this last place, however, the Fingal had just forced the blockade with a valuable cargo, and the enemy had redoubled their squadron. I then determined to go to New Orleans, when, after a delay of six weeks and many disappointments, I took the steamer Calhoun and reached Havana safely, and from thence to Southampton, which last I reached on the 15th of February of the present year. Here I was met with the intelligence that my friend and associate, Mr. Gifford, had sailed from London on the 24th of December in a steamer fitted out with a valuable cargo for the Confederate States. She was owned by the great house of William S. Lindsay & Co., London, into whose hands Mr. Gifford had placed the orders. I at once communicated with them, and was informed that Mr. Gifford had left Mr. Stringer, the active member of the firm, as his representative, which was entirely agreeable to me. Lindsay & Co. were then in expectation of hearing of the arrival of Mr. Gifford and his cargo, and indeed had begun to expect his return to England. They assured me that as soon as either of these occurred the whole of the orders would be at once executed, but they and the other parties interested preferred first to be sure of the success of the shipment they had made. This seemed reasonable, and I awaited with them in anxious suspense until il, when the conclusion was irresistible that the steamer and all on board was lost. They then declined to fit out or participate in another shipment. I, however, succeeded in making a contract with Emile Gautherin, esq., a gentleman and merchant here o high standing and credit, as was represented to me on all sides, for the prompt execution of the order bearing date November 3, 1861, and signed by Colonel Gorgas, chief of the Ordnance Bureau. This contract entered into by Mr. Gautherin, esq., a gentleman and merchant here of high standing and credit, as was represented tome on all sides, for the prompt execution of the order bearing date November 3, 1861, and signed by Colonel Gorgas, chief of the Ordnance Bureau. This contract entered into by Mr. Gautherin was made in due legal form, and about a fort-night thereafter Mr. G. represented to me that the cargo was bought, the steamer procured, and in a few days she would be ready to sail. It was my purpose to have gone in her, and Mr. Slidell, who had been cognizant of the contract, was formally notified by Mr. Gautherin to make ready his dispatches. Week after week passed away, and various pretexts were given for the delay of the shipment, and finally I begun to suspect that there was an intention on the part of Mr. Gautherin and his associates to abandon the enterprise. They still, however, continued to give me the assurance that the steamer would be soon dispatched.
On the 1st of September only was I enabled to force from him the fact that they had determined not to conform to their binding contract, although they had held the order for more than four months, thus cutting me off from negotiations with other parties for its fulfillment. Thus I was baffled a second time, without fault of mine, in fulfilling the orders intrusted to me. It is, however, possible that I may yet effect something, in which case I shall rely upon the equity of the Department to accept the shipments and not hold me to the limitation of time stipulated in the orders. I have deemed it due alike to the Department and myself to make this statement of facts, and would ask leave to accompany it with some views which I think will commend themselves to your judgment.
To great difficulty in negotiating orders of this nature is and has been that the risk is all thrown upon the shipper, and that the rate of insurance to cover this risk has been and will continue to be, so long as the Southern ports are blockaded, and so long as England tamely submits to the outrages committed upon her commerce and flag in and near her ports of Bermuda and Nassau by the U. S.