OFFICE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE UNITED STATES,
New York, September 21, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
SIR: I respectfully transmit herewith for the information of the Government a copy of a correspondence between the counsel of the pirates of the Savannah and myself.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
E. DELAFIELD SMITH.
[Inclosure Numbers 1]
NEW YORK, September 7, 1861.
E. DELAFIELD SMITH, Esq.,
U. S. District Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
SIR: In the discharge of our professional duty as counsel for the prisoners taken from the Southern privateer Savannah and now awaiting trial upon an indictment for piracy at the next term of the U. S. circuit court to be held in this city in October next it is incumbent upon us to procure authenticated copies of records of several of the Southern States; of records of a tribunal claiming to be a prize court lately organized at Charleston, S. C., and of records of the so-called Confederate States now on file in Richmond, Va. They are as follows:
1. The acts or ordinances of the several States purpoting to repeal and annul their adoption and ratification of the Federal Constitution and to withdraw from the Union.
2. The records of the acts or ordinances appointing delegates to the Congress held at Montgomery.
3. The record of the Provisional Constitution claimed to have been adopted by the so called Confederate States.
4. The records of the acts of the several States adopting this Provisional Constitution.
5. The record of the permanent Constitution.
6. The records of the acts of the several States adopting this permanent Constitution.
7. The record of the act of the Southern Congress recognizing the existence of war with the Federal Government and authorizing the issue of letters of marque and reprisal.
8. The record of the letter of marque granted to the Savannah.
9. The record of the regulations prescribed for vessels carrying letters of marque.
10. The record of the act of the Southern Congress purporting to establish the prize court at Charleston.
11. The record of the prize court of the condemnation of the Joseph, the vessel alleged to have been captured by the Savannah as a prize of war.
12. The record certifying the authority of Jefferson Davis to act in the name of the so-called Confederate States.
So far as the State records are concerned, they can we suppose be authenticated under the laws of the United States in such manner as to make them evidence in its courts. We should rely on such authentication on receiving your assurance that no technical objection would be made to it. As to the records from Richmond and those of the prize court, without an express waiver of all technical objections it would be necessary that a witness should be produced on the trial who would be able to testify that they are accurate copies, to give some