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statement, deposed to a like effect as to both the terms and the mode of hiring.

With reference to the persuasions used in order to induce the men to enlist in the service of the Confederate States, the said John Wilson deposed as follows:

After we had finished taking in the things from the Laurel, the mate came and called all hands aft, and said the captain wanted to see us. We all went and gathered

round the cabin-doors, and Captain Corbett came out and said, “Well, men, [141] I have sold the ship to the confederates; she is to *belong to their navy,

to be a cruiser, to burn and destroy merchant-vessels and whalers in particular. She is not to fight, but merely to take prizes, and there will be a first-rate chance for any of you young men who will stop by the vessel, and I should advise yon all to do it.” The general reply made by the men was that we did not want anything to do with her. The new captain then came out of the calvin and asked if we would not join. He was dressed in a gray uniform. Captain Corbett introduced the man when he came out as the American officer who was to have the command of the ship, but did not mention his name; said he would pay the seamen £4 per month, and £10 bounty. One of the engineers, one of the firemen, and two of the seamen consented to join, and took the bounty and signed the articles. The ofticer in uniform, when he came ont to us, announced that the Sea King was now the Shenandoah of the confederate navy. Liquor had been served among the men during the time we were making the transfer in profusion. Some were under its intiuence. It was brought round twice after we got through, and offered to the men. They made great efforts to induce the men to join. They raised the wages to £7 and £15 bounty for able seamen. They oftered me £15 a month and £15 bounty. I declined to accept it, or to stop with them on any terms. A bucket of sovereigns was brought out on the deck to tempt the men to join. A portion of the crew of the Laurel joined. The person whom Captain Corbett introduced to us as the commander of the Shenandoah came out on the Laurel; there were a number of others who also came out on the Laurel; I should say about forty. We left them on board the Shenandoah. Some were acting as officers. One of them, pointing at the commander, who was standing on the deck, said he was Captain Semmes.

IIercus deposed to the same effect. Describing the inducements offered to the men, he said :?

I said I should not join, but four others said they would. One was a fireman, one an engineer, and two were ordinary seamen. They were under the influence of liquor. which had been supplied freely to all who would take it since we commenced taking in the guns. When they found us unwilling to go the wages and bounty were increased, until we were offered £7 a month, and £ 16 bounty, and to sign the articles for six months. A bucket containing sovereigns was brought on deck, and the otticers took up handfuls to tempt the men on deck. The four who consented to go went into the cabin, and I afterward saw one of them with twenty-eight sovereigns in his hand,

Ile added:

When the American officers who came from the Laurel to the Sea King were trying to persuade us to go in her, they said, “You had better go in the Shenandoali," (which the Sea King was to be called.) They promised us the best of living, and said that the best of the provisions would be taken out of the prizes, and all that were then aboard which were no good would be thrown overboard.

It was stated by the deponents that the officers who had gone out in the Sea King, including the captain, returned in the Calabar to England. The only exception was one of the engineers. The statement that Captain Semmes was on board of the Sea King was erroneous.

The copies of depositions sent by Mr. Adams were immediately laid before the law-officers of the Crown, who, on the 1st December, 1861, advised thereon as follows:3

The law-officers of the Crown to Earl Russell.

LINCOLN'S INN, December 1, 1864. My Lord: We are honored with your lordship's commands signified in Mr. Hammond's letter of the 19th ultimo, stating that, with reference to our report of the 15th November, be was directed by your lordship to transmit to us a letter from Mr. Adams,

1 Appendix, vol. i, p. 488.
2 Ibid., p. 487.
3 Ibid., p. 490.

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inclosing copies of the depositions of two men who lately formed part of the crew of the Sea King, and to request that we would take these papers into our consideration, and favor your lordsbip with such observations as we might have to offer thereupon.

Mr. Hammond was also pleased to state that we should observe from the accompanying draught of a letter to the treasury that the lords commissioners have been requested to instruct their solicitor to take the depositions, and to proceed in this case in other respects in the manner recommended in our report; and tliat a dispatch of Mr. Consul Grattan was also inclosed.

In obedience to your lordship’s commands we have taken these papers into our consideration, and have the honor to report

That, in our opinion, the depositions now forwarded by Mr. Adams are sufficient to prove that Captain Corbett did in this country engage and procure the deponents to serve as sailors on board the Sea King, which ship, from the whole of the evidence in the case, we infer to have been then a vessel intended by him to be used (after she should have been taken to the Azores) in the confederate service. These facts raise questions similar to those which were involved in the cases of the seamen on board the Georgia and Rappahannock, except that none of these particular deponents accepted the confederate service when the true object of the voyage was disclosed to them. Those questions, upon the construction of the act, are not free from difficulty; but in some of the other cases convictions have been obtained and submitted to; and we think that,

even if there were no other point arising upon his acts when he handed over the [142] ship to her confederate commander, it would be proper, upon this evidence, *that

Captain Corbett should be prosecuted for a violation of the second section of the act, by procuring, or attempting to procure these men, and others unknown, to serve and be employed, &c., or to go and embark from Liverpool for the purpose, or with intent to serve or to be employed, &c., contrary to that section.

We further think, on more deliberate consideration, that if the Sea King onght to be deemed (as, prima facie, we think she may be) to have been still a British ship when Captain Corbett endeavored to induce the men on board her to accept the confederate service, the question whether her deck was not then “a place belonging or subject to Her Majesty' is a serious one, which ought also to be raised by the indictment. In our former report, we stated that we did not think a British merchant-ship at sea was included within Her Majesty's “ dominions,” in the sense of the act; but in the second clause there are also the other and larger words above noticed, to which we did not then advert, and which might, perhaps, receive a more extensive construction,

We have, &c.,


ROBERT PHILLIMORE. Proceedings were accordingly directed to be taken against the master of the Sea King. He was arrested in January, 1865, brought before a magistrate, committed for trial, and in November of the same year tried before the lord chief justice and a special jury, on the charge of having, either within the United Kingdom or on the high seas, enlisted British subjects, or iucited them to enlist in the service of the Confederate States.

The evidence produced at the trial was very conflicting. Several witnesses who had sailed in the ship were examined for the defense. These witnesses contradicted on material points the evidence given in support of the prosecution, and the statements contained in the foregoing depositions, and stated on oath that Corbett took no part in the endeavors made to induce the men to enlist, and that the persuasion used was used solely by the Americans who presented themselves as confederate officers. The chief justice put to the jury the question whether the defendant did, in fact, attempt to enlist the men or procure them to enlist, reserving any questions of law which might be raised on the part of the defense, in case the answer should be in the affirmative. The jury returned a verdict of " not guilty."

The first mate of the Sea King, Charles Easman, who was examined for the defense, gave evidence, in the course of his examination, as follows:

I was second mate of the Sea King when I sailed in her on her first voyage. I was first mate on her when she was sold to the confederates. Mr. R. Wright was her owner. She was to go to Bombay, and nothing was said as to her ultimate destination. She took in 850 tons of coals. It was an ordinary cargo, and coals at that time paid the best freight. She had forty-five hands the first voyage, and forty-seven the second.

The steward of the ship, John R. Brown, who was also examined for the defense, stated that when she left London there was nothing out of the usual course in her stores which might lead to the supposition that she had any other destination than the East Indies.

In cross-examination, he said, “Steamers often take cargoes of coal to the East Indies. She had nearly as many coals on board as she could carry. It is not an unusual thing to send a power of sale with ships going on a long voyage.”

With the view of obtaining further information respecting the Sea King, Mr. Hammond, on the 27th January, 1865, wrote to Messrs. Robertson & Co., of London, who had originally been part owners and managing owners of the ship. Mr. Hammond's letter and the answer returned by Messrs. Robertson & Co. were respectively as follows:

Mr. Hammond to Messrs. Robertson & Co.


FOREIGN OFFICE, January 27, 1865. GENTLEMEN : I am directed by Earl Russell to state to you that his lordship bas been informed that the Shenandoah, a full-rigged ship of 1,100 tons and 250 horse-power, now stated to belong to the government of the so-called Confederate States, was formerly in the possession of your firm, at which time she bore the name of the Sea King; and I am directed to inquire whether you have any objection to inform his lordship of the circumstances under which you sold the vessel, and particularly whether she was sold to an agent of the so-called confederate government.

I am, &c.,

E. HAMMOND. [143]

* Messrs. Robertson & Co. to Mr. Hammond.

5 NEWMAN's Court, CORNHILL, London, January 28, 1865. Sir: We beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of yesterday, and to inform you that the Sea King was sold by us to a British subject, a Mr. Wright, of Liverpool, through the agency of Messrs. Curry, Kellock & Co., of Liverpool, brokers, in the usual way, and that the bill of sale, &c., passed through Her Majesty's customs in due order.

After the sale of the vessel we had nothing whatever to do with her, and she remained in dock for some weeks, and was entered out for Bombay, which port, we were informed, was to be her destination.

We are not aware, nor have we any knowledge, that any confederate agent had anything to do with the ship during her stay in this country. The Sea King was only 150 horse-power, and not, as stated in your letter, 250.

We have, &c.,

ROBERTSON & CO. On inquiry it appeared that the Sea King was a screw-steamer, built at Glasgow in the year 1863, with a view to employment in the China trade. She was originally owned in shares by several part-owners, Messrs. Robertson & Co., of London, acting as managing owners. She sailed from London, in November, 1863, for New Zealand and the China Seas, carrying troops for Her Majesty's government to Auckland, whence she proceeded to Hankow, and returned to London with a cargo of tea. In September, 1864, she was sold to a Mr. Richard Wright, a ship-owner of Liverpool. Wright, on the 7th November, 1864, granted a certificate of sale to P. S. Corbett, the master of the ship, by which he was empowered to sell her at any port out of the United Kingdom for a price not less than £15,000, within six months after the date of the certificate. When originally fitted out by Robertson & Co., and when sold by them to Wright, she had on board two ordinary 12-pounder carronades intended

Appendix, vol. i, p. 497.



only for use as signal-guns and for other uses common in inerchantvessels. These were the two 12-pounder guns hereinafter referred to. The crew of the Sea King signed articles for a voyage from London to Bombay, (calling at any ports or places on the passage,) and any other ports or places in India, China, or Japan, or the Pacific, Atlantic, or Indian Oceans, trading to and from as legal freights might offer, until the return of the ship to a final port of discharge in the United Kingdom or continent of Europe, the voyage not to exceed two years.

From what has been stated above it will have been seen that the Shenandoah was a steamship originally named the Sea King, which had been built not for war but for commercial purposes; that she had been employed in the Chiną trade, and was at the time when she sailed from the port of London, in October, 1864, registered in the name of a Liverpool merchant; that she cleared and sailed as for a trading voyage; that her crew were hired and signed articles for such a voyage, and that they shipped and went to sea without suspecting that she was intended for any other destination; that there was nothing in her cargo, stores, or otherwise to excite suspicion; that before or at the time of her arrival in the vicinity of the Madeira Islands she was sold and transferred by her owner to the government of the Confederate States; that she took on board, while at sea, her commander and officers, all of whom were American citizens, with a small handful of men as a crew; that the officers and crew who had brought her out from London left her, with very few exceptions, and returned to England; that, in order to induce her original crew to take service in her, solicitations and inducements of every kind were employed by her commander and officers, but without success; that, after being transferred as aforesaid, she was armed for war either on the high seas or in Portuguese waters, and that she thence commenced her cruise under the name of the Shenandoah, given to her by her new owners.

It will have been seen, also, that no representation had been made to Her Majesty's government respecting her by Mr. Adams, and that no information about her was ever conveyed to or came into the possession of the government previous to the report received on the 12th November, 1861, from Her Majesty's consul at Teneriffe.

Lastly, it will have been observed that immediately on the receipt of that report the government consulted its advisers on the question whether legal proceedings could be instituted against the master of the ship who had sailed with her from London, for his share in the transaction, and that he was afterward indicted and brought to trial, but was acquitted by the jury, the evidence as to his acts being doubtful and conflicting.

The steamer Laurel, which conveyed to the Madeira Islands the guns destined for the Shenandoah and her commander and officers, had on the 24th October, 1864, cleared from the port of Liverpool for Matamoras via Havana and Nassau, and her crew were shipped for that voyage.

Her clearance stated that she had a crew of 40 men, no passengers, (141] and * sundry packages of British and foreign goods free of duty.

She is believed to have been sold while abroad to the government of the Confederate States.

Mr. Adams subsequently, on the 7th April, 1865, wrote to Earl Russell, inclosing.and referring to a letter addressed to Mr. Seward by the consul of the United States at Rio Janeiro, in which it was stated that several United States ships had been captured and destroyed by the Shenandoah. In this note Mr. Adams wrote as follows:

1 Appendix, vol. i, p. 501.

I am by no means insensible to the efforts which have already been made, and are yet making, by Her Majesty's government to put a stop to such outrages in this kingdom and its dependencies. Neither can I permit myself to doubt the favorable disposition of hier ministers to maintain amicable relations with the Government which I represent.

While perfectly ready to bear testimony to the promptness with which all the numerous remonstrances and representations which it has been my painful duty heretofore to submit have been met and attended to by your lordship, it is at the same time impossible for me to dispute the fact that the hostile policy which it is the object of all this labor to prevent, has not only not been checked, but is even now going into execution with more and more complete success.

He proceeded to dwell upon the losses which the commerce and navi. gation of the United States had sustained, and the circumstances under which these losses had been inflicted, and to observe in effect that such injuries must tend to give rise to "thie gravest of complications between

66 any two nations placed under like circumstances." He added :

That in this case no such event has followed has been owing, in the main, to a full conviction that Her Majesty's government has never been animated by any aggressive disposition toward the United States; but, on the contrary, that it has steadily endeavored to discountenance and, in a measure, to check the injurious and malevolent operations of many of her subjects. But while anxious to do full justice to the amieable intentions of lier Majesty's ministers, and on that account to forbear from recourse to any but the most friendly and earnest appeals to reason and to their sense of justice for the rectification of these wrongs, it is impossible to resist the conviction that heretofore their measures, however well intended, have never proved ettective to remedy the evil complaineil of.' Prompt to acquit them of any design, I am reluctantly compelled to acknowledge the belief that practically this evil had its origin in the first step taken, which never can be regarded by my Government in any other light than as precipitate, of acknowledging persons as a belligerent power on the ocean before they had a single vessel of their own to show floating upon it. The result of that proceeding has been that the power in question, so far as it can be entitled to the name of a belligerent on the ocean at all, was actually created in consequence of the recognition, and not before; and all that it has subsequently attained of such a position has been through the labor of the subjects of the very country which gave it the shelter of that title in advance. Neither is the whole case statel even now. The results equally show that the ability to continue these operations with success during the whole term of four years that the war has continued, has been exclusively owing to the opportunity to make use of this granted right of a belligerent in the courts and the ports and harbors of the very power that furnished the elements of its existence in the outset.

Mr. Adams did not assert that in respect of the departure, equipment, or armament of the Shenandoah there had been any negligence or breach of international duty on the part of Her Majesty's government; nor could he have done so with any show of reason. The substance of his complaint, as regarded the acts or omissions of the government, was that Great Britain had declared herself neutral in the war, and had recognized the Confederate States as a belligerent, and that confederate vessels had been suffered to enter and make use of the ports and harbors of Great Britain and her colonies equally with vessels of the United States.

On the 25th January, 1863, the Shenandoah arrived at Port Philip, in the colony of Victoria, and anchored in Hobson's Bay; and her commander immediately sent one of the officers of the ship to present the following letter to the governor of the colony:

Lieutenant Iaddell to Governor Sir C. II. Darling.

Port Philip, January 25, 1965. Sir: I have the honor to announce to your excellency the arrival of the Confederate States steamer Shenandoah, under my command, in Port Philip this afternoon, and also

? Appendix, vol. i, p. 500.

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