protest made by the master of the royal mail steamer Trent before Her Majesty's consul at Saint Thomas on the 14th ultimo against the proceedigs of the captain of the U. S. ship of war San Jacinto in forcibly removing Messrs. Mason and Slidell, the commissioners from the socalled Confederate States, with their secretaries from on board the Trent.
I am, &c.,
C. PAGE T,
Secretary to the Admiralty.
HER BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S CONSULATE,
Saint Thomas, West Indies.
Be it known that on this 14th of November, 1861, before me, Robert Boyd Lamb, esq., Her Britannic Majesty's consul in the Island of Saint Thomas, personally appeared James Moir, master of the steamship Trent, of London, of the burden of 1,856 tons or thereabouts, and entered a protest declaring as follows:
That he sailed in the saild steamship Trent from Havana under contract with Her Britannic Majesty's Government as a mail pacted bound for Saint Thomas with Her Majesty's mails under charge of Commander Richard Williams, of Her Majesty's navy, sixty-odd passengers, $1,500,000 in spiece and a valuable cargo, on the 7th instant, at 8 a. m. ; that nothing particular occurred till the succeeding day, 8th instant, at about meridian, when the ship was in the narrow part of the Bahama Channel approaching the Paredon Grande Light-House, the coast of Cuba distant about 4 miles, a steamer having the appearance of a man-of-war but not showing any colors was observaed ahead hove to; that the British ensign was immediately hoisted on board the Trent with the Royal Mail Company's distinguishing flag at the main, and on approaching the vessel ahead, which showed no colors, at 1. 05 p. m. she fired a round shot across the Trent's bows and then hoisted American colors, when the Trent's engines were immediately slowed, and while she was approaching the American vessel a shell was discharged from the latter's pivot gun across the Trent's bows which burst half a cable's length ahead of her. The Trent's engines were then stopped, when she was hailed by an officer from the American vessel and ordered to heave to.
A boat from her then came on board with armed boats's crew and an armed guard of marines accompanied by an officer in uniform of the U. S. Navy, who stated that the ship was the U. S. war steamer the San Jacinto, commanded by Captain Wilkes, and demanded a list of the passengers on board, which demand the master of the Trent-refused to comply with, on with refusal a further was sent for from the San Jacinto and two more boat's crews came on board the Trent; that the same officer then stated that he had orders whatever might be the consequence to arrest Messrs. Slidell, Mason, Macfarland and Eustis whom he knew were on board the ship. He was then asked by the master of the Trent what would be his course in case orders were to take the ship in case of necessity. He was then informed by the master of the Trent that the passengers would not be given up unless such force was used as could not be resisted, on which Mr. Slidell stepped forward and informed the officer of the San Jacinto