War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1145 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

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packet Trent. The note contains a very long and very elaborate dissertation on the questions of international law involved in the case.

I have not time before the departure of the messenger to weigh the arguments or to estimate precisely the force of the expressions used. But as Mr. Seward admits that reparation is due to Great Britain and consents to deliver the four prisoners to me I consider that the demands of Her Majesty's Government are so far substantially complied with that it is my duty in obedience to your lordship's to report the facts to Her Majesty's Government for their consideration and to remain at my post until I receive further orders.

I have the honor to inclose a copy of the answer which I have made to Mr. Seward's note. I have confined myself to stating that I will forward a copy of it to Her Majesty's Government, and that I will confer with Mr. Seward personally on the arrangements to be made for the delivery of the prisoners to me.

I have, &c.,

LYONS.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 26, 1861.

Right Honorable Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: Earl Russell's dispatch of November 30, a copy of which you have left with me at my request, is of the following effect, namely:

That a letter of Commander Williams dated "Royal Mail Contract Packet-boat Trent, at sea, November 9" states that that vessel left Havana on the 7th of November with Her Majesty's mails for England having on board numerous passengers. Shourtly after noon on the 8th of November the U. S. war steamer San Jacinto, Captain Wilkes, not showing colors was observed ahead. That steamer on being neared by the Trent at 1. 15 p. m. fired a round shot from a pivot gun across her bows and showed American colors. While the Trent was approaching slowly toward the San Jacinto she discharged a shell across the Trent's bows which exploded at half a cable's length before her. The Trent then stopped and an officer with a large armed guard of marines boarded her. The officer said he had orders to arrest Messrs. Mason, Slidell, Macfarland and Eustis and had sure information that they were passengers on the Trent. While some parley was going on upon this matter Mr. Slidell stepped forward and said to the American officer that the four persons he had named were standing before him. The commander of the Trent and Commander Williams protested against the act of taking those four passengers out of the Trent they then being under the protection of the British flag. But the San Jacinto was at ths time only 200 yards distant, her ship's company at quarters, her ports open ad tompions out and so resistance was out of the question. The four persons before named were then forcibly taken out of the ship. A further demand was made that the commander of the Trent should proceed on boarde the San Jacinto but he said he would not go unless forcibly compelled likewise and this demand was not insisted upon.

Upon ths statement Earl Russell remarks that it thus appears that ceratin individuals have been forcibly taken from on board a British vessel, the ship of a neutral power, while that vessel was pursuing a lawful and innocent voyage-an act of violence which was an affront to the British flag and a violation of international law.

Earl Russell next says that Her Majesty's Government bearing in mind the friendly relations which have long subsisted between Great