Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 1886.]

Sir: Mr. Gregg, our consul at Kingston, Jamaica, more than a year ago, reported to this department that John Willis Menard, a colored citizen of the United States, resident in the parish of St. Davids, Jamaica, was, on or about the 27th of October, 1865, arrested without warrant or complaint under oath, by the civil authorities of that island, in a district not under martial law; was conveyed into a portion of the county of Surry then under martial law; was detained in close imprisonment, no charges being exhibited against him; and was, on the 4th of November, banished from the island, without trial, by an order of the governor.

The consul reports that upon investigation he can find no evidence of any offence committed by Mr. Menard, nor any reasonable ground for suspicion that he was implicated in any illegal transactions or purposes. He was obliged to leave behind a wife in destitute circumstances, who shortly afterwards was delivered of a child, and whom he was not permitted to visit. The consul was obliged to provide for his transportation to the United States, in order to relieve him from prison.

You will communicate to her Majesty’s government a statement of the case, as it has been presented to us, and request an investigation, with a view, in the event of its accuracy, to such reparation as may be just.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Charles Francis Adams, Esq., &c., &c., &c.