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[651] their crews either at the Bermudas or at Nassau, where he was always sure to find aid and protection. He thus spread terror among all American ship-owners; and when the New York merchants sent the large three-masted George Griswold to England, loaded with donations for the Lancashire workmen who were suffering from the cotton famine, a ship of war had to escort this vessel on her charitable errand, to protect her against the Liverpool pirate. The marine insurance soon rose so high that the Americans were obliged to denationalize their merchant vessels, and the carrying trade was almost entirely effected under the British flag. The English, therefore, profited by the damage done to the United States by a vessel fitted out in one of their ports, and which it was their duty to have stopped. Consequently, the Americans justly declared that if such an act did not receive the most emphatic condemnation, they should consider themselves justified in fitting out a whole fleet of privateers, whenever England should happen to be at war with the least maritime of her East Indian neighbors, and to prey upon her commerce under the Afghan or Thibetan flag.

The Federal government sought in vain to purge the seas of so dangerous an enemy as the Alabama. Obliged to employ nearly all its naval resources in the maintenance of the blockade, and in the mixed expeditions of which mention has already been made, it was not able to send in pursuit of the Alabama more than three or four corvettes, whose rate of speed was inferior to hers. It is not very easy to find a vessel on the vast ocean; for with a large cargo of coal on board, she can keep out at sea for a long while, get fresh supplies near some desert island where she expects to meet transports despatched to her from neutral territories, and only appear at a port one day to leave it the next for parts unknown. In fact, Semmes avoided all encounters with Federal vessels; he never seriously interfered with the operations of the Union naval forces on the Confederate coast, and it was only in the month of January, 1863, that he fired the first cannon-shot against an adversary able to reply to him. During the year 1862 he was only once overtaken by one of the enemy's vessels, the San Jacinto, which found him at Martinique, but he escaped from her through the connivance of an employs of the port, who supplied

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