Mr. Sundell to Mr. Judd.
Hon. Sir: In order to be prepared, should an American vessel be under way for this port, which I have reason to believe, I would pray for your kind instructions how to proceed in case the vessel, in passing the sound, should be notified by the Danes that Swinemünde is blockaded, and the captain therefore, perhaps, run into some other port, not included in the so-called blockade, and desire to discharge his cargo there.[Page 210]
The consignees here would, then, probably, as has been done in like eases already, where vessels of neutrals were concerned, apply to me for instructions to the captain of such vessel to proceed here, to which place he has been chartered, as long as no “legal blockade” exists, and up to this evening there has been “no actual presence of a blockading force” at Swinemünde. A squadron of Danish vessels-of-war has been in sight for an hour or so at different times—that is all; but the same has not been “stationary, nor sufficiently near” at any time, so as to effect a “valid blockade” of that port.
Should this state continue, I think, myself, no neutral vessel is bound to respect either the notification from the Danish admiral, of which I have had the honor to inform you, and which was sent in by a British merchantman from a place in the open sea about fifty miles distant from Swinemünde, nor the notices of the pretended blockade given by Danish pilots to vessels passing the sound or the belts; but in order to be sure, what to do when applied to, respectfully ask for your instructions on the subject the earliest day possible, and the more so as my opinion thereon is frequently asked by other foreign consuls here, and I am somewhat uncertain as to (my way of reading) Wheaton being right or not.
I have the honor to be, sir, yours sincerely obedient servant,
Hon. N. B. Judd, Minister Plenipotentiary of the U. S. A., at Berlin, &c., &c.