War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0805 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.

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on the next day I dispatched a demand for the release of the prisoners to the Governor of Tangier, through Mr. Hay, the British charge resident at that place (copy annexed). I am in hourly expectation of receiving a reply from the Governor of Morocco. *** I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,

[R. SEMMES,

Commander, C. S. Navy.]

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

C. S. STEAMER SUMTER,

Bay of Gibraltar, February 22, 1862.

Captain S. FREELING, Colonial Secretary.

SIR: I have the honor to ask the good offices of His Excellency the Governor of Gibraltar in a matter purely my own. On Wednesday last I dispatched from this port in a French passenger steamer for Cadiz, on business connected with this ship, my paymaster, Mr. Henry Myers, and Mr. T. T. Tunstall, a citizen of the Confederate States and ex-U. S. consul at Cadiz. The steamer having stopped on her way at Tangier and these gentlemen having gone on shore for a walk during her temporary delay there they were seized by the authorities at the instigation of the U. S. consul and imprisoned. A note from Paymaster Myers informsme they are both heavily ironed and otherwise treated in a barbarous manner.

I learn further that the pretence upon which the unlawful proceeding was had is that it is authorized by treaty stipulation with the United States. Unfortunately I have not a copy of this treaty in my possession but I presume it provides in the usual form for the extradition of criminals and nothing more. I need not say to His Excellency that treaties of this description are never applied to political offenders, which I presume is the only category in which the U. S. consul pretends to place these two gentlemen. An occurrence of this kind could not have happened of course in a civilized community. The political ingnorance of the Moorish Government has been shamefully practiced upon by the unscrupulous consul.

I understand that the British Government has a diplomatic agent resident at Tangier, and a word from that gentlemen would no doubt set the matter right and insure the release of the unfortunate prisoners. Ahnd it is to interest this gentlemen in this humane task that I address myself to His Excellency. May I not ask the favor of His Excellency under the peculiar circumstances of the case to address Mr. Hay a note on the subject explaining to him the facts and requesting his interposition? If any official scruples present themselves the thing might be done in his character as a private gentlemen. The Moorish Government would not hesitate a moment if it understood correctly the facts and principles of the case, to wit, that the principal powers of Europe have recognized the Confederate States as belligerents in their war against the United States and that consequently the act of making war against these States by the cinfederate States is not an offense, political or otherwise, of which a neutral can take cognizance, and even if it were the former no extradition treaty is ever meant to apply to such a case.

I have the honor, &c.,

[R. SEMMES,

Commander, C. S. Navy.]