points as particularly refer to my action in the matter, I have the honor to state in reply that on the 30th of July I reported that the collector of the port informed me that the schooner Haze was in the harbor loaded with arms, &c., which we supposed were to be transferred to the San Diego. This letter was returned August 4 with the indorsement ordering the arms to be seized until bonds were given that they were not to leave the country. A party was sent to make the seizure but the vessel could not be found. We learned that she had left the harbor in the night and was then in Half Moon Bay. A party was sent to that point, made the seizure, and returned with the vessel to Alcatraz Island, where she was left in charge of the commander of that post. On August 10, Special Orders, Numbers 174, was received, directing the seizure of all that lot of arms, &c., in or near this city, of which those on board the Haze formed part, and to send them, together with those on board the Haze, to Benicia, and to turn them over to the commanding officer at Benicia Arsenal. General McDowell in verbal conversation suggested that I had better call upon Mr. Barnes, a lawyer of this city, who would give me the necessary information as to where the different lots of arms might be found. I called on him at his office, and was informed that arrangements were being made to transfer all of the arms to him as agent; that so soon as the necessary invoices could be made out he would furnish me the information and turn over invoices. I waited several days, but not receiving anything from Mr. Barnes, having sent my aide, Lieutenant Judkins, to him several times, I informed him that I would make the seizure. He then furnished me the memoranda of which the paper marked A is a copy.
The arms seized on the 19th of August and sent to Benicia were 71 cases from sloop Haze, 260 cases from warehouse of Pacific Mail Steamship Company, 163ers 407 Battery street, and 106 cases from 411 Sansome street. Senor Vega states that General McDowell suddnely left for Oregon, and that Mr. Barnes told him I was authorized to act. That he (Senor Vega) spoke to me, and that although I at first offered to restore everything whenever he addressed me officially on the subject still nothing was accomplished. In reply, I must say I never saw Senor Vega; I never offered to release the arms to him or any other person. In my interviews with Mr. Barnes I tried to impress upon him the fact that I was powerless in the matter; that the President of the United States would not permit the export of arms; that the collector would not allow arms to leave the port, and that General McDowell would not allow them to be sold in the interior, nor remain in insecure places in this city; that they were only seized by the military authorities for safekeeping to prevent their being sent out of the country contrary to the President's orders, or seized here by persons inimical to the Government, and that these were not considered as confiscated. Mr. A. J. Plate and a Mr. Whitehouse, from whose store-house these arms were taken called on me two or three times with reference to the arms, and desired to know whether the Government would buy them. I informed them that application must be made to the authorities in Washington, and in every interview with all parties tried to impress upon them the hopelessness of getting the arms released without the express authority from the Government to reship them to New York, in which case I thought the military authorities would raise no objections.
Your obedient servant,
JNO S. MASON.
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Acting Assistant
Provost-Marshal-General, California and Nevada.