[107] *Part IX. Reception of Confederate cruises in British ports.

Part IX. Reception of confederate cruisers in British ports. It has been thought best to treat collectively the various complaints scattered throughout the Case of the United States, as to the “excessive hospitality” which is alleged to have been extended in British ports to the vessels of war of the Confederate States, in comparison with the “discourtesy” with which vessels of the United States are said to have been treated under similar circumstances. These complaints may be divided under three heads: (1) the amount of supplies granted to confederate cruisers before any limitation was placed on such supplies by the regulations issued by the British government on the 31st of January, 1862; (2) the alleged disregard of those regulations in the case of confederate vessels; and (3) their alleged rigid enforcement against vessels of war of the United States.

As regards the first question, there were but two vessels of war of the Confederate States which visited British ports before the issue of the regulations of January 31, 1862—the Sumter and the Nashville. The facts as to these two vessels have already been stated, and it is only necessary to add a few words to show how their proceedings, coupled with those of the United States ships, and the representations of the United States Government, led to the adoption of the regulations.

The Sumter and Nashville. The reception of the Sumter in the ports of Brazil, and of the neighboring possessions of Great Britain and the Netherlands, in the summer and autumn of 1861, had given rise to warm remonstrances on the part of the United States, and they had urged on each of the three powers the expediency of placing restrictions on the hospitality to be accorded to what they termed the “piratical” vessels of the insurgents. The governments of Brazil and of the Netherlands, no less than that of Great Britain, had maintained that the Sumter must be regarded as a vessel of war of a belligerent power, and that whatever restrictions might be placed on the stay of such vessels in their ports must be applied equally to the vessels of war of the United States. Mr. Seward, however, continued to press the suggestion. Lord Russell expressly stated to Mr. Adams on the 19th December, 1861, that the reason why no such limitation had hitherto been enforced by Great Britain was that it might have seemed churlish toward vessels of the United States Navy.1

On the 24th January, 1862, Mr. Adams wrote to his Government, announcing that the Sumter, after repairing at Cadiz, had gone into the port of Gibraltar; and he added, “This tendency to take refuge in British ports is becoming so annoying to the government here, that I shall not be supprised if the limit of twenty-four hours’ stay be soon adopted.”2 [Page 347] News had about the same time been received of the attempt to form a coal-depot for the United States Navy at Nassau, and of the presence at that port of a vessel of war of the United States, which, by having its steam up, constantly ready to start, kept all the snipping in the port in alarm. The Nashville, which had been in the harbor of Southampton since the 21st November, had refitted, and was ready for sea. She was closely watched by the United States steamer Tuscarora, whose commander was pursuing the same course as the captain of the Flambeau at Nassau, and, by keeping his steam up and having slips on his cable, was virtually keeping the Nashville blockaded in a neutral port.1

[108] Under these circumstances, the British government determined that the Nashville and Tuscarora should be desired to leave British waters at a date to be fixed, with an interval of twenty-four hours between their respective departures; and a few days afterwards, on the 31st January, general rules were issued to provide for such cases in future. Captain Craven, of the Tuscarora, after some altercation with the authorities, quitted the port of Southampton, but returned again to British waters in its vicinity just as the Nashville *was leaving. He was warned that he was not to sail again until twenty-four hours after her departure, and complied, though complaining that “a just and rigid impartiality did not appear to have been extended towards him.”2 In a dispatch dated the 7th February, 1862, and published by the Government of the United States at the time, but of which only a short extract is given in the collection now appended to their Case, Mr. Adams remarked:

The impression here is that he (Captain Craven) allowed himself to be completely outwitted. He will doubtless lay the blame on the action of the people and government of this country; my own opinion is, that if he had been a little more cool and quiet, he would have fared better.3

Mr. Adams’s anticipations were correct, as will appear from Captain Craven’s report to his Government, now printed in the Appendix to the Case of the United States,4 where he complains bitterly that the new regulations deprive him of “the ability of cruising on this (the British) coast,” and speaks of the measures taken to preserve the neutrality of British waters as “collusion on the part of the authorities, to effect the escape of the privateer.”

It may be as well to mention at once that the Nashville arrived at Bermuda, on the return voyage from Southampton, before the receipt in that colony of the regulations of January 31, 1862. There was at the time only a monthly mail to Bermuda; the regulations could not be forwarded until the latter half of the month of February, and were received there on the 5th March, some time after the Nashville had left. The statement, therefore, in the Case of the United States,5 that the permission given to the Nashville to take on board a supply of coal was an infraction of these regulations, is erroneous. They were, according to their terms, only to take effect six days after their notification in each colony, and the governor was not even aware of their existence at the time of the Nashville’s visit.

From Southampton the Tuscarora proceeded to Gibraltar, for the purpose of watching the Sumter; and there Captain Craven involved himself in a dispute with the authorities. The Sumter had arrived in that port on the 18th of January, 1862, before any limitation had been [Page 348] placed on the stay of vessels of war of the two belligerents in British ports. The regulations of the 31st of January, restricting the stay of such vessels to twenty-four hours, except in special cases, were received and published by the governor on the 11th of February, coming into force on the 18th. The Tuscarora arrived on the 12th, after the publication of the rules, but before they had come into force. Copies of the rules were sent in identical letters to the commanders of both the Sumter and Tuscarora on the 12th February; but it was the opinion of the governor1—and that opinion was confirmed by the home government—that neither vessel came under the operation of those rules, so far as their stay in the port was concerned. Captain Craven, however, without communicating with the governor on this point, withdrew to the neighboring Spanish anchorage of Algeciras, from whence the boats of the Tuscarora passed backward and forward to Gibraltar, rowing round the Sumter on the way; and he wrote to the governor inquiring why the Sumter was allowed to remain “in undisturbed possession of her anchorage,” and protesting, “on behalf of the United States, against what appeared to be a departure from the rules which require that neutrals should be impartial and honest.” It could not but be expected that such an imputation should draw an indignant reply from the governor. The latter was, however, instructed to allow the boats of the Tuscarora to come into the port, provided they caused no annoyance to the Sumter.2 That the Sumter, when she eventually left Gibraltar as a merchant-vessel, in a gale of wind, should have escaped capture by the vessels of war of the United States,3 is certainly not to be attributed to any undue partiality on the part of the British authorities. Nor can Her Britannic Majesty’s government admit that there was any want of proper courtesy or hospitality shown to Captain Craven. The Tuscarora took on board 150 tons of coal at Southampton, on the 10th of January;. she received further coal, the amount of which is not known, off Cowes, on the 4th of February.4 On his return to the English coast, in June, 1862, Captain Craven disregarded the rules of which he had complained, by coaling three times, within two months, at different British ports.

[109] *execution of the rules op january 31, 1862, at nassau.

Execution of the rules of January 31, 1862, at Nassau. The rules of the 31st January, 1862, contained general limitations as regards the stay of belligerent vessels of war, and the supplies to be granted to such vessels in British ports. They also contained special provisions with regard to the Bahama Islands. No vessels of war of either belligerent were to be allowed to enter the port of Nassau, or other ports, roadsteads, or waters of those islands, except by permission of the governor, or under stress of weather. The Bahama Islands were thus placed on an entirely different footing from any other British colony; the treatment of the United States vessels of war there must be considered separately, and cannot, with justice, be contrasted with the reception of confederate cruisers in other colonies, as is done, in one instance, in the Case of the United States, (p. 288.) A comparison is there attempted to be drawn between the reception of the Florida at Bermuda, and the refusal of the governor of the Bahamas to allow the Honduras to anchor in the harbor of [Page 349] Nassau. It is obvious that there is no real similarity between the two eases. At Nassau there was a special prohibition against the admission of belligerent vessels of war; at Bermuda there was no such prohibition. The Florida, moreover, was declared by her commander to be in need of repairs. No such reason was alleged by the commander of the Honduras for his application. The latter vessel had been sent to the Bahamas to assist the crew of the San Jacinto, which had been wrecked off the Abaco Islands, a group of the Bahamas to the north of New Providence. She was there allowed permission to anchor by the authorities for the purpose of her visit, and from thence she proceeded to Nassau, in order to obtain specie for the payment of salvage money to the inhabitants of Abaco who had been instrumental in saving the wreck. The governor did not consider that the emergency was sufficient to justify his granting special permission to the Honduras to anchor. The captain came on shore to urge a reconsideration of this decision, but the governor did not see grounds for altering it; and he suggested that the captain might take back the specie at once, or, if that were impossible, the consul might undertake to forward it to Abaco. The captain returned to his vessel, but, in defiance of the quarantine regulations, as well as of the spirit of the governor’s decision, he and some other officers of the Honduras landed the next morning, called at the United States consulate, purchased some stores, and returned to the vessel. The governor took notice of this by addressing a very temperate remonstrance to the consul; he acted rightly in doing so; and Earl Russell expressed this opinion when the matter was brought to his notice by Mr. Adams.1

Nassau [he said] is a position from which, on the one hand, confederate privateers might have greatly annoyed the commerce of the United States, and which, on the other hand, might have been a convenient base of operations for the United States Navy. It was thought right, therefore, by Her Majesty’s government to forbid the resort of men-of-war of either of the two parties to the port of Nassau.

Governor Rawson, who has been exceedingly strict in compelling the confederate vessels to comply with the rules which he was ordered to enfore, has, no doubt, conceived it to be his duty to require equal compliance with those rules from the United States vessels of war. Her Majesty’s government, if the case had been referred to them, might, in all probability, have dispensed with the observance of these rules in the peculiar case of the Honduras; but Her Majesty’s government cannot be surprised that an inferior officer should not have conceived himself at liberty, upon his own responsibility, to dispense with rules laid down by Her Majesty for his guidance. I have to observe, moreover, that the landing of the captain of the Honduras and his officers was persisted in not only in contra version of the express dissent of the governor, and in violation of the rules which the governor had been ordered to cause to be observed, but in contravention, also, of the quarantine laws of the colony. This is a proceeding which Mr. Seward, I conceive, will surely not consider to have been justifiable.

[110] It is, however, alleged generally, in the Case of the United States, that the special permission to anchor in the port of Nassau was “lavishly given to every insurgent cruiser, but was granted churlishly, if at all, to the vessels of the United States.” Elsewhere it is said that “an order more unfriendly to the United States” than that of the 31st of January, 1862, “could not have been made. Under the construction practically put upon it, the vessels of war of the United States were excluded from the harbor (of Nassau) for any purpose.”3 It will, perhaps, be a matter of some little surprise to the tribunal to learn that, whereas on two occasions only did vessels visit the port of Nassau as confederate cruisers, there are no less than thirty-four visits of United States ships [Page 350] of war to the Bahama Islands recorded during the time that the regulation *was in force.1 On four occasions, at least, vessels of the United States exceeded the twenty-four hours’ limit, and took in coal by permission; one of them also received permission to repair; several were engaged in pursuit of vessels suspected of being blockade-runners, and did not in every instance relinquish the chase within British limits. Two prizes appear, indeed, to have been captured by them, one within a mile of shore, the other almost in port.1

2 Page 316.

The use made of the waters of the Bahamas by Federal cruisers, for the purpose of watching and intercepting vessels supposed to be freighted with cargoes for confederate ports, was so persistent as to induce the governor on one occasion, when granting permission to coal to the commander of the Dacotah, to accompany it with the condition that the vessel should not, within the next ten days, be cruising within five miles of any of the Bahama Islands.2 On this subject there is some comment in the Case of the United States. The application was for permission to ship, not twenty tons of coal, as there represented, but sixty; and no limitation of the amount was imposed by the governor, though the captain of the Dacotah chose only to take the smaller quantity, which was sufficient to carry him to the coaling-depot of the United States Navy at Key West. The condition exacted on this occasion by the governor was not countenanced by Her Majesty’s government, nor was it required on subsequent occasions, although Earl Bus-sell had, in June, 1864, to complain of the frequent visits of the United States gun-boat Tioga to the out-islands of the Bahamas for the purpose of obtaining supplies, and of the manner in which the commander of that vessel set the regulations at defiance by anchoring in the roadstead of Bimini without permission.3

It has been said that only two vessels of war of the Confederate States are known to have visited the harbor of Nassau as such, the Florida and the Retribution; two other vessels, the Nashville and the Tallahassee, which had acted as cruisers, entered the harbor, but they did so after they had ceased to bear that character, as merchant-ships and under other names. Of the visit of the Retribution there is little to be said. She entered the harbor of Nassau as being in distress, in February, 1863, where she was condemned as unseaworthy, dismantled and sold, and registered as a British merchant-ship under the name of the Etta.4 The Florida was the only other confederate ship of war which received the permission of the governor to anchor in the port of Nassau, which is said in the Case of the United States to have been so “lavishly given” to such vessels.

the florida at nassau.

The Florida at Nassau. The reception of the Florida at Nassau was in no way more favorable than that generally accorded to Federal men-of-war visiting the colony. Indeed, it was rather less so. She came into the harbor of Nassau on the morning of the 26th January, 1863, without [Page 351] previously asking permission, her commander being, as he explained, ignorant of the regulation which rendered such a course necessary. The fort-adjutant, as he had done in the case of the United States vessel Stars and Stripes some months before, came on board to ask for an explanation; and he took the commander of the Florida on shore in his boat, as he had on the former occasion taken the commander of the Stars and Stripes, in order that application might be at once made for the necessary permission. Captain Maffit addressed a letter to the governor, stating that his vessel was in distress for want of coal, and requesting permission to anchor for the purpose of obtaining it. The governor granted the permission, stating that he did so as thereby according to a confederate steamer the same privileges which he had formerly granted to Federal steamers. But he desired that the irregularity in delaying to make the request should be pointed out, and that the pilot should be called on to explain how he admitted the Florida without permission.1 In the case of the Stars and Stripes, the governor had, without any written application, given leave to take in coal for a much larger amount than her commander required, and the United States consul wrote to thank him for “the permission so graciously accorded.”2

[111] *The Florida remained in the harbor about twenty-six hours, (not thirty-six, as stated in the Case of the United States,3) leaving not later than noon of the 27th of January. Of the exact amount of coal taken on board no record has been found; but it could not have been such an amount as is assumed by the United States. The quantity of coal which the Florida was capable of stowing was but 130 tons;4 her consumption at full speed was estimated by British officers appointed to investigate the matter at Bermuda, as 15 cwt. an hour, or 18 tons a day. She could not possibly, therefore, have taken on board a three months’ supply, as is alleged. This is further proved by the statement, which afterward appears in the Case of the United States, that “by the middle of the following month her coal was getting low;” and this when we are told that “she ordinarily sailed under canvas,” and only used steam in the pursuit and capture of vessels.5

Her Britannic Majesty’s government thinks that enough has been said to show that the partiality alleged to have been shown to confederate vessels of war by the authorities of Nassau had no real existence. The United States have alluded, in their Case, to the absence of any but official relations between those authorities and the United States consul. Her Majesty’s government is unwilling to dwell upon the reasons (which were not political) for that state of things. It was, undoubtedly, a source of embarrassment to the governor; and it appears to have created a feeling on Mr. Whiting’s part, which colored all his reports to his Government, and render them far from an accurate representation of the real state of affairs in the colony. The following extract from a dispatch of the governor shows that there was no indisposition to show hospitality and civility to officers of the United States when he could properly do so:

So far from having shown too much sympathy with the South, I believe I might justly be suspected of not having shown enough. I know that I have seen and received more northern than southern visitors at Government House during the last season; and that whereas I had invited several northern officers to dinner, the only southern officer who called I did not invite.

[Page 352]

execution of the rules of january 31, 1862, in other colonies.

Execution of the rules of January 31, 1862, in other colonies. Having thus shown the conduct of the authorities at Nassau under the special regulations applicable to that colony, Her Britannic Majesty’s government proceeds to notice the alleged disregard of the general regulations in the case of visits of confederate cruisers to other British ports. According to those regulations, no vessel of war of either belligerent was to be allowed to remain in a British port more than twenty-four hours, except in case of stress of weather, or of her requiring repairs or supplies necessary for the subsistence of her crew. No coal was to be supplied to such a vessel beyond the amount sufficient to carry her to the nearest port of her own country; nor was coal to be again supplied to her in any British port, without special permission, within three months after she had last received such a supply in a British port. It has been already explained that the case of the Nashville, at Bermuda, in February, 1862, did not come within these rules, which had not at the time reached the colony. The first, and, indeed, the only, instance in which special permission to coal was obtained within three months after a previous supply at a British port was that of the Florida, at Barbados.

the florida at barbados.

The Florida at Barbados.
The Florida arrived at Barbados on the 24th February, 1863. Her commander represented to the governor that his vessel had recently gone through severe weather; that his stock of coal had, in consequence, been entirely exhausted; and that, unless he could ship some more, and have some lumber to repair the damages his vessel had suffered, he could not go to sea, and would be obliged to land his men and strip the ship. The governor granted the permission, limiting the amount to ninety tons, which was certainly not an excessive quantity, considering the distance from the ports of the Southern States.1 In so doing, he was under the impression that he was only granting similar facilities to those previously accorded to the United States vessel San Jacinto, whose commander had also asked for special permission to ship fuel and articles for repairs. The governor took the *further precaution of writing to the governors of neighboring British colonies, stating the date at which the Florida had coaled. All this he explained to Admiral Wilkes, who visited the island shortly afterward, and who, after receiving these explanations, made use of them to write him a long letter of complaint. The matter was reported by the governor to Her Britannic Majesty’s government, and was also represented by Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons. While acquitting the governor of any intentional disregard of his instructions, the government were of opinion that, in regard both to the San Jacinto and the Florida, too much latitude had been used in giving the “special permission” contemplated in the regulations, and a dispatch was addressed to Barbados, and to other British colonies in the West Indies, defining the circumstances under which such “special permission” might properly be granted. It was pointed out at the same time that an unauthorized concession to one belligerent was not likely to be accepted, by those to whom it was made, as a justification of a similar concession in the opposite direction.2

[Page 353]

It is now asserted by the Government of the United States that the case of the San Jacinto, referred to by the governor of Barbados, was not parallel to that of the Florida, inasmuch as the San Jacinto, though she had touched at Bermuda shortly before her arrival at Barbados, had not taken in any coal at the former colony.1 Her Majesty’s government does not dispute this fact, although not aware of it before. But such a circumstance, recently acertained, as it appears, from the records of the United States Navy, does not in any way affect the fact that the governor was, at the time,, under the impression that the two cases were similar. It cannot be admitted, as urged by the United States, that the burden is upon Great Britain to establish that a high officer of Her Majesty acted “innocently” on this occasion, or that his explanation was a truthful one. These are matters which clearly ought to be taken for granted, unless there is positive evidence to the contrary, and the more so when, as on the present occasion, every attendant circumstance combines to show that the officer acted in good faith. Still less can it be allowed that “the act, whether done innocently or designedly, was a violation of the duties of a neutral,” or that it furnished the United States with any real “cause of complaint against Great Britain.” At most, it amounted to no more than a somewhat too broad interpretation placed by the authorities of a distant colony on a rule which had been made, not in compliance with any requirement of international law, but as a matter of convenience; and measures were at once taken to prevent the recurrence of a similar mistake.

The instructions sent to the governor on this occasion enjoined on him a strict adherence to the regulations, “without any arbitrary concession to either belligerent,” as the best means of avoiding misunderstanding and complaints of partiality for the future. The anxiety of the governor to comply with this direction led to a misunderstanding, of which mention has been made in the Case of the United States. The United States vessel of war Connecticut touched at Barbados in April, 1865, and her commander, Captain Boggs, wrote to the governor: “I find it necessary to remain a few days for the purpose of overhauling the piston and feed-pump of the engine, and I trust that no objections can be made.” It will be seen that the application was rather loosely worded as regards the necessity of the repair. The governor, in consequence, replied that Captain Boggs knew, of course, the instructions under which they both acted, and that, before giving his sanction, he must request a definite assurance of the inability of the Connecticut to proceed to sea at the expiration of twenty-four hours, and as to the period within which it would be possible to execute the necessary repairs. This was, in fact, no more than a request for a formal application from the commander of the Connecticut such as would bring that vessel within the letter of the regulations. Captain Boggs, however, somewhat unreasonably interpreted it otherwise. He replied that it virtually refused the permission requested, and that “he could not give such an assurance as was required, inasmuch as an American ship of war could always go to sea in some manner.” He left the port, accordingly, without repairing. The governor reported the matter home at the time, saying that he thought Captain Boggs had placed an ungenerous construction on his letter, but that he did not see how he could have acted otherwise; and, in a dispatch lately received, he repeats the same explanation. “The commodore,” he says, “knew perfectly well what my instructions were; and if my words had any meaning at all, [Page 354] it must have been clear to him that I wanted nothing more from him than a justification for acceding to his request.1

[113]*The arbitrators will have observed that, in cases where confederate vessels of war applied for permission to repair, it Was frequently the practice of the British authorities not to depend upon the mere statement of the commander of the vessel as to the necessity for repairs and the time they would take, but to insist on an examination and a report by British officers; and this requirement was, as far as is known, acceded to in all such cases without demur. No instance is alleged of such a precaution having been taken in the case of United States vessels; and, compared with it, the answer given to Captain Boggs cannot be regarded as matter for complaint. Her Britannic Majesty’s government have only to add that, in addition to the visits of the San Jacinto and Connecticut alluded to above, nineteen other visits of United States ships of war to Barbados are recorded during the civil war. Two of these vessels are mentioned as having received permission to take in coal, and none of them appear to have had any reason to complain of their reception. As far as Her Majesty’s government is aware, the visit of the Florida is the sole instance of any confederate cruiser having received the hospitality of the colony.

the florida at bermuda.

The Florida at Bermuda. The Florida arrived off Bermuda for the first time on the evening of the 15th of July, 1863, and entered the harbor the following morning. Her commander stated that his vessel was in want of repairs to the hull and machinery, and that he required also a small supply of coal. Of the latter, there was at the time none in the colony except in the government stores, and the military and naval authorities, to whom Captain Maffit successively applied, positively refused to allow him any supply from that source.2 Permission to effect repairs in the government dock-yard was also refused; and Captain Maffit, having stated that his vessel must be considered as detained in distress for want of coal, was warned that the regulations were very strict as to the limitation of time for the stay of belligerent cruisers; that it was necessary that whatever the Florida required to enable her to leave should be provided within the shortest possible period; and that, in the meanwhile, she must leave the port of St. George’s for the anchorage at Grassy Bay. The arrival of a vessel from Halifax with a cargo of coal relieved Captain Maffit from his difficulty, and he left the island on the 25th of July. The vessel which brought the coal is asserted by the United States to have been the Harriet Pinckney, and it is insinuated that the transaction amounted to an infraction of the rule against the establishment of coal-depots in British ports for the use of either belligerent. Her Majesty’s government is at a loss to understand on what ground such an allegation is made. The Harriet Pickney was, to all appearance, an ordinary trading-vessel, in which capacity she visited Saint George’s five times between January, 1863, and February, 1864.3 There was nothing in the attendant circumstances to raise a suspicion that the coal was sent expressly for the Florida; indeed, the previous conduct of Captain Maffit contradicts such a supposition; nor does the occurrence seem to have given rise to any complaint on the part of the United States consul.

[Page 355]

On this occasion, through a misconception, the salute of the Florida was returned. It was the only instance in which the flag of the Confederate States received such a courtesy from British authorities. It was disapproved by Her Majesty’s government; and a circular instruction was sent to all the British colonies to prevent its repetition.1

[114] From Bermuda the Florida proceeded to the French harbor of Brest, where she remained five months refitting. On the 26th April, 1864, she visited the French port of Saint Pierre, Martinique, where she remained till the 7th May and took in a full supply of coals, provisions, and water.2 On the 14th May she again appeared off Bermuda, but remained only long enough to land a sick officer. She returned to Bermuda on the 19th of June, 1864, and her commander, Lieutenant Morris, wrote to announce his arrival, stating that lie was in want of coals, provisions, and repairs, which last it would be impossible to effect unless he were authorized to proceed to the government dock-yard. Permission to do this was, however, refused. Two British officers were sent on board the Florida with directions to report whether she could proceed to sea without any repairs being made to her machinery, and what time they considered would be necessary to complete such repairs as might be absolutely required, and were capable of being carried out in Saint George’s harbor. *These officers reported, on the 20th of June, that the Florida could “proceed to sea with safety under steam, but under sail was unmanageable with her screw up in bad weather,” and they stated that the necessary repairs could be made good there, and, as far as they could judge, would require five days for one man, viz, a diver for two days, and a fitter for three days, or three complete days in all. There were also defects which rendered her main-topmast unsafe, and which could, in their opinion, be made good in two days; they did not state how many men would be required.

The governor, alter consulting with the admiral on the station, gave permission on Monday the 21st of June for the Florida to remain five days in port, a permission which cannot be considered unreasonable, considering the scarcity of skilled workmen and the possibility evidently contemplated by the committee of officers that it might be necessary to employ the same man as fitter and diver. The five working days expired at noon on Monday the 27th June, and on the evening of that day the Florida left the port. Among the documents produced by the United States is a bill for carpenter’s work sent in to the commander of the Florida, which shows that four carpenters were employed on her for four days. Taking into account the small quantity of materials charged for, which show that the repairs could not have been extensive, the probability that unskilled workmen were employed, and the fact previously mentioned, that the number of men required to repair the main-topmast is not stated in the report of the officers, Her Majesty’s government does not see that any proof is produced of an abuse of the permission given. The report of the officers went on to state the hourly consumption of coal of the Florida’s engines, and they estimated that she could reach the port of Mobile with a supply of 100 tons. The governor received a written assurance from Lieutenant Morris that the first confederate port he expected to make was Mobile, and that he had taken on board about 80 tons of coal, more or less. The United States produce what purports to be a voucher for 135 tons of coal supplied to the Florida on this occasion. If this voucher is correct, Her Majesty’s government can only say that not only did Lieutenant Morris deceive the [Page 356] governor, but that the Florida took on board more coal than, according to the estimate of the British officers, she had room to carry. The simple fact is, that the governor, who had recourse to the advice of the admiral on the station, conscientiously endeavored to enforce the regulations.1

The Florida left Bermuda, as has been said, on the 27th of June. Five days afterward she re-appeared, for the alleged purpose of giving up two British soldiers, deserters, who had been found on board, and an endeavor was made by her commander to obtain more coal to replenish the amount he had consumed, said to be 15 tons. This was peremptorily refused, and the barge containing the coals was brought back, though not, it is believed, until Lieutenant Morris, who had begun coaling without permission, had succeeded in shipping about 7½ tons. The Florida then left, and did not again visit a British port.1

the chickamauga at bermuda.

The Chickamauga at Bermuda. The other confederate cruiser, whose treatment at Bermuda forms a subject of complaint on the part of the United States, is the Chickamauga. Of this vessel it is said that “on the 8th of November she was allowed to come into the harbor, and permission was given for a stay of five days for repairs, and also to take on board 25 tons of coal, though she had at that time 100 tons in her bunkers;” that “she actually staid seven days and took on board 82 tons.”2 The authority given for this is an extract from a manuscript diary of a midshipman on board the vessel; but the quotation is incorrect, for the amount stated in the diary is not 82 but 72 tons.3 Her Majesty’s government may remark that the evidence derived from a midshipman’s journal can hardly be regarded as of much value. It has been seen elsewhere that the passages in the published journal of an officer of the Shenandoah, quoted or referred to by the United States, were inaccurate in matters relating to that vessel, of which he had no absolute personal knowledge, and this seems to be the case in the present instance.

[115] The Chickamauga arrived at Bermuda on Monday, the 7th November, 1864, and her commander asked permission to coal and repair machinery. Two officers of the British navy were sent on board to report what repairs were required, the quantity of coal in the vessel, and the additional quantity, if any, which would be required to enable her to *reach the nearest port of the Confederate States. These officers reported on Wednesday, the 9th of November, that the repairs necessary to render the vessel fit for sea would take four or five days to complete; that she had about 75 tons on board; that her daily consumption was 25 tons, and that they considered 25 tons more would enable her to reach the nearest confederate port.4 Permission was, therefore, given to her commander to take the vessel in St. George’s Harbor, to remain there till Tuesday, the 15th instant, (that is to say, for a space of about five working days,) and to take on board 25 tons of coal. The commander objected that the quantity of coal allowed was insufficient, and asked for permission to take in 25 tons more, but this was refused.5 Orders were given to the revenue officer in charge to take care that the specified amount was not exceeded, and the tribunal will find in the [Page 357] appendix the affidavit of the officer placed on board for this purpose on the night when the Chickamauga was coaling, in which it is positively affirmed that she did not receive more than 25 tons on that occasion, and a conviction is expressed that she did not get more at Bermuda.1 Other concurrent testimony is also given; but it appears that the harbor was at the time crowded with shipping, and at this distance of time it is not possible absolutely to prove that by some illicit means the Chickamauga may not have succeeded in obtaining an extra supply. Her Majesty’s government maintains, however, that on this occasion, (as was observed by Earl Russell with regard to the previous visit of the Florida,) “although some disposition was manifested to evade the stringency of Her Majesty’s regulations, the most commendable strictness and diligence in enforcing those regulations was observed on the part of the authorities.”2

Having thus noticed the visits of confederate cruisers to Bermuda, it is necessary to make some mention of the acts and the treatment of United States vessels of war at that colony. Admiral Wilkes arrived off the island on the evening of the 26th September, 1862, on board the Wachusett, accompanied by the gun-boats Sonoma and Tioga. The Wachusett and Tioga entered the harbor on the morning of Saturday the 27th, and requested permission to take on board about sixty tons of coal. Upon various pretexts the departure of these vessels was delayed until the 1st of October, when the Tioga left. An accident to the boiler of the Wachusett deferred her departure to the next day. The Sonoma, in the meanwhile, continued to cruise in the offing by day, and in the evening anchored close to the narrow entrance of the harbor, and this proceeding was persisted in, notwithstanding the governor’s remonstrances. Admiral Wilkes requested permission for the Sonoma to come into the harbor, for thirty-six hours, to repair; and this was granted. The Sonoma accordingly entered on the 1st of October, and proceeded to take in coal. It had not been understood that permission for that purpose was requested; the squadron, moreover, had left the United States but four days before their arrival at Bermuda, and the Sonoma’s supply of coal had been since expended in cruising off the harbor; yet she was allowed to renew her supply. The Tioga, in the meanwhile, took up the same position which the Sonoma had previously occupied outside the harbor, and these two vessels remained cruising off the port of St. George’s until the 12th of October. Contrary to the ordinary courtesy on such occasions, the commander of the Sonoma placed sentries on British territory on the wharf from which she was taking coals. The British minister at Washington was instructed to address a remonstrance to the Government of the United States upon the subject of Admiral Wilkes’s proceedings. Mr. Seward replied, stating that Admiral Wilkes’s conduct must have been misunderstood; that his reports gave abundant evidence of feelings altogether just and liberal toward the British authorities, and respectful and cordial toward the British government. He promised, however, an investigation into the circumstances, and he subsequently communicated to Lord Lyons, with the expression of a hope that it would prove satisfactory, a dispatch from Admiral Wilkes denying that he had given any cause of complaint. The amount of coal taken in by Admiral Wilkes’s squadron amounted to 239 tons.

United States vessels at Bermuda.
An allusion is made in a foot-note at page 324 of the Case of the United States to the failure of the United States vessels Keystone [Page 358] State and Quaker City to obtain coal at Bermuda in December, 1861. At that time there was no restriction on the coaling of belligerent vessels. All that happened was, that the British admiral declined to supply the two vessels mentioned from the government stores, not having: a sufficient stock for his own vessels. A similar answer had, in the foregoing October, been returned to the *commander of the Nashville, who had supplied himself from private sources, but this, on account either of the scarcity or the high price of coal in the colony, the United States officers did not do. Twelve other visits of United States vessels of war to Bermuda are recorded. Five of these vessels exceeded the twenty-four hours’limit of stay; three are stated to have refitted, two to have coaled. Among these was the Wachusett, which returned to the colony in May, 1853, and obtained permission to coal and repair.1 In the case of another vessel, the Mohican, which put in on her way from Philadelphia to the west coast of Africa, the governor not only granted an exceptionally large supply of coal, beyond the quantity authorized by the regulations, but promised the assistance of the government dock-yard official towards the completion of her repairs, and his conduct in so doing was approved by Her Majesty’s government.2

The quantity of coal taken by the Mohican seems slightly to have exceeded the amount named by her commander. He asked for permission to ship 100 tons, but is stated to have received 104. The difference is not material except to show that the most conscientious officer may chance to take a little more than the amount at which he has roughly estimated his requirements.

Her Majesty’s government thinks that enough has been said to convince the tribunal that, as regards the colony of Bermuda, no accusation of undue partiality toward the Confederate States can be fairly made.

the alabama at jamaica.

The Alabama at Jamaica. Of the visit of the Alabama to Jamaica there is little to be said. She arrived on the 20th of January, 1863, having recently engaged and sunk the United States ship of war Hatteras. Her need of repairs was obvious, as she had six shot-holes in her hull at the water-line. She was received as a vessel of war, as she had previously been at the French colony of Martinique, and she obtained permission to make repairs and take in coal. The repairs were completed on the 25th of January, on the evening of which day she went to sea. Seven vessels of the United States are recorded to have visited Jamaica during the civil war, remaining for periods of from three to ten days. Three of them received coal; the quantity supplied is unknown.3

the alabama, georgia, and tuscaloosa at the cape of good hope.

The Alabama, Georgia, and Tuscaloosa. Concerning the visits of the Alabama, the Georgia, and the Tuscaloosa to the Cape of Good Hope in August and September, 1863, every material particular has been placed before the arbitrators in the Case of Great Britain, nor is there anything on the subject in the Case of the United States which seems to call for a further, reply than will be found in the statement of facts thus given. The grounds have been stated on which it was considered by Her Majesty’s [Page 359] government that the governor and his legal advisers had been in error In determining that the Tuscaloosa must be regarded as a duly commissioned ship of war. An account has also been given of the seizure of that vessel, and of the orders which were given by the government for her release, on the special ground that, the vessel having been once allowed to enter and leave the port as a recognized ship of war, and no warning having been given to the officer in charge of her of any change of intention on the part of the authorities, he was fairly entitled to assume that she would be again received in the same character. The Tuscaloosa did not, however, return into the hands of the confederate government, but was eventually handed over at the end of the war to the United States consul at Cape Town.1

[117] Of the amount of coal supplied to the Georgia at the Cape of Good Hope there is no record. It would seem that 180 tons were forwarded to Simon’s Bay for the use of the Alabama on the 19th September, 1863. The Alabama proceeded to the Indian Ocean, and took in afresh supply (250 tons) at Singapore on the 23d December. She returned to the Cape of Good Hope on the 20th March, 1864, and it is stated in the Case of the United States that, on the 21st, she began taking on board fresh supplies of coal. The interval between the two supplies is thus made out to be two days less than three calendar months, and this is adduced as a “fresh violation of the duties of Great Britain as a *neutral.2 The authority given is a book entitled “My Adventures Afloat,’ published by Captain Semmes, the commander of the Alabama. One of the passages referred to is as follows, (p. 744:)

We entered Table Bay on the 20th of March, and on the next day (i. e., the 21st) we had the usual equinoctial gale. * * * The gale having moderated the next day, (i. e., the 22d,) lighters came alongside, and we began coaling. The Alabama at the Cape of Good Hope.

The Alabama did not, therefore, begin coaling at Table Bay on the 21st, but on the 22d of March, 1864.

Again, on referring to another hook published by Captain Semmes, “The Cruise of the Alabama and Sumter,” the following passage is found relative to the visit of the Alabama at Singapore, (p. 234:)

Tuesday, December 22.—At 9.30 a.m. the pilot came on hoard, and we ran up to the New Harbor alongside of the coaling-depot and commenced coaling.

And on referring to the passage of the “Adventures Afloat,” on the same subject, it will be found stated that the “coaling lasted ten hours.”3

It is proved, therefore, from the very authority quoted by the United States, that the Alabama had taken in her last supply of coal not on the 23d but on the 22d of .December, 1863, and that the specified period of three months had exactly elapsed before she began taking in a fresh supply. But if the dates had really been as alleged, the circumstance would have proved nothing against the colonial authorities, still less against Great Britain. The captain of the Alabama applied for permission to coal on the ground that he had last coaled at Singapore on or about the 21st of December. The governor and admiral could have had no means of checking the date to a single day, and the permission was granted on the faith of Captain Semmes’s statement. That statement was in every way consistent with probability, and with the facts as far as they were or could be known at Cape Town. It would surely be nothing less than ridiculous that an asserted “violation of [Page 360] the duties of Great Britain as a neutral” should be found to depend on a doubtful mistake of a single day, on the difference between lunar or calendar months, or on the fact that a particular February fell in leap year.

There are records, on the other hand, of eleven visits of United States men-of-war to the Gape of Good Hope, three of which received coal; but Her Majesty’s government will only call the attention of the tribunal to one of these, the Vanderbilt. This vessel obtained at the British colony of St. Helena on the 18th of August, 1863, 400 tons of coal. She arrived at Simon’s Bay, Cape of Good Hope, on the 3d of September, rather more than a fortnight afterward, and remained until the 11th, taking on board 1,000 tons of coal. She visited the British colony of Mauritius a fortnight later, on the 24th of the same month, and there remained till the 10th of October, shipping a fresh supply of 618 tons. On the 22d of that month, only twelve days after her departure from Mauritius, she re-appeared at Gape Town, and her commander applied for permission to remain five or six working days, for the purpose of making necessary repairs, and also to get a supply of fuel. The governor, as the captain reports, “took a day to decide,” and then replied, granting the permission for the Yanderbilt to remain in harbor, but stating that he did not think his instructions would admit of his giving permission to her to coal, especially as it was notorious that the three supplies so recently received had been expended in cruising.1 She thus committed in six weeks two apparently deliberate breaches of the regulations and attempted a third. The case of the Yanderbilt does not certainly show any hostile rigor on the part of the authorities at the British colonies which that vessel visited.


Her Majesty’s government has now, it is believed, examined all the instances brought forward in the Case of the United States to support the charge ofexcessive hospitalities” on the part of British authorities to confederate cruisers and of “discourtesies to vessels of war of the United States.” The examination has shown how groundless is that charge, and with how little reason it can be said that the rules laid down as to the treatment of belligerent vessels “were often utterly disregarded” in the case of confederate ships of war, and *“rigidly enforced against the United States.” A few words only require to complete the comparison. During the course of the civil war ten confederate cruisers visited British ports. The total number of such visits was twenty-five, eleven of which were made for the purpose of effecting repairs. Coal was taken in at sixteen of these visits, and on sixteen occasions the limit of stay fixed by the regulations was exceeded. In one of these cases, however, the excess was no more than two hours, and in another, the delay was enforced in order to allow twenty-four hours to elapse between the departure of a United States merchant-vessel and that of the confederate cruiser. On the other hand, the returns which have been procured of visits of United States vessels of war to ports of Great Britain and the colonies, though necessarily imperfect, show an aggregate total of 228 such visits. On thirteen of these, repairs were effected; on forty-five occasions supplies of coal were obtained; and the twenty-four hours’ limit of stay was forty-four times exceeded. The total amount of coal obtained by confederate [Page 361] cruisers in British ports during the whole course of the civil war, though it cannot be ascertained with accuracy, may be estimated to have amounted to about 2,800 tons. The aggregate amount similarly supplied to vessels of the United States cannot be estimated, from the want of data as to the supplies in many cases, but those cases only in which the quantities are recorded show a total of over 5,000 tons; and this notwithstanding the United States Navy had free access to their own coaling-depots, often close at hand. In one case noticed above, a vessel of war of the United States, the Vanderbilt, alone received 2,000 tons of coal at different British ports within the space of less than two months, being more than two-thirds of the whole amount obtained from first to last by confederate vessels.

It has been seen that of the three instances in which the United States assert that confederate vessels were allowed to coal in contravention of the rules of January 31, 1862, one alone, the coaling of the Florida at Barbados, can in any way be considered a departure from those rules, and that only in a limited sense.

Other instances of infractions of the rules by United States vessels are known to have occurred besides.that of the Yanderbilt. The case of the Tuscarora has already been alluded to. The Kearsarge, after receiving 91 tons or coal at Dover, on the 2d of August, 1864, coaled again at Barbados, on the 23d of October. The Sacramento took in 87½ tons at Cork between the 28th July and the 1st August, in that year. She obtained 25 tons more at Plymouth, on the 16th of August, and 30 tons more were sent out to her from Dover by the United States consul, in a vessel which left without clearance for the purpose, on the 23d of the same month. It was not thought necessary to take any notice of this occurrence at the time, but a regulation was afterward made to prevent such a practice being resorted to in the future for the purpose of evading the regulations. The United States vessel Wyoming made, use of the port of Hong-Kong in a similar manner, anchoring just outside of British waters, and obtaining coal and supplies in boats. This she did in February, 1863, and again in February, 1864. On the second occasion she is believed to have anchored within the British limits. She obtained 165 tons of coal, having heen supplied in the previous December with 120 tons at the British colony at Labuan; and this, although there was a depot for the United States at Macao. The Narraganset again is recorded to have coaled twice within three months at Esquimaux Point, in British Columbia—once on the 23d of November, 1863, the second time in January, 1864.1

Her Majesty’s government wishes to be understood as quoting these instances not in recrimination but in self-defense. There may not improbably have been, in some of these cases, reasons to excuse a departure from the strict letter of the regulations. All that is sought to prove is that those regulations were not enforced against the vessels of the United States in any invidious manner; that the officers of the United States Navy were treated with courtesy and leniency, even when, on some occasions, their conduct did not show any very scrupulous respect for the conditions on which the hospitality of British ports was extended to them; and that the facts by which the United States seek to prove a lax observance, to their disadvantage, of the duties of neutrality, might with more justice be invoked in support of a directly opposite conclusion.

[Page 362]

Her Majesty’s government will ask the tribunal to suppose the case reversed—that the vessels of the Confederate States had been allowed the indulgences which were shown to those of the United States, and that United States vessels had been subjected to precautions such as were often enforced against confederate cruisers. A moment’s reflection will show that, if complaints and claims are to be made on such grounds, the United States would have had much more reason to make them on such a supposition than they have under the circumstances as they really stand.

[119] *Her Majesty’s government regrets to have been compelled to lay before the tribunal in this section a number of details which have so slight a bearing on the questions referred to it, and many of which are so trivial in themselves. But it was due to the arbitrators, as well as to the United States, that this long series of accusations should not be left unanswered.

course pursued by other countries.

Course pursued by other countries. Before quitting this subject, it may be well to notice briefly the course which was pursued under similar circumstances by other governments, whose conduct the United States have placed in contrast with that of Great Britain, and against whom they declare that they have no serious cause of complaint.1

1. Holland. To instance, in the first place, the conduct of the Netherlands. The Sumter twice visited the ports of Dutch possessions in the East Indies within the space of six weeks; that of Saint Anne’s, Curagoa, on the 13th July, 1861; that of Paramaribo on the 19th August. On the first occasion she remained eight days in port; on the second, eleven days. In both instances she took in more than 100 tons of coal. At the British port of Trinidad the Sumter remained only six days and took in only 80 tons of coal. The United States Crovernment addressed, as Mr. Seward said, “very serious remonstrances” to the Netherlands government on the subject.2 The essence of those remonstrances was, that the Sumter was not merely a privateer, but a pirate. The Netherlands government, on the other hand, maintained that she was a ship of war. It decided, however, to issue orders that no armed vessel of either belligerent should be allowed to remain more than forty-eight hours in Dutch ports, or to take in more coal than would be sufficient for twenty-four hours’ consumption. Although the United States Government was expressly warned that this restriction must apply to vessels of their Navy, as well as to those of their opponents, the regulation was accepted as satisfactory, until applied to a United States ship, the Iroquois, which touched at Curaçoa in November, 1861. On learning the restrictions placed upon his visit, the commander of the Iroquois declined to enter the port upon such terms, and in this decision he was sustained by his Government, who called for a repeal of the obnoxious regulation. The Netherlands government, it appears, had already revoked the regulation, at the instance of the governor of Cura-goa, and they explained that no restrictions would in future be placed on the stay or supplies of American men-of-war in Dutch ports.3 The United States Government, however, were not satisfied. In February, 1862, Mr. Seward again directed the United States minister at The Hague to call attention to the “subject of the intrusion of piratical [Page 363] American vessels seeking shelter in the ports of the Netherlands and their colonies.”

If [he said] you cannot obtain a decree excluding them altogether, it is thought that the government will have no hesitation in restoring the restrictive policy which was adopted hy it under the representation of its foreign aifairs by Baron Van Zuylen.1

The Netherlands minister for foreign affairs replied, in a long and able note, in which he once more justified the attitude of his country, and declined to return to the former policy of restriction.

In this regard [he wrote] I permit myself to observe to you, that I could not understand how your government could desire the re-establishment of measures which actually were, and would again, be applicable to both parties, and which were at the time the cause why the Union ship Iroquois would not enter the port of Curacoa under the rule of the said restrictive measures. * * If the instructions given hefore the month of December, 1861, were now returned to, the government of the Netherlands might not only be taxed, with good reason, with trifling, but would hurt its own interests, as well as those of the Union, considering that the consequence of the said instructions would be, as has been remarked in the communication of Baron de Zuylen, dated October 29, 1861, that the vessels of war of the United States, also, could no longer be able to sojourn in the Netherland West Indian ports more than twice twenty-four hours, nor supply themselves with coal for a run of more than twenty-four hours.2

It is difficult to understand on what ground Great Britain is to be held liable for the acts of the Sumter, while the course pursued by Holland is considered to give the United States no serious cause of complaint. On looking for the reasons assigned, they are found to be as follows:

[120] *The government of the Netherlands forbade privateers to enter its ports, and warned the inhabitants of the Netherlands and the King’s subjects abroad not to accept letters of marque. The United, States have no knowledge that these orders were disobeyed.3

Her Majesty’s government are not aware that, among the numerous charges brought against Great Britain in the Case of the United States, it is anywhere alleged that a privateer of either party entered a British port, or that any British subject accepted a letter of marque during the war. It is indeed true that in official correspondence and in other documents and speeches during the war, it was the common practice of the Government and the citizens of the United States to apply to the confederate cruisers the denomination of “privateers” as well as that of “pirates;” but it is certain that none of these cruisers were privateers in the legal and only proper sense of that term.

2. Brazil. Let us now turn to the course adopted by Brazil. The Sumter, after leaving Paramaribo, touched at the port of San Juan de Maranham, where she remained ten days, and took in 100 tons of coal. The United States consul at that port addressed a protest to the governor, but the latter replied that the Sumter must be regarded as a belligerent vessel, and as such allowed to supply herself with coal. A long correspondence followed between the Brazilian government and the United States minister, who denounced the conduct of the president of the province of Maranham as “an unfriendly act toward the United States, and a gross breach of neutrality,”4 but the Brazilian government maintained that their officer had been right, that the Confederate States must be regarded as belligerents, and the Sumter as a ship of war. When, in June, 1862, after more than seven months’ discussion, the Marquis d’Abrantes, who had recently become Brazilian minister for foreign affairs, wrote to terminate the controversy, [Page 364] and observed that nothing had resulted to alter the relations of friendship and good understanding between the two countries, the United States minister at once replied in a note, of which he stated the sole object to be, “to point out that, so far from nothing having occurred to disturb the good feeling upon which are based the friendly relations between the United States and Brazil, the whole course of your predecessor in relation to the visits of the pirate Sumter to Maranham, and the present attitude of Brazil toward the piratical vessels belonging to the rebel States and to our own national vessels, is considered by the Government of Washington untenable, unjust, and intolerable.” In a dispatch which had already been communicated to the Brazilian government, Mr. Seward had urged that further restrictions should be placed on the stay of confederate cruisers in Brazilian ports. The passage to this effect, which the United States minister again brought to the notice of the Brazilian government, was as follows:

In the mean time it is proper to remark that every maritime power which has recognized the insurgents as a beUigerent, except Brazil, has, on the other hand, adopted stringent means to prevent the entrance of piratical vessels into their harbors, except in distress, and has forbidden them remaining there more than twenty-four hours, or receiving supplies which would enable them to renew depredations upon our commerce.

The United States do not say that such measures on the part of Brazil would be satisfactory, nor can they consent to ask Brazil for less than the absolute exclusion of pirates from her harbors. Yet such measures, if adopted, would bring Brazil upon the same ground in relation to the United States which is occupied by other maritime powers, and thus would mitigate the discontent which you are authorized to express.1

With this request the government of Brazil did not think fit to comply. The regulations issued by it in August, 1861, did not restrict the stay of belligerent vessels in Brazilian ports, unless they came in with prizes. The regulations also permitted the taking in of victuals and naval provisions, indispensable for the continuation of the voyage, without placing any specific limit on such provisions, or fixing any period within which a fresh supply should not be granted. The Brazilian minister for foreign affairs called the attention of the United States minister to the principles of neutrality laid down in these regulations as “being perfectly identical with those which are adopted and followed by other maritime powers.”2

[121] In April and May, 1863, the Florida, Georgia, and Alabama visited different ports of Brazil, and remained there for some time coaling and repairing. The Alabama, having made captures within the territorial waters of Brazil, in the neighborhood of the island of Fernando de Noronha, was ordered by the president of Pernambuco, on the 27th of April, to put to sea within twenty-four hours, and left accordingly. She re-appeared, however, in *the harbor of Bahia on the 11th of May, and remained there fourteen days. These proceedings gave rise to further remonstrances on the part of the United States minister, who protested against any of the three vessels being admitted into Brazilian ports, and maintained that the Alabama should have been seized and detained at Bahia. The Brazilian government replied that the course pursued toward these vessels had been right; that they must be received on the same terms as cruisers of the United States; and that the president of Bahia could not do otherwise than receive the Alabama in that port in the absence of positive evidence of her having infringed the neutrality of Brazil. This, it was stated, was not forthcoming at the time, the investigation of the subject being still in progress.

[Page 365]

Instructions were, however, issued by the government of Brazil, in June, 1863, defining the construction to be placed on the regulations of August, 1861, and the precautions to be taken for their observance. With regard to the limitation of supplies to such as were necessary for the continuation of the voyage, it was stated that this provision presupposed that the vessel was bound for some port. Such presupposition would not hold good if the same vessel should seek to enter a port repeatedly, or if, after having procured supplies in one port, she should enter another immediately afterward under the same pretext, except im the case of overruling necessity. Any vessel committing a violation of neutrality was to be at once compelled to leave the waters of Brazil and the Alabama, having been guilty of acts of this nature, was not again to be received in any port of the empire.

The Florida, against which no such breach of neutrality had been charged, returned to Brazil in August, 1864, and at Bahia was again, received as a vessel of war.

It will be seen, then, that the principles on which the regulations of the Brazilian government were framed were the same in substance as those applied by Great Britain. It was considered that confederate vessels must be received on the same footing as those of the United States; that they must be allowed the supplies necessary for the voyage on which they were engaged; that the seizure or detention of such a vessel would be a breach of neutrality; and that, to justify even her dismissal from a Brazilian port, evidence of a violation of Brazilian neutrality committed by her as a belligerent vessel must first be obtained.

On these conditions the Sumter, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama,, were admitted to Brazilian ports. The last-named vessel having captured and burnt prizes within the waters of Brazil, instructions were issued to exclude her for the future. A similar prohibition was issued against the Shenandoah, not from any doubt as to her status as a ship of war, but on the ground that her commander had violated the seal of the Brazilian consulate. In neither case, however, did any occasion occur for enforcing the prohibition, as the Alabama did not return to the coast of Brazil after she left Bahia, nor did the Shenandoah ever visit a Brazilian port.

3. Russia. “The Eussian government,” it is said by the United States, “ordered that even the flag of men-of-war belonging to the seceded States must not be saluted.”1

Her Majesty’s government itself issued similar orders addressed to all governors of British colonies.2 These orders were as follows:


Downing Street, January 11, 1864.

Sir: Her Majesty’s government have had occasion to consider whether salutes can properly be exchanged between the forts in Her Majesty’s colonies and vessels of war of the Confederate States.

I have to instruct you that, in case the commander of any such vessel should offer you a salute, it will be your duty to decline it; and that if the salute should be fired without having heen previously offered, it should not be returned.

In each case the commander of the vessel should be informed that the reason for declining to receive or return such salutes is, that the Confederate States have not been acknowledged by this country otherwise than as belligerents.

I have, &c.,



[Page 366]

The incident which gave occasion to this is stated in the Oase of Great Britain, page 70.

4. France.
The French authorities received the Sumter, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia in French ports on the footing of men-of-war, and allowed them to take in supplies of coals and provisions. The Florida and Georgia were allowed to remain several months at Brest and Cherbourg repairing. When the United States minister at Paris protested against the Florida receiving repairs of her machinery, on the ground that she was a good *sailer, M. Drouyn de Lhuys replied that “if she were deprived of her machinery she would be pro tanto disabled, crippled, and liable, like a duck with its wings cut, to be at once caught by the United States steamers. He said it would be no fair answer to say the duck had legs, and could walk or swim.1 He further justified the permission given to her to repair in a government dock, there being no commercial dock at Brest. The Florida having discharged seventy or seventy-five men after she came into Brest, the French government decided not to issue any order prohibiting an accession to her crew while in port, inasmuch as such accession was necessary to her navigation.2

The Rappahannock. Attention has been called in the Case of the United States to the treatment of the Bappahannock at Calais, as forming a contrast to the reception of confederate vessels in British ports.3 This vessel, an old dispatch-boat, originally called the Victor, had been sold out of the British Navy as worn out and unserviceable. She appears to have passed from the hands of her purchasers into those of agents of the Confederate States, who, fearing discovery, hurriedly carried her off in a condition unfit for sea, and took her into the harbor of Calais as a confederate ship of war, though neither equipped, manned, nor armed. The United States minister at Paris urged that this was an exceptional case, and such in fact it was. Writing to M. Drouyn de Lhuys on the 4th December, 1863, he said:

It is quite evident that this vessel occupies a position which differs from either the Florida or Georgia. She has left her port on the other side of the channel voluntarily, without papers, and ran directly across to a neighboring port, within which she hopes to he protected until her equipment is completed, and her officers and crew ready. On this statement of facts no argument is necessary to show that permission from the French authorities to carry out her purpose would be a violation of neutrality.4

The French government replied that the Bappahannock appeared to have been compelled, by unforeseen circumstances, to take refuge in French waters; that she could not therefore be refused an asylum, but that the facilities accorded to her would be limited strictly to what was required for the equipment and seaworthiness of an ordinary vessel of commerce. The United States minister continued to urge the exceptional nature of the case, and, in deference to his representations, special precautions were taken to prevent any warlike equipment of the vessel. It was decided that she should not be allowed to depart without first obtaining permission, and, in order to guard against any attempt of such a kind, a gun-boat was stationed to watch her. The repairs were proceeded with, and changes were made among the crew, without adding to their number, for some time. Subsequently, however, it was discovered that her crew had been nearly doubled, and the permission for her [Page 367] departure was on this account provisionally refused. As she had been quite unfitted for war on her arrival, these measures rendered her prac tically useless for the confederate service, and her officers determined to abandon the attempt to employ her, and to leave her in the port of Calais.1

The Stonewall.
Attention has also been called to the case of the confederate steam-ram Stonewall. That Vessel was one of six ships built for the confederate government in France under a contract with Captain Bullock, to be paid for out of the proceeds of the confederate loan issued through the agency of Messrs. Erlanger in Paris. According to French law, the permission of the government is required before vessels constructed in French ports can be armed for war, and this permission M. Annan, the builder of the vessels, had procured, on the pretext that they were intended for employment in the China seas. When the United States minister laid evidence before the French government of the real purpose for which these vessels were designed, the authorization to arm them was withdrawn, and an assurance was given that they should not be allowed to pass into the hands of the confederate government. M. Arman was, however, allowed to proceed with the construction of them, and they were eventually disposed of to different neutral governments. One of them was sold conditionally to the Banish government, but rejected by the officer appointed by that government to inspect her at Bordeaux, as not coming within the terms of the contract. Permission was obtained to send her to Copenhagen, from whence, the Danish Government having confirmed the decision of their officer, she returned to the French coast, shipped a crew, arms, and a supply of coal at the small island of Houat, off St. Nazaire, and proceeded on her voyage as the confederate steamer Olinde or Stonewall. The United States minister at Paris thought, probably with justice, *that there were grounds for believing that the intention of using her for the confederate service had been formed before she left France, and that the sending her to Copenhagan was a mere pretext; and the French government ordered an investigation into the circumstances 5 but it expressly disclaimed any responsibility for what had occurred, and declined to interfere to procure the detention of the Stonewall in the Spanish port of Ferrol, to which she had proceeded.

5. Spain and Portugal. The Stonewall arrived at Corunna on the 3d of February, 1865, from whence she removed to the neighboring port of Ferrol. In January, 1862, when the Sumter arrived in the port of Cadiz, the Spanish government had decided that she must be allowed to make such repairs as were absolutely necessary, and had for that purpose allowed her to be placed in a government dock for two days, notwithstanding the protest of the United States minister. The government came to a similar conclusion in the case of the Stonewall, and she remained at Ferrol refitting for sea till the 24th of March.

The government of Her Majesty [wrote M. Benavides] could not disregard the voice of humanity in perfect harmony with the laws of neutrality, and does not think they are violated hy allowing a vessel only the repairs strictly necessary to navigate without endangering the Uves of the crew.2

The United States war steamers Niagara and Sacramento had in the meanwhile arrived at Corunna, from whence they kept watch on her movements. From Ferrol they followed her to Lisbon, the commander of the Niagara considering the Stonewall too formidable to cope with at sea in calm weather.3

[Page 368]

At Lisbon the Portuguese government allowed her to remain twenty-four hours and take in a supply of coal. On this latter point, the foreign minister of Portugal observed, in reply to the representations of the United States minister—

“Regarding the supply of coal, against which you insist, allow me to observe that the vessel being a steamer, His Majesty’s government could not avoid with good foundation that she should he provided with that article, for the same reason that it could not deny to any sailing-vessel in a dismantled state to provide itself with sails.1

The Stonewall next proceeded to the Spanish island of Teneriffe, and from thence to Havana, where she arrived on the 11th of May, and where, at the close of the civil war, she was surrendered to the Spanish authorities by her commander on the payment of $16,000. By the Spanish government she was handed over to that of the United States. The latter repaid the sum expended in obtaining possession of her.

In the conduct of other powers, when compared with that of Great Britain, there is certainly nothing to justify the United States in preferring claims against the latter for undue partiality to confederate cruisers, while at the same time disavowing any ground of complaint against the former. It may suit the United States to give this assurance for the purposes of the present arbitration, but no such assurance can be given for the future. If the charge, against Great Britain is to he held valid in the present instance, it is impossible to say what line of conduct, however scrupulous, however courteous, will protect a neutral power from demands for compensation from one or the other, or even from both, of two belligerent parties.

  1. Appendix to Case of the United States, vol. i, p. 344.
  2. Executive Documents, 1861–’62, No. 104, p. 70
  3. Appendix to British Case, vol. i, p. 114.
  4. Appendix to British Case, vol. ii, pp. 124, 125.
  5. Executive Documents, 1861–’62, No. 104, p. 38.
  6. Vol. vi, p. 59.
  7. Page 316.
  8. Appendix to British Case, vol. ii, pp. 19, 23, 25, 29.
  9. Ibid., p. 41.
  10. Ibid., p. 57.
  11. Ibid., p. 125.
  12. Appendix to Case of the United States, vol. i, p. 714.
  13. Page 228.
  14. See return of visits of United States vessels to British colonies, Appendix to British Case, vol. v, p. 224.
  15. See return of visits of United States vessels to British colonies, Appendix to British Case, vol. v, p. 224.
  16. Appendix to British Case, vol. i, p. 79. Appendix to Case of the United States, vol. vi, p. 98.
  17. Appendix to British Case, vol. i, p. 360.
  18. Appendix to British Case, vol. v, pp. 21, 196. The regulation prohibiting the entry of belligerent vessels into British ports for the purpose of being dismantled and sold was only issued in September, 1864, more than a year afterward. (See Appendix to British Case, vol. i, p. 467.)
  19. Appendix to British Case, vol. i, p. 78.
  20. Ibid., vol. v, pp.31, 32.
  21. Appendix to British Case, vol. i, p. 79. See also extract from Bahama Herald, Appendix to Case of the United States, vol. vi, p. 334.
  22. See report of British naval officers at Bermuda, Appendix to British Case, vol. v, p. 11.
  23. Case of the United States, p. 352.
  24. Appendix to British Case, vol. i, p. 92.
  25. Ibid., vol. i, p. 102.
  26. Case of the United States, p. 356. Appendix to same, vol. vi, p. 345.
  27. Appendix to British Case, vol. v, p. 1.
  28. Ibid., vol. i. pp. 108, 109.
  29. Ibid., vol. v. pp. 5. 13.
  30. Appendix to British Case, vol. i. p. 108; vol. v, p. 129.
  31. Ibid., vol. i, p. 131.
  32. Appendix to British Case, vol. i. p. 133; vol. v, p. 4, 9–12.
  33. Appendix to British Case, vol. i. p. 133; vol. v, p. 4, 9–12.
  34. Case of the United States, p. 415
  35. Appendix to Case of United States, vol. vi, p. 726.
  36. Appendix to British Case, vol. v, pp. 135, 136.
  37. Ibid., pp. 137, 138.
  38. Appendix to British Case, vol. v, p. 139.
  39. Appendix to Case of the United States, vol. vi, p. 368.
  40. Appendix to British Case, vol. v, p. 226.
  41. Ibid., p. 32.
  42. Ibid., p.231.
  43. British Case, p. 115.
  44. Case of the United States, pp. 316, 386.
  45. Page 715.
  46. Appendix to Case of the United States, vol. vi, pp. 145, 146.
  47. See Return of visits of United States vessels to British ports. Appendix to British Case, vol. v, pp. 228, 233, 234.
  48. Case of the United States, p. 462.
  49. Ibid., p. 463.
  50. Appendix to British Case, vol. vi, pp. 91, 94.
  51. Appendix to British Case, vol. vi, p. 95.
  52. Ibid., p. 29.
  53. Case of the United States, p. 463.
  54. Appendix to British Case, vol. vi, p. 67.
  55. Appendix to British Case, vol. vi, p. 40.
  56. Ibid., p. 42.
  57. Case of the United States, p. 464.
  58. Appendix to British Case, vol. v, p. 129.
  59. British Case, p. 71.
  60. Appendix to British Case, vol. vi. p. 136.
  61. Case of the United States, pp. 292. 293.
  62. Papers relating to Foreign Affairs. 1863–64. vol. iii. pp. 4, 19, 21, 23, 235, 41, 44, 51, 53, 57, 81.
  63. Appendix to British Case, vol. ii, p. 671.
  64. Paners relating to Foreign Affairs, 1865–’66, part ii, p. 524.
  65. Ibid., p. 521.
  66. Papers relating to Foreign Affairs, 1865–’66, part iii,, p. 113.