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tained; and secondly, a prevention of such lawless and injurious proceedings hereafter. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


[The papers above referred to are printed in this series in the correspondence with Portugal.]

No. 382.]

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.


Washington, October 27, 1862. Sir: The military events which seem to require a notice, when the mail is departing, are, first, the escape of the insurgents from Kentucky back into the mountains of Tennessee. General Buell's proceedings are, in some military quarters, thought to have been unnecessary dilatory; he has been relieved, and General Rosecrans, a very vigorous and accomplished officer, assumes the vacated command. Second, General Scholefield has defeated the insurgents in Arkansas, in which State they were attempting to make a stand after their second expulsion from Missouri. Third, General McClellan is on the eve of crossing the Potomac to challenge the insurgents as a beginning of the new campaign in Virginia. Fourth, re-enforcements are going to our forces in North Carolina, South Carolina, and New Orleans. These reenforcements will have all needful naval co-operation. There are various political manifestations in North Carolina, Virginia, and Louisiana, which are not destitute of significancy, but it would be premature perhaps to specify them. It must suffice to say that it is a mistake to assume, as seems to be so freely assumed in Europe, that the President's proclamation of warning to the insurgent States will be either unfruitful or even unheeded. After there shall have been time to collect and ascertain the true effect of the extraordinary speeches and publications concerning our national affairs, which the last mail has brought us from Europe, I shall give you the impressions they shall have made on the mind of the President. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS Adams, Esq., &c., 8c., sc.

No. 383.]

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.


Washington, October 27, 1862. Sir: You will receive herewith the resolutions of the Chambers of Commerce of the State of New York, on the subject of the recent destruction at sea of American vessels near the Azores by pirates, who went forth upon that unlawful errand from British ports and waters.

You will judge how far the submission of these resolutions, which are so just in themselves, and so humane, to the notice of Earl Russell may conduce to the desired ends of redress for the past and prevention for the future which are indicated in another instruction sent to you under this date. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


(Circular-No. 27.)


Washington, October 27, 1862. To the diplomatic and consular representatives of the United States:

Under the leave of the President, I transmit herewith loyal, patriotic, and humane resolutions which have been adopted by the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York in relation to the late destruction of American vessels in the vicinity of the Azores by vessels built, equipped, armed, manned, and despatched for that enterprise in the ports of a friendly nation.

Representations upon the same subject have been made by this department to the government of Great Britain. It will, therefore, not be expected that you shall publish these resolutions or adopt any official proceedings thereon, but will regard them as sent to you simply for your own information with reference to the condition of public sentiment in our country.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK. At a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, held to consider what action, if any, should be taken in consequence of the burning at sea by the steamer Alabama of the ship Brilliant and other vessels, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted, to wit :

Resolved, That this chamber has heard with profound emotion the graphic account given by Captain Hager of the burning of his ship Brilliant on the 3d day of October instant, a portion of which is in the following words :

“At sunset the Brilliant was fired-at 7. p. m. was in flames fore and aft, the E. F. lying about a mile from her. The ship continued to burn all night. In the morning the steamer was close at hand, and the ship seen the afternoon before had worked up to the burning wreck during the night, probably with the expectation of saving life, but at daylight found herself in the clutches of her destroyer ! It continued calm during all day, and but a light air during the night. Towards midnight a bright light was seen in the direction of the steamer, and it is more than probable it was from the third ship."

Resolved, That, in view of this atrocity, it is the duty of this chamber to announce, for the information of all who are interested in the safety of human life—the life of shipwrecked passengers and crews—that henceforth the light of a burning ship at sea will become to the American sailor the signal that lures to destruction, and will not be, as in times past, the beacon to guide the generous and intrepid mariner to the rescue of the unfortunate.

Resolved, That benceforth self-preservation will be the first dictate of prudence, as it is the “first law of nature,” and, consequently, that the destruction of the Brilliant can be only characterized as a crime against humanity; and all who have knowingly and willingly aided and abetted must be considered as participators in the crime.

Resolved, That this chamber has not failed to notice a rapid change in British sentiment, transforming a friendly nation into a self-styled “neutral” power—the nature of which neutrality is shown in permitting ships to go forth with men, and in permitting an armament to follow them, for the detestable work of plundering and destroying American ships ; thus encourag. ing, upon the high seas, an offence against neutral rights, on the plea of which, in the case of the Trent the British government threatened to plunge this country into war.

Resolved, further, That the outrage consigning to destruction by fire, without adjudication, British and American property together, is an aggravation of the offence against the rights of neutrals, and ought to be denounced as a crime by the civilized nations of the world.

Resolved, That this chamber has heard with amazement that other vessels are fitting out in the ports of Great Britain to continue the work of destruction begun by the Alabama—an enormity that cannot be committed on the high seas without jeopardizing the commerce and peace of nations.

Resolved, further, That it is the duty of this chamber to warn the merehants of Great Britain that a repetition of such acts as the burning of the Brilliant by vessels fitted out in Great Britain, and manned by British seamen, cannot fail to produce the most wide-spread exasperation in this country ; and hence they invoke the influence of all men who value peace and good will among the nations to prevent the departure of other vessels of the character referred to from their ports, and so to avert the calamity of war.

Resolved, That it is the desire of this chamber, as it is the interest of all its members, to cherish sentiments of amity with the people of Great Britain, to maintain those cordial relations which have led to profitable intercourse, and to strengthen the ties that knit them together in mutual courtesy and respect.

Resolved, That copies of the foregoing preamble and resolutions be sent to the Hon. Secretary of State of the United States and to the Board of Trade of London and Liverpool, and that the Secretary of State be requested to transmit copies of the same to the diplomatic agents of the United States for distribution in other commercial countries.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the resolutions from the minutes of the chamber.



Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 242.)


London, October 16, 1862. Sir: I now transmit copies of further notes on the subject of the gunboat 290, in continuation of those sent with my despatch (No. 227) of the 26th of September. It is very manifest that no disposition exists here to apply the powers of the government to the investigation of the acts complained of, flagrant as they are, or to the prosecution of the offenders. The main object must now be to make a record which may be of use at some future day. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.


1. Lord Russell to Mr. Adams, October 9, 1862.
2. Mr. Hamilton to Mr. Hammond, September 27, 1862.
3 Commissioners of Customs on No. 290, September 25, 1862.

Foreign OFFICE, October 9, 1862. Sir: With reference to my letter to you of the 22d ultimo, I have the honor to enclose a copy of a letter which I have received from the board of treasury, forwarding the copy of a report from her Majesty's commissioners of customs relative to the supply of cannon and munitions of war to the gunboat No. 290.

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


TREASURY CHAMBERS, September 29, 1862. Sir: With reference to your letter of the 12th instant, and previous correspondence, I am directed by the lords, &c., to transmit herewith, for the information of Earl Russell, copy of a report, No. 478, dated 25th instant, of the commissioners of customs relative to the supply of cannon, &c., to the gunboat No. 290. I am, &c.,


No. 478.]

Custom-House, September 25, 1862. Your lordships having, by Mr. Arbuthnot's letter of the 16th instant, transmitted to us, with reference to Mr. Hamilton's letter of the 2d ultimo, the enclosed communication from the foreign office, with copies of a further letter and its enclosures from the United States minister at this court respecting the supply of cannon and munitions of war to the gunboat No. 290, recently built at Liverpool, and now in the service of the so-called Confederate States of America; and your lordships having desired that we would take such steps as might seem to be required in view of the facts therein represented, and report the result to your lordships, we have now to report:

That, assuming the statements set forth in the affidavit of Redden (who sailed from Liverpool in the vessel) which accompanied Mr. Adams's letter to Earl Russell to be correct, the furnishing of arms, &c.

, to the gunboat does not appear to have taken place in any part of the United Kingdom

or of her Majesty's dominions, but in or near Augra Bay, part of the Azores, part of the Portuguese dominions. No offence, therefore, cognizable by the laws of this country appears to have been committed by the parties engaged in the transaction alluded to in the affidavit.

With respect to the allegation of Redden that the arms, &c., were shipped on board the 290 in Augra Bay partly from a bark (name not given) which arrived there from London, commanded by a Captain Quinn, and partly from the steamer Bahama, from Liverpool, we beg to state that no vessel having a master named Quinn can be traced as having sailed from this port for foreign parts during the last six months; the Knight Errant, Captain Quine, a vessel of 1,342 tons burden, cleared for Calcutta on the 12th of April last with a general cargo, such as is usually exported to the East Indies ; but so far as can be ascertained from the entries, she had neither gunpowder, nor cannon on board.

The steamer Bahama cleared from Liverpool on the 12th ultimo foc Nassau. We find that Messrs. Fawcett, Preston & Co., engineers and iron founders of Liverpool, shipped on board that vessel nineteen cases containing guns, gun carriages,

shot, rammers, &c., weighing in all 158 cwt. 1 qr. 27 lbs.; there was no other cargo on board except 552 tons of coals, for the use of the ship; and the abovementioned goods having been regularly cleared for Nassau in compliance with the customs law, our officers could have no power to interfere with their shipment.

With referenee to the further statement in the letter to Mr. Dudley, the consul of the United States at Liverpool, that the bark that took out the guns and coals is to carry out another cargo of coals to the gunboat 290, either from Cardiff or Troon, near Greenock, we have only to remark that there would be great difficulty in ascertaining the intention of any parties making such a shipment; and we do not apprehend that our officers would have any power of interfering with it, were the coals cleared outwards for some foreign port in compliance with the law.


W. R. CREY. To the LORDS, 8c., fr.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 243.


London, October 17, 1862. Sir: About the time of writing my despatch No. 237, I was considering in my mind the expediency of asking a conference with Lord Russell in order to know whether the speech of Mr. Gladstone was to be regarded by me as conveying to the public the views of her Majesty's government. But as I was just then on the point of executing a promise I had made to visit Mr. W. E. Forster at his place in Yorkshire, I determined to put off a decision at least until after my return to London. In the meantime I have had the opportunity of free conversation with that gentleman, whose capacity, judgment, and tact in the treatment of American questions in Parliament have heretofore won for him much of my respect and regard. The conclusions to which I might have come were, however, greatly modified by the events which happened during the interval of my stay. It became tolerably apparent to me that Mr. Gladstone had been expressing his individual opinions and giving loose to his personal sympathy with the chief of the rebels, whilst his course was regarded by several of his colleagues as transcending the line of policy formerly agreed upon at the time of their dispersion for the summer. The first public indication of this took the shape of an informal notice in the Globe, an evening newspaper professing neutrality in our struggle, and occasionally used for that reason to express official opinions, which, not without a little sharpness towards Mr. Gladstone, drew a clear line between him and the ministry in regard to the-sentiments in his speech. The next and more marked proof is to be found in the report of a speech made by Sir George Cornewall Lewis, and published in the morning papers, which is palpably designed to neutralize the influences which might have been and which in many quarters undoubtedly were drawn of an actual change in the cabinet policy.

Putting these things together, I was led to the belief that it was wiser for me not to meddle with the matter at all just now, but rather to let it blow over as a nine days' wonder. I prefer to avoid any appearance of anxiety or of distrust in the sincerity of the profession thus far made, and still more any proceeding which might be construed minatory. I shall therefore let this week pass away without making any sign of consciousness of what is going on.

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