Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. Gordon to Mr. Burnley.

FREDERICTON, N. B., January 12, 1865. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt to-day of your despatch of the 4th instant, relative to the intention of the United States government to require from travellers entering that country passports furnished by competent authority and countersigued by a diplomatic or consular agent of the United States.

I have to request that you will have the goodness to ask the Secretary of State of the United States what course it is intended to follow with respect to persons living at considerable distances from the residence of any consular agents of the United States. For instance, it is my intention to establish an agency for passports at the town of Woodstock. Is it intended that any person residing in Woodstock, and desirous of visiting the weighboring town of Moulton, in the United States, should, after providing himself with my passport, proceed, in the first instance, to St. John (a journey, including the return to Woodstock, of three or four hundred miles) to obtain the visa of the United States consul, in order to enable him to cross the frontier? This is by no means an idle question, for the intercourse between the towns referred to is considerable, and the same may be said with regard to other points on the frontier. It would seem reasonable that in such cases, by an arrangement not unusual in Europe, an officer of the United States at the town first reached after crossing the frontier might be permitted to give the requisite visa.

But without suggesting the steps which the United States government may think proper to take in consequence, it is right that I should state that the strict requirement of the counter signature of the consul at St. John to every passport issued by me will practically put an end to the intercourse at present happily prevailing between the citizens of the two States along tbe boundary lines-a result which I should greatly deplore, and which would, I doubt not, also be regretted by the United States government. I have, &c.,

ARTHUR H. GORDON. J. H. BURNLEY, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

a

Nr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 21, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acquaint you, for the information of the Canadian authorities, that it has been represented to this department, from a credible source, that enemies of the United States lurking in Canada are preparing to make a formidable incursion into the territory of the United States for the purpose of committing depredations at Burlington, in Vermont, and White Hall, in New York, while Lake Champlain shall remain frozen over, and to destroy the shipping in the harbors of those ports; that their plans are matured, and that the reason they have not already attempted their execution was the re-arrest of the St. Albans felons, which induced them to postpone the movement until the decision of the court in the case of those felons can be ascertained.

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

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

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 23, 1865. Sir : Information, which is believed to be reliable, has reached this department to the effect that a plan has been formed for the piratical seizure of American steamships plying between various ports on the Pacific coast of this continent; that it is proposed to effect this nefarious design by means of small but swift iron steamers armed with one gun; that they will be concealed in some of the many small bays and inlets abounding on the coast from the Gulf of Fonseca to San José, in Costa Rica; that two of these vessels are now on the way, or have arrived at St. Thomas from England in pieces; that they will be put together at St. Thomas or at Georgetown, Demerara, run down the coast, around Cape Horn, with the ostensible intention of plying around the Chincha islands; that the officers and prize crew will sail from New York to Havana, reporting there to Mr. Charles Helm, thence to St. Thomas, where a person named Andrews manages affairs, or did formerly. At a concerted time they will proceed to the Pacific shore of Costa Rica to meet the vessels and enter upon their piratical career. I will thank you to inform her Majesty's government of these proceedings, and to notify the authorities of Demerara and of other British colonies in that quarter of these projected violations of British neutrality, in order that prompt measures may be adopted for their prevention.

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

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

Mr Burnley to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, January 23, 1865. Sir : Of the vast amounts of cotton captured by General Sherman at Sarannah, I am told that some ten thousand bales are the bona fide property of British subjects residing there and in England.

Mr. Sergeant, a medical gentleman resident at Savannah, called upon me yesterday and consulted with me upon the subject, placing in my hands various papers, which he had been deputed to hand over to me, of one of which I enclose a copy, as representing the actual state of the case. Mr. Sergeant informed me that the federal authorities contemplated sending the whole of this cotton to New York for sale, the proceeds to be remitted to the United States treasury, and the owners to establish their claims before the courts.

As it appears to have been purchased during the year 1860 and 1861, and was intended for shipment for England upon the reopening of commerce, now happily not far distant, I would hope that pending an investigation of the claims it may be allowed to remain stored in Savannah, as the federal government have now a firm hold on the place, and there can be no question of its recapture, considering the important federal successes recently achieved

To the end, however, of establishing the rightful claims of the owners, I would propose to despatch an agent there, with the sanction of yourself, who would be deputed to place himself in communication with any authorized agent of the United States government, in order that it may be clearly and satisfactorily proved that such cotton belongs to bona fide neutral British merchants.

It is of the very utmost importance that this vast amount of cotton, if shown to be British property, and acquired in a legitimate way, should not be lost to its original owners, under any circumstances; and in the interests of the British subjects concerned, I feel bound to protest beforehand against any acts which in the hurry of military preparations may tend to obliterate or invalidate any just claims upon the captured property.

Awaiting an answer at your earliest convenience, I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

J. HUME BURNLEY. Hon. William H. SEWARD, fr., 8c., fc.

a

Mr. Green to Mr. Barclay.

SAVANNAH, Georgia, January 16, 1865. Sir: The seizure of the stocks of cotton in this place may now be said to be completed, by the presence of Mr. Collector Draper, of New York, to whom General Sherman is transferring the property.

In a writien application to the officers named in enclosed “special notice," I stated that as the cotton held by and belonging to me was of the crops of 1860–61, the bales were in mavy cases in need of repair and re-marking, the planters' brands having become indistinct, and I asked permission to make the repairs and marks. The reply was that I might put what repairs on the bales I pleased, prior to shipment, but that no re-marking or putting pridate marks on the bales would be permitted.

His excellency Lord Lyons has already been asked by the British members of the Cham: ber of Commerce of this city to apply to the United States government to stay the shipment of cotton being British property: If this cannot be done, will you solicit his excellency to request on behalf of British subjects

i. That they may be allowed to put private marks on their cotton prior to shipment by the Treasury Department.

2. That receipts in original and duplicate may be given to British owners, reciting

1. The private marks of the cotton. 1. The number of bales and description of the cotton, whether upland or sea island ; and, 1. The name of the vessel by which the cotton is taken away.

His lordship's early attention to this may avert very great losses, and in some instances ruin, to British subjects in Georgia. I am, &c.,

CHARLES GREEN. ANTHONY BARCLAY, Esq.,

Depositary of the papers of the British consulate. Unable to obtain the advantage of Mr. Barclay's attention to this communication to-day, and the necessity for prompt action being imminent, Mr. Green takes the liberty of forwarding to Lord Lyons himself. The mails only go to New York weekly.

Special Noti
OFFICE CHIEF QUARTERMASTER DEPOT,

Sarannah, Georgia, January 6, 1865. All persons having cotton in their possession now stored in this city are hereby notified to call at this office forthwith and register the same, stating the amount, where stored, and by whom owned. By order of Brigadier General L. C. Easton,

chief quartermaster.

GEORGE B. CADWALLADER,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, Chief Quartermaster Depot.

Mr. Burnley to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, January 24, 1865. Sir: With reference to my note of the 28th December last, informing you that the Mary had been seized in the port of Nassau by orders of the lieutenant governor, for an infringement of the British foreign enlistment act, I have now the honor to enclose copy of a despatch which I have received from Mr. Rawson, acquainting me with the action taken with regard to the solicitor general of this colony, who it appears had been retained and was acting for the defendants in the matter.

The course pursued by the lieutenant governor seems to me to have been an eminently wise and sensible one, as showing a proper appreciation as to how English law should be administered, coupled with a friendliness of expression towards the government of this country which it gives me much pleasure to communicate to you.

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

J. HUME BURNLEY. Hon. William H. SEWARD, SC., c., c.

:

Mr. Rawson to Mr. Burnley.

[Extract.]

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, Nassau, January 14, 1865. SIR: I deem it advisable that you should be made acquainted with the fact, that in consequence of my having become aware that Mr. Solicitor General Burnside had been retained and was acting for the defendants in the matter of the steamer Mary, seized by my orders in this port, of which you have already received notice, I immediately required that gentleman to resign his brief or his office.

2. Jir. Burnside pleaded bis right to act against the Crown, under a general license which he possesses in all cases in which the attorney general does not require his services. But I informed him that this was not a case contemplated in his general license; that although his services were not required to assist in the prosecution, it was not fitting that he should appear against the Crown, and the United States government, which is interested in the due enforcement of the foreign enlistment act in this case, would learn with surprise, and might complain with reason, that while one law officer was enforcing the provisions of the act, another was engaged in opposition to him, and it would be difficult to convince them that this was not with the consent or approval of this government.

3. Mr. Burnside, in consequence, elected to resign his office.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 24, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 23d instant, which relates to claims of British subjects upon cotton seized by the military forces of the United States at Savannah.

In that communication you inform me that ten thousand bales of the cotton referred to are affected by these claims. That these ten thousand bales seem to have been purchased during the years 1860 and 1861, and to have been intended to be shipped to England upon the reopening of commerce.

Upon these statements you ask that the cotton in question may be left in Savannah, that you may have leave to send an agent to that garrison who would be deputed to place himself in correspondence with any authorized agent of this government, in order that it may be clearly and satisfactorily provided that such cotton belongs to bona fide neutral British merchants. You add a protest against any acts which in the hurry of military preparations may tend to obliterate or invalidate any just claims upon the captured property.

I have the honor to reply that due consideration has been given to this representation, and that it does not appear to this government that there exists any sufficient reason for departing in this instance from the course which this government pursues, in securing property in the insurrectionary districts, and ascertaining and liquidating any claims of lawful owners thereupon, by judicial investigation. This government does not think that there is any good reason to apprehend that any act will be done in the hurry of military operations which would tend to obliterate or invalidate any just claims upon the captured property which may exist and which the executive department of this government is not authorized to prejudge. I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your

obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. J. HUME BURNLEY, Esq., fr., fr., &c.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 25, 1865. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 20th instant, which is accompanied by a copy of a despatch from the lieutenant gov

ernor of New Brunswick on the subject of the recent passport regulations of this government. With regard to the inconveniences to which persons residing in the provinces are subjected, as mentioned by Mr. Gordon, I have the honor to state, in reply, that the disadvantages arising from the observance of the regulations referred to result from the limitation of the number of United States consuls in the British provinces, which was insisted upon by her Britannic Majesty's government, and I regret to add that the inconvenience does not admit of remedy by the government of the United States. I have the honor to be, with high consideration, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. J. HUME BURNLEY, Esq., 8c., dr., &c.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 25, 1865. Sir: Referring to my note to Lord Lyons of the 20th of December, 1863, requesting through his lordship that, in virtue of the provisions of the treaty stipulations on the subject, her Majesty's government would issue the necessary warrant for the delivery of John C. Braine, H. A. Parr, John Parker Locke, David Collins, George Robinson, John Wade, and others, charged with the commission of piracy and murder in the American steamer Chesapeake, I have now the honor to state that information has been received at this department from the consul of the United States at St. John's to the effect that, upon the discharge of the parties arraigned under the charge of piracy committed on board of the beforenamed Chesapeake, new warrants were issued by Justice Parker for the apprehension of all the offenders known to have been concerned in the transaction; that these warrants were not, and, perhaps, could not have been, served at the time, by reason of the escape of the criminals to parts unknown.

It having recently come to the consul's knowledge that four or five of these fugitives had returned within the jurisdiction of New Brunswick, he has notified the high sheriff, in whose hands these warrants now are, of the fact.

It is hoped that every facility may be afforded by the provisional anthorities for their apprehension and commitment; and I now have the honor to request, through you, sir, that upon the apprehension and commitment of the said fugitives, or any of them, within the province of New Brunswick or elsewhere, within the jurisdiction of her Britannic Majesty, her Majesty's proper authorities will be pleased to issue the necessary warrant for the delivery of the said fugitives to any person duly authorized by the government of the United States to receive them, in order that they may be brought back to the United States for trial. I have the honor to be, with high consideration, sir, your obedient servant,

WILČIAM H. SEWARD. J. HUME BURNLEY, Esq., Mc., 8c., c.

Mr. Burnley to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, January 25, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your note of the 23d instant, and inform you that a copy of it shall be communicated to the proper authorities.

I have the honor to be, with the highe:t consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

J. HUME BURNLEY. Hon. William H. SEWARD, 8c., &c., sc.

« PreviousContinue »