No. 31
22 July 1863
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Grace's Despatch No 15 of the 8th of May last, transmitting a copy of a Despatch from Lord LyonsenclosingManuscript image enclosing copies of a correspondence between his Lordship and Mr Seward, relative to an alleged attempt to fit out a Privateer at Victoria, V.I. for the service of the Confederate States.
2. With reference to the subject of that correspondence; the alleged attempt made at this PortinManuscript image in January last, to fit out the English Steamer "Thames" as a Privateer for the Confederates, I have to inform Your Grace that the truth of that report was at the time, and has ever since, been justly called in question, and there was certainly no overt act corroborative of its authenticity or requiring theinterferenceManuscript image interference of Government. The "Thames" is moreover notoriously unfit for warlike purposes, and is hardly equal in speed or power to any ordinary Merchant ship.
3. I communicated with Lord Lyons to that effect; and on the 14th of May last, transmitted a telegraphic message fromSan FranciscoManuscript image San Francisco begging his Lordship to assure the President of the United States that every vigilance will be used by my Government to discover and frustrate all attempts to fit out Privateers in the Ports of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, to prey on the commerce of the United States in the Pacific.
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4. I also take this opportunity of assuring Your Grace, that I will not fail to carry out your previous instructions which are repeated in this Despatch, directing me to adhere strictly to the duties of neutrality and to prevent the unlawful equipment ataManuscript image a British Port, of any Vessel destined for warlike purposes.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most obedient
Humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
For: Office.
ABd 4 Sepr
FR 5/9
N 8
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to E. Hammond, Foreign Office, 15 September 1863, forwarding copy of the despatch.