File No. 763.72111V76/4
The British Ambassador ( Spring Rice ) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 2.]
Dear Mr. Secretary: With further reference to Mr. Polk’s informal letter of the 26th ultimo, respecting the statements made by the master of the steamship Vinland to the effect that he was followed by a British cruiser within American territorial waters, I have the honour to inform you that I have now received a short report from the British naval authorities with regard to this incident. A more detailed report is, I understand, being forwarded to me.
I am informed that the facts of the case are not as stated by the master of the Vinland. The Admiral adds that the British ships of war employed in the Atlantic have strict orders against the violation of American territorial waters and he has every reason to believe [Page 879] that these orders have been carefully observed. I will not fail to communicate to you the detailed report as soon as it is received.
I am [etc.]