Mr. De Long to Mr. Seward.

No. 5.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I was disappointed in my expectation in regard to the arrival of the Tuscarora on the 26th instant, as I had addressed a despatch to her commander on the 20th, copy of which is herewith enclosed. On the 23d the military secretary of the governor of Gibraltar arrived here by an express courier. I accidentally met him, and from his demeanor towards me I suspected that there was some plot on hand. Shortly after this my suspicions were fully realized, as I learned that the secretary was the bearer of a letter from the captain of tbe Sumter to the Moorish minister for foreign affairs, demanding a release of the prisoners in my custody, and there seemed to be an unusual movement among the people. On the next day I sent my second despatch to the commander of the Tuscarora, a copy of which is herewith enclosed, with his reply. On the evening of the 25th, about 6 o’clock, I received a despatch from the Moorish minister, a copy of which, with my reply thereto, is herewith enclosed, in which he demanded a surrender of the prisoners.

My reply was conveyed to the minister at 8 o’clock of the 26th, which was read and explained to him by my interpreter, who was informed by the minister that there would be no impediment offered to my removing the prisoners. By the time my interpreter had arrived at the consulate, the United States ship-of-war Ino had anchored in the bay. Leaving off all formalities, her commander with three of his junior officers came on shore, and thence proceeded to the American consulate. The commander, accompanied by my interpreter and myself, proceeded to the residence of the Moorish minister to pay our respects to him, and to make arrangements for firing a salute, and about the embarcation of the prisoners. Our interview took place at 11 o’clock a. m., and in which it was repeated that there would be no objections made to their removal on board of the Ino.

After exchanging a salute of 21 guns, which took place at 1 o’clock p. m., I consulted with the commander of the Ino about the manner of conveying the prisoners on board, and we came to the conclusion, to prevent any demonstration that might be made on the conveyance of the prisoners to the beach, that it would be advisable to order thirty marines to come on shore, fully armed, to accompany the prisoners. Prior to the arrival of our men on shore I discovered that there was a plot going on, formed out of European subjects residing in Tangier, to prevent the embarcation of the prisoners, and to take them out of our hands at the time of conveying them to the beach. Although I had [Page 861]not at first much confidence in the report, bearing in mind the strict neutrality of European nations in relation to our civil war, nevertheless, by the time the marines had landed on the beach, the gates of the port were closed, and an armed mob of between three and four hundred Europeans, residing here under the protection of foreign representatives at this place, had assembled at the American consulate. On hearing a noise in the street leading to the consulate, the commander of the Ino, his purser, surgeon, and Mr. Train, master’s mate, and myself, went into the street. I enquired of one of the mob, who could speak English, what they wanted, he replied that they were determined to have the prisoners in my custody released. We immediately made a rush at them and drove them out of the street. We then returned into the consulate and closed the doors. The mob then returned and tried to break into the consulate. I immediately sent a note to my interpreter to inform the Moorish minister of what was going on, and to demand of him soldiers to suppress the mob. Fortunately, before my interpreter got my note, he had gone to the minister and informed him in relation to the mob; then the minister sent a message to the foreign representatives to withdraw their subjects, and he also sent troops to protect the United States consulate and to disperse the mob; all of which was attended to promptly.

The commander of the Ino, accompanied by three of his junior officers, my interpreter and myself, then proceeded to the residence of the minister at about 3 o’clock p. m., and after a few preliminary remarks I gave the minister to understand the ultimatum of what I required, and nothing short of which would I accept, which was in the following words:

1st. That the gates of the port should be opened.

2d. That the marines be permitted to march uninterrupted to the American consulate.

3d. That he furnish a sufficient number of troops to keep down the mob and to accompany the prisoners to the beach.

4th. All of which must be complied with, within one hour, or I would strike the American flag and quit the country.

The minister replied, no, no, your request shall be acceded to, but I desire you to hold over until to-morrow, when all will be quiet; I replied that I would consent to no delay, for the reason that it would only give the mob an opportunity to make further preparations.

This closed the interview and we returned to the consulate, and in less than one hour the gates of the port were opened, the marines marched to the consulate, the Moorish troops were on hand, and the prisoners were then brought out, and we marched down to the beach in the presence of at least three thousand spectators, without the least interruption, and they were placed on board of the Ino, which sailed last night. I must add that the commander of the Ino, his junior officers and marines, all acted their part bravely to sustain the honor of the American flag.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

JAMES DE LONG.

Hon. Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State.

[Untitled]

No. 1.]

Sir: Having learned that two secessionists landed here yesterday from a merchant French steamer, Ville de Malaga, proceeding from Gibraltar on their route to Cadiz; one of them, I am informed from undoubted authority, is a lieutenant of the pirate Sumter, the other, Mr. Tunstall, has been acting as [Page 862]United States consul at Cadiz up to some time last summer; both of whom are commissioned to purchase coal at Cadiz to supply the Sumter, by her captain.

This state of facts being presented to me, together with other reliable information in reference to the disloyalty of those men to the federal government, induced me to take necessary steps for their arrest, which I have done, and they are now held as prisoners in the United States consulate at this place. I now make the request that you come here at your earliest convenience possible, so that I may deliver the said Tunstall and Lieutenant John Smith, alias H. Myers, into your custody, to be conveyed by you to the United States on your return, and on your arrival there to be placed by you under the proper authority of the federal government of the United States of America, to be dealt with according to law, and this shall be your warrant for so doing.

Given under my hand and seal of the United States consulate at Tangier, Morocco, Africa, the day and year above written.

JAMES DE LONG, United States Consul.

The Commander of the United States Steam Sloop-of-war Tuscarora.

[Untitled]

No. 2.]

Sir: I have been expecting you daily since the 20th, but suppose you cannot leave the Sumter. I have the united good will of the British minister here and all the consular corps, as well as the Moorish authorities. The first parties named are strictly neutral, but, at the same time, I am very unpleasantly situated. My guards are all Moors, and the prisoners have tried several times to bribe them; first they offered them a valuable gold watch and one hundred dollars in gold. This is very tempting to semi-barbarians. They finally offered to secure to them five thousand dollars to assist them in making their escape. I had to put them in irons, and Myers got a case knife and sawed off the rivets, and got the irons off, and jumped out of the second story of the consulate, but fortunately into the consulate lot; he then got over the wall into the house of a Moor, and was again arrested and taken back to his room, and the number of guards increased.

I understand that there is bitter feeling against you and myself in Gibraltar, against me for what I have done in this matter, and against you for some remarks you seem to have made. I have never had the honor to know you, but you will please excuse me for advising you to keep cool and calm, and give no offense to any one. It is hard to do so, for the English, a great many of them, are extremely insulting to the federals, and are nearly all on the side of the rebels.

I am informed that a federal man-of-war arrived at Cadiz on the 19th instant, and if you cannot come after the men will you do me the favor to telegraph to the captain of that man-of-war to come here immediately.

It may be that the rebel portion of Europeans might combine with the Moors to raise a mob and try to have these men released. The captain of the Sumter is trying to get up a feeling in his favor for that purpose in Gibraltar, so by all means these prisoners should be placed on board a federal man-of-war as soon as possible. And I trust you will consider the very disagreeable position I am in and release me as soon as possible.

Myers is a desperate fellow. He was commissioned in the federal navy on the 21st June, 1854, as paymaster, with the rank of lieutenant, and is a citizen of the State of Georgia. About this there can be no possible doubt. I found [Page 863]out his name and residence through Tunstall. I then referred to the United States Navy Register, in page 46, for the year 1861, and find Henry Myers as paymaster, and as above stated. Excuse any mistakes in my letter, as I wrote in great haste, to get it ready for the boat about to leave.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

JAMES DE LONG, United States Consul General.

P. S.—I learned last evening that there is a secret movement on foot. The captain of the Sumter is making many false representations to accomplish some deep plot. I want the presence of a federal man-of-war in this bay.

J.D.L.

The Commander of the Tuscarora.

No. 3.

[Untitled]

Sir: On receipt of your communication of February 21 I was so situated as not to be able to leave this bay. I made no reply to your letter, as I wished to gain time, and not through any disinclination to assist you. 1 now send to you the United States steamer Ino, Lieutenant Commanding Creesy, who will receive from you the rebels whom you have taken into your custody.

Will you please send me a written statement of the particular circumstances which caused you to apprehend them; how long they had been on shore in Tangier at the time of their arrest, and what they were doing there ?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. AUG. CRAVEN, Commander.

James De Long, Esq., United States Consul, Tangier.

No. 4.

[Translation.]

Praise be to our God.

To our dear and wise friend the consul general for the American nation, James De Long, esq., which premised, we continue to make inquiries regarding your welfare, and praying God that you are well.

We have received a letter from the captain of the steamer Sumter, from the Confederate States, in which they inform us that the two men that you have seized are of the best of men, and they are guiltless, except that they are from the separated Confederate States.

I know that you have sent to ask from our lieutenant-governor to help you in their seizure. The lieutenant-governor has acceded to your demand, and sent you soldiers to make the arrest without ascertaining the case; but now that we received the said letter informing us of these men that they are of the best of men, and without any fault, except a political affair, and, as a matter of this character, I beg that these men should be considered in this country the same that have been at Gibraltar and Cadiz.

[Page 864]

If I am to keep still in this affair, after the receipt of the said letter, it would appear that I am dealing different of what other people do. Therefore we ask from you to deliver us these men to remain free as they were in other places, as we wish to act in the same manner that other nations have acted.

We have no doubt that when you receive this letter you will put them free, as our object is to do good and to cultivate friendship with all the nations and race.

Written on the 25th of “Shahbon,” year 1278, corresponding February 25, 1862, and beg from you a prompt answer. God bless you.

The employed of the throne elevated by God.

MOHAMED BARGASH.

God may protect him.

No. 5.

[Untitled]

Dear Sir : Your note of the 25th instant was duly received last evening at 6 o’clock p. m., informing me that your excellency had received a letter from the captain of the steamer Sumter, of what you styled the Confederate States, in which they inform you that the men I have seized, through the assistance of the Moorish authorities, are of the best of men, and they are guiltless, except that they belong to the Confederate States, and therefore you demand of me their surrender. This, may it please your excellency, is a most extraordinary proceeding, after my having received from the Moorish authorities soldiers to make the arrest in pursuance of all precedents heretofore practiced and acted upon in your country, and that, too, under circumstances not so aggravated as I now detail to your excellency : First. There is no government known and recognized as Confederate States, and the captain of the steamer Sumter, his crew, and the men in my custody are citizens of the federal government of the United States, which I represent in your empire, all owing allegiance to the same.

The steamer Sumter is a federal vessel, and has been seized by the traitors and rebels to the constituted authorities of the federal government, and has been engaged for the past eight or ten months in capturing, plundering, burning, and sinking merchant trading vessels of the United States; two of which were captured, plundered, and sunk in the straits of the Mediterranean sea; and these men that I have in custody—one of them being an officer of the said pirate Sumter—came to this place without any passport, or any government empowered to give them passports except the government I represent, and were on their way to Cadiz for the purpose of devising means to renew their depredations.

With reference to what your excellency alludes to, and desiring to pursue the same line of policy that has been adopted at Cadiz and Gibraltar, with reference to the said pirates, you are aware that the regulations by which they are governed in Europe, have no reference whatever with that of your country, which is regulated by treaties with foreign governments.

I have no doubt that if your excellency had been aware of these facts you would not have adhered to the representations made to you by a pirate.

Shall seventy-six years of uninterrupted friendship that has existed between your government and that of the United States be brought to an end for the sake of pirates ?

I trust in this brief note to your excellency that, after the explanation given, [Page 865]no impediment will be offered to my embarking the prisoners on board of the American man-of-war now in your harbor.

Very truly, your most sincere friend,

JAMES DE LONG.

His Excellency Sied Mohamed Bargash, Moorish Minister of Foreign Affairs.