[307] *No. 3.—Case of the Rappahannock.
Mr. Dayton, United States minister, to M. Drouyn de Lhuys, minister of foreign affairs.

M. le Ministre: A ship called by her captain the Rappahannock, and purchased for the confederates of the South, has made her escape from the British port of Sheerness without papers, and run into the port of Calais. She claims, I am informed, that shje is driven in to repair her machinery, rigging, &c.

The facts as communicated to me are certain:

That she has been bought and fitted up by the confederates, to cruise against and destroy our commerce.
That, anticipating or fearing déténtion, she escaped in an unfinished condition from the port of Sheerness, England, and has come over to Calais to complété her equipment, &c.
That a number of young Americans (some twelve or fourteen, I think) have been awaiting at Calais the arrival of this vessel to go aboard of her as officers or crew, and that upon a signal from the vessel they made an attempt by a ruse to accomplish their purpose. This shows that the vessel did not come in as pretended, “en relache force.”
[308] Our consular agent writes me that it is quite evident the vessel left the English port suddenly and unexpectedly, with the mechanics employed on her yet on board; that considerable reparations and changes are yet to be made upon her; that her rigging is incomplete, and the ropes and pulleys are yet scattered over the decks. He informed me also that it is understood the captain had said that he had applied, or would apply, to the minister of marine for permission to take out and entirely repair her boilers.
I inclose likewise copies of two affidavits sent to me from the United States legation at London, proving that the vessel left the English port to go to Calaisthat she was then incomplété; that she waits at the port of Calais for her crew, and that she is, as her captain says, a confederate privateer.

It is quite evident that this vessel occupies a position which differs from either the Florida or the Georgia. She has left her port on the other side of the channel, voluntarily, without papers, and run directly across to a neighboring port, within which she hopes to be protected until her equipment is complétéd, and her officers and crew ready.

Oh 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.

[309] *May I beg the attention of your excellency, therefore, immediately to this question.

I have the honor to be, &c.,


His Excellency Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paris.