Mr. Chase to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of 31st ultimo, transmitting to me the opinion of the Acting Attorney General upon the question, whether the act of despatching an American vessel to a neutral port, to be thereafter used in violating the blockade, is not an offence against the United States, and for which arrests may be made, and the parties concerned punished. This opinion was sent to the collector of New York for a report—what steps, if any, can be taken, under this opinion, in respect to vessels leaving the port of New York for such a purpose—a copy of which report is enclosed for your consideration.
With great respect,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.