Mr. Morris to Mr. Seward.

No. 17.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch (No. 20) bearing date April 1, 1862, and to transmit to the department a copy of the vizerial of the Sublime Porte interdicting the entrance into its ports and waters of privateers or other vessels acting against the shipping of the United States of America.

This order is even more stringent than stated by me in a previous despatch. It is, in fact, an absolute and unconditional prohibition of the entrance of privateers or any class of vessels into the ports and waters of the Ottoman dominions fitted out for the purpose of preying on the commerce of the United States of America. The naval vessels of the United States are not subjected to any restrictions whatsoever. This proceeding is confirmatory of the liberal and friendly spirit to which I have heretofore had occasion to refer as characterizing the relations of the Ottoman government with the United States of America.

I have the honor to enclose the decree touching the prohibition of the importation of gunpowder, &c. * * * * *

With great respect, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

[Page 789]

Official copy of a vizerial order addressed to all the public functionaries of the Sublime Porte on the sea-coast of the Ottoman empire, dated the 24th Cheval, 1278, (April 23, 1862.)

Excellency: According to the principles of international rights established in the late treaty made at the conference held in Paris, the use of ships-of-war and other vessels as privateers (korsan) was entirely abolished by all the great powers therein represented.

The legation of the United States of America has now requested that, conformably with the preceding, instructions be given by the Sublime Porte to its functionaries on the sea-coast of the empire for the purpose of maintaining the principle adopted as aforestated.

As it has, therefore, been here deemed necessary, in view of said principle, that effective measures should be taken to prevent vessels of the United States of America from being exposed to injury in any of the ports and waters of the Ottoman dominions by privateers such as those alluded to, your excellency will, in case any privateers or armed vessels preying on the commerce of the United States attempt to enter them, with or without prizes, adopt such means as will prevent them from carrying the design into execution.


His Highness Aali Pacha to Mr. Morris.

No. 5624.]

Sir: I have the honor to notify you that, by a decree of his Imperial Majesty the Sultan, the importation of powder, cannon, all kinds of military arms, and munitions of war, have just received a general prohibition in all parts of the Ottoman empire, conformably with the stipulations of the treaty of commerce concluded the 25th of February between the Sublime Porte and the government of the United States of America.

This prohibition will be put in force from the 1/13 of March of the present year. Special regulations will soon be published on this subject, detailing the articles which the Sublime Porte may allow, as an exception, or provisionally, to be imported, as, also, the obligations to which they will be subjected on their disembarkation in a port of the empire, according to the terms of the treaty. I therefore beg you, sir, to be so good as to give such orders as may be deemed necessary to those who should be acquainted with this measure, so that masters of vessels, merchants, coasters, and others, citizens of your government, may be informed of the preceding, and called upon to submit to the measures adopted on this point.

Be pleased, sir, to accept assurances of my perfect consideration.


Hon. E. Joy Morris, Minister Resident from the United States of America.