Mr. Harvey to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I had an interview with the Duke de Soulé on Saturday, the 8th instant, the day after the usual stated receptions, in reference to the recent events and outrages at the Azores. In order to emphasize the purpose of my visit, I carried with me the telegram from our legation at London, stating that supplies and despatches had been sent to Semmes, from England, by the Bahama, which transported those received by the Alabama, at Angra, in August, and informed the duke that such proceedings, if not checked at once, would lead to serious complications, and that the parties concerned had doubtless been encouraged to this renewal of their criminal purposes by the reprehensible conduct and bad faith of the local officials on the former occasion. I also stated, immediately, that in view of the violation and disregard of the royal proclamation, and the arming and equipping of the cruiser Alabama in a Portuguese port, a question of reclamation for the whaling ships which were destroyed near Flores might arise, though I did not then prefer such a claim. My object was to impress him with the necessity of positive action by the government, and to insure better protection in the future, as well as to indicate the possible consequences of neglect to take the suggested precautions.
He said that my note had been received at the foreign office during his absence in Italy, and that a reply had been delayed by the King’s marriage and the consequent pressure upon him, but that he would address himself immediately to the subject.
The proverbial procrastination of public men here induced me to prepare the note to the Duke of Soulé (of which a copy is enclosed) so that his preoccupied memory might not alone be relied on in a matter of so much importance to us.
The accompanying copies of telegrams from Mr. Consul Sprague and Commander Bryson, of the Chippewa, are in answer to one which was addressed to the former on the 6th instant, requesting the Kearsarge or Chippewa to proceed forthwith to the Azores. Upon receiving them, and learning that the Kearsarge was at Cadiz, I sent the following despatch:[Page 1295]
“Lisbon, November 8, 1862.
“It is highly important that the Kearsarge or Chippewa should proceed with all speed to Fayal and other islands, with the information I telegraphed to Sprague on Thursday, so as to intercept the Tuscarora there, which otherwise will go to Newfoundland.
“J. E. HARVEY.
“Captain Pickering, “War Steamer Kearsarge, Cadiz.”
No reply has yet reached me, and therefore I am unable to say whether either of the vessels has gone to the Azores.
I am informed that the Kearsarge has been ordered to the Gulf of Mexico, and that the Chippewa has been sent out to take her place. The latter is not fitted for the service which our exposed interests require to be performed on this side of the Atlantic.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.