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of the 28th ultimo and its inclosures, respecting the case of the Shenandoah, I have now the honor to state to you that these papers contain the first evidence which has been submitted to her Majesty's government bearing on the alleged piracy of Captain Waddell, and on the alleged breach of the foreign enlistment act on the part of persons forming part of the crew of the Shenandoah, when she arrived at Liverpool.
With respect to the charge of piracy, Temple, who shipped on board the Sea King, according to his affidavit, as an ordinary seaman in the port of London, in October, 1864, certainly states that on some day of June last, Captain Waddell was told by the captain and crew of a vessel which he had captured, that General Lee had surrendered, and that the war was over. It does not appear that this statement of the captain and crew, if actually heard by Temple, was at the time confirmed by anything written or printed, such as newspapers, letters, &c., and the truth of Temple's statement may be greatly doubted from the entire silence of the protest of master of the William C. Nye, stated by Temple to have been afterward captured upon the same point. The William C. Nye, it is to be observed, as appears from the protest of which a copy was forwarded by you to Lord Russell, on the 21st of October last, was captured on the 26th of June. Captain Waddell continued to make prizes after this; but after the receipt of the next information, the date of which is not given, further than that it was before the 6th of July, Temple does not assert that any further prizes were made. The next date which he gives is the 2d of August, when Captain Waddell made further inquiries of the Barracouta, an English vessel, and upon receiving from her confirmation of the intelligence, determined to sail to England.
Her Majesty's government are advised that upon this evidence there would not be such a reasonable probability of obtaining a conviction on the charge of piracy as to warrant a prosecution. Temple's statement as to the first communication of the cessation of the war to Captain Waddell would probably be contradicted by witnesses on Captain Waddell's behalf; but even if it were uncontradicted, the jury might well doubt whether Captain Waddell really believed the information, of what he may reasonably have regarded as highly improbable, until it was subsequently confirmed, and if he did not believe it, the guilty knowledge necessary to his conviction would not be established.
With respect to the nationality of some of the crew of the Shenandoah, her Majesty's government think that the statements of Temple, although he does not show what means he has of knowing that any of the persons described as British subjects in his list are natural-born subjects of her Majesty, are such as to make further inquiries necessary. Endeavors will, therefore, be made to ascertain the present residence or whereabouts of those whom he describes to be British subjects, and to ascertain what further proof can be obtained on this subject. Mrs. Marshall cannot give evidence against her husband, but other evidence against him may possibly be obtained.
Prosecutions under the second section of the foreign-enlistment act will be instituted against any British subject, as to whom Temple's evidence can be confirmed by trustworthy testimony.
With respect to that part of your letter which refers to two eighteenpounder guns being mounted on the deck of the Shenandoah when she left England, her Majesty's government have to observe, that if this were true, it would be immaterial, inasmuch as you do not assert that either you or her Majesty's government had information of it; and further, that the total silence of all witnesses in the case of the Queen vs.
Corbett, who had been examined by the United States consul on the subject of these guns, throws some doubt, to say the least, on this part of Temple's story. Independently of which, it is clear that the general armament and equipment of the Shenandoah, with the necessary munitions of war, were provided by the Laurel, and there is nothing to render it probable that without such equipments, and in the state in which she left this country, the Shenandoah, even if she carried the two guns alleged, was in the condition of an armed vessel, capable of committing hostilities against the United States.
Among other statements in the deposition of Temple, which appear to require notice, are some relating to the conduct of the governor and officers of the government at Melbourne, in Victoria.
Copies of your letter and its inclosures have accordingly been sent to the Colonial Office for inquiry as to the conduct of the authorities at Melbourne, as well as to the Home Office, with a view to prosecutions being instituted under the foreign enlistment act, if sufficient evidence can be obtained to warrant proceedings being taken against any parties.
I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
CLARENDON. CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Adams to the Earl of Clarendon.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
. London, January 24, 1866. MY LORD: I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of your lordship's note of the 19th instant touching the evidence furnished in my letter of the 28th of December to certain facts connected with the cruise of the steamer Shenandoah. Whatever may be the weight attached to that evidence in a court of law, I have no reason to presume that, after the experience of preceding trials under the enlistment act, my government would desire to be understood as furnishing it in the expectation of such use. The present object is, if possible, to establish the truth, so far as it may be obtained from the best sources, and to place it on recoril in a permanent form. Fully believing that this may prove of eminent use to a comprehension of the precise nature of the obligations of neutral nations hereafter, I shall be happy to receive, myself, as well as furnish to your lordship, any further elucidation of the actual facts attending this extraordinary case that may appear, and that without any regard to the bearing which it may be supposed to have on any particular view of the questions thought to be involved. I pray your lordship to accept, &c., &c., &c.
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Right Hon, the EARL OF CLARENDON, &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward. No. 1145.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
London, February 1, 1866. SIR: In connection with my dispatch No. 1138, of the 26th of January, I now transmit a copy of Lord Clarendon's note of the 29th, in acknowledgment of mine of the 24th of the same month. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
The Earl of Clarendon to Mr. Adams.
FOREIGN OFFICE, January 29, 1866. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 24th instant, and in reply I beg to state that her Majesty's government will gladly co-operate with you in establishing the truth, not only as regards the Shenandoah, but in whatever may tend to render clear and practical the obligations of neutral nations. I have the honor to be, &c., &C.,
CLARENDON. CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 12, 1866. SIR: I inclose for your information a copy of a note of the 9th instant, which I addressed to Sir Frederick W. A. Bruce, relative to the contents of a note, a copy of which is also inclosed, of the 19th ultimo, upon the subject of the Shenandoah, from Lord Clarendon, who instructed Sir Frederick to communicate it to me. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES. FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., &c., &c., dc.
The Earl of Clarendon to Sir F. Bruce.
FOREIGN OFFICE, January 19, 1866. SIR: In my dispatch No. 68, of the 26th ultimo, I transmitted to you a copy of a dispatch addressed to Mr. Adams by Mr. Seward, and which had been communicated to me by the former, protesting against the course pursued by her Majesty's government with regard to the Shenanhoah.
Her Majesty's government have had this dispatch under their consideration in communication with the proper law advisers of the Crown, and I have now to state to you that it is impossible for her Majesty's government to avoid expressing their surprise and regret at the tone and style which throughout characterize it. The dispatch imputes to her Majesty's government in plain terms a determination to disregard 66 applications for justice” made by the United States government, and an intention to shelter from the punishment due to their offense persons known to be guilty of piracy.
Her Majesty's government think that, by not replying to this extraordinary and unfounded charge, they shall best consult their own dignity and exhibit their desire to maintain friendly relations with the government of the United States.
With respect to the proofs stated to have been furnished to her Majesty's government of the alleged guilty practices of the Shenandoah, and the statement as to the nationality of her crew, I have to make the following observations:
Mr. Seward, in his dispatch, while dwelling only upon the crime of piracy, which he assumes to have been committed by the commander and crew of the Shenandoah, says that the alleged offenders, when under the power of her Majesty's government, obtained their 6 discharge and unconditional enlargement upon two grounds: First, that her Majesty's government had in their possession no evidence to impeach a prevaricating plea of the commander; and, secondly, that none of those persons were subjects of Great Britain ; 6 whereas," he says, 6 upon evidence, which seems to this government entirely conclusive, all the offenders were either native subjects of the Queen, or had become, by some sufficient form of refuge or domiciliation, amenable equally with native subjects to the penal laws of the realm.”
Mr. Seward cannot be ignorant that her Majesty's government have
jects of Great Britain, as a reason for not prosecuting them for piracy. Foreigners guilty of piracy are as much amenable to the tribunals of this country as natural-born subjects. It was only with reference to a very different question, namely, whether any charge could be made under the foreign enlistment act, that the nationality of these persons was, or was ever alleged to be, material. That question of course depended
abroad or on the high seas of persons who had become, by any 66 form. of refuge or domiciliation," or otherwise, amenable to British laws while in this country, would not be an offense, unless they were “natural-born subjects of her Majesty."
Mr. Seward does not commit himself to the assertion that her Majesty's government were in possession of evidence to show that any of those persons who formed the crew of the Shenandoah when she arrived at Liverpool were natural-born British subjects; and, as a matter of fact, it is certain that her Majesty's government were not in possession of such evidence, nor could such a fact be presumed in the absence of evidence, against individuals coming to Liverpool on board a confederate ship of war, and not shown to have enlisted within her Majesty's dominions.
To return to the first ground, the only material one, as to the charge of piracy, upon which her Majesty's government is, and so far truly, said to have acted; whether Captain Waddell's statement was or was not open to the charge of prevarication brought against it by Mr. Seward, it was not in the power of her Majesty's government to detain any of those men without laying an information against them before a magistrate in the ordinary course of law, and supporting it by at least some prima facie evidence. The simple fact is, that there was no such evidence. But Mr. Seward says, (1) that every part of the unlawful transaction complained of had occurred either in British ports or on the decks of the Shenandoah, herself a British vessel; (2) that all these transactions had been fully made known to her Majesty's government; and (3) that any parties who could give the necessary testimony for the conviction
of the pirates were not only within British jurisdiction, but actually within custody of agents of her Majesty's government.
Each of these propositions must be separately examined. The first seems to her Majesty's government to imply that Mr. Seward's charge of piracy against the Shenandoah is not founded upon the alleged continuance of hostilities by Captain Waddell after he had received notice of the termination of the war, but that he designates as piracy all the captures made by that vessel during the whole course of the war, and endeavors to support that pretension by the allegation that she was throughout 5 a British vessel.” To this it is enough to say, that such a view is opposed either to universally acknowledged principles of law, or to notorious and indisputable facts: to universally acknowledged principles of law, if Mr. Seward means to contend that the commander and crew of a vessel commissioned as a public ship of war by a revolutionary government which has been recognized as a belligerent power by neutral nations, can be charged in a neutral country with piracy, merely for capturing and destroying the ships of the other belligerent; to notorious and indisputable facts if he means to deny that the Sea King was transferred and delivered by former British owners and commander to agents of the Confederate States, by whom she was purchased, in order that she might be employed and commissioned by and in the service
public ship of war, under the name of the Shenandoah, from a period antecedent to the first capture made by her down to the close of the war. It cannot be too distinctly understood that no charge of piracy could possibly be preferred or entertained against this vessel under these circumstances. by her Majesty's government, or in the courts of this country, unless it had been satisfactorily shown that this ship willfully continued to seize and destroyed United States vessels after she was apprised of the termination of the war. But there is a further answer to the allegation that the Shenandoah is to be regarded as having been, while making war upon the United States, “a British vessel.” When she arrived at Liverpool, Mr. Adams, on the 7th of November, 1865, requested her Majesty's government to take possession of her, “with a view to deliver her into the hands of his (the United States) government,” taking notice at the same time of the “belligerent character” which, (in the eyes of her Majesty's government,” she had possessed, though suggesting that there might be grounds for taking criminal proceedings against the persons on board, either because her 66 ravages" appeared to have been continued after her claim to a belligerent character had, at all events, ceased, or because several of those persons were 6 British subjects." Her Majesty's government having received from Captain Waddell the possession of this ship, surrendered by him expressly for the reasons alleged in his letter of the 6th of November, 1865, namely, that was all the property of government had reverted by the fortune of war to the government of the United States of North America, therefore this vessel, inasmuch as it was the property of the Confederate States, should accompany the other property already reverted," complied with Mr. Adams's request, and delivered up the ship to the agents of the United States government, at the same time sending Mr. Adams a copy of Captain Waddell's letter. Mr. Adams, in a letter dated the 14th of November, 1865, stated that the consul of the United States at Liverpool had taken charge of the vessel under his instructions, and added, what has unfortunately not been verified by the event, that
give great satisfaction to his government.