War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0845 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

desirous of placing themselves favorably with our people, and will each contribute to an export fund, the inducement being the placing the proof of friendly interest so important to their future trade, while properly conducted there is not only a moral certainty of no loss, but of large profit. The plan is for, say, 100 firms to contribute an average of $ 2,000 each, or in all $ 1,000,000, placing the whole matter under the control of a single manager. This is for the purpose of securing the necessary elements of secrecy. Then to get up other similar organizations, say to the number of five, making a total export capital of $ 5,000,000. Then for the five managers to contribute equally to the cargoes; thus, if their average cost was $ 250,000, each man's venture would be distributed in twenty bottoms, which brings in the element of mutual insurance. Under a proper system there would be a virtual certainty that three-fourths or four-fifths would get in safely, as can be proved by the operations of Fraser & Co. and others. At an average profit of only 100 per cent. (many articles paying from 500 to 1,000 per cent.), but one-half would have to get in to save loss. If two-thirds, three-fourths, or four-fifths, there would be respective profits of $ 1,750,000, $ 2,500,000, and $ 3,000,000 on each $ 5,000,000 exported, with a still larger profit on the return cargoes at far less risk. While, therefore, there would be an almost absolute certainty of no loss there would be a moral assurance of a large profit. Here, then, are combined all the inducements that can be supposed to influence English merchants, the placing with our people, so anxiously desired, the proof of a disposition to aid us, so important to their future standing, combined with perfect safety against loss and the moral certainty of profit. I am certain this European combination can be made. It would, of course, have to be properly managed, and would require active, intelligent, and persevering effort in its organization, as do most important enterprises. So certain am I of success that I am ready to give it my personal attention on terms that will involve neither risk nor expense of any moment to the Government. The plan of shipments might be in part the one I had the honor of submitting to you from Nassau, or other plans, one of which I propose shall be made known to no human being on this side of the Atlantic except yourself, and to no others on the other side except the managers of the European combination. I forgot to mention that the European combination would expect the privilege of taking return cargoes of cotton, naval stores, & c., and a remission of Government duties during the war. I would state that this communication is in part made at the instance of distinguished merchants and railroad officials, for which reason I respectfully request a reply at your early convenience.

I have the honor to be, with high regard, your obedient servant,

D. T. BISBIE.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, Va., January 17, 1862.

E. J. FORSTALL, Esq.,

New Orleans, La.:

SIR: The Government of the Confederacy is desirous of placing $ 1,000,000 in England for the necessities of the public service. As the oexisting to commercial transactions are such as to render it very embarrassing to make remittances, I am authorized by the President to make proposals to any correspondent of foreign houses in New Orleans to the following effect, viz: That an advance