Mr. Harvey to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I transmit herewith the copy of a telegram, addressed to Commander Craven by the assistant secretary of the United States legation at London, which will explain itself.
As the Tuscarora started yesterday for the Azores, and for a cruise beyond those islands, this information could not be communicated to her commander. Its importance, however, demanded immediate action, and I have just sent the following telegram to our consul at Gibraltar in the hope of intercepting the Tuscarora at Fayal:
“H. J. Sprague, United States Consul, Gibraltar:
“Telegraph Captain Pickering immediately that steamer Bahama, with men and munitions, is going to meet Semmes at Azores. Turkish steamer Shasgehaad has taken despatches there for Semmes
“Let Kearsarge return to Azores, if possible, forthwith. If not, let Chippewa go with this information to meet Tuscarora, which started for Fayal yesterday.
“JAMES E. HARVEY.”
The United States gunboat Chippewa, now at Algeciras, is said to be swift, and if my suggestion is adopted promptly, these pirates may be captured. All the means at my disposal or discretion have been employed with as much efficiency as the circumstances would admit.
It is very evident that the opinions expressed in my No. 168½ are well founded, and that the Western islands are to be used as a rendezvous for [Page 1292] these piratical cruisers, and their British confederates with munitions and supplies. I shall send Mr. Moran’s telegram to the minister of foregn affairs immediately, and endeavor to see him personally to-morrow; but you have already been informed of the technical impediments which embarrass my position and injuriously delay and perplex our interests here. Until this difficulty of mere form is relieved, we must expect to meet vexatious procrastination at every step, when the utmost promptitude is needed.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.