament (as far as I can see) consists of the following ordnance, viz: Two Whitworth ritle-guns, of 33 hundredl-weight each. Four 8-inch smooth-bore guns, 55 hundred-weight each. Two 12-pounder smooth-bore guns, about 15 hundred-weight each.

I have been unable to ascertain what amount of ammunition she has on board for these guns, nor have I been able to determine where her magazines are placed. I do not think they are abaft her engine-room, for her after-hold has been cleared, and there is no appearance of any magazine there. I observe that there were no smallarms, stands for small-arms, entlasses, or pistols about any part of her decks, and, as far as I could see, thero appeared to be a general unreadiness for action about her quarters. Shot-racks were not fitted, nor did I see any place I call the shell-room aloft ; everything indicated that she was nothing more than an ordinary merchantship.

I have used every exertion (but wiihout success) to ascertain whether she has any larger guns stowed away below. I do not think she bas, as her scantling would hardly

allow lier to carry more than I have already seen. There appears to be a mystery abont her fore-hold, for the foreman of the patent slip, when asked to go down to that spot to measure her for the cradle, was informed that he could not get to the skin at that place. The hatches were always kept on, and the foreman states that he was informed they had all their “stuff” there.

As to her speed, I have been informed by competent judges that, taking her boilerpower into consideration, she would not exceed an average of ten knots an hour under steam alone ; while under sail she bas every appearance of being very fast. There is nothing to protect her machines from shot and shell; in fact, her boilers and the principal parts of her machinery are above the water-line. Her bunkers certainly are between the machinery and the ship's side, but from their small dimensions they would offer but small resistance to shot. The most vulnerable part, viz., the boilers, is left quite unprotected. She can carry a great quantity of coals, but in her bunkers she can only stow about fifty tons. Her daily consumption under full steam averages abont twenty-four tons. She is fitted with a smoke-consuming apparatus, which appears to answer well, for I remarked, when she first came up the bay, but little smoke was emitted from her funnel. In her other qualities I think she corresponds with the description given in Lloyd's Register of another vessel which has a similar number and the same tomage marked on her main beam, viz: No. 4-54 and 790 tons. She is built on the composite plan, having iron frames, with wood planking, and appears to have been strongly built, but not more so than is usual for ships classed on the tint letter for thirteen years.

The state of the vessel on deck, aloft, and in the engine-room, I think both slovenly and dirty, and does not reflect any credit upon her officers.

There appears to me to be about forty to fifty men on boaril, slouchy, dirty, and nndisciplined. I noticed also a great number of officers, and could not help remarking that the number appeared out of all proportion to the few men I saw on board. With out disparaging the confederate war-steaner Shenandoah, I am altogether of opinion that there is nothing in her build, armament, (with the exception of the Whitworth guns,) and equipment that should call for more special notice than that she is an ordinary merchant-vessel, armed with a few guns.

I have, &c.,


No. 2..

Mr. Jurray to the lau-officers of the (roun.

FOREIGN OFFICE, April 18, 150). GENTLEMEN: I am directed by Earl Russell to transmit to you a letter from the colonial office, inclosing copies of dispatches from Gorernor Sir C. Darling, together with their several inclosures, relative

to the visit to the port of Melbourne of the Confederate States (558] *steamer Shenandoal and the alleged enlistment of British sub

jects there to serve on board that vessel. I am to request that you will take these papers into your consideration and favor Lord Russell with any observations you may bave to offer thereupon, and more particularly as to whether they seem to require any action on the part of Her Majesty's government.

I have, &c.,


I No. 24.

No. 26.

The law officers of the Crown to Earl Russell.

Onion of law offi

LINCOLN'S INN, April 21, 1865. (Received April 22.) MY LORD : We are honored with your lordship's commands signified in Mr. Murray's letter of the 18th instant, stating that he was directed by your lordship to transmit to us a letter cere from the colonial office, inclosing copies of dispatches from Governor Sir C. Darling, together with their several inclosures, relative to the visit to the port of Melbourne of the Confederate States steamer Shenanie doah and the allegedi enlistment of British subjects there to serve ou board that vessel, and to request that we would take tliese papers into our consideration and favor your lordship with any observations we might have to offer thereupon, and more particularly as to whether they seem to require any action on the part of Her Majesty's government.

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

That it appears to us that, in the circumstances stated, his excellency the governor acted with propriety and discretion, and there does not appear to us, at present, to be a necessity for any action on the part of Her Majesty's government.

With respect to his excelleney's request that lie may receive instructions as to the propriety of executing any warrant under the foreign-enlistment act on board a confederate (publie) concurente ship of war, we are of opinion that, in a case of strong suspicion, he ouglt to request the permission of the commander of the ship to execute the warrant; and that, if this request be refused, he ought not attempt to enforce the execution ; but that, in this case, the commander should be desired to leave the port as speedily as possible, and should be informed that he will not be re-admitted into it.

We have, &c.,


4. to enforce a wrrart board

ship of war.

No. 27.

Jr. Jurray to Jr. Elliot.

FOREIGN OFFICE, April 29, 1865. SIR: I have laid before Earl Russell your letter of the 17th instant, with its inclosures, relative to the proceedings of Governor Sir Charles Darling on the occasion of the visit of the Shenandoal to Melbourne ; and I am now directed by his lordship to transmit to you, to be laid before Mr. Secretary Cardwell, a copy of the opinion which, in accordance with Lord Russell's desire, the law officers of the Crown have given respecting the governor's proceedings.?

I am, &c.,


I No. 26.


* No. 28.

Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.

Reply to



FOREIGN OFFICE, May 4, 1865. SIR: I have had the honor to receive your note of the 7th of April, for

warding a copy of a letter addressed by the consul of the Adams' reprezenta: United States at Rio de Janeiro to his Government upon

the proceedings of a vessel called the Sea King, or Shenandoah, which vessel you state has since been heard of at Melbourne, whence details have been received of outrages committed by her on the commerce of the United States. You then proceed to say: “ Were there any reasons to believe that the operations carried on in the ports of Her Majesty's kingdom and its dependencies to maintain and extend this systematic depredation upon the commerce of a friendly people had been materially relaxed or prevented,” you would not have had to anuounce to me “the fact that your Government cannot avoid entailing upon the government of Great Britain the responsibility for this damage."

A British steamer, the City of Richmond, is next alluded to as having been allowed to take supplies from the port of London and to place them on board a French-built steam-ram, known as the Stonewall, and you found upon the circumstances to which you have thus alluded a charge against Great Britain of not only not checking improper depre. dations on United States commerce, but of aiming at the destruction of the whole mercantile navigation belonging to the people of the United States; and while giving credit to Her Majesty's government for endear. oring to check illicit proceedings of British subjects, you allege that the measures adopted in this respect by Her Majesty's government hare never proved effective, and that the evil of which you complain has its origin in the fact that Her Majesty's government recognized the persons in arms against the United States as belligerents, and thereby improperly gave them a status which has led to a long continuance of hostilities; but as the ports held by them have fallen into the power of the United States, the President looked with contidence to a removal by Her Majesty's government of this ground of complaint.

You conclude by expressing a hope that the ships of war of the United States will be welcomed in British waters in the same friendly manner as has been heretofore customary.

Allow me to observe, in the first place, that I can never admit that the duties of Great Britain toward the United States are to be measured by the losses which the trade and commerce of the United States may have sustained. The question is not what losses the United States have sustained by the war, but whether in difficult and extraordinary circumstances the government of Her Majesty have performed faithfully and honestly the duties which international law and their own municipal law imposed upon them.

Let me remind you that when the civil war in America broke out so suddenly, so violently, and so extensively, that event, in the preparation of which Great Britain had no share, caused nothing but detriment and injury to Her Majesty's subjects. Great Britain had previously carried on a large commerce with the Southern States of the Union, and had procured there the staple which furnished materials for the industry of millions of her people.

Had there been no war the existing treaties with the United States would have secured the continuance of a commerce mutually advantageous and desirable. But what was the first act of the President of

the United States? He proclaimed, on the 19th of April, 1861, the blockade of the ports of seven States of the Union. But he could lawfully interrupt the trade of neutrals with the Southern States upon one ground only, namely, that the Southern States were carrying on war against the Government of the United States; in other words, that they were belligerents.

Her Majesty's government, on hearing of these events, had only two courses to pursue, namely, that of acknowledging the blockade and proclaiming the neutrality of Iler Majesty, or that of refusing to acknowledging the blockade and insisting upon the rights of Her Majesty's subjects to trade with the ports of the South.

Her Majesty's government pursued the former course as at once the most just and the most friendly to the United States.

It is obvious, indeed, that the course of treating the vessels of the Southern States as piratical vessels and their crews as pirates would have been to renounce the character of neutrals and to take part in the war. Nay, it would have been doing more than the United States themselves, who have never treated the prisoners they have made, either by land or sea, as rebels and pirates, but as prisoners of war, to be detained until regularly exchanged.

So much as to the step which you say your Government can never regard “as otherwise than precipitate," of acknowledging the Southern

States as belligerents. [560] *It was, on the contrary, your own Government which, in

assuming the belligerent right of blockade, recognized the Southern States as belligerents. Had they not been belligerents, the armed ships of the United States would have had no right to stop a single British ship upon the high seas.

The next complaint (often repeated, I must admit) is that vessels built in British ports, and afterwards equipped with an armament sent from the British coast, have injured and, according to your account, almost destroyed the mercantile marine of the United States.

Now, the only question that can be put on this subject is whether Great Britain has performed faithfully the duties incumbent upon her. I must here ask you to recollect that our foreign-enlistment' act, as well as your foreign-enlistment act, requires proof that the vessel has been or is about to be equipped or armed within our dominions for the purpose of assisting a state or a body of men making war on a state in amity with ller Majesty. In the case of the Alabama, which is always referred to as affording the strongest ground of complaint against Her Majesty's government, the papers affording evidence of a design to equip the ship for the confederate service were furnished to me by you on the 22d, and more completely on the 24th of July, 1862. They were reported upon by the law-officers on the 29th of that month. But on that very morning the Alabama was taken to sea on the false pretense of a trialship.

I contend that in that case, as in all others, IIer Majesty's government faithfully performed their obligations as neutrals. It must be recollected that the foreign-enlistment act, thongh passed in the year of 1819, has never been actually put in force, and that it is still doubtful whether the evidence furnished by you on the 220 and 24th of July, though it was deemed a sufticient ground for detaining the Alabama, would have been found sufficient to procure a conviction from a jury, or even a charge in favor of condemnation of the vessel from a judge. Again, I repeat, the whole question resolves itself into this: Whether the British government faithfully and conscientiously performed their duties as neutrals, or

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