Murray to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
12 March 1863
I am directed by Earl Russell to transmit to you herewith, to be laid before the Duke of Newcastle, a copy of a Despatch from Her Majesty's Consul at San Francisco, reporting the construction at New York of an iron clad steamer, the "Cumanche," which is intended for service on the coast of California.
I am,
Your most obedient,
humble Servant.
James Murray
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The statements of Mr Booker, who is our very watchful & I believe efficient Consul at San Francisco add strength to the "rumors" reported by Govr Douglas in 2060.
Copy to Admy with reference to Col: Off. Lr of 6th inst.
I presume that it wd be misplaced for this office, or the For: Office to suggest to the Admy, the inference that if the Americans are really sending IronManuscript image Steam Vessels of War to California we must do the same for the protection of British interests on the N.W. coasts of America.
ABd 13/3
What ought to be done must depend on the general wants of the Service in all parts of the World, on the comparative importance of Each, on the credit to be attached to the present rumors, and to the real character and efficiency of the iron clad vessels supposed to be destined for California. The question for decision is whether we know enough of the matter departmentally to offer an opinion to the Admiralty or make a requisition on them for an iron ship, or whether this letter should merely be sent to them for their information.
TFE 13 March
Duke of Newcastle
I have been in private communication with the D. of Somerset on the subject of our letter of the 6th this month. The Admiralty has not at present any iron Vessel that could be spared consistently with otherManuscript image equipment but they are alive to the enquiries of the Pacific Stations and will attend to them as soon as they can. I am surprised to find they think they could send such a Vessel round Cape Horn.
To Admiralty for information with reference to previous letter.
N 15
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Copy, W.L. Booker, British Consul, to [Foreign Office], 22 January 1863, providing details and dimensions of an iron clad vessel being constructed in New York for use by the Americans off the coast of California.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Secretary to the Admiralty, 18 March 1863, forwarding copy of the letter from the British Consul at San Francisco for information.