consider an consult with Messers, Collie & Co., and give them an immediate answer.
On my return to the hotel I met Mr. Mason and informed him that I should remain to receive it. He said I must have misunderstood Mr. Slidell about such a proposition being unanimous, as he had expressly told them what he had told me and written to you, and that the only terms upon which he would propose to annul the contract was on my saying that I preferred to do so because of the failure on the part of the Government to comply with its portion of the terms, and on account of the trouble and annoyance to which I was subjected by this failure and the opposition it met with on almost all sides here, and that if I put on this footing he would advise that I had the right to cancel it. I am unwilling (if possible to avoid it) to annul the contract because it is not to my interest to carry it on. I knew when I entered into and signed it that I could do much better for myself, but I knew that it promised enough, if successfully carried out, and hoped gave me a position in which I could render great service to our people and Government, which was what I desired. So, the opinion of the commission being deviled, and those opposed to my arrangement having been convinced by Major Huse, I took no further steps and heard nothing further from Mr. Slidell.
I have thus gone into the details of this conversation, at the risk of tiring you, simply to show you how very disagreeable is the position I find myself in here. On informing Mr. Collie on my return here, he expressed himself as perfectly willing to accept the proposition to calces, and, further, to put it even on the footing Mr. Mason proposes in order to close it, but leaves me to do as I please about it. I will wait, at all events, until I have further advices from you, and, if possible, until I have time to hear from my letter of 6th of May, if I can work on so long, but it may be in the absence of any means reaching me for the Government I may be forced, i Collie, to dispose of the vessels nor building or to make some arrangements to decrease the business before I hear fully from you.
I was very much grieved yesterday or receiving a letter form New York informing me that Maurice l. Hobson, of Virginia, a bearer of dispatches to the Confederacy, had been captured and sent North. I cannot believe that the dispatches were captured, as both mine and Mr. Mason's were placed in leaded boxes, and he was urged under any circumstances not to let them pass into other hands; yet, as he is spoken of as the bearer, I can but feel very uneasy until I hear further. By him I wrote you fully and inclosed signed contract exactly in all respects the same as was inclosed to you 13th of March. I am more than ever satisfied Nassau is the best port on the islands we can use, and I shall make no further shipment to any other place until I hear that it is necessary.
Anxiously awaiting your favors, I remain, yours, very respectfully,
WM. G. CRENSHAW.
[Sub-inclosure No. 1.]
MAY 24, 1863.
Hon. JAMES M. MASON:
SIR: As suggested, I beg leave to hand you herewith a rough statement of payments made by Messers. Alexander Collie & Co., and estimate of the amount of money absolutely necessary to furnish cargoes for the steamers already sent from here and the Diana (which was launched yesterday), say, 53,534 pounds. As you are aware, at the time purchase of provisions was made by Mr. Bosher on the authority of