No. 5.
Letter of Judge Soar in answer to Mr. Fish’s letter of June 3.

My Dear Sir: I received last evening your letter of the 3d instant, calling ray attention to an extract from a speech of Sir Stafford Northcote before the Exeter Chamber of Commerce, which you inclose. He says that the British Commissioners represented to their Government that they understood a promise to be given that these claims (for consequential damages) were not to be put forward by the United States.

I cannot, of course, undertake to say what any gentleman “understood;” nor does it appear by whom, or in what manner, or on what occasion Sir Stafford “understood” that the promise was given.

I can only say that I never made any such promise, either individually or in conjunction with others; that no such promise was ever made in my hearing or with my knowledge; that I never thought or suspected that any such promise existed, or was understood by any one. On the contrary, I always thought and expected that those claims, though incapable from their nature of computation, and from their magnitude incapable of compensation, were to be submitted to the Tribunal of Arbitration, and urged as a reason why a gross sum should be awarded, which should be an ample and liberal compensation for our losses by captures and burnings, without going into petty details.

Very respectfully and sincerely, yours,


Hon. Hamilton Fish.