to an officer at this post, which has just this moment been shown to me. I have instantly telgraphed as follows:
FORT VANCOUVER, WASH. TER., November 20, 1863-11 a. m.
General GEORGE WRIGHT, U. S. Army,
From statement of the U. S. consul at Victoria of designs to fit out a privateer, I think the saginaw or some naval vessel should at once be sent to Puget Sound. Their object no doubt would be to seize a stempship having gold on board.
Possibly this letter, which I send per steamer, may reach you first. I recommend to you to send a copy of it at once to Admiral Charles H. Bell, commanding the Pacific Squadron, if still in the harbor of San Francisco, or in his absence to the commandant at Mare Island. I am not informed whether the telegraph communicates with Mare Island. The revenue cutter Joe lane, brigantine, a poor sailer, and poorly manned and armed, is the only U. S. Vessel in this sound, and lies at Port Angeles, Wash. Ter. I annex a newspaper slip from the Oregonian, which publishes more fully the letter quoted, which proves to have been from the U. S. consul. A month since I advised the steamers (now more laden with gold than ever) to be on the alert and to look also into possible conspieracies of miners and board. They are crowded with men returning for the winter to California. On the 14th instant I received a letter dated the 5th instant from Admiral Bell, then on the flag-ship Lancaster, at San Francisco. It was in reply to mine of the 3rd of September applying for a naval vessel fro these waters. He expressed his regret that he could not then comply with my request.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding District.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
Copy of extract from a private letter from Allen Francis, esq., U. S. consul at Victoria, Vancouver island, to an officer at Fort Vancouver, given to Brigadier General B. Alvord, 20th of November, 1863.
VICTORIA, VANCOUVER ISLAND, October 20, 1863.
DEAR SIR: * * * We had a strange arrival here the other day. It was a vessel made entirely of steel. The masts were also steel. She was schooner rigged, of about 300 tons, and is said to sail very fast. Since her arrival rumors have been rife that the rebels have been trying to buy her for a privateer, and it is further said that if they gave the price asked they can have her. We shall see. About there weeks ago an English ship called the Jasper arrived here from Liverpool with near 1,000 barrels of powder, shel, &c., which some suppose to have connection with the advent of the schooner spoken of in these waters. It is a great blunder that the United States Government has no war vesels in the North Pacific. We have nothing in the shape of a war vessel but the Joe Lane, bringantine, a ppor sailer and poorly manned and armed. The mines are now coming down from the upper country, generally in desperate circumstances, mostly secesh, and ready for anything. The rebels here seem to be active, have their regular private meetings, as is understood, and would be willing to act should any misfoturne occur to our national arms, It is well understood, however, that the Government will promptly put a stop to privateering from this port. The change of policy in England will have a salutary effect.