File No. 763.72111V76/7
The British Ambassador ( Spring Rice ) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 14.]
Sir: With reference to my personal note of the 1st instant, I have the honour to inform you that a more detailed report has now been received with regard to the case of the steamship Vinland, the master of which stated that he had been chased by a British cruiser within the territorial waters of the United States.
The captain of the cruiser in question states that at 11 a. m. on Wednesday, November 10, while he was steaming NNE. at ten knots, with Barnegat Lighthouse abeam, distance five miles, a steamer was observed coming down ahead. At 11.10 a. m., when distant some three to four miles, she altered her course and steered in straight for the shore. The captain estimates that when she altered her course she was four miles from land.
Seeing that it would be impossible to stop her before she reached territorial waters the captain of the British cruiser turned his ship round and stopped outside Barnegat Buoy, hoisting the signal “What ship.” The Vinland replied only by hoisting Danish colours, proceeding down the coast well inside the three-mile limit.
The cruiser made no further signal, but followed the Vinland down the coast, keeping about six miles off. At 7 p. m., when off McCrie’s Shoal Buoy, Cape May, the captain of the cruiser received orders to return to his beat, and did so.
It is further reported that the cruiser was never within four and a half miles of the shore, nor within one mile of the Vinland. The cruiser was generally about three or four miles off the Vinland, and made no signals beyond that described above.
I have [etc.]