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aliens who cannot be considered neutrals) can only be interrupted according to the laws of nations, and incurs only the penalties imposed by that law.

The mode of interruption may be by blockade actual, not merely declared or by legislation, closing certain ports if not inconsistent with treaty stipulations.

But nothing is better settled than that, as in this case, the sole penalty as to neutrals of violating the blockade is the capture and condemnation of the vessel and cargo (one or both) before the completion of the voyage.

If the blockade be successfully run, and the voyage be ended, it was never heard of that a subsequent seizure of the vessel on that account could be justi. fied.

The capture and condemnation are not in the nature of punishment, as understood in the municipal law, but as the exercise of a purely belligerent right.

Nor in the case of lawful capture during the voyage are the persons engaged and actually found on board, liable to punishment or other molestation than detaining them reasonably as witnesses.

But the proclamation assumes to make every British owner of a blockaderunner, or of the cargo, liable to a personal punishment. He

may be ordered out of the country summarily if he was part owner of a vessel so employed three years ago, and may be imprisoned indefinitely. If he fails to go away he may be arrested, committed to a military prison, and detained indefinitely, with no right of trial, and no conceivable offence alleged against him, and no hope of release until the will of the President may direct it.

This clause of the proclamation seems wholly unwarranted by any respectable precedent, or any recognized principle of international law.

British LEGATION, March 16, 1865.

Mr. Scward to Mr. Burnley.


Washington, March 17, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 16th of March, in relation to the President's proclamation banishing blockade-runners from the United States.

Willing in this, as in all other cases involving international questions, to hear and consider the views of her Majesty's government, I must be content at the present moment to say that I am aware of no treaty or principle of public law which requires a country engaged in civil war to yield asylum to those who give aid and comfort to the internal enemy. The United States have suffered too many evils and dangers from the class of persons mentioned to allow them the privileges cheerfully awarded to all unoffending exiles. I have the honor to be, with high consideration, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. J. Hume BURNLEY, Esq., fr., 8c., fr.

Mr. Burnley to Mr. Seward.

Washington, March 18, 1865. Sir: With reference to my note of the 6th ultimo, and to your reply of the 17th ultimo, on the subject of Captain Scanlan's cotton, I would beg to trouble you with a copy of a letter of the 28th ultimo, which I have received from him, and extract of an anterior statement, which I would wish to be considered in connexion with his case.

I have no doubt that the Treasury Department will do all that is right and just in the matter, and see that Captain Scanlan is fairly and honorably dealt by.

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


Mr. Scanlan to Mr. Burnley.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, February 28, 1865. SIR: I have seen a letter from the Secretary of State of the United States to the Secretary of the Treasury, calling his early attention to your official communication in my case, and the instructions of the letter to the general supervising agent here, authorizing him to act on the matter.

I understand he has referred the case back again to the Secretary of the Treasury for final action, with the suggestion that all others in the same district were equally entitled to the privilege I asked. These people, with very few exceptions, are now petitioners for pardon for past treasonable acts towards their government. Moreover, they cannot exbibit any written contracts with the agents of the government.

I am inside the lines of the federal navy, and recognized as such by the military authorities, who are presumed to be the proper judges.

The supervising agent here gave a neighbor of mine, a Mr. Dunlop, living eight miles from the river, a permit to ship his cotton to New York; also a Mrs. Dale. The former could not be considered as inside the lines of the federal navy, and neither had a contract with the authorized agent of the government. I could mention several cases of the kind. Nay, even certain speculators have the right to buy and ship my cotton without giving it over to the purchasing agent of the government. If I am obliged to deliver over my cotton now in this city, it will realize less than if I sold it to the speculators referred to on my plantation. Cotton placed in the hands of the purchasing agent may net thirty-five cents per pound, while the speculator, having the right to buy and ship without this restraint, would give fifty cents per pound for it on my plantation. Captain Watson, commanding the gunboat Hastings, can testify that he shelled guerillas who were taking by force some of my cotton. What they had taken they sold to a speculator belonging to the firm of Parkman, Apperson & Co. This firm, because this cotton went through the singular process of being unjustly seized by guerillas, were permitted to ship said cotton, while that right is denied by Mr. Orme.

If I be forced to give my cotton into the hands of the purchasing agent here, it will be as flagrant a breach of faith and as base an injustice as was ever perpetrated on any subject of any friendly neutral power. I have been always friendly to the United States, have been well treated by her military officers, and trust that no adverse decision will be come to affecting very materially my pecuniary interests. I have, &c.,

W. E. SCANLAN. J. H. BURNLEY, Esq., &c., &c.

Mr. Scanlan to Mr. Burnley.

WILLARDS' HOTEL, February 6, 1865. SIR: There was passed in the United States Congress last July an act to purchase at certain points products of insurrectionary States. In the one article of cotton alone, after deducting the tax, which is 6d. per pound, and the expense of transportation to New York, which would be 12d. per pound, the purchasing agent at Memphis takes for the government one-quarter of the whole. This act of July excepted from this sale to the government all products raised by freedmen's labor.

Before the passage of this act, nay, even prior to the emancipation proclamation, I released from bondage the former slaves of my wife, and afterwards hired, from the United States superintendent of freedmen at Memphis, hands, with whose labor I raised the crop referred to. This was a solemn contract under their auspices, and as such ought to relieve me from the embarrassments to which those were subjected that favored slavery, and were intended to be reached by the act of July, 1864. This act was retrospective, the crop being grown ere it passed, and it excluded all persons from the necessity of turning their products over to the government who raised them with the labor of freedmen. The advancing the purposes of the emancipation proclamation renders one so obnoxious to the confederates that their personal effects are a prey to their incursions, which, together with the difficulties experienced in obtaining permits for supplies, and the high prices at Memphis, nearly absorb the value of the products raised. The supervising agent at Memphis demands of me the same surrender of the products of my plantation as those who bave hired no freedmen, and have been guilty of acts of hostility to the United States government.

To many of this class, who have not even hired their labor from the government, said agent has given permits to transport their cotton to New York without tuming it over to the government. Moreover, he has given private speculators permits to ship cotton purchased from the confederate tax collector at one point on the river; to ship the cotton so purchased on their own account to New York. Among the cotton thus purchased and shipped was cotton pressed from me by this collector of customs or tenths of the confederates.

If these speculators should ship without hindrance cotton unjustly pressed from me by the confederates, ought not I to be permitted to ship mine, who raised it under contract with the acting officer of the government, and in furtherance of the proclamation of the President ? It may be objected, first, that my plantation is not inside the federal lines ; second, that my land should be leased from the government. The answer to my first would be that my plantation is on the banks of the Mississippi river, under cover of the gunboats of the federal navy, and embraced in the order of Major General Canby, commanding the whole department. Moreover, were it not considered inside their lines they would not hire to me freedmen to work on my plantation. With regard to the second objection, that the lands should be leased from the government, I beg to say that no mention is made in the act of July. This act merely excepts products raised by freedmen's labor, and defines that such products should be permitted to be forwarded to market on the applicant making affidavit that it was raised by the labor of freedmen, and that he is a loyal United States citizen. When I was uttered a permit on signing that affidavit, I refused, and now, when this clause in the aftidavit has been dispensed with, Mr. Orme inconsisteutly denies me the permit he first offered. If it should be set forth that copies of contracts with freedmen should be filed with Mr. Miller, I should say that this rule has been enunciated neither by proclamation nor by act of Congress.

W. 8. SCANLAN. JAMES H. BURNLEY, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Scward to Mr. Burnley.


IVashington, March 20, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to enclose, for the information of the proper authorities of her Majesty's government, extracts from a communication of the 12th instant, addressed to the Secretary of War by Mr.

Canada West, in regard to alleged projected raid from Canada into the United States.

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

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. J. Hume BURNLEY, Esq., 8c., &c., dc.


Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons.


Washington, March 20, 1865. MY DEAR LORD Lyons: I accept your farewell with sincere sorrow, but I reconcile myself to it because it is a conditiou of restoration of your health. All of my family command me to tender you assurances of sympathy.

I have never desponded of my country, of emancipation of her slaves, and of her resumption of her position as an agent of peace, progress, and civilization, interests which I never fail to believe are common with all branches of the British family. So I have had no doubt that, when this dreadful war shall be ended, the United States and Great Britain would be reconciled and become better friends than ever. I have thought that you are entitled to share in these great successes, as you have borne so great a part of the trials of the war.

But God disposes. I feel now that if I never find leisure to go abroad again, that you with renewed health will come here to see the reign of peace

and order; so I shall not dwell upon our parting as a final one. Faithfully your friend,


Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

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Washington, March 20, 1865. Sir: I have carefully considered the communication concerning the society called by the name of the Fenian Brotherhood, which, by order of her Majesty's government, you addressed to me on the 14th of March instant.

In that paper you have denounced the aforesaid society as an extensive conspiracy carried on in the United States, having for its object to promote rebellion in Ireland, and to forward from the United States assistance to the rebels in money, men, and arms.

You have further stated that the accounts given in the public papers of what passed in public meetings held in the United States for their avowed objects, coupled with allusions to the means by which they are to be carried out, must surely have attracted the attention of the government of the United States, and her Majesty's government might reasonably have expected that while the government of the United States so loudly protests against the proceedings of confederate agents in Great Britain, which are conducted with the utmost secrecy, and while it imputes blame to the British government for not having put a stop to practices of which they have had no previous knowledge, and for not exerting powers of repression beyond the law, the United States should at least have signified their disapprobation of such hostile declarations against the peace and security of the Queen's dominions. Pursuing the same line of argument, you have observed, that on the contrary of what in your judgment might thus have been expected, it is notorious that an officer of the army of the Potomac, Colonel J. H. Gleason, formerly of the Irish brigade, was recently allowed to absent himself from his military duties for a period of twenty days, by the Secretary of War, in order that he might have time to attend one of the meetings of the Fenian Brotherhood appointed to be held at Chicago; and still more recently, at New Orleans, Attorney General Lynch attended a local Fenian meeting on the 28th of January and took an active part in its proceedings.

You have further remarked, that whatever may be thought of the public meetings thus referred to as an unmistakable sign on the part of those who attend of hostility to Great Britain, it might, perhaps, be difficult, under the Constitution of the United States, to prevent or to interfere with such meetings. But the attendance of persons in the military or civil employment of the general government of the United States, or of the government of any particular State in the Union, would seem to show that the government itself participates in their feelings of hostility to Great Britain. Standing upon this argument, you bave informed me that her Majesty's government trust that the attendance of military and civil officers in the employment of the United States government and of the State governments at the meetings of the Fenian Brotherhood will be disapproved by the government, and will not in future be permitted.

The task of replying to these representations is rendered easy by the admission contained in them, in regard to the Constitution of the United States. That Constitution does guarantee to the people the right of assembling peacefully to discuss all questions, political as well as social, foreign as well as domestic. That right has only one limitation. The popular assembly must not disturb the public peace or violate the laws of the land or the law of nations. It has not appeared, and it is not represented in your communication, that any corpus delicti has been produced against the Fenian Brotherhood. Whatever be their purpose, it is not alleged or even understood that they have instigated any insurrection in Ireland, or sent out from th United States, for such a purpose, to that country or elsewhere, any money, men, or arms, or that any sedition or rebellion actually exists in Ireland. Should they attempt to violate the neutrality laws in regard to Great Britain, the laws of the United States, and regulations already sanctioned by the President, are ample to prevent the commission of that crime.

It is thus seen that a case has not arisen in which this government could with right, or ought to, interfere with the meetings of the Fenian Brotherhood. I may properly add that this government has no sufficient grounds to apprehend that any such case will occur, unless renewed and systematic aggressions from the British ports and provinces should defeat all the efforts of this government to maintain and preserve peace with Great Britain. Under these circumstances, any attempt to visit the Fenian Brotherhood with official censures is unnecessary, and therefore, in the belief of this government, would be as unwise as it would be manifestly unconstitutional. The attorney general of the State of Louisiana is responsible to the State government and the people of that State, exclusively of this

government. Colonel Gleason did, indeed, have leave of absence from the army for twenty days, but that leave was granted in the ordinary course of administration, without any knowledge by the War Department, or any other department of this government, that he was to attend a meeting of the Fenian Brotherhood. In the present view of the case, while this government has no hesitation in assuring the government of Great Britain that no hostilities will be allowed to be committed against any portion of that country, it does not think that the interests of international peace require any special proceedings in that direction.

I must be excused for leaving unnoticed the allusions which your note contains in regard to an assumed hostility of this government towards Great Britain, and I pass over in the same manner the allusion which you have made to the many well-founded complaints which this government has heretofore presented of aggressions committed by British subjects against the peace and sovereignty of the United States. This government could not consent to weaken those complaints by eutering, although even more directly invited, into an argument of recrimination. I have the honor to be, with high consideration, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. J. HUME BURNLEY, Esq., 80., 8c., fr.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.


Washington, March 20, 1865. Sir: I recur to your note of the 15th of March, which relates to Bennett G Burley.

The honorable the Attorney General informs me that it is his purpose to bring the offender to trial in the courts of the States of Ohio and Michigan, for the. crimes committed by him against the municipal laws of those States, namely, robbery and assault, with intent to commit murder. He was delivered up by the Canadian authorities upon a requisition which was based upon charges of those

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