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steamer reported to be fitting out at Liverpool as a sonthern privateer, and inclosing copy of a letter from the United States consul at that port, reporting the result of his investigation into the matter, and requesting that immediate inquiries may be made respecting this vessel, and such steps taken in the matter as may be right and proper,
We report that, immediately on receipt of your lordships' reference, we forwarded the papers to our collector at Liverpool for his special inquiry and report, and we learn from his reply that the fitting out of the vessel has not escaped the notice of the officers of this revenue, but that as yet nothing has transpired concerning her which has appeared to demand a special report.
We are in formed that the officers have at all times free access to the building-yards of the Messrs. Laird, at Birkenhead, where the vessel is lying; and that there has been no attempt on the part of her builders to disguise what is most apparent, that she is intended for a ship of war; and one of the surveyors in the service of this revenue, who had been directed by the collector personally to inspect the vessel, has stated that the description of her in the communication of the United States consul is correct, with the exception that her engines are not constructed on the oscillating principle. Her thimensions are as follows: Length, 211 feet 6 inches; breadth, 31 feet 8 inches; depth, 17 feet 8 inches; and her gross tonnage, by the present rate of admeasurement, is 682.31 tons. The surveyor has further stated that she has several powder canisters on board, but, as yet, neither guns nor carriages, and that the current report in regard to the vessel is, that she has been built for a foreign government, which is not denied by the Messrs. Laird, with whom the surveyor has conferred; but they do not appear disposed to reply to any questions respecting the destination of the vessel after she leaves Liverpool. And the officers bave no other reliable source of information on that point; and having referred the matter to our solicitor, he has reported his opinion that, at present, there is not suflicient ground to warrant the detention of the vessel, or any interference on the part of this department, in which report we beg to express our concurrence. And, with reference to the statement of the United States consul, that the evidence ho has in regard to this vessel being intended for the so-called confederate government in the Southern States is entirely conclusive to his mind, we would observe that, inasinuch as the officers of customs of Liverpool would not be justified in taking any steps against the vessel unless sufficient evidence to warrant her detention should be laid before them, the proper course would be for the consul to submit such evidence as he
possesses to the collector at that port, who would thereupon take such measures as the • provisions of the foreign enlistment act would require. Without the production of inll and sufficient evidence to justify their proceedings, the seizing ofticers might
entail on themselves and on the government very serious consequences. 61] * We beg to add that the officers at Liverpool will keep a strict watch on the
Tessel, and that any further ivformation that may be obtained concerning her will be forthwith reported. (Signed)
THO, F. FREMANTLE.
GRENVILLE C. L. BERKELEY. COSTOJI-HOUSE, July 1, 1862.
A copy of the report of the commissioners of customs was, on the 4th July, 1862, transmitted by Earl Russell to Mr. Adams, inclosed in the following letter:1
Earl Russell to Wr. Adams.
FOREIGN OFFICE, July 4, 1862. SIK: With reference to my letter of the 25th ultimo, I have the honor to inclose a copy of a report from the commissioners of customs, respecting the vessel which you have been informed is being built at Liverpool for the government of the so-styled Confederate States, and in accordance therewith I would beg leave to suggest that you should instruct the United States consul at Liverpool to submit to the collector of custoins at that port such evidence as he may possess tending to show that his suspicions as to the destination of the vessel in question are well founded.
I am, &c.,
RUSSELL. Mr. Adams replied as follows:
Mr. Adams to Earl Russell.
London, July 7, 1862. MY LORD: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 4th instant, covering a copy of the report from the commissioners of customs respecting a
· Appendix, vol. i, p. 184.
vessel presumed by me to be in course of preparation at Liverpool to carry on liostile operations against the United States.
In accordance with your lordship's suggestion, I shall at once instruct the consul of the United States to submit to the collector of customs at that port such evidence as be possesses to show that the suspicions he entertains of the character of that vessel are well founded.
I pray, &c.,
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS,
On the 10th July, 1862, the collector of customs at Liverpool received from Mr. Dudley the following letter: 1
The United States consul to the collector of customs, Lirerpool.
LIVERPOOL, July:9, 1862. Sir: In accordance with a suggestion of Earl Russell, in a communication to Jr. Adams, the American ininister in London, I beg to lay before you the information and circunstances which have come to my knowledge relative to the gun-boat now being fitted out by Messrs. Laird, at Birkenhead, for the confederates of the southern United States of America, and intended to be used as a privateer against the United States.
On my arrival, and taking charge of the consulate at Liverpool in November last, my attention was called by the acting consul and by other persons to two gun-boats being or to be fitted out for the so-called confederate government: the Oreto, fitted out by Mr. Miller and Messrs. Fawcett, Preston & Co., and the one now in question. Subsequent events fully proved the suspicion with regard to the Oreto to be well founded; she cleared from Liverpool in March last for Palerro and Jamaica, but sailed direct for Nassau, where she now is receiving her armament as a privateer for the socalled Confederate Government; and my attention was called repeatedly to the gunboat building by Mr. Laird, by various persons, who stated that she also was for a confederate privateer, and was being built by the Messrs. Lairds for that express purpose.
In May last two officers of the southern privateer Sunter, named Caddy and Bea1fort, passed throngh Liverpool on their way to Havana and Nassau, and while here stated that there was a gm-boat building by Mr. Laird, at Birkenhead, for the southern confederacy; and not long after that a foreman employed about the vessel in Mr. Laird's yard stated that she was the sister of the Oreto, and intended for the same service, and, when pressed for an explanation, further state that she was to be a privateer for the southern government in the United States.
When the vessel was tirst tried, Mr. Wellsman, one of the firm of Fraser, Trenholm & Co., (who are well known as agents for the confederate government,) Andrew and Thomas Byrne, and other persons, well known as having been for montlis actively engaged in sending munitions of war for said government, were present, and have accompanied her on her various trials, as they had accompanied the Oreto on her trial trip and on her departure.
In April last the southern screw-steamer Annie Childs, which had run the blockade out of Charleston, and the name of which was changed at this port to the Julia Usher, was laden with munitions of war, consisting of a large quantity of powder, ritled cannon, &c., by Messrs. Fraser, Trenlolm & Co., for the southern confederacy, and left
Liverpool to run the blockade under the command of a Captain *Hammer, anal [Ru] having on board several of the crew of the privateer Sumter, to which I lave
before referred. For some reason unknown this vessel came back and is now here. Since her return a youth wamed Robinson, who had gone in her as a passenger, has stated that the guboat building at Lairds' for the southern confederacy was a subject of frequent conversation among the officers while she (the Julia Usher) was out. That she was all the time spoken of as a confederate vessel; that Captain Bullock was to command ber; that the money for her was advanced by Fraser, Trenholm & Co.; that she was not to make any attempt to run the blockade, but would go at once as a privateer ; that she was to mount eleven guns; and that if the Julia Usher was not going, the six men from the Sumter. who were on board the Julia Usher, were to join the gunboat. This youth, being a pative of New Orleans, was extremely anxious to get taken on board the gun-boat, and wished the persons he made the communication to, to assist him and see Captain Bullock on liis behalf. He has. I understand, been removed to a school in London. With reference to his statement, I may observe that Captain Hammer referred to is a South Carolinian, has been for many years in Fraser, Trenholm & ('o.'s employ, is greatly trusted by them, and is also intimate with Captain Bullock, so that he would be likely to be well ivformed on the subject; and as lie had no notion
'Appendix, vol. I, p. 185.
at that time of returning to Liverpool, he would have no hesitation in speaking of the matter to his officers and the persons from the Sumter. I may also state that Captain Bullock referred to is in Liverpool : that he is an officer of the confederate navy; that he was sent over here for the express purpose of fitting out privateers and sending over munitions of war; that he transacts his business at the office of Fraser, Trenholm & Co.; that he has been all the time in communication with Fawcett, Preston & Co., who fitted out the Oreto, and with Lairds', who are fitting out this vessel ; that be goes almost daily on board the gun-boat, and seems to be recognized as in authority.
A Mr. Blair, of Paradise street, in this town, who furnished the cabins of the Laird gin-boat, bas also stated that all the fittings and furniture were selected by Captain Bullock, and were subject to his approval, although paid for by Mr. Laird.
The information on which I have formed an undonbting conviction that this vessel is being fitteil out for the so-called confederate government, and is intended to cruise against the commerce of the United States, has come to me from a variety of sources, and I have detailed it to you as far as practicable. I have given you the names of persons making the statements; but as the information in most cases is given to me by persons out of friendly feeling to the United States, and in strict confidence, I cannot state the names of my informants; but what I have stated is of such a character that little inquiry will contirm its truth.
Everything about the vessel shows her to be a war vessel ; she has well-constructed magazines ; she has a number of canisters, of a peculiar and expensive construction, for containing powder; she has platforms, already screwed to her decks, for the reception of swivel guns. Indeed, the fact that she is a war vessel is not denied by Messrs. Laird ; but they say she is for the Spanish government. This they stated on the 3d of April last, when General Burgoyne visited their yard, and was shown over it and the various vessels being built there by Messrs. John Laird, jr., and Henry H. Laird, as was fully reported in the papers at the time.
Seeing the statement, and having been already informed from so many respectable sources that she was for the so-called confederate government, I at once wrote to the minister in London to ascertain from the Spanish embassy whether the statement was true. The reply was a positive assurance that she was not for the Spanish government. I am therefore authorized in saying that what was stated on that occasion, as well as statements since made that she is for the Spanish government, are untrue.
I ain satisfied beyond a doubt that she is for a confederate war vessel.
If you desire auy personal explanation or information, I shall be happy to attend you whenever you may request it.
I am, &c.,
THOMAS H. DUDLEY. The statement in the above letter that the Florida was receiving armament at Nassau was erroneous. The Florida, as has been already shown, did not receive any armament at Nassau.
To this letter the collector replied as follows:
The collector of customs, Lirerpool, to the United States consul.
LIVERPOOL, July 10, 1862. Sir: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of yesterday's date, received this morning,) and acquaint you that I shall immediately submit the same for the consideration and direction of the board of customs, under whom I have the honor to serve. I may observe, however, that I am respectfully of opinion the statement made by you is not such as conld be acted upon by the officers of this revenue, ulles legally substantiated by evidence.
I have, &c.,
S. PRICE EDWARDS. A copy of Mr. Dudley's letter of the 9th July was on the 10th July transmitted by the collector to the commissioners of customs, together with the following report from the surveyor of customs:?
SURVEYOR'S OFFICE, July 10, 1862. Sir: I beg to report that, agreeably with your directions, I have this day inspected the steamer lying at the building-yard of the Messrs. Laird, at Birkenhead, and find Appendix, vol. i, p. 185.
2 Ibid., p. 185. H. Es. 282–3
the confolerate government, to act against the United States, under a commission from Mr. Jefferson Davis. Three of the crew are, I believe, engineers; and there are also some firemen on board.
8. Captain Butcher and another gentleman bave been on board thic ship almost every day. It is reported on board the ship that Captain Butcher is to be the sailing-master, and that the other gentleman, whose name I believe is Bullock, is to be the fighting captain.
9. To the best of my information and belief, the above-mentioned vessel, which I have heard is to be called the Florida, is being equipped anıl fitted out in order that she may be employed in the service of the confederate government in America, to cruise and to commit hostilities against the Government and people of the United States of America. (Signed)
WILLIAM PASSMORE. Sworn before me at the custom-honse, Liverpool, this 21st day of July, 1862. (Signed)
S. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector. 2.
I, Johın de Costa, of No. 8 Waterloo Road, Liverpool, shipping-master, make oath and say as follows:
1. I know, and have for several monthis known, buy sight, Captain Bullock, who is very generally known in Liverpool as an agent or commissioner of the Confederate
States in America.  *2. In the month of March last I saw the screw-steamer Annie Childs, which
had run the blockade from Charleston, enter the river Mersey. She came up the Mersey with the confederate flag flying at her peak; and I saw the Oreto, a new gun-boat which had been recently built by Messrs. W. C. Miller & Sons, and which was then lying at anchor in the river off Egremont, dip her colors three times in acknowledgment of the Annie Childs, which vessel returned the compliment, and a boat was immediately afterward dispatched from the Annie Childs to the Oreto, with several persons on board, besides the men who were at the oars.
3. On the 22d day of March last I was on the north landing stage between 7 and 8 o'clock in the morning; I saw the said Captain Bullock go on board a tender, which afterward took him off to the said gun-boat Oreto, which was then lying in the Sloyne. Just before he got on board the tender he shook hands with a gentleman who was with him, and said to him, " This day six weeks you will get a letter from me from Charleston," or words to that effect.
4. On the same day, between 11 and 12 o'clock, as well as I can remember, I saw the Oreto go to sea. She came well in on the Liverpool side of the river, and from the Princess Pier head, where I was standing, I distinctly saw the said Captain Bullock on board her, with a person who had been previously pointed out to me by a fireman who came to Liverpool in the Annie Childs as a Charleston pilot, who had come over in the Annie Childs with Captain Bullock to take the gun-boat ont. (Signed)
JOHN DE COSTA, Sworn before me at the custom-honse, Liverpool, this 21st day of July, 1862. (Signed)
S. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector.
1, Allen Stanley Clare, of Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, articled clerk, mate oath and say as follows:
1. On the 21st day of July, now instant, I examined the book at the Birkenhead dockmaster's office, at Birkenhead, containing a list of all vessels which enter the Birkenhead docks; and I found in such book an entry of a vessel described as No. 290, and from the entries in the said book, in reference to such vessel, it appears that she is a screw steamer, and that her registered tonnage is 500 tons, and that Matthew J. Butcher is her master. (Signed)
ALLEN S. CLARE. Sworn before mie, at the custom-house, Liverpool, this 21st day of July, 18*2. (Signed)
S. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector. 4.
We, llenry Wilding, of Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, gentlemani, aud Matthew Maguire, of Liverpool, aforesaid, agent, make oath and say as follows:
1. I, the said Matthew Maguire, for myself, say that on the 15th day of July, now instant, I took Richard Brogan, whom I know to be an apprentice working in the shipbuilding yard of Messrs. Laird & Co., at Birkenhead, to the above-named deponent, Henry Wilding, at his residence at New Brighton.
2. And I, the said Henry Wilding, for myself, say as follows: I am the vice-consul of the United States of North America at Liverpool.
3. On the 15th day of July, now instant, I saw the said Richard Brogan and examined him in reference to a gin-boat which I had heard was being bnilt by the said Messrs. Laird & Co. for the so-called confederate government, and the said Richard Brogan then informed me that the said vessel was built to carry four guns on each side and four swivel gins; that Captain Bullock had at one time, when the vessel was in progress, come to the yard almost every day to select the timber to be used for the vessel. That the said Captain Bullock was to be the captain of the said vessel; and that the said Captain Bullock had asked the said Richard Brogan to go as carpenter's mate in the said vessel for three years, which the said Richard Brogan had declined to tho, because Mr. Laird, who was present at the time, would not guarantee his wages. That the said vessel was to carry 120 men, and that 30 able seamen were already entayed for her. That the petty ollicers for the said vessel were to be engaged for three years, and the seamen for five months. That the said vessel was then at the end of the new warehouses in the Birkenhead dock, and that it was understood she was to take her guns on board at Messrs. Laird & Co.'s shed, further up the dock; and that it was generally understood by the men in Messrs. Laird & Co.'s yard that the said vessel was being built for the confederate government.
4. The vessel above mentioned is the same which is now known as No. 290, and I verily believe that the said vessel is in fact intended to be used as a privateer or vessel of war, under a commission from the so-called confederate government, against the l'nited States Government. (Signed)
MATTHEW MAGUIRE. Sworn before me at the custon-house, Liverpool, this 21st day
of July, 1862. (Signed)
S. PRICE EDWARDS, Collector. 5.
I, Thomas Haines Dudley, of No. 3 Wellesley Terrace, Prince's Park, in the borough of Liverpooi, in the county of Lancaster, esq., being one of the people called Quakers,
attirm and say as follows: (89) *I am the consul of the United States of North America for the port of Liver
pool and its dependencies. 2. In the month of July, in the year 1861, information was sent by the United States Government to the United States consul at Liverpool, that a Mr. James D. Bullock, of Savannah, in the State of Georgia, who was formerly the master of an American steamer called the Cahawba, was reported to have left the United States for England, taking with him a credit for a large sum of money, to be employed in fitting out privateers, and also several commissions issued by the Southern Confederate States for such privateers, and in the month of August, in the year 1861, information was sent by the United States Government to the United States consulate at Liverpool that the said Captain Bullock was then residing near Liverpool and acting as the agent of the said Confederate States in Liverpool and London.
3. In accordance with instructions received from the Government of the l’nited States, neps have been taken to obtain information as to the proceedings and movemeuts of ibe said James D. Bullock, and I have ascertained the following circumstances, all of which I verily believe to be true, viz, that the said James D. Bullock is in constant communication with parties in Liverpool who are known to be connected with and acting for the parties who have assumed the government of the Confederate States. That the said James D. Bullock, after remaining for some time in England, left the country, and after an absence of several weeks, returned to Liverpool in the month of March last, from Charleston, in the State of South Carolina, one of the seceded States, in a screw-steamer then called the Annie Childs, which had broken the blockade of the port of Charleston then and now maintained by the United States Navy, and which Vessl, the Annie (bilds, carried the flag of the Confederate States as she came up the Mersey. That shortly after the arrival of the said James D. Bullock at Liverpool in tbe Annie Childs, as above mentioned, he again sailed from Liverpool in a new gunboat called the Oreto, built at Liverpool, by Messrs. W. C. Miller & Sons, ship-builders, and completed in the early part of the present year, and which gin-boat, the Oreto, though she cleared from Liverpool for Palermo and Jamaica, in reality never went to those places, but proceeded to Nassau, New Providence, to take on board gups and arms with a view to her being used as a privateer or vessel of war under a commission from the so-called confederate government against the Government of the United States, and which said vessel, tbe Oreto, is stated to have been lately seized at, Nassau by the commander of Her Majesty's ship Greyhound. That the said James 1). Bullock has since returned again to Liverpool, and that before he left Liverpool, and since he returned, be has taken an active part in superintending the building, equipment, and fitting out of another steam gun-boat, known as No. 290, which bas lately been launched by