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November 8th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 4.16
the commissioners, and I therefore ceased to discuss the affair. As the next in rank to Captain Wilkes, I claimed the right to board the mail-packet. Captain Wilkes fully expected that I would tender my services for this delicate duty, and rather left to me the plan of carrying out his instructions. Following is the text of Captain Wilkes's instructions, which, as will be seen from the narrative, were not literally observed by Lieutenant Fairfax: U. S. Steamer San Jacinto. At sea, Nov. 8th, 1861. sir: You will have the second and third cutters of this ship fully manned and armed, and be in all respects prepared to board the steamer Trent, now hove to under our guns. On boarding her you will demand the papers of the steamer, her clearance from Havana, with the list of passengers and crew. Should Mr. Mason, Mr. Slidell, Mr. Eustis, and Mr. McFarland be on board, you will make them prisoners and send t hem on board this ship immediately, and take possession of her as a pri
January 29th (search for this): chapter 4.16
ard said: If I decide this case in favor of my own Government, I must disavow its most cherished principles, and reverse and forever abandon its essential policy. The country cannot afford the sacrifice. If I maintain those principles, and adhere to that policy, I must surrender the case itself. It will be seen, therefore, that this Government could not deny the justice of the claim presented to us in this respect upon its merits. We are asked to do the British nation just what we have always insisted all nations ought to do to us. Accordingly, on the 1st of January, 1862, the commissioners and their secretaries were placed on board the English vessel Rinaldo, at Province-town, Mass., which had been designated by Lord Lyons to receive them. After a voyage of unusual rigor, during which they were compelled by storms to alter the first plan of going by way of Halifax and to run to Bermuda, the commissioners arrived at Southampton, England, on the 29th of January.--Editors.
hat port from Charleston en route to England. He immediately put to sea, October 26th, with the purpose of intercepting the blockade runner which had brought them out. The commissioners were to have left Charleston by the cruiser Nashville, but their plans had been changed, and the steamer Gordon, otherwise known as the Theodora (Captain Lockwood), had been substituted. They had run the Union blockade successfully during a storm on the night of October 11th, and had arrived at Nassau on the 13th, and at Havana on the 17th. There we ascertained that their plan was to leave on the 7th of November in the English steamer Trent for St. Thomas oil their way to England, and readily calculated when and where in the Bahama Channel we might intercept them. Meanwhile, on the 2d of November, Captain Wilkes continued his cruise after the Sumter along the north coast of Cuba, also running over to Key West in the hope of finding the Powhatan or some other steamer to accompany him to the Bahama Ch
October, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 4.16
Captain Wilkes's seizure of Mason and Slidell. D. Macneill Fairfax, Rear-Admiral, U. S. N., Executive Officer of the San Jacinto. In October, 1861, the United States screw-sloop San Jacinto, of which Captain Charles Wilkes was commander and the writer was executive officer, on her return from the west coast of Africa, touched at the island of St. Thomas to coal ship. Here for the first time we learned of the presence in those waters of the Confederate cruiser Sumter (Captain Raphael Semmes). The Sumter, one of the first, if not the very first, of the regularly commissioned vessels of the Confederate navy, left New Orleans on the 18th of June, 1861 (see cut, p. 14), and, running the blockade, almost immediately began privateering operations. She was a screw steamer of 500 tons, and was armed with 5 guns — an 8-inch pivot, and 24-pound howitzers. She cruised for two months in the Caribbean Sea and along the coast of South America, receiving friendly treatment and coaling wi
June 18th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 4.16
e United States screw-sloop San Jacinto, of which Captain Charles Wilkes was commander and the writer was executive officer, on her return from the west coast of Africa, touched at the island of St. Thomas to coal ship. Here for the first time we learned of the presence in those waters of the Confederate cruiser Sumter (Captain Raphael Semmes). The Sumter, one of the first, if not the very first, of the regularly commissioned vessels of the Confederate navy, left New Orleans on the 18th of June, 1861 (see cut, p. 14), and, running the blockade, almost immediately began privateering operations. She was a screw steamer of 500 tons, and was armed with 5 guns — an 8-inch pivot, and 24-pound howitzers. She cruised for two months in the Caribbean Sea and along the coast of South America, receiving friendly treatment and coaling without hindrance in the neutral ports. During the succeeding two months she cruised in the Atlantic. On the night of the 23d of November, she ran out of the
November 7th (search for this): chapter 4.16
purpose of intercepting the blockade runner which had brought them out. The commissioners were to have left Charleston by the cruiser Nashville, but their plans had been changed, and the steamer Gordon, otherwise known as the Theodora (Captain Lockwood), had been substituted. They had run the Union blockade successfully during a storm on the night of October 11th, and had arrived at Nassau on the 13th, and at Havana on the 17th. There we ascertained that their plan was to leave on the 7th of November in the English steamer Trent for St. Thomas oil their way to England, and readily calculated when and where in the Bahama Channel we might intercept them. Meanwhile, on the 2d of November, Captain Wilkes continued his cruise after the Sumter along the north coast of Cuba, also running over to Key West in the hope of finding the Powhatan or some other steamer to accompany him to the Bahama Channel to guard against the possibility of the escape of the commissioners. But the Powhatan had
November 8th (search for this): chapter 4.16
Sumter along the north coast of Cuba, also running over to Key West in the hope of finding the Powhatan or some other steamer to accompany him to the Bahama Channel to guard against the possibility of the escape of the commissioners. But the Powhatan had left the day before, and the San Jacinto therefore returned alone to the channel to await the Trent. Here, 240 miles from Havana, and 90 miles from Sagua la Grande, where the channel contracts to the width of 15 miles, at noon on the 8th of November the Trent was sighted. On our way from St. Thomas to Havana we had stopped at the Caymans, an English possession, to procure fresh provisions for the crew. The natives had not many days before received a visit from the Sumter, and were loud in praise of the Confederate cruiser. They had in times past shown great pleasure in selling turtle and fresh beef and vegetables to the United States war vessels, but now their sympathy for the Southern cause was uppermost, and they really show
October 11th (search for this): chapter 4.16
etaries and families had recently reached that port from Charleston en route to England. He immediately put to sea, October 26th, with the purpose of intercepting the blockade runner which had brought them out. The commissioners were to have left Charleston by the cruiser Nashville, but their plans had been changed, and the steamer Gordon, otherwise known as the Theodora (Captain Lockwood), had been substituted. They had run the Union blockade successfully during a storm on the night of October 11th, and had arrived at Nassau on the 13th, and at Havana on the 17th. There we ascertained that their plan was to leave on the 7th of November in the English steamer Trent for St. Thomas oil their way to England, and readily calculated when and where in the Bahama Channel we might intercept them. Meanwhile, on the 2d of November, Captain Wilkes continued his cruise after the Sumter along the north coast of Cuba, also running over to Key West in the hope of finding the Powhatan or some othe
December 3rd (search for this): chapter 4.16
overnment, therefore, trust that when this matter shall have been brought under the consideration of the Government of the United States, that Government will, of its own accord, offer to the British Government such redress as alone could satisfy the British nation, namely, the liberation of the four gentlemen and their delivery to your lordship, in order that they may again be placed under British protection, and a suitable apology for the aggression which has been committed. On the 3d of December, the French Government also made an informal protest, through its minister at Washington, M. Mercier. On the 26th of December, Mr. Seward wrote at length to Lord Lyons, reviewing the case, and saying that the commissioners would be cheerfully liberated. In the course of the letter Mr. Seward said: If I decide this case in favor of my own Government, I must disavow its most cherished principles, and reverse and forever abandon its essential policy. The country cannot afford the s
December 26th (search for this): chapter 4.16
d States, that Government will, of its own accord, offer to the British Government such redress as alone could satisfy the British nation, namely, the liberation of the four gentlemen and their delivery to your lordship, in order that they may again be placed under British protection, and a suitable apology for the aggression which has been committed. On the 3d of December, the French Government also made an informal protest, through its minister at Washington, M. Mercier. On the 26th of December, Mr. Seward wrote at length to Lord Lyons, reviewing the case, and saying that the commissioners would be cheerfully liberated. In the course of the letter Mr. Seward said: If I decide this case in favor of my own Government, I must disavow its most cherished principles, and reverse and forever abandon its essential policy. The country cannot afford the sacrifice. If I maintain those principles, and adhere to that policy, I must surrender the case itself. It will be seen, theref
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