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In the view which I have taken of this extraordinary proceeding as a violation of the enlistment act, I am happy to find myself sustained by the opinion of an eminent lawyer of Great Britain, a copy of which I do myself the honor likewise to transmit.
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.
On the 25th July a further deposition was received by the board of customs from Mr. Squarey, referred to the assistant solicitor of customs, and transmitted to the treasury; from whence on Saturday, the 26th of July, it was sent to the Foreign Office, and was on the same day referred to the law-officers of the Crown, with a request that they would take it into consideration together with the other papers then before them relating to the same subject.
This further deposition was as follows: '
Affidavit of Henry Redden.
I, Henry Redden, of Hook street, Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, seaman, make oath and say as follows:
1. I am a seaman, and have followed the sea for fifteen years. I have been boatswain on board both steamers and sailing-vessels, and belong to the naval reserve.
2. About six weeks ago I was engaged by Captain Butcher (with whom I have previously sailed) as boatswain on board a vessel then in Messrs. Laird & Co.'s shipbuilding yard, but now lying in the Birkenhead float, and known by the name No. 290. The said Captain Butcher offered me £10 per month, and said an agreement should be signed when we got outside. He told me that we should have plenty of money when we got home, as we were going to the Southern States on a speculation to try and get some.
 3. The crew now on board the said vessel consists of about forty men, but I believe that she will take to sea about one hundred men, all told. It is generally understood on board that she will clear for Nassau, but not make that port. The said vessel has all her stores and coals on board ready for sea. She is fitted in all respects as a man-of-war, to carry six broadside-guns and four pivots, but has no guns or ammunition on board as yet. The rules on board are similar to those in use on a manof-war, and the men are not allowed to sing as they do on a merchantman. The call is used on board. The said vessel is of about 1,100 tons burden.
4. I know Captain Bullock. He has been superintending the building of the said vessel in Messrs. Laird & Co.'s yard, and is, I believe, to take charge of the vessel when we get outside.
It is generally understood on board the said vessel that she belongs to the confederate government.
A Justice of the Peace for the County of Lancaster.
On this deposition the assistant solicitor of customs had, on the 25th July, reported as follows:1
I submit a reference to my former reports, to the opinions expressed in which I feel still bound to adhere. So far from giving additional force to the application, the affidavit of Henry Redden appears to me to weaken it, as, after the lapse of several days since the date of the former affidavits, the applicants are confessedly unable to make out a better justification for detaining the vessel. It is, no doubt, difficult to procure satisfactory evidence in such a case; but, in the absence of at least a clear prima facie case, there cannot exist those grounds for detaining the vessel which the foreign enlistment act contemplates.
CUSTOMS, July 25, 1862.
From the above statement it will have been seen that the additional papers sent Mr. Squarey on the 23d were on the same day referred by the board of customs to their official adviser and reported on by him, and were also on the same day transmitted by the board, through the treasury, to the foreign office and thence referred to the law-officers of the Crown.
It will have been seen, also, that the further deposition received on the 25th was on that day reported on by the official adviser of the board of customs, and was on the following day referred to the law-officers of the Crown.
On Tuesday, the 29th July, the law-officers of the Crown reported as follows on the papers which had been successively referred to them:1
The law-officers of the Crown to Earl Russell.
TEMPLE, July 29, 1862.
MY LORD: We are honored with your lordship's commands signified in Mr. Layard's letter of the 23d July instant, stating that, with reference to our report of the 30th ultimo, he was directed by your lordship to transmit to us the accompanying papers, which had been received by the board of treasury from the commissioners of customs, containing further information respecting the vessel alleged to be fitting out at Liverpool for the service of the so-called confederate States, and to request that we would take the same into our consideration, and favor your lordship at our earliest convenience with our opinion thereupon.
The former papers on this subject were inclosed for reference if required.
We are also honored with your lordship's commands signified in Mr. Layard's letter of the 23d July instant, stating that, with reference to his letter of that date, sending to us papers respecting the vessel stated to be preparing for sea at Birkenhead, for the service of the government of the so-styled confederate States of North America, he was directed by your lordship to transmit to us a further letter from the commissioners of customs, inclosing additional papers respecting this vessel, and to request that we would take these papers into our consideration, and favor your lordship at our earliest convenience with our opinion as to the steps which ought to be taken by Her Majesty's government in the matter.
We are further honored with your lordship's commands signified in Mr. Layard's letter of the 26th July instant, stating that he was directed by your lordship to transmit to us the accompanying letter from the board of treasury, dated July 26, which your lordship had received that morning, containing further information respecting the vessel stated to be fitting out at Liverpool for the service of the so-styled Confederate States, and to request that we would take the same into our consideration, together with the other papers on the same subject, which were then before us.
 *In obedience to your lordship's commands we have taken these papers into consideration, and have the honor to reportThat, in our opinion, the evidence of the witnesses who have made depositions, (we allude particularly to William Passmore, Edward Roberts, Robert John Taylor, and Henry Redden,) coupled with the character and structure of the vessel, makes it reasonably clear that such vessel is intended for warlike use, against citizens of the United States, and in the interest of the (so-called) Confederate States. It is not, and cannot be, denied that the vessel is constructed and adapted as a vessel of war, being pierced for guns, the sockets for the bolts for which, Passmore states, are already laid down, and having a magazine, and shot and canister racks on the deck, and a certain number of canisters being actually on board. It is also stated in the report of the commissioners of customs of July 1, that Messrs. Laird, the builders, do not deny that the vessel has been built for some "foreign government," although they maintain apparently a strict reserve as to her actual destination, and as to the "foreign government" in particular, for whose service she is intended. We do not overlook the facts that neither guns nor ammunition have as yet been shipped; that the cargo (though of the nature of naval stores in connection with war-steamers) may yet be classed as a mercantile cargo; and that the crew do not appear to have been, in terms and form at least, recruited or enrolled as a military crew. It is to be expected that great stress will be laid upon these circumstances by the owners and others who may oppose the condemnation of the vessel if seized by the officers of the customs; and an argument may be raised as to the proper construction of the words which occur in the 7th section of the foreign enlistment act, "Equip, furnish, fit out, or arm," which words, it may be suggested, point only to the rendering a vessel, whatever may be the character of its structure, presently fit to engage in hostilities. We think, however, that such a narrow construction ought not to be adopted, and, if allowed, would fritter away the act, and give impunity to open and flagrant violations of its provisions. We, therefore, recommend that, without loss of time, the vessel be seized by the proper authorities, after which an opportunity will be afforded to those interested, previous to condemnation, to alter the facts, if it may be, and to show an innocent destination of the ship.
1 Appendix, vol. i, p. 200.
In the absence of any such countervailing case, it appears to us that the vessel, cargo, and stores may be properly condemned.
We have, &c.,
On the same 29th July the board of customs received from Mr. Dudley's solicitors a communication, dated the 28th, to the effect that they had every reason to believe that the vessel would sail on the 29th. And soon afterward the board received from the same firm a telegraphic message stating that she had come out of dock the night before (the 28th) and had left the port that morning, (the 29th.)
On the 30th July the board of customs received from Mr. Dudley's solicitors the following letter, which was transmitted, through the treasury, to the Foreign Office:2
Messrs. Duncan, Squarey and Mackinnon to Mr. Gardner.
10 WATER STREET, LIVERPOOL, July 29, 1862.
SIR: We telegraphed you this morning that the above-named vessel was leaving Liverpool; she came out of dock last night and steamed down the river between 10 and 11 a. m.
We have reason to believe that she is gone to Queenstown.
DUNCAN, SQUAREY AND MACKINNON.
On the 31st July orders were sent by the commissioners of customs to the collectors of customs at Liverpool and Cork, that the vessel should be seized if she should be within either of those ports. On the morning of the 1st August similar orders were sent to the collectors at Beaumaris and Holyhead.3 Instructions were likewise sent to the governor of the Bahamas, that, if she should put in at Nassau, she should be detained.2
On the 30th July, the day after the departure of the vessel, Mr. Dudley wrote as follows to the collector of customs at Liverpool :*
Mr. Dudley to Mr. Edwards.
UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
SIR Referring to my previous communication to you on the subject of the gun-boat No. 290, fitted out by Messrs. Laird, of Birkenhead, I beg to inform you that she left the Birkenhead dock on Monday night; and yesterday morning left the river accompanied by the steam-tug Hercules.
The Hercules returned last evening, and her master states that the gun-boat was cruising off Point Lynas; that she had six guns on board concealed below, and was taking powder from another vessel.
The Hercules is now alongside the Woodside landing-stage, taking on board men, (forty or fifty,) beams, evidently for gun-carriages, and other things, to convey down to the gun-boat. A quantity of cutlasses were taken on board on Friday last.  *These circumstances all go to confirm the representations heretofore made to you about this vessel, in the face of which I cannot but regret she has been permitted to leave the port; and I report them to you that you may take such steps as you may deem necessary to prevent this flagrant violation of neutrality.
THOMAS H. DUDLEY, Consul.
The surveyor of customs, by direction of the collector, immediately went on board of the Hercules, and reported as follows:3
Mr. Morgan to Mr. Edwards.
SURVEYOR'S OFFICE, July 30, 1862. SIR: Referring to the steamer built by the Messrs. Laird, which is suspected to be a gun-boat intended for some foreign government, I beg to state that, since the date of my last report concerning her, she has been lying in the Birkenhead docks, fitting for sea, and receiving on board coals and provisions for her crew.
She left the dock on the evening of the 28th instant, anchored for the night in the Mersey, abreast the Canning dock, and proceeded out of the river on the following morning, ostensibly on a trial-trip, from which she has not returned.
I visited the tug Hercules this morning as she lay at the landing-stage at Woodside, and strictly examined her holds and other parts of the vessel. She had nothing of a suspicious character on board, no guns, no ammunition, or anything appertaining thereto. A considerable number of persons, male and female, were on deck, some of whom admitted to me that they were a portion of the crew, and were going to join the gun-boat.
I have only to add that your directions to keep a strict watch on the said vessel have been carried ont; and I write in the fullest confidence that she left this port without any part of her armament on board. She has not as much as a single gun or musket. It is said that she cruised off Port Lynas last night, which, as you are aware, is some fifty miles from this port.
E. MORGAN, Surveyor.
Mr. Dudley's letter and the surveyor's report were transmitted to the board of customs. Immediately on the receipt of them the following telegraphic message was sent to the collector:1
JULY 31, 1862-11.35 a. m. Examine master of Hercules, whether he can state that guns are concealed in vessel 290, and that powder has been taken on board.
This order was executed, and the collector replied as follows:2
Mr. Edwards to the commissioners of customs.
CUSTOM-HOUSE, Liverpool, August 1, 1862. HONORABLE SIRS: The master of the Hercules has attended here this morning, and I beg to inclose his examination taken on oath, whereby it will be seen that the statement in the letter of the American consul, forwarded with my report of the 30th ultimo, is not borne out. The board will see that the vessel has left the port. Should opportunity, however, offer, she shall be seized in accordance with the directions of the board, as contained in the telegram of yesterday's date.
S. PRICE EDWARDS.
The examination of Thomas Miller, taken on oath by the collector.
I am the master of the steam tug Hercules. I accompanied the new gun-boat built by Mr. Laird (No. 290, I believe she is distinguished by) to sea on Tuesday last. I kept in sight of her, in case the services of the steam-tug should be required, until she lay to, about a mile off the bell buoy, and about 14 miles from the Canning dock. The vessel left her anchorage about 10 a. m., and I left her between 4 and 5 p. m. I saw nothing on board the ship but coals. I returned from the vessel in the evening, and got into the river about 7 p. m.; there were some of Mr. Laird's workmen and riggers on board; all of these, I believe, I brought back. The next day, Wednesday, I left the landing-stage in the river, and took with me from twenty-five to thirty men, who, I believe, were to be employed on board as part of the crew; they appeared to be all sailors or firemen. I found the vessel about 3 o'clock that afternoon in Beaumaris Bay. I put the men on board, and lay alongside till midnight. We were from three to four miles from the shore; it was a fine day. Besides the men, I put on board an anchorstock, a piece of wood about 15 feet long, and two pieces of brass belonging to the
machinery. I neither carried guns, powder, or ammunition of any kind to her,  nor did I see anything of this description on board, *nor yet being put on board. There was no vessel of any description came near the vessel while I was by her. I have never seen the American consul to my knowledge. I never told him or any one else that they were taking powder on board the new vessel. I never was told what she was for, or what was her destination. The piece of wood which I have mentioned was not in any way fit for a gun-carriage. I thought it was intended to rest the ship's boat upon; it was planed and cut out for some purpose, if not to rest the boat upon. THOMAS MILLER.
Sworn at the custom-house, Liverpool, August 1, 1862.
Appendix, vol. i, p, 205.
Ibid., p. 206.
The subjoined letters received by the board of customs from their offi cers at Beaumaris, Holyhead, and Cork show what was done by those officers in obedience to the orders of the board:
Mr. Cunnah to the secretary to the customs, London.
CUSTOM-HOUSE, Holyhead, August 1, 1862.
SIR: Your telegram respecting the iron steam-vessel 290 is duly to hand. The vessel is not, at present, within the limits of this creek. I have arranged that constant watch shall be kept, so that immediately upon her entering either of the harbors or the roadstead she will be seized; and I am now leaving (to go along the coast) to Point Lynas and Amlwch to make further inquiries.
I beg also to state that I have forwarded a copy of the message to the collector of customs, Beaumaris, and the principal coast officer at Amlwch.
I have, &c.,
E. B. CUNNAH, Principal Coast Officer.
Mr. Smith to Mr. Gardner.
SIR: On receipt of your telegram on the 1st instant, directing me to seize the steamship 290, reported to be off Point Lynas, I immediately proceeded to Amlwch and instituted inquiries, but could get but little satisfactory information. I heard that there had been a suspicious screw-bark in Moelfra Roads on Wednesday last; that the shore-boats would not be allowed alongside. I called on Mr. Pierce, chief officer of the coast-guard, and consulted with him; I requested that he should order his boat, with four hands armed, to be at Point Lynas by 5 o'clock the next morning to meet us; I took a car at Amlwch, accompanied by Mr. Pierce and my principal coast officer, and proceeded to Point Lynas light-house, and made every inquiry of the keeper. I then proceeded to the telegraph station, and on inquiry there found that the suspected vessel had not been seen by either party since Wednesday evening, when she was riding in Moelfra Roads. We then got into the coast-guard boat and proceeded to Moelfra, and found that a large black screw-bark, or three-masted topsail-yard screw-steamer, with black funnel, and no name or port on her, had arrived at Moelfra Roads at 7.30 p. m. on Tuesday evening last, and came to anchor; that a fishing-boat was going alongside, and asked if they wanted any fish; the answer from the steamer was, "No; keep off." On Wednesday they appeared to be washing the decks and cleaning her, and about 5 p. m. a tug-boat, supposed to belong to the Old Tug Company of Liverpool, went alongside with what was supposed to be an excursion party, the passengers going on board the screw-steamer; there was music on board. The tug-boat remained alongside until about 10 o'clock p. m. the same evening, when she left; the shore people could not say whether she took the party she brought back again, because it was too dark. At 3 o'clock a. m. the following morning, viz, Thursday, the screw-steamer got under weigh and proceeded to sea, and has not since been seen by any parties on the shore along the whole part of that coast.
They held no communication whatever with the shore during her stay in Moelfra Roads. I am, &c., (Signed)
W. H. SMITH, Collector.
Mr. Cassell to the secretary to the customs.
Gun-boat 290, the subject of telegram from the secretary of customs, 31st ultimo, and board's order, 89/1862.
CUSTOM-HOUSE, Cork. August 4, 1862.
SIR: Immediately on the receipt of your telegraphic message steps were taken for the detention of the above-mentioned vessel, should she put into this port; but, up to the close of this letter, 4 p. m., she has not made her appearance.
I am, &c.,
F. CASSELL, Collector.
The vessel in fact sailed from the port of Liverpool on Tuesday, the 29th July, between 10 and 11 a. m. She sailed ostensibly with the intention of making a trial-trip and returning to her moorings; and.