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Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

* No. 295.]

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Washington, July 9, 1862. Sır: Mr. Stuart, in a very courteous manner, verbally expressed to me the opinion of her Majesty's government, that Major General Butler's order concerning the females in New Orleans who gave offence to the Union soldiers was an improper one in respect to the expressions employed in it, whatever constructions might be placed upon them, and their hope, therefore, that it might be disapproved.

I answered him that we must ask his government, in reading that proclamation, to adopt a rule of construction which the British nation had elevated to the dignity of a principle and made it the motto of their national arms— "Honi soit qui mal y pense.” That it was not until a gross construction of the order was brought to the knowledge of this government that we saw that the proclamation contained un double entendre. That gross meaning the government of course rejected, and it regretted that in the baste of composition a phraseology which could be mistaken or perverted had been used.

was happy, however, to inform him that all sensibility about the order seemed to have passed away, and no complaints were now heard of any impropriety of conduct on the part of the ladies of New Orleans. I explained also to Mr. Stuart the ground of the sensibility of our army to female discourtesy. Our soldiers are mainly young American citizens of education and respectability. Chivalrous respect to the sex is a national sentiment. Hitherto it has been met by gentle and respectful courtesy by those to whom the homage is so properly paid. It has not been expected that disloyalty to the common government of both parties would be regarded as a plea for a change of national manners Happily all classes of citizens casily learn to meet the changes which this unhappy civil war brings upon us. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Charles Francis Adams, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

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Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 293.]

final explanation

furiher remarks


Washington, July 9, 1862. Str : Your despatch of June 13, (No. 174,) accompanied by Earl Russell's

on the case of the Emily St. Pierre, has been received. We have been unable here to find the parallel case in the diplomatic correspondence referred to by you in connexion with this subject, and I reserve

upon this case until you shall have been able to send it to I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM II. SEWARD. Charles Francis Adams, Esq, &c., 8c., &c.

us or direct our search for it.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

(Extraets.] No. 184.]


London, July 9, 1862. SIR: I have to acknowledge the reception from the department of despatches numbered 274, 275, and 276.

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I likewise forward copies of the correspondence, so far as it has gone, touching the preparation of the formidable gunboat at Liverpool for the use of the rebels. In accordance with the suggestion in Lord Russell's note of the 4th instant, I have directed the vice-consul at Liverpool, in the absence of Mr. Dudley, to prepare and send to the collector of customs there such further evidence as he may obtain of the true destination of that vessel. At the same time I have requested him to send me the same information with a view to take professional advice as to the practicability of proceeding against it in the courts, and, as a last resource, I have taken the responsibility of sending for the Tuscarora. Captain Craven bas arrived at Southampton, and has been here to see me. I regard the case as so important that if the evidence shall prove in any way sufficient to justify the step, I shall authorize him to try to intercept her on her way out. This may have the effect of taking the vessel off of her present station and far over to the United States. I know nothing of the naval arrangements, but I presume that the Tuscarora can be replaced by some other ship of less power which would equally serve the purpose of the government as a safeguard against privateering in these waters

I have not yet taken advice in regard to proceedings at law to recover the Emily St. Pierre, for the reasons already given. After the experience had in the case of the Nashville, I have not the smallest confidence in their utility. Should you, however, persevere in your wishes after receiving my despatch of the 18th of June (No. 175,) I shall readily comply. So much time has already elapsed since the event, that a little more delay will make no difference.

Strange as it may seem, Lord Russell has written to me to inquire the date of the claim made by the British government on that of the United States for the restoration of the three vessels rescued from their officers. The note of Mr. Liston, advancing the claim, was published in the last Observer, a newspaper of Sunday morning It makes a very awkward record. The newspapers which previous to its appearance were disposed freely to comment on my share of the published correspondence in the case of the Emily St. Pierre have since been silent. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.


Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.


London, June 23, 1862. My Lord: Some time since, it may be recollected by your lordship that I felt it my duty to make a representation touching the equipment, from the port of Liverpool, of the gunboat Oreto, with the intent to make war upon

the United States. Notwithstanding the statements returned from the authorities of that place, with which your lordship favored me in reply, touching a different destination of that vessel, I have the strongest reason for believing that that vessel went directly to Nassau, and that she has been there engaged in completing her armament, provisioning, and crew for the object first indicated by me.

I am now under the painful necessity of apprising your lordship that a new and still more powerful war steamer is nearly ready for departure from the port of Liverpool on the same errand. This vessel has been built and launched from the dock-yard of persons, one of whom is now sitting as a member of the House of Commons, and is fitting out for the especial and manifest object of carrying on hostilities by sea. It is about to be commanded by one of the insurgent agents, the same who sailed in the Oreto. The parties engaged in the enterprise are persons well known at Liverpool to be agents and officers of the insurgents in the United States, the nature and extent of whose labors are well explained in the copy of an intercepted letter of one of them, which I received from my government some days ago, and which I had the honor to place in your lordship’s hand on Thursday last.

I now ask permission to transmit, for your consideration, a letter addressed to me by the consul of the United States at Liverpool, in confirmation of the statements here submitted, and to solicit such action as may tend either to stop the projected expedition, or to establish the fact that its purpose is not inimical to the people of the United States.

Renewing the assurances of my highest consideration, I have the honor to be, my lord, your most obedient servant,


Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.

FOREIGN OFFICE, June 25, 1862. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 23d instant, calling attention to a steam vessel which you state is now fitting out at Liverpool with the intention of carrying on hostilities against the government of the United States, and I have to acquaint you that I have lost no time in referring the matter to the proper department of her Majesty's government.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

RUSSELL, CHARLES Francis Adams, Esq., fc., &c., &c.

Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.

Foreign Office, July 4, 1862. Sir : With reference to my letter of the 25th ultimo, I have the honor to enclose a copy of a report from the commissioners of customs respecting the vessel which you have been informed is being built at Liverpool for the government of the so-styled Confederate States, and, in accordance therewith, I would beg leave to suggest that you should instruct the United States consul at Liverpool to submit to the collector of customs at that port such evidence as be may possess tending to show that his suspicions as to the destination of the vessel in question are well founded.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

RUSSELL. Charles Francis Adams, Esq., fr., gr., 80.

CUSTO31-IIouse, July 1, 1862. Your lordships having referred to us the annexed letter from Mr. Hammond, under secretary of state for foreign affairs, transmitting, by desire of Earl Russell, copy of a letter from the United States minister at this court, calling attention to a steamer reported to be fitting out at Liverpool as a southern privateer, and enclosing copy of a letter from the United States consul at that port reporting the result of his investigation into the matter, and requesting that immediate inquiries may be made respecting this vessel, and such steps taken in the matter as may be right and proper, we report :

That immediately on the receipt of your lordship's reference we forwarded the papers to our collector at Liverpool for his special inquiry and report, and we learn from bis reply that the fitting out of the vessel has not escaped the notice of the officers of the revenue, but that as yet nothing has transpired concerning her which bas appeard to demand a special report.

We are informed that the officers have at all times free access to the building yards of the Messrs. Laird, at Birkenhead, where the vessel is lying, and that there has been no attempt on the part of her builders to disguise, what is most apparent, that she is intended for a ship-of-war ; and one of the surveyors in the service of this revenue, who had been directed by the collector personally to inspect the vessel, has stated that the description of her in the communication of the United States consul is correct, with the exception that her engines are not constructed on the oscillatory principle. Her dimensions are as follows: length, 211 feet 6 inches; breadth, 31 feet 8 inches; depth, 17 feet 8 inches, and her gross tonnage, by the present rule of admeasurement, is 682 tons. The surveyor has further stated that she has several powder canisters on board, but as yet neither guns por carriages, and that the curient report in regard to the vessel is that she has been built by a foreign government, which is not denied by the Messrs. Laird, with whom the surveyor has conferred; but they do not appear disposed to reply to any questions respecting the destination of the vessel after she leaves Liverpool, and the officers have no other reliable source of information on that point; and, having referred the matter to our solicitor, he has reported his opinion that at present there is not sufficient ground to warrant the detention of the vessel or any interference on the part of this department, in which report we beg to express our concurrence. And with reference to the statement of the United States consul that the evidence he has in regard to this vessel being intended for the so-called confederate gorernment in the southern States is entirely conclusive to his mind, we would observe that inasmuch as the officers of customs of Liverpool would not be justified in taking any steps against the vessel unless sufficient evidence to warrant her detention should be laid before them, the proper course would be for the consul to submit such evidence as he possesses to the collector at that port, who would thereupon take such measures as the provisions of the foreign enlistment act would require; without the production of full and


sufficient evidence to justify their proceedings, the seizing officers might entail on themselves and on the government very serious consequence.

We beg to add that the officers at Liverpool will keep a strict watch on the vessel, and that any further information that may be obtained concerning her will be forth with reported.



Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.


London, July 7, 1862. My LORD: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 4th instant, covering a copy of the report from the commissioners of customs, respecting a vessel presumed by me to be in course of preparation at Liverpool to carry on hostile operations against the United States. In accordance with your lordship’s suggestion, I shall at once instruct the consul of the United States to submit to the collector of customs at that port such evidence as he possesses to show that the suspicions he entertained of the character of that vessel are well founded.

I pray your lordship to accept the assurances of the highest consideration with which I have the honor to be, my lord, your most obedient servant,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Right Hon. Earl RUSSELL, $c., 8c., sc.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Wilding.

London, July 7, 1862. Sir: I transmit herewith a copy of a note received by me from Lord Russell, in reply to my representation, founded on Mr. Dudley's letters of the 21st of June to me, respecting Mr. Laird's gunboat. In accordance with his lordship's suggestion, I pray you to furnish to the collector of customs, so soon as may be, any evidence which you can readily command in aid of the object designated.

I should be glad likewise to have such evidence made in duplicate, and one copy forwarded to me at the same time for possible use in another way at this point. I have the honor to be, &c.,


United States Vice-Consul, Liverpool.

No. 296.)

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.


Washington, July 11, 1862. Sir: The treaty between the United States and the republic of New Granada, signed on the 12th day of December, 1846, contains a stipulation which it will be seen was made 'not for any special or peculiar interest or

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