Mr. De Long to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to enclose a copy of a telegram and two letters, addressed by Horatio J. Perry, United States charge d’affaires at Madrid, to Captain Craven, of the United States ship-of-war Tuscarora, in relation to the arrest of Myers and Tunstall, which have been transmitted to me by said legation, accompanied with a letter of congratulation upon the subject, which I also enclose.[Page 870]
In making the arrest I acted with a full knowledge of what I believed to be the law, and with a view of restraining these men from committing further depredations upon our commerce.
I pursued the whole thing step by step, using the utmost caution to avoid leading my government into trouble, although on the 26th of February my life was in the greatest possible danger, brought about by Captain Semmes, of the pirate Sumter, through the interference of the governor of Gibraltar, as well as nearly the entire European population of Gibraltar and this place, where money was offered freely to the mob if they would secure the release of the prisoners.
I believe I was the only man in the place on the day of the mob that was not excited. Even Prince Muley Abbas, who is residing here at present, and who is said to be a very intelligent, mild, innocent sort of a man, when he heard of the mob, made the remark—“what the devil have the Christians to do with the American consul’s prisoners.”
During the short time I have been here my whole time and attention has been devoted to the interest of my government, and what is my reward ! Last evening three letters came to this place addressed to different parties, from Brown, my late predecessor, informing them “that the Senate had not confirmed my appointment, and that the President had appointed a Mr. McMath, of Ohio, in my place, and that he would be here shortly.”
This information came at a very inopportune moment, as it will be freely circulated throughout Europe that I have been recalled for my arrest of Myers and Tunstall, and besides, what effect this news may have upon the minds of the Moorish authorities is yet to be revealed.
On the 10th instant the United States steamer Kearsarge paid a visit to this place, to inquire after the safety of the United States consulate, pursuant to the event of the 26th of February, which interview was very interesting. Assurances of the protection of the United States consulate, as well as the kindly relations between the United States government and this country, were entertained by the Moorish minister at the time. Arrangements were also made about exchanging a salute, which took place shortly after.
The Kearsarge remained here until the next day, and then returned to Algeciras.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.