with the conviction that his absence will be preferable to his company. In that case, however, he may probably decide to cruise off the harbor, which would hardly improve our prospects, though it would be irksome to the enemy. Another Yankee gun-boat came in the day before yesterday, the Santiago de Cuba, but left again last evening.
We have succeeded in obtaining a very important modification of the existing laws, viz, the privilege of breaking bulk and transshipment. This, as you are aware, was not previously accorded, so that if matters come to the worst we may make such a division of the cargo into other vessels as will diminish the risk. I do not relish the idea of breaking bulk, and if a chance should present itself - not such a one even as a very prudent man would adopt - I shall try the run. As things now stand I shall certainly not do it; indeed, Mr. Helm, though not limiting my authority, cautioned me to be prudent. The cargo is really of such value that I dread any accident, and am disposed to shrink instinctively from the hazard of a loss. The late proclamation of the Queen forbidding the export of all warlike material (we got that news yesterday) adds materially to the value of the cargo, and this brings up the chances of a rupture between England and the United States. I take it for granted that if the demands of the British Government are not complied with there will be war, and it may not take more than a few weeks to decide the contingency. In the event of war our vessel would be perfectly safe under convoy, and hence the question occurs whether, being compelled to remain, the detention may not prove to be opportune. To sum up, if a good chance should present itself I will start; otherwise I shall abide the course of events.
The steamer Ella Warley, which takes this, is the old Isabel, now under British colors. John Fraser & Co., of Charleston, are the principal parties interested, and she carries from here a cargo of sundries (but no munitions of war), ostensibly bound to Saint John, New Brunswick. In case of need she might be made available for transporting a portion o f the Gladiator's cargo. So also could the Theodore, provided she is put in such a condition as I suggested in my former communication. I have not yet been able either to sell or ship the seventy-five bales of cotton. This is a very poor market, but I expect to get rid of it next week, as I am informed that a vessel is to go to New York, and I may induce some one to buy. In fact a party has approached me on the subject, but will make no offer until the vessel is ready to load. Messrs. H. Adderly & Co. have offered to ship it to New York for me, which is undoubtedly the best market. But with the temper of the people there I am apprehensive that the authorities might go behind the alleged ownership and give us trouble in realizing. I have no desire to speculate on the cotton, but simply to get the best price without any further risk. As it may so happen that you have not received the charter party of the Gladiator, I inclose a copy of it. There are two English gun-boats in port, the Bulldog and the Steady.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HAVANA, December 20, 1861.
Mr. LOUIS HEYLIGER:
SIR: The British steamer Gladiator, Commander G. G. Bird, with a cargo for the Confederate States of America, is now at Nassau awaiting orders from me. As I cannot be at that port in person, I must