Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

officers, took charge of her at Madeira, or the Isle of Deserta, and sailed with an original crew of seventeen men. (Signed)

WM. G. NICHOLS,

Late Master Bark Delphine, Bangor. MELBOURNE, January 26, 1865. Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 26th day of January, 1865. (Signed)

WM. BLANCHARD, Consul.

When_making the statement to the value of the ship I thonght that on account of having British property on board he might bond the ship and let her go, and I wished to have the bond as small as possible; not that I consider the amount above the value of the ship, neither do I include iny private property on board, nor the property of the officers and crew. (Signed)

WM. G. NICHOLS,

Late Master Delphine. (Signed)

WM. BLANCHARD,

United States Consul.

(Inclosure 5 in No. 32.)

Mr. Francis to Mr. Blanchard.

and

consul.

CUSTOM-HOUSE, Melbourne, January 25, 1865. Sir: I am desired by his excellency the governor to inform you that an application

has been made to land certain prisoners from the confederate steamer Correspondence bei Shenandoah, now in this port, and I am to request that you will be good

enough to inform me, for the information of Sir Charles Darling, whether

you are willing to undertake to receive and provide for, on behalf of the government which you represent, the prisoners above referred to. I am to request the favor of an early reply to this communication.

I have, &c.,
(Signed)

JAS. G. FRANCIS,
Commissioner of Trade and Customs.

(Inclosure 6 in No. 32.]

Mr. Blanchard to Governor Sir C. Darling.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Melbourne, January 26, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a dispatch from the honorable the commissioner of trade and customs, dated to-day, and, in reply, beg leave to acquaint your excellency that previous to its reaching me, at half-past 3 o'clock p. m., I had made provision for the master, crew, and passengers, already landed, of the United States bark Delphine, (the persons presumed to be referred to in said dispatch,) burned at sea by a piratical vessel called the Shenandoah, ex-Sea King.

I avail myself of this opportunity to call upon your excellency to cause the [591] said * Shenandoab, alias Sea King, to be seized for piratical acts, she not coming

within Her Majesty's neutrality proclamation, never having entered a port of the so-called Confederate States of America, for the purpose of naturalization, and consequently not entitled to belligerent rights.

T'he table service, plate, &c., on board said vessel, bear the marks Sea King, and the captain should bring evidence to entitle him to belligerent rights.

I therefore protest against aid or comfort being extended to said piratical vessel in any of the ports of this colony.

I have, &c.,
(Signed)

WILLIAM BLANCHARD.

*

(Inclosure 7 in No. 32.]

Mr. Blanchard to Gorernor Sir C. Darling.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Melbourne, January 27, 1865. Sir: The undersigned, consul of the United States of America at the port of Melbourne, begs most respectfully to call the attention of your excellency to the armed cruiser, referred to in his note of yesterday, now at anchor in Hobson's Bay, and reported to be a vessel of the so-styled Confederate States of America.

It must be evident to your excellency that notoriously all the presumption of fact and law are against the probabilities of the legal character of the vessel in question, and it is not necessary for the undersigued to more than suggest to your excellency the ease with which any lawless rover of the seas may assume any character designed to effect his purposes.

When in this case the actual circumstances are duly considered, having reference, on the one hand, to the present condition of the so-called Confederate States of America, and, (n the other, to the freqnent violations in Her Majesty's ports of the laws of neutrality, especially of the well-known facts proclaimed respecting this very vessel before her arrival, there would scarcely seem to remain a doubt as to her real character here, for the first time appearing in her new pretended nationality, coming from no where, bringing in no prizes, destroying, without adjudication and without necessity, all property seized, regardless of ownership, leaving inhumanly, and against the law of nations, large vumbers of captives upon a desert island, having, in all parts of her, and in the remains of half-erased letters, numberless indicia of her genuine nationality, the undersigned will not doubt that, not only in the interest of justice and the safety of universal commerce upon the seas, but also in vindication of the honor and diguity of Her Majesty's government, (too long contemptuously disregarded by those who, seeking asylum under it, only abuse an honorable hospitality to violate its laws and insult its sovereignty,) your excellency will give so inuch weight, and no more, to a “ bit of bunting” and “ a shred of gold lace" as they deserve; that your excellency will well assure yourself that those presumptuously lawless men, audaciously entering this port upon pretenses of necessity, (always so easily made,) but really that information inay be got and new enterprises hence successfully executed, be really what they claim, and truly entitled to the immunities secured to belligerents ; that the commissions (if any) exhibited be genuine; the bearers thereof the persons authorized to bear them; their documents (if any) showing the characters of the vessels worthy of credence; and the acts committed, such as ought to receive the favorable countenance of a great and inagnanimous power.

In fine, whether the crew and vessel are lawfully entitled to the privileges accorded under the laws and by virtne of Her Majesty's proclamation to a real belligerent, or whether, on the contrary, the crew be not amenable to punishment and the vessel to seizure.

And never doubting the anxious desire of your excellency to maintain a strict nentrality, the undersigned feels assured that he will not be misunderstood, nor his conduct be deemed too officious, when the peculiar facts of this present case are duly considered. Now, for the first time, action by this government, in the nature of a precedent, is to be established respecting the status to be accorded to a vessel here first appearing and claiming a warlike character suddenly, without notice, under circumstances of the gravest suspicion. The undersigned will be pardoned if the gravity of the case, in his opinion, make him feel it to be his duty to urge upon your excellency the greatest caution that not upon mere assertion of so-called officers, but after the severest scrutiny, it should be determined if this vessel and crew are entitled to the rights of belligerents, or whether the vessel should not be detained until the facts can be duly

investigated. [592] * Wherefore the undersigned, relying upon the vigilance of your excellency in

a case of so much and so pressivg importance, protests against the said vessel called the Shenandoah, alias Sea King, her so-styled officers and crew; that from evidence already takev by him, as well as from facts patent and notorious to all, the legal presumptions are, in this case, against any just claims to the rights of belligerent; and that, in the instance of justice, commerce, the community of nations, and impartial observance of Her Majesty's proclamation of neutrality and of imperial law, this important right, here now under new and peculiar circumstauces, in the case of this vessel, first songht to be established, be most rigidly examined, lest, under flimsy pretenses of necessity, the ports and coasts of Her Majesty's dominions be unguardedly thrown open to afford lawless and unauthorized marauders cover, and bases for new and piratical enterprises against the citizens of a friendly power, their lives and property; and not only so, enterprises fraught with danger to the interests of Her Majesty's subjects, and in direct encouragement of the most audacious violations of the laws of humanity and of nations, lest finally new claims and additional and serious complications unfortunately arise between Her Majesty's government and the Government of the United States.

I bave, &c.,
(Signed)

WM. BLANCHARD.

(Inclosure 8 in No. 32.)

Mr. Tyler to Mr. Blanchard.

TOORAK, January 23, 1965. Sir: I am directed by his excellency the governor to acquaint you that your letter of the 28th instant was immediately referred by his excellency for the consideration and opinion of the legal advisers of his government, and that the same course has been pursued with your letter of yesterday's date, protesting against the claims to the right of a belligerent of the vessel now lying in Hobson's Bay, called the Shenandoah.

His excellency will not fail to acquaint you with his decision after he shall bave received the advice of the attorney general.

I have, &c.,
(Signed)

C. J. TYLER,

For prirate secretary.

(Inclosure 9 in No. 32. I

Mr. Blanchard to Governor Sir C. Darling.

a

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Melbourne, Januarg 28, 1865. Sir: I am in receipt of a communication from C. J. Tyler, esq., your excelleney's aid-de-camp, dated to-day, informing me that your excellency has submitted my dispatches of the 26th and 27th January instant to the consideration of your legal advisers, and that your excellency's decision, when made, will be forwarded to me.

Evidence being daily accumulating in this office in support of the reasons for the protests I had the houor to forward to your excellency, I now beg leave to call your attention specially to the following:

1. That the Sea King, alias Shenandoah, now in this port, and assuming to be a warvessel of the so-styled Confederate States, is a British-built ship, and cleared from a British port as a merchantman, legally entering no port until her arrival here, where she assumes to be a war-vessel of the Confederate States; that any transfer of said vessel at sea is in violation of the law of nations, and does not change ber nationality.

2. That inasmuch as Her Majesty's neutrality proclamation prohibits her sulijects from supplying or furnishing any war material or ship to either belligerent, this ves. sel, having an origin as above, is not entitled to the privileges accorded to the belligerents by said proclamation.

3. That being a British-built merchant-ship, she cannot be converted into a war-vessel, upon the high seas, of the so-styled Confederate States, but only by proceeding to and sailing in such character from one of the ports of the so-styled confederacy.

4. That it is an established law that vessels are to be considered as under the flag of the nation where built, until legally transferred to another flag. 5. That said vessel sailed as an English merchant-ship from an English port, and

cannot, until legally transferred, be considered as a man-of-war. [593] *6. That not being legally a man-of-war, she is but a lawless pirate, dishopor

ing the flag under which her status is to be established, and under which she decoys her victims.

7. That her armament came also from Great Britain, in English vessels, (the Lanrel and Sea King, now Shenandoah,) both of which cleared under British seal, or, if without it, in violation of established law.

8. That as such she has committed great depredations upon ships belonging to eitizens of the United States, making her liable to seizure and detention, and the crew guilty of piracy.

I cannot close this without further protesting, in behalf of my Government, against the aid, and comfort, and refuge now being extended to the so-styled confederate cruiser Shenandoah in this port.

I have, &c.,
(Signed)

WM. BLANCHARD.

(Inclosure 10 in No. 32.]

Mr. Blanchard to Mr. Learenworth, United States consul at Sydney.

UNITED STATES CONSULATE,

Melbourne, January 28, 1865. DEAR COLLEAGUE : You have been acquainted by telegraph of the appearance of a *ship (screw-steamer) assuming the name Shenandoah, and claiming the right of belligerency from Victoria authorities.

I have forwarded to the governor, Sir Charles Darling, two dispatches respecting it, and beg to inclose copies of documents that have been exchanged between the authorities and the consulate, viz:

1. Dispatch of commissioner of trade and customs respecting prisoners to be provided for.

2. Reply to the above, and protest against granting any rights of belligerency:

3. Dispatch argumentative, aiming to prove that belligerent rights cannot be accorded.

4. Acknowledgment of receipt of above dispatches 2 and 3, showing that protests are under consideration.

Her Majesty's government being represented in Sydney by a governor, who is at the same time governor general of all Australian colonies, and commander of all Australian waters, thus overruling all other governors of Her Majesty's government in these dominions, I respectfully suggest to you the propriety and necessity of lodging a solemn protest, in support of my protest here, showing such reasons as you deem expedient to induce his excellency to issue orders in all colonies to seize said vessel as a pirate, and in no way to grant to her belligerent rights.

In stating that your governor is governor general, I have no authority just now at haud, (being in great haste, and mail closing,) to see that I am really right, and it is therefore for you to decide whether my intentions can be carried out.

You are thus acquainted with all the facts relating to this piratical craft, and to the grounds I have taken against her, &c.; and I rely upon your hearty and vigorous cooperation.

I have, &c.,
(Signed)

WM. BLANCHARD.

(Inclosure 11 in No. 32.)

Mr. Tyler to Mr. Blanchard.

PRIVATE SECRETARY'S OFFICE,

Melbourne, January 30, 1865. Sır: 1 am directed by his excellency the governor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 25th instant, and to acquaint you that having fully considered the representations contained in that communication, and in your previous letters of the 26th and 27th instant, and advised with the Crown law-officers thereon, his excellency has come to the decision that whatever inay be the previous history of the Shenandoah, the government of this colony is bound to treat her as a ship of war belonging to a belligerent power.

I have, &c.
(Signed)

C. J. TYLER,

For private secretary.

[594]

*(Inclosure 12 in No. 32.1

Mr. Blanchard to Governor Sir C. Darling.

CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Melbourne, January 30, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a dispatch signed C. J. Tyler, for private secretary, dated private secretary's office, January 30, 1865, informing me that after full consideration of my several dispatches, dated respectively the 26th, 27th, and 28th instant, and after advice of the Crown law-officers, your excellency has come to the decision that whatever may be the previous history of the Shenandoah, the government of this colony is bound to treat her as a ship of war belonging to a belligerent power.

As consul of, and on behalf and by authority of, the United States of America, I hereby solemnly protest against the decision of the government of Victoria, as comidnicated to ne in the above-mentioned dispatch. And I further protest, as consnl aforesaid, against the government of Victoria allowing the said piratical craft, Shenandoah, alias Sea King, to depart from this port, thus enabling her to renew her depredations upon shipping belonging to citizens of the United States of America. And I hereby notify your excellency tbat the United States Government will claim indemnity for the damages already done to its shipping by said vessel, and also which may hereafter be committed by said vessel Shenandoah, alias Sea King, upon the shipping of the United States of America, if allowed to depart from this port. That the said vessel is nothing more than a pirate, which the nation whose vessels she robs and destroys has a right to pursne, capture, or destroy in any port or harbor of the world.

I have, &c.,
(Signed)

WM. BLANCHARD.

(Inclosure 13 in No. 32.)

Testimony of Lillias L. Nichols.

I, the undersigned, Lillias L. Nichols, wife of William Green Nichols, late master of the bark Delphine, on board of which I was passenger, do solemnly declare:

I was taken prisoner, together with my husband, and conveyed on board the Shenandoah, and have been kept on board until the vessel reached Hobson's Bay, when I was at liberty to leave.

While on board I noticed that the plate in use was engraven “Sea King;” and I have frequently been told by the captain and others on board that the vessel was formerly the Sea King, which sailed from London in October, having on board the tirst lieutenant of the Shenandoah. I was told by Mr. Bullock, the sailing-master, that the Laurel conveyed Captain Waddell and the other officers from England to the rendezvous with the Sea King off Madeira. I was also told by the captain that the armament which is now on board the Shenandoah was brought out from England in the hold of the Laurel, packed in boxes. (Signed)

LILLIAS L. NICHOLS. Subscribed before me on this 1st day of February, 1865. (Signed)

WM. BLANCHARD,

United States Consul.

(Inclosure 14 in No. 32.)

Testimony of ITilliam Bruce.

Deposition of sea. mau of Helena,

1, William Bruce, at present of the city of Melbourne, in the colony of Victoria, make

oath and say:

1. That I am a naturalized citizen of the United States of America.

and reside at No. 316 Broadway, Williamsburg, New York State. Ou or about the 3d day of October, 1864, I shipped on board the bark Helena, Captain Staples, then lying in Newport dock, in the county of Monmouth, iu that part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland called Wales, as cook and steward.

2. That on or about the 4th day of October, in the year aforesaid, the said [595] bark *sailed from Newport aforesaid to Buenos Ayres, in the republic of Buenos

Ayres, South America, laden with a cargo of railway iron and other sundries, under the command of the said Captain Staples.

3. That the said bark Helena was au American ship belonging to Searsport, Maine, United States of America.

4. That no incident of importance occurred in the said voyage until on or abont the 29th day of October, 1864, when the said bark was within three days' sail of Madeira, a steamer hove in sight, and I reported the fact to Captain Staples; and about two hours afterward I was enabled with my naked eye to see that she was a steamer flying English colors.

5. That on the following day the same steamer, at about half-past 1 o'clock in the afternoon, under steam and flying the English flag, came on our lee quarter; and on the said bark displaying the colors of the United States of America, the said steamer fired a blank shot toward the said bark, and hoisted the flag of the so-called Confederate States of America.

6. That the said bark was thereupon hove to, and a boat left the said steamer with eight persons therein, including three persons who represented themselves as officers

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »