No. 182.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Bingham.

No. 183.]

Sir: Your dispatch No. 270, dated 22d of September last, with incisures, is received. It relates to an Italian subject, one of the crew of the “William Van Namee,” an American ship, who committed a murderous assault on the mate of the ship on the high seas. The Van Namee put into Yokohama with the prisoner in irons. Mr. Van Buren, the consul-general, inquires of you whether he as consul has jurisdiction of the case and can try the offender; and, if not, whether he shall send him to the United States for trial or turn him over to the Italian consul. [Page 349] You reply to Mr. Van Buren that the consul has not jurisdiction of the case, and that he has no authority to turn the prisoner over to the Italian consul; that the offender is amenable to the laws of the United States, and properly triable in the courts of the United States in the district into which he may be first brought.

The advice given by you to Mr. Van Buren is approved, it being in strict accordance with law, precedent, and the invariable ruling of the Department.

I am, &c.,