Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward

No. 387.]

Sir: I have the honor to send you herewith a copy of a communication just made to M. Drouyn de l’Huys, in which I enclosed to him further affidavits in the case against the Rappahannock now at Calais.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.

[Page 10]

Mr. Dayton to M. Drouyn de l’Huys

Monsieur le Ministre: Although it may be, and perhaps is, an act of supererogation, I beg to enclose to your excellency copies of the affidavits of Richard Spendiff, George Hill, and James Nunn, persons recently employed upon the confederate vessel now called the Rappahannock, lying in the port of Calais. These affidavits are merely cumulative evidence showing the fact, which has not, I believe, been disputed, that this vessel, in violation of the principle of international law and the Emperor’s proclamation, is being equipped and fitted out in that port to cruise against the commerce of the United States. This vessel is yet within the jurisdiction of France, and may be justly detained. If, under the circumstances, she be permitted to complete her equipment, and then to depart, I respectfully submit that the French government will be justly responsible for all damages done by her. Is it not desirable to avoid, if possible, all fair ground for future reclamation?

I take this opportunity to renew to your excellency the assurances of high regard with which I have the honor to be, your excellency’s very obedient servant,