No. 718.
Mr. Sail to Mr. Davis.

No. 294.]

Sir: I have time only to transmit herewith by this steamer the inclosed official bulletin, just published, announcing the capture of the steamer Virginius, on the 31st October, ultimo, near the coast of Jamaica, and that a competent tribunal is now trying the prisoners, one hundred and sixty-five in number, whom it styles pirates.

I have just transmitted the Department the substance of the foregoing in a telegram, it appearing to me that the vessel must have been captured, if not in British at least in neutral waters, and that important international questions may arise therefrom.

I am, &c,


According to a telegram received from the general commanding the first division the steamer Tornado got sight of the steamer Virginius at half past 2 o’clock in the afternoon of the 31st of October last, and came up with her at 10 o’clock at night, near the coast of Jamaica. The following persons, who were on board of her, were taken prisoners: Bembeta, a brother of Cespedes, a son of Quesada, Jesus del Sol, and others, making a total of one hundred and sixty-five persons, some of them being prominent characters. In their flight they threw the horses overboard, and used a portion of their cargo as fuel for the steamer’s furnaces.

The proper tribunal is trying the piratical prisoners.

The above is published by order of his excellency for general information.

Brigadier-General of E. M.