[742] Sir: From reliable information received by me, and which you also are doubtless in receipt of, a war-steamer called the Alabama is now in Saldanha Bay, being painted, and discharging prisoners of war. The vessel in question was built in England to prey upon the commerce of the United States of America, and escaped therefrom while on a trial-trip, forfeiting bonds of £20,000, which the British government exacted under the foreign-enlistment act. Now, as your government h as a treaty of amity and commerce with the United States, and has not recognized the persons in re*volt against the United States as a government at all, the vessel alluded to should be at once seized and sent to England, from whence she clandestinely escaped. Assuming that the British government was sincere in exacting the bonds, you have doubtless been instructed to send her home to England, where she belongs. But if, from some oversight, you have not received such instructions, and if you decline the responsibility of making a seizure, I would most respectfully protest against the vessel remaining in any port of this colony another day. She has been four days in one bay of the colony already, and a week previously on the coast, within three leagues of the land, and has forfeited the right to remain an hour longer by this breach of neutrality. Painting a ship does not come under the head of necessary repairs, and is no proof that she is unseaworthy, and to allow her to visit the other ports after she has set the Queen’s proclamation on the subject of belligerent rights at defiance, would not be regarded as in accordance with the spirit and purpose of the document.

Yours, with most distinguished consideration and obedience,

United States Consul.

His Excellency Sir Philip E. Wodehouse, Governor.

True copy of the original on file at this office.

United States Consul.

Cape Town, October 12, 1871.