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treatment to which seamen belonging to the British schooners Revere and Louisa Agnes were subjected by officers of the United States navy. It is not my purpose, on the present occasion, to make any observations on their contents. I hasten, however, to inform you that they have only reached me to-day, lest I should be deemed guilty of discourtesy in not having acknowledged the receipt of them until so long after their dates.

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

LYONS. Hon. William H. SEWARD, Sc., fr., sc.

Lord Lyons to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, January 4, 1861 [2.] Sir: It has become my painful duty to communicate to you the intelligence of the death of his Royal Highness the prince consort.

His Royal Highness expired at Windsor Castle at ten minutes before eleven o'clock on the night of the 14th of last month.

Letters announcing this mournful event to the President of the United States will be forwarded as soon as they can be submitted for her Majesty's signature.

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

LYONS. Hon. William H. SEWARD, &c., fc., 8c.

Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons.


Washington, January 7, 1862. MY LORD: With reference to your private note of the 30th ultimo, in which mention is made of the imprisonment of three of the crew of the British schooner Adeline, and of the oath exacted from them as a condition of their release, and to my reply, I now have the honor to enclose to you for information the copy of a communication of the 4th instant, addressed to this department by the Secretary of the Navy, on the subject.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to your lordship the assurance of my high consideration.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Right Hon. LORD LYONS, fr., Sc., fr.

Mr. Welles to Mr. Seward.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 4, 1862. Sir: I have had the honor to receive your communication of the 31st ultimo, in reference to the conditional release of three of the crew of the British schooner Adeline, captured for a breach of the blockade by Commander Maxwell Woodhull, of the United States steamer Connecticut.


Commander Woodhull has been informed that, in your opinion, the requirement exacted by him is not warranted by public law, and that the three alleged British subjects in question are, consequently, to be considered as absolved from the obligation required of them. I have also given instructions to the flag-officers of the blockading squadrons, so that a similar condition for the release of

persons found on board of prizes, or vessels charged with a breach of the blockEade, may not in future be exacted.

I transmit herewith, for your information, an extract from a report of Com* mander Woodbull in relation to the release of the parties, &c. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State.






Brooklyn Navy Yard, December 17, 1861. Sir: Among the persons found on board the schooner Adeline (one of the above prizes) was a citizen of Georgia, Captain Hardee, commanding a company of artillery, now located in one of the forts near Savannah. He was connected with the Adeline as her supercargo, and, by his own acknowledgment, a bearer of despatches from Messrs. Mason and Slidell, which documents he threw overboard a few moments before our boat boarded the schooner. I understand also that he is the nephew of Colonel Hardee, late of the United States army, now a general of the rebel forces. He is of an influential family, who, doubtless, will use great exertion to obtain his release or exchange. Under these circumstances I determined to bring him north and place him in charge of the United States marshal at New York to await the further orders of the government.

It was also my desire to bring with me the captain of the Adeline, her pilot and mate, “old offenders,” having, by their own admission, and other evidence, satisfactorily proved that they had run the blockade several times before, but, as they were claimed as British subjects by her Britannic Majesty's vice-consul at Key West, I did, by advice (though not of my own judgment) of Judge Marvin, conclude to liberate them, first, however, causing the said consul to furnish me with written personal obligation, under oath, not to again embark in a like enterprise or interfere with the legitimate object of the United States government in suppressing the rebellion.


Commander United States Navy. Hon. GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington City.


Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons.


Washington, January 7, 1862. My LORD: I receive with deep sensibility the painful intelligence you have communicated to me of the death of his Royal Highness the prince consort of her Majesty, your sovereign.

Your lordship is not unaware of the high regard for her Majesty which is entertained, not only by the government, but by the whole people of the United States, and that this consideration also was extended to and embraced the just, liberal, and enlightened prince, whose too early death has now brought her Majesty into the experience of the greatest of afflictions.

But I forbear from expressing myself at large on the subject now, reserving the expression of the national sympathies on the occasion for the President of the United States, to whom it will be my sad duty to communicate, when received directly, the official information of the mournful event you have announced to me.

I have the honor to be, with high consideration, your lordship's obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Right Hon. Lord Lyons.

Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons.


Washington, January 8, 1862. My LORD: Adverting to my note to you of the 3d instant, relative to the improper position in which the British flag was placed on board the schooner James Campbell, captured on a charge of breach of blockade, I now have the honor to enclose to you, for your information, the copy of a further communication just received from the Secretary of the Navy on that subject.

I have the honor to be, with high consideration, your lordship’s obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Right Hon. LORD LYONS, &c., fr., dr.

Mr. Welles to Mr. Seward.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 7, 1862. Sir: Referring to my letter of the 2d instant, I have the honor to transmit herewith an extract from a communication received from Acting Master John Baker, in explanation of his conduct in taking the prize schooner James Campbell into New York with the British flag flying under the American. I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

GIDEON WELLES. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.


New YORK, January 3, 1862. Sir: I received your order to-day stating for me to make a written statement

a and explain the reason for hoisting the English flag under the American. Commodore, not being acquainted with the customs of fetching in prizes, I was under the impression that I was right. My intention was to do right, but it was not done for any bad purpose or intention to insult the English flag in any way whatever. I was wrong for so doing, and truly hope the department will forgive me.


Acting Master United States Navy. Commodore PAULDING.



Lord Lyons to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, January 9, 1862. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the notes from the State Department of the 3d and 8th instant, relative to the unseemly position in which the British flag was placed on board the captured vessel James Campbell, in New York harbor.

No sooner did the superior naval authorities of the United States at New York perceive the position in which the flag was placed, than they ordered it to be removed. Commodore Paulding, moreover, immediately wrote to her Majesty's consul to express his regret at the occurrence. He was, besides, good as to address a letter to the commander of her Majesty's ship Racer, disavowing, in behalf of the government of the United States, any intention to show disrespect to the British flag.

Finally, it appears from the report of the prize master, of which you have now done me the honor to send me a copy, that he acted from ignorance and without any intention to slight the flag.

Under these circumstances it only remains for me to express my thanks for the prompt measures which have been taken by the United States authorities to do away with the unpleasant impression produced by the error of the prize master.

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

LYONS. Hon. William H. SEWARD, Sr., fr., fc.

Earl Russell to Lord Lyons.

FOREIGN OFFICE, January 10, 1862. My LORD: In my despatch to you of the 30th of November, after informing you of the circumstances which had occurred in relation to the capture of the four persons taken from on board the Trent, I stated to you that it thus appeared that certain individuals had been forcibly taken from on board a British vessel, the ship of a neutral power, while such vessel was pursuing a lawful and innocent voyage—an act of violence which was an affront to the British flag and a violation of international law. I concluded by directing you, in case the reparation which her Majesty's government expected to receive should not be offered by Mr. Seward, to propose to that minister to make such redress as alone would satisfy the British nation, namely: first, the liberation of the four gentlemen taken from on board the Trent, and their delivery to your lordship in order that they might again be placed under British protection; and, secondly, a suitable apology for the aggression which had been committed.

I received, yesterday, your lordship's despatch of the 27th ultimo, enclosing a note to you from Mr. Seward, which is, in substance, the answer

to my despatch of the 30th of November.

Proceeding at once to the main points in discussion between us, her Majesty's government have carefully examined how far Mr. Seward's note and the couduct it announces comply substantially with the two proposals I have recited.

With regard to the first, viz: the liberation of the prisoners with a view to their being again placed under British protection, I find that the note concludes by stating that the prisoners will be cheerfully liberated, and by calling upon your lordship to indicate a time and place for receiving them.

No condition of any kind is coupled with the liberation of the prisoners.

With regard to the suitable apology which the British government had a right to expect, I find that the government of the United States distinctly and unequivocally declares that no directions had been given to Captain Wilkes or to any other naval officer to arrest the four persons named, or any of them, on the Trent or on any other British vessel, or any other neutral vessel, at the place where it occurred, or elsewhere.

I find, further, that the Secretary of State expressly forbears to justify the particular act of which her Majesty's government complained. If the United States government had alleged that although Captain Wilkes had no previous instruction for that purpose, he was right in capturing the persons of the four prisoners and in removing them from the Trent on board his own vessel to be afterwards carried into a port of the United States, the government which had thus sanctioned the proceeding of Captain Wilkes would have become responsible for the original violence and insult of the act. But Mr. Seward contents himself with stating that what has happened has been simply an inadvertency consisting in a departure by a naval officer, free from any wrongful motive, from a rule uncertainly established, and probably by the several parties concerned either imperfectly understood or entirely unknown. The Secretary of State goes on to affirm that for this error the British government has a right to expect the same reparation which the United States, as an independent state, should expect from Great Britain or from any other friendly nation in a similar case.

Her Majesty's government having carefully taken into their consideration the liberation of the prisoners, the delivery of thenı into your hands, and the explanation to which I have just referred, have arrived at the conclusion that they constitute the reparation which her Majesty and the British nation had a right to expect.

It gives her Majesty's government great satisfaction to be enabled to arrive at a conclusion favorable to the maintenance of the most friendly relations between the two nations. I need not discuss the modifications in my statement of facts which Mr. Seward says he has derived from the reports of officers of his government.

I cannot conclude, however, without adverting shortly to the discussions which Mr. Seward has raised upon points not prominently brought into question in my despatch of the 30th of November. I there objected, on the part of her Majesty's government, to that which Captain Wilkes had done. Mr. Seward, in his answer, points out what he conceives Captain Wilkes might have done without violating the law of nations. It is not necessary that I should here discuss in detail the five questions ably argued by the Secretary of State. But it is necessary that I should say that her Majesty's government differs from Mr. Seward in some of the conclusions at which he has arrived, and it may lead to a better understanding between the two nations on several points of international law which may, during the present contest or at some future time, be brought into question, that I should state to you for communication to the Secretary of State wherein those differences consist. I hope to do so in a few days. In the meantime it will be desirable that the commanders of the United States cruisers should be instructed not to repeat acts for which the British government will have to ask redress, and which the United States government cannot undertake to justify. You will read and give a copy of this despatch to the Secretary of State. I am, &c.,

RUSSELL. LORD LYONS, Sc., fc., sc.

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