Mr. Blaine to Mr.
Sir: I inclose a copy of a letter adressed by Mr.
Samuel C. Reid to the President, urging that the Government of Portugal may
be requested to present to the Government of the United States the cannon
known as “Long Tom,” formerly part of the armament of the American
private-armed brig General Armstrong, and now in the
castle of San Juan, at Fayal.
Owing to the interesting association connected with the vessel mentioned, it
is desired that the gun should be deposited in this city.
You may unofficially intimate to the Portuguese minister of foreign affairs
that the presentation of this gun to our Government would be highly
appreciated by the President; and if the Portuguese Government shall be
favorably disposed, you may be able, while on your tour of inspection of the
consulates, to arrange for its transportation to the United States.
I am, etc.,
[Inclosure in No. 48.]
Mr. Reid to the
602 Fifth Street, N. W., Washington, D.
. (Received September 24.)
Dear Sir: The cannon known as “Long Tom,” a
42-pounder of the late United States private-armed brig of war General Armstrong, commanded by my father, Capt.
Samuel C. Reid, which was destroyed by a British squadron at Fayal, one
of the Azore Islands, in September, 1814, after a most heroic and
unexampled defense, is now in the castle of San Juan, at Fayal, which I
have of late visited.
In communicating with the military governor of Fayal in regard to the
removal of this cannon to the United States, he expressed the opinion
that if an official application was made by our Government there was no
doubt Portugal would courteously comply with the request.
Under these circumstances it is respectfully solicited that if such an
application should meet with your approval you will cause it to be
communicated to the Secretary of State, with the request that he will
signify to the Portuguese Government the earnest desire of the President
that this canon, now mounted in the castle of San Juan, at Fayal, be
returned to this Government as a matter of international courtesy and
manifestation of the cordial relations and friendship existing between
the two Governments.
As the result of this famous conflict proved of such great importance to
our country at large, and was the remote cause of saving the province of
Louisiana from British conquest, it would be a most fitting
commemoration of this last battle fought on the seas with England that
this relic of American prowess and heroism should be placed and
preserved in our national capital.
With great respect, etc.,