Imágenes de páginas

to communicate that the steamer's machinery requires repairs, and that I am in waut of coals.

I desire your excellency to grant permission that I may make the necessary repairs and supply of coals to enable me to get to sea as quickly as possible.

I desire also your excellency's permission to land my prisoners. I shall observe the neutrality.

I have, &c.,

JAS. J. WADDELL. [145] * The governor (Sir C. H. Darling) caused the bearer of the let

ter to be informed that it should be answered on the following day. The governor had not, at this or any other time, any personal intercourse with the commander of the Shenandoah.

Commander Waddell's application was, on the 26th January, brought by the governor before the executive council of the colony for consideration. The advice given by the council to the governor thereon is set forth in the subjoined extract from the minutes of its proceedings:

Dispatches from the right honorable the secretary of state, covering the Queen's proclamation of neutrality, and all instructions and orders which have, from time to time, been issued by command of Her Majesty, through the secretary of state, to the governors of Her Majesty's colonies and possessions, for their guidance during the continuance of hostilities on the North American continent, as well as official correspondence and papers connected with the proceedings of the confederate steamship Alabama at Her Majesty's colony of the Cape of Good Hope, are laid before the council, and read by the clerk.

After careful consideration of these instructions and papers, the council alvise that the honorable the commissioner of trade and customs, writing in the name of his excellepay the governor, should acquaint the commander of the Shenandoah

1. That the vessel under his command will not be allowed to quit the anchorage in Hobson's Bay within twenty-four hours after any vessel belonging to the Federal States shall have left the port, and further inform him that, in case he should infringe this rule, his government will be held responsible by that of Great Britaip for violating the neutrality of British waters,

2. That the commander of the Shenandoah be requested to communicate to the goverument of Victoria the nature and extent of the repairs of which he states his vessel to be in neeil ; and that he lo informed that permission will be granted for the Shenandoah to remain in the waters of the colony a sufficient time to receive the provisions or things necessary for the subsisterce of her crew—but not beyond what may be Decessary for immediate use-and to effect her repairs; and that when the government of Victoria are iu possession of the nature and extent of the supplies and repairs which are necessary, the commander of the Shenandoal will then be informed of the time which his vessel will be permitted to remain in the waters of the colony.

3. That, in reply to that part of his letter which refers to prisoners, the commander of the Shenandoah be requested to communicate to the government of Victoria thg names of the prisoners, and any other particulars relating to them which he may be willing to supply.

His excellency, concurring with the advice which has been tendered to him, directs the honorable the commissioner of trade and customs to address the commander of the Shenandoah in the above-recited terms.

The council further advise his excellency to anthorize a communication being made to the United States consnl at Melbourne, informing him of the application which has been made by the commander of the Shenandoah for permission to land prisoners, and stating that the government are desirous of kuowing whether the consul will undertaht to receive and provide for them.

In conformity with the advice of the consul, communications were addressed, by the governor's direction, to the commander of the Shebandoah and to the consul of the United States at Melbourne, Mr. W. Blanchard.

The consul replied that he had already made provision for the persons brought in 'as prisoners by the Shenandoah. He addressed several letters to the governor, protesting against the admission of the ressel into the port of Melbourne, and calling on him to cause her to be seized, as

Appendix, vol. I, p. 511.

guilty of piracy. The reasons on which the consul relied were stated by him in the following letter:

Mr. Blanchard to Governor Sir C. Darling.


Melbourne, January 28, 1865. Sir: I am in receipt of a communication from C. J. Tyler, esq., your excellency's aide-de-camp, dated to-day, informing me that your excellency has submitted my dispatches of the 26th and 27th January instant to the consideration of your legal advisers, and that your excellency's decision, when made, will be forwarded to me.

Evidence being daily accumulating in this office in support of the reasons for the protests I had the honor to forward to your excellency, I now beg leave to call your attention specially to the following:

1. That the Sea King, alias Shenandoah, now in{this port, and assuming to be a warvessel, is a British-built ship, and cleared from a British port as a merchantman, legally entering no port until her arrival here, where she assumes to be a war-vessel of the sostyled Confederate States; that any transfer of said vessel at sea is in violation of the law of nations, and does not change her nationality.

2. That inasmuch as Her Majesty's neutrality proclamation prohibits her subjects from supplying or furnishing any war material or ship to either belligerent, this vessel, having an origin as above, is not entitled to the privileges accorded to the belligerents

by said proclamation. [146] *3. That being a British-built merchant-slip, she cannot be converted into a

war-vessel upon the high seas of the so-styled Confederate States, but only by proceeding to and sailing in such character from one of the ports of the so-styled confederacy.

4. That it is an established law that vessels are to be considered as under the flag of the nation where built, until legally transferred to another flag.

5. That said vessel sailed as an English merchant-ship from an English port, and cannot, until legally transferred, be considered as a man-of-war.

6. That not being legally a man-of-war, she is but a lawless pirate, dishonoring the flag under which her status is to be established, and under which she decoys her victims.

7. That her armament came also from Great Britain in English vessels, (the Laurel and Sea King, now Shenandoah,) both of which cleared under British seal, or, if without it, in violation of established law.

8. That as such she has committed great depredations upon ships belonging to citizens of the United States, making her liable to seizure and detention, and the crew guilty of piracy.

I cannot close this without further protesting in behalf of my Government against the aid and comfort and refuge now being extended to the so-styled confederate cruiser Shenandoah in this port.

I have, &c.,

WM. BLANCHARD. The propositions asserted by the consul, that the Shenandoah, hay. ing been built as a merchant ship in Great Britain, and having sailed as such from a British port, could not subsequently acquire the character of a belligerent ship of war, unless she had in the interval pro. ceeded to, and sailed from, a port in the Confederate States, and that she was in the view of international law a pirate, were erroneous.

In answer to the consul's letter above set forth, the following letter was addressed to him by order of the governor :?

Mr. Tyler to Mr. Blanchard.


Melbourne, January 30, 1865. Sir: I am directed by his excellency the governor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 28th instant, and to acquaint you that, having fully considered the representations contained in that communication and in your previous letters of the 26th and 27th instant, and advised with the Crown law-officers thereon, his excellency has come to the decision that, whatever may be the previons history of the Shenan

Appendix, vol. i, p. 592. 2 Ibid., p. 593.

doah, the government of this colony is bound to treat her as a ship of war belonging to a belligerent power. I have, &c.,

(For Private Secretary,) (Signed)

C. J. TYLER. The subjoined extracts from minutes of the proceedings of the executive council of the colony show what subsequently occurred in relation to the Shenandoah and the course pursued with reference to her by the government of the colony: Extract from the minutes of the council.— Minute 65/7 of the proceedings on the 30th of Jan

uary, 1865.

At the close of tbe ordinary business of the council, the honorable the commissioner of trade and customs submits to his excellency a commnunication from the commander of the Shenandoab, dated 28th January, 1865—in reply to the letter which was addressed to him on the 26th instant-in which Lieutenant Waddell states that he has not been able up to the present time to inform the government of the extent of the repairs which are required to be made to his vessel, and expressing his fear that the damages will prove to be more serious than he had 'anticipated; bat that as soon as a diver, whom he bas employed for the purpose, has been able to inspect the screw-shaft below water, he will lose no time in communicating with them. This letter was, shortly afterward, followed by another from Messrs. Langlands, Brothers & Co., of the Port Philip foundery, and dated the 30th January, addressed to Lieutenant Waddell, which that officer indorsed, as forwarded to the honorable the commissioner of trade and customs, for the information of the governor, and with a request that it might be returned.

In this letter Messrs. Langlands report that it was absolutely necessary to put the vessel on the government slip, as, after inspection by the diver, he reports the lining of the outer sternbush to be entirely gone, and requires to be replaced, and that, as three dars more will elapse before the vessel can be slipped, Messrs. Langlands state they will not be able to accomplish the repairs within ten days from the date of their letter.

After considering these letters, the council advise his excellency to authorize another communication to be addressed to the commander of the Shenandoah, drawing his

attention to the circumstance that he had not as yet replied to the request for (147] information as to the nature of the supplies of *which he states he is in need for

the subsistence of his crew, nor had he furnished the list of the prisoners on board; and that he be further informed that the governor had appointed a board of practical men to examine the Shenandoah, and report whether that vessel is in a fit state to proceed to sea, or whether any, or if any, what repairs are necessary. For this purpose his excellency appoints Mr. C. B. Payne, secretary naval survey board ; Mr. Douglas Elder, superintendent marine yard; and Mr. Alexander Wilson, government fogineer, to be a board to proceed on board the Shenandoah, and report accordingly.

His excellency then lays before the council three letters which have been addressed to him by the United States consul at Melbourne, dated, respectively, the 26th, 27th, and 28th of January, 1865, protesting against the rights of a belligerent being granted to the Shenandoab, and further protesting against the aid and comfort and refuge now beiog extended to that vessel.

Having referred these letters to his legal advisers, his excellency received from them the following opinion:

"We bave the honor to acknowledge the receipt of three letters addressed to his excelleney the governor by the consul of the United States of America, dated, respectTvely, the 26th, 27th, and 28th instant.

"We are of opinion that there is no evidence of any act of piracy committed by any person on board the vessel called the Sheuandoah. This vessel purports to be, and we think she should be treated as, a ship of war belonging to a belligerent power. (Signed)


Crown Law-Oficers. * JANCARY 30, 1-65.”

His excellency states that he had replied to the United States consul to the effoct that, baving given an attentive consideration to his letters, and having consulted with the law-officers of the Crown, he had come to the decision that the government of this colony were bound to treat the Shenandoah as a ship of war belonging to a belligerent power.

His excellency then consults the council on the only point upon which he thonght any doubt could arise, viz, whether it would be expedient to call upon the lieutenant

Appendix, vol. i, p. 514.


commanding the Shenandoah to show his commission from the government of the Confederate States, authorizing him to take command of that vessel for warlike purposes.

After brief consultation a majority of his advisers tender their opinion that it would not be expedient to do so.

Extract from the minutes of the council.Minute 65/8 of the proceedings on the 6th February


On concluding the ordinary business of the day his excellency informs the council that since their last meeting a communication had been received from the commander of the Shenandoah, dated 30th January, stating that the immediate supplies required for the officers and crew under his command consisted of fresh meat, vegetables, and bread daily, and certain sea supplies which are enumerated, and that with respect to the list of prisoners, all the persons—whoin on the high seas he considered to be his prisoners-had left his ship in shore boats, without his knowledge, soon after his arrival in the port. The honorable commissioner of trade and customs had been authorized to reply to Lieutenant Waddelt that permission was granted to him to ship, in reasonable quantities, the provisions and supplies which he had enumerated, and that it was necessary for him to place his paymaster in communication with the collector of customs as to the quantities and particulars in detail. The request formerly made to Lieutenant Waddell to furnish the numbers and particulars of his prisoners was also renewed in this communication, and he was informed that, although the number in this instanco was understood to be small

, yet this case might form a precede it for future guidance in any other case where it might be desired to land a larger number of prisoners in violation of municipal or other laws or regulations in force in this colony.

To this letter Lieutenant Waddell replied, on the 1st February, that the number of the prisoners he had brought into the port were eleven, two being females; that they were captured serving in the American bark Delphine, which vessel he destroyed; and on arrival in this port they left the Shenandoal of their own free will-without consulting the regulations enforced in this colony-unmolested, uassisted, and not in any boat belongiug to the ship. He further adılel that he was extremely anxious to get the Shenandoah to sea.

The report of the board of survey on the repairs required by the Shenandoal is then laid before the council and read.

On receiving this report, his excellency states that he had directed another letter to be addressed to Lieutenant Waddell, informing him that, as it was evidently necessary from the report that his vessel should be placed on the slip, it was presumed that he would proceed promptly with the necessary arrangements; and it was further pointerl out to him that the slip-which Messrs. Langlands, in their communication, haul termed the government slip-was not in the possession or under the control of the government; that it was originally built by the government, but had for many years been leased to various parties, and, therefore, Lieutenant Waddell's arrangements must be made with the present lessee's. The commissioner of trade and customs then acquainted his excellency that he had

issued instructions to the principal officers in Hobson's Bay to furnish daily [148] reports of the Shenandoah, in *obedience to a minute of his excellency of the 31

instant, and that he had enjoined upon these officers the necessity of performing this service without unseemly obtrusion or interference, but that any apparent abuse of the permission to make repairs or to take in supplies was to be reported; and their attention was especially directed to the concluding paragraph of the minute relating to any extension of the armament of the Shenandoal, or to any attempt to render her present armament more effective.

Mr. Francis further states that an application had been made this day to the collector of customs for permission to land certain surplus stores, accompanied by a declaration that none of these stores had been captured, but that they all came into the possession of Lieutenant Waddell with the vessel. On consultation with the council, his excel. lency directs this application to be referred for the opinion of the Crown law-officers, whether such a permission should be granted, and whether the forty-fourth section of the act 21 Vict., No. 1:3, is applicable to the case.

His excellency then directs Mr. Francis to address another letter to Lieutenant Waddell, and inform him that, as his vessel has been twelve days in the port already, with permission to lay in provisions and to effect necessary repairs, it is now desired that he should name the day upon which he will be prepared to proceed to sea, and that, after carefully considering the position of Great Britain as strictly neutral in the present contest on the North American continent, tlıe government of Victoria cannot grant him the use of any appliances which are the property of the government, nor can it render any assistance, either directly or indirectly, toward effecting the repairs of his vessel.

Appendix, vol. i, p. 516.

The report of the board of survey referred to in the foregoing minute was as follows:

Report of surrey held on board the confederate screu-steamer Shenandoah.

MELBOURNE, February 1, 1865. We, the undersigned, in pursuance of instructions received from his excellency the governor, proceeded on board the confederate screw-steamer Shenandoah this morning, at 10 a. m., for the purpose of examining her with a view of reporting whether that vessel is now in a fit state to proceed to sea, or whether, and what, repairs are necessary, have the honor to report:

1st. That the Shenandoah is not in a fit state to proceed to sea as a steamship. 21. That repairs are necessary.

34. That the part or parts requiring repair being the inner stern-post bearing of the screw-shaft, the extent of damage cannot be ascertained without the vessel being slipped. (Signed)



Superintendent of Marine Yard. The governor's minute (or memorandum) of the 3 February, referred to in the foregoing minute of proceedings, was as follows:

Memorandum for the commissioner of trade and customs. I have to request the honorable the commissioner of trade and customs will be so good as to make arrangements for obtaining daily reports of the progress of the repairs and provisioning of the Shenandoah, and communicate the information obtained to me.

I am sure that the honorable commissioner will take evory precaution in his power against the possibility of the commander of that vessel in any degree extending its armament or rendering the present armament more effective.

C. H. D. Toorak, February 3, 1865.

On the 10th February, 1865, the consul wrote to the governorinelosing a deposition on oath by one John Williams, who had been a prisoner on board the Shenandoah, and had escaped from her by swimming ashore on the 6th February. In this deposition the said John Williams stated that fifteen or twenty men had joined the ship since her arrival in port, and were concealed in various parts of her, and that three others, who were wearing the ship's uniform, had also come aboard since her arrival.

The course pursued by the colonial government with reference to this and other matters relating to the Shenandoah is stated in the subjoined further extract from the minutes of the executive council: Extract from the minutes of the council.- Vinute 63/9 of the proceedings on the 13th February,


His excellency states that Lientenant Waddell had replied, to the communication

which it had been agreed to address him at their last meeting, that he could [149] not name a day for proceeding to sea * until his ship is taken on the slip, when

the amount of repairs which may be necessary could be ascertained and the time estimated in which they could be effected. He further states that the recent gales had prevented him from lightening the ship to the necessary draught preparatory to placing her on the slip, but that he hoped to do so on the following morning.

The opinion of the attorney general on the application which has been made for permission to land certain surplus stores from the Shenandoah, is also laid before the council.

It is to the effect that the permission cannot be granted by the government of
Victoria, consistently with a strict observance of the rules prescribed for the main-

Appendix, vol. i, p. 518.
2 Ibid., p. 529.
3 Ibid., p. 606.
*Ibid., p. 520.

« AnteriorContinuar »