myself had been spreading around the country to an alarming extent I found, for the safety of myself and family, I therefore demanded an investigation of the matter which was had, and after an investigation of over two weeks nothing could be substantiated more than that I obeyed the order of an officer of the United States Government. Whether that was my saving Lieutenant Platt and men or coming to anchor in the harbor of Key West when so requested by Captain Craven I know not. For this I had to find bonds for $10,000 to appear at circuit court in October last which under all the circumstances has been impossible for me to do. What may be the result of this to me I cannot now say.
After this being all over at Tampa I was informed that if I was at Key West I would receive my steamer angain as her boiler was not in good order, the Government having used her one month, for which I received only $1,026, I think, and up to this time is all I received, all the time since June 6 having officers and men on board for which I have paid out over $4,800 in cash and still due some. The steamer was detained here near three months. I was then allowed to take her and crew away on condition that she would not be carried to the Confederate States. I therefore left for Havana with the intention of having her boiler overhauled and obtain soft coal and send her on to New York and through my merchants in Havana to have her sold in their name, as I being a citizen of the South dare not sell her at the risk of my life North. Upon inquiry of the American consul, Savage, I found that my merchants could not hold her, as they were citizens of Havana, and by the proclamation of President Lincoln she would be subject to confiscation if I owned her and [was] found on the sea, as also my negroes by the proclamation then of Fremont, of manumission. I was therefore placed in a very unpleasant position and how to act I did not know. Could not sell my steamer for cash in Havana and otherwise it would be folly; durst not leave my negroes there I being under bonds to carry them off the island. I wrote Major French here that I did not see how I could return by way of Key West, as I promised him to bring fourteen ponies from Cuba for his battery, after observing these proclamations. He did not answer me. This therefore convinced me more of my risk. This was really hard, after going to the expense of having my boiler repaired, which took two weeks.
At last I was informed by a gentleman from Nassau, New Providence, that if I had my vessel in Nassau I could sell her he thought to a company there who was supplying that place with fresh beef from New York, but there was a risk in even getting her there. He told me-and which I had seen-several American schooners from Rhode Island and other parts [were] arriving with English colors, and that he himself was American and was in the same way. I therefore made inquiry of the English consul of the requisite to hold an English vessel. He very kindly told me, and after stating my condition to American Consul Savage he said he did not know any other way I could be secure under the circumstances. Therefore Mr. Savage accordingly drew up the bill in name of a British subject who gave me his notes and power of attorney to sell the vessel. Being under such heavy expense and short of money I put her for Nassau, New Providence, and in a few days received some freight, enough I presumed to pay expenses going there, and left with part of a cargo and owners of same on board on 13th of October for Nassau. My negroes being on board and my young son I was desirous of making the mainland of Florida and requested the captain to steer the vessel for Tortugas, so that when I made the