Mr. Morris to Mr. Seward.

No. 14.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that, in conformity with my request, the minister of foreign affairs has issued instructions to the governors of the maritime provinces of Turkey, and of the islands of the archipelago prohibiting Ottoman subjects and foreigners from fitting out vessels destined for privateering against the commerce of the United States. They are also instructed to prevent the entrance into the ports and waters of their respective provinces of privateers, and of the prizes made by privateers or by armed vessels, except in cases of marine disaster. In the latter case, they are to be allowed to remain only sufficient time to repair damages, &c.

The term “armed vessels” I have deemed it expedient not to object to, as it will cover the case of the prizes of the Sumter, if, in the event of her appearance in the Turkish waters, the Ottoman government should, after the precedent of England, France, and other nations, regard her as a man-of-war.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

With great respect, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.