The same author says:
the neutral country has a right to preserve its relations with the enemy, and you are not at liberty to conclude that any communication between them can partake in any degree of the nature of hostility against you.
Most assuredly then the bearers of such dispatches or the ambassadors themselves are not liable to seizure on a neutral vessel when proceeding from one neutral country to another. The undersigned think that it will be found on examination that when an ambassador has been held to be liable to sezire on a neutral vessel while on his passage it has been when the neutral vessel received him in the enemy's port or was carrying him to the enemy's port. In the present case the persons seized were received as simple passengers on the neutral vessel bound from one neutral country to another.
The undersigneds further view of the case: Granting that the persons seized were liable to seizure it is submitted that the question of liability is a judicial question. For the decision of all such questions admiralty courts are established, and in those courts alone where both parties can be heard could they be determined. The only proper course was a seizure of the Trenth with her cargo and passengers and a submission of the whole matter to a judicial tribunal.
The undersigned therefore feel it to be their duty to protest against this act of illegal violence done by the Government of the United States to citizens of the Confederate States on board of an English vessel by which tye have been torn from their families and committed to a loathsome prison. They feel it to be their duty to lay the facts before the Government of Her Britannic Majesty and to claim for their imprisoned countrymen the full benefit of that protection to which every private persons who seeks shelter under the British flag and demeans himself according to British law has heretofore even been held to be entitled.
The undersigned therefore confidently hope that Her Majesty's Government will cause those citizens of the Confederate States who have been so illegally taken from the deck of a British vessel to be returned to the position which they enjoyed under the protection of the British flag when seized, or to the port whither they were boudn and to which Her Majesty's Royal Mail Packet Company had engaged to take them after having received the usual compensation.
The undersigned have the honor to assure his lordship of their very high consideration.
W. L. YANCEY.
P. A. ROST.
A. DUDLEY MANN.
COMMISSION OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA,
London, December 2, 1861.
Honorable R. M. T. HUNTER.
SIR: We have the honor to acknowledge receipt on the 27th ultimo of dispatches of date the 24th of August, as also of dispatch dated 23rd of September, 1861. *
It is our painful duty to communicate to you that on the 8th ultiSlidell, James M. Mason, James Macfarland and George Eustis were forcibly taken by the U. S. man-of-war San Jacinto from
*None of these dispatches found.
78 R R - SERIES II, VOL II