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[255] by the war, and particularly in the hearts of our foes towards us. We knew that every effort would be made for our capture, and we felt that if we fell into the enemy's hands we could not hope, fired as their hearts were, for a fair trial or judgment, and that the testimony of the whalers, whose property we had destroyed, would all be against us, and that the fact that we had been operating against those who had been nearly as much cut off from channels of information as we were ourselves, would count for naught. Even during the war we had been opprobriously called ‘pirates,’ and we felt that if captured we would be summarily dealt with as such.

These were disquietudes which caused no demoralization, or craven fear, however, but were borne by true men with clear consciences, who had done their duty as they saw it, with the powers given them by God. It was a situation desperate to a degree, to which history furnishes no parallel. Piracy is a crime, not against any one nation, but against all. A pirate is an enemy to mankind, and as such is amenable to trial and punishment, under the laws of nations, by the courts of the country into whose hands he may fall.

The first thing was to suspend hostilities and to proclaim such suspension. Captain Waddell promptly ordered me to disarm the vessel and crew. This was done immediately and our guns were dismounted and stowed and secured below in the hold of the ship. The captain addressed his crew and told them unreservedly the situation and declared all warlike operations stopped.

The next step was to go into the hands of some nation strong enough to maintain the rulings of the laws of nations and resist any demand, from our enemies, for our surrender, that we might have a full, fair trial. There were various opinions advanced as to the best course to pursue to promote the general safety. Our captain decided and made known his decision: that we would proceed to England, learn the true situation, and if all we heard was true, surrender to the British Government. We steered for Liverpool. Our coal supply was short and was needed for ballast and for emergency of pursuit, and for the last home stretch of our gauntlet of about 17,000 miles. So our long voyage must he under sail.

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James I. Waddell (1)
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