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Mr. Burnley to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, February 28, 1865. Sir: Her Majesty's government have had under their consideration the note which I did myself the honor of addressing to you on the 23d ultimo, relative to the cotton owned by British subjects at Savannah, and it seems proper at the present juncture that the views of her Majesty's government should be made perfectly clear to the United States government on this important question; a question which may engage the attention of her Majesty's representative here as southern towns successively fall into the hands of the Union forces.

Her Majesty's government observe in the outset that it is an uncontroverted proposition of international law that if a neutral subject has a just title to property found by a belligerent in a town which he has obtained by conquest from the enemy, such property is not liable to confiscation, and that this principle is simple and intelligible. War gives the belligerent a perfect right to capture the goods of his enemy, but none to capture the goods of his friend. That the principle does not depend upon the element on which the goods of the neutral happen to be in company with the goods of the enemy.

That the obligation to restore to the neutral owner his goods is equally binding upon the belligerent, whether he captures them in the ship or in the town of his enemy. Such are the general principles of law applicable to the case.

It is for the claimants to give clear proof that the goods in question are bona fide the property of the neutral, and that the neutral has not so conducted himself during the war as to have impressed upon himself the character of an enemy. In cases of real doubt and uncertainty, the belligerent would be justified in submitting the question of property to the investigation of the proper authority at home; but it would be, in the opinion of her Majesty's government, a great hardship imposed on the neutral owner to send the cotton from Savannah to New York for this purpose, and the act would be an unfriendly one on the part of the United States Executive, unless there were a real and well-founded apprehension that the cottou might be subject to recapture by the enemy at Savannah while the question as to its ownership was pending and undecided; but if, on the other hand, there be really no doubt that these bales of cotton do belong to a neutral owner, and that they can be distinguishable on the spot by ordinary measures, the arbitrary transfer of the cotton to New York would be a subject of legitimate complaint on the part of the government of the neutral owner.

In the note which I had the honor to address to you on the 7th instant, I then took occasion to remark that the action of the military authorities at Savannah was prejudicial to the rights of the owners, and that I did not clearly see how such owners were to make out their case, even before a proper court, if hindrances were placed in their way towards registering those claims.

I must, therefore, pending further instructions from her Majesty's government, and information as to the actual transfer of cotton to New York, protest as directed against any compulsory sale of that which is claimed by British owners.

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, fc.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 1, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to enclose for the information of his excellency, Viscount Monck, a copy of a communication of the 25th ultimo from M.

a

esquire, of Cincinnati, Ohio, indicating parties who would be likely to give important evidence in regard to the plots and hostile expeditions in Canada against the peace of the United States.

I must request that the name of the person furnishing the information may be regarded as confidential.

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

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. J. Hume Burnley, Esq., fc., fr., &c.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 2, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 25th ultimo, which is accompanied by a copy of a communication of the 18th ultimo from the lieutenant governor of New Brunswick, respecting the impediments in the way of the extradition in that province of Samuel Eugene Lackey and others, who were engaged in the St. Albans outrages, and whose extradition was requested in my note of the 19th of December last. When that note was addressed to you it was supposed that the felons who were the subjects of it had fled to New Brunswick, but it subsequently appeared that they were in Canada, and their re-arrest was effected. This state of facts renders it unnecessary to provide evidence in the case; but I would recall your attention to the fact that even if it had been necessary according to past usage, I referred you for such evidence, at the conclusion of my note of the 19th of December last, to the papers which were enclosed in my previous note of the 21st of November, namely, the certified copies of complaints and warrants issued in the courts of Vermont, which gave all of the facts and charges in due legal form, and which are understood to have been forwarded by you to the authorities in Canada, where it is presumed legalized copies of them could have been obtained by the authorities of New Brunswick.

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

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

ILLIAM J. HUME Burnley, Esq., &c., &c., fc.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

a

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 3, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith

copy of a despatch of the 24th ultimo, from the consul general of the United States at Havana, relative to the movements of a schooner called the Gypsy, which vessel, upon arriving at Nassau, it is supposed, will be fitted out by insurgent agents to depredate upon American commerce. I beg to request that you will, without loss of time, call the attention of the proper authorities at Nassau to the matter. I have the honor to be, with high consideration, obedient servant,

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

sir, your

Mr. Minor to Mr. Sercard.

UNITED STATES CONSULATE GENERAL,

Havana, February 24, 1865. SIR: A few days since a schooner called the Gypsy came over here from Key West, Florida, and was sold to å man by the name of Barney Pennington. On the 23d instant she left here for Nassau. Last evening I received information that she took quite a large crew, and about fifty passengers, among them some desperate characters. Her commander is Captain Lorent, formerly commanding the schooner Dart, which was captured a few months since off the coast of Florida. My informant further stated that Captain Jacobs, of the Maria, just left for the west coast of Florida, owned an interest in her. "I am inclined to believe that on her arrival at Nassau she will be fitted out as a piratical vessel, to prey upon the commerce of our country. The schooner is a very fast sailer; length, 120 feet; beam, 23 feet; hold, 9 feet; fore-and-aft schooner rigged. Lorent will probably leave her at Nassau, and Pennington, from Newark, New Jersey, take command.

I have communicated this information to Admiral Stribling and Commodore Palmer, and to Collector Draper, of New York, and in the envelope to Collector Draper have sent a letter to T. Kirkpatrick, esq., United States consul at Nassau, requesting the collector to transmit it at the first opportunity. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM T. MINOR.

United States Consul General. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 3, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 25th ultimo, in regard to the arrest of Seely, one of the captors of the Chesapeake, and the steps taken by the authorities of New Brunswick to secure the arrest of others of the party. In reply, I have the honor to inform you that the diligence and friendly action of those authorities are highly appreciated.

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

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. J. Hume BURNLEY, Esq., $c., fc., fr.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 3, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 232 ultimo, relative to the case of the two apprentices who deserted from the British ship Cuzco, and to inform you that I have submitted a copy thereof to the Secretary of the Navy for his consideration.

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

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. J. Hume Burnley, Esq., fr., fr., gr.

Mr. Burnley to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, March 3, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 1st instant, relative to the information furnished by Mr.

in regard to the hostile expeditions in Canada against the peace of the United States, and beg to state, in reply, that I have addressed a confidential communication on the subject to his excellency the governor general of Canada.

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

J. HUME BURNLEY. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Sr., fr., fr.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 6, 1865. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 24th ultimo, and of its accompanying copy of a despatch of the 8th ultimo from the governor general of Canada.

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

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

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF State,

Washington, March 6, 1865. SIR: Credible information having been received at this department that Vernon G. Locke, charged with the commission of the crimes of piracy and murder on board of the United States merchant steamer Chesapeake, is now a fugitive from the justice of the United States at Nassau, where he is at present held under' arrest, I have the honor to request, through you, sir, that, conformably with the provisions of the tenth article of the treaty of Washington, her Britannic Majesty's government will be pleased to issue the necessary warrant for the delivery of the aforenamed Vernon G. Locke to any person or persons duly authorized to receive him, in order that he may be brought back to the United States for trial.

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

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

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF State,

Washington, March 6, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the month of February last, which gives me certain views of her Majesty's government in relation to assumed claims of British subjects upon cotton which is reported to have been captured in Savannah. I shall cheerfully file your note in this department, without questioning the character of a protest which you assign to it.

war.

I must, however, at the same time, be excused for declining to enter into a correspondence on the subject until some definitive claim shall be presented by some persons who shall show themselves to be British subjects, shall establish at least, by prima facie evidence, their ownership of some certain quantity of cotton, and shall also establish the fact that during their residence within the insurgent lines they have maintained the character of neutrals in the present civil

Nor can I now admit that this government is under any obligations, by the law of nations, to leave to the chances of war in Savannah any cotton which was surrendered to it in the capitulation of Savannah, even though such cotton were distinctly claimed, designated, and pointed out to government agents by persons professing to be neutrals ; nor do I think it can be conceded that the United States must now answer to professed neutrals or others whether they regard the city of Savannah as permanently or only as temporarily occupied by the

army of the United States. I am still further from being able to admit that those who allege themselves to be the owners of the cotton in question have a right to expect that the government shall hold the same in store, at the pleasure of the claimants. On the other hand, this government insists that it has a right to deal with all property surrendered in the capitulation aforementioned as it shall deem expedient, holding itself accountable in this, as in all other cases, to persons loyal or neutral, if they shall ultimately establish a lawful claim in a fair tribunal recognized by this government. I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your

obedient servant,

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

Mr. Seward to Mr. Burnley.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 7, 1865. Sir: With reference to the case of Linus Seely, now under arrest at St. John's, New Brunswick, I have the honor to inform you that, in view of the proceedings beretofore adopted in regard to similar cases, it is considered proper that I should inform you that this government expects either a surrender of the fugitive or a fair trial in New Brunswick if the surrender is declined.

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

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

Mr. Burnley to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, March 7, 1865. SIR : I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your note of the 2d instant, relative to the extradition of the St. Albans raiders from New Brunswick, and to state that I have communicated the substance of its contents to his excellency the lieutenant governor.

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., fr.

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