We, the undersigned, embarked at Havana on the 7th instant as passengers on board the Trent, Captain Moir, bound to the island of Saint Thomas, the Trent being one of the regular mail and passenger line of the British Royal Steamship Company running from Vera Cruz via Havana to Saint Thomas and thence to Southampton, England. We paid our passage money for the whole route from Havana to Southampton to the British consul at Havana, who acts as the agent representative of the said steamship company, Mr. Slidell being accompanied by his family consisting of his wife, four children and a servant, and Mr. Eustis by his wife and servants.
The Trent left the port of Havana about 8 o'clock on the morning of the 7th instant and pursued her voyage uninterruptedly until intercepted by the U. S. steamer San Jacinto under your command on the day following (the 8th instant) in the manner now to be related.
When the San Jacinto was first observed several miles distant the Trent was pursuing the usual course of her voyage along the old Bahama or Nicholas Channel; was about 240 miles from Havana and in sight of the light-house of Paredon Grande, the San Jacinto then lying stationary or nearly so about the middle of the channel and where it was some fifteen miles wide as since shown us on the chart, the nationality of the ship being then unknown.
Whet the Trent had approached near enough for her flag to be distinguished it was hoisted at the peak and at the main and so remained for a time. No flag was shown by the San Jacinto.
When the Trent had approached within a mile of the San Jacinto, still pursuing the due course of her voyage, a shotted gun was fired from the letter ship across the course of the Trent and the U. S. flag at the same time displayed at the peak. The British flag was again immediately hoisted as before by the Trent and so remained. When the Trent had approached, still on her course, within from 200 to 300 yards of the San Jacinto a second shotted gun was fired from your ship again across the course of the Trent. When the Trent got within hailing distance her captain inquired what was wanted. The reply was understood to be they would send a boat, both ships being then stationary with steam shut off. A boat very soon put off from your ship followed immediately by two other boats with full crews and armed with muskets and side arms. A lieutenant in the naval uniform of the United States and with side arms boarded the Trent, and in the presence of most of the passengers then assembled on the upper deck said to Captain Moir that the came with orders to demand his passenger list. The captain refused to produce it and formally protected against any right to visit his ship for the purpose indicated.
After some conversation importing renewed protests on the part of the captain against the alleged object of the visit and on the part of the officer of the San Jacinto that he had only to execute his orders, the latter said the two gentlemen (naming Mr. Sledell and Mr. Mason) were known to be on board as also two other gentlemen (naming Mr. Eustis and Mr. Macfarland) and that his orders were to take a board the San Jacinto. It should have been noted that on first addressing the captain the officer announced himself as a lieutenant of the U. S. steamer San Jacinto. The four gentlemen thus named being present the lieutenant addressed Mr. Slidell and afterward Mr. Mason repeating that his orders were to take them together with Mr. Eustis and Mr. Macfarland and carry them on board his ship, which orders he must execute.
69 R R-SIRIES II, VOL II.