WASHINGTON, November 22, 1861.
(Received December 7.)
[Earl RUSSELL, London.]
MY LORD: * * * I transmit to your lordship herewith copies* of the articles on the capture of Messrs. Mason and Slidell which have been published in the principal newspapers since I had the honor to address to you my dispatch of the 19th ultimo. To a person accostomed to the strong language of the American press these articles appear moderate and even subdued in tone. At all events the line taken by the greater part of the newspapers in rather to argue that Great Britain has not the right to complain and therefore will not do so than to defy her to make objection right of wrong. I wish I could add that the argument was generally carried on in courteous language or in a friendly spirit.
Your lordship may observe in several of the inclosed extracts from the American newspapers assertions concerning language stated to have been held by me in private conversation. These assertions are wholly without foundation. I have avoided the subject of the capture on board the Trent as much as possible, and have said no more than that it is an untoward event which I very much regret. I have neither publicly nor privately expressed any opinion whatever on the question of international law or on the course likely to be taken by Her Majesty's Government. I have had no communication on the subject, verbal or written, official or private, with any member of the Government of the United States.
Messrs. Mason and Slidell with their secretaries, Messrs. Macfarland and Eustis, have been to Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor.
I have, &c.,
U. S. STEAMER SAN JACINTO, Boston, November 24, 1861.
Honorable GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.
SIR: I have the honor to report that I left Newport in this ship at 11. 30 p. m. on the 21st instant en route for Boston, but on the next morning I was obligned to putinto Holmes' Hole on account of the intense fog. We arrived off Boston Light last evening and anchored there, the night being very dark and a severe storm ahead.
I delivered the Confederate commissioners this morning to Colonel Dimick, commanding U. S. detachment at Fort Warren, from whom I obtained a receipt. So soon as the prisoners were landed I proceeded immediately to Boston and at 2 p. m. anchored off the navy-yard.
I have telegraphed you through Captain Hudson the amount of money required to pay off the crew and shall await your further orders.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
NAVY DEPARTMENT, Washington, November 25, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of the report of Captain Charles Wilkes of the arrest of Messrs. Mason and Slidell and
* Not found.