Mr. Seward to Mr. Welles.

Sir: Referring to a letter of the Secretary of the Treasury of the 9th July, in which he suggested that the opinion of the appropriate law officer should be [Page 1349] obtained upon the question, “whether the act of despatching an American vessel to a neutral port, to be used thereafter in violating the blockade, is not an offence against the laws of the United States, and for which arrests may be made, and the parties concerned punished, I have now the honor to transmit, herewith, the opinion of the Attorney General ad interim, upon this subject.

I will thank you to return the opinion after making such use of it as you may think proper.

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


Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.