Mr. Wood to Mr. Seward
Sir: On the 4th instant, having received a communication from Mr. Bigelow, the United States chargé d’affaires at Paris, I addressed to the minister for foreign affairs the accompanying note, No. 47, and interrogatories, and to-day have addressed another note to him, No. 48, a copy of which is also herewith enclosed. Some time last autumn an iron-clad brig-rigged steam ram arrived at this port from France. I was informed, in answer to my inquiries, that she was for the Danish government. I was subsequently informed that she did not pass inspection, and would be returned to the builder, in France, as unfit for the Danish navy. I was also informed by a Danish naval officer that she was rudely and badly built, as he knew by inspection, and that her bolts had no heads to them, and she was in other respects defective. After lying here some three months, and having had several inspections, none of which, as I was informed, was satisfactory, she, with a crew of some thirty men, (as I was also informed,) was sent back to Bordeaux, and of which Consul Hansen duly apprized our consul at that place. She is a formidable and dangerous-looking craft, and is said to be heavily armed with Armstrong guns. I await the answer to my inquiries. It is possible this government may have been deceived, as there is a rumor of one “De Reviere,” who once offered to make cannon for us and was refused, being concerned in the affair.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.