Mr. Webb to Mr. Seward.
Sir: This government has not as yet responded to my despatches in regard to the pirates Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, but I have reason to know are exceedingly annoyed at their having been in the waters of Brazil. They have had a narrow escape from the Mohican, which vessel must at one time have been in their immediate vicinity; and if her commander had pushed on to Rio, when so near it, he could not have failed to have fallen in with two of them in the vicinity of Cape Frio, and directly in the track of vessels bound to this port. But doubtless the commander of the Mohican was misled by some cunningly devised report, manufactured by the pirates themselves, and circulated by their English friends in Bahia. Consul Wilson reports that the Onward is at Bahia, in search of the pirates; and I indulge the hope that she will be more successful than the Mohican has been.
The continued depredations of these pirates directly off the mouth of the harbor of Rio are exceedingly annoying to all Americans in Brazil, and go to prove the absolute necessity of two good steamers-of-war, of great speed and powerful armament, at Rio. Iron-clads would be useless, and so with ordinary gunboats; but two vessels of the Ticonderoga class would effectually protect our commerce and insure the capture of any piratical cruisers that might venture to visit this coast.
As our consul will make full reports to you of the disasters to our commerce which have been reported since the pirates left Bahia, I forbear further allusion to the subject.
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Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, &c.