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Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow. No. 84.]
Department of STATE,
Washington, March 27, 1865. Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 10th instant, No. 49, relative to the action of the coinmander of the French war steamer Diamant in removing a quantity of blasting powder from the United States schooner Wm. L. Richardson, at La Paz. Your proceedings therein mentioned are approved by this department. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. John BIGELOW, Esq., sc., fr., c.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 30, 1865. Sir: I enclose a copy of a despatch of the 23d ultimo, No. 57, addressed to me by M. D. L. Lane, esq., the consul of the United States at Vera Cruz, giving a statement of the circumstances connected with a collision between the United States merchant schooper Three Sisters and the French transport ship Alhir, near Cape San Antonio.
You will be pleased to invite the attention of the imperial government to the case thus presented, with a view to such indemnification for the losses entailed upon the citizens of the United States concerned in the vessel and
and such redress for the treatment of the officers and crew of the schooner as upon investigation may be found to be justly due. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Johx BIGELOW, Esq., 8c., fc., 8c.
Mr. Lane to Mr. Seward.
CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Vera Cruz, February 23, 1865. SIR: I have to inform the department that the American schooner Three Sisters, of Key West, Florida, William Lowe master, was towed into this port on the 4th instant under the following circumstances:
On the 29th of last month, about half past 7 o'clock p. m., while near Cape San Antonio, the said schooner was run into by the French transport ship Alhir and very badly damaged. Five of the crew, believing the schooner sinking, went on board the Alhir. As soon as it was found the schooner did not sink, they started to return to her, but were arrested by the commander of the transport, Mons. Cuisnier Delisle, and one of them put in double irons. The commander then sent to the schooner and took from her the only remaining seamen, leaving on board the master and a passenger to steer and pump her, as she was making water fast. The day before their arrival in this port the passenger was taken from the schooner; but on the 4th instant, just before entering the harbor, they were all returned to the schooner. After several hours' detention in the harbor by the commander of the transport, because the master would not sign a paper releasing the French commander from all liability resulting from the collision, he was permitted to land. He deposited the register and crew-list in the consulate. The master and the crew reside at Key West. After hearing their statement, I addressed a note to Mons. Jules Doazan, French consulate at this port, repeating the story of the master as substantiated by his crew, and asked his early attention to the case, as, under the circumstances, I should be obliged to hold the French government responsible for the conduct of the commander of a transport, and for whatever loss might be sustained by
the collision and by the imprisonment of the crew. I received no reply to this note. On the 9th I called a survey on the schooner by three masters of vessels, who condemned the schooner as entirely unseaworthy, and estimated the cost of repairs at $8,000. The master entered his protest, a copy of which I sent to the French consul, with a note repeating the former notice. No offer of aid or remuneration has been made to the master or crew since their arrival, and no notice whatever taken of the case. The master and crew agree in say: ing they hailed the transport three times before the collision; that their lights were set, and must have been plainly seen by the transport; thạt when a change was made by the schooner in her course, in order to avoid the collision, a corresponding change was made by the transport. They all say they believe it was purposely done; and from the course pursued by the authorities since the arrival here, I believe so, too.
The crew came on the consulate for support, but as Captain Lowe had provision on the schooner, I made an agreement for them to stay on board till the 15th instant without any expense to the consulate, when I placed them on board the British bark James Welsh, bound for New York, Master W. Megill, who agrees to land the crew at or near Key West, paying him $20 for each man in gold. I agreed, if he did not stop at Key West to obtain the usual indorsement of the collector, that the certificate of the crew that he had performed his part of the contract satisfactorily should be sufficient. It is not in accordance with the regulations, but I could do no better. There was no American vessel in port, and no other bound in the direction of Key West. I thought it the most economical way to dispose of the crew, who suggested this way of getting home, and I solicit the speedy payment of the sum on presentation of the usual certificate. It is very difficult to get masters of vessels to take seamen home on account of the difficulty they have in getting the pay from the department. I hope this will prove an exception to the usual rule.
The names of the seamen on board the schooner are Joseph Acosbee, William Lowe, jr., Frank. Whittaker, Robert Matthews, Anthonie Sape, George Randall, all of Key West. The master, Captain Lowe, is still here. He was sole owner of the schooner. As there was no insurance on her the loss falls heavily on him. I did the best I knew in the case. If there is anything more to do in the premises, I await instructions from the department. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
M. D. L. LANE, C. S. C. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 30, 1865. Sir: Referring to your despatch of the 28th ultimo, No. 40, and to my reply of the 23d instant, No. 79, in regard to insurgent piratical movements and schemes in Europe, I have now to inform you that, by a letter of yesterday, the Secretary of the Navy informs me that the Kearsarge, now at Boston, has been ordered to proceed to the coast of Europe for the purpose of co-operating with the vessels now engaged in watching the movements of the Stonewall, and will use all possible despatch in reaehing her destination. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. John BIGELOW, Esq., fr., fc., 8c., Paris.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, April 4, 1865. SIR: Your despateh of the 17th March, No. 61, has been received. I have to commend and thank you for your attention to the warnings which you received from our consul in England in regard to the ram Cheops.
It is to be expected that the treasury of the rebels at home and their credit abroad will completely collapse under the blows they are receiving from our land and naval forces. After that collapse, we may reasonably expect that European ship-builders and merchants will be as much disinclined to render further aid to our enemies as we are opposed to such unprincipled intervention. I am, sir,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. John Bigelow, Esq., fr., 8c., sc.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, April 4, 1865. Sir: I have received your despatch No. 60, of the 17th instant, relative to the refusal of the French government to permit Mr. Hammond, agent of the American Emigration Company at Havre, to contract for the transport of emi. grants through Havre to the United States. You may ask for explanations from Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, but you will not make it a subject of protest or remonstrance without instructions. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD John Bigelow, Esq., Sc., f., Sc.,
Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Seward. No. 67.)
LEGATION OF The United STATES,
Paris, April 4, 1865. Sır: I have the honor to enclose copies of certain documents received from the Hon. Bradford R. Wood, minister resident of the United States at Copenhagen, in part reply to my application for such information as might be within bis reach in relation to the delivery of the steamer Stonewall, alias Olinde, to officers of the insurgent navy. I
presume that you must have already received from Mr. Wood, in his account of his personal intercourse with the Danish government, something more satisfactory, if it had anything more satisfactory to offer.
The position of the question at this court has undergone no change since my last communication about it. I understand from our consul at Nantes that an investigation is going on at that place with the view of punishing three of the parties concerned in supplying the Stoerkodder with coal, provisions, and munitions within the waters of France. It remains to be seen with what vigor the majesty of the law will be asserted. I should attach more importance to such a demonstration if it were directed against the notorious head offender, Arman, instead of being directed against some of his instruments.
The Stonewall left Ferrol for Lisbon, whence, after a few days' detention, she sailed for parts unknown. No doubt you have received full particulars of her stay at and departure from both these places from our representatives at Madrid and Lisbon.
It is possible they may not have been able to send you a list of the officers of the Stonewall; I therefore send you one, which I believe to be authentic and complete up to the 20th of March last. I am, sir, with great respect, your very obedient servant,
JOHN BIGELOW. Hon. William H. SEWARD, &c., 8c., 80.
List of officers of confederate pirate Stonewall, March 20, 1865. Captain T. J. Page, from Virginia;
R. R. Carter, first lieutenant, from Virginia ; Geo. S. Shryock, second lieutenant, from Kentucky; Geo. T. Bocbart, third lieutenant, from Savannah, Ga.; E. G. Reed, third lieutenant, from Virginia ; Samuel Barron, jr., third lieutenant, from Virginia ; E. Green, surgeon, from Virginia ; C. W. Curtis, paymaster, from South Carolina ; W. P. Brooks, chief engineer, from South Carolina ; J. W. Herty, assistant surgeon, from Georgia ; W. W. Wilkenson, master, from South Carolina; W. Hutcheson Jackson, first assistant engineer, from Baltimore : J. C. Cosh, second assis. tant engineer, from Texas; John W. Dukeheart, boatswain, from Baltimore; J. W. King, gunner, from North Carolina ; J. Mather, carpenter, from Maryland ; William Savage, master's mate, from Maryland; William Baynton, paymaster's clerk, from Florida John W. Prior, sergeant of marines, from Virginia.
Mr. Wood to Mr. Bigelor.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Copenhagen, March 25, 1865. DEAR SIR: I herewith send you copies of certain papers received from the Danish government, those in French certified. I have the Danish also certified, but supposing that they would be useless in Danish, I set Consul Hansen, a Dane by birth, to translate, and I give you his literal translation. I suppose the original are also in the Danish legation in Paris.
Mr. Hoxtheussen is a good English and French scholar, and can render Hansen's literal translation liberal. It is very possible that if the Danes could have got the Stoerkodder in time they would have owned her, but they had no use for her after June, 1864, and availed themselves of her defects to get rid of her. As they did not suspect anything, and wished to be obliging to Arman, who had here the reputation of being a very responsible man, and one of the Emperor's right hand men, they allowed themselves to be imposed on by Arman's correspondent, “Puggaard,” a Danish merchant residing here, and who unquestionably knew that this ship was sold to the confederates when he applied for the use of the Danish flag, as he had advanced money on her when she was being built for the confederates. And what is more, I have no doubt the Danish government now know of Puggaard's complicity in the matter. Arman's intention in sending this ship here was to get her out of France and into the hands of the confederates, and he deceived the French minister. I have the police on the watch for the men you advised me of. I remain, very truly, your obedient servant,
BRADFORD R. WOOD,
Minister Resident. JouN BIGELOW, Charge, &c., Paris.
I have made the request, and it is to be complied with, that the Danish government inform the yovernments of France and Spain that they never owned the Stoerkodder. Will Spain let this ship go to sea ? If she does I hope she may lose Cuba.
BORDEAUX, October 25, 1864. After the trials of the Stoerkodder, on the 20th instant, had taken place, I informed Mr. Arman that I would report the results of these trials to the ministry, and by my request be consented to await the nearer determination of the ministry to accept or reject the vessel according to the statement from me, as stipulated in the contract. Upon the receipt of the telegram of the 23d instant from the ministry, I immediately, as commanded, made known to Mr. Arman the expected arrival hero of Etatsnad Eskieden. But Mr. Arman has to-day informed me that the Stoorkodder had gone to sea yesterday, with orders to proceed to the Sound. As it is his intention, if the vessel should be rejected by the government, because the conditions as to speed and draught were not fulfilled in accordance with the coutract, then to leave it to the generosity of the government whether they will receive the vessel any how, and on what conditions other than those stipulated in the coutract, all of which I do omit to herewith inform the ministry.
I take the liberty to enclose a copy of a declaration made to me by “Expert," engaged by me to attend to the trial of the Stoerkodder and to certify to the result. I am, &c.,
COMMISSARIAT AND BOOK OFFICE, March 14, 1865. That this copy is in conformity with the original certifies marine minister.
COPENHAGEN, March 14, 1865. [SEAL.]
MINISTRY OF MARINE,
Copenhagen, December 21, 1864. By letter of the 14th instant Mr. Arman has communicated that he has empowered Mr. Grossereau, merchant, as his representative, to make a final adjustment of the matter of the iron-clad vessel Stoerkodder, and in this manner-that the vessel be at once accepted without any other loss to Mr. Arman than the interest, or that the contract be annulled with the only compensation in damages that some new rank be given him from the Danish marine.
In accordance herewith, by virtue of office, it is communicated that the minister of marine, notwithstanding that Mr. Arman has failed in several principal points to fulfil the conditions he has taken on bimself, by the contract of the 31st of March, this year to deliver the Stoer. kodder, relieves him from the contract in this manner : that this (contract) is annulled from now on this condition, that when Mr. Arman, now or later, lets the vessel depart from here, he thereby acknowledges himself to have no demand whatsoever upon the Danish government.
Grossereau is also requested to remind Mr. Arman that the expenses, &c., occasioned by bringing the vessel here were incurred in consequence of the vessel being sent here, notwithstanding he had been already informed at Paris that he alone must take the risk thereof.
RUDOLPH PUGGAARD. COMMISSARIAT AND BOOK-KEEPING OFFICE, March 14, 1865. That this copy is in conformity with the original certifies marine ministry.
[Enclosure.] List of the crew who sail with me, the undersigned, who commands the iron-clad vessel the
Stoerkodder, belonging in Bordeaux, but who sails under the Danish flag, of tonnage of the bill of gauge of over 200 commerce last, with which I now intend to go from here to Bordeaux. (Notice on the list that the six French engineers were discharged on the 5th of January, 1865.) (Here follows a list of the crew, Danes and Swedes, and some forty-five in number.).
B. R. W.
Certificate to the iron-clad vessel Sloerkodder.
Copenhagen, December 30, 1864. The secretary of the general custom-house makes known that the iron-clad vessel Stoer kodder, belonging to Mr. Arman, of Bordeaux, after having arrived in this city from Bor)