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CH. V.]




ment was very friendly, and in the will and earnest desire for our prospermain satisfactory. Mr. Dayton, ourity and national honor. A passage or

, minister, was received with cordiality, two from Prince Gortchacow's disand M. Thouvenel, the foreign minis- patch to the Russian minister, July ter, expressed himself with especial 10th, 1861, may be quoted as illustrat. frankness and good feeling. In allusion ing the Emperor's regard :—“For more to some opinions uttered by Mr. Day. than eighty years that it has existed, ton's predecessor, Mr. Seward wrote very the American Union owes its independdecidedly :-“The United States wait- ence, its towering rise, and its progress, ed patiently while their authority was to the concord of its members, consedefied in turbulent assemblies and in crated, under the auspices of its illusseditious preparations, willing to hope trious founder, by institutions which that mediation, offered on all sides, have been able to reconcile union with would conciliate and induce the dis- liberty. This union has been fruitful. affected parties to return to a better It has exhibited to the world the

specmind. But the case is now altogether tacle of a prosperity without example changed. The insurgents have institu- in the annals of history.

Give ted revolution with open, flagrant, them (the government and others) the deadly war, to compel the United assurance that, in every event the States to acquiesce in the dismember- American nation may count upon the ment of the Union. .

Tell M. most cordial sympathy on the part of Thourenel, with the highest considera- our august master during the impor tion and good feeling, that the thought tant crisis which it is passing through of a dissolution of this Union, peace at present.” ably or by force, has nerer entered into We need not enlarge upon the efforts the mind of any candid statesman here, of our ministers abroad, as well to dis and it is high time that it be dismissed abuse the public mind of ignorant pre by statesmen in Europe.”

possessions and incorrect views, as t: It is interesting, and for a time was express clearly the position and deter surprising to our people, to note the mination of the government. The, outspoken, hearty sympathy of Russia were as successful as could be expectid in our affairs. We thought we had a under the circumstances, and their zeal right to expect offices of friendship and ability were highly approved at from England and France, but had home. One point, however, deserves hardly counted on any special regard notice in this connection. Certain from Russia. In both cases we were articles were agreed upon at Paris, in disappointed; the former adopted a 1856, by the principal powers of course as letrimental to our interests Europe. The understanding between as was possible, short of open war; the the contracting parties, Great Britain, latter gave us every assurance of good Austria, France, Russia, Prussia, Sar

dinia and Turkey, was :-1st, that of vessels with a hostile purpose in their harbors, and generally enjoining complete neutrality.

privateering is abolished; 2d, that the


neutral flag covers enemy's goods, ex- for persons to do this kind of work; cept contraband of war; 3d, that neut- and in a few months a large amount ral goods, with the same exception, are of property was destroyed.* At not liable to capture under an enemy's the beginning of June, the flag; 4th, that blockades, to be binding, Savannah, a schooner of 54 tons, was must be effective. The United States, fitted out as a privateer, having a single Mr. Pierce then being president, did 18-pound pivot gun and a crew of 22 not accede to the propositions, desiring men. She managed to slip out of the to have added a provision exempting harbor of Charleston, and started on a the private property of belligerents from cruise after merchant vessels trafficking seizure on the high seas. On Mr. Lin-between Northern ports and Cuba. coln becoming president, and in view The next morning, she fell in with the of the importance of the matter at ihe brig Joseph, of Rockland, Maine, which present juncture, Mr. Seward opened was immediately taken possession of; the subject again, and offered to accept in the afternoon, she fell in with the the original articles without the desired United States brig Perry, Lieutenant E. addition just named. Eugland and G. Parrott commanding. All attempts France favored the settlement of the at escape proved useless, and about subject; but it was kept in abeyance eight P.M. she was captured Lieut. some two months, when, with great Parrott reported his success to Flag.

coolness, these governments Officer Stringham in the Minnesota,

declared, that whatever they which was then blockading Charleston might now do must be prospective, and harbor. The Savannah was sent with not invalidate anything already done. a prize crew to New York, and her That is, having recognized the belliger- officers and crew were taken by the ent position of the rebels, they were not Minnesota to Hampton Roads, whence going to do anything which might pos- they were brought in the Harriet Lane sibly interfere with the business of to New York, and there placed in keepprivateering, which Jefferson Davis ing of the United States marshal in was already engaged in. Mr. Seward, close confinement in the city prison.t in calm but unmistakeable tone, put a A bill of indictment for robbery on the quietus upon the whole matter, and high seas was promptly found by the gave foreign powers to understand, that grand jury, and on the 23d of July, the he both knew and was prepared to prisoners, thirteen in number, were armaintain the rights and dignity of the raigned for trial, which was set down United States.

for the October term. Privateering, in the existing condi- As Jefferson Davis had threatened, tion of affairs, was of course a matter early in July, and had taken steps to of great moment to the rebels, as it

* The report of seizures of vessels, made by the afforded them the opportun’ty of doing the rebels, at the close of 1861, was :-off the different immense mischief to our commerce.

ports, 13; in port, 30; steamers captured on the Mis

sissippi, 16 ; total, 58. Davis, as we have seen (p 21), called

+ Under date of July 6th 1861, Davis wrote a



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carry into effect, certain severe measures Charleston and other ports, were ex. of retaliation, in case the privateers re- ceedingly annoying to the merchant cently captured were convicted and service in the Gulf of Mexico and adcondemned as pirates, according to the jacent waters; but, as our government, declaration in Mr. Lincoln's proclama with a speed unparalleled and astonish tion (see p. 21), when the trial came ing, created a navy, so as to render the on it was found to involve grave ques. blockade efficient, the privateers were tions of law, as well as expediency. soon deprived of places of refuge, and The trial lasted a week and the jury found many obstacles thrown in their disagreed. Learned jurists discussed way in the West India Islands. With the subject at large; it was even thought a few exceptions, as the Sumter, Nashnecessary to take notice of the matter ville, etc., the privateers were unable to in parliament; and finally, under all execute the terrible threats of destructhe embarrassments of the question, and tion, on the result of which they countthe certainty that numbers of our offi- ed so largely at the outbreak of the recers and men in the rebels' hands would bellion. Prizes were indeed made, be put to death in case the piratical marine insurance rose to a high point, privateersmen were hung, the govern- and it was feared that the Aspinwall ment abandoned the prosecution, and steamers, with the gold products of thenceforward treated them simply as California, would fall into the hands of prisoners of war.*

the privateers ; but the results were The vessels fitted out by the rebels as not at all equal to the expectations and privateers were chiefly the coasting and hopes of the confederates. gulf steamers lying in the southern har- Among the vessels seized by the rebbors, which the blockade had rendered els in the southern ports, was the rev. useless for their usual purpose; several enue-cutter Aiken, which was taken revenue-cutters, the property of the possession of in Charleston harbor. United States, which had been seized Surnamed the Petrel, and fitted out as

in the ports; a number of schoon- a privateer, she ran the blockade, and

ers and pilot-boats—a motley immediately, July 28th, fell in with fleet, not exceeding some fifty in all, in what appeared to be a lumbering mer. the early months of the war. At first chantman, trying hard to make its es. their movements from New Orleans, cape. This was the United States fri.

gate St. Lawrence, then on a cruise letter and sent it by a special messenger to Washing. ton. It was addressed to President Lincoln, and stated order was of course obeyed, and several of our unfortun. in plain terms that if the privateersmen were hung, ate officers were treated as felons of the lowest class, he sliould hang in return an equal number of officers until finally the government abandoned the ground it und men, prisoners at the time in his hands. On the at first had taken. 9th of November, after a man named Smith had been * " Are the Southern Privateersmen Pirates ?" A lettound guilty of piracy, by the jury in Philadelphia, the ter to the Hon. Ira Harris ; by C. P. Daly, Judge of the rebel war department sent an order to Richmond, to Common Pleas, New York. This is a pamphlet of select by lot an officer of the highest rank, to be dealt thirteen pages, under date of December 21st, 1861, with as Smith might be by the United States authori- and may be consulted to advantage, to show the ground ties, and also thirteen others to be held in place of the taken by those who desired to see the privateersmen privateersmen then under trial in New York. The regarded as prisoners of war and not as pirates.



along the Atlantic coast in quest of pi- and two seamen were taken out and ratical craft of the enemy. To disguise five of the Davis's crew put on board, her real character, her port-holes were The colored steward, W. Tillman, was closed and her men kept carefully out left on the Waring, and the schooner's of sight. The commander of the Pe- course was directed towards Charleston. trel, misled by the deception, bore down Tillman, terrified at the prospect of apon the innocent-looking vessel, eager being sold into slavery, in case he were to secure the prize. Presently a couple taken into port, resolved upon desperof shots from the Petrel were fired ate measures. Watching his opportuacross the bows of the St. Lawrence, nity, and with the aid of one of the followed by a discharge of canister seamen, he killed the prize captain and striking the rigging. The frigate di- mates, secured the other two men, and rectly after threw up her ports, and made directly for New York. After a opened fire upon the Petrel. The des- devious voyage from within fifty truction was instantaneous. A shell miles of Charleston, and guessing their struck the galley, entered the hold, and way northwardly, they reached Sandy exploded, tearing the vessel fearfully, Hook on the 21st of July, and were and bringing her to a sinking condition. safely piloted into the harbor. Tillman Part of the crew threw themselves was awarded salvage for his resolute overboard, or sought refuge in the life conduct in saving the vessel. boat, holding up a flag of surrender. On the 6th of July, the Jeff. Davis capThe boats of the St. Lawrence were im- tured the schooner Enchantress, on her mediately lowered; and the survivors way to Cuba. Several men, with the col. were rescued and brought on board of ored cook, were put in charge of the ves. the frigate. Four of the privateer's sel to go to Charleston, where the cook crew thus perished with the sinking was expected to bring a good price. vessel, and thirty-six were captured and Not long after, they met the Albatross carried into Philadelphia.

of the U. S. Navy, and attempting to The Jeff. Davis, early in June, ap. deceive her, the negro jumped overpeared on the north-eastern coast, and board, and gave information which led running in as near as the Nantucket to the vessel being retaken, and the shoals, made on her cruise, prizes esti- freedom of the cook preserved. Some mated at some $225,000. She was weeks later, Sunday morning, August formerly the slaver Echo, a full-rigged 18th, the Jeff. Davis was wrecked, in brig, with a crew of 260 men and six attempting to cross the bar at the engurls, and in general appearance not trance to the port of St. Augustine, lik, ly to alarm a vessel at first sight. Florida. Her heavy guns were thrown On the 4th of July, when about one overboard in the effort to relieve her hundred and fifty miles from Sandy and save the supplies which she had Hook, she captured the schooner J. G. captured. The crew, however, escaped, Waring, on a voyage from New York and were congratulated on their dash. to Montevideo. The captain, mates, ing success amongst the Yankees.

Cu. V.)



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It is not necessary to enter into de- met with indifferent success abroad. tails of the operations attempted by the As it was evident that the hopes of the rebels in regard to privateering. For new “confederacy” were based largely reasons above given, added to the ener. upon foreign recognition and assistance, getic action of our government compel. the leaders in revolution knew that ling neutrality, as far as possible, on the every effort must be made to secure part of foreign nations, the rebels met these at the earliest moment. Consewith only partial success. The cruises quently, as the present agents of some of the privateers, like the Sum- in Europe had virtually failed, ter, Nashville, and others, were remark- a fresh attempt was set on foot, under able, and will be noted on a subsequent the sanction of the rebel Congress, and page. The actual loss to our merchants the prime mover in the whole matter, from the depredations of privateers was Jefferson Davis. Two persons, J. M. undoubtedly great, and more or less Mason and John Slidell, both in former severely felt; but the chief evil result days members of the United States was deeper and more lasting than the Senate, and well known to be ardent, destruction of property alone could pro- thorough-going secessionists and haters duce. The course pursued by the Eng of the Union, were selected for the new lish government, professing the strictest and difficult work to be performed, and neutrality, and being on terms of amity were charged with the imposing comwith our country, was such, nevertheless, mission of ambassadors from the “ Conas to bring conviction to our people, federate States of America” to England that that government was not unwilling and France. The arrogance and preto permit, under the thinnest disguise, sumption of Mason, on the one hand, vessels to be built in English shipyards, and the bold, unscrupulous character of and fitted out to a large extent in Eng- Slidell, on the other, gave to their ap land, to serve in rebel hands as priva- pointment, and the mission they had teers, and prey upon the commerce of undertaken, more than usual importthe United States. The loyal people ance. The government resolved, if posof our country entertained strong feel. sible, to intercept ther, and prevent ings of resentment against England for their reaching Europe. A strict watch what had taken place, and, at a later was ordered, and several vessels detail. date, questions of grave importance ed to keep a sharp look out for the new came up for settlement.

agents in revolution. Mason and SliAlthough it is a little in advance of dell, however, with their secretaries and other parts of our narrative, we may a number of others, took the small here, most conveniently, give the record steamer Theodora, and about midnight, of an affair which, at the time, made October 11th, escaped the blockade at great noise, and seemed likely to involve Charleston, and made their

their way safely a serious collision with Great Britain. to Nassau, New Providence. Thence, On a previous page (see p. 66), we have the Theodora carried the party to Cuba, noted that the rebel commissioners had where they waited for the regular West

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