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regard to Earl Russell's despatch to me, of the 23d of last month, on certain questions of international law connected with the case of the Trent.

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

LYONS. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c., &c., &c.

Lord Lyons to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, March 6, 1862. SIR: Her Majesty's government have considered with attention the correspondence which I had the honor to hold with you in the months of October, November, and December last, concerning the treatment experienced by the crews of two British schooners, the Revere and Louisa Agnes, which had been captured on a charge of breach of blocka

Her Majesty's government cannot but regard the putting of seamen belonging to these vessels in irons, under the circumstances in which, and for the period for which, this was avowedly done, as wholly unjustifiable.

I am, however, instructed to express to you the satisfaction with which her Majesty's government have seen that, upon the matters being brought by me to your notice, you informed me that an instruction would be addressed by the Secretary of the Navy to the flag-officers of the blockading squadrons to use irons only when, and so long as, necessary, and in all cases to pursue the utmost kindness, consistent with the safety of captures and prizes, towards seamen captured in attempting to break the blockade. I am desired to add that her Majesty's government trust that this instruction will be so carried into effect as to prevent the recurrence of any cases similar to those of the Louisa Agnes and the Revere.

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

LYONS. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, c., st., .

Lord Lyons to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, March 19, 1862. SIR: With reference to the correspondence wbich I had the honor to hold with you in the months of October and November last, respecting the bag of despatches taken from Mr. J. P. Crosse, at Baltimore, I beg to inform you that her Majesty's government have obtained from her Majesty's acting consul at Richmond a description of the bag as it left his hands. That description is as follows:

“The bag in question was of canvas, as usual, and was closed in such a manner as to prevent access to its contents without cutting the tape or cord, which was sealed through parchment with the seal of this consulate. The parchment had the following address on it: . On her Majesty's service. E. M. Archibald, par, her Britannic Majesty's consul, New York. Consulate of Virginia.'”

Her Majesty's government consider that this seal and address ought to have been respected by the United States authorities, and her Majesty's government

have consequently instructed me to complain to you of the bag's having been opened.

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

LYONS. Hon. William H. SEWARD, gr., c., fc.

Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, April 5, 1862. MY LORD: Your note of March 19 recalls the subject of a bag, which was found, in October last, in the trunk of a person named Cross, in his attempt to pass the military lines of the United States.

On the 23d of that month you informed me that you had been referred by General Dix to me, and you therefore asked me for such information concerning the transaction as it seemed proper that you should receive.

I answered, on the 24th of October, substantially as follows: That I had received information from General Dix that a bag had been found concealed in the trunk of Cross, who was a spy of the insurgents, and who, by bis escape, avoided arrest; that I therefore directed General Dix to send the bag to the Department of State; that on its arrival here it had a label attached, upon which was an address to Mr. Archibald, her Majesty's consul at New York, and the words “On her Britannic Majesty's service," but there was nothing to authenticate the bag as one having been forwarded by the British vice-consul at Richmond ; that this fact, taken in connexion with the circumstances under which the bag was brought through the military lines of the United States, naturally excited doubts whether the bag contained official correspondence of the British authorities ; that I therefore directed that the bag should be opened ; that when it was opened it was found to contaiņ not a single communication for Mr. Archibald, or for any other officer of the British government on this continent; that it did contain a few apparently official letters, addressed to functionaries of that government at London; that these letters were promptly forwarded, in the same condition in which they were received, to Mr. Adams, with instructions to cause them to be delivered to the persons to whom they were addressed, and that the other contents of the bag were and they would be retained here; that I thought it was unnecessary to specify their character, further than to state that they were such as no consul or acting consul of a foreign government has a right to forward in any way from a place in rebellion against the United States.

In the note of the 19th of March, which is now before me, you state that her Majesty's government have obtained from her Majesty's acting consul at Richmond a description of the bag as it was when it left his hands; that this description is as follows :

“The bag in question was of canvas, as usual, and was closed in such manner as to prevent access to its contents without cutting the tape or cord, which was sealed through parchment with the seal of this consulate. The parchment had the following address on it: On her Majesty's service. E. M. Archibald, esq., her Britannic Majesty's consul, New York. Consulate of Virginia.'"

You add that her Majesty's government consider that this seal and address ought to have been respected by the United States authorities, and her Majesty's government have, consequently, instructed you to complain of the bag's having been opened.

I have the honor to say, in reply to your lordship's note, that I entirely agree with her Majesty's government in the principle that when a bag purporting to convey despatches on her Majesty's service is found sealed and duly authenticated by a consul, that seal and authentication ought to be respected by the United States authorities. I add, with pleasure, that in all cases where such an occurrence has happened the consular seal and authentication have been so respected, and in all cases of that character which shall happen hereafter the consular seal and authentication will be respected, and the bag or parcel will be left unopened and transmitted to its proper address, relying on the good faith of her Majesty's government that it will not suffer the consular privileges to be abused to the injury of the United States.

I cannot, however, admit the fact, implied by your note, that a consular seal was violated in the case now under consideration, and for that reason alone I cannot admit the justice of your lordship's complaint.

The bag, when it came to this department, had no consular seal or any other seal, nor were any traces of a seal observed. There was no signature to authenticate it as having been put up or despatched by the acting consul at Richmond, or any other agent of the British government. It was closed only with a simple twine, like an ordinary parcel sent out from a retailer's shop. The label might, for aught that it expressed, have been written by any hand, without any authority whatever.

I have now taken pains to inquire of the deputy provost marshal at Baltimore, the provost marshal, and General Dix, through whose hands it had passed before coming to me, and I learn from them that when it came to their hands, respectively, it bore no seal whatever, and was not supposed by them to have ever been sealed.

I have not been able, by pushing my inquiries beyond this point, to ascertain what other persons belonging to the service of the United States had possession of or control over the bag before its delivery to the deputy provost marshal at Baltimore, and so to ascertain whether it was sealed or authenticated when taken from the trunk of the spy in whose possession it was found. The inquiries will be continued, and the result, when ascertained, will be promptly communicated to your lordship.

In the meantime you will excuse me for suggesting, first, that I cannot but remark the appearance of some reservation on the part of the acting consul at Richmond, in withholding the necessary explanations to whom he delivered the bag, how it happened to contain objectionable correspondence, and how it chanced to fall into the hands of a spy, who fled and abandoned the official correspondence when he was detected.

Secondly, I notice, not without regret, that her Majesty's government do not express any disapprobation of the conduct of the consul at Richmond in placing objectionable correspondence in a bag of despatches, and covering it, as he alleges, with the seal of his consulate.

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

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Right Hon. LORD LYONS, &c., &c., dc.

Memorandum of conversation. Lord Lyons called to-day upon Mr. Seward, and said, as perhaps was not extraordinary, the capture of New Orleans, which was expected by Mr. Seward to be a relief in the relations between the United States and other countries, on the contrary, was at the beginning attended with new causes of uneasiness. He had received complaints from his consul in behalf of British subjects in new Or. leans of harsh proceedings by General Butler. He had not had time fully to digest them, but he called to see that if the Secretary of State would not think it worth while to have the military authorities at New Orleans cautioned against exercising any doubtful severities which would produce irritation, and aggravate what had already happened. Lord Lyons, especially, said that it had been reported to him that a British subject had been sent to Fort Jackson, which is understood to be a very unhealthy place at this season, and he trusted the military authorities would be requested not to expose the health of such prisoners to unnecessary risks. Mr. Seward replied that he cordially appreciated the value of Lord Lyons's suggestions, and that he would submit to the Secretary of War the expediency of giving instructions to General Butler of the character suggested, and he felt authorized to say at once that they would be adopted. DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, May 30, 1862.

Mr. Edwards to Lord Lyons.

New YORK, May 30, 1862. My Lord: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your lordship’s despatch (No. 47) of the 26th instant, (which was not received by me until the 28th,) concerning a report communicated to your lordship by the governor of the Bahama islands, to the effect that the custom-house authorities here bad taken measures to impede or prevent the shipment of ordinary supplies to Nassau, and instructing ine to ascertain and report to your lordship whether there be any foundation for such a report. In reply, I have the honor to inform your lordship that the customs authorities at this port, acting, as I am informed, in compliance with instructions received at different times from the Secretary of the T'reasury, have upon several occasions thrown serious impediments in the way of shipments of coal and ordinary merchandise to Nassau, and in some cases where the goods were already embarked and even cleared at the custom-house have refused to permit the vessel to go to sea until such goods have been relanded. One of the officials has shown me a copy of an order issued from the Treasury Department, dated the 10th of April, in which shipments of coal are prohibited to any ports or places north of Cape Saint Roque (the easterly point of South America, and west of the fifteenth degree of longitude east,) where there is reason to suspect that it may be intended for the use of the socalled confederate government or ships. This prohibition, as your lordship will perceive, embraces all the British North American colonies, British West Indies, Bermuda, and the British possessions upon the north coast of South America. I inquired of the officer having the superintendence of the clearance bureau whether it was intended that this order should be strictly enforced, and he assured me that such was the collector's intention. He cited, as a case in point, an application which had just been made to him for permission to send a quantity of coal to Canada, by way of the Hudson river and lakes, which had been refused. A British merchant here, largely interested in the trade of the North American colonies and West Indies, informs me that he has made repeated applications to the custom-house to be allowed to export coal, some of which was to be tendered for the use of her Majesty's vessels upon the West Indies station, at the same time offering to enter into bonds that it should be landed in foreign ports, but that his applications have all been rejected.

I have the honor to enclose, for your lordship’s information, printed slips, cut

from a daily paper, containing instructions issued by Mr. Secretary Chase to the collector of this port. Your lordship will see by the latter that the collector has very great discretionary powers lodged with him; these powers, I regret to say, have been extensively used to the annoyance and injury of British trade. In one case where a quantity of dry goods, consisting of plain and printed cotton fabrics, had been shipped upon a British vessel for Nassau, the shippers were obliged by the custom-house to reland the wares in question before permission for the vessel to proceed to sea could be obtained. "In another, a number of packages of shoes were prohibited from exportation. In a more recent case, where an order had been received from some merchants at Nassau to ship a quantity of drugs, consisting of sulphate of quinine, cantharides and acids, only a portion of the order was permitted to be exported. At one time strong exception was taken by the custom-house officials to the (as they alleged) extraordinary quantity of flour and provisions shipped here for the British West Indies, but I am not aware that it amounted to actual prohibition. Much inconvenience has been, and continues to be, experienced by British merchants here from the manner in which the instructions issued by the Treasury Department have been enforced; articles of ordinary export being at times prohibited, while wares which could only be of service to a belligerent have been allowed to pass unquestioned. I have, &c., &c.,

P. EDWARDS, Acting Consul. Lord LYONS.

Lord Lyons to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, June 12, 1862. SIR: Representations have been made to her Majesty's government in behalf of British subjects, now prisoners of war in this country, who allege that they were, when captured by the United States forces, serving against their will in the ranks of the enemy.

Her Majesty's government, have in consequence, directed me to ask of you that the cases of any such British subjects, taken prisoners of war, as may have been forced against their will into the service of the enemy of the United States, may be inquired into fairly and dealt with leniently.

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

LYONS. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

Mr. F. W. Seward to Lord Lyons.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, June 14, 1862. MY LORD: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 12th instant, touching the cases of British subjects, prisoners of war, who may have been forced against their will into the service of the enemy of the United States, and to inform you that I have invited the attention of the Secretary of War to the matter.

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

F. W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary. Right Hon. LORD LYONS, &c., &c., &c.

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