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19th Congress.]

No. 270.

[1st Session.

PROCEEDINGS AND DOCUMENTS OF COURTS-MARTIAL AND OF INQUIRY ON THE COURSE OF COMMODORE DAVID PORTER, IN THE SUPPRESSION OF PIRACY, TRANSPORTATION OF SPECIE AND IN THE PURSUIT OF THE PIRATES AT FOXARDO, IN THE ISLAND OF PORTO RICO.

COMMUNICATED TO THE SENATE DECEMBER 26, 1825.

Navy Department, December 22, 1825. Sir: In answer to a resolution of the Senate of the 14th inst., that the Secretary of the Navy "be directed to cause to be laid before the Senate the proceedings and judgment of the court of inquiry, in relation to the employment of the squadron under Commodore Porter, for the suppression of piracy in the West Indies, and the transportation of specie in vessels of the United States during the years 1823 and 1824, and also the proceedings of the court-martial in reference to the transactions at Foxardo," I have the honor to send a printed volume, which contains the information called for. I have the honor to be very respectfully, &c.,

SAML. L. SOUTHARD.

The President of the Senate of the United States.

MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS OF THE COURT OF INQUIRY AND COURT-MARTIAL, IN RELATION TO CAPTAIN DAVID PORTER: CONVENED AT WASHINGTON, D. C., ON THURSDAY, THE SEVENTH DAY OF JULY, A. D. 1825.

PROCEEDINGS.

To Isaac Chauncey, Esq., Captain in the Navy of the United States:

It having been made to appear to the President of the United States, that on or about the fourteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four, David Porter, Esquire, a captain in the navy of the United States, then in command of the naval forces of the United States in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, did, with a part of the military force under his command, forcibly land upon the Island of Porto Rico, a part of the dominions of his Catholic Majesty the King of Spain, then and still at peace and in amity with the Government of the United States, and did then and there commit acts of hostility within the territories, and against the subjects, of the said King of Spain:

The President of the United States has deemed an inquiry into the conduct of the said David Porter, on that occasion, as well as into the causes which led to the same, to be necessary and proper.

And whereas certain representations having been made to the Government of the United States, in regard to the employment of the naval forces of the United States in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, setting forth, in substance, that, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four, the said naval forces were not employed in the suppression of piracy in the most effective manner, but were employed in the transportation of specie, and in other objects of inferior moment, to the neglect of the public interests; and the said David Porter, considering his conduct and character as the commander of said forces to be thereby implicated, has requested of this Department that an inquiry be made into the truth of said representations:

The President of the United States, in consideration of the premises, has charged me to convene a court of inquiry for the purpose of examining into the matters aforesaid.

You are therefore hereby ordered to proceed to the Navy yard at the city of Washington, on or before the second day of May next, to act as a member of said court, and to officiate as the president thereof.

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Orders are also transmitted to Captain Wm. M. Crane and Captain George C. Read, to appear at the time and place aforesaid; and Richard S. Coxe, Esquire, is also appointed judge advocate, and. will report himself to you in that capacity at the time and place aforesaid.

And the said court is hereby required to convene and organize at the said Navy yard at Washington, on the said second day of May, and is authorized and directed to summon before it such persons as may be deemed necessary to give information touching the matters aforesaid, and is also empowered, authorized and directed, diligently and strictly to inquire into the said matters, to make a statement of the facts in relation to the same as they shall appear to the court; and particularly to examine into and report the causes which led to the conduct of the said David Porter at the Island of Porto Rico, before mentioned; and to ascertain and report whether the naval forces of the United States were employed in the most effective manner in the suppression of piracy, or in objects of inferior moment, to the neglect of the public interests; all of which you will transmit to this Department, to be submitted to the President of the United States for his consideration. And for your so doing, this shall be to you and all concerned a sufficient warrant.

Given under my hand, and seal of the Navy Department of the United States, at the city of Washington, this nineteenth of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, and of the independence of the United States the forty-ninth.

(Signed) SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD, [L. S.]

Minutes of the proceedings of a court of inquiry, directed to investigate the conduct of David Porter, Esquire, a. captain in the navy of the United States, convened at the Navy yard in the city of Washington, this second day of May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, in obedience to the precept of the honorable the Secretary of the Navy, bearing date the nineteenth day of April, 1825, which is hereunto annexed, and marked A.

Captain Isaac Chauncey, appointed in and by the said precept, as president of said court, and Captains William M. Crane and George C. Read, members thereof, and Richard S. Coxe, judge advocate, appeared.

Captain David Porter also appeared, and being asked whether he had any objection to offer against either of the members of the court, replied that he had no specific objection to urge, but that he had some remarks which he wished to submit to the consideration of the court after it was organized, and previous to its proceeding to make the investigation for which it was convened. Whereupon, the oath prescribed by law, in such case, was administered by the judge advocate to the president and members of the court, and the president administered to the judge advocate the oath required by law to be taken by him.

Captain Porter then submitted and read to the court a paper containing certain remarks upon the precept by the authority of which the court had been convened; which was annexed to the record, and marked B.

The room being cleared, the court proceeded maturely to deliberate on the same; after some time it was opened, and the judge advocate informed Captain Porter that he had been instructed to read to him a letter which had been addressed by the judge advocate, by the directions of the court, to the Secretary of the Navy, by which he would be apprised of the course which the court had taken with regard to the paper submitted by him. Which letter was read, annexed, and marked C.

The court then adjourned till to-morrow morning, at 11 o'clock.

Tuesday, May 3.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday: present as before.

The judge advocate submitted and read to the court a communication from the honorable the Secretary of the Navy, in answer to the letter yesterday addressed to him; which was annexed to the record, and marked D.

The judge advocate then submitted and read to the court certified copies from the Navy Department of certain papers annexed to the record, and marked (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.)

Charles T. Platt, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:

On the 24th October last, as I believe, about 7 o'clock in the morning, I received a communication from Messrs. Cabot, Baily and Co., commercial agents at St. Thomas, informing me that their store had been forcibly entered the preceding night, and robbed of goods to the amount of not less than five thousand dollars. I commanded the Beagle, then at St. Thomas. With this communication I received also a request from Messrs. Cabot and Baily to assist in recovering the goods. I went on shore and called on them, and there learned from merchants who had been previously robbed at the same place, that they had good reason for supposing that these goods had been taken to Foxardo, or in that neighborhood.

I lost no time in getting my vessel ready for sea, took with me a pilot furnished from the shore, and a clerk of Messrs. Cabot and Baily, with a description of the goods that had been stolen. On the evening of the 26th, about 6 o'clock, I anchored, with my colors flying, in the harbor of Foxardo. It was then so late that the pilot did not think it prudent to go on shore, or was not capable of showing me the way. Early the next morning (the 27th) a boat came alongside with a message from the captain of the port, who said he would be happy to see me on shore.

I inquired whether he was acquainted with the character of the vessel; to which he replied, yes. Lest he might be mistaken, I directed him to inform the captain of the port that it was the United States schooner Beagle, and that I should be on the shore as soon as possible. At about half-past six I landed; I was there met by a parcel of ruffians; I could hardly tell what they were. One of them informed me that I could not proceed up to the village. I inquired of him who he was, whether he was an officer or not? He gave me no satisfaction whatever, but merely repeated that I could not proceed up to the town. I then proceeded on without any interruption whatever, having been advised so to do by some citizens who were there, who informed me these people had no authority to stop me. Having entered the village, I first went to the captain of the port, having been informed by a gentleman, a citizen of the place, that this was proper. I informed the captain of the port of the object of my visit, and my reasons for appear-

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ing in citizen's dress, and, after producing the letter addressed to Mr. Campos, he appeared perfectly satisfied with my character, and directed me to call on the alcalde, and inform him. I called upon the alcalde and explained to him my object, and again produced the letter to Mr. Campos. He was perfectly satisfied with my character, and appeared very much pleased that I had taken the precaution to come on shore in citizen's dress.

He then stated that he had no doubt that he should be able to obtain the goods before night, or ascertain where they were. This conversation was entirely between ourselves, the interpreter only being present, every one else being out of hearing. He said the recovery of the goods would probably be attended with some expense. I replied, that if it was necessary to offer a reward for the recovery of the goods, I was authorized to offer one, not to exceed one thousand dollars. I then proposed going round to the different stores where it was possible these goods might have been deposited, with the police, and examine the goods, and see if they corresponded with the samples and descriptions we had. It was supposed that the goods which had been stolen were the only goods of that description in the country. He told me to let that matter rest, to let him manage the affair. He observed, that as I had very properly taken the precaution to come on shore in citizen's clothes, he thought it advisable to let it rest entirely with him; that if I accompanied him, it might excite some suspicion. I accordingly went to a public house and took my breakfast. About an hour after I had finished my breakfast, I received a message from the alcalde, requesting me to call at his office. I was then under the impression that he had made some discoveries in respect to the goods that I was in search of. I went over to his office directly. Lieut. Ritchie and the pilot were with me, to see what the result was.

I inquired, on my arrival at the office of the alcalde, whether he had sent for me, and for what purpose. To this the captain of the port replied, in the most provoking and insulting manner, that he had sent for me for the purpose of demanding my register. I informed them that I had previously offered to show my commission, my uniform and my colors, that I had no register, that a man of war carried none. He then told me that if I did not produce my register at once, he would imprison me. I then requested permission to go on board my vessel with any officer they might choose to go with me, and that I would satisfy them of the character of my vessel and of myself. I then stated to them that the insult which I had received from them was of that nature that it could not be overlooked on my part, and that I should make a formal report of it to Commodore Porter; and, lest that they might deny that they arrested and imprisoned me, that I should proceed directly on board my vessel, and leave the port. I left the office with the design of returning to my vessel, when I was pursued by soldiers, who took me by the collar, arrested and brought me back.

I then considered myself as a prisoner. After detaining me about an hour under charge of the sentry, with Mr. Ritchie and the pilot, they consented to let me send Mr. Bedford, the clerk, who had been sent down by Messrs. Cabot & Baily, on board the vessel, for my commission. I sent him on board, and directed him to bring my commission and uniform, though they did not require the latter. Mr. Bedford returned with them. I put on my uniform and showed them my commission, observing it was a thing which had never been required of me before.

After perhaps fifteen minutes' deliberation on the subject they pronounced the commission a forgery, and me a damned pirate, and ordered me to be confined in the jail. They called it the King's house, and not knowing what that meant, I thought they were about taking me to the most genteel house in the place. So soon as I approached near enough to discover that it was a guard house, well calculated to produce the yellow fever or plague, I objected to being confined there, and said I would not be unless they compelled it by force of arms. In about ten minutes they returned, me to the quarters from which they had taken me, and placed me under charge of a sentry. After my return, I directed the interpreter to inquire what their object was; whether they meant to detain me, or what they wanted. The answer was they would detain me until they heard from St. John's, as I had produced nothing to satisfy them of my character. I informed them that what I had already shown them was all that it would be in my power to show them after hearing from St. Johns. They informed me I had shown nothing to satisfy them that I was ever ordered to that vessel as a lieutenant commandant.

I then requested permission to send on board for my orders; it was granted; I sent on board and got them. After producing my orders, they called a council, detained me till about fifteen minutes before sun-down, confined. I was then set at liberty, and ordered to go on board my vessel, which I did, laughed and hissed at by every blackguard in the street. In this way I left the village, went on board my vessel, and got under way.

On the 12th of November I was standing out of the harbor of St. Thomas, and discovered the John Adams, with her broad pendant flying, standing in to the harbor. As soon as the commodore came to anchor, I went on board and reported myself to him, and mentioned the circumstances that had led to my visit to Foxardo, and the treatment I met with there. The commodore replied that a written report was necessary. I informed him it should be done directly; that my not expecting him so soon was the cause why it had not already been made out. The commodore further informed me that if the circumstances of the case would justify my going there as I did, that he would visit Foxardo, and obtain redress for the insult offered to my person, and to the flag of the United States. I referred the commodore to Mr. Cabot and Mr. Furness, both commercial agents at that place, who would inform him that robberies of the same kind had been before committed, and the goods stolen traced to Foxardo, or the neighborhood.

The commodore directed me to go on shore and request Mr. Cabot to come on board and at the same time get a pilot. I saw Mr. Cabot, who immediately came on board with me. In the morning the pilot came on board the Beagle and I immediately got under way and stood out to the Adams, then under way by order of the commodore. I went on board the commodore and delivered my written report. I was then ordered to go ahead, with the pilot on board the Beagle, and make the best of my way to Foxardo.

The wind however was light, and we were obliged to lie to, off and on, during the night. The next morning at daylight, I was hailed and ordered to proceed again ahead.

At about seven o'clock a boat was sent on board from the commodore for the pilot, and I was directed to proceed on again to the south. At eight, signals were made to follow the motions of the commodore, who was standing in to the land. At nine, we came to anchor under the lee of Passage Island, where we remained until twelve at night, when the Grampus, the Beagle, the barges of the Adams, with as many of the officers and men as could be spared from the vessels, got under way and proceeded towards the harbor of Foxardo. At eight o'clock in the morning of the 14th, we came to anchor, with the Grampus

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and Beagle, in the harbor of Foxardo. The barges were officered and manned, and about landing; at this time one of them had been sent to attack a fort on an eminence at the beach. Commodore Porter, at the same time, sent by Lieutenant Stribling, a flag of truce to the alcalde of the place.

At half-past eight we commenced marching up from the landing to the village, which was about a mile and a half distant. We walked it in about fifteen or twenty minutes. After we arrived within about forty rods of the village, in a few minutes we discovered a field piece ahead, with a number of men with muskets. Commodore Porter ordered us to halt; about fifteen minutes after we discovered a white flag, which was accompanied by Lieutenant Stribling, the alcalde, the captain of the port, and the interpreter. They professed, when they met the commodore, not to know the object of his visit; the commodore informed them they ought to have known that from the tenor of his note. Asked them if they had not confined me after knowing that I was an American officer, and why they had done so? The alcalde admitted he had confined me after knowing I was an American officer, but said that he was not to blame, as he had been forced to do so by others. The commodore informed him that he had nothing to do with any other person; that he was the alcalde, and chief magistrate of the place, and that he held him responsible for the insult offered to me and to the flag. That as he had the power of confining, he certainly had the power of releasing me. The commodore then informed him there was no necessity for any altercation, that the time he had allowed had nearly expired, that there was about five or seven minutes remaining; that he required of them a suitable apology, such a one as should be dictated, the refusal of which would compel him to resort to force of arms, which should terminate in the final destruction of the village. They acceded to this, and apologized in the manner the commodore dictated, to the satisfaction of all present.

This being done, we proceeded down to the beach, refreshments were brought down, and we returned to the vessels and got under way.

I neglected mentioning the spiking two nine pounders which guarded the passage by which we marched up. I do not knot what they were loaded. There was a battery on the beach on the eminence, with two cannons. I saw the Spaniards by them with matches; they were training them upon the vessels. This battery was attacked by a barge, and the Spaniards ran without firing; the other barges landed at almost the same time on the beach within half a mile of the battery; they did not fire at us at all.

The court then adjourned till half-past 10 to-morrow morning.

Wednesday, May 4.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday: present as before. The court resumed the examination of Lieutenant Platt.

Question. Was the store of Messrs. Cabot & Baily in the town or island of St. Thomas? Answer. The store of Messrs. Cabot & Baily was in the city of St. Thomas, the dock on the rear of the store.

Ques. Were those gentlemen at the time resident merchants at St. Thomas? Ans. Yes; those gentlemen were American citizens residing at St. Thomas?

Ques. Did any communications pass between yourself and the authorities of St. Thomas, in relation to the alleged robbery?

Ans. No; I had no communications with the authorities at St. Thomas. I understood from Mr. Cabot, and subsequently from the governor, that some had passed between them.

Ques. Did you carry any letter or other document from the Governor or other officer of St. Thomas, or any force furnished from that island?

Ans. No; I carried no paper from any official person at St. Thomas, but a private letter from one of the most respectable merchants there, addressed to Mr. Campos, one of the most respectable merchants at Foxardo.

Ques. What orders had you received from Commodore Porter, which you considered as authorizing the steps you took?

Ans. I had received orders to protect our commerce in every manner which was consistent with the rules of the service. I understood myself as authorized to go on shore at Foxardo, and inform the police of the robbery that had been committed, which was the object I had in view.

Ques. Did the messenger from the captain of the port, or the captain of the port himself, intimate in your first conversation with them that they knew the vessel then in port to be an American man-of-war?

Ans. Yes; the captain of the port, in my first interview with him, appeared perfectly satisfied of the fact, and took down the name of the vessel, and the names of myself and officers, and our force.

Ques. In your first interview with the captain of the port, or the alcalde, did you request them to act in the recovery of the property of which you were in search, or did you propose to search for, and take, the property yourself?

Ans. I requested them to act, to search for the goods; not intending to act myself at all. I afterwards proposed going myself with the police, which they objected to as unnecessary.

Ques. Did Commodore Porter know anything of the transaction at Foxardo, previous to your communication to him?

Ans. No; he did not.

Ques. Do you know whether any communications were made to the authorities at Porto Rico, either by yourself or Commodore Porter, prior to the landing of the force at Foxardo?

Ans. I knew of none.

Ques. In what boat or vessel did Lieutenant Stribling go to Foxardo, and what length of time elapsed between his going with the flag of truce, and the landing on the beach?

Ans. Lieutenant Stribling went down to Foxardo in the Grampus, and landed about the same time that the men did.

Ques. Where did he receive his instructions from the commodore; at Foxardo, or before your arrival there?

Ans. I do not know.

Ques. How many officers and men were landed? How were they armed? What orders were given by the commodore to the landing party, or to those who remained behind?

Ans. I believe that about two hundred officers and men were landed. I do not know what orders were given to those who remained. I was ordered to land with as many men as I could conveniently, without crowding, carry in the boats. The men were armed with muskets, boarding pikes, cutlasses and

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pistols. I heard no other orders given than that; after we landed, we were directed by the commodore to fall into line and march up.

Ques. Had any answer been received to the communications made through Lieutenant Stribling, before the landing of the men and the spiking of the guns in the battery on the beach, and the two nine-pounders between the beach and the town?

Ans. None that I know of.

Ques. What is the distance between Foxardo and St. Johns?

Ans. I think about forty miles.

Ques. Did the interpreter appear to be an intelligent man, well acquainted with the Spanish and English languages? And do you understand Spanish sufficiently well to know whether he interpreted correctly?

Ans. The interpreter appeared perfectly acquainted with both languages. I understood some things that were said, and my pilot, who understood both languages, told me that he interpreted correctly.

The examination of the witness, in chief, having been closed, Captain Porter was asked whether he had any questions to propose to the witness, to which he replied, that before proceeding to take any steps in his defence, he had some remarks to submit to the court, which he read, and submitted to the court; the paper was annexed to the record, and marked E.

The room was then closed, and, after some time, was opened, when the judge advocate informed Captain Porter that the court had maturely deliberated upon the paper submitted by him; that, after full consideration, the court is of opinion that the matter of the communication, as well as the language in which it is couched, is in several particulars so highly objectionable that, could the court have anticipated its character and contents, it would not have been suffered to be read. The court consider it as highly disrespectful, both to the Secretary of the Navy and to the court itself. This court cannot submit to hear from any officer animadversions on the conduct and accusations against the head of the Department, wholly foreign to the investigation in which it is engaged: nor can it, without forfeiting its own self-respect, listen to language so offensive to itself. The court is willing to believe that this objectionable character may be attributed to the hasty manner in which the paper appears to have been drawn up; and that Captain Porter, on consideration, will feel himself disposed, as well to perceive as to rectify the grounds of objection.

In order however to prevent a recurrence of such unpleasant circumstances, the court has ordered that, in future, no communication be received unless in writing: and the paper must previously be submitted to the judge advocate for the consideration of the court.

The judge advocate further informed Captain Porter that the court had likewise directed him to state, that when the question was asked him on the opening of the court whether he had any objections to make to any member of the court, he was understood to say distinctly that he had none; but that he wished to submit to the court some "remarks on the precept by which the court was convened, and the materials of which it was constituted." It was then suggested to him, that, as the court had not yet been organized, it could at that time hear nothing from him, but that the proper period would be after the members had been sworn in. This suggestion was made by the judge advocate, and apparently acquiesced in by Captain Porter.

Immediately after the organization of the court, Captain Porter read and submitted to the court the paper which has been annexed to, and constitutes part of, the record.

Conceiving that it contained not a challenge to the court, or a specific exception to any member of the court, but objections applying exclusively to the precept under which it had been convened; and that these objections, if presented to the government, might possibly induce some change in the precept, with which the court had. no authority to interfere; feeling also that the exceptions which had been urged, involved the competency of the major part of the members of the court,—a question on which delicacy forbade them to express an opinion, when it had not been presented distinctly to their decision; the court determined to pursue the course which was adopted, and of which Captain Porter was immediately apprised.

If, however, Captain Porter did design to raise a question for the decision of the court, as to the legality of the precept under which it is acting, the court has no hesitation in saying that it entertains no doubt upon the subject. Had any doubt existed, the court would have put it in a way to be satisfactorily decided, before proceeding to act under it.

The court is aware that it possesses no power to compel Captain Porter to take any part in this investigation; but it is equally satisfied that his acts can in no degree interfere with the duty of the court, to proceed in the investigation which it has been charged to make by the competent authority.

The court then adjourned till 10 o'clock to-morrow morning,

Thursday, May 5.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday: present as before.

Captain Porter stated to the court, that on perusing the record, it appeared to him that an omission had been made, (which he was desirous of having supplied,) in stating the proceedings of the first day. He submitted to the court his statement of the remarks which he made before the oath was administered to the members. The court being of opinion that Captain Porter is entitled to have his statement inserted in the record, as containing his view of what transpired, directed it to be inserted. It is in the words following, viz:

"Captain Porter being asked whether he had any objection to offer against either of the members of the court, replied that he had no specific objection to individuals; but he objected to the materials of which the court was composed, and stated further, that he had some remarks to make on the subject, as well as on the precept; that he did not think the court was legally formed."

Captain Porter then submitted to the judge advocate, for the consideration of the court, a paper. The court was cleared, and after some time, was opened. The judge advocate informed Captain Porter that he was instructed by the court to say, that the paper has been maturely considered; that it is deemed objectionable from the style of animadversion upon what has transpired, and of instruction as to the future conduct of the court. The court, therefore, will permit Captain Porter to withdraw it. Should he, however, wish it to be inserted on the record in its present shape, it shall be done, accompanied by such remarks as the court conceives it due to themselves to make.

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Captain Porter declined to withdraw the paper; it was accordingly read, annexed to the record and marked F, and the judge advocate informed him as follows:

The court feels constrained to make some remarks upon the animadversions which Captain Porter has thought himself entitled to pass upon its conduct. The court did understand Captain Porter to waive or decline challenging any of the members of the court, but at the same time to intimate as an objection, which he conceived existed against the organization of the court, that two of the members were his juniors in rank. The court did not at any time suppose that this objection had any foundation, either in the letter or spirit of the law. The law is silent on the subject. The only qualification required is, that the members of the court should be commissioned officers.

"The materials, then, of which this court is constituted," are conceived to be wholly free from any legal objection. Nor is there anything in the spirit of the law which the court has been able to perceive, leading to a different conclusion. Every member of this court holds the same commission with Captain Porter; all are captains, one his senior, two his juniors, in date of commission. The court, however, is clearly and unhesitatingly of opinion that no law would be violated, either in its letter or spirit, by the appointment of any three commissioned officers to constitute a court of inquiry into the conduct of any officer. Courtesy and a regard to the feelings of the officer whose actions are to be investigated, will, it is presumed, in all cases prevent the government from selecting officers of a very inferior grade, to sit upon an inquiry into the conduct of an officer of elevated rank.

But this principle can scarcely be carried to an extent which would apply to a court, every individual of which holds the highest commission known to the American navy. At all events, this is an objection which the court conceived, and still conceives, can be properly decided only by the Executive. This court can in no manner interfere with such a question.

In this instance, likewise, it appeared to the court to be so connected with other comments upon the precept, as to present itself before the court rather as an animadversion upon the conduct of the Executive in thus organizing the court than as a challenge formally presenting the question for its decision. Captain Porter seems himself to have so viewed it, for he assigns his reasons for making this court the organ of his communications with the Department.

The court thinks proper further to remark, that the single object for which it has been constituted, is to inquire into the official conduct of Captain Porter; and to report to the Department the facts which may be proved. The court possesses no power to adjudge Captain Porter innocent or guilty; it has no authority to impose punishment. The duties imposed are enjoined by the competent authority. The interference of Captain Porter in pursuing this investigation, however desirable it may be as calculated more fully to elicit the truth, is in no manner necessary. The court is competent of itself to perform the duties imposed upon it, and will now proceed to execute that task.

Captain Porter was then asked whether he had any questions to propose to Lieutenant Platt. He declined putting any, and observed he should now take his leave of the court.

Alexander J. Dallas, a master and commander in the navy of the United States, being produced as a witness, and sworn according to law, deposes and says:

I was a master commandant in command of the John Adams, bearing Commodore Porter's broad pendant. We arrived sometime in November, I do not distinctly remember the date, off the town of St. Thomas, in the Island of St. Thomas. On our arrival there, some time I think in the afternoon of the same day, Lieutenant Platt, in company with Mr. Cabot, came on board the John Adams, and made a report to the commodore of some ill-treatment which Lieutenant Platt had received at Foxardo. In consequence of this report, I understood from the commodore that it was his intention to visit Foxardo, and endeavor to obtain an apology from the authorities there for their conduct. On the following morning, I was directed to get the John Adams under way, and proceed to Foxardo.

In consequence of the lightness of the winds, and the pilot being of opinion that the draft of water of the John Adams was too great to permit her being taken near the town, I was directed to anchor her under one of the Passage Islands, to get out all my boats, and prepare a hundred and odd men with the officers. After all these preparations were made, the day had so far advanced that we could not have arrived there before night. In consequence of which, the commodore directed that we should be ready by one or two in the morning to go on board the schooner Grampus, she and the Beagle being in company; we did so, and the Grampus took our boats in tow. We then proceeded to Foxardo, where we arrived about nine or ten the next morning. On anchoring, we observed, on a hill, near the beach, a small battery, in which there appeared to be a number of men, who it was supposed intended to make some resistance to our anchoring. An order was given by the commodore that a boat and her crew should dislodge the men from that battery. The boats were then all manned, and we landed. The commodore then directed Lieutenant Crabbe, with a portion of the marines, to advance and take a position on the road, by which we were to march up to the town. Lieutenant Stribling was then dispatched with a flag and a letter to the authorities of Foxardo; after having formed the men, we were directed to follow on by the road, leaving a guard of marines to protect the boats under the command of Lieutenant Barton. We then marched to within about twenty or thirty yards of where the marines under the command of Lieutenant Crabbe were. The commodore directed two guns, which we met with on the road, to be spiked. We remained there until Lieutenant Stribling returnd with two officers, who were understood to be the alcalde and the captain of the port. A conversation took place between the commodore and the alcalde, through the medium of an interpreter; the result of which was an apology to Lieutenant Platt for the ill-treatment he had received on his previous visit. The commodore asked the officers generally, if they were satisfied with the apology. Finding they were so, he directed our return. He received, however, an invitation to go himself into the town.

He went as far as led us by all the force that was collected: a field piece and sixty or seventy men with arms. After this we returned to the beach, where, some rum and refreshments being given to the men, we embarked in the boats, went on board the Grampus, and sailed for the John Adams.

Question. Had you received any information on board the John Adams of Mr. Platt's treatment at Foxardo, previous to his making the report of the transaction to the commodore?

Answer. The account Mr. Platt gave was, I believe, the first we had of the affair.

Ques. Was any communication made to the authorities of Porto Rico previously to your entering the harbor of Foxardo?

Ans. None that I know of.

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Ques. Did Captain Porter consult with any of his officers as to the expedition he projected, or did any of them express any opinion to him on the subject?

Ans. He did not consult with any of them; from the intimacy that subsisted between Commodore Porter and myself, I believe I made some remarks to him as to the consequences that might probably result from it, and I think he replied that his instructions would bear him out in the course he intended to pursue on the occasion.

This was a voluntary suggestion by me, not called for by his expressing any wish to consult me.

Ques. What orders did you receive from Captain Porter previous to, or at the time of your landing?

Ans. The only orders that I received were those which I have mentioned, and that I should take care the men were not out of the way, and that they committed no excesses.

Ques. How were the men armed? Were the guns loaded?

Ans. They were armed with muskets, bayonets, cutlasses, pistols, and boarding pikes. The guns were loaded on the beach before we marched up.

Ques. Was any flag or communication sent to the shore before you landed?

Ans. None; Lieutenant Stribling landed with us. The boat sent to spike the guns on the hill went previously to our landing.

Ques. Did you advance towards Foxardo before the return of the flag sent by Lieutenant Stribling, or did you remain on the beach till his return?

Ans. We advanced before the return of the flag.

Ques. Were the guns spiked before the return of the flag?

Ans. Yes; none were spiked after.

Ques. What orders were given by Commodore Porter to the officers remaining on board the vessels? Ans. I do not know.

Ques. Were the Grampus and Beagle anchored in such a situation as to enable them to cover the landing?

Ans. Yes; the Beagle certainly was—the Grampus also.

Ques. Was any opposition offered to your landing, or to your advance towards the town? Ans. None; the impression was, the force on the hill would, had they been able, have fired on the vessels, but there was no opposition to our landing.

Ques. What time would it have required to communicate from your anchorage with St. John's? Ans. The distance, I should presume, is about forty or fifty miles. Ques. Is not St. Johns the seat of government of Porto Rico? Ans. Yes; the governor of the island resides there.

Horatio N. Crabbe, a lieutenant in the marine corps of the United States, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:

I was commanding officer of marines on board the John Adams in November last. I landed at Foxardo in the same boat with Lieutenant Stribling, and on getting on the beach, an officer informed me that Commodore Porter, who had previously landed, wished to see me. My command was distributed in different boats. On reaching the place on the beach were the commodore was, I was directed by him to form my guard, look for the road to the town, proceed, and take up a favorable position; and at the same time received very particular instructions not to suffer my men to commit any outrages upon the property of the inhabitants along the road; nor to commit any act of hostility myself, unless I met with resistance, or was opposed on my march towards the town. After receiving these instructions, I commenced my march towards the town, with from twenty-four to twenty-eight men, armed with muskets. When about half way between the beach and the town, I discovered several persons approaching me, following me with a white flag. I could not at the time distinguish who they were, and continued my march. After a short time I discovered that the bearer was Lieutenant Stribling, on his way from the beach to the town. I halted till he came up. As he passed me, I observed to him that I would escort him into the place; he answered very well. After proceeding a short distance further, he was met by a number of persons from the town, bearing a white flag also. I was at that time from twenty to thirty yards behind him. Immediately on his reaching the spot where these persons were standing, I observed that Lieutenant Stribling was surrounded by a number of armed men. After some conversation with them, of which I knew nothing, he sent a message to me, requesting me not to advance any further. I accordingly halted the men, and rested them upon their arms. I was at this time from about two hundred and fifty to three hundred yards from the town, perhaps less, and observed that there was a number of armed men drawn up, as I presumed, to prevent my troops from entering the place. They amounted perhaps to about three times as many men as I had, and had a field piece, which I presumed was a six pounder. There was also a number of men mounted on horseback, who were armed with swords. They were at the entrance of the town. I remained in the position I had taken up, until the commodore came up with a body of seamen. He halted them some distance in the rear of my division, and came himself to the ground I occupied, and directed me to wheel my men into a position which would face the Spaniards. I did so, and again rested them upon their arms. In the course of perhaps fifteen minutes, Lieutenant Stribling was observed returning, accompanied by the governor of the place, and a small number of the inhabitants. I was then directed by Commodore Porter to place my men in a situation that would occupy both sides of the road, and suffer none but those in attendance on the flag to pass me. After this he returned to where the officers were assembled, some distance in the rear of the marines, and there received the governor or alcalde. I know nothing of what occurred there, they being at too great a distance to hear. In a short time I observed the governor, with Commodore Porter and a number of the officers, approaching me. The commodore gave me orders, as he passed, to put the marines in motion, and follow him into the town, which I did. After passing the armed Spaniards, I halted upon the outskirts of the place. The commodore observed to me that he had been invited into the place by the governor, and also the men, to take some refreshments, after the march, but said at the same time that he did not wish to bring all the men in, as he apprehended that some excesses might be committed, which would put an end to the peaceable settlement of the business. He, however, told the governor, through the interpreter, that if refreshments were sent to the beach they should be paid for. After that they parted, as I thought on friendly terms, and we left the town, and returned to the boats. I brought up the rear with the marines. A number of the inhabitants accompanied us down. Refreshments were sent and

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distributed to the men. We then embarked, and returned to the vessels. Commodore Porter, with the marines, and the alcalde, entered the outskirts of the place, but none proceeded further.

The court adjourned till 2 o'clock to-morrow.

Friday, May 6.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. Present: as before, with the exception of Captain Porter, who was not present.

Lieutenant Platt was again called:

Question. How far is the place where the John Adams was left at anchor from Foxardo?

Answer. About twenty-two miles.

Ques. At what hour did you leave the John Adams, and at what hour did you arrive at Foxardo?

Ans. We left the John Adams at midnight, and arrived at half-past seven or half-past eight.

Ques. To what nation does the Island of St. Thomas belong?

Ans. It is a Danish island.

Ques. When you left the John Adams, at what time did you calculate to reach Foxardo?

Ans. The intention of the commodore was to reach Foxardo at sunrise, as he informed me; we were detained by light winds, and a calm.

Ques. Were the two nine-pounders taken and spiked by the marines, or by the sailors who came up afterwards? and describe as nearly as you can their position.

Ans. I was ordered by the commodore to spike them; I informed him I had nothing to spike them with, and Mr. Pendergrast was then ordered to do it; the marines had passed them. They were placed in the road, on a causeway, where the road was straight for about one hundred rods, and commanded that part of it; there were no Spaniards there at that time, they had abandoned them; but they had been manned on my first visit to the place. The guns on the hill were, I understood, long eighteen-pounders.

Ques. Were both the Grampus and Beagle anchored in a position to cover the landing?

Ans. The Grampus was anchored off the battery; the Beagle in a situation to cover the landing.

The judge advocate informed the court that he should probably be in possession of more testimony to submit to-morrow, but had none to lay before the court at this time.

The court adjourned till twelve o'clock, to-morrow.

Saturday, May 7.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. Present: all the members of the court, the judge advocate, and Captain Porter. The judge advocate informed the court that he had received a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, to be submitted to the court, which was read, annexed to the record, and marked G.

The accompanying documents were also read; the court reserving all questions, as to their competency and credit, for future deliberation and decision. After reading the papers, the court was cleared, and the court proceeded to deliberate upon the papers submitted to it; and, after having maturely considered the same, the court was opened, and the judge advocate stated that the court is of opinion that the deposition of Lieut. Barton, dated February 6th, 1825, be annexed to the record, which is accordingly done, and the paper is marked 7.

In regard to the other documents, the court is of opinion that many of them are not sufficiently authenticated to authorize their reception, without an express and sufficient waiver of all exceptions entered on the record; that some of them appear to be of a confidential character, and their contents such as, without affecting this case, ought not to be exposed to the public eye without necessity; and that, collectively, they present no facts or views calculated to elucidate the subject submitted to the court. The court, therefore, directs the judge advocate to return them to the Navy Department, as irrelevant.*

The court adjourned till half-past ten o'clock on Monday morning.

Monday, May 9.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of Saturday. Present: all the members of the court, the judge advocate, and Captain Porter.

The judge advocate stated to the court that he had no further testimony to submit to the court in the investigation; and the other branch of inquiry having been submitted to the court, at his solicitation

The court was cleared, and proceeded to deliberate upon the course to be pursued; and after some time was opened, and the judge advocate stated that the court had determined to proceed to complete the business which had already been investigated, and to report to the Department the facts which have been proved in relation to it.

The record of the proceedings was then read by the judge advocate, and the court was cleared, for the purpose of deliberating upon the report to be made to the Department.

The court having concluded the examination of the witnesses, and having maturely deliberated on the precept, and the evidence which has been submitted, agree in the following report:

The court, in obedience to the precept of the honorable the Secretary of the Navy, having examined into the conduct of Captain David Porter, in landing with a part of the military force under his command upon the Island of Porto Rico, a part of the dominions of his Catholic Majesty the King of Spain, on or about the fourteenth day of November, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four; and having also inquired into the causes which led to the same; and having maturely deliberated upon the testimony which has been laid before the court, reports to the honorable the Secretary the following statement, as containing a correct history of the transaction, embracing all the material facts, and exhibiting the causes which led to the occurrence, as well as the circumstances which attended it.

It appears that Lieut. Charles T. Platt, commanding the United States schooner Beagle, was in the harbor of St. Thomas, in the Danish island of that name, on the twenty fourth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four. On the preceding night, a robbery had been perpetrated in the city of St. Thomas; the store of Messrs. Cabot & Baily, American citizens, but resident merchants of St. Thomas, had been broken open and plundered of property to a large amount. The gentlemen who had

*It appears by the statement of Captain Porter, as well as of his clerk, that the letter from him referred to in the letter, was dated March 6th, instead of May 6th, by a mistake of the clerk.

E. S. COXE, Judge Advocate.

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suffered by this outrage made application to Lieut. Platt for his aid in the recovery of the property. He immediately agreed to comply with the request.

No communication appears to have been had between Lieutenant Platt and the authorities of St. Thomas, in relation to this affair. The application for his assistance was made by private individuals, and upon that application alone he acted.

Information was given to Lieut. Platt, that on other occasions robberies of the same kind had occurred at St. Thomas; and the stolen goods had been traced to, and discovered at Foxardo, (a small town in the Island of Porto Rico,) or its vicinity, and that there existed grounds for the suspicion that the goods plundered in this case had been carried to that neighborhood.

As soon as the Beagle could be got ready, she sailed for that place. No document of any kind from the governor, or other officer, was carried, but a letter from a private mercantile house at St. Thomas, addressed to a private merchant at Foxardo, was the only paper which Lieut. Platt appears to have had to show the object he had in view, or any authority to act in the business. The contents of that letter are unknown to the court, it not having been exhibited in evidence. The Beagle, however, carried from St. Thomas a Mr, Bedford, a clerk in the house of Messrs. Baily and Cabot, for the purpose of identifying the goods, and a pilot, furnished by the same parties.

On the evening of the 26th October, about 6 o'clock, the Beagle anchored, with her colors flying, in the harbor of Foxardo. It was considered too late to visit the shore on that day; early in the morning of the 27th, a boat from the shore came on board, bearing a messenger from the captain of the port, and Lieut. Platt received an invitation to land. The messenger, in answer to a question from Lieut. Platt, stated in general, that he knew what vessel it was. In order to guard against any mistake, Lieut. Platt mentioned that it was the United States schooner Beagle, and sent a message to the captain of the port, to inform him that he should be on shore as soon as possible.

At about half-past six he landed, without his uniform or commission, and after some little interruption proceeded to the town, and waited upon the captain of the port, to whom he communicated the object of his visit. He at the same time informed him of the name and character of his vessel, the names of himself and officers, and their force, of which the captain of the port took a memorandum; the private letter from the mercantile house at St. Thomas to the merchant at Foxardo was likewise produced and exhibited. The captain of the port appeared satisfied with the information, and by his directions Lieutenant Platt next called upon the alcalde of the place, to whom he made the same communication. The alcalde expressed himself pleased with the prudence exhibited by Lieut. Platt in landing in the dress of a citizen.

The object of Lieutenant Platt appears to have been to give information of the robbery that had been perpetrated at the Island of St. Thomas, and to solicit the interference of the civil authorities at Foxardo, in searching for and recovering the stolen goods. The alcalde promised this assistance as requested, but declined a proposal made by Lieutenant Platt, that he should accompany the officers of the police to search the stores in the town.

Lieutenant Platt left the house of the alcalde, and went to a public house. Shortly after breakfast, he received a message from the alcalde, expressing a wish to see him. He immediately went, accompanied by Lieutenant Ritchie and the pilot. On his arrival, he inquired of the alcalde whether he had sent for him, and for what object. The captain of the port replied that he had sent for him for the purpose of demanding his register. Lieutenant Platt stated to them that he had no register, that a man-of-war carried no such document; that he had previously offered to show his commission, his uniform, and his colors. The reply was, that, unless he produced his register at once, he should be imprisoned. He requested permission to go on board his vessel, with an officer that might be selected to accompany him, whom he would satisfy with regard to his own character, as well as that of his vessel. He at the same time informed them he should make a formal report to Commodore Porter of the insult he had received.

Lieutenant Platt then left the house of the alcalde, and proceeded towards the harbor, with the intention of going on board the Beagle; he was however, immediately followed by some soldiers, collared, arrested, brought back, and placed under charge of a sentry. After Lieutenants Platt and Ritchie and the pilot had been detained about an hour, Mr. Bedford, the clerk brought from St. Thomas, was permitted to go on board the Beagle, with instructions from Lieutenant Platt to bring his commission and uniform, On their being brought to him, he put on his uniform and exhibited his commission; the latter, after an examination of it, was pronounced a forgery, and he himself called a damned pirate.

Orders were then given to carry him to the King's house or jail; and he was taken from the house of the alcalde for that purpose. On approaching near enough to see what kind of a place it was, he refused to go in, and declared that he would not enter, unless compelled by force.

He was soon taken back to the alcalde, and after being threatened with detention until a communication could be made to St. John's, the capital of the island, and about 40 miles distant, he was informed that he had not exhibited any appointment to the vessel which he commanded. He sent on board for his orders, and after producing them, a consultation was held. They continued to detain him confined until near sunset, when he was released, ordered to go on board his vessel, which he did, insulted by the rabble of the place as he passed along.

Such is the summary of the statement now given by Lieutenant Platt of his first visit to Foxardo, and the reception he experienced, although more detailed than his written report, and in some material parts variant from it. It appears to the court that the circumstances which were related to Captain Porter, in the conversations which he had with Lieutenant Platt, together with his written report, may be considered as embracing all "the causes which led to the conduct of Captain Porter," which it is enjoined upon the court to report to the Department.

The next branch of the subject into which the court is directed to inquire, is the conduct of Captain Porter in landing with a military force under his command upon the Island of Porto Rico.

It appears that, immediately after receiving the report of Lieutenant Platt of his visit to Foxardo, and the treatment he had there received, Captain Porter determined to visit that place for the purpose of obtaining redress for the violence which had been offered to the person of that officer, and the insult which he conceived had been given to the flag of the United States.

It appears that Captain Porter did not communicate with the constituted authorities of Porto Rico, or require any explanation of, or apology for, the alleged outrage, before proceeding to the harbor of Foxardo.

At midnight of the 13th November, the John Adams was left at her anchorage in the neighborhood

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of Passage Island, and Captain Porter, in the Grampus, having in tow the boats of the John Adams, and accompanied by the Beagle, carrying with them about one hundred men from the John Adams, proceeds to Foxardo. His progress being delayed by light winds and a calm, he did not reach his point of destination until about 8 or 9 o'clock in the morning of the 14th. The Grampus anchored opposite a battery of two guns, and the Beagle took a position to cover the landing. Preparations were immediately made to land, and the boats were manned; a battery was perceived on an eminence near the beach, in which were two pieces of cannon, and the Spaniards were seen with matches, and in the act of loading the guns, and training them in the direction of the Grampus.

Lieutenant Pendergrast was ordered to take the launch of the Grampus, being the largest boat, with a body of marines, fourteen in number, under the command of Lieutenant Barton, to proceed in the direction of the two gun battery; to land the men with as little hazard as possible; to take the battery, spike the guns, and destroy the ammunition; and having accomplished these objects, to pursue the direction of the main body under the command of Captain Porter in person.

Lieutenant Pendergrast was particularly ordered not to fire a gun, unless he met with resistance, and not to permit his men to commit any depredations on persons or property. These orders appear to have been punctually obeyed. Perceiving that the Spaniards in the battery were training their guns to bear upon the Grampus and the launch, Lieutenant Pendergrast hastened to effect a landing in the rear of the fort. This was accomplished with such dispatch, that the Spaniards were unable to fire. Having succeeded in landing in the rear of the battery, the detachment, armed with muskets, pistols and cutlasses, mounted the hill, and on reaching the battery, found it deserted by the Spaniards. Possession was quietly taken, and two long eighteen-pounders found there were spiked. One of the guns was charged with a cartridge of powder, and round shot, and the canister filled with grape shot, musket balls and spikes;—the gun primed and a lighted match near it. The other gun had been abandoned before the loading was completed. A small quantity of ammunition found in the battery was destroyed;—the party re-embarked, and proceeded to join the commodore, who had in the meantime landed on the beach at the distance of about half a mile from the battery.

The whole number landed appears to be about two hundred officers and men, armed with muskets, bayonets, pistols, cutlasses, and boarding pikes.

The muskets were loaded after landing on the beach. The marines, under Lieutenant Barton, were left to guard the boats. Another party of them was ordered by Captain Porter to march towards the town, and take up a commanding position. The officer who led them, Lieutenant Crabbe, was particularly instructed to keep his men in their respective places; to prevent them from committing any excesses upon the property of the inhabitants along the road, and to abstain from all acts of hostility, unless he should be attacked, or his advance towards the town should be opposed.

In obedience to these orders, Lieutenant Crabbe proceeded towards the village of Foxardo, with from twenty-four to twenty-eight men under his command. The beach where the landing was effected, was about a mile and a half from the town. When about half way from the beach, Lieutenant Crabbe discovered Lieutenant Stribling following him bearing a white flag. As soon as he had approached near enough to be recognized, the marines were halted. Lieutenant Stribling came up with, passed them, and proceeded towards the town. The marines followed at a short distance in his rear. Lieutenant Stribling was soon after met by a party from the village, likewise bearing a flag, and some communications passed between them, which, however, are not in evidence before the court. Lieutenant Stribling dispatched a message to Lieutenant Crabbe, then about thirty or forty yards in his rear, desiring him not to advance further. The marines were then halted at about from two hundred and fifty to three hundred yards from the village. About the same time a number of armed men, perhaps sixty or seventy, were seen, stationed near the entrance of the town, with a small cannon, supposed to be a six pounder, and a number of horsemen armed with swords.

Having disposed of the marines in the manner that has been stated, Captain Porter advanced towards Foxardo with his main body. On the way up, they spiked two nine-pounders which the Spaniards had abandoned, and which were in a position to have commanded a part of the road. These guns had been passed by the marines without their taking possession of them. Captain Porter continued his march till he arrived about thirty yards in the rear of the marines, where he halted his men—and advanced himself to the force under the command of Lieutenant Crabbe. The marines were then wheeled so as to front the Spaniards.

In the course of a few minutes, the flag was seen returning from the town, and Lieutenant Stribling, accompanied by the alcalde, the captain of the port, and some of the inhabitants, approached. The marines were directed to occupy both sides of the road, and to permit none to pass, excepting those who were in attendance on the flag. Captain Porter retired to the rear, near the main body, and, accompanied by his officers, received the alcalde.

In the conversation which then took place, the alcalde admitted having detained Lieutenant Platt, after knowing him to be an American officer, but alleged that he had been forced to act by others. Captain Porter informed him that he alone must be held responsible, and that he must make such an apology as should be dictated; that the period allowed him for deliberation had nearly expired; that but five or seven minutes remained of the time. That a refusal to make such an apology as was required, would compel him to resort to arms—the consequences of which would be the destruction of the village. The proposition was acceded to: the apology was dictated by Captain Porter, and made as required. The officers present were asked whether they were satisfied, and replied in the affirmative.

The alcade then invited Captain Porter into the town with some of his officers, and Lieutenant Crabbe and his marines; he accompanied the Spaniards towards the village, but did not go beyond the outskirts— when they returned to the beach, where they were supplied with refreshments by the Spaniards, re-embarked, and proceeded to join the John Adams.

The foregoing statement, embracing, as the court conceives, every important fact disclosed in the progress of this investigation, is respectfully submitted.

(Signed) I. CHAUNCEY, President.

(Signed,) Richard S. Coxe, Judge Advocate.

May 9, 1825.

The report having been signed, the judge advocate was instructed to communicate the record to the Secretary of the Navy, with the accompanying letter, annexed to the record and marked H.

The court adjourned till 11 o'clock, to-morrow morning.

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U. S. Ship John Adams, Passage Island, November 15, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that, on my arrival at St. Thomas, I was informed that Lieutenant Commandant Platt, of the U. S. schooner Beagle, who had visited Foxardo, a town on the east side of Porto Rico, about two miles from the sea, for the purpose of making inquiries respecting a quantity of dry goods, supposed to have been deposited there by pirates, was, after being recognized as an American officer by the proper authorities, there imprisoned and shamefully treated.

Indignant at the outrages which have so repeatedly been heaped on us by the authorities of Porto Rico, I proceeded to this place, where I left the ship, and taking with me the schooners Grampus and Beagle, and the boats of the John Adams with Captain Dallas and part of his officers, seamen, and marines, proceeded to the port of Foxardo, where, finding preparations were making to fire on us from the battery on shore, I sent a party of seamen and marines to spike the guns, which was done in a few minutes, as the Spaniards fled on the landing of the party. I then landed with two hundred men, and marched to the town, spiking on the way the guns of a small battery placed for the defence of a pass on the road, and reached the town in about thirty minutes after landing; I found them prepared for defence, as they had received information from St. Thomas of my intentions of visiting the place. I halted about pistol shot from their forces, drawn up on the outskirts of the town, and sent a flag, requiring the alcalde or governor, with the captain of the port, the principal offenders, to come to me to make atonement for the outrage, giving them one hour to deliberate. They appeared accordingly, and after begging pardon (in the presence of all the officers) of the officer who had been insulted, and expressing great penitence, I permitted them to return to the town, on their promising to respect all American officers who may visit them hereafter. We then returned to the vessels, and left the harbor, after being at anchor three hours.

As we were getting under way, a number of persons appeared on the beach, bearing a white flag, and having with them some bullocks and a number of horses apparently laden, no doubt a present from the authorities of the place, which they informed me they should send me.

There is no doubt that our persons and our flag will be more respected hereafter, than it has been by the authorities of Porto Rico.

Every officer and man on this occasion, conducted themselves in a manner to meet my entire approbation.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant, (Signed) D. PORTER.

The Hon. Saml. L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

Navy Department, May 2, 1825.

I certify that the foregoing is a correct copy from the original on file in this Department.

(Signed) CHA'S HAY, Chief Clerk.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, January 1, 1825.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit you copies of the statements made to me, which induced me to take the step I did, as regards the Spanish authorities at Foxardo.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient, servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

Navy Department, May 2, 1825.

I certify that the above is a correct copy from the original on file in this Department.

(Signed) CHA'S HAY, Chief Clerk.

No. 3.

St. Thomas, November 12, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the store of Cabot, Baily & Co. was broken open on the night of the 24th ult., and property to a considerable amount stolen, and having strong reasons to believe that the robbery was committed by a gang of thieves who harbored in the Island of Porto Rico, I communicated the same to Captain Platt, of the United States schooner Beagle, who very promptly offered to go there in pursuit of them, and started for Foxardo on the morning of the 25th with a pilot which I furnished him, and a young man from the counting house, with a description of the goods, and a letter of introduction to Mr. Juan Campos, from one of the most respectable houses in this place, and well known in that quarter. The manner in which Captain Platt was received and treated has no doubt been communicated to you by him.

I beg leave to enclose a letter from Messrs. Bergeest and Whlhorn, confirming the facts of the late robberies in this island, having in most instances been traced to the quarter of Porto Rico where Captain Platt went.

I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) STEPHEN CABOT, U. S. Consular Agent.

To Com. David Porter.

Navy Department, May 2, 1825.

I certify that the foregoing is a correct copy of an enclosure contained in a letter from Commodore D. Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated 1st January, 1825.

(Signed) CHA'S HAY, Chief Clerk.

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No. 4.

St. Thomas, November 11, 1824.

Sir: At the request of our friend, Mr. Stephen Cabot, we beg leave to state to you some facts relative to the robberies lately committed on this island.

Our own store, and amongst others, those of our neighbors, Messrs. Ellis, Gibson & Co., John Kettle, Esq., Robert Alexander, Esq., Saubot Zoubert & Co., were forcibly broken open, property to a very large amount stolen, and a considerable part of the goods traced to Naguabo, near Foxardo; in consequence of which, and the circumstance that, about ten days previous to the robbery committed in the store of Messrs. Cabot, Baily & Co., a gang of desperate thieves made their escape from the prison of the city at Porto Rico, as also that every search had been made here on shore, as well as in the harbor, and nothing discovered, except that the goods stolen had been carried off by the sea side, induced us to recommend to those gentlemen sending down a person to Foxardo, as being probably the means of tracing the robbers.

Desirous of assisting our friends, Messrs. Cabot, Baily, & Co., in this object, we gave one of their clerks, and whom we understood was to go down in the United States schooner Beagle, a letter of recommendation to our friend, Mr. Juan Campos, in Foxardo, who had on former occasions of the same nature been the means of discovering the property and perpetrators; namely, in the case of Messrs. Ellis, Gibson & Co., and our own.

We have the honor to be, with sentiments of the highest regard, sir,

your obedient, humble servants,

(Signed) BERGEEST & WHLHORN.

To Commodore David Porter.

Navy Department, May 2, 1825.

I certify that the foregoing is a correct copy of an enclosure contained in a letter from Com. D. Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated 1st January, 1825.

(Signed) CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

No. 5.

United States Schooner Beagle, St. Thomas, November 11, 1824.

Sir: At 10 in the morning of the 26th October last, I received intelligence that the American consul's store had been forclby entered on the preceding night, and robbed of goods to the amount of $5,000. With this report, the American consul requested me, provided it would prove consistent with my duties, to sail in quest of those whom it was supposed had clandestinely left the harbor the night preceding in a small boat, and generally believed by those acquainted in St. Thomas, to have proceeded to the port of Foxardo, on the east end of Porto Rico. I directly gave the necessary orders to prepare for sea; having received a good pilot on board, I was enabled by noon to proceed in quest of the marauders.

Standing along the south side of Crabb Island, I discovered a sloop in Settlement Bay; boarded her, and received information of a piratical sloop-rigged boat to leeward, that had been for some time past infesting the coast. This information induced me to alter my course, and steer for the west end of Crabb Island. At 10 A. M. discovered a sloop beating to windward, and the small sloop-rigged boat standing from the land; at 10.50 fired a shot to bring the sloop to; at 10.55 fired again; she hove about and stood for the land; spoke the sloop from St. Croix, bound to St. Thomas; made all sail for the sloop boat which run into ------ Bay, and her crew abandoned her. At 11.50 came to, and took possession of the deserted boat; at 11.55 made sail, and stood for the southeast end of Porto Rico; at sunset, came to in the harbor of Foxardo.

On the morning of the 27th, a creole visited me from the shore, who bore an invitation from the commandant to me to visit him. At 7 A. M., in company with Lieutenant Ritchie, the pilot, and the consul's clerk, I landed. For our better success, we appeared in the character of citizens; on my reaching the shore, the register of my vessel was demanded; I explained the object of my visit, and the policy of appearing in disguise. This, however, proved of no avail—I was not allowed to proceed to Foxardo. Supposing that the person who made these demands had no authority to detain me, I, in company with Lieutenant Ritchie, proceeded to the port of Foxardo, and explained, in the most satisfactory manner, to the captain of the port, the object of my visit, and produced a private letter from Mr. Cabot, American consul, to a merchant in that place, in relation to the service in which we were engaged.

Having observed the necessary forms and ceremonies with regard to the captain of the port, we then waited upon the alcalde, and further acquainted him with our mission, &c., who proffered us every assistance. Having made a few inquiries in some of the retail stores, which had an immediate tendency to bring to light any who may have been engaged in this traffic, we received a positive order to proceed to the alcalde's house, where we were also received by the captain of the port, who damned us as pirates, and requested of me register, papers, &c. I stated I possessed no register; I carried no papers, other than my commission, and that of my officers; we were seized as culprits, and conveyed to prison. To satisfy them of my real character, of which they pretended they had no positive proof, I consented, though repugnant to my feelings, to have my commission sent me. After its production, they declared it a forgery, and again remanded us to prison, declaring he would not release us until he had heard from St. John's. I then demanded to know what was further required; the reply was, "Your appointment as lieutenant commandant of that vessel is what you must produce."

I at first hesitated, and would not comply; but not wishing on my part to commit any action which might have a tendency to disturb the harmony existing between our respective governments, I produced my appointment as lieutenant commandant. A council of officers was called, with other citizens of the place, who, after having heaped upon us the most shameful outrages, permitted us to depart on board. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHARLES T. PLATT.

To Commodore David Porter, U. S. Navy.

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Navy Department, May 2, 1825. I certify that the foregoing is a correct copy of an enclosure contained in a letter from Commodore D. Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated 1st January, 1825.

(Signed) CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

No. 6.

Navy Department, February 1, 1823.

Sir: You have been appointed to the command of a squadron fitted out under an act of Congress of the 20th December last, to cruise in the West India seas and Gulf of Mexico, for the purpose of suppressing piracy, and affording effectual protection to the citizens and commerce of the United States. Your attention will also be extended to the suppression of the slave trade, according to the provisions of the several acts of Congress on that subject; copies of which, and of the instructions heretofore given to our naval commanders thereon, are herewith sent to you. While it is your duty to protect our commerce against all unlawful interruption, and to guard the rights, both of person and property, of the citizens of the United States, wherever it shall become necessary, you will observe the utmost caution not to encroach upon the rights of others; and should you at any time be brought into discussion or collision with any foreign power, in relation to such rights, it will be expedient and proper, that the same should be conducted with as much moderation and. forbearance, as is consistent with the honor of your country, and the just claims of its citizens.

Should you in your cruise, fall in with any foreign naval force, engaged in the suppression of piracy, it is desirable that harmony and a good understanding should be cultivated between you; and you will do everything on your part, that accords with the honor of the American flag, to promote this object. So soon as the vessels at Norfolk shall be ready for sea, you will proceed to the West Indies, by such route as you shall judge best, for the purpose of effecting the object of your cruise. You will establish at Thompson's Island, usually called Key West, a depot, and land the ordnance and marines to protect the stores and provisions; if, however, you shall find any important objection to this place, and a more suitable and convenient one can be found, you are at liberty to select it as a depot.

You will announce your arrival and object to the authorities, civil and military, of the Island of Cuba, and endeaver to obtain, as far as shall be practicable, their co-operation; or at least their favorable and friendly support, giving them the most unequivocal assurance, that your sole object is the destruction of pirates.

The system of piracy, which has grown up in the West Indies, has obviously arisen from the war between Spain and the new governments, her late provinces in that hemisphere, and from the limited force in the islands, and their sparse population, many portions of each being entirely uninhabited and desolate, to which the active authority of the government does not extend. It is understood that establishments have been made by parties of these banditti, in those uninhabited parts, to which they carry their plunder, and retreat in time of danger. It cannot be presumed that the government of any island will afford any protection or countenance to such robbers. It may, on the contrary, confidently be believed that all governments, and particularly those most exposed, will afford all means in their power for their suppression.

Pirates are considered, by the law of nations, the enemies of the human race. It is the duty of all nations to put them down; and none who respect their own character or interest will refuse to do it, much less afford them assistance and protection. The nation that makes the greatest exertions to suppress such banditti, has the greatest merit.

In making such exertions, it has a right to the aid of every other power, to the extent of its means, and to the enjoyment, under its sanction, of all its rights in the pursuit of the object. In the case of belligerents, where the army of one party enters the territory of a neutral power, the army of the other has a right to follow it there. In the case of pirates, the right of the armed force of one power, to follow them into the territory of the other, is more complete. In regard to pirates, there is no neutral party; they being the enemies of the human race, all nations are parties against them, and may be considered as allies. The object and intention of our government is to respect the feelings, as well as the rights of others, both in substance and in form, in all the measures which may be adopted to accomplish the end in view. Should, therefore, the crews of any vessels which you have seen engaged in acts of piracy, or which you have just cause to suspect of being of that character, retreat into the ports, harbors, or settled parts of the islands, you may enter, in pursuit of them, such ports, harbors, and settled parts of the country, for the purpose of aiding the local authorities, or people, as the case may be, to seize and bring the offenders to justice, previously giving notice that this is your sole object. Where the government exists, and is felt, you will in all instances respect the local authorities, and only act in aid of, and co-operation with them; it being the exclusive purpose of the government of the United States to suppress piracy; an object in which all nations are equally interested; and in the accomplishment of which, the Spanish authorities and people will, it is presumed, cordially co-operate with you.

If, in the pursuit of pirates found at sea, they shall retreat into the unsettled parts of the islands, or foreign territory, you are at liberty to pursue them so long, only, as there is reasonable prospect of being able to apprehend them, and in no case are you at liberty to pursue and apprehend any one after having been forbidden so to do, by competent authority of the local government. And should you on such pursuit apprehend any pirates upon land, you will deliver them over to the proper authority, to be dealt with according to law, and you will furnish such evidence as shall be in your power to prove the offence alleged against them. Should the local authorities refuse to receive and prosecute such persons so apprehended, on your furnishing them with reasonable evidence of their guilt, you will then keep them safely and securely, on board some of the vessels under your command, and report without delay to this Department the particular circumstances of such cases. Great complaints are made of the interruption and. injury to our commerce, by privateers fitted out from Spanish ports. You will endeavor to obtain from the Spanish authorities a list of the vessels so commissioned, and ascertain how far they have been instructed to intercept our trade with Mexico and the Colombian republic; impressing upon them, that,

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according to the well settled rule of the law of nations, the United States will not consider any portion of coast upon the Gulf of Mexico, as legally blockaded, except where a naval force is stationed, sufficient to carry into effect the blockading order or decree; and that this government does not recognize the right or authority of Spain to interdict or interrupt our commerce with any portion of the coast included within the Columbian republic or Mexican government, not actually blockaded by a competent force.

All the United States ships and vessels of war in the West Indies, of which a list is herewith enclosed, are placed under your command, and you will distribute them to such stations as shall appear to you best calculated to afford complete protection to our commerce, in which you will embrace the object of protecting the convoy of specie from Vera Cruz, and the Mexican coast generally, to the United States. Keep one vessel at least upon this service, to be at, or near, Vera Cruz during the healthy season of the year, and to be relieved as occasion shall require, both for convoy of trade, and to bring specie to the United States—confining the transportation to the United States only. You will be particularly watchful to preserve the health of the officers and crew under your command, and to guard, in every possible manner, against the unhealthiness of the climate; not permitting any intercourse with the shore where the yellow fever prevails, except in cases of absolute necessity.

Wishing you good health, and a successful cruise, I am, very respectfully, &c.

(Signed) SMITH THOMPSON.

Commodore David Porter, Commanding U. 8. Naval Forces, West Indies.

Navy Department, May 2, 1825.

I certify that the foregoing is a correct transcript from the records of this Department.

(Signed) CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

No. 7.

Marine Barracks, Allenton, Thompson's Island, February 6, 1825.

I, Thomas B. Barton, first lieutenant of marines in the service of the United States, and commanding the marines on this station, do make the following statement of facts, in relation to the proceedings of Commodore David Porter, commander-in-chief of the naval forces of the United States, in the West Indies, &c., at Foxardo, in the Island of Porto Rico, in the month of November, 1824.

The United States schooner Grampus, bearing the broad pendant of Commodore Porter, with the United States schooner Beagle in company, arrived in the harbor of Foxardo on the 14th November, 1824, about 8 o'clock, A. M. I was a passenger in the Grampus. Both vessels entered the harbor with the United States ensign displayed. We had scarcely let go our anchor, which was done directly opposite a two gun battery on the summit of a hill, elevated perhaps eighty feet above the level of the ocean, when I perceived twenty or more men in the battery, loading and training the guns in the direction of the Grampus. I soon after received orders through Lieutenant Sloat, commander of the schooner, to be in readiness to command the marine guard attached to her, fourteen in number, and to proceed in the launch, the largest boat of the Grampus, with Lieutenant Pendergrast, her first lieutenant.

The latter officer received the following orders, in substance, from Commodore Porter, in my presence: To proceed in the direction of the two gun battery, directly opposite, and land the men under his command at as little hazard as possible. To take the battery, spike the guns, and destroy the ammunition; and then pursue the direction of the main body under the command of the commodore in person. Lieutenant Pendergrast was particularly ordered not to fire a gun, unless he met with resistance; and not to permit the men to commit any depredation upon persons or property.

We then pulled off from the Grampus, in a direction for the battery, and perceiving that they were training their guns, one to bear on the Grampus, and one on our launch, we made the best of our way to effect a landing in the rear of the fort, which we succeeded in doing in so short a space of time, that they could not bring the gun to bear on us, which they were using every exertion to do.

Having succeeded in landing in rear of the battery, we mounted the hill with muskets, pistols, and cutlasses, and discovered the works to be that moment deserted by the Spaniards. We took quiet possession, and found two long eighteen pounders, one of them charged with a cartridge of powder and round shot, and a canister filled with grape shot, musket balls, and spikes, the gun primed, and a lighted match placed near it. The other gun was partly charged, but was deserted before the loading of her was completed.

Agreeably to orders, we spiked the guns with files; and finding one or two charges of powder, and a canister with grape, musket balls, and spikes, alongside one of the guns, the ammunition was destroyed.

After having secured the battery conformably to orders, we re-embarked in our launch, and proceeded to the direction of the main body, which had landed near the road leading to the town of Foxardo.

After we reached the landing, I was ordered by Commodore Porter to remain with a guard under my command, to protect the boats during his absence with the main body; and I was particularly ordered to permit no man of my guard, upon any consideration, to commit depredations upon the inhabitants or their property, which order was obeyed.

(Signed) THOS. B. BARTON, Lieutenant Commanding Marines.

Sworn before me this 7th of February, 1825.

(Signed) JNO. R. MIFFLIN,

A Justice of the Peace in and for the County of Monroe, Territory of Florida.

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B.

Gentlemen of the Court: Before you proceed to investigate the subject submitted to you, allow me to make a few remarks on the character of the precept which authorizes your forming yourselves into a court, and the nature of the duties which it imposes on you.

As regards the first charge against me, submitted to your investigation, I have nothing at present to say; the Secretary of the Navy having preferred it against me, he has a perfect right to couch it in whatever language may appear to him most proper to obtain the end he has in view. The mere statement of the charge, however forcible the terms, is no proof of my guilt; and it remains for me to oppose to it the proofs I have in my possession; sufficient, I trust, to show that my conduct in landing in a hostile manner on the shores of Porto Rico was not only justifiable, but praiseworthy.

It is, however, a duty I especially owe to myself and to others under my command, to notice the manner in which the second subject is submitted to your investigation, to wit, the carrying of specie, &c. You will perceive that it is admitted in the precept, that the investigation of this subject is ordered at my particular request, and this being the case, it would seem but just that the request should be complied with, according to its terms.

My request, as contained in my letter to the Secretary of the Navy of the second of March, is in the following words:

"Having this day seen in a print, several letters from Mr. Thomas Randall and Mr. John Mountain, communicated through the State Department to Congress, and highly injurious to the character of myself and other officers belonging to the West India squadron, I have to request that an inquiry may be instituted, to ascertain how far facts will justify their statements and remarks, and the injurious remarks they have elicited on the floor of Congress."

You will perceive, by a perusal of the precept, that your attention is not directed to the inquiry asked for by me. You find nothing said of the particular documents referred to, or the persons named in my application; you are not directed to inquire how far facts will justify their statements and remarks, and the injurious remarks they have elicited on the floor of Congress. You are, in fact, not directed to extend the inquiry, so as to ascertain how far others, as well as myself, were implicated in transactions, which, if true, were highly disreputable to all concerned; but you are simply required to ascertain whether the naval force in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico was employed to the best advantage; whether it was not employed in the transportation of specie, and in other objects of inferior moment, to the neglect of the public interest. I beg you to compare the charge as it stands in the precept, with my request, and say if you can find the slightest resemblance between them. I am not very particular as to the manner in which this charge has been worded; but, as some of the vessels under my command have been "employed in the transportation of specie, and (perhaps) in other objects of inferior moment," all of which, I trust, my orders from the Secretary of the Navy made necessary, your decision, in the negative or affirmative, can therefore have no bearing on the innocence or guilt of myself, and those under my command. The question, had it been submitted to you as was intended by me, would have been simply this: Have Captain Porter and the officers of the West India squadron basely neglected their duty, and sacrificed the public interests, as charged by Messrs. Randall and Mountain; and do they deserve the strictures which have been passed on them on the floor of Congress?

The question, as it now stands in the precept, may require you to investigate the propriety of the orders issued from the Navy Department, but its decision can have no bearing on the conduct of those who acted in obedience to them. My motive in asking for this inquiry, was for the sole purpose of justifying myself, and others under my command, against the charges of Messrs. Randall and Mountain, and the illiberal remarks they gave rise to. I had no wish to pry into the conduct or motives of the Secretary of the Navy, or to implicate him by any investigation touching his official conduct. I have never doubted the propriety of the orders he gave me; nor do I doubt it now—but, as the question submitted to you stands, the result must necessarily be a decision as to their propriety; a decision I have never asked for, and with which I have nothing to do. To me it matters little, whether the orders I acted under were in conformity with the laws for the suppression of piracy or not; it is only necessary for my justification to show, that I acted in strict obedience to the orders I received; let those who issued them, if there is anything wrong in them, answer for the rest.

Messrs. Randall and Mountain are understood to have said, that myself, and others under my command, have neglected the duties which were confided to us, to the discredit of the navy and the nation, to the injury of the property, and to the sacrifice of the citizens of the United States, for the sole purpose of benefiting ourselves, by the transportation of specie. If what those gentlemen say of us is true, we are not only unworthy of holding commissions in the navy, but are deserving the severest punishment a court-martial can sentence us to receive; and if we are not guilty, we should not only be pronounced innocent, but our slanderers and calumniators should be exposed to the world as men unworthy of confidence.

It becomes then a question of character between them and us. If they prove their charges, they deserve well of their country for exposing us, and we must sink, and deservedly; if we acquit ourselves of them, they will no longer be worthy of consideration.

The question then should have been submitted to you in all its bearings, in strict conformity with the language of the request which produced the order for the inquiry; and had this been done, you would have been able to have come to a satisfactory conclusion; but confining yourself to the subject as presented to you in the precept before you, there can be no decision touching the point at issue, between Messrs. Randall and Mountain, and myself and others.

I have taken the liberty to make these remarks at this early period, with the hope that you would, by applying to the Secretary of the Navy, obtain a revision or modification of the precept, so as to enable you to reach the object which induced me to ask the inquiry; or, at least, that such measures might be taken, as may seem to you expedient, to enable you to effect the purpose which caused me to make the application for an investigation of the truth of the charges.

I beg the court to be persuaded that these remarks, and this request, originated in no wish to embarrass, or throw difficulties in the way of the inquiry; but from a sincere desire that the accusers may have every opportunity of proving their charges, and the accused the advantage of rebutting them; that truth may be made known, and justice obtained, the only end and object, it is presumed, of the investigation. I beg leave to state further, that it was not my intention to make, under any circumstances whatever, objections to any member whom the Secretary of the Navy might think proper to order on this

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court, and I should now waive all objections was my conduct alone the subject of inquiry; but since the Secretary has chosen, by the same precept, to submit to you charges against me, originating with myself, and the investigation of the conduct of myself and others, asked for by me, it is a duty I owe to others, to guard by every means in my power against a decision injurious to them.

It has not escaped your observation, there are two members of this court junior to me. This, however, at first sight, may not by many be considered a reasonable ground of objection, as the act for the better government of the navy only requires three commissioned officers, and a judge advocate, to constitute a court of inquiry; but I think it must be apparent, that the intention of the framers of the law was, that with the exception of the difference of the members which compose them, courts of inquiry should be formed, regulated and governed on the same principles as courts-martial.

A court-martial may consist of from five to thirteen members; but it is required that not more than one-half of the members, if it can be avoided, shall be junior to the officer tried. This rule, no doubt, was intended to prevent the interested feeling of the junior members from operating to the prejudice of the officer to be tried, and the same rule should in justice govern courts of inquiry; courts of inquiry having the same power to summon witnesses, administer oaths and punish contempt, it was evidently designed that they should be similarly constituted. By every rule and principle of justice, the accused should be tried by disinterested juniors, or at least a majority of them.

Will it be contended that, because the law requires three commissioned officers to constitute a court of inquiry, that three commissioned officers, from any of the subordinate classes, would be a sufficient court to investigate and report on the conduct of the commander of a squadron? Lieutenants, pursers, chaplains, surgeons, and I believe surgeons' mates, are commissioned officers; but surely it will not be asserted that a sufficient court for the investigation of my conduct could be formed of these classes. It was, therefore, evidently designed, that only such commissioned officers as may legally sit on a court-martial can sit on a court of inquiry,—should not only be similar in their organization, but also formed of the same materials as courts-martial.

With this view of the subject, I feel that I should do not my duty to others, considering the fearful odds I have to contend against, if I did not submit to the court whether, with a majority junior to myself, it can legally proceed to investigate my conduct. That the court is formed agreeably to the letter of the law, I cannot deny, nor could I, were it formed of any of the subordinate classes I have mentioned. But whether it is formed according to its spirit and intention, and on principles of justice, is the question I beg leave to submit to you.

C.

Navy Yard, Washington, May 2, 1825.

Sir: I am instructed by the court of inquiry, convened to investigate the conduct of Captain David Porter, to inform you that the court was this day duly organized, in pursuance of the precept in the case, and that after the members were duly sworn, Captain Porter read to the court a certain paper herewith transmitted for your consideration. You will perceive that an exception is taken to the court itself, as not composed of competent members.

This objection applies to a majority of the court, and they consequently feel a delicacy in determining a question involving their own competency. The court, therefore, has deemed it correct, to submit the questions thus raised, to your determination; and to adjourn the court for the purpose of obtaining your opinion, before proceeding in the investigation. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

RICHARD S. COXE, Judge Advocate.

The Hon. Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

D.

Navy Department, May 3, 1825.

Sir: Your letter of yesterday's date, communicating the paper submitted to the court by Captain D. Porter, has been received.

If it was the intention of Captain Porter to present a challenge, or offer a specific legal exception, to any member, the proper tribunal for its decision was the court itself—the proper time was before the members were sworn.

If, as is presumed, he designed to complain of the manner in which the court was composed, as unjust or illegal, he ought, before the meeting of the court, to have applied to the Department, which alone possessed the power of affording a remedy.

A copy of the precept, stating the names of the officers who were to compose the court, and the object of inquiry, was furnished to him on the 20th day of April last.

As, however, you have deemed it correct to "submit the questions raised" by Captain Porter, to "my determination," it is proper to add, that the opinion of the Department as to the legality of constituting the court with three captains, of the same rank with Captain Porter, one being senior, and two junior, to himself, was necessarily expressed in the very act which created and convened the court; and no argument is discovered, in the paper submitted, calculated to change that opinion.

As it is not supposed that the court possesses the power to decide on the form of the precept, the objects for which it should have been convened, or those into which it would be proper to inquire, the reason and design of the comment which is made on the form and words of the precept are not distinctly perceived, and may be totally misapprehended.

If its form seemed incorrect to Captain Porter, or not calculated to meet the objects which he had in asking for an inquiry, the Department, which alone possessed the power to alter the form of the precept, and change the scope of the investigation, ought to have been addressed on the subject.

The President of the United States having thought proper to order an investigation into the trans-

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Ques. Were the vessels of the squadron serving under Captain Porter in the habit of giving convoy to merchant vessels belonging to the United States?

Ans. Their instructions were to offer convoy on all occasions, and it was always done when required, without leaving at too great a distance the ground where the vessels were directed to cruise.

Ques. Was everything done by the squadron under Captain Porter's orders that could be done, to the best of your knowledge and belief, to suppress piracy?

Ans. So far as my knowledge extends, everything was done that could be done: no report of piracy being committed anywhere reached us, but that Commodore Porter endeavored to dispatch a competent force to the place.

Ques. Is there any other matter relating to this inquiry, of which you possess any knowledge? If so, state it fully to the court.

Ans. I do not recollect anything further that is material.

Captain William B. Finch, again:

Question. Did you derive any advantage from the transportation of specie, by any part of the squadron under the command of Captain Porter? Answer. I did not.

Ques. Could you be personally benefited by such transportation in the situation which you held?

Ans. I presume not: the money received for such transportation, being divided between the captain of the vessel by which it was carried and the commodore of the squadron, I had no concern in it of any kind.

Ques. Is there any other matter relating to this inquiry, of which you possess any knowledge? If so, state it fully to the court.

Ans. I know of nothing further that is material, unless it may be the letters here presented from me to him, (read and annexed.)

Stephen Cassin, a captain in the navy of the United States, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:

Question. In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter, and between what periods?

Answer. I was a master commandant, commanding the Peacock from January, 1823, with Commodore Porter on board, carrying his broad pendant, and continued so for some months. After he left the Peacock, and shifted his broad pendant to the Sea Gull, I continued in command of the Peacock till, I think, December, 1823.

Ques. On what particular service were you employed during that period? Produce such orders and instructions as you received, relating in any manner to the subject of this investigation.

Ans. I went originally to sea in company with the Shark, the eight small schooners, the Grayhound, Beagle, Terrier, Wild Cat, Ferret, Weasel, Fox, Jackall, attached to the squadron, the Decoy, store ship, and the steam galliot the Sea Gull. We proceeded to St. Thomas, the place of rendezvous—we remained there a day or two. The commodore dispatched two or three of the schooners to proceed down the south side of Porto Rico, to examine the creeks and inlets on that coast. The remainder of the squadron went down the north side of the island, and communicated with the shore of the Island of Porto Rico. Thence we proceeded to Aguadilla, anchored and took in water. The Peacock then proceeded down the old Bahama Straits, in company with some of the small schooners engaged in the search after pirates and the examination of the coast. After making the south side of Cuba, we hauled over to Key Verd, where it was supposed some pirates were lurking; but finding none, returned over to the Cuba coast, proceeded down the old straits, occasionally coming to an anchor at night, keeping near the shore in the day time, engaged in the examination of the coast, and continued down till we arrived at Sugar Key, where we anchored near the shore. We here found two British men-of-war also engaged in the same object, with whom we communicated. By the orders of the commodore, we got our boats out, manned with eighty men, and, commanded by three lieutenants, proceeded down in company with two schooners inside of the reef, examining the nooks and corners for pirates, and after this proceeded to Matanzas and joined the ship. The vessel was engaged during the same time in examining and coming to an anchor at night. At Matanzas we watered. In the meantime boats were sent out on an expedition to Hidden Harbor, where it was supposed there were some pirates, but they returned without finding any. During their cruise the service was extremely arduous, the men much exposed to the sun by day, and heavy dews at night, with few or no comforts; and were much exhausted by the incessant and severe fatigue. We proceeded to Key West in the Peacock—the remainder of the squadron was dispatched in different directions, giving convoy, and searching for pirates in various quarters. We arrived at Thompson's Island about the beginning of April. Immediately after anchoring, we commenced fitting out and preparing barges, and were employed in various other duties. After the barges were fitted, I was directed to proceed with two of them of the largest class, and about eighty or ninety of my men, and two schooners (the Peacock having been laid up) to Havana. Off that place I communicated with the shore, and obtained information of a pirate having been off the Moro a day or two previous, committing depredations upon American and other vessels. It was understood to be a fast sailing schooner, the Pilot, formerly from Norfolk, which had been captured off the coast, and fitted out by the pirates. I made arrangements with Lieutenant Stribling to go in search of him, and in the meantime I remained at anchor off the Moro, for the purpose of affording protection to some vessels which were to sail the next day. Lieutenant Stribling proceeded after the pirate and captured her—as his report will show. The next morning the fleet came out. I got under way, and proceeded convoying them till I fell in with Lieutenant Skinner in the Wild Cat, under whose charge I left them, and proceeded to rejoin my boat, which I fell in with about three o'clock in the afternoon, with the Pilot in company—took the barges in tow; directed Lieutenant. Stribling to continue on board the Pilot with a number of men. We returned to Havana, where I sent him in for water. On his return we proceeded in obedience to our orders to Cayo Blanco, and continued our searches in that neighborhood—proceeded down towards Cape Antonio, going about twenty or twenty-five miles a day, with the barges sounding ahead, examining the coast, through an exceedingly intricate navigation. Proceeded to Cape Antonio, and examined every nook and corner inside of the reef and Pirate Bay—famous places of resort for pirates. In running down the distance, I captured a sloop boat and a felucca boat, which had been deserted on reaching the beach— landing occasionally. I saw several wrecks of vessels that had been burned. During the whole period

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the men suffered extremely, particularly from fatigue, exposure, and want of water, which we found it impossible to procure.

During the time that I was engaged in this expedition, another was out under the immediate command of the commodore, in a different direction, with which it was designed that I should co-operate.

Previous to my going through the Colorados reef, the British had attempted it with two small schooners, but were obliged to abandon the attempt as impracticable. After remaining in that neighborhood I proceeded to Thompson's Island, where I resumed the command of the Peacock, and made the report of the 28th April, which has been read.

The court adjourned till half after ten o'clock, on Monday morning.

Monday Morning, May 16.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of Saturday. Present: as before.

Master commandant William B. Finch, again called:

Question During the time you were with the squadron under Captain Porter, was it generally believed and understood that reports were circulated of piratical acts, which had no foundation in truth, for the purpose of distracting the attention of the squadron, or for any other, and for what purpose?

Answer. I am under the impression that many such reports were circulated that had no foundation in fact: the distracting of the attention of the squadron would be a very probable motive for raising them, but I cannot of course speak positively as to the object designed to be answered. I am also of opinion, that, had we possessed ten times the force we did, it would have been impossible to act upon all these reports, or to answer all the demands that were made.

Ques. How many well authenticated instances of piracy do you recollect to have occurred while you were with the squadron, and what was done in those instances?

Ans. I recollect but one which occurred. It was in the neighborhood of Matanzas. Lieutenant Voorhees was dispatched immediately in pursuit of the piratical vessel in the Sea Gull, and succeeded in capturing her in the course of a few hours.

Ques. Do you know anything of an Englishman who keeps a ferry in the neighborhood of Matanzas, and had you the means of knowing whether that ferry was much used by pirates, or those having intercourse with them?

Ans. I know the man, and was several times at his house: never heard of any such thing. Commodore Porter and his family resided at the place for some two or three weeks. It was in the month of May and June, 1824, that I was there, and that Commodore Porter resided there.

Ques. Had you the superintendence of the granting convoy? State the circumstances tinder which it was usual to grant it; and what was done.

Ans. That duty devolved on me at Matanzas. The object was to see vessels off which were leaving the port, and those into port, which were coming there. It was usual almost daily for some of the squadron to go out with those which sailed in the morning, when the wind suited, and to return in the evening, with such as were arriving. In some instances convoy was offered, but refused, rather than delay till all the vessels were ready to proceed.

Captain Stephen Cassin—in continuation:

On the 10th May sailed for Havana, in the Peacock, where we arrived on the 11th, and watered. On the 14th sailed for Vera Cruz, in pursuance of the special orders of the date of May 7th, 1823, read and annexed, and arrived on the 21st of the same month. On the 20th June sailed for Tampico, and remained there till July 9th. During these passages I gave chase to and overhauled every suspicious vessel. While in port, I considered that my presence was useful to the American commerce in that vicinity—being the only American armed vessel in that neighborhood, during a considerable part of the time. July 9th, sailed for Thompson's Island, and arrived there on the 22d. of the same month. August 4th, sailed for the Havana— arrived there on the 5th, and remained there till the 9th, when I sailed for Thompson's Island, and arrived there on the 10th. From the 10th August, till September 16th, remained at Thompson's Island, during which period the officers and men were daily engaged in operations on shore—many of them taken with the yellow fever, and died daily. Commodore Porter was himself ill with the fever, and it was judged proper to send the Peacock to the United States, in company with the John Adams: arrived at Norfolk October 1st.

Captain Cassin produced some orders which he received, which were read and annexed.

Ques. While under the command of Captain Porter, did you carry any money on freight?

Ans. I did. I took on board at Tampico and Vera Cruz, altogether, about $130,000 or $140,000. The greater part was landed at the Havana; the residue, about $18,000 or $20,000, was sent home from Havana, in some of the small vessels of the squadron.

Ques. Was it shipped by American merchants, or by whom?

Ans. It was shipped by Mr. Robinson and Mr. Taylor, American agents at Tampico and Vera Cruz. I do not know who owned it; these were the persons with whom the business was transacted.

Ques. What premium or freight was received for such transportation in the Peacock, and how was it appropriated?

Ans. It was 1 1/2 or 2 per cent. One-third of the net proceeds was paid the commodore—the rest retained by me.

Ques. Was any time consumed at the place where the specie was shipped—on the passage, or at the port where the Peacock delivered it—in consequence of her being engaged in the transportation of specie, which could otherwise have been specially devoted to the suppression of piracy?

Ans. I was at Vera Cruz during a very unsettled period, and waited there for some time for the purpose of taking specie on board, but I considered the protection afforded to American commerce was as great and as important as if I had been engaged in cruising.

Ques. Independently of the carrying of specie, did the general protection of American commerce and property, and the suppression of piracy, require the presence of the vessels of the squadron in the Gulf of Mexico as frequently as they were sent there, and at the places to which they were sent?

Ans. I think so certainly.

Ques. Were the vessels of the squadron in the practice of affording convoy to American vessels?

Ans. Always.

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Ques. Was everything done by the squadron to suppress piracy, which you conceive could have been done to attain that object?

Ans. Everything I conceive was done which could be done.

Ques. Is there any other matter relating to the subject under investigation which you deem material? If so, state it fully to the court.

Ans. There is nothing.

Ques. During the time you were under the command of Captain Porter, had you reason to believe that reports were circulated in the West Indies, of piratical acts which were known to have no foundation in truth?

Ans. I believe such unfounded reports were numerous. I have no doubt many were got up for the purpose of drawing the attention of the squadron from places where the pirates really were.

Francis H. Gregory, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:

Question. In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter, and between what periods?

Answer. I commanded the Grampus; joined the commodore at Key West, on the 3d July, 1823, and continued under him until after my return to the United States, in November, 1823. Previous to my joining Commodore Porter, I was out on a cruise, having sailed from New York in December, 1822, while Commodore Porter was fitting out his squadron, under the orders from the Department, read and annexed to the record.

Ques. On what particular service were you employed during that period? Produce such orders and instructions as you received, relating in any manner to this investigation.

Ans. The Grampus sailed from New York December 30, 1823, for Matanzas; cruised about the Grand Bahama Bank a few days, and arrived at Matanzas January 18, 1823; gave convoy from that port, and touched at Havana the 28th; sailed the same day for the south side of Cuba; experienced a very severe gale from the southward; was disabled and driven into the Bay of Mexico; arrived on the 19th February, at the mouth of the Mississippi; proceeded to New Orleans, where I received on board a new mainmast; sailed under orders from Captain Patterson, read and annexed, with convoy for Tobasco; left the Balize April 24th; anchored off the mouth of the Tobasco May 1st; sailed the 7th for Vera Cruz, with convoy; 9th parted from the convoy, and proceeded directly to Campeachy; continued cruising and giving convoy upon that coast, until want of provisions forced me to go to Havana, where I arrived June 27th, and met the Wild Cat, Lieutenant Skinner, with whom I proceeded to Thompson's Island; a fleet of merchantmen left Havana in company with us; July 3d, arrived at Thompson's Island, where I received Commodore Porter's instructions, dated May 16th, read and annexed, being the first communication I had received from him; July 5th, was dispatched after a pirate; went to Key Vacas, and returned on the 10th to Thompson's Island; I received orders to proceed to Matanzas; sailed on the 16th with a barge; on the 19th dispatched the barge with one of the boats of the Grampus, off Point Yaco, before entering the harbor, to cruise among the keys, and went into Matanzas; between the 20th and 25th July, Lieut. Platt joined me from Thompson's Island, with a barge; sent him the same day to windward to cruise for pirates; continued giving convoy, watching every suspicious vessel in the harbor, of which there were several, and keeping the barges cruising along the coast to windward and leeward, until relieved by Commodore Porter's order of the 16th September; while at Matanzas, received Lieut. Freelon's report of the proceedings with the barges, (read and annexed,) and a letter from the merchants of Matanzas, (read and annexed.)

On the 13th October, left the Island of Cuba; at that time the Porpoise, Wild Cat, Hornet, and Jackall, were upon the coast, at Matanzas or Havana; arrived at Tampico October 19th; on the 20th was taken down with the yellow fever; sailed the 24th with 26 on the sick list; reached Havana on the 6th or 7th November, and sailed on the 12th for Norfolk; while at Matanzas, the Wild Cat, Lieut. Walbert, arrived from the United States; the Terrier or Ferret, Lieut. M'Kean, the Jackall, Lieut. Oellers, Lieut. Ritchie in the Fox, Lieut. Newton in the Beagle, Lieut. Kennon in one of the small schooners, all touched at Matanzas, offering convoy, and in several instances sailing with convoy; but which particular vessels, or the precise periods of their arrival and departure I cannot recollect; all however occurred between the 19th September and the 3d of October, the day on which I left Matanzas for the last time.

Independently of the written instructions received from Commodore Porter when I was going to Matanzas, I received also verbal instructions, in which he stated the importance of the point, the necessity for great activity and vigilance; and was directed to communicate to him in all cases of necessity.

Ques. While under the command of Captain Porter, did you carry on freight any, and what amount of specie?

Ans. When I left Havana for the United States, there was about six or seven thousand dollars put on board by the American consul at Havana, belonging to a merchant at Baltimore, which I landed at Norfolk, and deposited in the Bank of the United States at that place. My proportion of the freight, amounting to about eighty or ninety dollars, was given to the Orphan asylum at Philadelphia, the residue was given to the commodore; that was all the money that was ever shipped on board the Grampus in any foreign port during about 21 months that I commanded her.

Ques. Did any instance occur in which, by delaying your sailing or varying from your course, opportunities would have occurred to carry specie on freight?

Ans. When I left the Balize, under the orders of Captain Patterson, he gave me verbal instructions to go to Tampico by the 15th May, stating that there would be considerable sums of specie there by that time, and that he would make arrangements about it. On my arrival off the coast of Campeachy, I found several American vessels there in a great deal of alarm; the captain of one of them had been murdered by the pirates. In consequence of the defenceless state of the commerce, I determined not to go to Tampico, and wrote to that effect to the consul there, and employed myself in furnishing such protection as I could afford to the vessels in the neighborhood.

In spite of all my efforts, though I had my boats out in shoal water sometimes as far as eighty or a hundred miles from the vessel, they succeeded in several instances. I received a letter from Captain Patterson, under date of the 4th May, informing me he had made arrangements by which, had I gone to Tampico, I might have taken on board three or four hundred thousand dollars. I had a list of the vessels to which I furnished convoy at Campeachy, amounting to more than twenty. While I was at Campeachy, I was also importuned to take on board $40,000, and carry it to the Balize. This I declined, as it would

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interfere with my other duties. The pirates were carrying on their depredations, and I considered it my duty to protect American commerce and look after the pirates. While there, I ran one vessel on shore, and took another, which I delivered up to the authorities of the place.

Ques. Independently of the transportation of specie, did the general protection of American commerce and property, and the suppression of piracy, require the presence of the vessels of the squadron in the Gulf of Mexico as frequently as they were sent there, and at the places to which they were sent?

Ans. As far as my knowledge extends, it was so; there were numerous piracies committed along the coast of Yucatan, off Tobasco and Alvarado, and apprehensions were generally entertained by the American merchants trading between New Orleans and Tampico.

Ques. Were the vessels of the squadron in the practice of offering convoy to American vessels?

Ans. It was their constant practice. I never knew an instance of its being refused.

Ques. Was everything done by Captain Porter, with the squadron under his command, to suppress piracy, which could be done?

Ans. As far as I know it was.

Ques. Is there any other matter relating to the subject under investigation which you deem material? If so, state it fully.

Ans. Nothing within my recollection.

Thomas H. Stevens, a master commandant in the navy of the United States, being- duly sworn, according to law, deposes and says:

Question. In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter, and between what periods?

Answer. I commanded the Jackall from early in January, 1823, to July 5th, of the same year; and the Shark, from July 25th, of the same year, till June 10th, 1824.

Ques. On what particular service were you employed during these periods? Produce such orders and instructions as you received, relating to the subject of this inquiry.

Ans. During the first part of the time, I was not cruising under Commodore Porter; I received my first instructions from him on the 11th May; (read and annexed.) The second orders are of the 6th of June; (read and annexed;) and the last orders, while in command of the Jackall, dated the 18th June; (read and annexed.)

I left Aguada in company with Captain Kearney, on the 11th of March; ran down the south side of St. Domingo, giving the coast a strict and careful examination for pirates. From thence, we stretched over to Cuba, and commencing at Cape Mazo, examined very particularly the coast on the south side, to Cape Antonio—having two boats frequently out, and particularly about the bay of Cape Antonio, and arrived at Havana about the end of March.

I went into Havana, and found the alarm very great on account of pirates; gave convoy from there on the 1st of April, to probably fifteen or twenty vessels, and, on the 3d of April, arrived at Thompson's Island, and reported to Commodore Porter. Captain Kearney's report of the 11th of April, 1823, details the events of the cruise. On the 8th, sailed again, in company with the Fox and two barges, with part of the crew of the Peacock, under the command of Captain Cassin. We arrived next day at the Havana, where much alarm prevailed on account of several captures made by the piratical schooner Pilot. On coming out of the port of Havana, I informed Captain Cassin, then off the harbor, of the great excitement prevailing there, and strongly urged to send the barges in pursuit of the piratical vessel. This was done under Lieutenant Stribling: the next day he returned, having captured her. We gave convoy to a large fleet, and then proceeded to leeward, and entered the Colorados at Cape Blanco; commenced and continued an unremitting search after pirates, examining every inlet and bay to Cape Antonio; after examining which most particularly, we returned to Thompson's Island. While within the Colorados, we captured a large launch and a fine felucca, particularly adapted for piratical purposes, being manned and armed with guns of various calibres. Drove the crews ashore, after an action with them, and destroyed their establishment on shore, consisting of five huts. When we left Thompson's Island, we left Commodore Porter preparing boats and men to be dispatched on the same service. On my arrival at Thompson's Island on the 26th of April, I careened and repaired my vessel, took in provisions, and sailed in conformity with my instructions of that date. I was engaged in giving convoy and in cruising to windward of Matanzas after pirates, till the 5th June, when I returned to Thompson's Island, and received my instructions of that date. I obeyed these orders; went to Havana and Matanzas, cruising and giving convoy, and returned to Thompson's Island on the 11th June, where I received my orders of the 18th, and proceeded to the United States, to Washington. On the 29th July, received orders to take command of the Shark, at New York, and on the 3d October sailed from New York, having on board Commodore Rodgers and the surgeons who went out to visit Thompson's Island. On the 27th arrived at Thompson's Island; remained there ten or twelve days; proceeded to the Havana; left there November 6th, and arrived at Norfolk on the 16th.

On the 21th December, I received my orders from Commodore Porter, of that date; sailed from Norfolk, in pursuance of them, on the 31st; arrived at St. Jago on the 1th January, 1824; ran down the south side of Cuba; examined, carefully, the coast to Cape Antonio; and, on the 28th January, arrived off Alvarado, where I landed the gentlemen who had sailed with me from the United States, as the agents of the Bank of the United States. On my arrival at Alvarado, I was informed by the acting vice consul there, that a large amount of American property was detained at the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa, and that the representations of some naval commander were necessary to obtain restitution of it. I, accordingly, ran up to Point Lizardo, and anchored. I then left the vessel and repaired to Alvarado, for the purpose of inquiring into the business. Finding the statement of those who made the representations correct, I was returning to Lizardo, when a heavy north wind compelled me to return. This wind drove the Shark to sea, and I did not rejoin her till four or five days after. I then took with me an agent for the recovery of this property, and, after arriving on board, addressed a letter to General Lamour, the commander of the castle, who immediately restored it. In coming from the castle, the authorities at Vera Cruz seized the property, which made my presence in that place necessary. I got under way and anchored at Sacraficios on the 11th March, and entered into a correspondence with General Victoria, which eventuated in the reference of the matter to the government at Mexico.

Shortly after arriving at Vera Cruz, hostilities commenced between the castle and the city; and, as our vessels were daily arriving there, and liable to capture and detention by either of the contending

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parties, I remained there, warning them off, and affording them every assistance in my power, till I received a letter from one of the gentlemen whom I had taken out with me, informing me of the failure of their mission. I sailed the next day after the receipt of this letter, and arrived at Tampico on the 3d April. I remained there four or five days, and then sailed for the Havana, where I arrived on the 19th; repaired to Thompson's Island, where I received instructions from Captain Porter to proceed to the United States, which I did, and arrived at New York on the 14th May.

Ques. While under the command of Captain Porter, did you carry any, and what amount of specie, on freight?

Ans. The whole amount of specie which I received on board, was $163,500; and before receiving any money in a foreign port, I always saw that the duties had been regularly paid. Of this amount, $8,000 was received at the Havana, when returning home in the Jackall; $58,000 at Thompson's Island, and $97,500 at Tampico: $10,000 from Tampico, was delivered at Havana; all the rest in the United States. The $8,000 was shipped at Havana, consigned to the house of Goodhue & Co., at New York. The $58,000 was received, by permission from Commodore Rodgers, from Lieutenants Oellers and Rousseau. The $97,500 was shipped by the American consul, Mr. Ingraham, at Tampico.

Ques. What premium or freight did you receive for such transportation, and how was it appropriated?

Ans. For the $8,000 I received 2 1/2 per cent.; for the $58,000 I received 2 per cent., and for the $97,500. 1 1/2 for that landed at Havana, and 2 per cent for that brought to the United States. I received for myself two-thirds; the other third I paid over to Commodore Porter. The commodore never made any demand of me for any of it; it was a voluntary act of mine, in pursuance of the general custom.

Ques. Was any time consumed at the place where the specie was shipped, on the passage, or at the ports where it was delivered, in consequence of being engaged in the transportation of specie, which would otherwise have been specially devoted to the suppression of piracy?

Ans. In no instance did any delay occur for the purpose of taking on board specie; on the contrary, I was requested to wait at Vera Cruz, or to stop off Alvarado, for the arrival of a convoy, which was expected down from Mexico, with two or three million of dollars, which I declined doing, but sailed immediately on receiving the letter I have mentioned, from the gentleman whom I carried out.

Ques. During the period of your being under the command of Captain Porter, did you ever hear, or do you know of any specie being carried on freight by any vessel on board which he was at the time?

Ans. I do not know that in any case the vessel which carried Commodore Porter's pendant carried any specie. Commodore Porter was never down the gulf when I was with him; he was either employed on the coast of Cuba or at Thompson's Island.

Ques. Did the general objects of the protection of American commerce and property, and the suppression of piracy require, in your opinion, that the vessels of the squadron should go as frequently as they did to the Gulf of Mexico, and to the places to which they were sent?

Ans. They certainly did, according to my opinion.

Ques. Were the vessels in the squadron in the practice of affording convoy to American vessels?

Ans. In every instance where it was required; more frequently than the general orders required it.

Ques. Was everything done by Captain Porter, with the force under his command, which could be done to suppress piracy?

Ans. All that energy and decision could accomplish, was done to attain that object. It appeared to be the principal object of the commodore, and of every officer under his command.

Ques. During the time that you acted under Captain Porter, had you reason to believe that unfounded reports of piracies were circulated in the West Indies?

Ans. I have no doubt but such reports were frequently circulated without the shadow of truth, for the purpose of drawing off the attention of our squadron.

Ques. Is there any other matter relating to the subject of this inquiry, material to mention?

Ans. I know of nothing important.

The court adjourned till half-past 10 o'clock to-morrow morning.

Tuesday, May 17.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. Present: as before.

Master Commandant William B. Finch, again:

Question. During the period of your being under the command of Captain Porter, did you ever hear or know of any specie being carried on freight by any vessel on board of which he was at the time?

Answer. No; his flag was transferred from the John Adams, before she sailed down the gulf, to the Sea Gull. The commodore himself never went down into the bay while I was with him.

Charles W. Skinner, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:

Question. In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter, and between what periods?

Answer. I served with Captain Porter from about the 23d December, 1822, till about the 11th of July, 1823, in command of the schooner Wild Cat. I commanded the Porpoise from March, 1824, until Captain Porter left the West India station.

Ques. On what particular service were you employed during these periods? Produce such orders and instructions as you received.

Ans. I was governed by the general instructions, that have been given in evidence, and obeyed them in every particular. I was in company with Commodore Porter until after the arrival of the squadron at Aguada. At that place the squadron was separated, and I continued with the commodore until the 20th March, engaged in the suppression of piracy, particularly between St. Thomas and Sugar Key; we anchored at Sugar Key, where the Beagle was put also under my command, three lieutenants from the Peacock, and about eighty of the ship's company in the boats of that vessel, with orders to examine from Cayo Romano, in the old Bahama Straits to Matanzas. We landed on the different keys, examined them, boarded all the vessels we fell in with, and arrived at Matanzas on the 20th March. On the same night, in consequence of a report that a piracy had been committed in Escondido, I sailed for that place with the Beagle and the boats of the Peacock in company, examined the place, and found the report to be unfounded. I returned, and off Matanzas fell in with the commodore in his gig. The commodore sailed about the 30th, and left me in command of the Wild Cat and Beagle, to convoy from Matanzas and the Havana twice a week, till further orders, and to examine in the intervening time the creeks and inlets

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in the neighborhood. From that time till the 2d July, I was constantly engaged in this business, boarding every vessel, and examining every creek. During that period, I believe I gave convoy to about one hundred and eighty sail of vessels, affording all the protection in our power, being constantly at sea. I went over to Thompson's Island, and on the 3d July sailed for Key Vacas, to land marines and artillery; and sailed from thence on the 5th for the United States.

The second cruise was to the coast of Africa, under orders from the Department, dated June 19th, 1824. (Read, and annexed.) Having accomplished the duties given by those orders, boarding on the coast of Africa several vessels engaged in the slave trade, under the French, Spanish, and Danish flags; returned to Cape Messurado, took on board Mr. Gurley, as I was directed, and sailed for the West Indies. On the 15th September, arrived at St. Pierre, Martinico, sailed on the 16th, arrived at St. Thomas the 19th, sailed on the 24th, convoying a ship through the Sail Rock passage. On the 25th, arrived off St. Johns, Porto Rico, and inquired after pirates; finding all quiet in that quarter, I proceeded, and on the 28th landed and examined the Island of Mona.

On the 30th, went to the city of St. Domingo. On the 4th October, anchored off St. Jago de Cuba; during each of these trips kept as near the shore as possible, examining the coast and inlets—proceeded to the Island of Cayman, thence over to Cuba, and went down it till I reached Cape St. Antonio, where I gave chase to a suspicious vessel, and at night dispatched some boats in pursuit of her; the boats found the piratical establishment on the cape, and destroyed it, but were unable to overtake the vessel. Being short of provisions, proceeded to Havana, boarding all the vessels I met with—arrived at Havana on the 13th. On the 17th sailed with convoy; in going out of the harbor, fell in with the Terrier, a barge in company, going in—informed him of the piratical vessel I had fallen in with at Cape St. Antonio, and he immediately went in pursuit, and succeeded in capturing him. On the 19th, having left the convoy, anchored at Matanzas. On the night of the 20th, having borrowed a boat from the shore, sent all my own boats, with all my officers, and as many men as could be spared, to search the piratical haunts about Matanzas. On the 23d, they returned with the piratical schooner Gata, and three piratical boats, as prizes. On the night of the 24th, manned the prize schooner, and sent her out on a cruise. On the 25th, sailed with a convoy from Matanzas. On the 28th fell in at sea with the schooner, proceeded to Thompson's Island, where I arrived on the 31st October. There repaired the vessel, took in provisions, and sailed on the 10th November for Matanzas, having received an order to that purpose from the commodore; arrived at Matanzas on the 11th. On the 13th sailed with a convoy, and, from that time till the 17th December, was constantly occupied in that neighborhood, giving convoy to merchantmen, and with my boats out searching for pirates. On the 18th December, arrived at Thompson's Island, where I joined Commodore Porter. On the 22d, received the order, (read and annexed,) to proceed to the Gulf of Mexico, with which I complied. Sailed on the 23d for the Havana, thence on the 26th for the Gulf of Mexico. On the 31st fell in with an American brig, and convoyed her into Campeachy, there offered convoy, and proceeded to the different places indicated in my orders, offering at each convoy and protection to American commerce. Sailed from Tampico on the 18th March, arrived at Havana on the 31st; there I received an order from Captain Warrington to comply with the previous order, received from Captain Porter, and sailed about the 7th April for New York, where I arrived about the 19th.

Ques. While under the command of Captain Porter, did you receive any and what amount of specie on freight?

Ans. The first specie I carried was in the Wild Cat, from the Havana, $5,000, carried to a vessel which had sailed before me and which I was to convoy. The next time I carried $34,519 from Tampico to the Balize. The next sum I carried was $109,013 from Tampico; $2,000 was landed at Havana, the residue at New York.

Ques. Was it shipped by American merchants, or by whom?

Ans. All that I carried from Tampico was shipped by the American consul; the $5,000 was shipped by the master of an American vessel of Philadelphia.

Ques. What amount of freight did you receive for such transportation, and how was it appropriated?

Ans. The whole amount was between $2,200 and $2,300; one-third was deposited in bank for the commanding officer, the residue was my own.

Ques. Was any time consumed at the places where the specie was shipped, on the passage, or at the places of delivery, in consequence of your being engaged in the transportation of specie, which would otherwise have been specially devoted to the suppression of piracy?

Ans. I did not remain at any of these places longer than I should have done, had there been no specie. I complied strictly with my orders. I was on one occasion offered a considerable sum of money to be carried to New Orleans, but I declined it, as I had no other motive to carry me there.

Ques. Did the general protection of American commerce and property, and the suppression of piracy, require, in your opinion, the presence of an American force in the Gulf of Mexico as frequently as it was sent there, and at the places to which it was sent?

Ans. I conceived it absolutely necessary that an American vessel of war should be in the Gulf of Mexico. I can only speak as to my own vessel, not knowing what other vessels were there or how long.

Ques. Were the vessels attached to the squadron in the practice of affording convoy to American vessels?

Ans. So far as I knew, it was the constant practice.

Ques. Was everything done which could be done by the squadron to suppress piracy?

Ans. Yes; as far as came to my knowledge, no vessels were ever more actively or more disagreeably employed.

Ques. During the time that you were under the command of Captain Porter, had you reason to believe that reports were circulated in the West Indies of piratical acts, which were ascertained to be without any foundation in truth?

Ans. Yes, many; it was constantly the case.

Ques. During that period, did you ever hear or know of any specie being carried on freight by any vessel on board of which Captain Porter was at the time?

Ans. No, I never did; I never heard of his being in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ques. Is there any other matter or thing material to this investigation? If so, state it fully.

Ans. I do not recollect anything further. When in Tampico, the American consul informed me that he had repeatedly written to have an American vessel from the squadron sent down there to carry specie,

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require, in your opinion, the presence of an American force in the Gulf of Mexico, as frequently as it was sent there, and at the places to which it was sent?

Ans. Yes, and much more frequently. Complaints were numerous of the want of a force there.

Ques. Was the procuring of specie the primary or secondary object of your going into that quarter?

Ans. It was entirely secondary.

Ques. Were the vessels of the squadron in the practice of affording convoy to American vessels?

Ans. It was their constant practice wherever it was wanted; I always offered convoy at every port to which I went.

Ques. Was everything done by the squadron which, as you conceive, could be done towards the suppression of piracy?

Ans. It was.

Ques. While you were under the command of Captain Porter, were any reports circulated, without any foundation, of piratical acts?

Ans. Yes, frequently, on the coast of Cuba; such reports were I believe frequently circulated for the purpose of drawing the vessels off.

Ques. Did you ever know of or hear, that any vessel on board which Captain Porter was at the time carried specie on freight?

Ans. I know of no instance, and never heard of any.

Ques. Is there any other matter which you deem material to this inquiry? If so, state it fully.

Ans. Nothing in particular.

David G. Farragut, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:

Question. In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter, and for what period of time?

Answer. I joined the squadron on the 4th February, 1823, as an acting lieutenant on board the schooner Grayhound, commanded by Master Commandant John Porter, and afterwards by Lieutenant Kearney, and continued on the station until the commodore returned to the United States in July, 1825.

Ques. On what particular service were the vessels to which you were attached employed?

Ans. The Grayhound was constantly employed, while I was on board her, in the suppression of piracy, and giving convoy on the south side of the Island of St. Domingo and Cuba, and the Mona passage, and on the north side of Porto Rico. I was in the Grayhound till July, 1823, at which time I was transferred to the steam galliot Sea Gull; she wore the pendant of Commodore Porter, and was engaged in cruising for pirates along the coast of Florida; Commodore Porter was taken sick, and the vessel remained at Thompson's Island until he returned home in the summer of 1823.

On the 17th February, the Sea Gull having been repaired, we again sailed for the West Indies; the commodore in the John Adams, in company touching at different places, visited the Island of St. Bartholomews, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, ran down the north side of Porto Rico through the Mona passage, visited the Island of Mona, down the south side of St. Domingo, examined the coast and inlets, retook the schooner Pacification off Jaquemel from a Carthagenian privateer, visited St. Jago de Cuba, then down the coast, examining the coast thoroughly by the Isle of Pines; coasted the island along as far as Matanzas, thence to Thompson's Island. The next day the commodore arrived in the John Adams, and we were dispatched on an expedition under the command of Captain Wilkinson to Cape Antonio, in pursuit of a pirate whom he had chased in there a few days before; the boats entered the Colorados to the windward, and the Sea Gull to leeward, and met about half way; received information from some fishermen that the vessel had sailed for the coast of Yucatan. Having made diligent search, we were joined by the Grayhound, and returned to Thompson's Island; I then left the Sea Gull, and on the 10th June was appointed to the command of the Ferret. I received verbal instructions from Commodore Porter to cruise between Havana Matanzas, and Thompson's Island, for the purpose of giving convoy twice a week out of Matanzas and Havana, to carry plants from Cuba over to the island, and to be careful to afford every protection to our commerce that might be requested. These orders were punctually obeyed; no convoys were asked which I did not afford, no piracies were complained of. I gave convoys sometimes three times, sometimes four times a week. I continued thus occupied until July 5th, when I received orders to carry a public agent to Nassau, New Providence, and afterwards to proceed to the United States.

Ques. While under the command of Captain Porter, did you carry on freight any, and what amount of specie?

Ans. I carried none.

Ques. Do you know, or did you ever hear, that any was carried in any vessel on board which Captain Porter was at the time?

Ans. No; I never did.

Ques. Was it the practice of the squadron to afford convoy, when required, to American vessels?

Ans. Always, I believe; I never knew an instance to the contrary.

Ques. Was everything done by the squadron for the suppression of piracy, which could be done?

Ans. I think so.

Ques. Had you ever reason to believe that reports were circulated in the West Indies, without any foundation, of piratical acts; and for what purpose?

Ans. I have known many such myself; what the object was, cannot say. Some that I heard, I knew at the time to be false; and false reports were also circulated with regard to the absence of vessels, from the ports of Cuba, to give convoy.

Ques. Do you know, and were you frequently at the ferry, kept by an Englishman named Roberts, near Matanzas?

Ans. Yes, I knew him; was frequently there; obtained, from his plantation, plants for Key West.

Ques. Do you know, or did you ever hear, of that ferry being much resorted to by pirates, or persons having intercourse with them?

Ans. I never did.

Ques. Is there anything further material to this inquiry?

Ans. I know nothing that I conceive important.

The court then adjourned till half-past 10 o'clock, to-morrow morning.

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Wednesday, May 18.

The court met, pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday.

Present: as before.

Ralph Voorhees, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, being duly sworn, according to law, deposes and says:

Question, In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter; and for what period of time?

Answer. I served on board the Sea Gull, as a lieutenant, from December 26th, 1822, till July 16th, 1823. I then took command of her, and continued in command until July 10th, 1824.

Ques. On what particular service was the Sea Gull employed while you were attached to her, and where?

Ans. I sailed in February, 1823, for the West Indies. The vessel was employed generally in the West Indies, and particularly cruising around the Island of Cuba and through the Bahama Straits, in giving convoy to American vessels, and the suppression of piracy. The commodore was frequently on board the Sea Gull, and I think for half the time that she was out she bore his pendant, which was sometimes shifted to the John Adams and Peacock.

Ques. During that time was any, and what amount of, specie carried on freight in the Sea Gull?

Ans. None was carried.

Ques. Do you know, or did you ever hear, that any was carried in any vessel on board which Captain Porter was at the time?

Ans. None that I know of.

Ques. Was it the practice of the squadron to give convoy to American vessels?

Ans. Always, when required.

Ques. Was everything done which could be effected to suppress piracy?

Ans. I believe all the vessels were actively and judiciously employed for that purpose.

Ques. Had you reason to believe that many unfounded and exaggerated accounts of piracy were circulated in the West Indies?

Ans. Many such reports were circulated, which, on examination, we found to be destitute of any foundation; they were very frequent. I also saw in the papers from the United States the most exaggerated and unfounded statements of piracies.

Ques. Is there anything else material to this investigation within your knowledge? If so, state it fully.

Ans. Nothing.

John H. Lee, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, being duly sworn, according to law, deposes and says:

Question. In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter, and for what period of time?

Answer. I served as a lieutenant on board the John Adams, from the time she went to the West Indies until about the 25th April, 1824; at that time I took command of the schooner Jackall, and continued in her till November 20th, 1824.

Ques. On what service were the vessels on which you were, particularly engaged during those periods?

Ans. The John Adams joined the squadron at Key West, in August, 1823, and then returned to the United States in consequence of the sickness. About the 11th February, 1824, sailed again from the United States, under the command of Captain Dallas; the particular object in which we were occupied, was cruising for pirates from the windward, down through the islands, till our arrival at Key West, where I left her. On board the Jackall I cruised along the coast of Yucatan and Campeachy, with another schooner in company, in pursuance of Commodore Porter's orders of April 25th (read and annexed), and executed those orders, and made the report of the cruise which has been given in evidence.

Ques. Did the vessels to which you were attached, while under the command of Captain Porter, carry any, and what amount of specie, where from, and to what parts?

Ans. None was carried in either of the vessels, while I was under his command.

Ques. Did the protection of American property and commerce, and the suppression of piracy, require the presence of an American force in the Gulf of Mexico as frequently as it was sent there, and at the places to which it was sent?

Ans. I think it did.

Ques. Were the vessels of the squadron in the practice of affording convoy?

Ans. Always, when asked, as far as I knew; and it was constantly offered.

Ques. Were unfounded or exaggerated reports of piracies common in the West Indies?

Ans. I think that exaggerated reports of piratical acts were very frequent.

Ques. Did you ever know or hear of any specie being carried on freight by any vessel of the squadron on board which Captain Porter was at the time?

Ans. No; I never did.

Ques. Was everything done which could be effected, by the squadron, for the suppression of piracy?

Ans. So far as my opportunities of judging extend, I think Commodore Porter made the best distribution of his force for the attainment of that object.

Ques. Is there any other matter within your knowledge material to this inquiry? If so, state it fully.

Ans. Nothing, that I know of.

John T. Ritchie, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, being duly sworn, according to law, deposes and says:

Question. In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter, and for what period of time?

Answer. I was a lieutenant on board the Ferret; sailed with the squadron in February, 1823, and continued in her till the July following, when I took command of the schooner Fox, and continued in that capacity until October, 1824.

Ques. On what particular service were those vessels engaged?

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Ans. While in the Ferret, cruised around the Island of Porto Rico after some pirates that we had heard of—rejoined the commodore at Aguadilla. The single object of the cruise of the Ferret, while I was on board her, was the suppression of piracy along Porto Rico, St. Domingo, Cuba, the Colorados to Key West. After I took command of the Fox, I received the orders dated July 19, 1823, (read and annexed,) was then ordered to join Lieut. Kennon, with whom I had cruised after pirates along the north coast of Cuba; afterwards received the orders of August 5, (read and annexed,) and proceeded to the coast of Yucatan, executed them, and made my report of August 29, which has been given in evidence. I afterwards proceeded to Matanzas and Havana, and on my return to Key West came home to the United States, under orders of September 16, (read and annexed.) In December following returned to the West Indies, and cruised under the orders of Captain Wilkinson, (read and annexed,) until recalled to Key West in April following. Immediately on reaching the island received the orders of April 16, 1824, (read and annexed,) and proceeded forthwith in execution of them. After my return I received the orders of April 25, (read and annexed,) and after executing them returned to Key West, and to the United States in October following.

Ques. While under the command of Captain Porter, did the vessels to which you were attached carry on freight any and what amount of specie; from and to what ports?

Ans. During my first cruise I took on board, at various times, about $40,000 for the United States, received on board at Havana; on the last cruise the only money I received was at Tampico, as I was leaving that place, about $20,000, for Havana. Of this, $3,000 was brought to the United States and delivered at Washington.

Ques. What freight did you receive for such transportation, and how was it appropriated?

Ans. I received, I think, 2 1/2 per cent. on the first money I brought home, and 1 1/2 per cent. on that brought from Tampico. One-third was given to Commodore Porter, and the residue reserved by me.

Ques. Was this money shipped by American merchants, or by whom?

Ans. It was shipped through the American consuls at Havana and Tampico.

Ques. Did the general interest of American commerce and property, and the suppression of piracy, require the presence of an American force in the Gulf of Mexico as frequently as it was sent there, and at the places to which it was sent?

Ans. I think so.

Ques. Did the transportation of the specie you carried interfere in any manner with your attention to the suppression of piracy, or protecting American commerce? Ans. It did not

Ques. Was everything done by the squadron to suppress piracy, which could be effected?

Ans. I believe it was, so far as I was capable of judging.

Ques. Is there anything further, within your knowledge, material to the present inquiry? If so, state it.

Ans. Nothing further, than that circumstances occurred at Tampico in regard to the detention, for forty days, of an American vessel, which I succeeded in having released; which showed, beyond doubt, the necessity for having a man-of-war in that neighborhood for the protection of American commerce.

Charles Boarman, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:

Question. In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter, and for what period of time?

Answer. As lieutenant, I commanded the schooner Weasel, from the 20th July, 1824, till the return of Commodore Porter.

Ques. On what particular service were you engaged during that period of time?

Ans. From the time of my arrival at St. Barts, on the 15th August, I was employed during the whole time in convoying and cruising for pirates. Went to Crab Island in pursuit of pirates, captured a boat; the pirates escaped on shore. In September sailed from Havana for the Gulf of Mexico, convoying three American vessels; arrived at Campeachy; sailed to Alvarado, and made my report of the 5th December, (read and annexed;) thence sailed to Tampico, inquiring after pirates, and furnishing protection to our commerce; and having fulfilled my orders, took on board specie for the United States, arrived at the Havana, and made my report of the 21st January, 1825.

Ques. During this time, what amount of specie did you carry on freight, from, and to, what ports?

Ans. I carried about $65,000 from Tampico, shipped for New York: about $20,000 of it was subject to the order of a merchant at Havana, and was there transferred to an English frigate; of this, about $14,000 was shipped by an American house, and a part of the money was shipped by Spaniards. At Havana from three to four thousand dollars was put on board, and landed at Norfolk.

Ques. What amount of freight was paid for this transportation, and how was it appropriated?

Ans. About $1,200 was paid; one-third I gave to Commodore Porter, and the residue I retained.

Ques. Did this carrying of specie interfere in any manner with your attention to the suppression of piracy, and the protection of American commerce?

Ans. Not in the least. I was offered money at Campeachy to carry to the United States, but would receive none until I had completed my cruise, and was on the eve of returning to the United States; and I sailed as soon as I should have done had I carried no specie.

Ques. Did the general protection of American property and commerce, and the suppression of piracy, require the presence of American vessels-of-war in the Gulf of Mexico as frequently as they were sent there, and at the places to which they were sent?

Ans. I think so. During the period of from two to three months that I was there, there was no other vessel of the squadron there.

Ques. Was everything done by the squadron which could be done for the suppression of piracy?

Ans. My opinion is, that all was done which could be done to suppress it.

Ques. Is there any other matter within your knowledge material to this inquiry?

Ans. Nothing.

Charles T. Platt, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:

Question. In what capacity did you serve in the squadron under the command of Captain Porter, and for what period of time?

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Answer. I served in 1823 in the Hornet, afterwards in command of a barge, and on board a merchant vessel employed as a decoy, and during the last year in command of the Beagle. Ques. On what particular service were you employed?

Ans. The particular objects in which I was engaged were the offering protection to our commerce, and the suppression of piracy. Cruising in an open barge at one time sixty-eight days on the northeast side of Cuba. My last cruise in the Beagle was principally confined to the passages in the neighborhood of St. Thomas, under orders of August 4th, read and annexed. I was constantly cruising and giving convoy. While on that station, there was not a single vessel robbed, or an attempt made in the neighborhood.

Ques. Had you any concern in the transportation of specie?

Ans. I never carried any. I was offered some on one occasion, but did not take it, not thinking the vessel I commanded a suitable one, and the object being inconsiderable.

Ques. Do you conceive that the squadron did everything which could be accomplished towards the suppression of piracy?

Ans. I do.

Ques. Is there anything further within your knowledge material to this inquiry?

Ans. Nothing further.

John Mountain, Esq., being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says:

Question. Were you in the Island of Cuba during the period that Commodore Porter commanded the American squadron in the West Indies, and in what capacity?

Answer. I was; in the capacity of vice American commercial agent.

Ques. Are the documents now shown you written by you?

Ans. I believe they are copies of communications made by me to Mr. Warner.

Ques. Do you conceive the sources from which you obtained the information contained in them deserving of confidence?

Ans. I certainly do, most of it from declarations on oath, and the residue from respectable houses at Matanzas, and merchants intimately acquainted with the trade of that country.

Ques. How many and what American men-of-war touched at the Island of Cuba during the year 1824, to the best of your recollection, carrying specie on freight?

Ans. I cannot answer as to the number, nor am I able to name the vessels, not knowing them distinctly; generally speaking, however, all the vessels on the station of a large class. Captain Kennedy in the Hornet refused, and Lieutenants Shubrick and Ramage also refused to carry any. I do not mean to say that this was their sole occupation. The communications I made to Mr. Warner were made in consequence of the clamor of American merchants and masters, who complained of the want of convoy.

Ques. For what length of time were the vessels of the squadron absent, without giving convoy at the Havana?

Ans. For several weeks at a time. This occurred, I think, not more than once, and that was last summer. This long absence produced the clamor that I have spoken of. There is no American merchant at Havana who did not know and believe what I have stated in those communications. I understand that the vessels of the squadron had been removed by the orders of the government, on account of the sickly season, which was a prudent step. I do not mean that the officers of the squadron did not comply with their instructions, but it was known at Havana that the neighborhood was for some time deserted by them. The Americans carry on some trade in the Gulf of Mexico, and their remittances from that quarter are made both in produce and specie.

Ques. On hearing the general complaints of the merchants, did you make any inquiry as to the disposal of the force under Commodore Porter, and what was the information received?

Ans. I did inquire on one or two occasions when vessels touched there, and was shown the instructions to go to the Gulf of Mexico to protect the commerce, and touch at different ports there.

Ques. Did you know anything of the nature of Commodore Porter's instructions?

Ans. I know nothing of them.

Ques. Was the conduct of those officers who refused to take specie approved of or censured by the merchants?

Ans. Much approved of.

Ques. When the merchants complained of the want of protection, did you inform Captain Porter or any other officer of those complaints?

Ans. I did not inform Captain Porter, as I believe he was at that time in the United States, nor do I think I made any formal communication on the subject, as I thought it was unnecessary, as I believed every officer would do his duty.

Ques. Was the conduct of those officers who carried specie disapproved of?

Ans. Yes, it was.

Ques. Did you ever act as agent, or in any manner aid in procuring specie, to be carried in the public vessels?

Ans. I have done so.

Ques. By the expression in your letter of October 30th, "the thirst for making money prevails with others as well as those of the Island of Cuba," did you mean to apply it to the officers generally, or to any particularly?

Ans. That expression was not originally used by me, it was the general cry at Havana, and I understood it to apply to all those officers who had anything to do with the transportation of specie.

The court then adjourned till 11 o'clock, to-morrow morning.

Thursday, May 19.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. Present: as before. The judge advocate submitted to the court a communication from the Navy Department, which being read, was annexed to the record, and marked K.

The court then adjourned to meet at Gadsby's Hotel, in the city of Washington, at one o'clock to-day.

The court met at Gadsby's Hotel, pursuant to the adjournment of this morning. Present: as before, and adjourned to meet at the same place to-morrow morning, at 10 o'clock.

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Friday, May 20.

The court met pursuant to adjournment of yesterday. Present: as before. The judge advocate read and submitted to the court sundry documents, &c., which were read and annexed to the record. The reading of them continued until after 3 o'clock, and the court then adjourned until to-morrow morning, at 9 o'clock.

Saturday, May 21.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. Present: as before, and proceeded to the consideration of the report to be made to the Department. At 3 o'clock the court adjourned till 12 o'clock on Monday.

Monday, May 23.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of Saturday, and proceeded to the further consideration of the report, which was agreed upon and signed, and annexed to the record. The court adjourned till to-morrow morning, at ten o'clock.

Tuesday, May 24.

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. The judge advocate was instructed by the court to transmit the record to the Department, and inform the Secretary that the court, having finished the business before it, awaited his further orders. A communication was received from the Secretary dissolving the court, annexed and marked L, whereupon the court adjourned sine die.

I.

To Captain Isaac Chauncey, president of the court of inquiry, now sitting at the Navy yard, Washington:

I have received the letter of the judge advocate, transmitting the proceedings of the court, in relation to the landing of a part of the naval forces, under the command of Captain David Porter, in the Island of Porto Rico, in November last.

I am also apprised, that Captain Porter has entered his protest against the competency of the court, and declined taking further part in its proceedings, and that it has nothing before it.

Circumstances, connected with the inquiry into the manner in which the naval forces of the United States, under the command of Captain David Porter, were employed in the suppression of piracy, render it expedient that that inquiry should not fail or be defeated, because the officer who requested it does not think proper to pursue it before this court. You are therefore hereby directed to proceed in the inquiry indicated in the precept, according to its terms, notwithstanding the objections taken by Captain Porter. You will inquire into the manner in which the squadron under the command of Captain Porter has been employed, during the period of his command, and report to this Department the facts; and whether the said forces have been employed in the suppression of piracy in the most effective manner in which they could be employed, in conformity with the orders and instructions from this Department; or whether they have been engaged in objects of inferior moment, to the injury of the public service: all which you will transmit to this Department, to be submitted to the President of the United States, for his consideration.

Herewith, you will receive a list of the witnesses to whom orders have been given to report themselves to the court, and such documents as appear to be connected with the subject of inquiry shall be submitted as soon as they can be prepared.

Should it appear, in the progress of the investigation, that other testimony within the control of the Department will be required, it shall be furnished with as little delay as practicable.

Given under my hand, and the seal of the Navy Department of the United States, at the city of [l. s.] Washington, this tenth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, and of the independence of the United States the forty-ninth.

SAM. L. SOUTHARD.

K.

To Isaac Chauncey, Esq., president of the naval court of inquiry, now in session at the Navy yard at Washington:

Sir: I have received a letter from Richard S. Coxe, Esquire, judge advocate of the court, dated the 18th inst., in which he informs me "that the court has completed the examination of all the witnesses who have appeared before it, and inquiring whether any objection exists to the adjournment of the court to some other place more convenient than the Navy yard, for the completion of the business."

It is not perceived that any inconvenience or impropriety can result in the present situation of the business before the court, from a change in the place of meeting. You are, therefore, hereby authorized, should the court consider it expedient so to do, to adjourn to any other public place within the limits of the city of Washington, taking care to give proper notice of the change, and hereafter to hold your meetings at the place to which you shall have adjourned.

I am respectfully, &c.,

SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Navy Department, May 19, 1825.

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L.

Navy Department, May 24, 1825.

Sir: The letter of the judge advocate, of this date, transmitting the record of the proceedings of, the court of inquiry, in the case of Captain David Porter, has been received.

The Department has no further documents to communicate. The court is, therefore, hereby dissolved, and the officers composing it will resume their respective stations.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. Isaac Chauncey, President Court of Inquiry. Present.

To Isaac Chauncey, Esquire, captain in the navy of the United States:

It having been made to appear to the President of the United States, that on or about the fourteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four, David Porter, Esquire, a captain in the navy of the United States, then in command of the naval forces of the United States in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, did, with a part of the military force under his command, forcibly land upon the Island of Porto Rico, a part of the dominions of his Catholic Majesty the King of Spain, then and still at peace and in amity with the Government of the United States, and did then and there commit acts of hostility within the territories and against the subjects of the said King of Spain:

The President of the United States has deemed an inquiry into the conduct of the said David Porter on that occasion, as well as into the causes which led to the same, to be necessary and proper.

And whereas certain representations have been made to the Government of the United States, in regard to the employment of the naval forces of the United States, in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, setting forth in substance, that in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four, the said naval forces were not employed in the suppression of piracy in the most effective manner, but were employed in the transportation of specie and of other objects of inferior moment, to the neglect of the public interests; and the said David Porter, considering his conduct and character, as the commander of said forces, to be thereby implicated, has requested of this Department that an inquiry be made into the truth of said representations:

The President of the United States, in consideration of the premises, has charged me to convene a court of inquiry for the purpose of examining into the matters aforesaid.

You are therefore hereby ordered to proceed to the Navy yard at the city of Washington, on or before the second day of May next, to act as a member of said court, and to officiate as the president thereof.

Orders are also transmitted to Captain William M. Crane, and Captain George C. Read, to appear at the time and place aforesaid, and Richard S. Coxe, Esquire, is also appointed judge advocate, and will report himself to you in that capacity at the time and place aforesaid.

And the said court is hereby required to convene and organize at the said Navy yard at Washington, on the said second day of May, and is authorized and directed to summon before it such persons as may be deemed necessary to give information touching the matters aforesaid; and is also empowered, authorized and directed, diligently and strictly to inquire into the said matters, to make a statement of the facts in relation to the same, as they shall appear to the court, and particularly to examine into and report the causes which led to the conduct of the said David Porter at the Island of Porto Rico before mentioned, and to ascertain and report whether the naval forces of the United States were employed in the most effective manner in the suppression of piracy, or in objects of inferior moment, to the neglect of the public interests: all of which you will transmit to this Department, to be submitted to the President of the United States for his consideration. And for your so doing, this shall be to you, and to all concerned, a sufficient warrant.

Given under my hand, and the seal of the Navy Department of the United States, at the city of [l. s.] Washington, this nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, and of the independence of the United States the forty-ninth.

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

The court having maturely deliberated upon the precept, the communication from the honorable the Secretary of the Navy, dated the tenth instant, and the evidence which has been submitted, agree in the following report:

The court, in obedience to the precept and instructions of the honorable the Secretary of the Navy, having inquired into the manner in which the squadron under the command of Captain Porter has been employed, during the period of his command; and whether the said forces have been employed in the suppression of piracy, in the most effective manner in which they could be employed, in conformity with the orders and instructions from the Department of the Navy, or whether they have been engaged in objects of inferior moment, to the injury of the public service; and having maturely considered the testimony which has been laid before the court, reports the following statement as the result of this investigation:

It appears to the court, that in the year 1822, piracy had been organized into a system in the West India seas, preying upon the commerce of every country trading in that quarter.* In consequence of these excesses, an act of Congress was passed early in the succeeding session, "authorizing an additional naval force for its suppression." This law appears to have been acted upon in both Houses with great promptness,† and to have been approved on the 20th December, 1822.‡ By this act the sum of $160,000

* President's message to Congress, of December 3, 1822.
† Extract from the journals of both Houses.
‡ Act authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy.

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was appropriated for the purchase and construction of such vessels as might be deemed suitable for that particular object, and to fit and equip them for immediate service.

In the preparation of this force, Commodore Porter was personally and actively employed, and such dispatch was used, that on the 15th February the squadron, consisting of the Peacock sloop of war, the steam galliot Sea Gull, the Grayhound of 65 tons, the Shark of about 175 tons, the Ferret of 51 tons, the Fox of 51 tons, the Jackall of 47 tons, the Wild Cat of 48 tons, the Terrier of 61 tons, the Weasel of 53 tons, the Beagle of 52 tons, and the ship Decoy, sailed from Hampton Roads.

The instructions from the Hon. Smith Thompson, the Secretary of the Navy, to Commodore Porter, dated February 1, 1823, state the objects for which the squadron under his command had been equipped, and the directions he was to pursue in the attainment of those ends. These objects appear to be the suppression of piracy—the affording effectual protection to the citizens and commerce of the United States —the suppression of the slave trade, and the transportation of specie to the United States.*

In these instructions it was specially enjoined upon Commodore Porter to observe the utmost caution, in protecting our commerce against all unlawful interruption, and in guarding the rights both of persons and property of the citizens of the United States, not to encroach upon the rights of others, and to conduct himself in his intercourse with any foreign power with as much moderation and forbearance as is consistent with the honor of the country and the just claims of its citizens. The cultivation of harmony and a good understanding with any foreign naval force engaged in the suppression of piracy, is strongly recommended. The establishment of a depot at Thompson's Island or Key West, is likewise directed in the exercise of a proper discretion

It is particularly enjoined by the Department upon Commodore Porter to announce his arrival and object to the authorities of the Island of Cuba, and to obtain as far as practicable their co-operation, or at least their favorable and friendly support.

Another subject to which the attention of the squadron is particularly called, is, the protection of the convoy of specie from Vera Cruz and the Bay of Mexico, generally, to the United States. One vessel at least, is directed to be kept on this service, to be at or near Vera Cruz, during the healthy season of the year, and to be relieved as occasion shall require, both for the convoy of trade and to bring specie to the United States, confining the transportation to the United States only.

On the 26th February, Commodore Porter issued his general instructions to his different officers, for their direction and government. These instructions are in substance a transcript of those received by him from the Department, more minute in their details, but varying from them in no essential particular.

The principal object of the expedition being the suppression of piracy, which had assumed, in the seas designed for the sphere of his operations, an appearance of system and organization, and an extent which required the utmost vigor and vigilance to break it down, Commodore Porter appears, from the moment of his appointment to the command of the squadron, to have devoted his attention most zealously to the accomplishment of that object. After arriving in the West Indies, and dividing his force into separate detachments, they were dispatched in various directions in pursuit of pirates and piratical establishments.

The letter from Commodore Porter to Mr. Warner, the American commercial agent, at Havana, dated "off Matanzas, March 26th, 1823," affords a brief sketch of his proceedings to that date. He says: "I am now bound into Matanzas to wait for the boats of this ship, (the Peacock,) which, with the greater part of the crew and some small schooners, have been near a week absent among the Keys, on the south side of the Old Straits. We have examined all the Keys on the other side, and have thoroughly sounded the north side of Porto Rico, St. Domingo, and Cuba, as far down as Cayo Confites. I have sent small vessels down the north side of these islands, to examine every place where a pirate would be likely to be found, and have dispatched the Shark to scour the coast from Caraccas to La Vera Cruz. I have made the most of the force under my command."

The instructions to Lieutenant M. C. Perry, dated at Aguada, March 11th, 1823, sufficiently show the nature of the service on which the Shark was especially dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico.

The report made by Commodore Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, under date of the 28th March, 1823, exhibits a view of the difficulties to which he had been subjected, what had been done up to that period, and the employments of his squadron. About the beginning of April he arrived at Thompson's Island or Key West.

In addition to the more active operations of the squadron in the accomplishment of the objects of the expeditions, communications were made to the constituted authorities, in obedience to the instructions from the Department; the objects and designs of the government were fully and distinctly announced, and the co-operation of the local authorities requested.† A good understanding appears to have been assiduously cultivated with the commanders and officers of a British squadron at that time in the West Indies, which successfully furthered the objects in view, and was productive of mutual advantage. ‡

It appears that when Commodore Porter sailed from the United States, several vessels of war were cruising in the seas to which he was destined, to whom orders were dispatched to report themselves to him, and to place themselves under his command, to aid in the execution of the duties enjoined on him. This, however, did not take place, and the immediate consequence resulting from their absence was the inability of Commodore Porter, with the force at his disposal, fully to execute all the objects which he had contemplated. The explanation of this circumstance is given in the letters from the Secretary of the Navy, of June 7th, 1823.

During the continuance, however, of this state of things, the operations of the squadron were necessarily more limited than had been originally designed; and a portion of the vessels, instead of being actively engaged in pursuing pirates into the different haunts in which they took refuge, were diverted from this object, for which they were specially equipped, to the not less important one of affording convoy to merchant vessels.

In consequence, also, of the very limited number of men attached to the squadron, it became necessary to have the Peacock sloop-of-war and Decoy laid up at Key West, and their officers and crews were employed for a time in the smaller vessels and barges. A portion of the force was, also, necessarily occupied in the erection of suitable buildings, and in preparing the island for the reception and accom-

* See instructions.
† Letters to the governors of Cuba and Porto Rico.
‡ Correspondence with British officers.

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modation of the forces employed in the expedition. These various circumstances did unquestionably operate to divert the squadron from the suppression of piracy; but it appears to the court that the affording of convoy to the merchant vessels, and the preparing accommodations at the island, cannot be considered as objects of inferior moment, or which the public service would permit to be lost sight of, or even postponed.

It likewise appears to the court, that from the period that this squadron arrived in the West Indies, the pirates changed, in a great degree, both their character and their haunts. Instead of cruising in open day, in vessels of considerable magnitude, they abandoned this open and avowed system of piracy, and for some considerable period of time, until a new system of operations could be organized, either entirely disappeared, or resorted to new places for the carrying on their depredations.

Immediately upon the arrival of Commodore Porter at Thompson's Island, he commenced the necessary works on shore, and an expedition was prepared and dispatched under the command of Captain Cassin, in quest of a supposed pirate, who had been seen a few days previous in the neighborhood of the Island of Cuba. The reports of Lieutenant Stribling, who succeeded in effecting in a very gallant manner the capture of the vessel which had been the object of suspicion, dated the 8th April, 1823, of Captain Cassin of the 9th of the same month, and of Commodore Porter of the 16th, exhibit a full and correct account of their several operations during the intervening period of time.

The peculiar character of the service in which the squadron was employed, has been fully detailed in the reports made to the Department and in the testimony submitted to the court. A large portion of the officers and men was employed in the small schooners and in open boats—in a severe climate—exposed to the heat of a tropical sun by day, and to the not less dangerous dews and exhalations at night. The vessels themselves, from their size, were destitute of suitable accommodations, and the operations in which they were engaged necessarily imposed incessant fatigue and constant exposure. One fact may be deserving of particular notice, as exhibiting a specimen of the nature of this service. It is in evidence before the court that Lieutenant Platt was employed for sixty-eight successive days in an open barge, on the northwest coast of Cuba, in the examination of the inlets, bays, keys, and other places of piratical resort. Two of the schooners were occupied in giving convoy off the Havana, which were relieved by others whenever required. The barges under Captain Cassin were engaged in a laborious and critical search after pirates and piratical establishments; and during this period all the disposable force under the command of Commodore Porter appears to have been actively occupied in the important objects entrusted to his care.

On the 24th April, Commodore Porter, after detailing the circumstances attending an expedition in which he had been engaged, states his belief, that there was not at that time a pirate afloat on that part of the coast of Cuba (Matanzas) larger than an open boat, and even that is doubtful. About the same period, Captain Cassin was employed in the Fox, and with the barges, in a careful examination of all that part of the coast of Cuba to the westward of Havana, through the reefs, and in the inlets; in the course of which two piratical vessels were pursued and captured, and their establishments on shore, consisting of five huts, destroyed—the pirates themselves succeeding in effecting their escape, in consequence of the nature of the ground, which rendered a continuation of the pursuit on shore impracticable.

On the 10th of May, Commodore Porter reports his proceedings during the intervening time, and the operations in which the squadron were then engaged. The result was "the capture of a piratical schooner and a very fine felucca, the destruction of one on shore, the burning of three schooners in the Rio Palmas, and about a dozen houses in the different establishments to leeward of Bahia Honda, and inside of the Colorados reefs; and what," he continues, "will be of no little importance in all our future operations, a most thorough and intimate acquaintance with the whole line of coast from Cayo Blanco, in the east, down to Cape Antonio, in the west."

Another expedition was immediately dispatched under the command of Lieutenant Watson, who, after a strict examination of the coasts and islands from Cayo Francis to Cayo Blanco, in the vicinity of Cape Hycacos, discovered in Siguapa Bay a piratical schooner, which, after a gallant action, peculiarly destructive to the pirates, he succeeded in capturing, without having sustained on his part the slightest injury. His report of the expedition, dated July 11th, contains a narrative of the circumstances.

During the same period, two of the schooners, under the command of Lieutenant Skinner, were engaged in giving convoy from Havana; two were careened at Thompson's Island; and such was the want of men that it became impossible to man all the barges, some of which were, consequently, laid up.

On the 14th May, the Peacock sailed from Thompson's Island, to relieve the Shark in the Gulf of Mexico, in pursuance of the instructions of the 7th May. The particulars of this cruise are detailed by Captain Cassin in his testimony before the court.

So successfully had the squadron during this period accomplished the objects for which it had been sent, that, on the 19th May, Commodore Porter felt himself authorized to state to the Department that "not a single piratical act had been committed on the coast of Cuba since he had organized and arranged his forces."

On the 22d of the same month, he states that he is "left at Thompson's Island alone with the Sea Gull, one small schooner being engaged in the protection of commerce off Havana; another at Matanzas; two coming in for repairs, and all the others cruising for pirates on the south side of Cuba, and in the Old Straits of Bahama." Early in June, accounts having been received that a piratical schooner had captured two vessels on the south side of Cuba, the Grayhound, under command of Lieutenant Kearney, was dispatched in pursuit; whose report of his cruise is dated August 10th.

At this period, such was the incessant occupation of the squadron under command of Commodore Porter, so widely dispersed, and such its deficiencies in strength, that he was compelled to discontinue for a time the practice of giving convoy off Havana, and to bestow a more undivided attention to the pursuit and destruction of pirates. The continual presence of a vigilant force had rendered the north coast of Cuba comparatively safe from their depredations, and they had retired to other scenes, into which it became necessary to follow them.

On the 14th June, Lieutenant Newell, in the Ferret, sailed on a cruise to Trinidad, on the south side of Cuba. In the course of a few days, he fell in with an armed piratical barge, and captured two boats, the barge escaping up a lagoon in which it was impracticable to continue the pursuit. The particulars of the expedition appear in his report of June 25th.

In July, the Grampus, under the command of Lieutenant Gregory, arrived at Thompson's Island,

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and joined the force under Commodore Porter: the details of his previous operations appear in his report of the 3d July.

Lieutenant Ritchie was then dispatched to the coast of Yucatan, under orders of July 8th, to ascertain the situation and character of a supposed piratical establishment in that quarter; and on the 29th August reported the circumstances of his expedition.

Shortly after the transactions that have been detailed, the yellow fever made its appearance at Thompson's Island, and in the squadron. The fatal consequences are stated in the report made by the Secretary of the Navy to the President of the United States, under date of the 21st September, 1823, and in the reports of Commodore Rodgers, and the physicians who accompanied him to make an examination of the island, annexed to the record. Commodore Porter himself, by authority of the Department, and suffering from the effects of an attack of the fever, left the West India seas, with a considerable portion of his force, and returned to the United States, as a necessary measure for the restoration of the health of the squadron. To such an extent had this disease carried its ravages, that it was considered prudent to direct the John Adams and Peacock to keep in company during their homeward route, for the purpose of affording mutual protection.

The general result of the operations of this season may be found in the report made to the Department, by Commodore Porter, on the 19th November. In this paper, it is stated that, "on the arrival of the squadron at Cuba, piracy was found in full force: but by the extraordinary activity and diligence of the officers and men under his command, it was in less than two months as effectually suppressed as it will be for several years." It is further stated: "At present I have no knowledge of the existence of any piratical establishment, vessels or boats, or of a pirate afloat in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico. They have all been burned, taken, destroyed, or driven to the shore."

In reviewing the operations of the squadron during this period of time, it appears to the court that Commodore Porter, and the forces under his command, were fully entitled to the high commendations bestowed on them by the Department, in the letter of the 28th October, 1823.

During the absence of Commodore Porter in the United States, the evidence before the court throws but comparatively little light upon the general operations of the squadron. By the instructions from the Department, of October 28th, Commodore Porter was directed, if the state of his health would permit, to take upon himself the general superintending direction of the equipment of the vessels of his squadron, then at Washington and Norfolk. It appears that the Peacock, John Adams, Sea Gull, Beagle, Grampus, Wild Cat, Weasel, and Porpoise, were in the United States during different portions of that time, undergoing repairs and. recruiting their crews, and as soon as they could be equipped, most of these small vessels resumed their stations, and returned to the accomplishment of the general duties enjoined on them.*

Commodore Porter sailed in the month of February, in the John Adams. From the testimony of Captain Dallas, and the report of Commodore Porter, of April 8th, it appears that she touched at St. Bartholomews, St. Christophers, and St. Thomas; examined the south coast of Porto Rico, looking in at the Dead Man's Chest, and Ponce, touching at Mona, St. Domingo, Beata, and Kingston, making diligent inquiries and examinations for piratical vessels, and offering convoy and protection to vessels of all nations from piratical aggressions.

By the letters of the Secretary of the Navy, of May 17th, 1824, and May 31st, 1824, it appears that considerable difficulties and delays in preparing an additional force had been experienced. This arose from the late period of the session of Congress at which the appropriation bill was passed. It became impossible, before an advanced period of the season, to commence preparing those vessels which it had been designed to unite to the squadron. It is to this circumstance that the unexpected absence of the Hornet and Porpoise, from the West India seas, is attributed.

During the month of April, an expedition was detached under command of Captain Wilkinson, in quest of pirates, and the report of that officer, dated the 24th of that month, details his operations. Lt. John H. Lee, with the Jackall and Wild Cat, sailed on the 26th April, and on the 12th May reports the circumstances attending his cruise. The John Adams was dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico, and her operations in that quarter are stated in the testimony of Captain Dallas. The Sea Gull, Terrier, Spark, Grampus, and Ferret, appear to have been in the neighborhood of Cuba and Thompson's Island, furnishing convoy, and engaged in the pursuit of pirates. On the 28th May, Commodore Porter informs the Department that the fever had made its appearance at Thompson's Island, and that he purposed removing the principal part of his forces to the north, about the middle of the succeeding month. This letter appears to be the only notification sent to the Department of such intention, and it was not received at Washington until June 24th, the day on which Commodore Porter reached the same place, on his return from the West Indies, as appears by his letter of the 25th of that month. On the 19th July, he is directed to dispatch the Shark, Grampus, and Spark, to their station, as speedily as possible, and they, as well as other vessels, received orders to that effect.

On the 14th October, the Secretary of the Navy informs Commodore Porter that "it is deemed expedient by the Executive that you return as speedily as possible to your station in the John Adams." On the 21st October he was again ordered to repair to his station, and on the 24th of the same month he proceeded to sea in the John Adams. Immediately after his arrival in the West Indies, the occurrence took place at Foxardo, which has already been fully detailed in the report made by this court in the first branch of the inquiry directed to be made, and which is considered as wholly unconnected with this investigation. A minute examination was again made of the south coast of Cuba, which being effected, the John Adams repaired to Thompson's Island. An expedition was immediately organized, and proceeded, under the command of the commodore in person, in quest of pirates. Before his return from this expedition, orders were received, dated the 27th December, directing his return to the United States, with which, as soon as the officers and men of the John Adams, engaged in the last mentioned expedition returned to their vessel, he complied.

At the time that Commodore Porter left the West India seas in June, 1824, the schooners Ferret and Terrier, with a barge, were left to cruise between Thompson's Island, Havana, and Matanzas, and they appear to have been actively occupied during his absence in giving convoy from Havana and Matanzas,

* General Orders, of November 8, 1823. Letter from the Secretary of the Navy, December 3, 1823.

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and in exploring the neighboring coasts for pirates. Other vessels occasionally arrived in that vicinity during the same interval, and were, for periods of different length, employed for the same objects. The Beagle was engaged in cruising and giving convoy in various directions in the neighborhood of St. Thomas, and appears to have kept that quarter perfectly safe from piratical depredations. In another quarter the Weasel was accomplishing the same ends.

The absence of many of the officers engaged in the squadron during the summer of 1824—the want of official reports of their several operations, and the withdrawal of Commodore Porter from any participation in the investigation, have rendered it impracticable to detail, with as much particularity as could be wished, the daily movements of the various vessels. A reference to the orders annexed to the record will show, in addition to the statements already made, the duties respectively assigned to them. So far, however, as the evidence reaches, it appears to the court that the force was judiciously distributed and actively engaged.

The testimony which appears to conflict most with this statement, is that of Messrs. Randall and Mountain, which will be found in the record. Mr. Randall appears to have been in the Island of Cuba, with the exception of a short interval, from the 3d May until the 9th November, 1824. During this time he was much occupied in attending to the general duties of his mission; part of the time sick, and during the whole of it in a situation to hear all the rumors which might be in circulation in regard to piratical depredations. Most of the information which he has communicated, appears to have been derived from the representations of others; and however implicitly the court would feel disposed to rely upon the accounts given by that gentleman of facts which fell under his immediate notice, it cannot extend that confidence to others without some proof of the means they possessed of acquiring exact information, and the credit to which their statements are entitled. It is in evidence before the court that false and exaggerated reports of piratical aggressions were frequently circulated, and sometimes, as the witnesses have believed, for the express purpose of drawing off the attention of the squadron from scenes in which real danger existed. It also appears that such was the character of the vessels or boats in which, at this period, the pirates sallied out from their haunts—such the facilities afforded to these marauders by the inhabitants of Cuba, and the imbecility or inactivity of the constituted authorities—such the ease with which pursuit could be evaded by retiring to the shore, that Mr. Randall has expressed a decided conviction, in the correctness of which no doubt is entertained by the court, that no naval force, however large, or however vigilant, could, of itself, ensure safety from these freebooters.

The evidence of Mr. Mountain is also in a great measure founded upon the representations of others. So far as this witness speaks of the absence for several weeks at a time of the vessels of the squadron during the summer of 1824, without giving convoy at the Havana, the allegation is not sustained either by the testimony of Mr. Randall or that of the officers at that time in the neighborhood of Cuba. The former specifies the times of the arrival and departure of the various vessels of the squadron throughout the entire summer, so far as they fell under his own observation; the latter detail the general business in which they were severally occupied; and the court has been unable to detect, in the testimony of either, the period of time to which Mr. Mountain's assertion can apply. So far as regards the alleged employment of the squadron in other objects of inferior moment, the court is desirous of separating that part of the case from that which is connected with its general operations, and to state in detail, so far as they have been given in evidence, the facts which have transpired.

It appears to the court, upon a careful review, and after a deliberate consideration of all the testimony that has been submitted to it in regard to the manner in which the squadron under the command of Commodore Porter was employed during the period of his command, that everything was done towards the suppression of piracy, which could be accomplished with a force of that description, and of such limited strength. The number of men employed was small, and the greater part of the vessels engaged qualified only for a particular kind of operations. Their inconsiderable size rendered it impracticable to carry either provisions or water for any length of time; repairs were frequently required; the stores were furnished from the United States, and the cruises, therefore, necessarily of short duration.*

It appears, also, that the confinement of the officers and men in the small schooners and barges, upon the cruises and expeditions in which they were unremittingly occupied, exposed both by day and night to the baneful influence of a noxious climate—the necessities which drove them continually to Key West for the purpose of repairing the vessels and procuring supplies, combined to engender and add virulence to the malignant diseases which broke out and proved so destructive to life, compelling, for two successive seasons, the return to the United States of a large proportion of the squadron.

Under these circumstances, it appears to the court that the officers and men have eminently entitled themselves to the commendations which they have received. Commodore Rodgers, in his report dated November 24, 1823, observes, with ample means of judging, that "the vessels particularly purchased for the suppression of piracy, have done all that could be reasonably expected towards its suppression; indeed, they have searched every nook and corner on the whole coast of Cuba from which a pirate might be expected to issue; and besides capturing and destroying all that could be identified as being of that character, they have made impressions not to be erased from the minds of such monsters, so long as we keep a respectable force in their neighborhood, in readiness to chastise those whose temerity might induce them to renew their depredations, and which, in the present state of things, notwithstanding the scourging they have received, would be the case in the absence of such a force as I have described."

Captain Finch has stated in his testimony, that when he left Matanzas, in June, 1824, in company with Commodore Porter, he did not think there was any appearance of piracy in that quarter; and that a sufficient force was left there to keep it down. "In the then state of things," he continues, "I thought that force as competent to effect the object as a larger one would have been." He also states that he recollects but a single authenticated instance of piracy while he was with the squadron. It occurred in the neighborhood of Matanzas. Lieutenant Voorhees was immediately dispatched in the Sea Gull, in pursuit of the piratical vessel, and succeeded in capturing her in the course of a few hours.

Still more recently, the Committee on Naval Affairs, at the last session of Congress, in their report to the House of Representatives on the resolution of the 9th of December, instructing them to inquire into the expediency of providing an additional naval force, and other additional means for the suppression of piracy, state: "That they have had the subjects proposed in the said resolution under their consideration,

* Letter from Com. Porter, December 21, 1822, to Purser Thornton, letter from the Secretary of the Navy to the Naval Committee of the House of Representatives, of December 21, 1824.

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and have made diligent inquiry into the operations of our naval force, "which, for the last two years, has been employed in the Gulf of Mexico for the protection of our commerce, and the suppression of piracy. In this investigation, they feel a satisfaction in stating that the means employed have displayed the vigilance of the government, and the activity, zeal, and devotion of the officers and seamen who have been assigned to that perilous service; perilous, not from the numbers or courage of the enemy, but from the deleterious effects of a tropical climate upon natives of a more temperate region. The vessels assigned to this service, were better adapted to a short expedition, than to long and tedious cruises. They were too small to afford the room necessary to preserve the discipline and health of the officers and seamen assigned to them; yet they enabled the commander to scour the coasts, to penetrate into the shoal waters of the creeks and inlets to the very margin of the land; and, in effect, the pirates have literally been driven from the ocean, and confined to their fastnesses and haunts upon the land. Accordingly, their principal depredations for the last twelve or fifteen months have been confined to occasional sallies in boats and small craft, within one or two leagues of the shore. While these depredations have been more limited in extent and number, they have more frequently been attended with the most desperate and sanguinary destruction of the lives of the unfortunate victims."

Although the suppression of piracy was the principal, it was not the exclusive, object confided to Commodore Porter and the squadron under his command; nor was the attainment of that end to be accomplished singly by pursuing pirates into their haunts, and the destruction of their vessels and establishments. The general protection of the commerce of our citizens—the suppression of the slave trade, and the transportation of specie from the Gulf of Mexico to the United States, were pointed out in the original instructions from the Department, as subjects requiring special attention. Independently also of an entirely subordinate character, and temporary in their continuance, the surveys of the coasts of Florida, and of the adjacent islands and keys—the negotiation under a resolution of Congress, in regard to the establishment of buoys, lights, &c., in the vicinity of Bahama banks—the protection to be afforded to the timber on the public lands in Florida, were likewise committed to the same force. These last-mentioned objects are merely referred to, in general terms, to show the multifarious duties which this small force was instructed to perform. The others, as they continued throughout the entire period of the command of Commodore Porter, appear to require a more minute and detailed report.

In regard to the general protection of our commerce, it appears to the court that it was eminently entitled to the attention which it received; not merely from its general and obvious importance, but as one of the means of suppressing piracy. By affording convoy and adequate protection to private commerce, one of the principal inducements to piratical adventure was removed, and the probability of success in pursuing and destroying these freebooters increased, should they have the temerity to venture from their haunts. In no one particular does it appear to the court that the benefits produced by the squadron in the West India seas were more widely diffused, or greater in amount. This service, however, is one that can scarcely admit of being illustrated by reference to individual facts. It may, however, be particularly mentioned, that it is in evidence before the court, that every vessel in the squadron, in addition to her ordinary and specific duties, was engaged in affording convoy on all occasions, and in every quarter; that Lieutenant Skinner, alone, in the short period which intervened between the 30th March and the 3d July, gave convoy to about one hundred and eighty vessels. It also appears, by the report of the Secretary of the Navy, to the chairman of the Naval Committee of the House of Representatives, of December 21, 1824, that convoy was often declined, rather than submit to slight delays or changes in the course of the vessel; that insurance upon voyages to the West Indies continued unusually low, and that the offices add little, if anything, on account of the risk of piracy. On the whole, it appears to the court, that, so far as the amount and character of the force permitted, convoy was afforded to private trade in the West India seas and Gulf of Mexico, to the fullest possible extent, and to the greatest practicable advantage.

The suppression of the slave trade, also, required and received particular attention. "By direction of the Department, Commodore Porter, from time to time, dispatched one of the vessels of his squadron to the coast of Africa, to touch at Cape Messurado, minister to the wants of the agency there, and return by the usual track of the slave ships." Such practical benefit resulted from this application of the force at his disposal, that "none of these or any other of our public ships have found vessels engaged in the slave trade under the flag of the United States, and in such circumstances as to justify their being seized and sent in for adjudication."*

The next subject to which the attention of the court has been directed, is the transportation of specie, particularly from the Gulf of Mexico to the United States. From causes which have already been referred to, it has not been practicable to pursue this inquiry to the extent desired. In addition to the general instructions, already particularly referred to, orders were issued by the Department, of December 22d, 1823, by which Commodore Porter was authorized "to receive on board specie, and the articles permitted by the act for the better government of the navy, belonging exclusively to our citizens, and to carry them from one port or place to another, when it does not, in any degree, conflict with your other duties, or violate the laws of the country where you are. You may also bring to the United States specie belonging to our own citizens, but you are, in no case, to permit anything in the shape or character of public advertisements to be used for the purpose of giving information that you will carry it." "And, that the government may know the extent to which the commercial interests of our citizens are benefited by the assistance afforded by our public vessels on this point, and be prepared to answer any complaints on the subject which may be made by individuals or governments, you will, from time to time, make reports to this Department of all the specie and other articles you may carry, the places to and from which you carry them, and the circumstances, terms and conditions on which you do it."

On the 20th July, 1824, the Secretary of the Navy again expresses to Commodore Porter, that "it is the wish of the Department that you cause a portion of the force under your command to touch occasionally at the port of Tampico, in Mexico, and to afford protection to the citizens of the United States engaged in commerce with that port."

In obedience to the general instructions, the Shark, under the command of Lieutenant M. C. Perry, was dispatched in March, 1823, to the Gulf of Mexico.† On the 14th May the Peacock sailed from Thompson's Island to relieve him,‡ and thus at intervals of from six weeks to three months, a vessel was sent in that quarter, preparatory to her return to the United States.

* Report of Secretary of Navy, Dec. 1, 1824. 
† Orders of that date.
‡ Orders of May 7th.

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After the receipt of the instructions of December 22d, 1823, a circular letter was addressed on the 30th of the same month, to the different commanders under his orders, forbidding them to take on freight any treasure, without special instructions to that purpose. On the 16th October, 1824, Commodore Porter reported to the Department the amount of specie which had at that time been transported by the different vessels under his command, since the preceding December. From this statement it appears that specie to the amount of $399,000 had been carried within that period, at the average freight of 1 1/4 per cent. One other vessel under his command, which appears to have carried specie, the Shark, commanded by Lieutenant Gallagher, is not included in this report, not having at its date arrived at the port of destination.* So far as the court has been able to ascertain the facts, it is inclined to believe that the amount of specie carried on freight, in the preceding year, did not equal in amount that which is stated in the report of Commodore Porter, as carried in 1824.

The orders under which Lieutenant Stevens acted, appear to have been given by the Department, on the application of the Bank of the United States, and, consequently, this appears to the court to have been a special employment of that officer and the vessel under his command by the government for public purposes.

The general character of the instructions given by Commodore Porter, in the year 1824, to the commanders of vessels bound to the Gulf of Mexico, may be ascertained from those annexed to the record, given to Captain Dallas, Lieutenant Stevens and Lieutenant Skinner.

After a deliberate and full consideration of all the facts that have been elicited upon this subject, in the progress of this investigation, it appears to the court to be abundantly proved by the testimony:

1. That the instructions given by Commodore Porter to his various officers, were strictly in accordance with those received by him from the Department, in relation to the transportation of specie; and in no instance did they transcend the provisions of the 23d article of the rules and regulations for the better government of the navy.

2. That the transportation of specie was in itself an object of sufficient moment, both to the government and the commercial interests of the country, to warrant the employment of the vessels of the squadron as frequently as they were sent to the Gulf of Mexico.

3. That the general protection of commerce, and the suppression of piracy, required the presence of an American armed vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, as frequently as one was dispatched there, and at the places to which it was sent, entirely independent of any special view to the transportation of specie.

4. That in no one instance was the transportation of specie made anything more than wholly subordinate, and ancillary to the general objects for which the squadron was employed. That in many instances detailed in the testimony, various officers declined to receive specie on board, when it might have been obtained, in consequence of their extreme anxiety to obey the orders which they had received, not to permit this subject to interfere, in any degree, with the general objects of their cruise.

5. The court has not been able to discover a single instance in which any vessel, on board which Commodore Porter was at any time, under any circumstances, received any specie to be carried on freight.

6. That the proportion of the freight paid over to him as the commander-in-chief, was paid as the voluntary and spontaneous act of the different officers, who carried the specie, without any provision by law, or any demand by Commodore Porter himself, but simply in conformity with general custom.

The court has thus, in obedience to the orders of the Department, gone through the investigation which it has been required to make. The result of this laborious inquiry has already been stated in detail. In concluding this report, it may be sufficient to add, that the manner in which the squadron, under the command of Captain Porter, was employed, during the period of his command, appears to the court to have been highly honorable to him, and to the officers and men employed—that the said forces were employed in the suppression of piracy, in the most effective manner in which they could be employed, in conformity with the orders and instructions from the Department, and that no part of them was on any occasion engaged in objects of inferior moment, to the injury of the public service.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

I. CHAUNCEY, President.

Richard S. Coxe, Judge Advocate, May 23, 1825.

PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.

Extract from the President's message to both Houses of Congress, at the commencement of the second session of the seventeenth Congress, dated December 3d, 1822.

A report from the Secretary of the Navy will communicate the progress which has been made in the construction of vessels of war, with other interesting details respecting the actual state of the affairs of that Department. It has been found necessary for the protection of our commerce, to maintain the usual squadrons on the Mediterranean, the Pacific, and along the Atlantic coast, extending the cruises of the latter into the West Indies, where piracy, organized into a system, has preyed on the commerce of every country trading thither. A cruise has also been maintained on the coast of Africa, when the season would permit, for the suppression of the slave trade; and orders have been given to the commanders of all our public ships, to seize our own vessels, should they find any engaged in that trade, and to bring them in for adjudication.

In the West Indies, piracy is of recent date, which may explain the cause why other powers have not combined against it. By the documents communicated, it will be seen that the efforts of the United States to suppress it, have had a very salutary effect. The benevolent provision of the act, under which the protection has been extended alike to the commerce of other nations, cannot fail to" be duly appreciated by them.

* Testimony of Mr. Randall.

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Report of the Secretary of the Navy, accompanying the President's message, December 3, 1822. See page 189.

Extracts from the Journal of the House of Representatives, second session of the 11th Congress, page 21.

5. Resolved, That so much of the President's message as relates to the navy and the suppression of piracy, be referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs. Dec. 10, 1822.

Page 33. Mr. Condict submitted the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Committee on Naval Affairs be instructed to inquire and report, as early as may be, what further measures are necessary, not only for the more efficient protection of our commerce in the West Indian seas from piracy, but for the entire extirpation of those freebooters, and the punishment of those who may be found to aid and abet them. Dec. 10, 1822.

Page 33. The President's message to the House of Representatives, dated December 6th, 1822:

Recent information of the multiplied outrages and depredations which have been committed on our seamen and commerce by the pirates in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, exemplified by the death of a very meritorious officer, seems to call for some prompt and decisive measures on the part of the government. All the public vessels adapted to that service, which can be spared from other indispensable duties, are already employed in it: but, from the knowledge which has been acquired of the places from whence outlaws issue, and to which they escape from danger, it appears that it will require a particular kind of force, capable of pursuing them into the shallow waters to which they retire, effectually to suppress them. I submit to the consideration of Congress the propriety of organizing such a force for that important object.

(Signed)

JAMES MONROE.

Page 34. Ordered, That the said message be referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs. December 10, 1822.

Page 45. Mr. Fuller, from the Committee of Naval Affairs, to which was referred the message from the President upon the subject of piracy, reported a bill authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy; which bill was read the first and second time, and committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union. December 13, 1822.

Page 46. The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union; and after some time spent therein, Mr. Speaker resumed the chair, and Mr. Lathrop reported the bill authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy, thereto committed this day, with an amendment, which was read and concurred in by the House; and it was

Ordered, That the said bill be engrossed, and read a third time to-day;

The said bill being engrossed, was read the third time and passed.

Ordered, That the title be "An act authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy," and that the clerk do carry the said bill to the Senate, and desire their concurrence therein.

Extract from the Journal of the Senate, 2d session, 17th Congress, page 26, vol. 16, dated December 12, 1822.

Mr. Rodney submitted the following motion for consideration:

Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be directed to inquire into the expediency of continuing in force the act entitled "An act to protect the commerce of the United States, and to punish the crime of piracy;" and also, of making such further provisions on the subject as may be deemed proper for the security of our citizens, the safety of our commerce, and the punishment of the offence.

From the same, vide page 32, dated 16th December, 1822.

The Senate resumed the consideration of the motion of the 12th inst., for directing the Committee on the Judiciary to inquire into the expediency of making further provisions by law for the suppression of piracy: and agreed thereto.

Resolved, (page 34,) That so much of the President's message as relates to naval affairs, and the suppression of piracy, be referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs.

The Senate resumed, as in Committee of the Whole, the consideration of the bill authorizing the President of the United States to employ an additional force for the suppression of piracy; and

On motion of Mr. Van Dyke,

Ordered, That it lie on the table.

Extract from the Journal of the Senate, 2d session, 11th Congress, vide page 35, vol. 16, dated Dec. 16, 1822.

The House of Representatives have passed a bill entitled "An act authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy."

Ordered, That they severally pass to the second reading.

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On motion,

The bill entitled "An act authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy," was read the second time by unanimous consent, and it was taken up and considered as in Committee of the Whole, and no amendment having been made thereto, it was reported to the House; and

Ordered, That it pass to a third reading.

On motion, it was read a third time, by unanimous consent.

Resolved, That this bill pass.

Ordered, That the Secretary notify the House of Representatives accordingly.

CHAP. 1.

An act authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy.

Sect. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled: That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, authorized to purchase or construct a sufficient number of vessels, in addition to those now employed, of such burthen and construction as he may deem necessary, and to fit, equip, and man the same for immediate service, for the purpose of repressing piracy, and of affording effectual protection to the citizens and commerce of the United States in the Gulf of Mexico, and the seas and territories adjacent.

Sect. 2. And be it further enacted, That the sum of one hundred and sixty thousand dollars be appropriated to meet the expenditure to be incurred as aforesaid, and paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

Approved December 20, 1822.

The Secretary of the Navy to the President of the United States.

Navy Department, September 21, 1823.

President Monroe:

Sir: I feel it to be my duty to represent to you the following facts, and to request the favor of your opinion respecting the course proposed.

On the 11th of this month, by the arrival of the Beagle, at this place, from Thompson's Island, the Department was furnished with reports from the commanding officer, and the surgeons at that station, up to the first of September, by which we learn that the John Adams, and several smaller vessels, were at that place; that, about the 20th of August, the yellow fever made its appearance, with considerable malignity; that several deaths had occurred, among which were two lieutenants, Potter and Somerville; two midshipmen, Marshall and Reed; the captain's clerk, Thomas; a carpenter, two seamen, a gunner, a cooper, and a steward; that Commodore Porter and twenty-one officers and men, were sick; the commodore in a state of great debility, but good hopes were entertained of his recovery. By the arrival of Lieutenant Boarman, yesterday morning, we have verbal information to the 8th of September, when Commodore Porter remained much as he was on the 1st; between the 1st and the 8th, there had been several deaths, and among them two lieutenants and two midshipmen; and the fever did not in any degree abate. All the surgeons were sick, and four surgeons' mates constitute the whole medical skill at the station.

A careful examination of the reports of the sick, and minute inquiries of several officers who have been there, do not satisfy me that the fever originated on the island; but I incline to the opinion, that the infection may, in every instance, be traced to other places; but, whether it originated there, or be imported, the destruction of valuable lives is equally to be lamented, and the effects upon the service equally demand attention. Accounts from that place, some of them very exaggerated, find their way to the public prints, and create painful anxiety with the friends of those who are there, and will, it is to be feared, unless promptly corrected, produce feelings in the nation, which will be essentially injurious to our important interests in that quarter.

The value of that station for the suppression of piracy, and the protection of commerce, is perfectly understood by you. It ought not readily to be deserted. It is very desirable to save it, while we take the most effectual means to protect the valuable lives of our officers and men. It is impossible to leave them there, especially, situated as the commanding officer is, without taking some decisive measure for their relief; and, to order their immediate removal, with our present information, would seem hazardous and improper.

Two or three surgeons and surgeons' mates have been ordered, and are on their way to the island. And, in order to obtain the best advice in my power, I have submitted to Dr. Cutbush, and four other surgeons, now in the city, all the information which I could procure; stated to them the time within which an order for removal could be executed, and required their opinion on the propriety of attempting a removal of the vessels to some northern port. Their report will be made to me at eight o'clock to-morrow morning, and I shall, probably, send you a copy. Their opinion must, necessarily, be less safe than if formed on the spot; but it may be a useful aid in determining on the course to be pursued.

The plan which I propose for your consideration, and which I shall adopt, if you do not disapprove it, is the following:

Prepare the Shark, now at New York, to sail to Thompson's Island, as speedily as possible; send in her one of the oldest and most experienced officers in the navy, with three of the most skillful and intelligent surgeons; direct them, in connection with Commodore Porter, (if his health will permit,) to investigate thoroughly the origin, causes, and progress of the disease; the nature and situation of the island in reference to health, at this season of the year; the present state and probable health of the station; with authority either to retain the vessels there, or, if necessary, remove them to a northern port, until the advance of winter shall justify their return to that latitude.

The Shark can sail in less than ten days; will probably take ten more to reach the island; and a

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removal may be effected in five more, if it be found necessary; I presume the officers who go out, may return in about four weeks from the time the vessel sails.

I believe I should select Commodore Rodgers for this purpose and have consulted him about it. He approves the plan, and with his usual promptness in the public service, expressed a wish to partake in its execution.

The following benefits would result:

1st. The best medical assistance will, in this way, be furnished to the sick, at that station, and many valuable lives may be saved.

2d. The public mind will be quieted by a precise knowledge of facts.

3d. A station, necessary to the objects for which the government sent out the expedition, will probably be continued and secured.

4th. We shall obtain the safest information to guide us on all future occasions.

I shall be pleased if this plan meet your approbation, and shall make the necessary arrangements for it, not, however, giving any orders which will create difficulty, should you disapprove it. Please to favor me with an answer by the express.

I am, sir, very respectfully, &c., SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

The Secretary of the Navy to Commodore Rodgers.

Navy Department, September 29, 1823. Dear Sir: I enclose your orders. You are already well acquainted with the views of the Department, and of the President, in relation to your visit to Thompson's Island, and the motives by which it has been induced.

On your arrival there, you will, of course, communicate freely with Commodore Porter respecting them, should he still be there, and in a situation to receive your communications. The uncertainty whether he be still living; the anxiety felt by the government and nation for his safety; the numerous reports of the sickly state of the officers and crews of the vessels, and of those who are on the island; and the desire to furnish the most prompt and effectual relief; are among the principal causes which have created the wish that you should undertake the expedition. In its faithful execution, and beneficial results, I have strong confidence; and am, dear sir, very respectfully, yours,

SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

John Rodgers, Esq., Capt. U. S. Navy, President Naval Board.

The Secretary of the Navy to Commodore Rodgers.

Navy Department, September 29, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed in the schooner Shark, from New York, to Thompson's Island, as speedily as circumstances will permit, taking with you Surgeons Marshall, Heerman, Harris, and Washington, who will obey your orders, and render all the assistance in their power in accomplishing the objects of your expedition. If either of them is prevented from joining you before you sail, you will require the attendance of Surgeon Hoffman, or any other of the surgeons, at New York, to supply his place.

If any officers be wanting to make up the complement of the Shark, you will select such as are necessary, at New York. When you shall arrive at Thompson's Island, you will investigate, with the utmost care, the origin, progress, and present state of the sickness, which prevails on the island, and in the squadron; the condition of all the vessels which are there; the localities of the station, in reference to health, and every matter which may be necessary and proper, to enable you to form a correct opinion, both of the propriety of continuing the vessels at that station, and of using it hereafter during the sickly season.

After having made the necessary inquiries, you will either take such measures as shall seem proper, in reference to the health and comfort of the squadron, leaving it where it is; or you will order it removed, for the present, to Pensacola, Norfolk, or some more northern port. In either event, an early and minute report on this subject, to this Department, is desirable.

Uncertainty as to the present state of Commodore Porter's health, furnishes one strong motive for your visit. If his health permits, he will furnish the most safe information and best assistance in accomplishing your object; and if the squadron be left there he will remain in command, if his health permit, and if it be his wish. If his health require a visit to the United States, you will place some other in command, and make report thereof as soon as practicable.

The surgeons who go with you will render to the sick all the aid in their power, consistently with the other duties they have to perform; and they will return with you, and join the several stations from which they are taken, reporting to this Department the time of their arrival.

You will be at liberty to return in the Shark, Grampus or any other vessel at the station, which you shall think best for the service. It is supposed you may accomplish the objects in view, and return to this place, in about five weeks from the time the Shark sails.

I am, very, respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,

SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

John Rodgers, Esq., Captain U. S. Navy, President of the Navy Board.

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Commodore Rodgers to the Secretary of the Navy.

No. 1.

United States Schooner Shark, Hampton Roads, November 16, 1823.

Sir: In the prosecution of your instructions of the 29th of September last, you have already been informed of the time of my departure from New York, in the United States schooner Shark.

I have now the honor to inform you, that on the 23d of October, I reached Thompson's Island, accompanied by Surgeons Harris, Washington, and Hoffman, of the navy, after a passage of seventeen days, in which we experienced much rough, disagreeable weather, it raining more or less every day but one, for thirteen days.

On reaching the island, and not finding any of the public vessels of war except the Porpoise, the first objects to which I directed my attention were, to ascertain the state and condition of the sick remaining on it; and, as far as practicable, the cause or causes which had produced such disastrous consequences to the health of the officers, seamen, and marines, stationed on the island, and on board of several of the vessels, which had previously had access to it as a rendezvous. For this purpose, I accordingly addressed a letter (of which the enclosed No. 1 is a copy) to Surgeons Harris, Washington, and Hoffman. By their answer, (No 2, herewith enclosed,) you will perceive that they do not consider the disease attributable entirely to any one cause, but to a variety of causes, such as they have described.

That the reasons which they have assigned are correct, there can be but little doubt; but to which of them is to be attributed the most powerful agency in producing the disease, is still a matter of speculation, or, at least, very questionable.

The island, it must be admitted, does contain localities of a character calculated, when assisted by other causes, and perhaps only slight ones too, to generate bilious, and probably malignant fevers; yet I must confess, that I still entertain doubts, whether those causes have had, in the present instance, so decisive an agency in producing the late fatal malady, as they may, at first view, seem to have had.

From the little experience I have had, my opinion is, that the climate of Thompson's Island is similar to the West India islands generally; that its air is perhaps less salubrious than some, but more so than others; and that, notwithstanding the objections which may be urged against it, on account of particular defects, arising from its small elevation above the level of the sea, the uneveness of its surface, and the many salt and fresh water ponds which it is said to contain; still, that it is, from the excellence of its harbor, and its peculiar station on the map of this western hemisphere, too important an object, in a political and commercial point of view, to be suffered to remain unoccupied and unregarded; for, admitting its climate, in its present unimproved state, to be as unfriendly to health as even that of the colony of Surinam, it is, notwithstanding, susceptible of being so improved, or, at least, the dangers attending it so much diminished, by artificial means, (such as I will hereafter describe,) as to render the objections to it, if not harmless, at least comparatively small.

Previous to leaving the island on the third inst., I had sent, by the advice of Surgeons Harris, Washington, Hoffman and Williamson, (as I have already informed you,) all the sick, whose situations appeared to require a removal, to a more northern climate. Those who still remained on the island, at the time of my departure, were all well, except some convalescents, and a few with mild intermittent fevers; all of whom, it was believed, however, would be restored to health again by the return of cooler weather; indeed, for the last three days previous to our sailing, the wind had prevailed with much force from the north, and had rendered the air comparatively much purer, cooler, and exhilarating, than it had been for some days before, so much so as to induce a belief that the season of health had commenced, and that its salutary effects would be immediately felt by those who have suffered by the long continuance of heat.

Previous to leaving the island, I made such arrangements, and saw things placed upon such a footing, as to warrant the most sanguine anticipation of favorable results, and such as might have been expected, had Commodore Porter's health permitted him to continue on the station.

For the few changes which I found it necessary to make in the disposition of the several vessels left on the station, permit me to refer you to the accompanying papers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

With great respect, I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN RODGERS.

The Hon. Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

Doctors Harris, Washington, and Hoffman, to the Secretary of the Navy.

No. 2.

U. S. Schooner Shark, Thompson's Island, October 29, 1813.

Sir: In conformity with the instructions contained in your communication of the twenty-fourth inst., we have carefully inquired into, and deliberately considered, the various points to which you have directed our attention.

On examining this island, we find that it is of a secondary calcareous formation, and is thinly overspread with a light vegetable mould. The shores are somewhat elevated above the interior grounds by the surf continually throwing up pulverized shells, which give a concave form to its superfices. It is thickly covered with small trees and shrubbery, principally of the mangrove variety, and grasses of several species grow with great luxuriance.

So far as our observations have enabled us to determine, we are of opinion that nearly one-half of the island is occupied by salt and fresh water ponds.

It has been ascertained that the surfaces of these ponds are on a level with the surrounding ocean, yet but one of them has any connection with it, by reason of the natural embankments to which we have already alluded.

The purest water of the island is in some degree brackish, but has not, so far as we can learn, produced any unfriendly effect on the health of those who have used it freely as a drink.

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During the dry season, which continues from about the middle of September to the middle of June, many of the ponds either dry up, or shrink considerably within the boundaries to which they are dilated during the rainy season.

The surface being thus imperfectly overflowed, presents a mass of vegetable and animal matter, to which the climate adds every other circumstance necessary to give miasm its most powerful effect on the human frame. The gales and retiring tides frequently deposit on the shores a quantity of sea-weed, which undergoes a rapid decomposition, and thus contributes, in a limited extent, to vitiate the atmosphere.

To these miasmatic causes of disease, were added others of equal, if not greater magnitude.

They have arisen:

1. From the sudden exposure of northern constitutions to a tropical climate, at a period when the ordinary relaxing effects of a change from a cold to a warm season were aggravated by a difference of fourteen or fifteen degrees of southern latitude. From this cause, they were, in the space of two or three weeks, operated upon by an increase of temperature of at least fifty degrees.

2. From the great fatigue and exposure, by day and night, of the officers and crews engaged in the boat service, and from the want of comfortable quarters for those who had encamped on the island.

3. From irregular, and, frequently, intemperate habits.

4. From being often deprived of fresh and wholesome provisions.

5. From the continued annoyance of mosquitoes and. sand-flies, which deprived the men of their accustomed rest. So insupportable, indeed, became these troublesome insects, that the men were frequently obliged to retire to the beach, where they walked the greater part of the night. Others, we have been informed by the officers of the station, would row off in boats some distance from the shore, and thus expose themselves either to the heavy dews or drenching rains peculiar to this climate.

6. From being operated upon by the depressing passions arising from apprehension, awakened by the prevailing epidemic, and by the obvious want of comfort of those who were affected with disease.

These fruitful sources of fever will abundantly account for their extent and fatality. Taking into consideration the great liability of persons from the higher latitudes, to disease, when even slightly exposed to hardships in the tropics, it ought not to be a subject of surprise that the severely arduous service in which our officers and crews have been engaged, have occasioned so many sacrifices of valuable lives.

The squadron under the command of Commodore Porter sailed from Norfolk on the 14th of February, proceeded directly to the West Indies, as far south as St. Domingo, and then, returning north, took possession of this island on the 3d of April.

The first cases of fever which presented themselves to the notice of Dr. Williamson, the surgeon of the station, were of a bilious character, and which readily yielded to the agency of medicines.

On the 20th of April, a servant in the family of Mr. Symington, was attacked with yellow fever. With the exception of this case, bilious fever continued the prevalent disease until early in June, when it assumed, in many instances, a highly malignant form. This disease now commenced on board the store ship Decoy, which was rendered unhealthful by the impurity of her hold. A quantity of ballast was put aboard from this island, containing shell-fish and sea-weed, which, by the heat of a tropical climate, was thrown into a state of putrefactive fermentation. Two of the cases, however, which occurred on board this vessel, were contracted by imprudent exposure to a noon-day heat in the streets of Havana.

About the latter end of July the yellow fever prevailed, with great malignancy, at all the establishments on the island. From the various causes already stated, the disease, in very many instances, necessarily proved fatal.

The malignant fever continued epidemic until about the first of October, when its type again changed to an intermittent.

We have been unable to ascertain the precise number of deaths, in consequence of the absence of the medical officers who had charge of the Allenton hospital.

It appears from the report of Dr. Williamson, that there are fifty-nine persons now sick at the different hospitals on the island. We have visited these establishments, and have found the patients sinking under the influence of debility, despondency, and the ravages of disease. Such of them as recover, commonly relapse in the course of a day or two, after being restored to duty. As in relapses generally, each succeeding attack becomes more unmanageable.

It appears, then, that they cannot be restored to perfect health in their present situation; and being, in this state, only a burden to the public service, we do, from motives of policy, as well as of humanity, respectfully recommend their immediate removal to a more northern station.

We beg further to recommend, that the large brig, now in the harbor, and which has been already designated as a hospital, should be suitably fitted up for the reception of those who may be hereafter attacked. By anchoring this vessel some distance to the windward of the island, the sick will inhale a pure atmosphere, will be protected in comfortable quarters, and, being without the reach of annoying insects, will enjoy such repose and tranquillity, as are essential to the successful treatment of their diseases.

We have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servants,

THO. HARRIS, M. D.,

B. WASHINGTON, M. D.,

RICH. K. HOFFMAN, M. D.,

Surgeons of the Navy.

Com. John Rodgers, President of the Board of Navy Commissioners.

Commodore Rodgers to the Secretary of the Navy.

Washington, November 24, 1823.

Sir: In my communication to you of the 10th instant, I informed you that although objections might be urged to the climate of Thompson's Island, on account of the number of salt and fresh water ponds, and the abundant growth of timber which it contains, yet, even in its present state, and admitting such

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objections to be well founded, still they might be rendered harmless, or, at any rate, greatly diminished, by the introduction of artificial means.

By the official report of Surgeons Harris, Washington and Hoffman, now in your possession, you have been made acquainted with their opinions respecting the localities of the island, so far as regards the form of its surface, the nature of its soil, timber, and other particulars; in all which, they have given as minute a description as the most unremitting attention, considering the length of time they were there, and the means of information afforded them, would admit.

These, together with the high reputation which those gentlemen sustain for science and professional skill, leave no doubt in my mind that their report upon the subject has been judicious, and such as the time and circumstances under which they visited the island, would seem to point out as being the most safe and discreet; but, after all that has been said, it must be admitted, notwithstanding their unintermitting industry to find out the true causes of the disease, that they were, after considering the only facts presented to their view, obliged to attribute it to a variety of causes, and, among the number, those which are known to be inseparable from the arduous nature of the service in which many of the officers and men were engaged, and the consequent exposure to which they were unavoidably subjected.

This being the case, you will, sir, at once perceive that it must still remain doubtful, whether the air of the island contributed more, or even as much as other causes, in producing the disease; for which reason I am led to remark, that it might be unsafe to condemn it as an unsuitable rendezvous for our vessels employed in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, until we shall have had, under different circumstances, more experience of its climate than we have yet had.

As an auxiliary to an extensive and permanent southern naval depot, (perhaps at Pensacola,) such as a proper security for our commerce, and the permanent union of the States, seem to render indispensable, it will be found, I am inclined to believe, that the island in question will soon become an object worthy the serious attention and consideration of the government.

Nature has made it the advance post from which to watch and guard our commerce passing to and from the Mississippi, while, at the same time, its peculiar situation and the excellence of its harbor point it out as the most certain key to the commerce of the Havana, to that of the whole Gulf of Mexico, and to the returning trade of Jamaica; and I venture to predict that the first important naval contest in which this country shall be engaged will be in the neighborhood of this very island.

Without further remark on this interesting subject, permit me, sir, to observe that, whatever objections may be made to the island as a rendezvous, in its present unimproved and uncultivated state, even these may be rendered harmless, or at least measurably unimportant, by substituting the following description of force for that now employed in the protection of our commerce in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico:

The Independence 74, depriving her of her lower deck guns, and giving her a crew of four hundred and fifty seamen, ordinary seamen, boys, and marines, with an extra complement of commission officers, and double the usual number of midshipmen; the sloops-of-war John Adams, Hornet, and such other vessel of that class as can, from time to time, be spared from other service; the brig Spark, and schooners Grampus, Porpoise, and Wild Cat, and five or six barges, such as are now at Thompson's Island, for occasional service.

The vessels particularly purchased for the suppression of piracy have done all that could reasonably have been expected towards its suppression; indeed, they have searched every nook and corner on the whole coast of Cuba from which a pirate might be expected to issue; and, besides capturing and destroying all that could be identified as being of this character, they have made impressions not to be erased from the minds of such monsters, so long as we keep a respectable force in their neighborhood in readiness to chastise those whose temerity might induce them to renew their depredations, and which, in the present state of things, notwithstanding the scourging they have received, would be the case in the absence of such a force as I have described.

On the adoption of the before-mentioned force, the other vessels purchased for the suppression of piracy might be sold; a circumstance very much to be desired, as their longer employment would be found not only useless, and dangerous to the health and comfort of those employed in them, but subversive of that discipline by which our navy acquired its character, and for which, at one time, it may be said to have stood unrivaled by any other.

I have the honor to be, with great consideration and respect, sir, your most obedient servant,

JOHN RODGERS.

To the Hon. Sam'l L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

Report of the Secretary of the Navy.

Navy Department, December 1, 1823.

The President of the United States:

Sir: In obedience to the request contained in your letter of the 10th ultimo, I submit, respectfully, the following statement of the administration of this Department, during the present year, comprehending the number of vessels commissioned; the number in ordinary, fit for service, or requiring repairs; the progress made in building vessels; with the disbursements of the Department, and the service in which the vessels have been employed; with such observations on the whole subject as are deemed proper.

Letter 1, from the Commissioners of the Navy, with papers A, B, C, D, and E, which accompany it, exhibit:

1. The vessels-of-war in commission, with the service in which they are employed. See A.

2. The vessels in ordinary, on the Atlantic board and on the lakes, with the state of repairs of each vessel.—B and C.

3. The progress made in building, under the law "to increase the navy of the United States."—D. By this it appears that four ships of the line have heretofore been built, and that five ships of the line and five frigates of the first class are now building; some of which might be launched in thirty days; and all, except one, in one hundred and twenty days.

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4. A general view of the improvements of the several building yards. In some of the yards additional improvements are now necessary for their comfortable and economical administration.

5. The disbursements of the Department during the three first quarters of the present year, up to the 30th September. (2.) The disbursements of the year 1822 appear by the report made to Congress in the month of February last. It appears that $1,984,520.74 have been drawn from the treasury between the 1st January and 30th September, leaving on the latter day $2,218,168.66 unexpended of the amount applicable to the service of the year. Of this unexpended balance, a large proportion will be used during the remaining quarter; and a minute statement of the whole will be furnished to Congress in the annual report required from this Department.

On paper A, it is to be remarked, that the frigate Constitution, sloop-of-war Ontario, and schooner Nonsuch, are in the Mediterranean, under the command of Captain Jones. No change in the amount of force, in that sea, has been made within the year. It has been found competent to all the purposes for which it is maintained. Our commerce there has been amply protected; the officers and seamen have enjoyed good health, and no circumstance has occurred worthy of particular notice. While our relations with other powers continue friendly, any large augmentation of that portion of our naval force will not be necessary. In the coming year it is not proposed materially to increase or diminish it. The Cyane and Erie will, in a short time, relieve the Constitution and Ontario, that they may return home, discharge their crews, whose term of service will soon expire, refit, and resume their station. For this purpose the Erie, Captain Deacon, sailed from New York on the 8th November, and the Cyane, Captain Creighton, will sail in a few days.

On the same paper, A, it is to be further remarked, that the Franklin, ship of the line, and the schooner Dolphin, of 12 guns, are still in the Pacific ocean, where they have remained for more than two years, under the command of Captain Stewart. By the presence of this force on the coasts of Chili and Peru, depredations on our growing commerce have been, in a great degree, prevented, and respect for our interests and flag secured.

Capt. Stewart will return to the United States in the course of this winter, or early in the ensuing spring; and, in the place of the Franklin, it is proposed to substitute the frigate United States, and the Peacock, sloop-of-war, of 18 guns. Such a division of the force, it is believed, will more extensively protect the flag and commerce of the United States, and permit the commanding officer, with the larger vessel, to be absent from the usual cruising grounds for a short time, should circumstances render such absence necessary. Captain Hull will sail, in a few days, from Norfolk, in command of these vessels.

The Cyane, Captain Spence, and the Shark, commanded by Lieut. M. C. Perry, have, for short periods, cruised upon the coast of Africa, to carry into effect the intentions of the government, in the suppression of the slave trade, and the protection of the agency for liberated Africans, established at Cape Messurado.

While Captain Spencer was at Sierra Leone and the Cape, he fitted out the Augusta, a small schooner, which was found on the coast, deserted and dismantled, and placed under the command of Lieut Dashiell, to cruise in the neighborhood of the Cape, with the conviction that its presence was at that time essential to the protection of the agency, and might be useful in preventing the traffic in slaves. It still remains upon that coast.

During the time that Captain Spence and Lieutenant Perry were cruising, they neither saw nor heard of any vessel, under the American flag, engaged in the slave trade. If citizens of the United States are still employed in that traffic, they seem to have been driven to conceal themselves under the flags of other nations.

The agency at Cape Messurado, for receiving recaptured and liberated Africans, enjoyed favorable prospects, until late last fall, when it was assailed by a large body of the natives, and in danger of being entirely destroyed. Some of the liberated Africans were killed in the contest. The extracts of letters from Captain Spence, Lieutenant Perry, and Messrs. Ashmun and Ayres, will show the manner in which they were able to defend themselves, with the aid of a midshipman and several men belonging to a British vessel of war, then in the neighborhood. The establishment having passed through this trial, now promises to accomplish all the benefits anticipated from it. In order to afford it the necessary protection, and continue our exertions to repress the slave trade, it is proposed, as the most efficient and economical arrangement, that the commander of the West India squadron shall, from time to time, detach one or more of the vessels belonging to his command, to cruise along the African coast, occasionally touching at Cape Messurado, and ministering to the wants of the people there; and following, in their return, the usual track of the slave ships.

Eleven Africans, none of whom could speak the English language, were, some months ago, brought by a Capt. Chase, as mariners, into the port of Baltimore, and were there taken into the possession of the officers of the government, and an investigation instituted into the supposed violation of our laws in introducing them. By means of an interpreter, who understood the languages of all, except one or two of them, it was subsequently discovered, that they belonged to tribes in the neighborhood of Messurado, and that some of them were of the head men of their tribes. It was therefore believed that their restoration by this government would produce a salutary effect; and an inquiry was directed to be made through the interpreter, whether they were willing to return to Africa. Such being found to be their wish, they were, in the early part of October, sent to our agent at Messurado, with directions to permit their return to their several homes, by the best and most expeditious means.

So far as the Department is yet apprised of the expenditures for the agency during the present year, they have amounted to $7,287.48 cents.

On the western side of the Atlantic ocean, and in the Gulf of Mexico, the operations of our naval force have been more active. Several vessels were in commission there, at the close of the last year. To these were added, under the authority of the law passed at the last session of Congress, "authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy," the steam galliot Sea Gull; eight small schooners, the Grayhound, Jackall, Fox, Wild Cat, Beagle, Ferret, Weasel, and Terrier; five barges, the Musquito, Gnat, Midge, Sandfly, and Gallinipper; and one transport ship, the Decoy.

Capt. David Porter was appointed to the command of the squadron, and sailed from Norfolk about the 10th of February last. His station was at Thompson's Island, from which he dispatched his vessels, in such way as he judged best suited to attain his objects. The annexed extracts from his letters and reports exhibit the results.

The size of most of the vessels, the nature of the duties, and the exposure of the officers and men, called

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for a display of perseverance and fortitude seldom required of those engaged in our service; but the call was well answered. Everything was accomplished which was anticipated from the expedition. Piracy, as a system, has been repressed in the neighborhood of the Island of Cuba, and now requires only to be watched by a proper force to be prevented from afflicting commerce any further in that quarter. The public authorities of the Island of Cuba manifested a friendly disposition towards the squadron, and rendered much assistance in the pursuit of its objects.

On the 5th March, as Lieutenant Cocke, in obedience to the orders of Captain Porter, was entering the harbor of St. Johns, Porto Rico, in the schooner Fox, he was killed by a shot from the castle. Extracts from the correspondence between Captain Porter and the governor of the island, are annexed.

The squadron was healthy and prosperous until about the middle of August, when a malignant fever broke out at the station, and destroyed many valuable lives. The first reports of this calamity were brought to the Department on the 17th September. At the time they left the island, Captain Porter and most of the medical officers were sick, and there was great cause to fear that the squadron would be deprived of its commanding officer, and of the medical assistance necessary to its safety. Under these circumstances it was considered expedient to send to the station an officer of rank and experience, with a sufficient number of surgeons, to furnish, in any event, the aid necessary for the safety and proper conduct of the squadron, with power to remove it, should that be found necessary. Captain Rodgers cheerfully consented to encounter the hazard and responsibility attendant on such an expedition. He sailed from New York as soon as such a vessel could be prepared for the purpose; but, before his arrival, Captain Porter had become convalescent, and, with the greater part of the squadron, had returned to the United States. The report of these officers will fully explain their views of the causes of the disease, and the means by which a recurrence of it may be prevented.

It is believed that the Florida station is incalculably important to some of the best interests of this Union; and that it ought not to be deserted until every expedient has failed to render it a secure and healthy position for our vessels. I feel great confidence in the opinion that it may be made such, without encountering great hazard of the evils we have heretofore suffered.

For the protection of commerce, and the suppression of piracy in the western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, it is proposed, in the ensuing year, to continue Thompson's Island as the station for the vessels employed in those objects; to place there a ship of the line, armed and manned as a frigate, for which purpose the Independence is well fitted; and to attach to the command the John Adams and Hornet, and one other sloop-of-war, with four of the larger schooners, the Grampus, Porpoise, Shark, and Spark, one of the smaller schooners, and the barges. This force is competent to protect all our interests. The ship of the line, placed in a proper position, will afford comfortable accommodations to those who are obliged to remain at the station, and prevent the necessity of intercourse with the island, when danger is suspected. The cruises of the other vessels, except those which visit the coast of Africa, may be limited to four, five, or six weeks, and, on their return, their crews may be exchanged for others, who, during that time, have been stationary. By these means, and a proper attention to cleanliness, both in the men and the vessels, and avoiding intercourse with places known to be sickly, the health of all will probably be preserved. For the proper execution of such a system, full reliance may be placed in our officer's. The island itself, by clearing, draining, and cultivating, will, after a time, probably become more healthful.

It will be perceived that this distribution of force includes only one of the small schooners. They were admirably calculated for the end for which they were purchased, and have effected it. But piracy being for the present repressed, and requiring such a force only as will prevent its revival, they are no longer necessary; and, being both very expensive and utterly subversive of all discipline, it is respectfully recommended that they be sold, retaining one for the present season; after which it may be sold. The Porpoise and a small schooner have been employed under the command of Lieutenant Ramage, in the survey of a part of the Florida coast. It is proposed that those vessels be placed under the control of the commanding officer of the Florida station; and, if it be found proper to continue the survey, that the instructions for that purpose be given to that officer.

Many of the officers having died during the present year, it is thought proper to annex a list of the times and places of their deaths.

No observations on the organization and discipline of the navy seem to be required. That subject has heretofore been presented for consideration.

Very respectfully, I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,

SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

The Secretary of the Navy to the President of the United States.

Navy Department, December 1, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to present to you the following report, exhibiting the administration of this Department during the present year.

There are now in commission for the sea service, the vessels named in paper A, subjoined to this report.

Nothing, worthy of particular observation, has occurred with our squadron in the Mediterranean.

It has been maintained at the extent which was proposed in the report of last year, and has afforded the necessary protection to our commerce there. The unfriendly relations, however, which exist between Algiers and some of the governments of Europe, and the effects not unlikely to be felt, upon our political and commercial interests in that quarter, with other important considerations, have been supposed to render it expedient to augment our force. With this view, the North Carolina has been prepared, and will sail in a few days. The squadron will then consist of the ship of the line North Carolina, frigate Constitution, corvette Cyane, the sloops-of-war Erie and Ontario, and schooner Nonsuch; and will be under the command of Commodore Rodgers, who has been, for several years past, the president of the Board of Navy Commissioners, and whose high qualifications are so well known and justly estimated by the nation.

Our naval force in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, has continued under the command of Commodore Porter. By directions of the Department, he has, from time to time, dispatched one of the vessels of his

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squadron to the coast of Africa, to touch at Cape Messurado, minister to the wants of the agency there, and return by the usual track of the slave ships. None of these, or any other of our public ships have found vessels engaged in the slave trade, under the flag of the United States, and in such circumstances as to justify their being seized and sent in for adjudication. And, although it is known that the trade still exists, to a most lamentable extent, yet, as it is seldom, if ever, carried on under our own flag, it is impossible, with the existing regulations and instructions, to afford very efficient aid in exterminating it. That object can only be accomplished by the combined effort of the maritime nations, each yielding to the others the facilities necessary to detect the traffic under its own flag. The agency for recaptured Africans has been maintained, in the same manner as in the last year. The eleven negroes which were taken from Captain Chase, at Baltimore, and sent to the agency, were restored to their homes, under circumstances very gratifying to humanity, and calculated to produce a good effect upon their several tribes. The near relations of some of them were on the shore when they arrived, manifested much sensibility at their unexpected return, and furnished safe means of restoring them to their families.

The agent, Dr. Ayres, was compelled, by enfeebled health, to return to the United States, and left Mr. Ashmun as acting agent. He likewise was obliged, by the same cause, to be absent for a time; inconveniences necessarily resulted, and it was thought expedient to send the Rev. Mr. Gurley to examine into the situation of the agency, with directions to make certain arrangements, should circumstances require them. His report, marked B, with other papers, will be annexed, should his health enable him to make it in time, and will show the condition and prospects of the agency. The principal difficulties which have been encountered there, have arisen from the want of a fit position and suitable accommodations for the agent, and the recaptured Africans, on their arrival on the coast. These difficulties have been, in a great degree, overcome, and will, with the expense, be regularly diminished, as the establishment made by the Colonization Society increases, and is rendered more permanent and well regulated, furnishing facilities for all the objects, for which the agency was created. The expenditures during the year, so far as they are yet known, of the appropriation for the prohibition of the slave trade, has amounted to $15,326.02, and there remains, of that fund, a balance of $47,391.39.

The manner in which the force assigned to the protection of our commerce, and the suppression of piracy, in the West Indies, has been employed, will be seen by the annexed letters and reports of Commodore Porter, marked C. The activity, zeal, and enterprise of our officers, have continued to command approbation. All the vessels have been kept uniformly and busily employed, where the danger was believed to be the greatest, except for short periods, when the commander supposed it necessary that they should return to the United States, to receive provisions, repairs, and men, and for other objects essential to their health, comfort, and efficiency. No complaints have reached this Department, of injury from privateers of Porto Rico, or other Spanish possessions, nor have our cruisers found any violating our rights. A few small piratical vessels, and some boats, have been taken, and establishments broken up, and much salutary protection afforded to our commerce. The force employed, however, has been too small, constantly to watch every part of a coast, so extensive as that of the islands and the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and some piratical depredations have therefore been committed; but they are of a character, though, perhaps, not less bloody and fatal to the sufferers, yet differing widely from those which first excited the sympathy of the public, and the exertions of the government. There are few, if any, piratical vessels of a large size in the neighborhood of Cuba, and none are now seen at a distance from the land; but the pirates conceal themselves, with their boats, in small creeks, bays, and inlets, and finding vessels becalmed, or in a defenceless situation, assail and destroy them. When discovered, they readily and safely retreat into the country, where our forces cannot follow, and by the plunder which they have obtained, and which they sell at prices low and tempting to the population, and by the apprehensions which they are able to create in those who would otherwise give information, they remain secure, and mingle, at pleasure, in the business of the towns, and transactions of society, and acquire all the information necessary to accomplish their purposes. Against such a system, no naval force, within the control of this Department, can afford complete security, unless aided by the cordial, unwavering and energetic co-operation of the local governments; a co-operation which would render their lurking places on land unsafe, and make punishment the certain consequence of detection. Unless this co-operation be obtained, additional means ought to be entrusted to the Executive, to be used in such manner as experience may dictate.

The health of the squadron, and of Thompson's Island, has been much better than during the last season; yet many of our officers, and among them Commodore Porter, have suffered severely from disease, and several have died; most of the latter have fallen victims to the necessity, real or imagined, of visiting-unhealthy places upon shore, which they were warned as much as possible to avoid, and which a sense of duty, no doubt, induced them to visit. A list of those who have died during the year, on that and other stations, will be annexed, marked D.

Some improvements have been made, and others are proposed, at Thompson's Island, by cutting the timber, clearing and draining the ground, and building store houses, and, if the means are afforded, it is confidently believed, that it will be made both comparatively comfortable and healthy, before the next summer and fall. A balance of $26,184.69 still remains of the appropriation of December, 1822, "authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy," but claims exist against it, to a large amount, which have not yet been presented.

Two of the small schooners, the Grayhound and the Jackall, purchased under the authority of that act, have been found "so much out of repair, that it was not for the interest of the United States to repair them," and were disposed of; and one other, the Wild Cat, it is feared, is lost, with her officers and crew, in a passage from Havana to Key West.

The force on that station has been in this way somewhat reduced, and it has been considered expedient to augment it, by the addition of the frigate Constellation, which will be ready to join it, as soon as men can be enlisted for the purpose. One of the sloops-of-war, now in the Mediterranean, will, probably, be ordered there in the spring, should circumstances permit.

The surveys directed by the act, entitled "An act authorizing an examination and survey of the harbor of Charleston, in South Carolina, of St. Mary's, in Georgia, and of the coast of Florida, and for other purposes," have not yet been completed.

Competent naval officers, have been ordered upon the service. It was thought useful to unite with them, in a part of the examinations, one or more of the corps of engineers, which could not be effected.

On application to the War Department, it was found that all the officers of that corps were so

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engaged, as to prevent the Secretary from detailing even one for this service. It is hoped, however, that such information has, in the meantime, been procured, respecting the places named, except St. Mary's, as will accomplish the purpose for which the law was passed, should Congress act upon the subject at this session. Should it be proposed, however, to fix upon a site for a naval depot in the Gulf of Mexico, I would respectfully suggest the propriety of entrusting the selection and purchase to the Department, after further and satisfactory surveys shall have been made.

Commodore Stewart, in the Franklin, arrived at New York in the month of August, having left Commodore Hull, with the frigate United States, the sloop-of-war Peacock, and the schooner Dolphin, in the Pacific. It is hoped that this force will be able to prevent depredations on our important commerce in that sea, and secure respect for our flag. Our commerce, however, has increased so rapidly there, and is scattered over so large a space, that an addition of one or more vessels would be made, if they were within the control of the Department.

This addition will become indispensable, should the government be disposed to make permanent provisions for the protection of our commerce, and other interests in the neighborhood of Columbia river, and on the northwest coast. Constant experience shows the importance of such augmentation of the number of our vessels, as will enable the government to add to the force both in the Atlantic and Pacific. Inconveniences are felt, and losses are sustained, by our citizens in both oceans, which might be prevented, were the means for their protection enlarged.

In the course of the year, several regulations have been adopted to promote efficiency and economy in the medical and other departments of the service, and some good is anticipated from them. It is impossible, however, to do all which is desired, without the aid of Congress. Several laws seem necessary to render the establishment economical and efficient. Among them are those which were under consideration at the last session, for building ten sloops-of-war, and reorganizing the navy. To these ought to be added a revision of the law for the better government of the navy, and the system of courts-martial. But especially some provision should be made for the education and instruction of the younger officers. We have now the light of experience on this point in the army, and its salutary effects are very manifest. Instruction is not less necessary to the navy than to the army. I refer to the views taken of some of these subjects in the reports made during the last session, and it will be my duty to develop them more fully in answer to a resolution of the Senate now before me.

The expenditures of the year are submitted in a report from the Second Comptroller, marked F, and the estimates for the next year is one from the Commissioners of the Navy, marked G. In the latter, it will be found that estimates have been made of the expense of certain necessary improvements at Thompson's Island, and for the repairs of four of our frigates, which policy and economy require to be placed in such a situation, that their services can be commanded whenever they shall be necessary.

We have, at present, no frigate which could be sent to sea, without large repairs, creating a delay which, under certain circumstances, might be injurious to the public interests.

The general estimate comprehends the several heads of expenditure, in the form supposed to be best fitted for keeping the accounts, with plainness and accuracy, most easily explained, best adapted to a rigid investigation of the expenses of the naval service, and, as far as practicable, conformed to the views of the House of Representatives at the last session, as understood at the Department. It is accompanied by explanatory statements of the several items, in great detail, exhibiting the propriety of the estimate, and the necessity of the appropriation.

The estimates for the marine corps, with the explanatory statements, are added and marked H. I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient servant,

SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

To the President of the United States.

Vessels of the United States navy in commission—1825.

Names.

Rate.

No. of guns.

Station.

North Carolina

Ship of the line

74

Mediterranean.

Constitution

Frigate

44

Mediterranean.

United States

Frigate

44

Pacific.

Constellation

Frigate

36

West India sea.

John Adams

Corvette

24

West India sea.

Cyane

Corvette

24

Mediterranean.

Erie

Sloop

18

Mediterranean.

Ontario

Sloop

18

Mediterranean.

Hornet

Sloop

18

West India sea.

Peacock

Sloop

18

Pacific.

Spark

Brig

12

West India sea.

Porpoise

Schooner

12

West India sea.

Grampus

Schooner

12

West India sea.

Shark

Schooner

12

West India sea.

Dolphin

Schooner

12

Pacific.

Nonsuch

Schooner

12

Mediterranean.

Decoy

Store ship

6

West India sea.

Sea Gull

Brig

3

West India sea.

Ferret

Schooner

3

West India sea.

Beagle

Schooner

3

West India sea.

Weasel

Schooner

3

West India sea.

Fox

Schooner

3

West India sea.

Terrier

Schooner

3

West India sea.

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C.

Copy of a letter addressed to the honorable Benjamin W. Crowninshield, chairman of the Naval Committee in the House of Representatives.

Navy Department, December 21, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 14th inst., making certain inquiries respecting the suppression of piracy, to which I submit the following answer:

The nature and extent of the force required, must necessarily be regulated by the nature and extent of the evil to be repressed. The views of the Department, on this latter point, are contained in the annual report made to the President of the United States, and communicated by him to Congress, with his message, and to which I beg leave to refer you.

There have lately been very few, if any, vessels of a large size, engaged in piratical depredations, at a distance from the land. The naval force which has been employed, and which is stated in the report referred to, has succeeded in driving away, or destroying, vessels of that description, and has thus effected the immediate object for which it was created. But the evil has assumed another shape, for which this force does not seem to be well fitted. Our vessels, even the smallest, cannot follow the pirates into many of the creeks and inlets to which they resort; this must always be done in boats, which cannot be carried by them in sufficient numbers to be effectual; nor can the greater part of them, on account of their size, and the want of accommodations for water and stores, remain long at sea, so as permanently and effectually to watch even the most suspected places.

I would, therefore, respectfully recommend three or more frigates, or sloops-of-war, as an addition to the force now in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, or as a substitute for the small vessels. The sloops would be as competent to the object as the frigates, and would be much less expensive. We cannot, however, detach that, or even a less number, from the stations where they now are, without weakening our squadrons too much.

It will be necessary to build them, which can be done in less time, and at less expense, than would require to repair and fit for sea the same number of frigates. Two, or perhaps three, might be finished in four or five months. These vessels would be able to lie or cruise steadily, and for long periods, where their presence was most needed; and, being well provided with boats, could pursue into any waters where escape was attempted.

In addition to this provision, our officers should be authorized to pursue the pirates wherever they may fly. The authority which has heretofore been given on this point, will be seen by the extracts from the orders to Com. Porter, hereunto annexed, and marked A. The right to follow should be extended to the settled as well as the unsettled parts of the islands: and, should this prove ineffectual, a resort will be necessary to such a general and rigorous blockade, as will make both the local governments and their subjects feel that their interest, as well as their honor, requires a respect for our rights, and the rights of humanity. For such an extremity, the proposed sloops-of-war will be indispensable. What warnings should be given, or demands made upon Spain, or what negotiations had with other governments, before this course be adopted, it is not my province to suggest. But, as these pirates are, essentially, robbers, living upon the land, and not upon the ocean, if the local governments cannot, or will not, prevent them from inflicting such serious injuries upon us, we must seek them where they are to be found, and so punish them as to prevent a repetition of their crimes.

Should the foregoing suggestions be adopted, a law would be necessary, authorizing the building of the sloops-of-war, with an appropriation of $85,000 for the cost of each, and $61,086.50 for the annual support of each. Or the sums mentioned may be added to the estimates for the support of the navy; the amount for building, under the head of building and repairs of vessels; and the other under those of

Pay and subsistence

$31,391 50

Provisions

15,695 00

Repairs, including wear and tear

12,000 00

Hospital stores and medicine

2,000 00

$61,086 50

In answer to your inquiry on the subject, I would suggest that it is not believed to be proper to designate, in any act of Congress, the disposition of the force; the only effect of which would be to apprise the pirates more fully of the mode and place of attack, and thus enable them more surely to escape.

It is proper to remark, that any naval force which we can apply to this object, will not be sufficiently extensive to cover, at all times, every part of the shores of the islands and Gulf of Mexico; and that some merchant vessels may, and probably will be caught, without other protection than that which their own strength affords. Hence, the suggestion of arming them is very obvious, and has been frequently made. The evils to be apprehended from it, however, are equally obvious. No sufficient pledge can be given, that some of them, if armed, and feeling their power, would not abuse it; and, in the present situation of the West Indies, and countries south of us, endanger our friendly relations, and commit acts almost as much to be deprecated, as those against which we are attempting to guard. The natural state of merchant vessels is the peaceful and unarmed state; and although permission to arm might, in this instance, free them from some of the evils to which they would be exposed without such authority, yet it is believed that few, whose only object is fair commerce, would avail themselves of the legal privilege. The expense and inconvenience of arming is great, and would be illy borne by a large part of the commerce now carried on, in that quarter, in American vessels. The danger does not seem to be considered so urgent as to compel them to do it. Convoy has been often declined, rather than submit to slight delays, or changes in the course of the vessel; and it is understood, that insurance is unusually low, and that the offices add little, if anything, on account of this risk. It may be effected to the West Indies, at one per cent. on the outward, and one on the homeward voyage; and, in some instances, at one and a half, embracing both, which is below the actual expense of arming.

It has been sometimes proposed that the expense should be met by the government, and protection afforded, by placing on board each vessel a number of marines, or soldiers; but this plan will at once be

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perceived to be impracticable, when the number of our merchant vessels is considered, with the different routes which they pursue, and the times at which they sail. The remedy must be extremely partial, or the expense enormous. The whole marine corps would, probably, not equal one-fifth of what would be required for a sufficient and equal distribution among all.

It has also been proposed to furnish convoy at stated periods. This could be done at periods of fifteen or twenty days, from some position on our coast, to some point which is considered beyond the danger. But to this there are, also, obvious objections. It would employ all our force in the Atlantic and prevent attention to other objects; an evil of too serious a magnitude to be encountered It would be impossible to extend the convoy throughout the whole cruise; and stopping at a given point, the pirates would immediately transfer and renew their attacks beyond that point, where the vessels would, in that case, be more unprotected than they now are. It would also destroy competition of enterprise among our merchants, and confine them all to the same time and course of navigation, an evil which they well know how to estimate. They would not accept your protection at such a price.

I do not, then, perceive, in any of the suggestions which have been presented to my mind, so cheap, efficient, and certain a remedy for the evil, as that which I have preferred; and, if it be adopted, we shall, after the proposed vessels are prepared, be enabled to dispose of the small schooners now employed in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico; a force which has been found exceedingly expensive, and injurious to the discipline and efficiency of the service.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant, SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

D.

Extracts of a letter to the honorable James Lloyd, chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, of the Senate, dated December 29, 1824.

"I have the honor to state, that there are no 'cases of practical depredations, or other information on the subject,' in the possession of the Department, which are not referred to in the report accompanying the President's message to Congress."

"No reports of cases have been received, except those made by naval officers, of such as have come, in some way, under their own observation. No memorandum has been kept of the cases detailed in the public journals, but some of them have, occasionally, been enclosed to the commanding officer of the station, to afford him information in the discharge of his duties."

"The additional means alluded to, as proper to be entrusted to the Executive, if an efficient co-operation of the local governments could not be obtained, were, three or four frigates or sloops-of-war, with boats for pursuit of the pirates; authority to pursue them, wherever they might attempt to escape, and authority to enforce a rigorous blockade, if other efforts should prove ineffectual."

"I have not supposed that it would be expedient to authorize, by law, our merchant vessels to arm. Should Congress entertain a different opinion on this point, and pass a law on the subject, it should embrace 'provisions and restrictions' similar to those contained in the 3d and 4th sections of the 'Act to authorize the defence of the merchant vessels of the United States against French depredations, passed 25th June, 1798.'"

Report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, of the Senate, on so much of the President's message as relates to piracy. January 10, 1825.

The Committee on Foreign Relations submit a report on so much of the President's message as relates to piracies:

That our commerce, for years, has been harassed, and the lives of our citizens destroyed by pirates issuing from the colonies of Spain, in the West Indies, is a fact derived not only from the message of the President, but is of universal notoriety. These outrages have been so long and so often repeated, and marked with such atrocious circumstances, that a detail of the particular cases would be as impracticable as unnecessary. Our government, with a view to protect our citizens, has resorted to the means within their power, by stationing a naval force near the places where the pirates resort—a measure also pursued by other powers. Every effort, heretofore, has been unavailing, to put an end to these atrocities. These desperadoes, acquiring confidence from impunity, becoming more ferocious from habit, and multiplying by recruits from the most abandoned of other nations, threaten the most disastrous mischiefs, justly alarming to that highly valuable and most respectable portion of our fellow citizens whose pursuits are on the high seas. It is manifest, as well from facts derived from other sources as from the message of the President, that a continuance of this evil is ascribable to the asylum afforded the banditti in the colonies of Spain. The government of the United States, cherishing the most amicable disposition towards Spain, has presented the subject, with great earnestness, to the Spanish government, demanding reparation for the past and security for the future. To these reiterated remonstrances, no answer was returned till very recently, and to this day, all that has been obtained is a promise of a satisfactory answer to the applications of the Government of the United States; although Spain has been solemnly warned that, if she did not promptly acquit herself of her obligations to us on this subject, our government would be constrained, from the nature of the outrages, to become its own avenger, and, availing itself of its own resources, protect the commerce and lives of the American citizens from destruction. In the same spirit of conciliation, an appeal has been made to the local authorities, accompanied with a request, that if, from weakness, they were unable to exterminate the hordes of banditti who took shelter from pursuit within their territories, that permission might be given to our forces to pursue them on land.

This has been denied, on the vain punctilio of national dignity. The posture in which Spain now stands, is that of connivance in these injuries, or incapacity to prevent them. "A sovereign who refuses to cause reparation to be made of the damages caused by his subject, or to punish the guilty, or, in

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short, to deliver him up, renders himself an accomplice in the injury, and becomes responsible for it." If the committee were of opinion that the refusal, on the part of Spain, was willful, and not the result of inability, they would, with a full view of all the consequences which the measure involves, at once recommend an appeal to the last resort of nations against Spain, and all her dependencies. But, believing, as they do, that courtesy requires that her refusal to do justice should be placed on the ground of inability—an inability resulting from causes which the committee intentionally forbear to enumerate, they content themselves with recommending only such measures as are believed to be indispensable effectually to reach the mischief. And hence they beg leave to present a bill with suitable provisions for the end designed.

Report from the Navy Department.

Navy Department, January 12, 1825.

The Secretary of the Navy has the honor to present the following report, in answer to two resolutions of the Senate of the United States on the subject of piracies; one of which was passed on the 21st of December, 1824, and the other on the 23d of the same month:

Immediately after the passage of the law of the 20th of December, 1822, "authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy," the vessels contemplated in that act were purchased and prepared for sea, and, with others, placed under the command of Captain David Porter. They consisted of the sloops John Adams and Hornet, the brig Spark, the schooners Porpoise, Grampus, Alligator, and Shark; the Sea Gull, and eight small schooners; five barges, and one transport ship; in all, seventeen vessels, of different sizes, besides the barges.

On the 14th day of February, 1823, Captain Porter sailed from the United States, under orders dated the 1st of February, 1823, a copy of which is annexed to this report, and marked A.

The manner in which Captain Porter has performed the duty assigned him, and the "information" received from him, will be seen by the reports from this Department to the President of the United States, and communicated by him, with his message, at the commencement of the last and present session of Congress; and by paper marked B, which was unintentionally omitted in the report from this Department on the first of December last.

All the vessels above enumerated except four, have been uniformly employed in the object, so far as their size and the necessity of occasional returns into port for stores and repairs would permit. Of the four vessels above alluded to, the Alligator and Wild Cat have been lost, and the Grayhound and Jackall were sold, "being so much out of repair that it was not for the interest of the United States to repair the same."

There are now employed in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico, thirteen vessels and five barges; and the frigate Constellation will join the squadron in a few days, her crew being nearly completed. The disposition of the force has been left principally to the commanding officer, who, being in the region where its services were required, was best able to judge of the positions in which the vessels should be placed, and the particular duties each should perform.

The papers herewith transmitted, marked C and D, having been written in answer to letters from the chairman of the Committees on Naval Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, it appears to be proper to communicate them as part of the report from this Department.

SAM. L. SOUTHARD.

To the President of the United States.

Message to the Senate of the United States.

In compliance with two resolutions of the Senate, the first of the 21st and the second of the 23d December last, requesting information respecting the injuries which have been sustained by our citizens by piratical depredations, and other details connected therewith; and requesting, also, information of the measures which have been adopted for the suppression of piracy; and whether, in the opinion of the Executive, it will not be necessary to adopt other means for the accomplishment of the object; and, in that event, what other means it will be most advisable to recur to; I herewith transmit a report from the Secretary of State, and likewise a report from the Secretary of the Navy, with the documents referred to in each.

On the very important question submitted to the Executive, as to the necessity of recurring to other more effectual means for the suppression of a practice so destructive of the lives and property of our citizens, I have to observe, that three expedients occur: one by the pursuit of the offenders to the settled as well as the unsettled parts of the island from whence they issue; another, by reprisal on the property of the inhabitants; and a third, by the blockade of the ports of those islands. It will be obvious that neither of these measures can be resorted to, in a spirit of amity with Spain, otherwise than in a firm belief that neither the government of Spain, nor the government of either of the islands, has the power to suppress that atrocious practice, and that the United States interpose their aid for the accomplishment of an object which is of equal importance to them as well as to us. Acting on this principle, the facts which justify the proceeding being universally known and felt by all engaged in commerce in that sea, it may fairly be presumed, that neither will the government of Spain, nor the government of either of those islands, complain of a resort to either of those measures, or to all of them, should such resort be necessary. It is therefore suggested, that a power, commensurate with either resource, be granted to the Executive, to be exercised according to his discretion, and as circumstances may imperiously require. It is hoped that the manifestation of a policy so decisive will produce the happiest result—that it will rid these seas and this hemisphere of this practice. This hope is strengthened by the belief that the government of Spain, and the governments of the islands, particularly of Cuba, whose chief is known here, will

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faithfully co-operate in such measures as may be necessary for the accomplishment of this very important object. To secure such co-operation will be the earnest desire, and, of course, the zealous and persevering effort, of the Executive.

JAMES MONROE.

Washington, January 13, 1825.

Report of the Committee on Naval Affairs, of the House of Representatives, on a resolution of the House of Representatives of 9th December, instructing them to inquire into the expediency of providing an additional naval force, and other means for the suppression of piracy. January 25th, 1825.

That they have had the subjects proposed in the said resolution under their consideration, and have made diligent inquiry into the operations of our naval force, which, for the last two years, has been employed in the Gulf of Mexico, for the protection of our commerce, and the suppression of piracy. In this investigation they feel a satisfaction in stating that the means employed have displayed the vigilance of the government, and the activity, zeal, and devotion of the officers and seamen who have been assigned to that perilous service; perilous, not from the numbers or courage of the enemy, but from the deleterious effects of a tropical climate upon natives of a more temperate region. The vessels procured for this service were better adapted to a short expedition, than to long and tedious cruises. They were too small to afford the room necessary to preserve the discipline and health of the officers and seamen assigned to them; yet, they enabled the commander to scour the coast, to penetrate into the shoal waters of the creeks and inlets, to the very margin of the land; and, in effect, the pirates have literally been driven from the ocean, and confined to their fastnesses and haunts upon the land. Accordingly, their principal depredations, for the last twelve or fifteen months, have been confined to occasional sallies in boats and small craft, within one or two leagues of the shore. While these depredations, however, have been more limited in extent and number, they have more frequently been attended with the most desperate and sanguinary destruction of the lives of the unfortunate victims.

It becomes necessary for the government to adapt the force to the existing character of the evil; and the committee are of opinion that the best species of force which can be employed in future, while the piracies are confined to small craft, are the boats and launches which are attached to larger vessels. Sloops-of-war of the largest class may be well provided with launches and boats, of which several might be constantly employed in ferreting out these marauders, and bringing them to condign punishment.

But the committee are of opinion that, though the addition of three or four sloops to our West India squadron, might, by constant vigilance, afford great additional security to our commerce and those engaged in it, yet they have reflected that these plunderers easily transfer themselves from one island to another; and when effectually hunted from one of their haunts, they are speedily found in parts where the unarmed trader, having no protection or means of defence, becomes an easy prey. They have, also, recurred to several instances, where a resolute resistance by a small crew of intrepid seamen has repelled the assailants, even when the disparity of force might have been expected to produce a different issue. From which it is manifest, that those wretches, who assume the vocation of pirates, are as dastardly as they are cruel, and may be generally repelled by a well armed crew, though not much exceeding the usual complement of the vessel.

The opinion has been expressed in some of the memorials of our principal cities, that the permission to the merchants to prepare a suitable armament for their defence, would be embraced at least to a sufficient extent to deter, in many instances, the attacks of boats from the shore, or to repel the foe in case he should attempt to carry by boarding. The committee believe, that if a considerable number of trading vessels should provide themselves for resistance, and a few instances of successful resistance should be the consequence, the effect would be highly salutary, and would greatly discourage these banditti, by rendering their vocation dangerous and fruitless. They are aware that the commerce of the West Indies is attended with too small profit to warrant any considerable increase of expense to the merchants and owners of vessels: and, as the protection of trade is the duty of the government, as well as required for the prosperity of our revenue and general resources, they therefore deem it sound policy to rely upon this measure merely as auxiliary to the most energetic efforts; and to the ample means placed at the disposal of the Executive.

The committee have not overlooked the notorious fact, that the local authorities of the West India islands, particularly those of Cuba and Porto Rico, have afforded shelter and protection to the pirates, and have given a character of boldness to the enterprises, which it may be impossible wholly to repress without resorting to measures which may induce those authorities to unite their means in earnest in the extirpation of those foes of the human race. Whatever may be the personal feelings of some of the local governors, they may, perhaps, find it difficult to restrain the cupidity by which a great portion of the community are so completely demoralized. In the Island of Porto Rico, a species of legalized plunder has been for several years tolerated, if not encouraged, by the chiefs of the island, which, if not so sanguinary as in other cases, has, in other respects, differed but little from ordinary piracy. It belongs rather to the duty of another committee to devise means suitable to meet an exigency so singular, and, at the same time, demanding the most prompt and vigorous measures.

While the utmost circumspection should be employed, in maintaining the rights and dignity of our country, not to violate those of other nations, it cannot be denied, that a scrupulous adherence to the letter of national law, in regard to the territories under the nominal jurisdiction of a nation remote from the scenes of action, distracted and feeble at home, and scarcely felt or feared in her remote islands and colonies, must amount to an indefinite denial of redress to our own citizens; must embolden injustice and violence, and impede or frustrate the most vigorous efforts of our naval force in the protection of our commerce against such an unhallowed combination of local jurisdiction and desperate outlaws.

The committee forbear to indicate the course which alone remains to remedy these outrages upon our rights and our dignity, not doubting that, from another source, we may soon see submitted, a plan which comports with our justice and moderation, as well as with our interest and security.

They respectfully submit a bill, in conformity with these views, for the consideration of the House.

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Report of the Committee of Foreign Relations, of the House of Representatives, on piracy and outrages on American commerce by Spanish privateers. January 31st, 1825.

The Committee of Foreign Relations, to whom was referred so much of the President's message to Congress at the opening of the present session, as relates to piracy and the outrages committed upon our commerce by vessels bearing Spanish commissions, and the memorials from different quarters of the Union on the same subjects, availing themselves of the document accompanying the President's message to the Senate, of the 13th January, which have been printed by order of that body, present to the House the result of their deliberations upon the subject submitted to them:

From the commencement of the revolution, which has terminated in the separation of Spanish Continental America from old Spain, the commerce of the United States, in common With that of all other nations, has suffered frequent outrages from the vessels of the adverse parties, duly commissioned, with doubtful commissions, and from pirates who sought to conceal their true character by the use of the flag of some one of the belligerents. Constant efforts have been made by this government to redress injuries suffered, and to prevent future outrage. Congress have, at all times, been prepared to give, and have afforded all the means necessary for these purposes within their province.

The act of the third of March, 1819, was passed specially to protect the commerce of the United States, and punish the crime of piracy. It gave to the President power (a power, however, which the President possesses without an act of Congress) to employ the public armed vessels of the United States to protect our merchant vessels and their crews from piratical aggression and depredation, to authorize the detention, capture, and trial, of any armed vessels which attempted any piratical depredation, search, seizure, or restraint of an American vessel. It authorized our merchant vessels to capture armed ships not commissioned by a friendly power, and to recapture vessels taken by them, and it directed the condemnation of the vessels so captured or recaptured; it provided for the punishment of the pirates, when convicted by the competent tribunals. This act was limited to one year, but was continued in force by the act of May 15, 1820, for two years, and the first four sections made perpetual by the act of the 30th January, 1823.

The re-establishment of the constitutional government in old Spain, in March, 1820, inspired the strongest hope that the contest between Spain and Spanish Continental America would be soon amicably terminated in a manner satisfactory to the parties at war, to the commercial and civilized world, and to all the lovers of humanity, justice and liberty. The first movements of the regenerated government promised a speedy realization of this hope.

The Cortes of Spain directed negotiations to be opened with Spanish America; commissioners were appointed; but the contending parties did not take the same view of the great questions between them. old Spain would not admit the recognition of the independence of the Spanish American governments as the basis of negotiation; and the Spanish American governments would not negotiate without that preliminary recognition. While these abortive attempts at negotiation were made, there was a temporary cessation of hostilities in Venezuela. The war, however, was renewed in Venezuela before the negotiations were broken off. Fortune favored the Americans, and the European Spaniards were driven from the continent. During this desperate contest, General Morales, the commander of the Spanish forces, issued his extraordinary proclamation, declaring a coast of twelve hundred miles in a state of blockade, and interdicting all foreign commerce with the Spanish main, as inconsistent with the colonial law of old Spain. This proclamation has been the fruitful source of most of the evils since suffered by all commercial nations in the West Indies, and in the Gulf of Mexico. Numerous pirates, and swarms of privateersmen (subsequently degenerated into pirates), have preyed upon all neutral commerce. Protection to that of the United States should have been, if it has not been, afforded, against pirates, by the use of all the necessary means under the control of the Executive—by a vigorous exertion of the naval power; by incessant watchfulness on the seas, and on the coasts infested by them; rigorous examination of all suspected vessels of every size; ardent pursuit of the persons found flagrante delicto, wherever they sought refuge; careful prosecution, before the competent tribunals, of all the accused who were taken; unrelenting severity in inflicting punishment, where guilt was judicially established—against privateersmen, by appeals to the government of Spain, requiring, immediately, redress for the past, and security for the future; if made in vain, application should have been made to Congress to authorize reprisals, or to declare war, as the extent of the injury and a due regard to the condition of the Spanish government should have required. A further reference, however, to the past would not be useful. For the present, and for the future, if legislative provisions are necessary, they should be made.

Piracy at present exists in the same form as in the year 1822, when a species of naval force, supposed to be particularly adapted to suppress it, was placed at the disposal of the Executive. This force was believed to have answered the expectations entertained of it, as the President, at the opening of the last session of Congress, announced that "it had been eminently successful in the accomplishment of its objects." If further experience has shown that this species of force is inadequate to the accomplishment of the object, and that another may be advantageously substituted, there can be no doubt of the propriety of the substitution. This is a point, however, that the committee do not consider it their duty to examine; it belongs properly to another committee, the result of whose deliberations upon it has been already presented to the House. The merchants of the United States, who have, with the exception of our seamen, the deepest interest in this subject, suggest the propriety of suffering the owners of vessels to arm for their own defence. There is no law forbidding such defensive armament, nor is any law required to justify it. It is, however, asserted that the restraints upon the armament of merchant vessels are inconvenient and oppressive, and that they ought to be removed. The only provision on this subject is that which requires bond and security to be given to prevent an unlawful use of the armed vessel; a provision which should not be changed—an adherence to which the best interest of commerce requires.

The propriety of authorizing by law the pursuit of the pirates on land has also been a subject of consideration. The committee do not deem an act of Congress for this purpose necessary. The rule of international law is, that fugitives from the justice of one nation are to be considered in another as strangers entitled to protection, and having a right of residence—on the common principle that no nation has a right to punish a person who has not offended itself, nor is it bound to assist its neighbor in the execution of its criminal laws. Pirates are criminals against all nations, punishable in every tribunal; the common enemies of mankind; the duty of all nations and every man is, to hunt them down, that they may be delivered up to offended justice. Fresh pursuit of enemies into the territory of a common friend,

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is not universally admitted to be a right of war. Powerful nations never permit feeble neighbors to enter their territory for this purpose; but enter without scruple in pursuit of their enemies, the territory of such neighbors, unless restrained by the apprehension that the mutual friend seeks a fair occasion to become an ally against them in the war. Practically, the question is one not of right, but of relative power. The pursuit of a mutual enemy into the territory of a friendly or allied power, is a right of war; it cannot be deemed a violation of the sovereignty of that power; it confers a favor, and imposes upon him an obligation of gratitude.

The common enemy cannot avail himself of the protection of the territory of the third power, but by surrendering himself as prisoner of war; and in that event, if the force of the pursuer was the cause of the surrender, the pursuer might rightfully claim the benefit of the surrender. Under this rule, the pursuit and capture of pirates anywhere, and everywhere, may be justified. The Executive has acted upon it. Instructions have been given to our naval commanders to pursue and capture, on Spanish territory, pirates who seek refuge or concealment there. The government of Spain has been duly warned of the existence of these orders; it knows that they will be obeyed. No remonstrance has been made by it; no objections have, as far as the committee have been informed, been urged. The acquiescence of Spain is all that should be desired. A distinction is supposed to exist between pursuit of pirates on lands uninhabited, and those inhabited; and it is imagined that the authority of Congress is necessary to justify pursuit in the latter case, while, in the former, the power of the Executive is alone sufficient. The committee do not admit the correctness of this distinction. Fresh pursuit is justifiable in either case, if necessary to the capture of the pirate. There is greater danger of collision with the friendly power, when the object of pursuit flies into a settled country, and greater care is requisite to avoid giving offence; but the same principles apply to either case, and it is just as necessary that Congress should legislate to justify the capture of pirates, as to authorize the pursuit of them into any place of refuge, inhabited or unsettled.

From an attentive examination of the letters of the agent who was sent to Cuba to obtain information relative to the pirates who have long infested the coast of that island, it would seem that no fresh pursuit on land will eradicate the evil. Authority must exist to search in the suspected settlements for persons believed to be guilty of piracy, and for the evidence of their guilt, and to bring them before our tribunals for trial and punishment. This authority Congress cannot give, without making war upon Spain. It cannot be used without wresting from Spain her municipal jurisdiction. The evil lies too deep to be reached by any ordinary measures which foreign powers can apply to it.

The government of Spain must give to the local authority what it is said to want—sufficient strength to prevent and to punish crimes; it must perform its duties, or those who suffer from its neglect or weakness will be driven, by the necessity of the case, to apply the corrective. The committee would bring more distinctly into view the only efficient remedy, and recommend a resort to it, if they believed sufficient time had elapsed since remonstrances were made by our government to Spain, to prove incontestably that she wanted either the power or the will to do her duty, although they are aware that the conduct of any government, in applying that remedy, without previous concert with other nations, alike interested in the question, would be liable to misconception, and excite well-founded jealousies. The committee cannot doubt that the Executive, applying all proper means to prevent, to detect, and to punish, the crime of piracy, and pressing upon Spain and her local authorities that the honor and the interest of Spain require their best exertions for the same purpose, will not fail to confer with the great commercial nations, on the extraordinary measures to be used, if the object is not speedily accomplished by the faithful exertion of the powers of Spain.

The danger to which our commerce is exposed, and the injuries it has suffered from privateers, acting under regular or irregular commissions, are of a different character, and require a different remedy. The committee understand that outrages of this kind have almost, if not entirely ceased; for those which have been inflicted, or which may hereafter be inflicted, Spain is directly responsible. Reparation must be had; by negotiation, or by exercise of such powers as may, for that purpose, be vested in the Executive by Congress.

To guard against future injury, the safest resource is to enforce promptly ample redress for that which has been suffered. The committee have already referred to the injuries suffered in consequence of the proclamation of Morales. Those injuries are not yet redressed. The government of Spain has not attempted to justify a proclamation declaring, with a naval force insufficient to shut up the smallest port on the coast, a seacoast of twelve hundred miles in a state of blockade, nor the absurd pretension that the property of all neutral nations is, under the colonial law of Spain, liable to confiscation, if taken on its way to Spanish America; but the property of American citizens captured by privateers from the islands of Porto Rico and Cuba, and from Porto Cabello, is now withheld under these pretensions. The Spanish government having formally revoked the blockade, gives to the tribunals of Spain an excuse for the condemnation of all property seized prior to that revocation; an excuse of which they do not hesitate to avail themselves. Acting under instructions from the President of the 28th April, 1823, the minister of the United States at the court of Spain demanded satisfaction, in January, 1824, from that government, for the outrages committed from Porto Cabello, and the islands of Porto Rico and Cuba, upon the commerce of the United States, and for the wanton murder of one of our gallant officers in the harbor of St. John's, by the officer commanding the fort at its entrance. In September of the same year, Spain was again called upon to indemnify those who had suffered in person or property under the proclamation of blockade, or from the interdiction of neutral commerce to the Spanish main. In October, the just reclamations of our government were, for the third time, formally made to the government of Spain. No satisfaction has been given, no indemnity has been promised, nor has there been even a satisfactory excuse given for the delay to answer the just demands of the minister of the United States.

The character of the injury sustained, its origin, the period elapsed since it was inflicted, the formal and fruitless demand for reparation for more than twelve months, justify reprisals. An anxious desire not to act harshly to a government embarrassed by internal difficulties, and enfeebled by recent revolutions; the distance of the seat of the Spanish government, from the places in which the evils complained of originated; the death of the minister appointed by the Spanish government, on the eve of his departure to this country; and the recent selection of another minister, whose appointment and intended departure for the United States, has been communicated in an official letter, a translation of which is herewith presented to the House, induce the committee not to propose any legislative enactment, under the firm conviction, that this forbearance will give to Spain a new motive to make speedily ample reparation for

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the injuries sustained; and that if it does not produce this desired effect, it will justify, in the eyes of all nations, any and every step Congress may hereafter be compelled to take.

Department of State, Washington, January 24, 1825.

Sir: I have the honor of enclosing herewith, a translation of the only answer yet received from the Spanish government, in Mr. Nelson's notes on the subject of piracy and outrages on our commerce. It has been received since the communications to Congress of the previous documents were made.

I am, with great respect, sir, your most humble and obedient servant,

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.

John Forsyth, Esq., Chairman of theCommittee of Foreign Relations, H. R. U. S.

[Translation.]

Mr. Zea Bermudez to Mr. Nelson.

Sir: From the middle of September last, when I took possession of the appointment, which the kindness of the King, my august master, deigned to entrust me, I dedicated, by order of his Majesty, my attention to the different notes presented by you, relative to the claims of the American subjects, who thought themselves entitled to be indemnified by Spain for the losses which they have suffered in the seas of America A business so complicated, in which considerable interests are involved, presented so much more difficulty, by how much there were intermingled with it other interests and other claims of Spanish subjects against the government and subjects of the United States.

His Majesty, desirous of preserving the friendship and good harmony which happily subsists between both nations, and that, in faithful observance of existing treaties, both governments should terminate in a friendly manner, this delicate question, the legitimate rights and just pretensions of both being mutually conciliated, has thought that the most proper means for gaining this desired end, is to send immediately a minister plenipotentiary, to reside near the American government, who, by his information, prudence, and practical knowledge of the relations between both countries, may be at the same time, the interpreter and the executor of the just intentions of the King. In consequence, his Majesty has been pleased to appoint Don Jose de Heredia, his envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary in the United States of America. He will set out for his new destination as soon as possible.

I hasten to inform you of this, that you may be pleased to lay it before your government; and I avail myself of this occasion, to repeat to you the assurance of my most distinguished consideration. God preserve you many years.

Your most obedient servant, FRANCISCO DE ZEA BERMUDEZ.

San Lorenzo, November 19, 1824.

Report of the Secretary of the Navy, accompanying the President's message of December 3d, 1822.

Navy Department, November 30, 1822.

The President of the United States:

Sir: In compliance with your request, I have the honor to transmit to you herewith, sundry papers, numbered one to five, inclusively, which contain the information desired.

No. 1. List of piratical vessels, &c., captured by vessels of the navy of the United States.

No. 2. List of vessels of the navy of the United States, in actual service.

No. 3. List of vessels of the navy of the United States, in ordinary.

No. 4. List of vessels built and building, under the act for the "gradual increase of the navy;" and also, a general view of improvements at the several building yards.

No. 5. Copies of correspondence between the commanders of our cruising vessels, and the Spanish authorities.

All of which is respectfully submitted. SMITH THOMPSON.

No. 1.

Statement of captures of piratical vessels and boats, made by vessels of the United States navy, in the West Indies.

Four piratical schooners, of about forty tons each, and one sloop, of twenty-five tons, in all carrying about one hundred men, captured by Lieutenant Commandant L. Kearney, in the United States brig Enterprise, at Cape Antonio, Island of Cuba, October 16th, 1821, in the act of robbing the American ship Lucies, American brig Aristides, and English brig Larch; burnt two of the piratical schooners; the other two, and the sloop, were sent into Charleston, S. C, and condemned.

Schooner Moscow, captured by Capt. Robert Henley, in the sloop-of-war Hornet, October 29, 1821, sent into Norfolk.

A boat laden with goods, captured by Lieutenant Commandant Ramage, off Cape Antonio, November 8, 1821; took out the goods, and destroyed the boat; crew escaped.

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A schooner of about 35 tons, captured by Lieutenant Commandant Kearney, 21st December, 1821; crew, about 25, escaped.

Six piratical vessels captured by Lieutenant Commandant Ramage, January 7, 1822; burnt five of them, and manned one, took three prisoners, and destroyed their depot, &c., on the coast of Cuba.

A large barge taken by gun vessel Revenge, 7th March, 1822; she was deserted by her crew, and evidently fitted for piratical purposes.

Three piratical launches and four barges, captured by Lieutenant Commandant Kearney, in the United States brig Enterprise, at Cape Antonio, on the 8th March, 1822, destroyed.

Two piratical schooners captured by Lieutenants Commandants Perry and Gregory, in June, 1822, three pirates prisoners.

Spanish privateer Palmyra, alias Panchita, captured by Lieutenant Commandant Gregory, August 16, 1822, sent into Charleston, South Carolina.

Five piratical vessels captured by Captain S. Cassin, commanding United States ship Peacock, on the 28th and 30th September, 1822; burnt two; found eighty-nine bags coffee concealed in the woods by the pirates; two of the vessels sent to New Orleans.

A Dutch sloop was re-captured from pirates by Captain John H. Elton, commanding United States brig Spark, January, 1822, and the prize crew, seven men, were sent into Charleston, South Carolina.

Portuguese ship Mariana Faliero, captured by Lieutenant Commandant R. F. Stockton, in the United States schooner Alligator, sent into Boston.

No. 2.

List of vessels of the United States navy, now in service.

In the Pacific Ocean.

Ship Franklin

74 guns.

Schooner Dolphin

12 guns.

In the Mediterranean.

Frigate Constitution

44 guns.

Sloop-of-war Ontario

18 guns.

Schooner Nonsuch

12 guns.

On the Coast of Africa.

Corvette Cyane

24 guns.

In the West Indies.

Frigate Congress

36 guns.

Corvette John Adams

24 guns.

Sloop-of-war Peacock

18 guns.

Brig Spark

12 guns.

Schooner Alligator

12 guns.

Schooner Grampus

12 guns.

Schooner Shark

12 guns.

Schooner Porpoise *

12 guns.

Gunboat No. 158

1 gun.

Sloop-of-war Hornet, 18 guns, preparing for a cruise in the West Indies, at Norfolk, Virginia.
Brig Enterprise, repairing at New York, for a cruise in the West Indies.

No. 3.

List of vessels of the United States navy, in ordinary, exclusive of ships on the list of the Navy Commissioners; exclusive of list numbered 4.

Ship Independence

74 guns.

Ship Washington

74 guns.

Frigate United States

44 guns.

Frigate Guerriere

44 guns.

Frigate Java

44 guns.

Frigate Constellation

36 guns.

Frigate Macedonian

36 guns.

Steam frigate Fulton

30 guns.

Sloop-of-war Erie

18 guns.

*All on survey Coast Florida.

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No. 4.

Vessels built and building under the law for the gradual increase of the navy, with a general view of improvements completed at the several building yards.

Columbus, 74 guns. Launched in ordinary at Boston, with a roof over her to protect her from the rain, sun, &c.

Ohio, 74 guns. Launched in ordinary at New York, with a roof over her to protect her from the rain, sun, &c.

North Carolina, 74 guns. Launched in ordinary at Norfolk, and now covering with roofs to protect them.

Delaware, 74 guns. Launched in ordinary at Norfolk, and now covering with roofs to protect them.

One, 74 guns. At Boston, nearly finished; house over her, and perfectly protected.

One, 74 guns. At Boston; frame raised; under a house; perfectly protected.

One, 74 guns. At Portsmouth, N.H.; nearly finished; under a house; perfectly protected.

One, 74 guns. At Norfolk, Va.; about half finished; house over her; perfectly protected.

One, 74 guns. At Philadelphia; keel laid; frame nearly out; house now building over, and probably raised by this time.

Potomac, 44 guns. Launched, and hauled up on the inclined plane at Washington, where she now lies, under a house, perfectly protected from the sun, rain, &c.

One, 74 guns. At Washington; about half finished.

One, 44 guns. At Philadelphia; nearly finished; house over her; perfectly protected.

One, 44 guns. At New York; frame getting out, and nearly ready to raise.

One, 44 guns. At Portsmouth, N. H.; in forwardness; house over her; perfectly protected.

The frames of the other frigates authorized to be built, excepting a few pieces yet to be delivered by the contractors, and nearly all the other materials excepting the iron, are procured and placed in situations where they will probably not sustain any immediate material injury.

Two steam battery frames are securely deposited under cover at the Washington Navy yard.

One steam battery frame is securely deposited under cover at New York.

Two engines are put up, and in a state of preservation at New York.

The building yards are in as good a state as the means placed at the disposal of the Department would allow; but to erect the necessary warehouses, repair wharves, cover some of the vessels now building, and to erect suitable sheds over the timber, for its preservation, there will be required for the year 1823, the sum of $150,000.

General view of improvements completed at the several building yards, in 1821 and 1822.

At Norfolk: timber dock filled up, and house built over new ship of the line.

At Washington: inclined plane, with a house over it; large warehouse; sail loft and rigging loft.

At Philadelphia: foundation of a new ship laid; house built over a frigate, and house now raising over a ship of the line.

At New York: foundation of a new ship laid; house built over a frigate; low ground filled up to an extent to afford sufficient room to work on.

At Boston: foundation of a new ship laid; a house built over a ship of the line; a blacksmith shop erected; the timber dock piled and improved; cover placed over the frame of a 44; about two acres of ground leveled.

At Portsmouth, N. H.: foundation of a new frigate laid, and a house erected over it.

No. 5.

Copies and extracts of letters and reports, exhibiting a general view of the correspondence between the commanders of our cruising vessels in the West Indies, and the Spanish authorities.

U. S. Frigate Macedonian, Havana, May 6, 1822.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I arrived here on the 28th ultimo. My passage was somewhat protracted by chasing, out of my course, suspicious looking vessels among the islands, and by having two days under convoy an American schooner, that requested me to see her safe past Cape Antonio. On my arrival, I saluted the captain general and the admiral, receiving from each, in return, gun for gun, agreeably to previous arrangement. On the 29th, I had an interview with the captain general relative to the business with which I am charged by Mr. Adams, the Secretary of State. On the 30th, I addressed a communication to him on the subject of landing our boats and men upon the coast of Cuba when in pursuit of pirates. I enclose a copy of my communication, as also of the captain general's answer; and you will perceive he declines acceding to the proposition I made to him. I think it preferable to pursue one object at a time with the government here, and I shall therefore drop this subject for the present, renewing it when my correspondence in regard to the Florida documents is terminated. He certainly ought, and perhaps will consent to our landing upon those parts of the coast that are uninhabited, and where, though within his jurisdiction, he is utterly incapable of exercising any authority. There are many such places on the coasts of this island.

The measures adopted by the captain general, and to which he refers in his letter to me, consist simply of a proclamation, in March last, establishing certain regulations with respect to clearances of coasting vessels, launches, and other boats. These regulations, I understand, are not strictly enforced; and, even if they were, they are altogether insufficient for the suppression of piracy along the extensive coast of Cuba. As this proclamation has been published in the American newspapers, I do not think it necessary to send you a copy.

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I regret to state that I have not met any of our cruisers either at this port or off Cape Antonio, nor have I been able to gain any information as to where they probably now are. It is some time since any of them were here. The British frigate Tribune is here, from Porto Bello, and is about to sail for England with specie.

I have the honor to be, &c., JAMES BIDDLE.

Hon. Smith Thompson, Secretary of the Navy.

Captain Biddle to Governor Mahy.

U. S. Frigate Macedonian, Havana. April 30, 1822. Sir: I have the honor to represent, that the commercial relations between the United States and Cuba are already very considerable, and that they would unquestionably be more considerable, if rendered more secure from unlawful depredations. As these relations, too, are mutually beneficial, it is important to both parties that they should be effectually protected. For this object the Government of the United States, on its part, has employed an adequate naval force, which is placed under my direction and control. But, as the depredations have been committed chiefly in open boats, immediately upon the coast, and off the harbors, it is important that we should have your excellency's co-operation. I have, therefore, the honor to propose that your excellency should so far co-operate with me as to sanction the landing, upon the coast of Cuba, of our boats and men, when in the pursuit of pirates. This measure would be promotive of our common benefit—is indispensable to the entire suppression of piracy, and is not intended in any manner to infringe upon the territorial rights of your excellency. It will operate against those only whose atrocious crimes render them obnoxious to every regular government, and should place them without the protection of all law.

I have the honor to be, with great consideration and respect,

your excellency's most obedient and very humble servant,

JAMES BIDDLE.

His excellency Don Nicholas Mahy, Captain General and Governor of Cuba.

Governor Mahy to Captain Biddle.

[Translation.]

I am too sensible of the importance of the commercial relations which exist, and may continue, between the ports of this island and those of the United States, which I am desirous of cultivating, not to have adopted measures to put a stop to depredations which might obstruct them along the extensive coasts of this island, under my jurisdiction. I repeat, that such measures have been adopted, and have been made public; and with the zealous co-operation with which you inform me you are charged, we shall doubtless effect shortly a happy extermination of those enemies, who, under all colors, have laid waste and committed robberies, both upon the high seas and every coast, without respecting any flag.

With respect to the permission you solicit, for landing upon this coast with troops and people in boats, for the purpose of pursuing those pirates, I cannot and must not consent to it. I repeat that the necessary measures have been adopted to defend my territorial jurisdiction, and for the apprehension of every description of outlaws.

All which I communicate in answer to your official letter of yesterday. God preserve you many years.

NICHOLAS MAHY, Captain General of the Island of Cuba.

James Biddle, Esq., Commanding United States ship Macedonian.

Havana, May 2, 1822.

Extract from a report of Lieutenant Francis H. Gregory, commander of U. S. schooner Grampus, to Captain James Biddle, commanding the U. S. naval forces in the West Indies—relating to the capture of the Pancheta, dated—

U. S. Schooner Grampus, St. Thomas, August 24, 1822. I have the honor to acquaint you, for the information of the honorable Secretary of the Navy, that I arrived at St. Bartholomews on the 2d of August; sailed again on the 7th with convoy for St. Thomas. On the morning of the 9th fell in with two Spanish cruisers off Tortola, who demanded permission, and claimed a right to board the convoy, which being peremptorily refused, they hauled off. The same day I arrived at St. Thomas and received from Captain John Souther, of the schooner Coquette of Georgetown, D. C., the enclosed deposition, having been plundered by those vessels. On the 14th I left St. Thomas, with two valuable vessels, bound to Curacoa, and on the evening of the 15th saw an hermaphrodite brig, hovering upon our weather quarter, apparently a cruiser; continued my course without regarding her; at daylight made her ahead and gave chase; at half-past nine, having gained considerably upon her, she hoisted English colors; changed them to Spanish at 10, and fired a gun to windward, and at half-past 10 hove to, and set a white flag at the fore. On nearing her I perceived her to be the pirate that had fired upon and plundered the Coquette, and therefore considered it my duty to arrest her. At 20 minutes past 11 the Grampus was laid under her lee, within pistol shot, and her surrender demanded as a pirate, which she affected not to understand, and answered me to that import. While repeating the demand, he poured into us a full volley from his small arms and cannon, which was instantly returned, and continued

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three minutes and a half, when he struck his colors, a complete wreck, having one man killed and six wounded, and in a sinking condition. The boats were dispatched instantly to their relief, and it was only owing to the great exertions of Lieutenant Voorhees, that she was prevented from going down, having received three shots between wind and water, one of which injured the pumps. The Grampus received some trifling injury in her sails and rigging, but not a man hurt.

The captured vessel proved to be the notorious privateer Palmyra, formerly the Pancheta, from Porto Rico; carries one long brass 18, and eight 18-pound carronades, and a crew of 88 men. They acknowledged the robbery of the Coquette, and the only excuse given by the officer is, that they could not prevent those things happening now and then. Several of the plundered articles were found on board.

St. Thomas, August 10, 1822.

Personally appeared before us, Captain John Souther, commander, and in part owner of the schooner Coquette, of Georgetown, D. C, who, being duly sworn upon the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God, deposeth and saith: That he is a native born citizen of the United States of America, and that, while on a voyage in said vessel to the West India islands, and on his passage from St. Bartholomews to St. Thomas, on the morning of the 9th of August, 1822, at 5 A. M. or thereabouts, he was fired at by a sail in chase, upon which, the deponent saith, he immediately hove to. Was boarded by an officer and boat's crew under Venezuelian colors; they immediately demanded his papers; after examining them, they commenced searching the vessel, then went into my cabin and searched the berths, chests, &c. They took from the vessel stock, and clothing from the officers and men. The deponent further says, she was an hermaphrodite brig with a red streak, and one long gun midships, and several others, not knowing the exact number.

JOHN SOUTHER.

Attest:

J. Rohde, Captain R. Navy and Harbor Master.

Francis H. Gregory, Lieutenant Com. U. S. Navy.

The foregoing deposition of Capt. John Souther having been read before John Peabody, jr., mate of the schooner Coquette, John Reynolds and Henry Sterling, seamen, and they being duly sworn, declare the same to be true.

JOHN PEABODY, Jr.

JOHN REYNOLDS.

Attest: HENRY STERLING.

J. Rohde, Captain R. Navy and Harbor Master.

Francis H. Gregory, Lieut. Com. U. S. Navy.

Extract of a letter from Lieutenant Commandant Francis H. Gregory to the Secretary of the Navy.

I have the honor to inform you that this vessel, accompanied by the Palmyra, alias Pancheta, was safely anchored in this port on the 12th, after a passage of fifteen days from St. Thomas. The Palmyra was captured on the 16th of August, to the southward of St. Croix, by the Grampus, after a short action, in which she was principal sufferer, as detailed in my reports to Captain James Biddle, commander of the United States naval forces cruising in the West Indies; copies of which have, for your information, already been forwarded to the Department.

It was my wish and intention to have entered a more northern port, but light and adverse winds, and the great number of prisoners on board, obliged me to make the nearest port, and that as soon as possible. The prisoners, seventy-six in number, have been safely lodged in jail, committed for piracy. At least one-third of them are of the Sugar Key gang, who have come to Porto Rico for the purpose of covering their villainy with Spanish commissions. All the original documents respecting this vessel have been placed in the hands of the United States district attorney, and the vessel libeled. Several of her crew have turned informants, and I expect a great scene of villainy will be exposed.

I frequently saw gentlemen from Porto Rico while at St. Thomas, and was informed that several small privateers were fitted out there, which, if not looked after in time, will certainly commit some very serious depredations upon our commerce, as they are, in reality, nothing but pirates; most of their crew being from the establishments of Cuba, and to their thirst for plunder add a deadly desire of revenge whenever they fall in with a defenceless American.

Extract of a letter from Lieutenant James Ramage, commander of the United States schooner Porpoise, to the Secretary of the Navy, dated St. Thomas, July 9, 1822.

Having sailed from St. Bartholomews on the evening of the 6th instant, I fell in, the next morning, with two brigs of war, bearing the Mexican flag. I run down, with our colors flying, between them; and, when opposite to each, received a gun from the one to windward, which was instantly returned from this vessel; shortly after, I received a similar salute from that to leeward, which was promptly replied to; both vessels, on firing, hauled down the Mexican, and hoisted the Spanish national colors. I then ranged alongside the brig to leeward, observing her crew in a state of extreme confusion; they opened an irregular and ill-directed fire of grape and musketry, but without any effect. I was in the act of giving orders to return our broadside, when hostilities ceased, and I directed Lieutenant Curtis to board the brig, and examine her papers. They proved to be H. C. Majesty's brigs Palmyra, of fourteen guns, one

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hundred and thirty men, and G. Boves, of eight guns and one hundred men, both from Cadiz. The enclosed is a literal copy of a letter addressed me by the senior commanding officer.

I now hasten to communicate the intelligence received by me at this place, which I believe to be entirely authentic: that several Spanish privateers, of considerable force, have lately been equipped from the Island of Porto Rico, for the purpose of capturing all vessels sailing to or from the ports on the coast of Spanish America, in possession of the patriot forces, under the plea that they are violating a system of blockade established by the government of Spain. These privateers have already made several captures of American and other vessels, which have been carried to remote ports in the Island of Porto Rico, and will doubtless be condemned. The injury that will result to the commerce of our country from this system of pretended blockade will be very serious, if not timely checked by an adequate force in this quarter; and, as I have no means of communicating from hence with Captain Biddle, I consider it my duty to lay the present information before you.

S. N. B. G. Boves, at sea, July 3, 1822.

M. Ramage, U. S. Sc. Porpoise:

Sir: I am sorry you will be incomoded with me by firiying you this morning, being the case that we thought you were Patriots, and we have commission from our government to blockade all the men ports, and happened that must all the vessels from the men hoisted and fight with the American flag, we took you to be one of them.

I hope therefore you will forgived the uncasionally affair.

I remain your sincear, &c., PABLO LLUAGER.

To the Captain of the U. S. Sc. Porpoise.

United States Schooner Porpoise, Curacoa, July 22, 1822.

Sir: I had the honor to address you on the 9th inst., from the Island of St. Thomas, communicating the injuries committed on our commerce by Spanish vessels of war near to Porto Rico, in consequence of their pretended blockade of the coasts of Spanish America. I have now to inform you that the same causes have produced the same effects in this quarter, and that four American vessels have been condemned at Port Cabello for a breach of blockade. The naval force of Spain in these seas consists of an old 44. gun frigate (one of the Russian contract,) a brig and schooner. These are employed in furnishing supplies to Porto Cabello from this island, and yet with such a force and so employed, they uphold the monstrous principle of blockading a coast of more than 1,200 miles in extent. It does not appear that any injury has been committed on our commerce by the vessels of the Columbian republic. I have the honor to be, &c.,

JAMES RAMAGE.

Hon. Smith Thompson, Secretary of the Navy.

Extract of a letter from Lieutenant James Ramage, commander of the United States schooner Porpoise, to Captain James Biddle, commanding the naval forces in the West Indies.

Under a plea of a breach of blockade, the Spanish squadron in this direction, capture all vessels bound to or from ports in possession of the Columbian republic. The naval force of Spain, now here, consists of an old 44 gun frigate, the Ligera, (one of the Russian contract,) an 18-gun brig, the Hercule, and a schooner; the whole of which are employed supplying Porto Cabello with provisions from Curacoa; yet, with such a force, and so employed, they uphold the monstrous principle of blockading a line of coast of more than 1,200 miles in extent.

Copy of a letter to Captain Laborde, commanding his Catholic Majesty's frigate Ligera.

United States Schooner Porpoise, Harbor of St. Ann, Curacoa, July 21, 1822. Sir: I have received from the master of the American schooner Antelope, a communication of which a copy is herewith transmitted to you. From this statement it appears that a very serious injury has been done by you to the rights and property of citizens of the United States, by the capture and subsequent condemnation of an American vessel and cargo, pursuing a lawful commerce; but it is hoped that more just reasons will be exhibited on your part for the course pursued, than those stated in the communication referred to.

I have received information that the American vessels named underneath, have been carried into Porto Cabello, and there condemned, under the pretext of a breach of blockade of the coast and harbors of the Spanish main. In consequence, thereof, it becomes my duty to demand from you the release of all vessels and property so seized, and further to state, that the United States cannot recognize such a system of blockade, to the manifest injury of their commerce, where the force of Spain is so evidently inadequate to its fulfillment.

I am, &c., &c., 

JAMES RAMAGE.

To Capt. Laborde, commanding H. C. M. Frigate Ligera, Curacoa.

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Statement of Arthur Edgerton, mate of the brig General Andrew Jackson.

Arthur Edgerton, mate of the brig General Andrew Jackson, taken by the privateer General Pereira, on the 22d July, states, as nigh as he can remember, the log book being taken from him, Capt. Langdon and the cook were sent in the brig to Ponce, and the mate and men were taken on board the privateer, having been robbed of every article of clothing, except what they had at the time on their backs. The men had recently left the United States, and had each a new suit of good clothes, many of which can, at most hours, be seen at this place, worn by the crew of the privateer in public. Except being robbed of clothing, knives, razors, &c., were well treated on board the privateer, where they remained about seventeen days—were then put into the puntilla (prison) without food, until the afternoon of the third day. The keeper of the prison observing the wants of these men, sent word to the captain of the privateer, "that he must furnish them daily with food, or he would be punished;" which was complied with.

Captain Spence to the Secretary of the Navy, transmitting correspondence with the Governor of Porto Rico, marked A to G, inclusive.

U. S. Ship Cyane, St. John's, Porto Rico, September 3, 1822. Sir: After a passage of twenty-five days from the Chesapeake, during which we experienced an alternation of calms and head winds, I anchored in this harbor. I found no small excitement existing, produced by the capture of the Pancheta. The presence of a ship of our force was perhaps seasonable; and possibly may have been the means of preventing unpleasant consequences to the Americans here. Before I could enter upon the business specially delegated, I was informed of the imprisonment of several citizens of the United States, taken from the brig General Jackson, captured and sent into Ponce. As no American ought to be restrained of his liberty, in any quarter of the world, one hour, without just cause, I addressed his excellency Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez, demanding their release. My letter, marked A. is herewith transmitted. The men being liberated, I felt myself at liberty to enter upon the execution of my instructions, and immediately addressed him upon the subject of the capture of American vessels by privateers out of the Island of Porto Rico. A copy of my letter, marked B, is herewith enclosed. On the 27th ult. I addressed to his excellency letter C, annexing memorandum No. 1, being a list of vessels sent into the different ports of the island, for adjudication. On the 28th I received from his excellency a reply to my representations, which is herewith transmitted, with other subsequent communications from him. I then addressed to him letter D, with copies of the accompanying documents, 2, 3 and 4.

Some of the circumstances of the capture of the Pancheta being known, for the purpose of preventing the ill effects of distorted and prejudiced representations, and to allay the sensations of which his excellency speaks, I addressed to him, on that subject, letter marked E; receiving several reiterative communications, of which I obtained but very imperfect translations. I replied with letter marked F, and came to the consummation of the duty confided to me in letter G, and I trust, in the declarations there made, I have neither gone beyond the letter or spirit of my instructions; having been influenced throughout the whole correspondence, by a strong desire to discharge a delicate trust with becoming graciousness; and, while making known the sentiments of the American people, and the determination of my government, to conciliate, by a friendly style and manner, the good feelings of those in authority, all of whom are men of high standing, and justly estimable. I hope my remarks on the laws of blockade will be considered by yourself and the President pertinent and proper. I believe I conceived your views on that subject. It cannot, however, be expected that an officer who embarked at the age of eleven on an element where the accomplishments of a scholar are not required, should shine in a correspondence of a diplomatic cast; especially when depending wholly on his own feeble capacity. What I have written on this occasion, has been with a heart glowing with American feelings, with an enthusiastic admiration of our laws, institutions, and great men; if, therefore, a little egotism should occasionally appear, I plead this in extenuation.

The hospitality of the port has been freely and fully extended to my ship, and the personal attentions of those in authority have been gratifying to me and my officers. To a system of privateering they are opposed; and the governor will do all in his power to discourage its continuance. Indemnification for the past, I fear, we shall have to look for to the treasury of Spain.

I shall be active in attending to everything in which the interest of our commerce is concerned; and shall endeaver to sustain the American character by a manner gentle, yet firm—taking on myself no responsibility, keeping constantly in eye the reciprocal rights of nations, and your instructions. I have the honor to remain, sir, your obedient servant,

ROBERT TRAIL SPENCE.

P. S.—I shall leave these seas the last of October for Africa. The Hon. Smith Thompson, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

A.

United States Ship Cyane, St. John's, Porto Rico, August 26, 1822.

Sir: Instructed to proceed to Porto Rico, to communicate with your excellency, in relation to the infringement of American rights, by vessels fitted out at different ports of this island, I had scarcely anchored with this ship, ere I learned that several citizens of the United States (after experiencing the most brutal treatment from a gang of desperadoes, belonging to an armed schooner, now in, and said to be of this place,) have been imprisoned, and are at present in confinement.

These American citizens, I understand, were taken from the brig Andrew Jackson, while peaceably pursuing their vocation on the high seas, under the flag of the United States.

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So gross a violation of the usages of all civilized nations is calculated to excite universal abhorrence; and the just indignation I am persuaded your excellency must feel on being informed of such an atrocious act, renders it only necessary that it should come to the knowledge of your excellency, to cause the immediate release of said citizens, and the prompt and salutary punishment of those violators of the laws of nations and humanity.

With most perfect consideration, &c., ROBERT T. SPENCE.

His excellency Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez, Governor of Porto Rico.

B.

United States Ship Cyane, Porto Rico, August 27, 1822.

Sir: I am directed to call the attention of your excellency to the capture and detention, by privateers fitted out from this island, of several American merchant vessels, while pursuing a lawful commerce during a time when the United States enjoy profound peace with all nations.

Your excellency will readily perceive, that under such circumstances, the violation of American rights here complained of, calls for a speedy interposition of justice and authority. Justice, that a restitution of these captures may be made; and authority, to prevent a repetition of similar outrages.

I will, as soon as possible, transmit to your excellency the names of the vessels to which this complaint refers, with a statement of the circumstances attending their capture; confidently believing that your excellency will adopt, as early as possible, such measures as shall, in your wisdom, be deemed sufficient to arrest these depredations, which, in some cases, can be viewed in no other light than piratical.

The flag of the United States, floating in every ocean, gurantees protection to all who lawfully sail under it; the invasion of rights identified with this flag, it would neither be honorable, wise, nor expedient to permit; and that trade to which, as a neutral, the United States have claim uninterruptedly to pursue, cannot be molested.

The American commerce, second to none for magnitude, enterprise, and fair dealing, must, to insure a continuance of these constituent features, be preserved inviolate; and the protection necessary to effect this object, the government of the United States is determined to afford, whether in the seas of the Mediterranean, Pacific, or Caribbean, where outrages, tending to degrade the flag under which they are committed, are daily occurring; these, as far as they shall come under the cognizance of your excellency, I am persuaded will be restrained and prevented.

The amicable and friendly footing, on which Spain and the United States are at this time, convinces me, that nothing more than a proper representation of these facts is required, to call the subject-matter to the immediate attention of your excellency.

Fully believing this, I have the honor to remain, &c., ROBERT T. SPENCE.

His excellency Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez, Governor of Porto Rico.

C.

United States Ship Cyane, St. John's, Porto Rico, August 28, 1822.

Sir: Having informed your excellency that I have been instructed to proceed to this place, to communicate with your excellency on the subject of captures made by privateers, fitted out of this island, of American vessels, while pursuing, in time of peace, a lawful trade, I now have the honor to transmit a memorandum, embracing the names of these vessels, and the circumstances attending their seizure.

It appears that some of these vessels have been sent in, and after a grievous detention, declared to be a "bad prize;" subject, however, to pay all the costs of suit, and one-third of the expenses of the privateer.

To one as profound in all matters of law and equity as your excellency, this must appear a strange proceeding; a proceeding, calling, with much emphasis, for the interposition of your excellency's authority, to remedy evils bearing a character calculated to diminish the high respect heretofore entertained by the world, for the equitable decisions of Spanish courts.

A pretended violation of blockade, it appears, is the pretext for sending into the ports of this island, vessels navigating the sea under the American flag. The whole, therefore, may be resolved into two descriptions of cases: The first, comprising vessels seized and again released as "bad prizes," paying the whole of the costs of trial, and a portion of the expenses of the privateer.

The principles of equity applicable to such cases are too simple to require exposition. The innocent are not to pay the penalty of another's guilt or imprudence. If an American is interrupted in her voyage, captured and vexatiously detained, until a judicial investigation determines her to be a "bad prize," it seems to me self-evident, that all costs of the suit should be paid by the captors, in whom the wrong is; add to this, that proper damages should be levied on the aggressor, that the sufferer may be fairly indemnified, and the "privateersmen" be restrained in future by a fear of being, in all similar cases, called upon to make good the injury resulting from his wantonness. Without such a check, what is there to limit the mischief done by men of this order, who, stealing from their dens and lurking places, pollute the ocean with the blood of defenceless sailors, and gorge their cupidity with the spoils of plunder and ravage?

The good of every nation, and the honor of some, require that so foul a system should be made to cease, that every navigable sea may be rendered safe to the honest efforts of enterprise.

The second description of cases to which I wish to call the immediate attention of your excellency, are those vessels sent in under a pretext of attempting to enter a blockaded port. The pacific policy uniformily pursued by the government of the United States, the just and liberal principles by which it has been governed through all its various struggles, to treat all nations as friends, and, especially, to be on the most friendly footing with Spain, entitle the citizens of America to the privilege of navigating the

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seas, without molestation on pretexts so flimsy as those of violating a "blockade" which has never existed de facto.

It is well understood that a blockade, to cany with it the penalty of forfeiture, must be conformable to the established opinions of those distinguished civilians who have fully and ably expounded this subject.

In the first place it must be practicable; it must be defined within limits commensurate with the ability; a stationary force must intervene; the vessel entering must be warned off; these, and other qualifications are essential to constitute a blockade, as now understood by the President of the United States and other great statesmen. If, then, such is the form and nature of a blockade; if the constant presence of a stationary squadron, adequate to the purpose of intercepting all vessels, is indispensable; how is it that a whole coast, without any definite limit, should be under the ban of interdiction, without any visible force, consequently without the first requisite of a blockade?

While such pretexts for spoliation exist, and the commerce of the United States is thus devastated, the relations of love and friendship now existing between the two nations must be shaken, and a state of things produced such as I am persuaded your excellency will feel desirous to avert.

I trust I shall be excused these remarks, made to one by whom the principles of "blockade" are fully understood, and whose experience is such as to render the application of them in all cases just and proper.

It will readily occur to the wisdom and justice of your excellency that injuries sustained by American citizens from illegal seizure and detention, carry with them a fair claim to indemnity; and that where there has been a manifest partiality in the courts deciding on some of the cases presented for your consideration, that the arm of authority should be extended to remedy, and to require more equitable decisions. In these cases it is hoped and expected that your excellency will direct a revisal of the proceedings of subordinate tribunals, that such of the citizens of the United States as have suffered by them may be immediately made whole in their property, and receive damages for unjustifiable detention.

Your excellency, influenced by high and honorable motives, will doubtless see the propriety of ordering all American vessels now detained to be forthwith released, and the punishment of marauders who have tarnished the dignity of the Spanish character by acts of inhuman treatment to citizens of the United States; by the most flagrant outrages; by a prostration of all the usages of civilized society; thereby bringing the commercial world into a state truly to be deplored, tending to arm man against his brother man, and to make safety nowhere but in strength and habitual hostility.

Submitting this application to the early attention of your excellency, and calling upon your excellency immediately to interpose your authority to prevent a continuance of these causes of just complaint, and confidently believing that your love of justice, order and humanity will impel you promptly to meet the wishes of my government on this subject.

1 remain, with the most perfect consideration, your excellency's obedient servant,

ROBERT T. SPENCE.

His excellency Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez, Governor of Porto Pico.

List of American vessels captured by Spanish privateers, and sent into the different ports of Porto Rico.

Barque American, Emery, master, of Kennebunk. This vessel was sent into Cape Roxo, by the Spanish felucca La Carmen, tried, and declared a bad prize, but sentenced to pay all costs of the trial, and one-third of the charges of the privateer for her detention; and was compelled, in consequence, to sell her cargo at a great sacrifice.

Brig Sam, of Portland, Crowell, master. This vessel was sent into Cape Roxo by the same privateer, and it is understood that she is still detained.

Brig Bliss, of Baltimore, Dungan, master. This vessel was sent into Cape Roxo by the same privateer, and after a vexatious detention was suffered to proceed, paying all the costs of trial, and one-third of the expenses of the privateer.

Brig Elizabeth, of Georgetown, West, master. This vessel was sent into Aguadilla by the privateer General Pereira, for trading to a blockaded port.

Brig General Jackson, of New York, Langdon, master, captured and sent into Ponce, by the schooner General Pereira, at which place she is now detained; and part of her crew, after very inhuman treatment, imprisoned at this place.

D.

United States Ship Cyane, St. John's, Porto Rico, August 29, 1822.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's letter of the 27th instant, (a translation I have but this moment been able to obtain,) in which you refer me to a communication made to Mr. Lord, the commercial agent, in reply to an application made the day previous to my arrival, for the release of the crew of the brig Andrew Jackson. The sentiments and expressions of your excellency in relation to this outrage are duly appreciated. I felt persuaded that the harsh and illegal imprisonment of unoffending American citizens could not have come to the knowledge of your excellency; and there are other outrages of similar character not yet known, I am convinced, to the high authorities of Porto Rico.

I beg leave to enclose you a copy of a letter from the government interpreter at Ponce, into which place the brig Andrew Jackson was taken. This is a representation from a Spanish functionary, and your excellency, I doubt not, will agree with me, that if the facts there stated are true, there is no other appellation by which I could designate the perpetrators of such inhuman severity, save that of "desperadoes;" men restrained by none of the gentle obligations of humanity.

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It is a fact, notoriously known, that the crew of the "Andrew Jackson," illegally and harshly confined at the time of my writing to you, had been previously robbed of everything save the clothes they had on at the time of entering the prison; their jack knives were even cut from their laniards! If to men who can thus act, who can divest a defenceless "American tar" of everything, even to his wearing apparel, I could apply any other distinguishing name than that of "robber," I confess to your excellency I should have selected a milder epithet.

A glance at the history of the past, displays, in the Spanish character, the principles and high sentiments of which you speak; the island before us bears full testimony of their enterprise and greatness. It was to those sentiments and principles I appealed, when I requested your early attention to proceedings calculated to sully that dignity of which every "Spaniard" is justly proud.

The capture of the Pancheta by a vessel of war of the United States was entirely unknown to me on my arrival at St. John's; but, I can confidently assure your excellency, that you have been misinformed as to some of the circumstances attending it. I have understood that the privateer Pancheta has been of considerable annoyance to our commerce in these seas, and that, falling in with the United States schooner Grampus, fired into her. The consequences that would result from such an act, may be conceived by your excellency.

The instructions given to officers of the American navy are such as to render it impossible that they can be the aggressors—and the feelings that have characterized them, will always ensure, in these unhappy rencounters, humanity and tenderness.

Vessels have formerly been sent into ports of the United States on apparent good grounds, such as attempts on our commerce; but, in all instances in which cause for condemnation did not appear, heavy damages were awarded, and the sufferers made more than whole in their property. Retribution is there always at hand.

In the case of the Pancheta, I beg leave to assure your excellency, there must have been great cause for the course pursued. As to the indignity offered to the flag, your excellency, I trust, is misinformed; for no officer in the navy dare stand before the tribunal of the American people, justly charged with having violated the best constituents of the American character—magnanimity and knightly generosity.

This unfortunate occurrence has grown out of the necessity of sending an armed force to these seas, for the purpose of convoying our vessels, and of guarding them against the violence that has been committed upon them by privateers infesting the ocean for the purposes of plunder. If, in the execution of this duty, rendered necessary by the state of things, calamities unavoidably occur, they must, doubtless, be deplored by the lovers of peace and concord, but cannot be chargeable to us as voluntary acts.

It is an indisputable fact, although not known to your excellency, that the captain's and mate's trunks of the American brig Sam, captured and taken into Cape Roxo, were broken open, while himself and crew were on board the privateer, and four hundred and twenty Spanish dollars taken from them; also one trunk of Madras handkerchiefs and other merchandise. These are transactions unknown to your excellency, having taken place prior to your excellency's arrival—they are the acts of privateersmen, from which it would be absurd to infer the character of a wise and liberal nation, like that of Spain.

Seeing the evils that result from the course pursued by privateers out of this island, I call upon your excellency, in the name of humanity, and of that benign policy which has marked the course of our political career, to place such checks and restraints upon their proceedings as will, in future, secure the American commerce from interruption, and those vexatious seizures of which the citizens of the United States justly complain.

These complaints, resting on the foundation of wrongs of an aggravated nature, which cannot be justified by any previous aggressions of American citizens, convince me that they will not be sanctioned by one of your excellency's liberal and comprehensive views.

Confident of this, I feel much satisfaction in complying with that part of my instructions which requires me to learn from your excellency how far privateers fitted out of this island are authorized to capture and bring in for adjudication, the vessels of the United States pursuing a lawful commerce. Information on this head will serve to explain fully the footing on which our maritime relations rest in this quarter.

Be pleased to accept my best wishes for the health and happiness of your excellency, and believe me, with the most perfect consideration,

Your excellency's obedient servant,

ROBERT T. SPENCE, Captain U. S. Navy.

P. S.—I also enclose a copy of a letter, from the master of the brig General Andrew Jackson, relative to his treatment from the crew of the Spanish privateer General Pereira.

His excellency Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez, Governor of Porto Rico, &c., &c., &c.

U. S. Ship Cyane, St. John's, P. R., August 30, 1822.

Sir: Since the receipt of your letter, alluding to the capture of the Pancheta, some of the circumstances attending it have come to my knowledge.

It appears that this privateer has been for a considerable time engaged in intercepting our vessels, frequently boarding them, and exercising an intolerable inquisition, vexatious of themselves, sufficient to call for a remedy, but would not have occasioned any offensive measures on the part of American cruisers. The instructions given to our commanders confine their discretionary powers within limits too circumscribed to admit of their being led to an act of indiscretion. They are imperatively commanded to do nothing that can tend to interrupt the harmony existing between the United States and other powers, whose maritime rights have ever been respected, and never designedly infringed.

The immediate cause of the Pancheta's capture was her having been guilty of several recent acts of plunder, and her having, but a short while previously to her "mishap," taken a number of articles from an American trader, to which the captain and crew made oath. If these facts are as represented, and I

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am induced to think they will be incontrovertibly established, they certainly must be denominated acts of piracy committed upon the citizens of the United States, who have been made to suffer, in their property and feelings, by these and similar outrages. Add to these causes, on being hailed, she fired into the United States schooner Grampus. What armed vessel could expect to fire at an American ship of war with impunity?

These circumstances, when the affair shall be judicially investigated, I am inclined to think will be found substantially correct; if otherwise, there is an equity in the government and laws of the United States that never was appealed to in vain. There is a sentiment of honor and generosity in the American people that will sustain the injured, be he friend or foe—that will redress wrongs with "even-handed justice."

I have deemed it proper to make this statement, with a view to allay the sensations of which your excellency speaks, as having been excited by this transaction; sensations I have had occasion myself to experience, with the additional aggravation of knowing that the authors of them, lurking in obscurity, were sheltered from personal amenability; while, in the present case, your excellency must feel an assurance that the standing of the active officer in command of the Grampus, as well as the magnitude of the affair, are such as to pass them in review of the whole American people—a never-erring ordeal; that laws, and not individuals, will decide as to the criminality of the cruise of the Pancheta, and will determine how far that officer was justifiable in arresting her depredatory excursions.

American cruisers have been sent to these seas to protect our trade; there existed a crying cause— the means of mischief were accumulating—impunity had produced audacity; and the ocean washing the shores of these islands, which the interest of the world requires should be unprofaned by the path of the plunderer, had become the theatre of outrage and rapine. American citizens had suffered in their property and sacred persons. To remedy these evils, our officers will be active, vigilant, and unweary; producing, by their conduct, a conviction that when acts are perpetrated, such as the Pancheta is charged with having committed, there is no escape. There must be safety in peace, or its best objects are defeated; there must be security on the great "thoroughfare" of all nations, otherwise its best purposes are perverted.

Persuaded that your excellency will not consider this as unreasonable, and that you will see the consequences I have pointed out as the inevitable result of causes herein set forth,

I remain, with the most perfect consideration, your excellency's obedient servant,

ROBERT T. SPENCE, Captain in the Navy.

His excellency Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez,

Governor of Porto Rico, &c., &c.

F.

U. S. Ship Cyane, St. John's, Porto Rico, September 1, 1822.

Sir: Your letters of the 28th and 31st ultimo, in answer to several communications from me, have been duly received—translations of which, I have but this moment been able to obtain.

In relation to the capture of the Pancheta, I beg permission to repeat, that it must be considered as a disaster growing out of the unjustifiable conduct of her crew, and as one of the retributive results of an abuse of her cruising license.

We require that our lawful commerce shall be unmolested; that our vessels shall not, from frivolous causes, and on pretexts of which every privateersman constitutes himself a judge, be intercepted, and subjected to inquisitorial scrutiny, and American citizens made to incur intolerable inconvenience and expense. Evils like these have a remedy, which the most forbearing would not expect should remain dormant.

I am convinced your excellency has been incorrectly informed as to the treatment of the crew of the Pancheta, which you represent as cruel and unmercifully harsh. The officer commanding the schooner Grampus is well known for his humane feeling, and I am persuaded that all practicable and proper mildness was exercised on the occasion.

It is not to a discussion of the laws and principles of "blockade," that I am desirous of calling your excellency's attention—they are settled and established by the concurrent opinion of the wisest statesmen, and are no longer doubtful. "Blockade" is not a mystical arcanum; it involves certain practical rules, amply explained, and, I am persuaded, well and fully understood by your excellency.

It was to invite a just application to these principles, according to the acknowledged usages of the age, that I was led to present the subject to your excellency's attention, thereby to prevent the seizure of our vessels, and to do away a pretext, often alleged, for sending them in for adjudication.

It was presumed that your excellency's powers extended to the correction of evils, existing within the range of your authority; that you had the means of checking the licentiousness of privateering; and that, seeing the pernicious effects of it, you would feel every disposition to shield the commerce of the United States, by the interposition of seasonable restraints.

While I feel confident that your excellency will adopt, with promptitude, measures calculated to ascertain the extent of the grievances set forth in my communication of the 28th ultimo, I must beg leave again to repeat the expression of my hope and expectation, that you will cause all American vessels, now illegally detained in the ports of this island, forthwith to be released, and equitable damages awarded such of the citizens of the United States as have suffered, either in property or person.

The well known character of your excellency, for wisdom and justice, inclines me to believe that these expectations will appear reasonable and right, and that they will be fully and satisfactorily realized by Your excellency's obedient servant,

ROBERT T. SPENCE, Captain in the Navy.

His excellency Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez,

Governor of Porto Rico, &c., &c.

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U. S. Ship Cyane, St. John's, Porto Rico, September 3, 1822.

Sir: I have had the honor to receive several communications from your excellency, in reply to letters addressed to you on subjects of very considerable moment.

Your professions of respect for the laws of nations, and your determination of making them, and the laws of the "constitutional monarchy of Spain," your guides, and the intention you express of inquiring into the matters set forth in my official representations, &c., &c., are all properly appreciated, and will, doubtless, prove highly efficacious. The laws of Spain, no doubt, are all which the accumulated experience of ages, and the united wisdom of sage men can make them; and, if administered by one of your excellency's impartiality, would, I am persuaded, afford no good cause of complaint.

I had the honor, a few days since, to present, for the consideration of your excellency, some of the proceedings and decisions of the constituted tribunals of the island; whether such are just or legal, your excellency can decide—to me they seem novel and extraordinary; and, with a knowledge of some of the minor circumstances attending those vexatious trials, I cannot refrain from saying they appear strange.

I am sure your excellency will deem it due to the dignity of the "constitutional monarchy" you represent, to cause American citizens to be indemnified for the loss sustained by such adjudications as your excellency has been invited to investigate. It is but right and just to expect this of the laws of Spain; and while I indulge a belief that such will be the course pursued, I am led to call your attention to the policy of doing away all future occasion of dissatisfaction, by rendering the owners, or captains, of the privateers out of Porto Rico, more accountable.

In my letter of the 29th ultimo, I requested that your excellency would do me the honor to state how far these privateers are authorized by the authorities of the island to capture, and bring in for adjudication, vessels of the United States engaged in the pursuit of a lawful commerce. This information your excellency has not thought proper to afford.

From the facility with which these small privateers are fitted out, and from the description of persons on board some of them, it has occurred to me that they are not made to enter into penal bond to restrain, and produce responsibility, for the excesses they may commit, but are left to cruise "ad libitum." Under such circumstances, transgressions are inevitable.

It is against the aggressions of such vessels, I remonstrate—protesting against the improper privilege they have exercised, of intercepting and detaining, on the high seas, vessels of the United States engaged in a lawful trade. And it becomes necessary for me to inform your excellency, and wish it should be known to all whom it may concern, that, with a view to prevent, as far as practicable, a state of things fraught with mischief and abuse; to guard against a maritime anarchy, to which the commerce of the United States cannot be subjected; to secure to its citizens safety, and to its flag the benefits of peace and neutrality; and to preserve the harmony my government is desirous should exist between the two nations; I shall, as far as possible, give convoy to American vessels navigating these seas, and shall forbid, and prevent, any interruption or detention by any privateer or armed vessel, and shall feel it incumbent on me to treat as an enemy, and send to the United States, any privateer, or armed vessel, that shall cause hindrance to the lawful voyage of an American vessel, or shall be found violating the flag of the United States, and the laws of nations.

Satisfied that your excellency will look upon this course of conduct as moderate, and unavoidable, I remain

Your excellency's very obedient servant,

ROBERT T. SPENCE, Captain in the Navy. His excellency Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez, Governor of Porto Rico.

No. 1.

[Translation.]

Don Ft. Gonzs. de Linarez to Captain Spence.

Sir: On the receipt of your official letter, informing me, generally, of the depredations and excesses committed by the Spanish privateers of this island, upon the vessels of the United States, as I was informed, and in particular, upon the brigantine General Andrew Jackson, by the Pereira, I resolved to take the first care with respect to the last, by the information of an individual of that nation, Mr. Judah Lord.

My answers to this gentleman showed him my surprise, and the just indignation which so unlawful a transgression of the law of nations had excited in this government; the precautions which it took to prove its truth; and the justice which animated it to punish the crime with all the rigor of the Spanish laws; laws capable of themselves of what he, on his part, can desire.

The same, therefore, that I said to Mr. Lord I repeat to you; animated with the same principles and sentiments which govern the conduct of the supreme government of the Spanish nation, and which form its character, acknowledged by all the nations of the earth.

But I am certain that you have not been well informed regarding the destruction and spoliations generally committed upon all American vessels. I have the most repeated proofs of the regular conduct of the Spanish privateers towards these vessels, which they have examined and respected in very considerable numbers, showing to the world that they are not desperadoes, because they know not what it means, nor thieves because they are Spaniards.

Would to God that some vessels of the military marine of the United States had observed towards Spanish vessels, and towards the national military flag, a conduct so regular! I am certain that there would not have been the disagreeable sensations which now exist from it.

When I speak to you, sir, in this manner, I do it with respect to the scandalous attack made by the United States schooner-of-war the Grampus, upon the Spanish privateer the Palmyra, which she attacked in the midst of peace, killed and wounded several of her crew, treated with indignity the Spanish flag, confined in chains the greater part of her crew, and that at the very moment when an officer was about going on board of her to present her papers, and to comply with the law of nations.

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You will perhaps be informed of this attack, seldom seen in the history of civilized nations; and no doubt if you have been so with truth, as I am, you will have had the same horror and disgust; because it is impossible otherwise to consider the most sacred conventions trampled upon, and the majesty of a nation insulted; of a nation which has always preserved her rights, and which, oftener than once, has given public proofs of her constancy, and of her never having been offended with impunity.

For my part, with respect to this event, I do nothing else but point it out to you as a particular piece of news, because its decision belongs to the supreme government of both nations. As a functionary of mine, I will not depart from the path which it has pointed out to me; justice shall always be my guide. I shall respect the laws of nations; and I shall punish, with the laws in my hand, such Spanish subjects as shall transgress their duties,

God preserve you many years. FR. GONZ. DE LINAREZ.

Porto Rico, August 27, 1822.

No. 2.

[Translation.]

Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez to Captain Spence.

Porto Rico, August 28, 1822.

Sir: I have just seen your official letter of yesterday, relative to the depredations which are said to have been committed by Spanish privateers against the vessels of the United. States.

As this communication is substantially the same as the former, it appears only necessary to repeat my yesterday's answer; but, wishing to give you new proofs of the justice and good, faith of the Spanish government, I will enter into new explanations.

I am persuaded that the armed privateers of this island have not committed, upon the vessels of the United States, the scandalous crimes with which your personal concern has been raised, or a mistake has entered into your mind. They have been examined by many, and have, without the least injury, continued their voyages; and doubtless, in a short time, you will be convinced of a truth so notorious.

I only speak of the privateers armed in this island, and am very far from making an apology for those that have been armed in other provinces, because I am ignorant of their conduct; and although it may have been criminal in this manner, it belongs not to my authority to punish them.

But if it is very strange that, even when there were some trifling excesses, energetical remonstrances were made for them; and the attack of the American schooner Grampus has been passed over in silence, or considered as a circumstance of no moment, in which the particular circumstance occurred of her belonging to the navy of the United States; what comparison can ever exist between the detention of a vessel, and even committing some pitiful and contemptible depredation (if such has been done), and the attack of the other, to destroy her in a perfidious manner, to cause the death, and imprisonment of the crews in chains; and what is more, insulting and trampling upon the Spanish military flag? Who ever so openly violated the maritime law of nations? And who, after such a violation, will attempt to declaim against injuries either imaginary or immensely less?

In fine, the peace between two nations, as Spain and that to which you belong, sir, is a blessing for the preservation of which I am ready to become a sacrifice; therefore I do not hesitate to assure you that the laws will be enforced in as far as they have been transgressed; and therefore I consider myself entitled to require the same frankness and consideration from you, notwithstanding my having explained myself so rudely; because our respective governments will do what they think proper, and will do what is most just for the well being of their people.

God preserve you many years.

FR. GONZALEZ DE LINAREZ.

No. 3.

[Translation.]

Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez to Captain Spence.

Porto Rico, August 31, 1822.

Sir: I have the honor to answer the note which you were pleased to address to me, under date of 28th instant, relative to the indemnification which ought to be made to the American vessels detained by privateers of this island, and condemned to pay costs, after being declared innocent by the courts of justice; and, also, relative to the nullity and illegality of the blockade declared against the ports of Terra Firma, for the reasons which you are pleased to give as your opinion.

The principles established by the maritime law of civilized nations are not unknown to me, nor the causes which have influenced the declaration of blockade against the ports occupied by the insurgents; nor even the maritime military force by which this declaration can be, and has been supported; yet, as on one hand my authority, being circumscribed to a province at a distance from those places, has no influence, nor can have, in any official acts; and, on the other, subjects of this nature belong, by their character, to the examination and decision of the supreme governments of the nations, it is my duty to avoid all interference in them, and to confine myself to the circle of my functions.

I have before me the note which you were pleased to enclose to me in your said official letter, containing the vessels detained, with the circumstances in which "they have been, and the consequences which have ensued. I owe it to the justice, to the unalterableness of my principles, and to the rectitude of the government which I represent, to declare to you that I shall take all the provisions within my

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power to elicit the truth of what has occurred with respect to the detained vessels, repeating that you may rest assured that the laws of the kingdom shall judge and decide upon them, without the possibility of any alteration in their legitimate application. Neither partiality nor personal interest, nor the passions, shall have any voice or take any part in the decisions; the law shall dictate, and all (I the first) shall submit to it.

God preserve you many years.

FRANCIS GONZALEZ DE LINAREZ.

No. 4.

[Translation.]

Don Francisco Gonzales de Linarez to Captain Spence.

Sir: I have just received the translation of your official note of the 29th ult., and which is an answer to mine of the 27th, containing, also, the former acknowledgment of the letter of the interpreter de Ponce, which was communicated to me by Mr. Lord, a citizen of the United States; and now recently of the declaration of Mr. Arthur Edgerton, mate of the brig Andrew Jackson, in which I have had the pleasure of reading that he and his companions, detained on board the privateer, had been well treated.

You will be pleased, sir, to let me know the things which have been plundered from the detained vessel, and claim the damages which have ensued on her detention. I have taken all the measures which were in my power, for eliciting the truth of the facts, in the manner provided by the laws of Spain; and when, according to them, the delinquents are tried and convicted, they shall be punished; then the tribunals established by the constitutional law of the monarchy will take cognizance, to which the power of judging and applying the laws, is exclusively granted—principles from which it is impossible for me to deviate, as it is with respect to those which rule in the United States, for any functionary to deviate from them.

You may rest assured, that, if the authorities appointed there to try crimes of this class, are inexorable in their conduct, admitting nothing but law and justice, those which are in the territory of the constitutional monarchy of Spain, summoned for that purpose, will never yield in their principles of justice, and in the fulfillment of their duties. To them it belongs to try by the laws, and to apply them, and to the political government of the people to enforce the execution of the legal decisions of the judicial power, and to watch over the observance of the laws, by taking care that no one break them.

God preserve you many years.

FRANCISCO GONZALEZ DE LINAREZ.

Porto Rico, September 1, 1822.

No. 5.

[Translation.]

Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez to Captain Spence.

Sir: Your official note of the 30th ult. has informed me of the intelligence which has reached you of the motives which the schooner Grampus had for the hard and unexpected treatment of the Spanish privateer, the Palmyra.

My former communications have shown you what my principles are, and what my conduct has been in this matter, as a faithful observer of the fundamental laws of the Spanish monarchy. The truth of what has happened in that capture, will be the result of a legal investigation, in which sinister informations, which partiality or personal interest often dictate, have no part. When that shall have been elucidated in the way which the laws require, our supreme government will decide with justice what is proper.

God preserve you many years.

FRANCISCO GONZALEZ DE LINAREZ.

Porto Rico, September 2, 1822.

[Translation.]

Don Francisco Gonzalez de Linarez to Captain Spence.

Sir: I have the honor to answer your official note of the 1st inst. Its object is—1st. The good conduct of the schooner Grampus in the capture of the Pancheta; 2d. The necessity under which the government is of putting a stop to the operations and irregular conduct of the privateers towards American vessels; 3d. To procure the immediate liberation of those that may have been detained in the ports; 4th. Prompt indemnification for the losses they have sustained.

On making the enumeration of these matters, I must call your attention to my former answers, because they have already been treated of in them implicitly and explicitly. Notwithstanding, I will repeat to you that the decision upon the justice or injustice, the validity or invalidity, the legality or illegality, of the blockade on the coast of Terra Firma, is beyond my authority; that the privateers are informed by the ordinances of their cruise of their respective obligations, for the transgression of which they will be responsible, and punished by the laws, in the same manner as in similar cases the privateers of the United States would be by the justice of the government, if they should transgress the limits which should be prescribed to them, but without this transgression they should not be responsible; lastly, that, by the political constitution of the Spanish monarchy, the functions of the judicial power are clearly

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designated, the government being totally prohibited from being joined with them; and one of the great props of civil liberty consisting in this clear separation. To preserve interior tranquillity and security; to procure public prosperity; to maintain established order; to watch over the observance of the laws; to publish them; to cause the execution of the decisions of the courts of justice to be in all its parts an agent of the government—here, sir, you may see the circle of my functions. God preserve you many years.

FRANCISCO GONZALEZ DE LINAREZ.

Porto Rico, September 9, 1822.

Extract of a letter from Captain Robert T. Spence, commander of the United States ship Cyane, to the Secretary of the Navy, dated —

St. Johns, Porto Rico, September 5, 1822.

Since my letter of the 3d instant, transmitting my correspondence, I have had a conversation with the governor, who begs me to be assured, that all he can do, shall be done to meet my wishes, in relation to the privateers fitted out of the island; that those already out were equipped before he assumed the government; that he is opposed to it, both in his private and public capacity; that future restraints shall be placed upon them; and that he will remedy all abuses, as far as he has the power. That the brig Andrew Jackson he had ordered to be set at liberty; that he should inquire into the cause of her detention; and, unless good and sufficient reasons can be given, he will take steps to cause the judge to be removed. In fine, that he will do his utmost to keep the laws of nations inviolate. That, upon the subject of blockade he can do nothing; it was a question that must be settled between the two governments; the blockade had been declared by General Morillo, it was recognized, and the consequences of violating it were inevitable; over this question he had no control.

List of the names and force of the privateers fitted out from the various ports of the Island of Porto Rico.

Palomo—A full rigged brig, pierced for twenty guns, carries six guns (18-lb. carronades) has a complement of one hundred and thirty men. Fitted out from this port, and now on a cruise.

Pancheta—An hermaphrodite brig, pierced for sixteen guns, carries ten to twelve guns, has a complement of one hundred and twenty men—captured by the Grampus.

Schooner General Pereira—Pierced for sixteen guns; carries six to eight guns, and has a complement of eighty men; is fitted out from this place, and now in this port.

Schooner Bruquena—Carries four guns and fifty to sixty men, fitted out from this port, and now on a cruise.

Schooner Hora de la Max—Fitted out from Foxardo, and now on a cruise; carries one gun and forty men.

Flechera la Carmen—Fitted out from Porto Cabello; carries four guns, and a complement of fifty men.

Besides the above, there are (I am informed) three or four other small privateers, from the different ports of this island, of the names and force of which I have no knowledge.

Official communication from the Department to Commodore Porter.

A.

Navy Department, February 1, 1823.

Sir: You have been appointed to the command of a squadron, fitted out under an act of Congress of the 20th of December last, to cruise in the West India seas and Gulf of Mexico, for the purpose of suppressing piracy, and affording effectual protection to the citizens and commerce of the United States. Your attention will also be extended to the suppression of the slave trade, according to the provisions of the several acts of Congress on that subject, copies of which, and of the instructions heretofore given to our naval commanders thereon, are herewith sent to you. While it is your duty to protect our commerce against all unlawful interruption, and to guard the rights, both of person and property, of the citizens of the United States, wherever it shall become necessary, you will observe the utmost caution not to encroach upon the rights of others; and should you, at any time, be brought into discussion or collision with any foreign power, in relation to such rights, it will be expedient and proper that the same should be conducted with as much moderation and forbearance as is consistent with the honor of your country and the just claims of its citizens. Should you, in your cruise fall in with any foreign naval force, engaged in the suppression of piracy, it is desirable that harmony and a good understanding should be cultivated between you; and you will do everything on your part, that accords with the honor of the American flag, to promote this object. So soon as the vessels at Norfolk shall be ready for sea, you will proceed to the West Indies, by such route as you shall judge best for the purpose of effecting the object of your cruise. You will establish, at Thompson's Island, usually called Key West, a depot, and land the ordnance and marines to protect the stores and provisions; if, however, you shall find any important objection to this place, and a more suitable and convenient one can be found, you are at liberty to select it as a depot.

You will announce your arrival and object to the authorities, civil and military, of the Island of Cuba, and endeavor to obtain, as far as shall be practicable, their co-operation, or at least their favorable and friendly support, giving them the most unequivocal assurance, that your sole object is the destruction of pirates. The system of piracy which has grown up in the West Indies, has obviously arisen from the war between Spain and the new governments, her late provinces, in this hemisphere, and from

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the limited forces in the islands, and their sparse population, many portions of each being entirely uninhabited and desolate, to which the active authority of the government does not extend. It is understood that establishments have been made by parties of those banditti, in those uninhabited parts, to which they carry their plunder, and retreat in time of danger. It cannot be presumed that the government of any island will afford any protection or countenance to such robbers. It may, on the contrary, confidently be believed, that all governments, and particularly those most exposed, will afford all means in their power for their suppression.

Pirates are considered, by the law of nations, the enemies of the human race. It is the duty of all nations to put them down; and none, who respect their own character or interest, will refuse to do it, much less afford them an asylum and protection. The nation that makes the greatest exertions to suppress such banditti, has the greatest merit. In making such exertions, it has a right to the aid of every other power, to the extent of its means, and to the enjoyment, under its sanction, of all its rights in the pursuit of the object.

In the case of belligerents, where the army of one party enters the territory of a neutral power, the army of the other has a right to follow it there. In the case of pirates, the right of the armed force of one power to follow them into the territory of another, is more complete. In regard to pirates, there is no neutral party; they being the enemies of the human race, all nations are parties against them, and may be considered as allies. The object and intention of our government is, to respect the feelings as well as the right of others, both in substance and in form, in all the measures which may be adopted to accomplish the end in view. Should, therefore, the crews of any vessels which you have seen engaged in acts of piracy, or which you have just cause to suspect of being of that character, retreat into the ports, harbors, or settled parts of the island, you may enter, in pursuit of them, such ports, harbors, and settled parts of the country, for the purpose of aiding the local authorities, or people, as the case may be, to seize and bring the offenders to justice, previously giving notice that this is your sole object.

Where a government exists, and is felt, you will, in all instances, respect the local authorities, and only act in aid of, and co-operate with them; it being the exclusive purpose of the United States to suppress piracy, an object in which all nations are equally interested; and, in the accomplishment of which, the Spanish authorities and people will, it is presumed, cordially co-operate, with you. If, in the pursuit of pirates, found at sea, they shall retreat into the unsettled parts of the islands, or foreign territory, you are at liberty to pursue them, so long only as there is reasonable prospect of being able to apprehend them; and in no case are you at liberty to pursue and apprehend any one, after having been forbidden so to do by competent authority of the local government. And, should you, on such pursuit, apprehend any pirates upon land, you will deliver them over to the proper authority, to be dealt with according to law, and you will furnish such evidence as shall be in your power, to prove the offence alleged against them. Should the local authorities refuse to receive and prosecute such persons, so apprehended, on your furnishing them with reasonable evidence of their guilt, you will then keep them, safely and securely, on board some of the vessels under your command, and report, without delay, to this Department, the particular circumstances of such cases. Great complaints are made of the interruption and injury to our commerce, by privateers fitted out from Spanish ports. You will endeavor to obtain, from the Spanish authorities, a list of the vessels so commissioned, and ascertain how far they have been instructed to intercept our trade with Mexico and the Columbian republic, impressing upon them, that, according to the well settled rule of the law of nations, the United States will not consider any portion of coast upon the Gulf of Mexico as legally blockaded, except where a naval force is stationed, sufficient to carry into effect the blockading order or decree; and that this government does not admit the right or authority of Spain to interdict, or interrupt our commerce with any portion of the coast included within the Columbian republic or Mexican government, not actually blockaded by a competent force.

All the United States ships and vessels of war in the West Indies, of which a list is herewith enclosed, are placed under your command, and you will distribute them to such stations as shall appear to you best calculated to afford complete protection to our commerce, in which you will embrace the object of protecting the convoy of specie from Vera Cruz, and the Mexican coast, generally, to the United States. Keep one vessel, at least, upon this service, to be at or near Vera Cruz during the healthy season of the year, and to be relieved as occasion shall require, both for the convoy of trade, and to bring specie to the United States, confining the transportation to the United States only. You will be particularly watchful to preserve the health of the officers and crews under your command, and to guard, in every possible manner, against the unhealthiness of the climate, not permitting any intercourse with the shore where the yellow fever prevails, except in cases of absolute necessity. Wishing you good health, and a successful cruise,

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SMITH THOMPSON.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Force, West Indies.

LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES RELATIVE TO THE SLAVE TRADE.

Resolution adopted by the House of Representatives, February 8th, 1823.

Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to enter upon and prosecute, from time to time, such negotiations, with the several maritime powers of Europe and America, as he may deem expedient for the effectual abolition of the African slave trade, and its ultimate denunciation as piracy, under the law of nations, by the consent of the civilized world.

An act to prohibit the carrying on the slave trade from the United States to any foreign place or country.

[Laws of the U. S., vol. 2, p. 388.]

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That no citizen or citizens of the United States, or foreigner, or any other person

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coming into, or residing within the same, shall, for himself or any other person whatsoever, either as master, factor, or owner, build, fit, equip, load, or otherwise to prepare any ship or vessel within any port or place of the said United States, nor shall cause any ship or vessel to sail from any port or place within the same, for the purpose of carrying on any trade or traffic in slaves, to any foreign country; or for the purpose of procuring, from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, the inhabitants of such kingdom, place, or country, to be transported to any foreign country, port, or place, whatever, to be sold or disposed of as slaves; and if any ship or vessel shall be so fitted out, as aforesaid, for the said purposes, or shall be caused to sail, so as aforesaid, every such ship or vessel, her tackle, furniture, apparel, and other appurtenances, shall be forfeited to the United States; and shall be liable to be seized, prosecuted, and condemned, in any of the circuit courts or district court for the district, where the said ship or vessel may be found and seized.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all and every person, so building, fitting out, equipping, loading, or otherwise preparing, or sending away, any ship or vessel, knowing, or intending that the same shall be employed in such trade or business, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, or any ways aiding or abetting therein, shall severally forfeit and pay the sum of two thousand dollars; one moiety thereof to the use of the United States, and the other moiety thereof to the use of him or her who shall sue for and prosecute the same.

Sec 3. And be it further enacted, That the owner, master, or factor, of each and every foreign ship or vessel, clearing out for any of the coasts or kingdoms of Africa, or suspected to be intended for the slave trade, and the suspicion being declared to the officer of the customs, by any citizen, on oath or affirmation, and such information being to the satisfaction of the said officer, shall first give bond, with sufficient sureties, to the Treasurer of the United States, that none of the natives of Africa, or any other foreign country or place, shall be taken on board the said ship or vessel, to be transported or sold as slaves, in any other foreign port or place whatever, within nine months thereafter.

Sec 4. And be it further enacted, That if any citizen or citizens of the United States shall, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, take on board, receive or transport any such persons, as above described in this act, for the purpose of selling them as slaves, as aforesaid, he or they shall forfeit and pay, for each and every person so received on board, transported, or sold as aforesaid, the sum of two hundred dollars, to be recovered in any court of the United States proper to try the same; and one moiety thereof to the use of the United States, and the other moiety to the use of such person or persons who shall sue for and prosecute the same.

Approved March 22, 1794.

An act in addition to the act entitled "An act to prohibit the carrying on the slave trade from the United States to any foreign place or country."

[Laws U. S., vol. 3, p. 382.]

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That it shall be unlawful for any citizen of the United States, or other person residing within the United States, directly or indirectly to hold or have any right or property in any vessel employed or made use of in the transportation or carrying of slaves from one foreign country or place to another, and any right or property, belonging as aforesaid, shall be forfeited, and may be libeled and condemned for the use of the person who shall sue for the same; and such person, transgressing the prohibition aforesaid, shall also forfeit and pay a sum of money equal to double the value of the right or property in such vessel, which he held as aforesaid; and shall also forfeit a sum of money equal to double the value of the interest which he may have had in the slaves, which at any time may have been transported or carried in such vessel, after the passing of this act, and against the form thereof.

Sec 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be unlawful for any citizen of the United States, or other person residing therein, to serve on board any vessel of the United States employed or made use of in the transportation or carrying of slaves from one foreign country or place to another; and any such citizen or other person, voluntarily serving as aforesaid, shall be liable to be indicted therefor, and on conviction thereof, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and be imprisoned not exceeding two years.

Sec 3. And be it further enacted, That if any citizen of the United States shall voluntarily serve on board of any foreign ship or vessel, which shall hereafter be employed in the slave trade, he shall, on conviction thereof, be liable to, and suffer the like forfeitures, pains, disabilities and penalties as he would have incurred, had such ship or vessel been owned or employed, in whole or in part, by any person or persons residing within the United States.

Sec 4. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for any of the commissioned vessels of the United States, to seize and take any vessel employed in carrying on trade, business, or traffic, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this or the said act to which this is in addition; and such vessel, together with her tackle, apparel and guns, and the goods or effects, other than slaves, which shall be found on board, shall be forfeited, and may be proceeded against in any of the district or circuit courts, and shall be condemned for the use of the officers and crew of the vessel making- the seizure, and be divided in the proportion directed in the case of prize. And all persons interested in such vessel, or in the enterprise or voyage in which such vessel shall be employed at the time of such capture, shall be precluded from all right or claim to the slaves found on board such vessel as aforesaid, and from all damages or retribution on account thereof: and it shall moreover be the duty of the commanders of such commissioned vessels, to apprehend and take into custody every person found on board of such vessel so seized and taken, being- of the officers or crew thereof, and him or them convey, as soon as conveniently may be, to the civil authority of the United States, in some one of the districts thereof, to be proceeded against in due course of law.

Sec 5. And be it further enacted, That the district and circuit courts of the United States shall have cognizance of all acts and offences against the prohibitions herein contained.

Sec 6. Provided, nevertheless, and be it further enacted, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to authorize the bringing into either of the United States, any person or persons, the importation of whom is, by the existing laws of such State, prohibited.

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Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the forfeitures which shall hereafter be incurred under this, or the said act to which this is an addition, not otherwise disposed of, shall accrue and be one moiety thereof to the use of the informer, and the other moiety to the use of the United States, except where the prosecution shall be first instituted on behalf of the United States, in which case the whole shall be to their use.

Approved May 10, 1800.

An act to prevent the importation of certain persons into certain States, where, by the laws thereof, their admission is prohibited.

[Laws U. S., vol. 2, p. 529.]

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That from and after the first day of April next, no master or captain of any ship or vessel, or any other person, shall import or bring, or cause to be imported or brought, any negro, mulatto, or other person of color, not being a native, a citizen, or registered seaman of the United States, or seamen, natives of countries beyond the Cape of Good Hope, into any port or place, of the United States, which port or place shall be situated in any State which by law has prohibited or shall prohibit the admission or importation of such negro, mulatto, or other person of color; and if any captain or master aforesaid, or any other person, shall import or bring, or cause to be imported or brought into any of the ports or places aforesaid, any of the persons whose admission or importation is prohibited, as aforesaid, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of one thousand dollars for each and every negro, mulatto or other person of color aforesaid, brought or imported as aforesaid, to be sued for and recovered by action of debt, in any court of the United States; one-half thereof to the use of the United States, the other half to any person or persons prosecuting for the penalty; and in any action instituted for the recovery of the penalty aforesaid, the person or persons sued may be held to special bail: Provided, always, That nothing contained in this act shall be construed to prohibit the admission of Indians.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That no ship or vessel arriving in any of the said ports or places of the United States, and having on board any negro, mulatto, or other person of color, not being a native, a citizen, or registered seaman of the United States, or seamen, natives of countries beyond the Cape of Good Hope as aforesaid, shall be admitted to an entry. And if any such negro, mulatto, or other person of color, shall be landed from on board any ship or vessel, in any of the ports or places aforesaid, or on the coast of any state prohibiting the admission or importation, as aforesaid, the said ship or vessel, together with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, shall be forfeited to the United States, and one-half of the net proceeds of the sales on such forfeiture, shall inure and be paid over to such person or persons on whose information the seizure on such forfeiture shall be made.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the collectors and other officers of the customs, and all other officers of the revenue of the United States, in the several ports or places situated as aforesaid, to notice and be governed by the provisions of the laws now existing, of the several States prohibiting the admission or importation of any negro, mulatto, or other person of color, as aforesaid. And they are hereby enjoined vigilantly to carry into effect the said laws of said States, conformably to the provisions of this act; any law of the United States to the contrary notwithstanding.

Approved February 28, 1803.

An act to prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight.

[Laws U. S., vol. 4, p. 94.]

Sec 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, it shall not be lawful to import or bring into the United States, or the Territories thereof, from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, with intent to hold, sell, or dispose of such negro, mulatto, or person of color, as a slave, or to be held to service or labor.

Sec 2. And be it further enacted, That no citizen or citizens of the United States, or any other person, shall, from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight, for himself or themselves, or any person whatsoever, either as master, factor, or owner, build, fit, equip, load, or otherwise prepare any ship or vessel, in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, nor shall cause any ship or vessel to sail from any port or place within the same, for the purpose of procuring any negro, mulatto, or person of color, from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, to be transported to any port or place whatsoever, within the jurisdiction of the United States, to be held, sold, or disposed of as slaves, or to be held to service or labor; and if any ship or vessel shall be so fitted out for the purpose aforesaid, or shall be caused to sail so as aforesaid, every such ship or vessel, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, shall be forfeited to the United States, and shall be liable to be seized, prosecuted, and condemned in any of the circuit courts or district courts for the district where the said ship or vessel may be found or seized.

Sec 3. And be it further enacted, That all and every person so building, fitting out, equipping, loading, or otherwise preparing, or sending away, any ship or vessel, knowing or intending that the same shall be employed in such trade or business, from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, or any ways aiding or abetting therein, shall severally forfeit and pay twenty thousand dollars; one moiety thereof to the use of the United States, and the other moiety to the use of any person or persons who shall sue for and prosecute the same to effect.

Sec 4. And be it further enacted, If any citizen or citizens of the United States, or any person resident within the jurisdiction of the same, shall, from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, take on board, receive, or transport from any of the coasts or kingdoms of Africa, or from any other foreign kingdom, place, or country, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, in any ship or

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vessel, for the purpose of selling them in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, as slaves, or to be held to service or labor, or shall be in any ways aiding or abetting therein, such citizen or citizens, or person, shall severally forfeit and pay five thousand dollars; one moiety thereof to the use of any persons who shall sue for and prosecute the same to effect. And every such ship or vessel in which such negro, mulatto, or person of color, shall have been taken on board, received, or transported, as aforesaid, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and the goods and effects which shall be found on board the same, shall be forfeited to the United States, and shall be liable to be seized, prosecuted and condemned, in any of the circuit courts or district courts in the district where the said ship or vessel may be found or seized. And neither the importer, nor any person or persons claiming from or under him, shall hold any right or title whatsoever to any negro, mulatto, or person of color, nor to the service or labor thereof, who may be imported or brought within the United States, or Territories thereof, in violation of this law, but the same shall remain subject to any regulations not contravening the provisions of this act, which the legislatures of the several States or Territories at any time hereafter may make, for disposing of any such negro, mulatto, or person of color.

Sec 5. And be it further enacted, That if any citizen or citizens of the United States, or any other person resident within the jurisdiction of the same, shall, from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, take on board any ship or vessel from any of the coasts or kingdoms of Africa, or from any other foreign kingdom, place, or country, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, with intent to sell him, her, or them, for a slave, or slaves, or to be held to service or labor, and shall transport the same to any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, and there sell such negro, mulatto, or person of color, so transported as aforesaid, for a slave, or to be held to service or labor, every such offender shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor, and being thereof convicted before any court having competent jurisdiction, shall suffer imprisonment for not more than ten years, nor less than five years, and be fined not exceeding ten thousand dollars, nor less than one thousand dollars.

Sec 6. And be it further enacted, That if any person or persons whatsoever, shall, from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, purchase or sell any negro, mulatto, or person of color, for a slave, or to be held to service or labor, who shall have been imported, or brought from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, or from the dominions of any foreign State, immediately adjoining to the United States, into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, after the last day of December, one thousand eight hundred and seven, knowing at the time of such purchase or sale, such negro, mulatto, or person of color, was so brought within the jurisdiction of the United States, as aforesaid, such purchaser or seller shall severally forfeit and pay for every negro, mulatto, or person of color, so purchased or sold as aforesaid, eight hundred dollars; one moiety thereof to the United States, and the other moiety to the use of any person or persons who shall sue for and prosecute the same to effect: Provided, That the aforesaid forfeiture shall not extend to the seller, or purchaser of any negro, mulatto, or person of color, who may be sold or disposed of in virtue of any regulation which may hereafter be made by any of the legislatures of the several States in that respect, in pursuance of this act, and the Constitution of the United States.

Sec 7. And be it further enacted, That if any ship or vessel shall be found, from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, in any river, port, bay or harbor, or on the high seas within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, or hovering on the coast thereof, having on board any negro, mulatto, or person of color, for the purpose of selling them as slaves, or with intent to land the same, in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, contrary to the prohibition of this act, every such ship or vessel, together with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and the goods or effects which shall be found on board the same, shall be forfeited to the use of the United States, and may be seized, prosecuted, and condemned, in any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof. And it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, and he is hereby authorized, should he deem it expedient, to cause any of the armed vessels of the United States to be manned and employed to cruise on any part of the coast of the United States, or Territories thereof, where he may judge attempts will be made to violate the provisions of this act, and to instruct and direct the commanders of armed vessels of the United States, to seize, take, and bring into any port of the United States, all such ships or vessels, and moreover to seize, take, and bring into any port of the United States, all ships or vessels of the United States, wheresoever found on the high seas, contravening the provisions of this act, to be proceeded against according to law; and the captain, master, or commander of every such ship or vessel, so found and seized as aforesaid, shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor, and shall be liable to be prosecuted before any court of the United States, having jurisdiction thereof; and being thereof convicted, shall be fined not exceeding ten thousand dollars, and be imprisoned not less than two years, and not exceeding four years. And the proceeds of all ships and vessels, their tackle, apparel, and furniture, and the goods and effects on board of them, which shall be so seized, prosecuted and condemned, shall be divided equally between the United States and the officers and men who shall make such seizure, take, or bring the same into port for condemnation, whether such seizure be made by an armed vessel of the United States, or revenue cutters thereof, and the same shall be distributed in like manner as is provided by law for the distribution of prizes taken from an enemy: Provided, That the officers and men to be entitled to one-half of the proceeds aforesaid, shall safe keep every negro, mulatto, or person of color, found on board of any ship or vessel so by them seized, taken, or brought into port for condemnation, and shall deliver every such negro, mulatto, or person of color, to such person or persons as shall be appointed by the respective States to receive the same; and if no such person or persons shall be appointed by the respective States, they shall deliver every such negro, mulatto, or person of color, to the overseers of the poor of the port or place where such ship or vessel may be brought and found, and shall immediately transmit to the governor, or chief magistrate of the State, an account of their proceedings, together with the number of such negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, and a descriptive list of the same, that he may give directions respecting such negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That no captain, master, or commander of any ship or vessel, of less burthen than forty tons, shall, from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, take on board and transport any negro, mulatto, or person of color, to any port or place whatsoever, for the purpose of selling or disposing of the same as a slave, or with intent that the same may be sold or disposed of to be held to service or labor, on penalty of forfeiting- for every such negro,

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mulatto, or person of color, so taken on board and transported as aforesaid, the sum of eight hundred dollars; one moiety thereof to the use of the United States, and the other moiety to any person or persons who shall sue for and prosecute the same to effect: Provided, however, That nothing in this section shall extend to prohibit the taking on board or transporting on any river, or inland bay of the sea, within the jurisdiction of the United States, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, (not imported contrary to the provisions of this act,) in any vessel or species of craft whatever.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That the captain, master, or commander of any ship or vessel of the burthen of forty tons or more, from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, sailing coastwise from any port in the United States to any port or place within the jurisdiction of the same, having on board any negro, mulatto, or person of color, for the purpose of transporting them to be sold or disposed of as slaves, or to be held to service or labor, shall, previous to the departure of such ship or vessel, make out and subscribe duplicate manifests of every such negro, mulatto, or person of color, on board such ship or vessel, therein specifying the name and sex of each person, their age and stature, as near as may be, and the class to which they respectively belong, whether negro, mulatto, or person of color, with the name and place of residence of every owner, or shipper of the same, and shall deliver such manifests to the collector of the port, if there be one, otherwise to the surveyor, before whom the captain, master, or commander, together with the owner, or shipper, shall severally swear or affirm, to the best of their knowledge and belief, that the persons therein specified were not imported or brought into the United States from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, and that under the laws of the State, they are held to service or labor; whereupon the said collector or surveyor, shall certify the same on the said manifests, one of which he shall return to the said captain, master, or commander, with a permit, specifying thereon the number, names, and general description of such persons, and authorizing him to proceed to the port of his destination. And if any ship or vessel, being laden or destined as aforesaid, shall depart from the port where she may then be, without the captain, master, or commander having first made out and subscribed duplicate manifests, of every negro, mulatto and person of color, on board such ship or vessel, as aforesaid, and without having previously delivered the same to the said collector, or surveyor, and obtained a permit, in manner as herein required, or shall, previous to her arrival at the port of destination, take on board any negro, mulatto, or person of color, other than those specified in the manifests, as aforesaid, every such ship or vessel, together with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, shall be forfeited to the use of the United States, and may be seized, prosecuted, and condemned, in any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof; and the captain, master, or commander of every ship or vessel, shall moreover forfeit, for every such negro, mulatto, or person of color, so transported, or taken on board, contrary to the provisions of this act, the sum of one thousand dollars; one moiety thereof to the United States, and the other moiety to the use of any person or persons who shall sue for and prosecute the same to effect.

Sec 10. And be it further enacted, That the captain, master, or commander of every ship or vessel, of the burthen of forty tons or more, from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and eight, sailing coastwise, and having on board any negro, mulatto, or person of color, to sell or dispose of as slaves, or to be held to service or labor, and arriving in any port within the jurisdiction of the United States, from any other port within the same, shall, previous to the unlading or putting on shore any of the persons aforesaid, or suffering them to go on shore, deliver to the collector, if there be one, or, if not, to the surveyor residing at the port of her arrival, the manifest certified by the collector or surveyor of the port from whence she sailed, as is hereinbefore directed, to the truth of which, before such officer, he shall swear or affirm; and if the collector or surveyor shall be satisfied therewith, he shall thereupon grant a permit for unlading, or suffering such negro, mulatto, or person of color to be put on shore; and, if the captain, master, or commander of any such ship or vessel, being laden as aforesaid, shall neglect or refuse to deliver the manifest at the time and in the manner herein directed, or shall land or put on shore any negro, mulatto, or person of color, for the purpose aforesaid, before he shall have delivered his manifest as aforesaid, and obtained a permit for that purpose, every such captain, master, or commander shall forfeit and pay ten thousand dollars, one moiety thereof to the United States, the other moiety to the use of any person or persons who shall sue for and prosecute the same to effect.

Approved March 2, 1807

An act in addition to "An act to prohibit the introduction (importation) of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight," and to repeal certain parts of the same.

[Laws United States, vol. 6, p. 325.]

Sec 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That, from and after the passage of this act, it shall not be lawful to import or bring, in any manner whatsoever, into the United States, or Territories thereof, from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, with intent to hold, sell, or dispose of any such negro, mulatto, or person of color as a slave, or to be held to service or labor; and any ship, vessel, or other water craft employed in any importation as aforesaid, shall be liable to seizure, prosecution, and forfeiture in any district in which it may be found; one-half thereof to the use of the United States, and the other half to the use of him or them who shall prosecute the same to effect.

Sec 2. And be it further enacted, That no citizen or citizens of the United States, or any other person or persons, shall, after the passing of this act, as aforesaid, for himself, themselves, or any other person or persons whatsoever, either as master, factor or owner, build, fit, equip, load, or otherwise prepare, any ship or vessel, in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, nor cause any such ship or vessel to sail from any port or place whatsoever, within the jurisdiction of the same, for the purpose of procuring any negro, mulatto, or person of color from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, to be transported to any port or place whatsoever, to be held, sold, or otherwise disposed of as slaves, or to be held to service or labor; and if any ship or vessel shall be so built, fitted out, equipped, laden or otherwise prepared for the purpose aforesaid, every such ship or vessel, her tackle, apparel, furniture, and lading, shall be forfeited; one moiety to the use of the United States, and the other to the use of the

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person or persons who shall sue for said forfeiture and prosecute the same to effect; and such ship or vessel shall be liable to be seized, prosecuted, and condemned in any court of the United States having competent jurisdiction.

Sec 3. And be it further enacted, That every person or persons so building, fitting out, equipping, loading, or otherwise preparing, or sending away, or causing any of the acts aforesaid to be done, with intent to employ such ship or vessel in such trade or business, after the passing of this act, contrary to the true intent and meaning thereof, or who shall, in anywise, be aiding or abetting therein, shall, severally, on conviction thereof by due course of law, forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding five thousand dollars, nor less than one thousand dollars; one moiety to the use of the United States, and the other to the use of the person or persons who shall sue for such forfeiture, and prosecute the same with effect, and shall moreover be imprisoned for a term not exceeding seven years, nor less than three years.

Sec 4. And be it further enacted, That if any citizen or citizens of the United States, or other person or persons resident within the jurisdiction of the same, shall, from and after the passing of this act, take on board, receive, or transport from any of the coasts or kingdoms of Africa, or from any other foreign kingdom, place, or country, or from sea, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, not being an inhabitant, nor held to service by the laws of either of the States or Territories of the United States, in any ship, vessel, boat, or other water craft, for the purpose of holding, selling, or otherwise disposing of, such person as a slave, or to be held to service or labor, or be aiding or abetting therein, every such person or persons so offending shall, on conviction by due course of law, severally forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding five thousand nor less than one thousand dollars, one moiety to the use of the United States, and the other to the use of the person or persons who shall sue for such forfeiture and prosecute the same to effect, and, moreover, shall suffer imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, nor less than three years; and every ship or vessel, boat, or other water craft on which such negro, mulatto, or person of color shall have been taken on board, received, or transported as aforesaid, her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and the goods and effects which shall be found on board the same, or shall have been imported therein in the same voyage, shall be forfeited, one moiety to the use of the United States, and the other to the use of the person or persons who shall sue for and prosecute the same to effect; and every such ship or vessel shall be liable to be seized, prosecuted, and condemned in any court of the United States having competent jurisdiction.

Sec 5. And be it further enacted, That neither the importer nor importers, nor any person or persons claiming from or under him or them, shall hold any right, interest, or title whatsoever, in or to any negro, mulatto, or person of color, nor to the service or labor thereof, who may be imported or brought into the United States or the Territories thereof, in violation of the provisions of this act, but the same shall remain subject to any regulations, not contravening said provisions, which the legislatures of the several States or Territories may at any time heretofore have made, or hereafter may make, for disposing of any such negro, mulatto, or person of color.

Sec 6. And be it further enacted, That if any person or persons whatsoever shall, from and after the passing of this act, bring within the jurisdiction of the United States, in any manner whatsoever, any negro, mulatto, or person of color from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, or from sea, or shall hold, sell, or otherwise dispose of, any such negro, mulatto, or person of color, so brought in, as a slave, or to be held to service or labor, or be in anywise aiding or abetting therein, every person so offending shall, on conviction thereof by due course of law, forfeit and pay, for every such offence, a sum not exceeding ten thousand nor less than one thousand dollars, one moiety to the use of the United States, and the other to the use of the person or persons who shall sue for such forfeiture, and prosecute the same to effect; and, moreover, shall suffer imprisonment, for a term not exceeding seven years, nor less than three years.

Sec 7. And be it further enacted, That if any person or persons whatsoever shall hold, purchase, sell, or otherwise dispose of, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, for a slave, or to be held to service or labor, who shall have been imported or brought, in any way, from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, or from the dominions of any foreign State immediately adjoining to the United States, into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the passing of this act, every person so offending, and every person aiding or abetting therein, shall severally forfeit and pay, for every negro, mulatto, or person of color, so held, purchased, sold, or disposed of, one thousand dollars; one moiety to the use of the United States, and the other to the use of the person or persons who may sue for such forfeiture, and prosecute the same to effect, and to stand committed until the said forfeiture be paid: Provided, That the aforesaid forfeiture shall not extend to the seller or purchaser of any negro, mulatto, or person of color, who may be sold or disposed of in virtue of any regulations which have been heretofore, or shall hereafter be, lawfully made by any legislature of any State or Territory, in pursuance of this act and the Constitution of the United States.

Sec 8. And be it further enacted, That in all prosecutions under this act, the defendant or defendants shall be holden to prove that the negro, mulatto, or person of color, which he or they shall be charged with having brought into the United States, or with purchasing, holding, selling, or otherwise disposing of, and which, according to the evidence in such case, the said defendant or defendants shall have brought in aforesaid, or otherwise disposed of, was brought into the United States at least five years previous to the commencement of such prosecution, or was not brought in, holden, purchased, or otherwise disposed of, contrary to the provisions of this act; and on failure thereof, the said defendant or defendants shall be judged guilty of the offence of which he or they may stand accused.

Sec 9. And be it further enacted, That any prosecution, information, or action, may be sustained, for any offence under this act, at any time within five years after such offence shall have been committed; any law to the contrary notwithstanding.

Sec 10. And be it further enacted, That the first six sections of the act to which this is an addition, shall be and the same are hereby repealed: Provided, That all offences committed under the said sections of the act aforesaid, before the passing of this act, shall be prosecuted and punished, and any forfeitures which have been incurred under the same shall be recovered and distributed as if this act had not been passed.

Approved April 20, 1818.

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An act in addition to the acts prohibiting the slave trade.

[Laws U. S., vol. 6, p. 435.]

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized, whenever he shall deem it expedient, to cause any of the armed vessels of the United States to be employed to cruise on any of the coasts of the United States, or Territories thereof, or of the coast of Africa, or elsewhere, where he may judge attempts may be made to carry on the slave trade by citizens or residents of the United States, in contravention of the acts of Congress prohibiting the same, and to instruct and direct the commanders of all armed vessels of the United States, to seize, take, and bring into any port of the United States, all ships or vessels of the United States, wheresoever found, which may have taken on board, or which may be intended for the purpose of taking on board, or of transporting, or may have transported, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, in violation of any of the provisions of the act, entitled "An act in addition to an act to prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight, and to repeal certain parts of the same," or of any other act or acts prohibiting the traffic in slaves, to be proceeded against according to law: and the proceeds of all ships and vessels, their tackle, apparel, and furniture, and the goods and effects on board of them, which shall be so seized, prosecuted, and condemned, shall be divided equally between the United States and the officers and men who shall seize, take or bring, the same into port for condemnation, whether such seizure be made by an armed vessel of the United States or revenue cutter thereof: and the same shall be distributed in like manner as is provided by law for the distribution of prizes taken from an enemy: Provided, That the officers and men, to be entitled to one-half of the proceeds aforesaid, shall safe keep every negro, mulatto, or person of color, found on board of any ship or vessel so seized, taken, or brought into port for condemnation, and shall deliver every such negro, mulatto, or person of color, to the marshal of the district into which they are brought, if into a port of the United States, or, if elsewhere, to such person or persons as shall be lawfully appointed by the President of the United States, in the manner hereinafter directed, transmitting to the President of the United States, as soon as may be after delivery, a descriptive list of such negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, that he may give directions for the disposal of them. And provided further, That the commanders of such commissioned vessels, do cause to be apprehended, and taken into custody, every person found on board of such vessel, so seized and taken, being of the officers or crew thereof, and him or them convey, as soon as conveniently may be, to the civil authority of the United States, to be proceeded against, in due course of law, in some of the districts thereof.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby authorized, to make such regulations and arrangements, as he may deem expedient, for the safe keeping, support, and removal beyond the limits of the United States, of all such negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, as may be so delivered and brought within their jurisdiction: and to appoint a proper person or persons, residing upon the coast of Africa, as agent or agents for receiving the negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, delivered from on board vessels, seized in the prosecution of the slave trade, by commanders of the United States armed vessels.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That a bounty of twenty-five dollars be paid to the officers and crews of the commissioned vessels of the United States, or revenue cutters, for each and every negro, mulatto, or person of color, who shall have been, as hereinbefore provided, delivered to the marshal or agent duly appointed to receive them; and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and required to pay, or cause to be paid, to such officers and crews, or their agent, the aforesaid bounty, for each person delivered as aforesaid.

Sec 4. And be it further enacted, That when any citizen, or other person, shall lodge information, with the attorney for the district of any State or Territory, as the case may be, that any negro, mulatto, or person of color, has been imported therein, contrary to the provisions of the acts in such case made and provided, it shall be the duty of the said attorney forthwith to commence a prosecution by information; and process shall issue against the person charged with holding such negro, negroes, mulatto, mulattoes, person or persons of color, so alleged to be imported contrary to the provisions of the acts aforesaid: And if, upon the return of the process executed, it shall be ascertained, by the verdict of a jury, that such negro, negroes, mulatto, mulattoes, person or persons of color, have been brought in, contrary to the true intent and meaning of the acts in such cases made and provided, then the court shall direct the marshal of the said district to take the said negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, into his custody, for safe keeping, subject to the orders of the President of the United States: and the informer or informers, who shall have lodged the information, shall be entitled to receive, over and above the portion of the penalties accruing to him or them by the provisions of the acts in such case made and provided, a bounty of fifty dollars, for each and every negro, mulatto, or person of color, who shall have been delivered into the custody of the marshal; and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and required to pay, or cause to be paid, the aforesaid bounty, upon the certificate of the clerk of the court for the district where the prosecution may have been had, with the seal of office thereto annexed, stating the number of negroes, mulattoes, or persons of color, so delivered.

Sec 5. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the commander of any armed vessel of the United States, whenever he shall make any capture under the provisions of this act, to bring the vessel and her cargo, for adjudication, into some of the ports of the State or Territory to which such vessel, so captured, shall belong, if he can ascertain the same; if not, then to be sent into any convenient port of the United States.

Sec 6. And be it further enacted, That all such acts, or parts of acts, as may be repugnant to the provisions of this act, shall be, and the same are hereby repealed.

Sec 7. And be it further enacted, That a sum not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated to carry this law into effect.

Approved March 3, 1819.

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An act to continue in force "An act to protect the commerce of the United States and punish the crime of piracy," and also to make further provision for punishing the crime of piracy.

[Laws United States, vol. 6, p. 529.]

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the first, second, third, and fourth, sections of an act, entitled "An act to protect the commerce of the United States and punish the crime of piracy," passed on the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, be, and the same are hereby, continued in force, from the passing of this act for the term of two years, and from thence to the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer.

Sec 2. And be it further enacted, That the fifth section of the said act be, and the same is hereby, continued in force, as to all crimes made punishable by the same, and heretofore committed, in all respects, as fully as if the duration of the said section had been without limitation.

Sec 3. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall, upon the high seas, or in any open roadstead, or in any haven, basin, or bay, or in any river where the sea ebbs and flows, commit the crime of robbery, in or upon any ship or vessel, or upon any of the ship's company, of any ship or vessel, or the lading thereof, such person shall be adjudged to be a pirate; and, being thereof convicted, before the circuit court of the United States for the district into which he shall be brought, or in which he shall be found, shall suffer death. And if any person engaged in any piratical cruise or enterprise, or being of the crew or ship's company of any piratical ship or vessel, shall land from such ship or vessel, and, on shore, shall commit robbery, such person shall be adjudged a pirate; and, on conviction thereof, before the circuit court of the United States for the district into which he shall be brought, or in which he shall be found, shall suffer death: Provided, That nothing in this section contained shall be construed to deprive any particular State of its jurisdiction over such offences, when committed within the body of a county, or authorize the courts of the United States to try any such offenders, after conviction or acquittance, for the same offence, in a State court.

Sec 4. And be it further enacted, That if any citizen of the United States, being of the crew or ship's company of any foreign ship or vessel engaged in the slave trade, or any person whatever, being of the crew or ship's company of any ship or vessel, owned in the whole or part, or navigated for, or in behalf of, any citizen or citizens of the United States, shall land, from any such ship or vessel, and, on any foreign shore, seize any negro or mulatto, not held to service or labor by the laws of either of the States or Territories of the United States, with intent to make such negro or mulatto a slave, or shall decoy, or forcibly bring or carry, or shall receive, such negro or mulatto on board any such ship or vessel, with intent as aforesaid, such citizen or person shall be adjudged a pirate: and, on conviction thereof, before the circuit court of the United States for the district wherein he may be brought or found, shall suffer death.

Sec 5. And be it further enacted, That if any citizen of the United States, being of the crew or ship's company of any foreign ship or vessel engaged in the slave trade, or any person whatever, being of the crew or ship's company of any ship or vessel, owned wholly or in part, or navigated for, or in behalf of, any citizen or citizens of the United States, shall forcibly confine or detain, or aid and abet in forcibly confining or detaining, or board such ship or vessel, any negro or mulatto not held to service by the laws of either of the States or Territories of the United States, with intent to make such negro or mulatto a slave, or shall, on board any such ship or vessel, offer or attempt to sell, as a slave, any negro or mulatto not held to service as aforesaid, or shall, on the high seas, or anywhere on tide water, transfer or deliver over, to any other ship or vessel, any negro or mulatto, not held to service as aforesaid, with intent to make such negro or mulatto a slave, or shall land, or deliver or shore, from on board any such ship or vessel, any such negro or mulatto, with intent to make sale of, or having previously sold such negro or mulatto, as a slave, such citizen or person shall be adjudged a pirate; and, on conviction thereof, before the circuit court of the United States for the district wherein he shall be brought or found, shall suffer death.

Approved May 15, 1820.

Copy of general instructions, for officers commanding cruising vessels.

Navy Department.

Sir: Enclosed you have a copy of an act of Congress, by which you will perceive that a high and delicate power is vested in the President, in authorizing him to employ our public armed ships in protecting the merchant vessels of the United States and their crews, from piratical aggressions and depredations. It will readily occur to you, that, considering the situation in which we stand in relation to Spain and the South American colonies, the authority given under this act, must be exercised with the utmost caution and prudence by our public vessels. You have the whole act laid before you, that you may see its general scope and object; but you will observe that the execution of the law is under the direction of the President, so far as respects the employment of our public vessels. Your conduct will therefore be regulated by your instructions, although they may not go to the full length the law might possibly warrant.

Under the second section of the act, authority is given to subdue, seize, take, and send into any port of the United States, any armed vessel or boat, or any vessel or boat, the crew whereof shall be armed, and which shall have attempted or committed any piratical aggression, search, restraint, depredation, or seizure, upon any vessel of the United States, or of the citizens thereof, or upon any other vessels.

From the generality of this latter description of vessels, it would seem to embrace those of every nation or country upon which any piratical aggressions may have been committed. Admitting the act might be extended thus far, it does not appear to have been the general object of the law; and it is thought by the President most advisable, at present, not to give it a like indiscriminate practical construction as to all vessels. The great object, as pointed out in the first section of the act, was to protect the merchant vessels of the United States and their crews from piratical aggressions. This will, therefore, be considered your particular and special duty. If, however, you shall discover depredations upon

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other vessels, committed trader such gross and aggravated circumstances, as to leave little doubt of their piratical character, it will be your duty to capture and bring in the aggressors. It is thought most advisable thus to distinguish in your instructions, because, among other considerations, it will be seen, that, under the second section of the act, you are only authorized to retake vessels of the United States or its citizens, which may have been unlawfully captured upon the high seas. No authority is given to retake the vessels of any foreign nation or country.

You will also perceive, under this second section of the act, authority is only given to subdue, seize and take such vessels or boats, &c., as shall have attempted or committed some piratical aggression. Whatever well grounded suspicions you may entertain, that a vessel may have been fitted out, and is intended to be employed in such depredations, you will not molest her, unless you have satisfactory evidence that she has either attempted or actually committed some piratical aggression on some merchant vessel of the United States, or her crew, or upon some other vessel, under the special circumstances above mentioned. This is to be considered an important and leading regulation in your conduct, as it will be a strong and almost controlling circumstance (considering we are at peace with all the world), in making up your judgment, whether you are safe and justifiable in treating them as pirates. Whenever, therefore, you shall find any boats or vessels the crews whereof have committed any actual violence, outrage or depredation, upon any vessels of the United States, or the citizens thereof, or any other vessels, as above mentioned, you will consider yourself authorized to subdue, seize and take them; and, unless on such capture you shall be satisfied that they were acting under some lawful authority, and not piratically, to send them in for adjudication.

The range of your cruise will be along the coast of the United States and the Floridas, in the Gulf of Mexico and among the West India islands; changing your position in such manner as shall best answer the object of your cruise, touching at such ports and places as may be necessary and proper to procure supplies, and to obtain information, the better to enable you to carry into effect the objects contemplated in the act of Congress. Great reliance is placed on your prudence and sound discretion, that you will so execute the power entrusted to you as to protect the commerce of the United States, without infringing the lawful rights of any other nation or country, their citizens or subjects. All captures made by you, will be sent into one of the following ports: Boston, New York, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah, or New Orleans.

You have, also, enclosed, such parts of several acts of Congress prohibiting the importation of slaves into any ports or places within the jurisdiction of the United States, as are necessary to point out to you your duty and authority under these laws; and it is expected and required of you, by the President, that a strict and vigilant attention be paid to the direction therein contained; that, if possible, this inhuman and disgraceful traffic may be suppressed.

By the act of the 20th April, 1818, you will perceive that it is made unlawful to import or bring, in any manner whatsoever, into the United States or Territories thereof, from any foreign kingdom, place or country, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, with intent to hold, sell or dispose of such person as a slave, or to be held to service. By this act it is also made unlawful for any citizen of the United States, or other person, to build, equip, load, fit, or otherwise prepare, any ship or vessel in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, or to cause any such ship or vessel to sail from any port or place whatsoever, within the jurisdiction of the United States, for the purpose of procuring and transporting any such slaves to any port or place whatever. And any ship or vessel employed in such importation of slaves, or so built, fitted out, or prepared, is liable to be seized and forfeited.

And by the act of the 3d March, 1819, the President is authorized to employ any of the armed vessels of the United States to cruise in such places as he may think proper, where he may judge attempts may be made to carry on the slave trade, by citizens of the United States, or residents thereof, in contravention of the acts of Congress prohibiting the same; and to instruct such armed vessels to seize, take, and bring into any port of the United States, to be proceeded against according to law, all ships or vessels of the United States, wheresoever found, which may have taken on board, or which may be intended for the purpose of taking on board, or of transporting, or may have transported, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, in violation of any of the provisions of the act of the 20th April, 1818, above referred to, or in violation of any other act or acts prohibiting the traffic in slaves.

You will perceive from the generality of the provisions in these laws, you are authorized to take and bring in all ships or vessels of the United States, which may have been in any manner employed, or intended to be employed in the slave trade; or any other vessel offending against the provisions of any of the laws you have enclosed. You will particularly notice, the two provisos to the first section of the act of 1819, the first of which directs in what manner you are to keep and dispose of the slaves which may be found on board of any ship or vessel seized by you. If brought within the United States, they are to be delivered to the marshal of the district where brought in; and transmit the evidence of such delivery to this Department. It is the wish of the President, however, that none should be brought into the United States. Upon the capture, therefore, of any vessel having slaves on board, you will immediately proceed to the Island of Sherbro, on the coast of Africa, and deliver such slaves to the agent appointed by the President to receive them, pursuant to the provisions of the act, or to any other agent, so appointed, at any other place on the coast of Africa. The second proviso relates to the disposition of the officers and crews of such vessels so captured by you. Great vigilance will be expected from you in the safe keeping of all such officers and crews, until they shall be handed over to the civil authority to be proceeded against according to law.

You will also observe, that by the fifth section of this act, it is made your duty to bring any vessel and her cargo, you may capture, into some of the ports of the State or Territory to which the captured vessel shall belong, if you can ascertain the same; if not, then into any convenient port of the United States.

The range of your cruising for this purpose, will be the same as that pointed out in the former part of your instructions, in relation to pirates.

I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant.

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Navy Department, February 4, 1823.

Sir: Since you left here, it has been strongly urged to keep part of our naval force to windward, to watch the Spanish privateers, and particularly about Porto Rico, and thence to Laguira and Porto Cabello. I wish you to distribute a part of your force in that quarter.

I am, respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SMITH THOMPSON.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Squadron, Norfolk, Va.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Navy Department, May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, April 5, 1823.

Sir: I enclose, for your information, two copies of a printed statement, in relation to a piracy, committed in December last, on the brig Two Brothers, of Newburyport, Anthony Knapp, jr., master.

I am, respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SMITH THOMPSON.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Force, West Indies.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original.

C HAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Navy Department, May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, May 23, 1823, Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, bearing date Matanzas, 16th April, last; communicating the partial accomplishment of your arrangements for accommodation at Thompson's Island—the distribution of the force under your command—the gallant conduct of Lieutenant Stribling, in the capture of the pirate "Pilot," with a detachment from your squadron, without loss on his side, and your regret at the necessity which has compelled you, from the insufficiency of your number of men, to lay up the Peacock; thereby preventing you from giving to your plan of operations, the extension and activity at first contemplated. Great satisfaction is felt at the prevalence of such general health in your squadron; and hopes are entertained, that by its continuance, the important object you have in view will be more speedily and effectually obtained, and unattended likewise by any of those unfortunate concomitants incident to a climate peculiarly obnoxious, and a service somewhat oppressive.

Some relief, however, will be afforded to you, when the performance of the particular duties, assigned to the commanders of the John Adams and Enterprise, shall enable them to form a junction with your force, and place themselves, (as expressly instructed,) under your command. Instructions have been given to the commanders of those vessels to use all possible dispatch in the execution of their provieus orders, and report themselves to you for such service as may be assigned them, in aid of your general operations. By reference to their sailing orders, and general instructions, which they will present to you for examination, you will be more particularly informed of the extent of your authority over them, and can consequently assign to them that sphere of operation, which you may think best adapted to the promotion of the objects you have in view. The Spark is rapidly refitting, to be dispatched, when ready, to reinforce your squadron, and act under your command.

Whenever it is practicable to procure supplies for the squadron from this country—you will do so; as they can be furnished on terms more economical, and of a quality very superior. I enclose copy of a letter, addressed to Captain Patterson, in relation to his detention and employment of the schooner Grampus, which will give you my views upon the subject.

With great respect, &c.,

(Signed) SMITH THOMPSON.

Captain David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Force, W. I. Station, Thompson's Island.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original.

CHAS. HAT.

Navy Department, May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, June 1, 1823.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 10th ultimo, in which you complain of the absence of those vessels of war of the United States, which you had supposed were to form a part of your squadron, and afford you assistance in the duties assigned you.

The supposition was correct; but it is scarcely possible to assign causes which will afford you any light upon this subject, except as they may relate to those vessels which have returned to the United States, and are now rapidly refitting to be sent out to your command.

The orders under which some of the commanders acted, being anterior in date to your appointment to the entire command, allowed a greater latitude of discretion than will be observed when they shall have united their respective commands with yours; and in the exercise of this power may probably be found the reasons of their absence. Your own examination of their orders, when you meet, will confirm or reject the above suggestion.

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The vessels intended to be placed immediately and ultimately under your command, are comprised in the annexed list marked A, in which those designated by the letter B, in red, are the vessels now and lately in the United States, refitting for the West India service, where they will proceed, as soon as they shall have performed some indispensable, but temporary duties, which have been assigned them.

I also annex a list marked C, which gives the names of those lieutenants and midshipmen who have been ordered to report to you for duty, and to whom you will assign such parts thereof as, in your judgment, will best promote the interests of the service and the object to be attained.

Your force, when once united, will be amply sufficient for the accomplishment of your views, as well as the better accommodation of yourself and those under your command; and you will, no doubt, give it such distribution and arrangement as will unite these objects.

The vessels ordered to join you, (which are enumerated in paper A,) will enable you, in pursuing your first plan, to afford more adequate convoy to merchantmen, while the ability for examining and searching the coasts and inlets, for the lurking places of pirates, by means of the schooners and barges, will be greatly increased.

Every assistance which the Department can afford, consistently with its other relations, shall be cheerfully and promptly extended; and while a just expectation is indulged that, from the extent and character of the means afforded, the object contemplated will be speedily and satisfactorily realized, no doubt is entertained of the zeal and ability that will be exerted on the part of those entrusted with the performance.

Too much attention cannot be placed upon the cleanliness of the men, and the good condition of the vessels; for, to causes incident to every naval service in the generation of disease and mortality, are superadded the baneful influence of a tropical climate upon constitutions unaccustomed to its operations, and unprepared for its effects.

I refer you particularly to my letter of the 23d ult. for instructions in relation to the purchase of supplies, and the negotiation of drafts upon the Department.

I am, with great respect, sir, your obedient servant,

SMITH THOMPSON.

Capt. David Porter, commanding U. S. West India Squadron, Thompson's Island.

Navy Department, May 12, 1825.

I certify the foregoing to be a true copy from the records of the Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Navy Department, August 19, 1823. Sir: In the last paragraph of your letter, dated the 1st instant, transmitted by the U. S. schooner Ferret, you mention that circumstances will, towards the fall, render your return to the United States, for a short period, necessary; you will please to avail yourself of the time most suited for this purpose, and return to the United States in the manner most convenient to yourself, and least prejudicial to the interests of the service.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) SMITH THOMPSON.

Commodore David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Forces, West Indies, &c.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, August 19, 1823.

Sir: Your letter of the 1st instant, relative to the transportation of specie, from Vera Cruz to Cadiz, has been submitted to the President; and it would afford both him and myself great pleasure to comply with your request, could it be done consistently with the honor of the American flag, and the relation in which we stand to the belligerents.

Your letter is not explicit, as to whom the money belongs. I take it for granted, however, it is Spanish property, and from the amount, most likely belonging to the Spanish government. In either case, it is deemed inadmissible to employ our public armed vessels for its transportation; under no circumstances could it be permitted to send a vessel direct from Vera Cruz to Cadiz. Should I be under a misapprehension as to the ownership of the property, and, upon further explanation, your request can with propriety be complied with, I can assure you it will give me great satisfaction to promote your interest in this respect.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SMITH THOMPSON.

Commodore David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Forces, West Indies, &c.

Navy Department, May 10, 1825.

I certify that the above is a correct copy from the records of this Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

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Navy Department, September 27, 1823.

Sir: The United States schooner Weasel, under the command of Lieutenant John P. Zantzinger, will sail this day for Thompson's Island, and take the route pointed out in your orders to Lieutenant Kennon of the 14th August last. It was not possible to prepare her to sail at an earlier day. The Beagle will be ready in three or four days.

The schooner Shark, having on board Commodore Rodgers, and several surgeons, will leave New York about the 1st October, and reach Thompson's Island as soon as practicable. The uncertainty and anxiety which prevail as to your own health, and the health of the squadron, and a desire to furnish the best assistance and procure information which may be a safe guide on all future occasions, are the inducements to this measure. The orders of Commodore Rodgers will be communicated to you on his arrival, and you will render all the aid, which your health will permit, in accomplishing the object of his visit. It is intended that you shall remain in command of the station, or return home, as your health may require and inclination prompt. Commodore Rodgers will return immediately after he shall have accomplished the object of his visit.

It is wished that Midshipman Hoban should return in the first vessel from Thompson's Island to this place, some of his family being at this time very sick.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

I certify that the above is a true copy of the original on file in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

The Secretary of the Navy to Commodore Porter.

Navy Department, September 29, 1823.

My Dear Sir: This letter will be handed to you by Commodore Rodgers. The object of his visit to Thompson's Island will be fully communicated to you by him. The various, and in many points contradictory, reports, respecting the condition of the station, the uncertainty whether you still live, the deepest anxiety for your safety, the desire to furnish speedy relief, and acquire full information respecting the health of the station, and its fitness as a rendezvous during the sickly season, and the fear that, debilitated as you are, you could not secure that information for us, have prompted the wish that Commodore Rodgers should undertake the expedition, and have induced him, cheerfully and voluntarily, to enter on its performance.

He will find united in it the sacred offices of private friendship and public duty. A report that your health is restored will give to me, individually, and to the nation at large, most sincere gratification. I am, very respectfully, dear sir, your most obedient servant,

SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Forces, West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

Navy Department, October 28, 1823.

Sir: Your letter of the 27th inst. has been received. On your recovery from a dangerous illness, produced by great exposure and much suffering, you will be pleased, sir, to accept my sincere congratulations.

In conducting the movements of the squadron entrusted to your charge, you have displayed that intelligence, promptitude, and vigor, which effectually arresting the depredations of the freebooters, have afforded security to our trade, and justly entitle you to the unqualified approbation of this Department, and to the thanks of your country.

The conduct of the officers and men under your command, has been such as might have been expected, from the example of their chief; and you will be pleased, sir, to assure them of the consideration in which their services are held, and the high sense entertained of their devotion to a most arduous and dangerous service.

The want of medical aid, of which you so justly complain, will claim the early and special attention of this Department.

If the state of your health will permit, you will take upon yourself the general superintending direction of the equipment of the vessels of your squadron, now at this yard and at Norfolk. Let their commanders report to you their wants, that you may make them known to the Board of Navy Commissioners, who will cause every requisite supply to be furnished.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,

I. CHAUNCEY, for the Secretary of the Navy.

David Porter, Esq., commanding a Squadron in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore Porter.

Navy Department, December 2, 1823.

Sir: You will, as speedily as possible, with all the vessels under your command, resume your station at Thompson's Island, and continue your exertions to repress piracy, and protect our commerce.

It is the intention of the Department to increase the force under your command, as soon as it can be

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effected. To this end, the frigate Congress will, after her arrival in the United States, he ordered to join you, and in the course of the spring one or more sloops of war will be added to those already with you. The officers engaged in the survey of the coast of Florida will report to you, and you will communicate their proceedings to this Department.

You will keep as constantly as you can, one of your vessels in the neighborhood of Vera Cruz, cruising between that port and Punto Lazardo, to protect our commerce in that quarter. As soon as possible send the Hornet, or one of the large schooners, to cruise on the coast of Africa, touching at Cape Messurado, ministering to the wants of the African agency, and thence returning in the usual track of the slave ships.

Let the cruise of the vessel be such as will comport, as far as possible, with the health and comfort of the officers and men. Upon its return, you will report the proceedings to this Department, and send another vessel upon the same service.

Our national vessels ought not, and must not, be used for purposes of commercial adventure. You may receive on board specie, and the articles permitted by the act "for the better government of the navy," belonging exclusively to our own citizens, and carry them from one port or place to another, when it does not, in any degree, interfere with your other duties, or violate the laws of the country where you are. You may also bring to the United States specie belonging to our own citizens; but you are, in no case, to permit anything in the shape or character of public advertisements to be used for the purpose of giving information that you will carry them. So many complaints have been publicly made on this subject, that you will carefully abstain from everything which can give rise to unfriendly comments; and that the government may know the extent to which the commercial interests of our citizens are benefited by the assistance afforded by our public vessels on this point, and be prepared to answer any complaints on the subject which may be made by individuals or governments, you will, from time to time, make reports to this Department of all the specie and other articles you may carry, the places to and from which you carry them, and the circumstances, terms and conditions under which you do it.

I certify that the above is a true extract from the records of the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, December 21, 1823.

Sir: In reply to your letter of the 29th ultimo, I inform you that it is not believed the Executive has the power to make any rule for the distribution of the premium received for the transportation of specie.

The public vessels will be in the neighborhood of Vera Cruz, &c., and will be permitted to receive on board and carry specie, under the general orders heretofore given.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Captain David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Forces, &c.

Navy Department, May 10, 1825.

I certify that the above is a correct copy from the records of this Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore David Porter, dated—

Navy Department, December 31, 1823.

I have heretofore sent you some accounts of piracies lately committed, and I herewith enclose two more, and request your particular attention to the letter signed by Mr. Lawrence, and the course pointed out as a mode of effecting the object.

Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore Porter, dated—

December 31, 1823.

I have received several communications from you, by the mail of this morning, and shall attend to them as early as possible.

I have ordered Captain Biddle, (the orders sent herewith,) to report to you for duty, and you will dispatch him in the Congress, to the Floridas, on the Thompson's Island station, with such orders as you may consider necessary to execute the views of the Department contained in the instructions heretofore given you. You will send with him all the vessels under your command, which are ready, and will permit no delay which is not indispensable.

I have heretofore sent you some accounts of piracies lately committed, and I herewith enclose two more, and request your particular attention to the letter signed by Mr. Lawrence, and the course pointed out as a mode of effecting the object.

I certify that the above is a true extract of the original on record in the Navy Department,

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

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Navy Department, January 19, 1824.

Sir: I transmit to you a copy of a paper, having relation to the transportation of specie from Mexico, in vessels attached to the squadron, under your command, and in violation of the municipal regulations of that country.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Commodore David Porter, commanding U. S. West India Squadron, Norfolk, Va.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, January 21, 1824.

Sir: In reply to your letter of the 14th inst., I have to observe, that it is my wish that the operations on the coast of Africa should commence as early as practicable, if one of the vessels under your command can be possibly spared for the purpose.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Commodore David Porter, commanding U. S. West India Squadron, Norfolk, Va.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, February 19, 1824.

Sir: It is to be regretted that so long a delay in your sailing, creating so much personal inconvenience to yourself, has been necessary.

In consequence of certain matters of public importance, I may be obliged to detain you a very few days longer than the court-martial may require your attendance. I wish you, however, immediately to inform me, at what time you suppose you will be relieved from your attendance on the court.

I am, respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Squadron, W. I., &c., Norfolk.

Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore Porter, dated—

May 17, 1824.

Congress has not, until within a few days, passed an appropriation law for the current year. This will account to you for one or two of the drafts of Purser Thornton not having been honored, and for the delay in preparing the vessels to join you. It was impossible, without funds, to fit out the Hornet or the Porpoise, and to prepare a larger vessel.

There will be now as much activity as possible, but it is feared one cannot be prepared in time to reach you before the sickly season commences. It shall, however, be done, if possible.

I certify that the above is a true extract of the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHA'S HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, May 24, 1824.

Sir: Your letter of the 3d instant has been received, advising that a bill of exchange, drawn by Purser Thornton upon this Department for $5,000, had been returned" protested; this circumstance is to be regretted, both as it respects the injury done to the credit of Navy bills, and the damages incurred in the present instance. The refusal to pay this draft when offered, was occasioned entirely by the want of funds, in the passage of the annual appropriation bill by Congress; and an occurrence of the kind, I trust, will not again take place.

I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Forces, West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, &c.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHA'S HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825

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Navy Department, May 31, 1824.

Sir: Your letter of the 4th of May has been received. The Decoy will be prepared to return to you as speedily as possible. No provision has been made for the repairs of the Grayhound; and it is probable that she will be laid up or sold.

When any vessels are ordered home for repairs, they must be reported to the Department, that orders may be issued for the purpose.

The amount of force, at this time, on the station, is less than was intended; but the delay in passing the appropriation law has rendered it impossible to send you either the Hornet or Porpoise. They will be both dispatched now, as soon as they can be prepared. This delay is the more to be regretted, as the Hornet must either encounter the rainy season, or not go to the coast of Africa, as was originally designed.

You have now under your command, the John Adams, Hornet, Spark, Porpoise, Shark, Sea Gull, Decoy, and seven small schooners, in all fourteen vessels, exclusive of the barges. I did intend to send a larger vessel than any of them, but the amount of the appropriation, and the time it was made, will probably put it out of my power. It shall still, however, be done, if it can be accomplished.

I regret the state of your medical aid. You have now eleven medical officers attached to the station; and within ten months past, there have been under your command no less than five surgeons and seventeen surgeons' mates; many of them acting as surgeons, and fitted for the office. With such numbers, your medical assistance ought not to have been so reduced as you state it to be at present. Neither these nor other officers must be permitted to leave the station for slight excuses. If they are, it will be impossible for the Department to keep the station supplied. All that can be done with the numbers for which provision is made by law, will be done. In the mean time, those with you must be retained, unless absolute necessity compels them to leave you.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Force,

West Indies, Gulf of Mexico and Coast of Africa, Thompson's Island.

I certify the foregoing to be a true copy from the records of the Navy Department.

CHA'S HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, June 19, 1824.

Sir: I have found it necessary to send the Hornet to La Guayra, and elsewhere.

Captain Kennedy will, on his passage, report to you, and receive your orders for his government, after he shall have accomplished what is directed by the Department.

The Porpoise I have ordered to proceed to the coast of Africa, in the place of the Hornet. Lieutenant Skinner will, on his return, report to you for orders.

I am, very respectfully, sir, yor most obedient servant,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Force,

West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, and Coast of Africa, Thompson's Island.

Navy Department, May 11, 1825.

I certify that the above is a correct copy from the records of this Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Navy Department, June 29, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you, herewith, copies of letters, bearing date the 23d of April, 15th, 17th, 24th, and two of the 31st of May, 1824, addressed to you at Thompson's Island, which it is presumed you have not received, and to which I beg leave to call your attention. Should I find, upon further examination, any more which possibly may not have been transmitted in time to reach you, copies shall be immediately furnished.

I am, with great respect, sir, your obedient servant,

(Signed) CHAS. HAY.

Capt. David Porter, commanding U. S. West Indian Squadron. Present.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original on record in the Navy Department

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, July 19, 1824.

Sir: I have received letters this day from Lieutenant Commanding John D. Sloat, announcing his arrival at New York. I send you, herewith, a copy of a petition, from sundry inhabitants, and merchants, and others, of Matanzas, praying for a more efficient protection to our commerce.

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You will perceive, from this statement, the necessity for the immediate return of the Shark, Grampus and Spark, to their station, and you will therefore order them out as speedily as possible.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Capt. David Porter, commanding U. S. West India Squadron, Bedford Springs.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Navy Department, July 20, 1824.

Sir: It is the wish of the Department, that you cause a portion of the naval force under your command, to touch, occasionally, at the port of Tampico in Mexico, and to afford protection to the citizens of the United States, engaged in commerce with that port. Your attention is particularly directed to this part of the Mexican coast, in consequence of the representations contained in your communication of the 14th inst.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Force,

West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, and Coast of Africa. Present.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the records of the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, July 28, 1825.

Sir: I enclose to you a copy of a letter from Captain Wm. Norris, commander of the brig John, of Newport, R. I., detailing outrages committed on him and his crew near Matanzas; and I have to request that you will take such measures on the occasion as the case requires.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Force, West Indies, Gulf of Mexico. Present.

I certify the foregoing to be a true copy from the records of the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Navy Department May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, July 29, 1824.

Sir: I enclose a copy of a letter from William Neilson, Esq., president of the American Insurance Company of New York, in relation to the capture of the Mercator, having on board a valuable cargo; and I request that you will make such a disposition of the force under your command as will render piratical aggressions of this description less frequent, if it be possible.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Force,

West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, &c., Bedford Springs.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. squadron, West India station, dated—

Navy Department, August 9, 1824.

You will execute this order with all practicable dispatch, in order that the John Adams may not be unnecessarily detained.

Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore D. Porter, dated—

October 14, 1824.

It is deemed expedient by the Executive that you proceed as speedily as possible to your station, in the John Adams, that, by your presence there, the most efficient protection may be afforded to our commerce, and you may be ready to meet any contingencies which occur.

The Constellation will be fitted for sea, and sent to you as speedily as possible.

I certify that the above is a true extract of the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHARLES HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

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Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore David Porter, dated—

October 15, 1824.

I enclose copy of a resolution of Congress.

The surveys and examinations under it, so far as they relate to Thompson's Island, the Dry Tortugas, Tampa Bay, and Pensacola, are confided to your care, superintendence, and direction. The surveys of the two former places, already made, are supposed to be sufficient. Several officers have been directed to report to you to aid in this duty, and you will assign for it such vessel under your command as you think most proper.

Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain David Porter, dated—

October 21, 1824.

The presence of a commander on the station being now indispensable, you will proceed to it.

Navy Department, December 27, 1824.

Sir: Your letter of the 15th November last; relating to the extraordinary transactions at Faxardo, in the Island of Porto Rico, on the ---- day of that month, has been received and considered. It is not intended, at this time, to pronounce an opinion on the propriety of those transactions on your part, but their importance demands for them a full investigation, and you will proceed, without unnecessary delay, to this place, to furnish such explanations as may be required, of everything connected with their cause, origin, progress, and termination. For that purpose you will bring with you those officers whose testimony is necessary, particularly Lieutenant Platt, and such written evidence as you may suppose useful.

You will return in such convenient vessel as may be best spared from the squadron; and, on your leaving the station, you will deliver the command to Captain Warrington, with all such papers, instructions, and information, as may be useful to enable him, in the most efficient manner, to accomplish all the objects for which the vessels, now under your command, were placed there.

I am very, &c.,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Commodore D. Porter, commanding, &c., &c.

I certify the above to be a true copy of the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, March 2, 1825.

Sir: Your letters of yesterday, and this morning, have been received; and they will receive immediate attention the moment that the rising of Congress will give an opportunity to the Department of attending to them.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your obedient, humble servant,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, U. S. Navy. Present.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Navy Department, March 16, 1825.

Sir: It has become my duty to apprise you of the determination of the Executive, that a court of inquiry will be formed, as soon as circumstances will permit, to examine into the occurrence at Foxardo, which was the occasion of your recall, and also to comply with the request contained in your letter of the 8th instant.

It was the intention of the Department in ordering Captain Warrington to the West Indies, to relieve you from the command of the squadron there.

I am, respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, U. S. Navy. Present.

I certify that the above is a true copy from the original on record in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

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Navy Department, March 23, 1825. Sir: I enclose to you, herewith, copy of a letter from Thomas Randall, Esq., in reply to one of mine, apprising him that a court of inquiry would be in a few days convened for the investigation of your conduct.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Com. David Porter, U. S. Navy. Present.

Navy Department, May 11, 1825.

I certify that the above is a correct copy from the records of this Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Washington, March 22, 1825.

Samuel L. Southard, Esq., Secretary of the Navy:

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday, which informs me that you are requested by Commodore Porter to apprise me that a court of inquiry will be held in a few days; one object of which will be to investigate his conduct in relation to the carrying of specie, and neglect of his duties in the suppression of piracy.

Doubtless Commodore Porter in requesting, and you, sir, in making this formal communication to me of a fact which had already been published to the world, considered the notice of some special import to me, and designed that it should produce a correspondent effect upon my conduct. But as your letter does not state the relation in which I am considered as standing either to Commodore Porter or to the court, nor prescribe any course to be pursued by me, I am at a loss to know the object it was designed to produce.

I have therefore to request that you will be pleased to state how I am particularly interested in the fact you announce, and the effect your letter was designed to produce upon my conduct, in reference to the approaching investigation.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) THOMAS RANDALL.

Navy Department, May 11, 1825.

I certify that the foregoing is a correct copy from the original, on file in this Department, and that it is a copy of the letter alluded to in the letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore David Porter, dated 23d March, 1825.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Navy Department, March 24, 1825.

Sir: Midshipman Rowan, of the West Indian squadron, has applied for leave of absence to visit his friends in Ohio. I have suspended a decision, at his request, until I can be informed whether you will require his testimony in the investigation which you have called for.

Your early attention to this is requested.

I am, respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Commodore David Porter, U. S. Navy, Washington.

Navy Department, May 11, 1825.

I certify that the above is a correct copy from the records of this Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Extract of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Commodore David Porter, dated—

April 20, 1825.

Enclosed you will receive a copy of the precept which has been issued for a court to make the inquiry, instituted by the Executive, into your conduct at Foxardo. You will perceive that the same court is also directed to make the inquiry which has been granted at your own request.

OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM COMMODORE PORTER TO THE DEPARTMENT.

[Extract.]

Baltimore, December 21, 1823.

Sir: In pursuance of the instructions of the Board of Navy Commissioners of the 17th, I yesterday purchased eight schooners, which will all sail on the 23d or 24th for Norfolk, to receive their armaments and equipments. Most of the vessels are quite new, requiring no repairs, and may be sent on service at a very trifling expense.

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The cost of the whole will be, when delivered at Norfolk, $10,190, averaging a little over $1,273; having for their outfits $327 dollars each, which I presume will be sufficient; but as this will be a part of the operation over the expense of which I can have no control, I cannot pretend to say that they will not exceed the limits which you have prescribed to me.

I have named these vessels as follows, and their tonnage is annexed, viz:

Ferret, 51: Weasel, 53; Terrier, 61; Jackal, 47; Fox, 51; Wild Cat, 48; Grayhound, 65; Beagle, 52.

They are all of light draft of water, and have every appearance of sailing well. I have not in every instance been able to get the owners to deliver them at Norfolk, but shall labor under no inconvenience on that account, as there are a number of men recruiting to be sent down, who can go to their officers in those which we have to deliver.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

The honorable the Commissioners of the Navy, Washington.

A return of the vessels and commanding officers attached to the squadron under the command of Commodore D. Porter, for the suppression of piracy.

United States ship Peacock, Stephen Cassin, Esq., master commandant.

United States schooner Shark, Matthew C. Perry, lieutenant commandant.

United States schooner Grayhound, John Porter, Esq., master commandant.

United States schooner Jackal, Thomas H. Stephens, lieutenant commandant.

United States galliot Sea Gull, William PL Watson, lieutenant commandant.

United States schooner Fox, William H. Cocke, lieutenant commandant.

United States schooner Wild Cat, Charles W. Skinner, lieutenant commandant.

United States schooner Beagle, John T. Newton, lieutenant commandant.

United States schooner Ferret, Samuel Henley, lieutenant commandant.

United States schooner Terrier, Robert M. Rose, lieutenant commandant.

United States schooner Weasel, Beverly Kennon, lieutenant commandant.

Decoy store ship, Lawrence Kearney, lieutenant commandant.

February 13, 1823.

[Extract.]

U. S. Schooner Peacock, Hampton Roads, February 23, 1823.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you, that I am now anchored in these roads with the whole squadron, with the exception of the barges, which will be ready to leave Norfolk in the course of two days, and will proceed direct to Thompson's Island.

My course with the squadron will be circuitous, and will be regulated by your instructions of the 4th inst.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Directed to the honorable S. Thompson, Secretary of the Navy, Washington City.

Commodore Perry (sic) to the Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. Ship Peacock, St. Thomas, March 3, 1823.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you, that I this morning arrived at this place, with all the squadron under my command, except the Grayhound, which vessel separated in a gale.

I have dispatched Lieutenant Commandant Perry, with the Shark and three small schooners, to scour the south side of Porto Rico, and shall sail to-morrow with the rest of the squadron for St. John's, where I have been informed several privateers have been fitted out, which have done considerable injury to our commerce.

I am also informed that there is a large British naval force in those seas, a squadron of which, apparently on the look-out, I fell in with this morning.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Honorable S. Thompson, Secretary of the Navy.

Commodore Porter to the Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Matanzas, March 28, 1823.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you, that I arrived here on the 26th, after giving to the north coast of St. Domingo and Cuba as thorough an examination as was practicable, with the two schooners, and the boats of this ship, with the greater part of her crew; while all the keys off shore, pointed out to me as the rendezvous of pirates, were examined by the ship.

The service has been very fatiguing to those employed, for more than a week past, in open boats, and in the most dangerous and intricate navigation in the world; but it has been performed cheerfully,

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and I wish I could say successfully; but we have not, in this long route, been able to detect a single pirate, although our suspicions rested on many; nor can I conceive how we shall ever be able to detect them: for they are one day fishermen, another droguers, wood-cutters, salt gatherers, or pirates, as best suits them. Every Spaniard is armed with a knife, and this weapon, according to their mode of warfare, is enough for them. Were we to apprehend every suspicious Spaniard and vessel, their coasting trade would soon be entirely broken up. Since my arrival here, I have heard of the most horrid atrocities committed by them. They now spare no one; whole ships' crews are indiscriminately burnt with their vessels; and there has been an instance recently of the murder of a crew under the wall of the Moro.

I have written to the captain general a letter similar to the one I wrote to the captain general of Puerto Rico, calling on him for information and co-operation, and await his reply, which I expect to-morrow or next day, and shall then proceed to Thompson's Island, to make arrangements for the most energetic operations. I shall there meet all the force which I dispatched from Aguadilla, with the exception of the Shark.

On my arrival here, I found a fleet of American vessels waiting for convoy, some of which had been ready for sea twenty days, and was surprised and mortified to find that all our vessels of war had left this coast, and our commerce here entirely unprotected.

The only protection I can give them is the two small vessels, which will convoy them beyond the reach of pirates, and after examining a bay to windward, which has been their resort for some time, will join the squadron at the place of rendezvous.

The departure of those vessels of war stationed here for the protection of our commerce, and which I calculated on finding here, has caused me some embarrassment: as it becomes necessary to employ part of the force which was intended for the pursuit and destruction of pirates to give that protection to our trade which it has a right to. The reasons for their departure are unknown to me, and I must leave it to their commanders to make the necessary explanations. Five piratical vessels have for some weeks been watching the fleet in the bay, which I shall cause to be examined; and since our arrival, as you will find by the enclosed copy of a note from a highly respectable source, they have dispersed and disarmed. I shall do all in my power, with whatever force may be at my disposal, to give protection to our commerce, and effect the destruction of pirates; and protection shall be the primary object; but, to fulfill the expectations that have been formed, we shall want at least two or three of the large schooners, in addition to those we now have.

I was surprised to learn, on my arrival here, that circulars had been written by the captain general to the governors and commanders of the different districts of the island, forbidding the entrance of my squadron into any of its ports, or the landing of any part of my forces in pursuit of pirates. The island appears at present in a very agitated state, and the government appear to think that the United States would consider it a very desirable acquisition. I shall use every means in my power to satisfy them that my objects are totally unconnected with anything of a political nature.

All vessels ordered under my command, I beg may be directed to report to me at Thompson's Island. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Hon. Smith Thompson, Secretary of the Navy, Washington City.

P. S.—Since writing the above, I have heard of a pirate to leeward, and have dispatched the two schooners and boats after her. I shall know the result of the expedition in the course of a few hours, and have good reason to believe it will prove successful.

Extract of a letter from Commodore Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

U. S. Steam Galliot Sea Gull, Matanzas, April 16, 1823.

Sir: For the last two weeks, our movements and occupations have been so various, that to enter into a full detail, would swell too much this communication; to be brief, therefore, I shall merely state that, within that time, we have built our store houses on Thompson's Island, landed all our stores, collected together all the schooners of the squadron, and stationed them at different points on the coast of Cuba; fitted out all the barges which were also on the coast, and captured one pirate, a pilot boat schooner, formerly the Pilot, of Norfolk, armed with one long twelve-pounder, and commanded by Domingo, the notorious head of this horde of desperadoes, who formerly commanded the Saragariana—the vessel, in the attempt to capture which, the gallant Allen fell—Domingo, and two of his crew, only escaping to the shore with their lives, and one was taken.

The Pilot had been in possession of the pirates eight days; I had heard of her capture on my first touching in at Matanzas with the Peacock, and left the two schooners the Wild Cat and Beagle, to look out for her and the Saragariana to windward, while the Peacock shaped her course towards Havana; but, not finding her, I hastened to Thompson's Island, and two of the barges being got ready, and manned from her fine crew, I dispatched Captain Cassin with them and two of the schooners, which soon arrived, to examine from Havana down to Cape Antonio, and thence to Trinidad, on the south side of the island. A piracy having recently been committed near the latter place, Captain Cassin left Thompson's Island on the morning of the ----- and next morning received information that the Pilot had been seen off the Moro; he consequently sent Lieutenant Stribling to windward, along shore, with the barges, while he kept a look out for her near Havana; on the same day, the Wild Cat and Beagle fell in with her to leeward of Matanzas, chased her to within gun-shot the greater part of the day, giving and receiving from the Pilot a smart fire; but night coming on, she eluded them by getting close under the land, hauling down all sail, and getting off with her sweeps. In about an hour after this, Lieutenant Stribling ran alongside of her with his two boats, one commanded by himself, the other by Midshipman Kelly, acting as lieutenant of the Fox, and took possession of her, after a fire of ten minutes, in which time, all the crew, except the captain and three others, one of whom is taken, were killed, the pirate having time to fire his long gun only once; and what adds to the satisfaction I feel in giving these particulars, which I have obtained from Lieutenant Skinner, who fell in with Lieutenant Stribling and his prize next morning, is, that no

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one was even wounded on board our boats, so sudden and effectual was the attack, which does great credit to Lieutenant Stribling, and all those concerned with him in this gallant affair.

I have with me, here, the Sea Gull, three barges, and one of the boats belonging to the Peacock, besides the vessels intended for convoy. The barges I have placed under the command of Lieutenant Cassin, of the Peacock; which ship, as well as the Decoy, I have been compelled to lay up, in order to obtain men to man the barges, not having found a single vessel on the station on my arrival.

I shall dispatch Lieutenant Cassin to windward, so soon as the weather will permit, where I have strong expectation, from information received, of breaking up a nest of these vagabonds. Two schooners, under Lieutenant Commandant Kearney, are stationed off Havana, to give convoy; two are now refitting to relieve some of the others, and we are now in full operation. But it is greatly to be regretted that I should have been compelled to employ for convoy those small schooners, which were intended solely for the purpose of hunting the pirates out of their hiding holes; but, notwithstanding I have not, including the crew of the Peacock, the number of men required to man one of our large frigates, I hope to effect the object for which I was sent here, and, for a time, give protection to our commerce by convoy. Yet the duty is severe, and more than men can long bear; some respite will be necessary. But it would be unjust in me if I did not say, that every officer and man under my command enter with the utmost alacrity and zeal into the severe duties which this novel service imposes on them; and, although most of them have scarcely put their feet on shore from their cramped vessels since they left the United States; although they have suffered all that men could suffer in crossing the gulf stream, in heavy gales, in open boats; still, not a murmur has been heard from any one. Some, from sickness, and finding themselves unequal to the fatigue, have asked leave to return, and I have indulged them; but, in general the squadron enjoys uncommon health, and there is every prospect of its continuance.

Domingo, the captain of the Pilot, was in this place yesterday, the day of my arrival, and has since disappeared. He acknowledges the death of all his crew, except those before mentioned.

The Pilot is a remarkable sailer; was a constant trader to Havana. Domingo had long set his heart on having her, and, immediately on capturing her, armed and took the command of her. I hope soon to give you some further account of him and the Saragariana. There was one act of politeness in this singular character, which I cannot omit mentioning. There were a large number of letters for myself, and the officers of the squadron, on board the Pilot when she was taken, together with many for merchants in Cuba. Domingo possessed himself of all the mercantile letters, and delivered to the captain of the Pilot all those for us, desiring him to send them to us, as he did not wish to deprive us of the opportunity of hearing from our friends. He said he had no ill-will against us; we were but doing our duty.

The Peacock, sir, is too fine a ship to keep in a state of idleness; and without her crew, I should not have been able to man the barges, by far the most efficient force we have.

In the present state of the establishment at the island, it will be in vain to look for those comforts which the fatigues of the kind of life we now lead, make more necessary to us than they would be at other times, without the conveniences which a ship affords. I do not make this remark so much on my own account as on account of others. The accommodations of the Peacock are small. We have been a great inconvenience to her officers; and it has been the source of great pain to me to witness how much myself, and those who necessarily accompanied me, have been to Captain Cassin and his officers, who have made every sacrifice of their own comfort for our accommodation.

It would be extremely satisfactory to me, and, I am persuaded, would be highly advantageous to the public interest, if I could have a ship and crew for the accommodation of myself and those with me. The Erie would suit me extremely well if she had a poop on her. I want no larger or better ship, and I beg I may not be refused, for, at present, I am completely on the parish, not living as I could wish, but as I can. This is the only request I have made since I embarked in the enterprise, in which I am individually concerned; and it would not have been made, were I not satisfied that the public interests would be more benefited than my own comfort would be promoted. If I cannot have the Erie, I beg that I might have the Macedonian, or some one other of our frigates; but, whatever ship may be sent, I hope she may be furnished with a poop. It is essentially necessary in this climate, and on such a service.

I have the honor to be, your very obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

The honorable Secretary of the Navy.

Commodore Porter to the Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. Steam Galliot Sea Gull, Matanzas, April 24, 1823.

Sir: In my last, I informed you that I had dispatched the barges to examine a bay to windward of Point Yeacos; and having intelligence of three piratical schooners in the river Palmas, I left this place on the 19th, joined the barges next day near Key Blanco, and, after a laborious search of two days, discovered the river, where we found the remains of the vessels, which the pirates had burnt, evidently a short time before our arrival there; I consequently returned to this place, sending three of the barges along the coast to Havana, to which place I shall proceed, after giving convoy to the vessels in this place, having found it necessary to send the two vessels employed here on this service to Thompson's Island, to refit.

I believe, sir, I can now say with safety, that there is not a pirate afloat on this part of the coast of Cuba, larger than an open boat; and even that is doubtful, the Saragoziana, in her flight from here, having been taken by two British sloops-of-war at the east end of the island.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Hon. Smith Thompson.

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Extract of a letter from Commodore David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Allenton, Thompson's Island, May 10, 1823.

Since I last had the honor to address you, I have returned to this place with the Sea Gull and barges, and found here Captain Cassin, with the schooners and barges that accompanied him.

The report of his cruise is enclosed. Our last cruise has been, altogether, a most arduous and fatiguing one; and, although we have not many trophies to show, it has not been without effect; the result has been, the capture of a piratical schooner and a very fine felucca; the destruction of one on shore, the burning of three schooners in the Rio Palmas, and about a dozen of their houses in the different establishments to leeward of Bahia Honda, and inside the Colorados reef; the complete dispersion of all their gangs from Rio Palmas to Capo Antonio; and, what will be of no little importance to all our future operations, a most thorough and intimate acquaintance with the whole line of coast, from Cayo Blanco to the east, down to Cape Antonio in the west. We have taken only one prisoner, and I shall endeavor to use such information as I can squeeze out of him to advantage. I shall dispatch the Peacock to-day for La Vera Cruz, to relieve the Shark, and shall now be left with only my small vessels, two of which, with two barges, (which I have found great difficulty in manning from the Sea Gull and store ship,) I shall send off this evening under the command of Lieutenant Commandant Watson, on an expedition among the Keys in the Old Straits, and thence, around the island, to return by the way of Cape Antonio.

Two schooners, under the command of Lieutenant Commandant Rose, are making the circuit by the other route, commencing at Point Yeacos, going round Cape Antonio, and. returning by the Old Straits; two, under command of Lieutenant Commandant Skinner, are convoying from Havana; and the remaining two are careening, and will in a few days sail for the protection of our commerce; and the three remaining barges are hauled up for the want of men.

I beg you, sir, to take into consideration the uncomfortable situation of myself and those with me, and, as early as may be possible, send me a frigate, or a large sloop-of-war fitted for the climate, or I shall otherwise, most reluctantly, on account of health, be compelled to relinquish a service which I set my heart on accomplishing—the total suppression of piracy in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico; it has been effected about the north side of Cuba, and, with suitable means, I have no doubt of effecting it elsewhere.

Not one of the vessels of war belonging to the West India station, except those which I brought with me from the United States, have yet shown themselves, nor can I get any intelligence of them, by which I can be enabled to command their services.

When I left Matanzas, the country was alarmed by large bands of robbers, well mounted and armed, who had plundered several estates, and committed some murders in the neighborhood of the city. Bodies of horse had been sent in pursuit of them, and the militia were all under arms; some prisoners had been taken, and it was said that those bands were composed of the freebooters which lately infested the coast, and who, being compelled to abandon the ocean, had taken up this new line of business.

Extract of a letter from Commodore David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

Sea Gull, Allenton, May 11, 1823.

We are very much in want of one hundred seamen and ordinary seamen, in addition to our present number, to enable us to carry on our operations; and if we do not obtain them, I shall be under the necessity of discontinuing the employment of the barges; at present I can only man two of them, and to do so am compelled to lay up this vessel and the Decoy.

We shall also want a number of officers, of every class; how many I am unable to say yet; but, from present appearances I am induced to believe that many will (in not a very long time) wish to return to the United States. The service we are employed on is a very harassing one, and, if it should not occasion much waste of life, it will, at least, try the strength of our constitutions, and our capacity for the endurance of fatigue and privations.

The commanding officer of marines states to me that he requires, in addition to his present force, fifty officers, non-commissioned officers and privates; and from the difficulty of supplying the guards which I require, I should presume that a larger number would be necessary.

From the importance of the trade of Cuba and the Gulf of Mexico, the whole of which is now completely protected from this place, with a force not equal to one frigate, I presume my requests will not be considered extravagant. The arrivals and departures of American vessels, from the port of Havana alone, average about thirty per week, and those from Matanzas about twenty. Not a day elapses but that great numbers of American vessels are to be met passing through the Gulf, and since an establishment here they daily in numbers pass in sight of us.

I mention these facts to give you an idea of the importance of this station, and to show the propriety of augmenting the force by the additions which I have asked.

A frigate, or a large sloop-of-war, is indispensable to us, and we cannot exist with anything like comfort without one.

Thrown as we are on a barren and desolate island, that does not supply even water, I hope our situation may be made as free from sufferings as the Department can, without inconvenience to the public interest, make it.

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Allenton, Thompson's Island, May 19, 1823.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that not a single piratical act has been committed on the coast of Cuba since I organized and arranged my forces.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant, D. PORTER.

Hon. Secretary of the Navy.

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Extracts from a letter of Commodore D. Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Allenton, May 23, 1823.

Sir: We have a vastly important commerce to Havana and Matanzas, which is now left to the protection of a small schooner of three guns, at each place; all the others, with the exception of two, coming in to repair, are cruising for pirates on the south side of the island, and in the Old Strait of Bahama.

I am at present left with only the Sea Gull, as the store ship is on the point of sailing for a load of water for us, the lagoons on the island having dried up.

I beg, sir, that our situation may be taken into consideration, and that some means may be speedily employed to ameliorate it. The principal thing wanting is a large vessel, and the aid and comforts which she would afford. At present, I have no place to shelter me but the awning of this small vessel. I cannot obtain hands enough for my use to man a boat. I have no comforts whatever, and I find my health gradually sinking. I would be the last to complain without cause; but the rainy and sickly season is now coming on, and I should fail in my duty, were I not to acquaint you with our true situation.

Allow me to suggest, that this appears to me to be the most suitable place to give protection to the commerce of the Gulf of Mexico, and that all the forces now employed at New Orleans, could be much more advantageously employed here.

Extract of a letter from Com. David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

Sea Gull, Allenton, June 4, 1823.

I yesterday was informed of a piratical schooner on the south side of Cuba, which had captured two vessels, and I immediately dispatched the Grayhound in pursuit of her.

It is with regret I inform you, that I am compelled to discontinue giving convoy from Havana, as my forces are now so scattered, that it cannot be done without neglecting the main object of the expedition. When our cruising was on this side the island, I found less difficulty in the thing.

We are greatly in want of larger vessels, and more men, and I sincerely hope that they may be sent as early as possible.

Commodore Porter to the Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Allenton, June 6, 1823.

Sir: We are greatly in want of medical aid on this station. Doctor Williamson, in charge of the hospital, and Doctor Edger, in charge of the sick in the harbor, have both been taken seriously ill, within a few days, which leaves me with only one surgeon's mate. The small vessels are equally in a suffering condition, having but one acting mate between two of them; and, had it not been for the few acting appointments given by me, they would have been entirely destitute.

I beg, sir, that our situation may be taken into consideration, and as the sickly season is fast approaching, I hope that several surgeons' mates may be sent out to us. Six, at least, in addition to our present number, are required.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Honorable Secretary of the Navy.

Extract from a letter of Commodore D. Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

Sea Gull, Allenton, June 24, 1823.

Sir: By the Hornet, just arrived, I am informed of the capture of two piratical launches by the Ferret, Lieutenant Commandant Newell, a few leagues to the west of Matanzas.

It appears that they were chased into a small harbor, where there was not water sufficient for the schooner; and on the approach of her boat, (carrying only four persons,) they, (about forty,) commenced a fire on her from behind the rocks, and nearly sunk her. The schooner then opened a fire on them with her nine-pounder, drove them from their skulking places, and took possession of the launches.

Such is the account I have received from Lieutenant Shubrick, of the Hornet, whose ship fell in with Lieutenant Commandant Newell on his passage.

There is good reason to believe that these are the boats which plundered the American brig Mary Joan, Captain Hubbard, inside the Bay of Matanzas, twelve days since.

It appears that these launches were captured about the 19th inst.; that their cruise has been only of six days' duration; and that they were taken in not more than three days after I received information respecting them.

It is expected that this prompt detection and punishment of the first attempt at piracy, since the arrangement of my forces on the coast, will deter them, at least for a time, from fitting out any new expeditions.

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Commodore Porter to the Secretary of the Navy.

Sea Gull, Allenton, Thompson's Island, July 17, 1823.

Sir: It is with infinite satisfaction I do myself the honor to lay before you Lieutenant Commandant Watson's official report of the almost total annihilation of the crews of two piratical vessels, by the barges Gallinipper and Musquito, under his command.

When we take into consideration the immense superiority of force opposed to him, the advantage and preparation on the part of the pirates, and the result of the action, we cannot but be impressed with the conviction, that nothing less than Providential influence and protection could have occasioned consequences so fatal to the pirates, and so exempt from injury on our side as to appear almost miraculous.

The five surviving pirates, being desperately wounded, I have, in compliment to the favorable disposition and zealous co-operation of the authorities of Havana, sent to the Captain General of Cuba, to be tried by the laws of Spain.

Enclosed is a copy of my letter to him on the subject.

I cannot close this communication, without expressing a hope that the brilliant success of Lieutenant Commandant Watson, and his excellent character as an officer and man, may induce the Department to promote him to a higher grade, as the most suitable reward for his services.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Hon. Smith Thompson, Secretary of the Navy.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, August 1, 1823.

Sir: Application has been made to me by the American consul, to take one million of dollars from La Vera Cruz to Cadiz, in October, and as we have but few opportunities in this way, to make a little for ourselves, may I ask the indulgence of the Department in this respect.

If a direct conveyance cannot be granted, can I send the money to the United States; and can a transhipment take place from thence to Cadiz? This course will obviate all objections as regards the belligerent character of the property, if any exists.

An answer by the return vessel is desirable. I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Honorable Secretary of the Navy.

I certify the above to be a true copy from the original.

CHARLES HAY, Chief Clerk.

Navy Department, May 10, 1825.

Extract of a letter from Commodore David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

On board the Sea Gull, Allenton, Thompson's Island, August 1, 1823.

I have been engaged, since the return of the barges under Lieutenant Commandant Watson, in preparing them for an expedition to the piratical establishment at New Malaga, against the arrival of the expected vessels, from which I calculated on getting men; but I have lately been informed, by the arrival of a British brig-of-war at this place, (with every officer and man down with the yellow fever, except thirteen,) that a sloop-of-war and several light vessels from Jamaica, have gone against that place. I shall, consequently, as there is much danger from sickness on that coast, delay my departure until I hear the result of the British expedition, and have directed the commander of the Hornet to take one of the small schooners, (now on the coast of Cuba,) with him, to send back with such information as he may collect on the subject. There have been no captures, (except Spanish, by open boats,) by pirates, on this side of the Island of Cuba, since I have been here and no pirate has appeared that we have not captured.

Extract of a letter from Commodore David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, August 31, 1823.

It is with the deepest regret I have to inform you, the yellow fever has lately made its appearance among us to an alarming degree, and has carried off several. For information as to the number of deaths, and the present situation of the sick, I beg leave to refer you to the enclosed medical reports, and to say that we are badly off for medical assistance.

Commodore Porter to Commodore Chauncey.

Washington City, October 21, 1823.

Sir: I have the honor to report to you my arrival here, in the United States galliot the Sea Gull, from Thompson's Island, in forty-three days, and from which place I was driven, with the squadron, by a pestilence which made its appearance there, carrying off, in a short time, for the want of the necessary

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medical aid on the station, a great number of valuable officers and men. This circumstance induced me to order the large vessels to Hampton Roads, there to remain for a short time, where medical assistance, if required by them on their arrival, could be obtained. But I am happy to inform you that, with the exception of some intermittents, contracted since their arrival, they are perfectly healthy, as all the small vessels were which were left on the station.

The vessels on the West India station have never been more healthy than they have been this season, the disease with which we have been afflicted being altogether local, and originating in the decomposition of vegetable substances, after the heavy rains, and during the succeeding intense heat of the weather. My experience convinces me that, from the middle of July to the middle of October, the lee side of Thompson's Island is an unfit residence for man; for the rest of the year, no place within the tropics can be more healthy. Those who have resided on the weather side of the island have at all times been exempt from the sickness with which those to the leeward have been afflicted. As a place of deposit for our stores, and of repair for our vessels employed on the coast of Cuba, no place can be better adapted; but, while the same causes for disease exist, and they must ever exist, it would not be prudent to make it a permanent station, where many men would be exposed to the baneful influence of the sickly season. As we are now happily situated, with regard to the authorities of Cuba, the inconvenience of an absence of three or four months from Thompson's Island would not be felt, and the excellent and healthy harbor of Matanzas, where we enjoy every facility and convenience from the local authorities, will obviate all the other inconveniences which might otherwise be experienced. The short delay of receiving stores from on board the ships from the island, and the position they may take outside the harbor, free from the influence of the poisonous vapor which arises from the ponds, would render them secure from its effects. Should it be the design of the government to keep a force there, I had proposed to myself this arrangement. Under all circumstances, however, it will be proper to have more medical men on the station; and had the necessary number been furnished this year, the squadron would have been, no doubt, in a great measure, saved from the deplorable consequences which have resulted, as the disease, in the commencement, was completely under the control of medicine; but, I regret to say, that several perished without receiving any medical aid whatever, and without ever seeing a physician. The whole of the medical men, with scarcely an exception, were, from their great fatigue and exposure, taken down with the disease, and we were left to perish for want of that assistance which we thought ourselves entitled to. I am well aware, however, of the difficulties the Department has labored under to make the surgeons do their duty.

The Sea Gull will want coppering, and some other repairs; the rest of the vessels are in general in good order. Several of the officers of the squadron under my orders request leave of absence for a short time, and many applications are daily made to me on points of duty relating to my command. I beg to be informed by you, whether I am to act on these matters as I have done heretofore, or to leave them to the management of the Navy Department.

I shall hold myself, and the vessels, ready to return to the station, so soon as it can be done with safety to those on board. I must entreat of you, however, an additional supply of medical men for the vessels of the squadron, and for the establishment on shore.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant, D. PORTER.

Com. Isaac Chauncey, Senior Member of the Board of Navy Comm'rs, and Acting Sec. of the Navy.

Com. Porter to the Secretary of the Navy.

Baltimore, November 19, 1823.

Sir: In conformity with your wishes, verbally expressed to me, I have the honor to submit to you a brief outline of my proceedings in the West Indies, with the squadron under my command, for the suppression of piracy, and for the protection of persons and property, of the citizens of the United States.

In order to take in as large a field for operation as possible, I proceeded with my squadron, consisting of a sloop-of-war, a steam galliot, a store ship, and nine schooners, to windward, touching at St. Thomas, showing my forces off the forts of Porto Rico; and although my presence there was attended with the loss of a gallant young officer, it resulted in the raising of the blockade of the coasts of the Columbian republic, and gave a check to a system of licensed piracy, which had for a long time previously been practiced, from St. John's, and other ports of that island.

From thence, I continued to scour the coasts of the islands of the West Indies to Cuba, the place of our destination, where we found piracy in full force; but, by the extraordinary activity and vigilance of the officers and men under my command, it was, in less than two months from our arrival, as completely suppressed, as it is at this moment, or will be for several years.

The actual presence of an active naval force, with a proper understanding with the authorities on shore, being the only means by which the hordes of desperadoes, which have so long infested the almost unknown coasts of this extensive island, can be completely exterminated, happily the utmost cordiality and most perfect co-operation have existed between the authorities of Cuba and myself; and, from them, I have received every countenance which could aid me in effecting an object so interesting to the whole civilized world, and so honorable to the character of our country; and from those under my command, a zeal and activity which have been rarely equaled, and, I will venture to say, have never been surpassed, in any navy, or on any service.

Humanity will deplore the loss of the many gallant spirits which accompanied me, and which shared in this most arduous duty; but she will console herself in the reflection, that the whole world has benefited by their exertions, and that numbers unknown have, by them, been saved from the knives of the most blood-thirsty monsters that ever disgraced the name of man.

The details of the operations of the forces entrusted to me have, from time to time, been communicated to you. I beg leave, therefore, to refer you to the archives of the office for more minute information. It will, I hope, suffice to say that, at present, I have no knowledge of the existence of any piratical establishment, vessels, or boats, or of a pirate afloat, in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico. They have all been burnt, taken, destroyed, and driven to the shore, where the latter have, in most cases, been speedily captured by the local military.

Some severity has been exercised while the battle lasted, but the result has been beneficial, the

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examples having struck a panic which will, no doubt, long serve to deter others from embarking in similar pursuits.

The fixing an establishment at Thompson's Island for rendezvous and supplies, as my instructions required, has had the most happy effect in attaining the object in view. Its vicinity to Havana, placed, as it were, in the thoroughfare of vessels sailing through the gulf, makes it, in many points of view, an object of great importance to the United States; and, although for three months in the year it must ever remain sickly, while existing causes continue, it is, from its extraordinary salubrity for the remainder of the year, worthy a closer examination, to ascertain whether they may not be eradicated. It is my opinion that, by thinning the woods and draining off the heavy rains of the month of June, thereby promoting a free circulation of air, evaporation and dispersion of the water rendered stagnant by the excessive heat of June, and which causes the rapid decomposition of the vegetable matter with which the island abounds, the months of August, September, and October might be sufficiently healthy for the residence of man; but, at present, the poisonous effluvia arising from these causes is almost certain destruction to whoever breathes it. Had I been aware of its pernicious effects, I could, without any inconvenience, have guarded against them by an earlier removal of the ships; but it took us by surprise, and the malignity of the disease was unparalleled. It is certain that it originated on the island, for our ships, with the exception of those sent to work on shore, have, in their crews, enjoyed uncommon health.

In my intercourse with foreign officers, in general, I have received from them every attention, and from none more than those of the British navy. The Jamacia station had heretofore been commanded by an admiral; but, when Sir Edward Owens, an officer of the same rank as myself, was charged with a force for the suppression of piracy, Admiral Rowley was recalled to England, that we might meet on equal grounds.

Offers for co-operation were repeatedly made to me, but, feeling that the forces under my command were fully adequate to the object, I declined confining myself to any general plan, leaving it altogether to the accidental meetings of our respective forces, and to circumstances. It affords me pleasure to say, that whenever such meetings did take place, with a common object in view, they have been attended with the happiest results.

The law making appropriation for the suppression of piracy, limited the amount to be expended to $160,000; and, in the expenditure, much latitude was given to me by the honorable Secretary of the Navy and the Board of Navy Commissioners. In the exercise of the trust reposed in me, I have endeavored to observe the utmost economy; and, when all shall be deducted which has been charged to the appropriation for this object, and shall be charged under the proper heads, it will be found that a large unexpended balance will be remaining in the treasury.

The improvements of Thompson's Island, transportation of stores for the general service, medicines, hospital stores, &c., &c., &c., are of this description; and, when the sale of the vessels purchased for this service shall take place, and their proceeds be returned to the treasury, the expense of the expedition will be a subject scarcely worthy of consideration.

Should the gradual withdrawal of the small vessels take place, I beg leave to suggest that a frigate, in addition to the two sloops-of-war now attached to the squadron, is due to the character of our service, to the respectability of our flag in that quarter of the world, and would, by the convenience she would afford to our open boats, in the pursuit of pirates, offer the most certain means of keeping them in check.

The moral effect produced by this expedition should not be overlooked. The system of privateering which has prevailed, has, from its looseness, been the cause of many vexations to our commerce. Our presence has occasioned the oldest governments to recall vessels of this description, and the new governments of America to issue their commissions with more precautions, to guard against abuse; consequently, our commerce is free from interruption, and our flag respected throughout those seas.

I have the honor to be, &c., D. PORTER.

Hon. Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

Washington City, November 27, 1823.

Sir: Agreeably to your wish, I have perused the letter from Mr. Biddle, and fully concur with him in the necessity of affording protection to our Mexican commerce, and the advantage resulting from the transportation of specie in our ships of war, as the most certain means of taking away the powerful temptation for piratical depredations on merchant vessels.

Since I have had the honor to command on the West India station, I have kept one vessel constantly in the Gulf of Mexico, to give protection to the persons and property of our citizens, and for the transportation of specie to the United States, agreeably to the orders of the honorable Secretary of the Navy, of the 1st February, 1823. Many applications have been made to me to permit cochineal to be embarked with the specie, but I have invariably opposed it, because I had no instructions which would authorize my consenting to the measure; and however it might have been to my interest, or to the interest of the merchants, I was not willing to give my sanction to what might be liable to abuse, and bring censure on me.

I have gone no further in this respect than my orders required, and the consequence has been that many millions have found their way to England in British men-of-war, that would otherwise have been brought to this country in our own ships, as merchants invariably embark their specie in the same vessel with their cochineal.

Of the propriety of adopting the measure, being a party interested, it might be improper in me to speak. I can only say, that whatever orders I may receive, they shall be punctually obeyed; and whatever course the Department may think proper to take, I shall endeavor, by an honest and faithful discharge of the trust reposed in me, to meet its views; and if vigilance can prevent abuses, none shall be practiced by any under my command.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. Sam'l L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

I certify the above to be a true copy of the original. CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Navy Department, May 10, 1825.

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Washington City, November 29, 1823.

Sir: I have the honor to state to you, that it is in my opinion necessary and proper, that the rate and application of freights for carrying specie in our ships of war, should be fixed by the Department, as there is no existing regulation on the subject.

The merchant is glad to avail himself of the protection and security thus offered to his property, for which he is willing to pay. It is made the duty of the commander of the ship to give protection and security, and to take on himself responsibilities for which he ought to be paid. It increases the duties and responsibilities of the commander of the squadron, for which he ought to be compensated, and it gives some additional trouble and labor to the officers and crew, for which they ought to receive some benefit.

It has been the custom to divide the freight into three parts, of which one part has been given to the commander of the squadron, and the other two to the captain of the ship, thereby making the distribution the same as the shares in prize money; but there being no established rule, it depends altogether on the terms the commander of the squadron and the captain may be on, whether the custom shall continue. For my own part, I have never claimed any share, but it has invariably been paid to me voluntarily by the captains, from a sense of justice on their part.

The British regulations established by a proclamation of the King, dated 12th of July, 1819, copy of which I have the honor to submit to you, divides the amount of freight into four parts, one of which is paid to the commander of the fleet or squadron, two-fourths to the commander of the ship carrying the treasure and signing the bill of lading or receipt, and one-fourth to Greenwich Hospital, for the use of that institution.

This rule embraces every desirable object, and is founded on justice, as it gives to the one who has the greatest responsibility, the largest amount of compensation.

A similar rule might be adopted to advantage in our service, giving one-fourth to the navy pension fund, which should be received by the commander of the squadron, and which he should pay over to those appointed to receive it. As regards the rates of carrying freight, we have always been governed by those established by the proclamation above alluded to, wherein you will perceive a difference between the freight of treasures belonging to the crown, and of those belonging to other parties. In both cases there is great responsibility on the officer commanding, who is held answerable for the exact amount, and it is proper that he should receive an indemnity.

By the adoption of this rule as suggested, I should certainly be the sufferer in a pecuniary point of view; but a strict regard to justice, and a desire to reduce to rule what is now left to chance, which might, under other circumstances, jeopardize the harmony of the squadron, and occasion disputes, induces me to ask your early instructions on the subject.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your very obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. Secretary of the Navy.

I certify the above to be a true copy from the original.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

U. S. Ship John Adams, January 14, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to state, for the information of the Board of Navy Commissioners, that I shall put to sea with this ship, the Grampus, and the Sea Gull, on the 11th of this month. The Hornet is still in the hands of the officers of the yard, and it is uncertain when she will be ready. She is in want of one more chain cable, as the one intended for her was sent to the Peacock. There will be sufficient time for one to be made and sent to her before she leaves this place.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. John Rodgers, President of the Board of Navy Commissioners, Washington.

Copy of a letter from Com. David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

U. S. Ship John Adams, Norfolk, January 20, 1824.

Sir: In reference to your letter of the 15th inst., enclosing one from Mr. Cambreleng, I have the honor to state that I dispatched the United States schooner Shark, on or about the 1st of this month, to cruise in the neighborhood of La Vera Cruz, Tampico, and Alvarado, until the 1st of March, for the protection of our commerce in that quarter, and to be relieved at that time by the United States brig Spark and schooner Weasel, which vessel sailed two days since, with instructions to scour the West Indies for piratical vessels, said to be out previous to going there.

The Spark will be relieved by the Grampus and another small schooner by the middle of May, and I shall give regular and constant protection to the persons and property of our citizens in the Gulf of Mexico, so long as I am honored with my present command, unless I receive orders from you to the contrary. I contemplate, by a constant routine, giving equal protection to our colony on the coast of Africa and guarding against the slave trade, provided it meets "with your approbation.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Hon. Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

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Copy of a letter from Com. David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

U. S. Ship John Adams, off Havana, April 8, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you, that, in my route to this place, I have touched at St. Bartholomews, St. Christopher, St. Thomas; examined the south coast of Porto Rico, looking in at the Dead Man's Chest and Ponce, two noted places for Porto Rico privateers; touching at Mona, St. Domingo, Beata, and Kingston, making diligent inquiries and examinations for piratical vessels, and offering convoy and protection to vessels of all nations from piratical aggressions.

In the course of this long route, although we have visited places formerly the rendezvous of pirates, and saw evidences of their having been recently there, we have not been so fortunate as to capture any, nor have we seen any vessels of a suspicious character, until two days since, when we pursued a small schooner which took shelter among the Colorados reefs, and, from every circumstance, there cannot be a doubt that she is a pirate.

I shall, as soon as I can place the vessels now under convoy in safety, hasten to Thompson's Island, to dispatch the barges and small vessels in pursuit, and hope, in a few days, to have her in possession.

It appears that an attempt has been made to revive, on the south side of Cuba, that system of piracy which had so long prevailed. The British have lost some men in attempting to suppress it, and the fortunate assemblage of a large British force at the Isle of Pines, has, I have been informed, caused a dispersion of the gang. Nothing but the presence of a strong and active force can keep them in order. I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

To the Hon. Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

Copy of a letter from Com. David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

United States Ship John Adams, Port Rodgers, Thompson's Island, April 24, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of Captain Wilkinson's report of the expedition after the piratical schooner.

I shall immediately dispatch vessels to the coast of Yucatan, in pursuit of the vessel of which he gives information.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

D. PORTER.

Hon. Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

Matanzas, May 3, 1824.

Sir: I regret extremely to learn that a bill of exchange of 5,000 dollars, drawn during my absence, by Mr. T. A. Thornton, purser, in favor of Messrs. Castillo, Black and Company, and approved by Captain Wilkinson, has been returned protested, with seven hundred dollars expenses.

My fortunate arrival with funds, enabled the drawer to take up the bill, but in consequence of this protest, the credit of Navy bills, which sold for two and a half and five per cent. premium, has greatly suffered.

I shall endeavor to do with what funds I have, and can obtain, on my own credit, until I hear that the appropriation has been made for this year.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. Sam'l L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

I certify that the above is a true copy of the original on file in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 11, 1825.

Matanzas, May 4, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I have sent the Decoy to New York for stores, a list of which (copy enclosed) has been furnished to the commandant of the Navy yard.

I have also sent the Grayhound to New York to be coppered and repaired, as we have not mechanics on the station to do the work required. I beg leave to observe that a stationary force of five or six ship carpenters, ten joiners, four blacksmiths, three boat builders and twenty black laborers, could be very advantageously employed at Thompson's Island.

Such men cannot be shiped at the rendezvous; they must be got on the same terms as those employed at our Navy yards.

I beg, therefore, the Commissioners will cause me to be supplied with them.

1 have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. John Rodgers, President of the Board of Navy Commissioners.

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Sea Gull, Matanzas, May 28, 1824.

Sir: I regret to be under the necessity of informing you, that the fever has made its appearance on the island, and that the inability of the acting surgeon's mate, in charge of the medical department there, to attend to his duty, from sickness, renders his return to the north necessary.

I have sent another to take his place, but this leaves us deplorably off for medical men.

I purpose removing the principal part of the forces to the north about the middle of next month, as the only means of guarding against the consequences of a deficiency of surgeons.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

(No Signature.)

Hon. Sam'l L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

Copy of a letter from Com. David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Matanzas, June 1, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to enclose you a copy of a letter from Lieutenant Commandant John H. Lee, who was sent by me in pursuit of the pirate that escaped from Colorados. I shall not cease the pursuit, until I hear of his capture or destruction.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Hon. Secretary of the Navy.

Washington, June 25, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you, that I arrived here yesterday, in the Sea Gull, from the coast of Cuba, in nine days, and shall be prepared to return to the West Indies so soon as the season will render it safe to do so, and my health, which requires a respite from the effects of a tropical climate, will admit.

My former communications have apprised you of my intention of removing most of the vessels under my command, to the north, during the sickly season. Orders have been given by me, on the subject, and every arrangement made, to give as much protection to our commerce as the force remaining on the station will admit.

I have purposed sailing from New York, and visiting in my way out, as heretofore, the windward islands, so soon as I can get a sufficient force together, and leaving a small detachment in the neighborhood of St. Thomas, for the protection of our commerce there, where it was asked for by our merchants, when I last visited that place.

The John Adams, it is probable, will require heaving out on her return, which will be in a week or two, which will leave me with only one sloop-of-war.

As the health of Captain Wilkinson required his return, I have left Lieut. Oellers in command at Thompson's Island, with full instructions as to the duties to be performed there; and I have left all necessary orders also for the commanders of such vessels as may arrive during my absence.

The island promises to be healthy this season. I have left about sixty officers and men there; but I am sorry to say, I had only a surgeon's mate to leave to attend them during the sickly season.

I have, during this season, greatly improved the comfort and condition of the island, and thereby lessened that repugnance to remaining there, which formerly existed among both officers and men.

I shall proceed to New York, in a few days, to hasten the dispatch of the stores, for the squadron and island, which are now preparing there, and which are much required.

If there are any instructions from the Department affecting my various duties, I shall be happy to be furnished with them, as early as possible.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. Sam'l L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

Washington, July 14, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to submit to you the accompanying copy of a correspondence, on the subject of the sloop Cherub, and the vexations to which our commerce is subjected, in the Mexican port of Tampico.

I shall, as far as depends on me, endeavor to afford it every protection.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. Sam'l L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

I certify the foregoing to be a true copy of the original on file in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 12, 1825.

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Copy of a letter from Commodore David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

Washington, August 9, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit you the enclosed copy and translation of a correspondence between Lieut. Commandant John Ritchie and the commandant of Tampico; and, in reply to your instructions of the 20th ultimo, requiring protection to the citizens of the United States engaged in commerce with that port, have to state that the Shark and two of the small schooners have been sent to the Gulf of Mexico, to afford the protection required.

This, under existing circumstances, is all the force which, at present, can be sent on that service. The sickly condition of some of the vessels that have returned to the United States, which has caused them to be placed under quarantine; the want of repairs in others; the revival of piracy about Cuba and elsewhere, and the reduced state of my squadron, from these and other causes, prevent my affording, with the means at my disposal, as much protection to the citizens of the United States engaged in commercial pursuits within the limits of my command, as I could wish.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, &c.,

DAVID PORTER.

Hon. Secretary of the Navy.

Copy of a letter from Commodore David Porter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

Washington, August 10, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 29th ult., enclosing a copy of a letter from W. Neilson, president of the American Insurance Company of New York, complaining of the capture of the Mercator, near the port of Matanzas, when some of our vessels of war were stationed there, reflecting on the government of Cuba for permitting the seizing of "numerous and valuable vessels and cargoes, sailing under our flag," charging it with connivance or imbecility, and justifying the government for taking decisive measures for the protection of our trade. I have also received your letter enclosing an application from the merchants of Matanzas, for further protection to our commerce in that port, as well as your letter of the 28th July, enclosing a copy of a letter from the master of the brig John, of Newport, recounting the circumstance of the robbery of that vessel near the harbor of Matanzas, asserting that there were no United States vessels on that side of the Island of Cuba, and stating that there had been six captures between Matanzas and Havana. In the various letters accompanying these statements, it is enjoined on me to use my efforts, and make such disposition of the force under my command, as will render piratical aggressions, of this description, less frequent, if it is possible. The whole history of my operations, in conjunction with the authorities of Cuba, against the pirates, renders any defence of my conduct, or the conduct of those under my command, against any imputations of neglect, from any quarter, unnecessary, as it is well known to the Department that we have been devoted to the inglorious service, sacrificing health, comfort, and personal interests, for the sole object of suppressing a system of long continuance, the existence of which was disgraceful to the civilized nations whose citizens and subjects were victims to it, and which the peculiar state of the government of Cuba, arising from the various changes in Spain, and the numerous facilities to piracy, arising from the nature of the population of the island, and various other causes, originating in the suppression of the slave trade, and progress of the South American revolutions, put it out of the power of the local authorities to suppress, without aid from other quarters, which was no sooner obtained, by our presence, than the most zealous co-operation was commenced on the part of the government of Cuba, which has ever since continued, and has changed, entirely, the character of piracy from the bloody and remorseless manner in which it was conducted, to simply plundering of property, and the means from large cruising vessels, to open boats. This latter mode of carrying on their depredations, renders it extremely difficult to detect them, and is calculated to baffle the efforts of the most vigilant, from the ease with which they are enabled to possess themselves of boats along the coast of Cuba, the certainty of being enabled to escape to the unsettled coasts of the island, and the certainty, for some hours, in the early part of every day, that merchant vessels may be found, becalmed, near the land.

Nothing but resistance on the part of those who call on us for protection, can put down the present system; and from the small force employed by them, the mere show of resistance, in a few instances, is all that is required. We have seen it stated, that one of the vessels robbed was taken possession of by a boat with seven men, and plundered, the crew beaten, and confined below. Surely, sir, blame should not be attached to us, or to the government of Cuba, for the dastardly conduct of those who, with the most ordinary means of defence, which every merchant vessel affords, could permit such an act; as well might this, or any other government, be charged with imbecility, and its officers with neglect, for not detecting every highway robber, housebreaker, incendiary, or counterfeiter. The charge of imbecility must rest on those who fail to defend themselves against their petty aggressions, and the cause is attributable, almost entirely, to the parsimony of the owners, who fail to furnish a few weapons to put into the hands of the crew of vessels destined to Cuba.

Those robberies are committed most frequently by the persons employed in loading the vessels, who are well acquainted with their destitution of fire arms at the time of sailing.

I have taken the liberty of enclosing you reports from Lieutenant Mcintosh, the commandant of Thompson's Island, by which you will perceive that every vigilance has been exercised by him in endeavoring to recapture the vessels taken, and punish the offenders; that at the very time that William Norris states that no United States vessels were on the north side of Cuba, the Terrier, Lieutenant Paine, and Diableta, were cruising there, and I have also to state, that the Ferret, Lieutenant Farragut, was on that coast and had been, daily, (until a few days previous,) employed in giving convoy in and out of the harbor, sometimes with his vessel, and sometimes with his small boats. I have further to state, that the John Adams, corvette, the brig Spark, the schooner Grampus, the Jackal, Weasel, and the Beagle, have, a short time since the date of Mr. Norris' letter, all visited the coasts and ports of Cuba, zealously

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employed in the protection of our commerce, in the performance of which duty, I regret to state, that Lieutenants Montgomery and Cumming, with several others, have fallen victims.

The reports of Captain Dallas, Lieutenant Commandants Newton, Sloat, Lee, and Zantzinger, and Acting Lieutenant Farragut, with which you have already been made acquainted, will show the arduous duties they have performed; and the report of Acting Lieutenant Pinkham, the successor of Lieutenant Commandant Montgomery, will show the result of his arduous, useful, and disastrous cruise. There is, at this, time, on the coast of Cuba, and on their way there, the ships Hornet and Decoy, the schooners Shark, Wild Cat, and Terrier, and six barges; and, in a short time, the force will be augmented by the departure of others of the schooners, large and small. The charge, then, or intimation in any shape, of neglect, on the part of myself or officers, to the interest of the merchants, who have no feeling but for their own pecuniary concerns, is, as you perceive, unfounded. It is true, that warned by the dreadful mortality of last year, and by approaching disease, I left the West Indies, and ordered home the greater part of the force under my command; and the only cause of regret to me now is, that I did not remove them earlier, by which many valuable lives would have been saved, and that there should be a necessity for their return at this unfavorable season, which will undoubtedly cause the death of more.

I beg you to excuse my going so much into detail, but as the frequent applications to the Department, from the merchants concerned in the Matanzas trade, for protection, might induce the belief of neglect on my part, I have felt that this explanation is necessary.

I cannot conceal from you, however, my mortification at their conduct, after the devotion we have all shown to their particular interests, which entitled us to their warmest gratitude.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

The Hon. Sam. L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

Washington, October 13, 1825.

Sir: I have the honor to report to you, the arrival here of the United States schooner Fox, Lieutenant Commandant Ritchie, from the coast of Mexico, via Thompson's Island, and that she brings accounts as late as the 25th of September.

At the time of her leaving the island, no information had been received of the U. S. schooner Wild Cat, under the temporary command of Midshipman Booth, who left Havana on the 25th August, to proceed to Thompson's Island; there can be no doubt, therefore, from the violent gales experienced, of the loss of this vessel, her officers and crew.

The situation of the island was truly alarming at the last date. Four deaths had taken place the day previously, and one on the day of the report: the whole number from the 20th to the 25th, eight, including one surgeon's mate.

Should no change take place for the better, it only remains for the officer in command to remove from the island (which, from the confidence I have in his discretion, and the means he at all times has at command, in the wreckers and other vessels which daily touch there,) I have no doubt will be done, whenever he may deem it necessary.

I flatter myself with the hope of making the island more healthy next season, by the improvements at present proposed, to wit; filling up the ponds, and clearing away the woods; and if this should not succeed, the abandonment of the island must necessarily follow.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant, D. PORTER.

Hon. Secretary of the Navy.

Washington, October 16, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to report, in conformity with your orders of the ----- December, 1823, the amount of moneys carried in the vessels under my command, since that period.

John Adams, Captain Dallas, from Tampico for Philadelphia 

$10,000

Spark, Lieut. Commandant Newton, from Havana for New York

80,000

Shark, Lieut. Commandant Stevens, from Tampico for New York.

102,000

Weasel, Lieut. Commandant Zantzinger, from Tampico for New York

127,000

Fox, Lieut. Commandant Ritchie, from Tampico for Havana

17,000

Fox, Lieut. Commandant Ritchie, from Tampico to the United States

3,000

Total amount,

$399,000

The average amount of freight for carrying which is 1 1/4 per cent.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

I certify the above to be a true copy of the original.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Navy Department, May 10, 1825.

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Extract of a letter from Commodore David Porter to the Hon. Secretary of the Navy, dated—

Washington, October 22, 1824.

I have received your letter of yesterday, and shall proceed to sea in the John Adams, with the least possible delay. The ship will be at Newcastle by the time I reach there. I enclose orders for the officer who may take out the Constellation.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Passage Island, November 15, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you, that on my arrival at St. Thomas, I was informed that Lieutenant Commandant Platt, of the U. S. schooner Beagle, who had visited Foxardo, a town on the east coast of Porto Rico, about two miles from the sea, for the purpose of making inquiries respecting a quantity of dry goods, supposed to have been deposited there by pirates, was, after being recognized as an American officer, by the proper authorities there, imprisoned and shamefully treated.

Indignant at the outrages which have so repeatedly been heaped on us by the authorities of Porto Rico, I proceeded to this place, where I left the ship, and taking with me the schooners Grampus and Beagle, and the boats of the John Adams, with Captain Dallas and part of his officers, seamen, and marines, proceeded to the port of Foxardo, where, finding preparations were making to fire on us from the battery on shore, I sent a party of seamen and marines to spike the guns, which was done in a few minutes, as the Spaniards fled on the landing of the party. I then landed with two hundred men, and marched to the town, spiking, on the way, the guns of a small battery, placed for the defence of a pass on the road, and reached the town in about thirty minutes after landing. I found them prepared for defence, as they had received information from St. Thomas of my intentions of visiting the place. I halted about pistol shot from their forces, drawn up on the outskirts of the town, and sent in a flag, requiring the alcalde or governor, with the captain of the port, the principal offenders, to come to me to make atonement for the outrage—giving them one hour to deliberate. They appeared accordingly, and after begging pardon, (in the presence of all the officers,) of the officer who had been insulted, and expressing great penitence, I permitted them to return to the town, on their promising to respect all American officers who may visit them hereafter. We then returned to the vessels, and left the harbor, after being at anchor three hours.

As we were getting under way, a number of persons appeared on the beach, bearing a white flag, and having with them some bullocks, and a number of horses, apparently laden—no doubt a present from the authorities of the place, which they informed me they should send me.

There is no doubt that our persons and our flag will be more respected hereafter, than it has been by the authorities of Porto Rico.

Every officer and man, on this occasion, conducted themselves in a manner to meet my entire approbation.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy.

I certify that the above is a true copy of the original on file in the Navy Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

May 12, 1825.

Washington, March 8, 1825.

Sir: The officers named in the enclosed list will be necessary as witnesses to enable me to repel, in a suitable manner, the foul charges of Mr. Thomas Randall and Mr. John Mountain, and the injurious insinuations and assertions on the floor of Congress, against myself and the officers under my command.

Understanding that vessels, having some of them on board, are about sailing, I beg that they may be detained, provided it can be done without injury to the public service.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Hon. S. L. Southard.

Navy Department, May 11, 1825.

I certify that the above is a correct copy from the original on file in this Department.

CHAS. HAY, Chief Clerk.

Captains.—Stephen Cassin, A. J. Dallas, Wm. B. Finch, L. Kearney, T. H. Stevens.

Lieutenants.—C. W. Skinner, J. T. Newton, F. H. Gregory, Silas Duncan, J. P. Zantzinger, C. H. Bell, C. Boarman, E. Voorhees, C. K. Stribling, D. G. Farragut, J. G. Boughan.

Purser.—F. A. Thornton.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

Having been appointed to the command of the squadron, fitted out under an act of Congress of the 20th of December last, to cruise in the West India seas and the Gulf of Mexico, for the purpose of suppressing piracy, and affording effectual protection to the citizens and commerce of the United States; and to the command of all the United States ships and vessels of war in the West Indies, fitted out for

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the aforesaid objects, and for the suppression of the slave trade, it becomes my duty (in order that a perfect understanding may be had by those under my command of the extent of the authorities to be exercised by them in case of separation, or in case of being detached on special service) to point out briefly to them the conduct to be pursued under particular circumstances, and in doing so, shall confine myself to existing laws, and the instructions of the honorable Secretary of the Navy; and it is hoped that in no case these orders will be exceeded, without my sanction first being obtained.

First, then, with regard to piracy. On this subject there has been three several acts—that of March 3d, 1819; of May 15th, 1820; and that of the 20th December last, authorizing the additional force of schooners, &c.

The second section of the act of March 3d, 1819, authorizes "to subdue, seize, take, and send into any port in the United States, any armed vessel or boat, or any vessel or boat, the crew whereof shall be armed, and which shall have attempted or committed any piratical aggressions, search, restraint, depredation, or seizure, upon any vessel of the United States, or the citizens thereof, or upon any other vessels."

From the generality of this latter description of vessels, it would seem to embrace those of every nation or country upon which any piratical aggression may have been committed. Admitting the act might be extended thus far, it does not appear to be the general object of the law, and it was thought by the President most advisable at one time, not to give it a like indiscriminate practical construction, as to all vessels. The great object, as pointed out in the first section of the act, was to protect the merchant vessels of the United States from piratical aggression. This will, therefore be considered a particular and special duty. If, however, there shall be discovered depredations on other vessels, committed under such gross and aggravated circumstances as to leave little doubt of their piratical character, it will be a duty then to capture and bring in the aggressors. It is thought most advisable thus to distinguish in these instructions, because, among other considerations, it will be seen that, under the second section of the act, authority is only given to retake vessels of the United States, or its citizens, which may have been unlawfully captured on the high seas; no positive authority is given by it to retake the vessels of any foreign nation or country. It will also be perceived that, under this section (2d) of the act, authority is only given to "subdue, seize, and take" such vessels or boats, &c., as shall have attempted or committed some piratical aggression.

Whatever well grounded suspicions may be entertained that a vessel may have been fitted out, and is intended to be employed in such depredations, the act does not authorize her molestation, unless there is satisfactory evidence that she has either attempted or actually committed some piratical aggression on some merchant vessel of the United States or her crew, or upon some other vessel under the special circumstances above mentioned.

This, by this act, must be considered an important and leading regulation, as it will be a strong and almost controlling circumstance (considering we are at peace with all the world), in making up a judgment whether it would be safe and justifiable to treat them as pirates. Whenever, therefore, boats or vessels shall be found, the crews whereof have committed any actual violence, outrage, or depredation upon any vessels of the United States, or citizens thereof, or any other vessel, as above mentioned, it is to be sufficient to authorize their being "subdued, seized and taken," and unless it should satisfactorily appear that they were acting under some lawful authority, and not piratically, they are to be sent in for adjudication. The act of May 15th, 1820, continues in force the act of March 3d, 1819, and makes further provision for punishing the crime of piracy. The third section of this act declares as pirates any person who shall, upon the high seas, or in any open roadstead, or in any haven, basin, or bay, or in any river where the sea ebbs and flows, commit the crime of robbery in or upon any ship or vessel, or upon any of the ship's company of any ship or vessel, or the lading thereof; such person shall be adjudged to be a pirate, and the penalty death, on conviction before the circuit court of the United States.

The fourth and fifth sections make it piracy for any citizen of the United States to be engaged in the slave trade, and the penalty on conviction before the Circuit Court of the United States, death. This act is more extended than the former in its definition of the act of piracy, but in no part (except in continuing in force the former law,) authorizes capture by the armed vessels of the United States. The high and delicate power, therefore, vested in the President by the act of March 3d, 1819, which authorizes and requests him to employ so many of the public armed vessels as in his judgment the service may require, with suitable instructions to the commanders thereof, in protecting the merchant vessels of the United States and their crews from piratical aggressions and depredations, has been resorted to and exercised for the purpose of more clearly defining the duties to be performed. The trust reposed in me is one of a peculiarly delicate character; for while it is made my duty to protect our commerce against all unlawful interruptions, and to guard the rights both of person and property of the citizens of the United States, whenever it shall become necessary, it is enjoined on me not to encroach on the rights of others; and whatever discussion or collision I may have with any foreign power in relation to such rights, I am bound to conduct it with as much moderation and forbearance as is consistent with the honor of my country, and the just claims of its citizens.

The system of piracy, from whatever cause it may have originated, is of considerable extent; and from the population of the Spanish islands, which cannot enforce the authority of the government, establishments have been made by parties of those banditti in the uninhabited parts, to which they carry their plunder, and retreat in time of danger. It cannot be presumed that the government of any island will afford any protection or countenance to such robbers. It may, on the contrary, confidently be believed that all governments, and particularly those most exposed, will afford all means in their power for their suppression.

Pirates are considered by the laws of nations the enemies of the human race. It is the duty of all nations to put them down—and none who respect their own character or interest will refuse to do it, much less afford them an asylum and protection.

The nation that makes the greatest exertions to suppress such banditti, has the greatest merit. In making such exertions, it has a right to the aid of every other power, to the extent of its means, and to the enjoyment under its sanction of all its rights in pursuit of the object. In the case of belligerents, when the army of one party enters the territory of a neutral power, the army of the other has a right to follow it there; in the case of pirates, the right of the armed force of one power to follow them into the territory of another is more complete.

In regard to pirates, there is no neutral party; they being the enemies of the human race, all nations are parties against them, and may be considered as allies. The object and intention of our

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government is to respect the feelings as well as the rights of others, both in substance and in form, in all the measures which may be adopted to accomplish the end in view. Should, therefore, the crews of any vessel seen engaged in acts of piracy, or which there is just cause to suspect of being of that character, retreat into the ports, harbors, and settled parts of the islands, you may enter, in pursuit of them, such ports, harbors, and settled parts of the country for the purpose of aiding the local authorities or people, as the case may be, to seize and bring the offenders to justice, previous notice being given that this is the sole object. When a government exists and is felt, the local authorities must in all instances be respected, and every act must be in aid of and in co-operation with them; it being the exclusive purpose of the Government of the United States to suppress piracy, an object in which all nations are equally interested, and in the accomplishment of which, the Spanish authorities and people will, it is presumed, cordially co-operate with us.

If, in the pursuit of pirates found at sea, they shall retreat into the unsettled parts of the islands or foreign territory, liberty is given to pursue them, so long only as there is reasonable prospect of being able to apprehend them; and in no case are we at liberty to pursue and apprehend any one after having been forbidden so to do by competent authority of the local government; and if on such pursuit any pirates should be apprehended on land, they are to be given over to the proper authorities, to be dealt with according to law; and all the evidence that can be furnished, is to be given in proof of the offence alleged against them. Should the local authorities refuse to receive and prosecute such persons, so apprehended, on reasonable evidence being furnished them of their guilt, they are then to be kept safely and securely until information on the subject can be communicated to me.

Great complaints have been made to the government of the interruption and injury to our commerce, by privateers fitted out from Spanish ports; great discretion is required in giving to our vessels necessary protection against their aggressions, without infringing on the rights of the belligerents. We know not how far they have been authorized and instructed to intercept our trade with Mexico and the Colombian republic; but, according to the well settled rules of the laws of nations, the United States will not consider any portion of the coast upon the Gulf of Mexico as legally blockaded, except where a naval force is stationed sufficient to carry into effect the blockading order or decree; and our government does not recognize the right or authority of Spain to interdict or interrupt our commerce with any portion of the coast included within the Colombian republic or Mexican government, not actually blockaded by a competent force.

Hence, it is but reasonable to infer that to arrest our vessels, employed in lawful trade, from the fangs of the numerous privateers which have lately been fitted out from Porto Rico, and to "subdue, seize, take and send into any port" these depredators on our commerce, would be right and proper; but, in doing this, great discretion and prudence must be exercised, and the fact must be clearly ascertained that they come within the provisions of the second section of the act of March 3d, 1819.

By recent decisions of our courts and officers, competent to decide, and by the wording of the fifth section of the act of March 3d, 1819, it would appear that piracy may be committed by vessels legally authorized to cruise and engage in mercantile pursuits, and that the persons alone committing the act, are responsible for the same. I allude particularly to the Pancheta, sent in by the Grampus, some of the crew of which were imprisoned, to be tried for piracy, and the vessel liberated by decision of the judge; and to the Ninfa Catalina, sent in by the Spark for an act of piracy on a former voyage. The vessel and cargo, immediately on her arrival in the United States, were restored to the owners, part of the crew liberated, and those who committed the act only confined for trial. I might cite other cases to justify the opinion I entertain as to the course proper to be pursued to effect the object of our expedition, with the least possible injury to those not implicated in the crime—but these will suffice.

In the first case cited, the decision of the judge justifies the conduct of the capturing officer, and in the other case the law would seem equally to authorize her being "subdued, seized, taken," &c., &c. The language of the fifth section of the law above cited, is as follows: "And be it further enacted, that if any person whatsoever, shall, on the high seas, commit the crime of piracy, as defined by the laws of nations, and such offenders shall afterwards be found and be brought into the United States, any such offender or offenders, shall, on conviction thereof before the circuit court of the United States, for the district into which he or they may be brought, or in which he or they shall be found, be punished with death."

But it does not appear to me to be necessary, in order to the attainment of justice, that the innocent should suffer for the guilty. If the ship is not answerable for the acts of the crew, there can be no necessity or propriety in sending in the ship for adjudication; because by so doing, injury is brought on the owners, the innocent party, and to us they look for indemnity, who have no other appeal than to the liberality of our country.

But piracy must be punished, and we are bound by the second section of the act of March 3d, 1819, to "subdue, seize, and take" all vessels which commit it, and after we have done so, and it is found that the vessel committing the act is a legally authorized cruiser, the most that it would seem proper to do on the occasion, would be, to take from on board her the persons committing the act, and send them to the United States for trial.

For the same principle that would justify their capture on land, will apply with equal propriety to their seizure on board ships on the ocean, and perhaps, if any competent authority should be near at hand, it would be equally proper to deliver them up to it, with proofs of their guilt, on a pledge that they shall be brought to trial; but on a refusal to give such pledge, they must be reported to me, with as little delay as possible.

The next subject to which attention is to be directed, is the suppression of the slave trade, and it is expected that the utmost vigilance shall be exerted, in order that this inhuman practice may be put down. By the act of the 20th of April, 1818, it is made unlawful to import, or bring, in any manner whatsoever, into the United States, or the Territories thereof, from any foreign place, any person of color, with intent to hold, sell, or dispose of such person as a slave, or to be held to service.

By this act it is also made unlawful for any citizen of the United States, or other person, to build, equip, load, fit, or otherwise prepare any ship or vessel in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, or to cause any ship or vessel to sail from any port or place whatsoever within the jurisdiction of the United States, for the purpose of procuring and transporting any such slaves to any port or place whatever; and any ship or vessel employed in such importation of slaves, or so built or fitted out or prepared, is liable to be seized and forfeited.

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And by the act of third March, 1819, the President is authorized to employ any of the armed vessels of the United States to cruise in such places as he may think proper, where he may judge attempts may he made to carry on the slave trade by citizens of the United States, or residents thereof, in contravention of the acts of Congress prohibiting the same; and to instruct such armed vessels to seize, take, and bring into any port of the United States, to be proceeded against according to law, all ships or vessels of the United States, wheresoever found, which may have taken on board, or which may be intended for the purpose of taking on board or of transporting, or may have transported any person of color, in violation of any provisions of the act of the 20th of April, 1818, above referred to, or in violation of any other act or acts prohibiting the traffic in slaves. From the generality of the provisions of the slave acts, authority is given to take and bring into port all vessels of the United States which may have been in any manner employed or intended to be employed in the slave trade, or any other vessel which may be employed in the importation of slaves into the United States.

It will be observed that the first provision applies only to vessels of the United States; the second applies to vessels of every nation. The rest of the laws go to explain the manner of disposing of the slaves and persons taken in the trade, prescribe the punishment to the offenders, and the bounty to the captors.

It will be sufficient, therefore, that the capture should be made under the foregoing circumstances, and that reference should be had to me for instructions as to the disposal of the vessels, slaves, and offenders, and to the laws for a final decision.

There is one thing that must be particularly observed: it is not to be considered in these general instructions for the suppression of the slave trade, that authority is given at any place out of the waters of the United States to search, capture, or in any manner whatever to interrupt vessels under any other than the American flag.

As regards the recapture of vessels which may be found in the hands of pirates, and not belonging to the United States: although there are no laws which authorize our rescuing them from the fangs of those monsters; and, although the President has given no positive instructions on this head; still, as humanity obviously calls on us to exercise the power, having the means in our hands, (as it is a duty implied by instructions subsequently given to me, by the measures adopted for the suppression of piracy, and as it is enjoined on me by the government to harmonize and co-operate with the forces of any other power engaged in the same pursuit with ourselves, thereby showing a common interest,) I will take on myself to supply the omission, as it certainly is one, by authorizing the act whenever it may become necessary.

All vessels therefore, of any nation whatever, found in the possession of pirates, may be. taken from them as though they belonged to the United States, and as though their recapture was provided for by the laws for the suppression of piracy, and by the most positive instructions of the government.

These instructions, although swelled to an unusual length, are rendered as concise as the subject would admit of, to enable me to inform you fully as to the views of the government.

We have a very delicate duty to perform; and with full confidence in the discretion of those I have the honor to command, I hope it may be fulfilled to the entire satisfaction of our country, to our own honor, and to the honor and general interest of the navy.

In time of actual warfare between nations, there can be no difficulty in discriminating between right and wrong, but the service on which we are engaged requires the exercise of our soundest judgment; and in proportion to the difficulty of discriminating will be the merit of doing what is proper.

The eyes of the world are on us, and while we must not fail in energy, we must not want in circumspection.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

U. S. Ship Peacock, February 26, 1823.

[Circular.]

I am directed by the honorable Secretary of the Navy, to assure the officers and men of the squadron I have the honor to command, of the consideration in which their services, on their recent expedition against the pirates of the West Indies are held, and the high sense entertained of their devotion to a most arduous and dangerous service, wherein a vigor has been displayed which has effectually arrested the depredations of the freebooters, afforded security to our trade, and justly entitles them to the unqualified approbation of the Navy Department, and the thanks of their country.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Washington, October 29, 1823.

GENERAL ORDERS AND INSTRUCTIONS FROM COMMODORE PORTER TO THE SQUADRON UNDER HIS COMMAND.

General order.

The duties of captain to the squadron, are hereafter to be performed by Master Commandant Finch, who will execute all the duties comprised in the "Regulations and instructions for commanders of squadrons or divisions of ships of the United States navy," page 19 of the Rules, regulations, and instructions, for the naval service of the United States, prepared by the Board of Navy Commissioners of the United States, with the consent of the Secretary of the Navy, in obedience to an act of Congress, passed 7th February, 1815, entitled An act to alter and amend the several acts for establishing a Navy Department, by adding thereto a Board of Commissioners.

A general order book is to be kept by the captain to the squadron, into which all orders of a general character are to be copied, and from which copies may be obtained by every officer under my command.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Washington City, November 3, 1823.

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General order.

The Hornet, Grampus, Spark, and Shark, now at Norfolk, are to be got ready for sea, with all possible dispatch, and are to rendezvous in the [vicinity] of Craney Island, where I shall join them soon with the rest of the vessels of the West India squadron in the United States. It is hoped that all will be ready to sail on the 15th of this month.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Washington City, December 1, 1823.

Circular to commanders of vessels in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Craney Island, December 30, 1823.

Sir: No ship or vessel, under my command, is allowed by me to take on freight any treasure, of any description, without special instructions from me; which, when necessary and proper, will be issued in conformity with those I have received on the subject from the honorable Secretary of the Navy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed)  D. PORTER.

General order.

All the small schooners, now at Matanzas and Havana, and cruising on the coast of Cuba, are to repair to this place with all possible dispatch.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Thompson's Island, April 12, 1824.

Circular to commanders.

The Secretary of the Navy has been instructed by the President to inform me that it is his wish that I should not attempt to break any blockade sustained by force; but, when I am prevented from entering a blockaded place, to immediately make report thereof, with the circumstances attending it, to the Navy Department. He has also been instructed to urge upon me the cultivation of the best personal and national feelings in my intercourse with all the officers of other nations, with whom I may meet, and to enjoin the same upon those under my command.

With these wishes and injunctions you will please to comply, making, if necessary, reports to me for the information of the Secretary of the Navy.

Very respectfully your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Washington, July 15, 1824.

Circular.

Washington, August 16, 1824.

Sir: Application has frequently been made to the Navy Department, by individuals, to give convoy to belligerent ports; and, on considering the subject, it has been deemed advisable not to confine our protection to particular cases, on the applications of individuals, but to make it of a general principle, and given to all alike. This is necessary to guard against any infringement of the rights of belligerents, as regards blockades and contraband of war; the first of which is in no case to be violated, and the second is never to be protected. Upon these principles our public ships should never give convoy to our merchant vessels to the ports of either of the belligerents without a perfect knowledge that they had no contraband articles on board, nor are they ever to be protected against a blockading force when warned off.

You will, therefore, take under your protection such vessels as may offer for convoy on your route, governing yourself by the foregoing general principles, and the orders and instructions heretofore given.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

To the Commanders of the Squadron.

Extract from a general order, dated—

Norfolk, November 8, 1823.

All the ships and vessels of the squadron under my command, now at Norfolk, are to be removed to Washington, with all possible dispatch, where their repairs, equipments and supplies are to be completed with as little loss of time as possible.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

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SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO DIFFERENT OFFICERS, AND THEIR REPORTS.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Thompson's Island, April 5, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed with the schooners the Fox and the Jackal, and the two cutters Gallinipper and Musquito, to examine the coast of Cuba, from Havana down to Cape Antonio, in the neighborhood of which place I expect soon to join you.

You will please to govern yourself by my general instructions, as to the course to be pursued in the pursuit of pirates.

Wishing you a pleasant and successful cruise,

I am, with sincere respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Captain Stephen Cassin.

Captain Cassin to Commodore Porter.

U. S. Schooner Fox, off the Havana, April 9, 1823.

Sir: Agreeably to your orders of the 5th instant, I proceeded with the schooners Fox and Jackal, and the barges Gallinipper and Musquito, off this harbor, and dispatched Lieut. Commandant Stephens, in his small boat, into the port. On his approaching the Moro, he was ordered by the guard to return, as his boat would not be permitted to enter; but that his schooner might. As it was important that we should communicate with the consul, I ordered the Jackal into the harbor for that purpose. She was suffered to pass; and returning brought an urgent request from Mr. Warner, and the entreaty of numerous merchants and ship-masters, to afford convoy to eight or ten American vessels, then ready to sail, they having been waiting a convoy a considerable time—such was the alarm created by piratical depredations, many atrocious acts having been committed in the very mouth of the harbor, and one only the evening before our arrival, by the noted schooner Pilot. Captain Stephens also informed me that this pirate was then supposed to be in Escondido, or Hidden Harbor. Under these circumstances, I thought myself justifiable in giving convoy, and sent Captain Stephens in to make known to vessels of all nations that I would afford them protection as far as the gulf, and proceed with them at daylight on the 7th.

On a belief of finding the pirates, I dispatched Lieutenant Stribling in the Gallinipper, accompanied by the Musquito, Lieutenant Kelly, of the Fox, at 7 o'clock in the evening, to Escondido. On the morning of the 8th I fell in with the Wild Cat and Beagle, who had been run off their cruising ground in chase of the pirates; but lost sight of them during the night. As it would not be detaining those vessels more than a few hours, I determined to keep them with the convoy until well off from the land, and run in myself with the Jackal and pick up the barges. At 6 o'clock on the 8th, I received a large fleet of vessels of several nations, who claimed, our protection, and proceeded with them to windward. At three o'clock in the afternoon discovered the barges returning, with a stranger in company, which proved (very much to my satisfaction) to be the noted schooner Pilot, which was taken by our barges, after a long running fight; for the particulars of which, I refer you to the report of Lieutenant Stribling.

I directed the Wild Cat and Beagle to continue with the convoy until morning; the Wild Cat then to return to her station, and Beagle to return to Matanzas for your dispatches, and proceed with them to Thompson's Island. I called in the Jackal and barges, and with the prize stood in for the Moro.

As the Pilot will be of considerable importance to the expedition, I shall keep her with me, and have made the necessary arrangements, and this evening will proceed from this on my cruise.

As I believed it would have a good effect, I sent the prize into Havana, to show her, and to get a little water.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, S. CASSIN.

Commodore D. Porter.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Allenton, April 10, 1823.

Sir: I have determined to change my plan, and go to windward with the Sea Gull and barges. You need not, therefore, be governed by my movements. I should wish for you, if your provisions will last, to go as far as Trinidada, on the south side of Cuba, where some piracies have been committed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Captain S. Cassin, U. S. Navy.

Captain Cassin to Commodore Porter.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Thompson's Island, April 28, 1823.

Sir: I had the pleasure to inform you, by a sloop from the Havana, bound to this place, on the 10th instant, of the successful beginning of my cruise, by the capture of the piratical schooner Pilot. After having shown the Pilot in Havana, and obtained a small quantity of water, I proceeded with the division to Cayo Blanco. We entered within the reef, and proceeded westward, making an average of about twenty miles per day, leaving no bay, inlet, or suspicious place, unexplored. On the 16th, a sloop boat was observed standing to the eastward. The Musquito was ordered in chase; the sloop directly altered her course for the land, was run on shore, and abandoned by her crew, who escaped into the bushes. She was found to have arms of different descriptions, shot, and other articles of a suspicious nature, which satisfied me of her piratical character; and I took possession, with an intention to destroy her, as she was rotten, and an encumbrance to us.

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At 10 A. M., on the same day, we anchored in a noted harbor for pirates, intending to examine it thoroughly. Our anchor was scarcely gone before a felucca was discovered standing out for the Gallinipper, who was ahead sounding. On opening our vessels, she immediately hauled down her sails, and pulled around the point of an island. The barges were ordered in chase, accompanied by all the boats we could muster. On their getting to where the felucca had disappeared, several houses were discovered, and a number of men busily employed carrying things from them, and, at the moment, were supposed to be fishermen. It was some time before the felucca was discovered, and, when found, was dismantled and covered with bushes, hastily thrown over.

When the pirates (which they proved to be,) found she was discovered, they fired a volley of musketry at our boats, which fortunately proved harmless. The officers and crews immediately landed, and pursued them through the bushes, when a running fight of more than half a mile took place, the pirates frequently turning for a moment and firing, which was returned occasionally, but without effect, from the eagerness with which they were pursued. So closely were they pressed, that they threw off shoes, clothes, and other incumbrances; but, from the thickness of the bushes, and knowledge of their path, all made their escape. Their establishment, which consisted of five houses, was set on fire, and the felucca brought off. She is a fine boat, coppered, pulls sixteen sweeps, and is, in every respect, equal to any of our barges. She appears to have been recently fitted, and I presume was on the eve of making her first cruise. The old boat, which was taken in the morning I gave to a fisherman who was serviceable to us as a pilot, she being an incumbrance.

On the 17th we proceeded, examining all places very minutely, and from the intricacy of the navigation, did not arrive at Cape St. Anthony until the 21st. From the moment we passed within the reef until getting to the cape, we were obliged to keep the barges ahead, sounding. The vessels were all trimmed by the head, and every precaution taken, yet we frequently grounded. Many places, for several miles, we found only seven feet water, and frequently less than six, when we were obliged to run out anchors, and heave through the mud. I learned on the passage, from the fishermen, that the English attempted the same, but succeeded only part of the way. I also found the British sloop Scout cruising off the Cape, from the commander of which we learned they had numbers cruising in that quarter, and on the south side.

The passage within the Colorados, from beginning to end, I found extremely intricate; but I am much gratified by knowing we are the first who accomplished it. We suffered much for water, and the small quantity we were enabled to obtain was such as I apprehended would create disease amongst us. And, for the successful termination of the cruise, I tender to Lieutenants Commandant Stevens and Vallette, Lieutenant Stribling, and their officers, my sincere thanks.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c., S. CASSIN.

Commodore David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies.

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Allenton, May 7, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed with the United States ship Peacock to Havana, and there complete your provisions for three months.

You will then proceed to La Vera Cruz, for the protection of our commerce in that quarter and about Tampico, where you will take on board specie on the usual freight to be transported to the United States; and when you have completed your cargo, or got all you can, you will leave there, touching at this place for further orders.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Captain S. Cassin.

Sea Gull, May 11, 1823.

Sir: On your arrival at La Vera Cruz, you will please to correspond with Mr. John Mason, who is now in Mexico, on the subject of the transportation of specie, and act understandingly with him; moving between La Vera Cruz and Tampico, as circumstances may make necessary, and touching at such by ports as you may think proper, in order to facilitate the taking on board money. Wishing you a pleasant and profitable cruise,

I am, with respect and esteem, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Capt. S. Cassin.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, August 20, 1823.

Sir: I shall leave this place to-morrow morning, to look at a doubtful establishment on the continent, and shall be absent about a week, and leave you in charge of the establishment here.

I will thank you to give every aid and facility in the finishing the boat shed, and completing the repairs and equipments of the barges.

I have left all the carpenters that could be mustered. If you have any that can be spared from your ship, or any tools, such as are wanting, I will thank you to supply them, as I am very anxious to have the boats ready by the return of the Fox from the coast of Yucatan. Should the John Adams arrive, you will call on her commander to furnish all the aid in his power in effecting these objects.

All United States vessels which may arrive during my absence, are to await my return.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Capt. S. Cassin.

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Port Rodgers, Thompson's Island, September 12, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed with the United States ship Peacock, under your command, to cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, for the protection of our commerce and the transportation of specie. You will be governed in these respects by your former instructions. You will touch at Cuba for such supplies as cannot be procured here; and on your way down you will examine the coast from Cape Catoche to Campeachy.

You will limit your stay between La Vera Cruz and Tampico to six weeks, and on your return to this place, not finding me here, you will proceed to Norfolk, reporting your arrival to me at Washington. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Capt. Stephen Cassin, U. S. Ship Peacock.

Port Rodgers, Thompson's Island, September 13, 1823.

Sir: Instead of acting agreeably to my instructions of yesterday, you will proceed, accompanied by the John Adams, to Hampton Roads, as the rapid progress of the malignant fever in the squadron, for which we have not sufficient medical aid, requires that the ships should proceed where it can be obtained. On your passage, keep company for mutual assistance.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Capt. Stephen Cassin, U. S. Ship Peacock.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Norfolk, January 28, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed with the United States ship Hornet under your command, to the coast of Africa, continuing along the course in the usual track of slave trading vessels, in pursuance of the general cruising instructions, and the acts of Congress for the suppression of the slave trade and capture of piratical vessels; copies of the laws relative thereto you have enclosed.

While on the coast, you will touch at the American settlement of free colored people—communicate with the agent of the American Colonization Society—ascertain the state and condition of the colony, giving it such aid, assistance, and protection, as it may stand in need of, and be in your power to furnish.

From thence you will proceed towards the coast of Guinea, and thence in the route usually traversed by vessels with slaves, which is mostly north of the Antilles and the Keys to Cuba.

You will, in your route, touch occasionally at some of the islands of the West Indies, to obtain news of piratical vessels. You will proceed to Matanzas—fill your water and repair to Thompson's Island, where you will receive my further orders.

Wishing you a pleasant and successful cruise,

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Capt. S. Cassin, U. S. Ship Hornet.

Sea Gull, Allenton, June 19, 1823.

Sir: Having heard by the Jackal of the arrival of the Hornet at Havana, I have to require you to proceed to this place with as little loss of time as possible, as the services of your ship are much wanted here.

It is greatly to be regretted that you made any stay at Havana at this season, and I shall deem it particularly fortunate if your crew escape the malignant fever which has already been brought over to us in the store ship, and by which two persons who contracted it in Havana have died on the island.

You will be careful in keeping your ship well ventilated and fumigated, not to allow water to be let into the hold, or your men to be unnecessarily exposed; and, should disease appear, hasten to separate those affected from the well part of the crew.

I shall feel much anxiety until the period arrives when all apprehensions should cease, and hope no efforts will be wanting to get as early as possible beyond the baneful influence of the climate of the port. With great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER,

Commanding U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

Capt. S. Smith, Ship Hornet.

United States Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, December 15, 1824.

Sir: You will please send me a report of your proceedings, from the time of your executing the orders of the Navy Department, up to the time you receive this, with a statement of the actual employment of the vessels on the station.

If the marines which were ordered to come out in the vessel with coal have arrived at Matanzas, you will send them over in the Terrier, whose commander has been ordered by me to return, after touching at Havana.

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I have directed the commander of the Porpoise to repair here with his vessel; you will continue on the service you are now engaged, with the remainder of the forces, until you receive further instructions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Capt. Kennedy.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 31, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to Havana with the United States ship Hornet under your command, and there obtain a supply of provisions and water.

You will be careful of the health of your officers and men, suffering as little exposure to the weather, and communication with the shore, as possible, hiring boats and crews to bring off your provisions and water, and laying at Havana not one hour longer than is necessary to complete the object of your visit there.

If you should find there, or in that neighborhood, the schooner Fox, Lieutenant Commandant Ritchie, you will take her under your command, and proceed, with her in company, to a piratical establishment, said to exist at a place called New Malaga, near Cape Catoche; and ascertain, as near as possible, its state, and the force necessary to subdue it, which information you will communicate to me by the Fox, to be dispatched with it to this place. It is said that a British expedition has gone against it.

You will endeavor to ascertain how far they have made efforts to put it down, and their success.

You will from thence proceed along the coast, touching at Campeachy for information respecting the aforesaid piratical establishment, and the state of piracy on the coast; and affording, at the same time, all the protection in your power to our commerce.

From Campeachy you will proceed to La Vera Cruz, and in that neighborhood, as well as Campeachy, continue to give protection to our commerce; and, if merchants wish you to give convoy to their specie to the United States, you can afford it at the usual rate of freight.

The freight allowed at present from Havana is two and a half per cent., and this is not more than sufficient to indemnify those concerned in the risk, responsibility, and trouble of the transportation. I leave it, however, to yourself to make the best arrangement you can with the merchants, assuring them of prompt delivery, and that they may calculate on a certainty of the means of transportation being constantly afforded them.

You will write to me by every opportunity from La Vera Cruz, directing your letter to the care of Messrs. Castillo, Black & Co.; and, should you not meet the Fox, you will take the earliest opportunity of informing me by some other conveyance, of the result of your observations at New Malaga.

It is to be presumed that a stay on the coast of one month will be sufficient to enable you to make up a freight. Should you find it necessary, however, you can remain there six weeks, when you will return to this place for further orders.

Spare no pains whatever in endeavoring to preserve the health of those under your command, allowing of as little exposure to the sun as possible, and at night.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Capt. S. Smith, Ship Hornet.

Matanzas, May 2, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed to Havana with the United States ship John Adams—there fill your water, and proceed to the Gulf of Mexico, touching at Campeachy, Alvarado, La Vera Cruz, and Tampico, for the purpose of affording protection to the persons and property of our citizens, and for the transportation of their specie. At one of these places you will find the United States schooner Jackal, Lieutenant Commandant John H. Lee, whom you will instruct to aid you in the duties assigned you, and, when his services are no longer necessary to you, you will direct him to take in the specie of our citizens, to New Orleans, Havana, or any part of the United States, as may be, in your opinion, most advantageous to our commercial interests. Should he go to New Orleans or Havana, he is afterwards to proceed to Thompson's Island, and, should he be sent to the United States, he is to touch there for orders from me; he is to be governed, in all cases, by the rules prescribed to you in regard to the transportation of specie, and his intercourse with foreign officers.

When you have completed your freight, which I presume may be done in one month or less, you will touch at Havana and this place for further orders.

I have read to you the instructions of the honorable Secretary of the Navy, relative to the transportation of treasures.

I have no apprehensions that you will go beyond the authority given—it is therefore needless to make any further communication to you on the subject. I will merely remark, however, that none of the vessels of war under my command must, on any account whatever, and under any inducement, be used for the purposes of commercial adventure. You can carry the treasures of our citizens from one port or place to another, and you can take it to the United States; but nothing in the shape of public advertisements must appear; and in all your intercourse with the authorities of the places you may visit, make frank acknowledgments of the motives that brought you there. Let all transactions in this respect be open, and not liable to misapprehensions. Nothing whatever in the shape of clandestine shipments must be countenanced.

Wishing you a pleasant and successful cruise,

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Capt. A. J. Dallas, U. S. Ship John Adams.

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U. S. Ship John Adams, (off Matanzas,) July 16, 1824.

My Dear Sir: I have this moment received your orders for New York; all the money on board, amounting to seventy or eighty thousand dollars, is for Philadelphia, and as I have signed bills of lading to that port, I am confident you will not think I do anything improper when I go there.

Should you direct that I proceed from thence to New York, the ship will be ready the moment after the delivery of the money.

Very sincerely and respectfully,

A. J. DALLAS.

Com. David Porter, commanding West India Squadron, &c., &c., &c.

Washington, August 11, 1824.

Sir: As soon as the United States ship John Adams shall be ready for sea in every respect, you will proceed to the West Indies to give protection and convoy to our commerce, governing yourself in every respect by the general cruising instruction and the orders heretofore given.

You will make the island as far to windward as St. Barts, touching at that place and St. Thomas, and examining all suspicious places to the south coast of Cuba. You will there touch at St. Jago and Trinidad, and proceed from thence to the Gulf of Mexico, where you will cruise until a renewal of your supplies shall make your return necessary, when you will touch at Havana and Thompson's Island, to receive them and further orders.

Should you consider supplies necessary before going to the gulf, you can touch at Thompson's Island for them.

Should transportation of specie offer, you can take it on board under the restrictions laid down.

The difficulties which have recently occurred at Tampico with the commandant at that place, will make your occasional presence there indispensably necessary. Govern yourself in your intercourse with him with the utmost caution and prudence, avoiding, if possible, everything which may be likely to produce bad feelings.

You will, by every safe conveyance, make reports to me at Thompson's Island, of your proceedings.

Wishing you a pleasant cruise, I am your very obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Capt. A. J. Dallas.

Washington, October 2, 1824.

Sir: Having received orders from the honorable Secretary of the Navy to proceed as speedily as possible to Thompson's Island, in your ship, you will drop down to New Castle, ready to receive me on board, and be prepared to sail on the shortest notice.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) DAVID PORTER.

Capt. A. J. Dallas.

Thompson's Island, April 12, 1824.

Sir: With the steam galliot Sea Gull and four barges, you will proceed to give a thorough examination to the coast inside the Isabella and Colorado reef, in search of pirates.

With three of the barges, you will enter the passage at the east end, near Cayo Blanco, progessing westward, and you will send the Sea Gull and one of the barges to enter near Cape Antonio, to progress to the eastward. I shall order the Grayhound to proceed to Cape Antonio with a supply of provisions, there to await your arrival, and to receive your further instructions.

After you have executed these instructions, you will return to this place, and make to me a report of your proceedings.

Wishing you a pleasant and successful cruise,

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Captain Jesse Wilkinson.

Copy of a letter from Captain J. Wilkinson to Commodore David Porter, Commander-in-Chief of the United States naval forces in the West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, and on the coast of Africa, communicated to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

U. S. Steam Galliot Sea Gull, April 24, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to report to you my return with the steam galliot Sea Gull, and four barges; having given a thorough examination of the coast of Cuba, inside the Isabella and Colorados, keeping in search of pirates, agreeably to your orders of the 12th inst.

The Sea Gull and one barge entered at Cape Antonio, and progressed eastward, and with three barges I commenced at the river Ortigosa, and progressed westward, examining minutely every part of the coast until I met the Sea Gull with the whole of the forces.

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I then proceeded to the spot designated by you for the anchorage of the Grayhound, where I arrived on the 20th instant, took in a supply of water and provisions, and sailed the same evening for Thompson's Island, with the Grayhound and. Fox in company. I dispatched the Grayhound for Havana. It being calm at 7 o'clock yesterday morning, made signal for the Sea Gull to take the barges in tow, and also for the Fox to make the best of her way to Thompson's Island.

I ascertained, from several concurrent statements, that the celebrated pirate Diableto sailed from Cape Antonio about ten days previous to our arrival there, his destination unknown, but supposed to be for the coast of Yucatan, from the course he steered off, to increase his armament, having at that time but eight men, and nothing but small arms. The schooner he commanded he had captured but a short time before on the coast of Cuba.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

J. WILKINSON.

Com. David Porter, Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, and on the Coast of Africa.

U. S. Ship Peacock, March 11, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed down the south side of St. Domingo and Cuba to Thompson's Island, with the ships under your command, accompanied by the United States schooner Jackal.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. L. Kearney.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Allenton, April 11, 1823.

Sir: So soon as the provisions of the Grayhound and Weasel can be taken on board, you will proceed with them to Havana, and give convoy every Saturday morning, as far as the Double Headed Shot Keys.

A convoy sails with the Wild Cat and Beagle, every Sunday morning, from Matanzas, and you will join them. You will have frequent opportunities of communicating with Lieut. Com. Skinner, and obtaining information of affairs to the windward of Matanzas, in the neighborhood of the Keys, about Point Yeacos, and which you will direct him to examine if practicable. Every week you will do the same with the coast between Matanzas and Havana, (on your return from convoy,) where there are several places that have been much the resort of pirates, particularly Bays Escondido and Jaruca.

If at any time you feel disposed to change stations with Lieut. Com. Skinner, you can do so, directing him to perform, with two of the vessels, the duties assigned to you.

I would recommend your going as little into Havana as possible, on account of the health of yourself and your officers and crew. Some of the small bays will no doubt supply you with water and shelter, while you are not cruising.

It will soon become necessary to careen the vessels, and get them in order. This can be done either at Matanzas or here, and probably at present more conveniently at Matanzas. You will please therefore supply yourself with the requisite stores, and take favorable opportunities of careening them, one at a time, so that you may always be in readiness for the performance of any service that may be required of you. You will consider yourself charged with the protection of our commerce to windward of Havana, while I shall use other means of protecting it to leeward.

The vessels must come here for provisions, and must always come with their water filled; but should any small supplies be required, you can obtain them from Mr. Warner, the American consul at Havana, or Mr. F. Adams, an American merchant at Matanzas. You will observe, however, the utmost economy in everything. Whenever it becomes necessary for you to leave your station, you will apprise the merchants, in order that they may make arrangements accordingly.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. L. Kearney, U. S. Schooner Grayhound.

Sea Gull, Matanzas, April 16, 1823.

Sir: In consequence of your having sent here the Weasel, and of your intentions of coming here yourself, I have sent the Wild Cat and Beagle to take your place off Havana.

I should wish to see you before my departure.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. L. Kearney.

[Extract.]

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Allenton, May 19, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to give convoy every Sunday from Havana, examining the coast occasionally to the east and west of that port.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Directed to Lieutenant Commanding S. Kearney.

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Sea Gull, June 3, 1823.

Sir: The enclosed is the copy of a communication respecting a pirate on the south side of Cuba, which you will proceed in pursuit of.

You will consider yourself authorized, as circumstances may seem to make necessary, to go around the Island of Cuba, to run over the Cape Catoche, to touch at Jamaica, to extend your cruise as far as the Mississippi, and run down to Galveston; and as the object is not to restrain your permit by confining your limits, you can, if there is a reasonable prospect of meeting with pirates, extend your researches to such distance as may enable you to return to this place by the time your provisions may be expended.

Should the Jackal arrive this evening, she will probably join your command; or if you should sail before her arrival, it is likely I shall order her to join you off the south end of the Isle of Pines.

If, in the course of your cruise, you should find persons disposed to send money to the United States, you can take it on board on such freight as may be agreed on between you; and if the destination should be New Orleans, you can proceed with it direct; but if to the Atlantic States, you will, after receiving it on board, touch here for further orders.

The pursuit of pirates, is, however, the primary object, and everything else is to yield to it.

Wishing you a pleasant and successful cruise, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commanding L. Kearney.

U. S. Store Ship Decoy, Thompson's Island, April 11, 1823.

Sir: I have the honor to report to you the events of my cruise from Aguadilla to this place, accompanied by the U. S. schooner Jackal, viz:

On leaving Aguadilla, on the 12th ultimo, we proceeded off Cumberland harbor, on the south side of Cuba, and from thence along shore to the westward, looking into St. Jago, and all ports and places between that and the west end of the island (Cape Antonio), without falling in with any piratical or other vessels liable to seizure, or hearing of any piratical acts having been recently committed along that coast.

On the 23d ultimo we communicated with the British sloop-of-war Scout, then lying at anchor under the Isle of Pines, and were informed that she had tenders then cruising among the Keys and bays in that quarter, but had heard of no pirates.

On the 24th, fell in with the British armed cutter Grecian, of ten guns, off Cape Corientes; was informed that a day previous she had destroyed a piratical vessel in St. Philip's Bay, the vessel burnt, and nearly all the men killed or drowned; said to have been the only piratical vessel heard of in that quarter.

Same day, off Cape Antonio, fell in with H. M. ship Tamer, and two armed schooners, tenders, who confirmed the report of the Grecian.

On the 25th, proceeded in the Jackal back to Cape Antonio, within the reefs, without discovering any vessels or boats of any description, except one or two canoes at an establishment at the Cape, where there were also some huts and Spaniards. The English boats had visited there, and some of their officers being on shore, we did not examine that place so particularly.

From Cape Antonio we proceeded along the outside of the Colorados, and close in with the reefs and coast, up as far as Havana; saw H. M. ship Hyperion, off Cape Antonio, and afterwards off the Bay of Honda, cruising also for pirates.

Under an impression that nothing remained to be done, we proceeded to Thompson's Island, giving convoy to several merchant vessels out of Havana.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

LAWRENCE KEARNEY.

Lieutenant Commandant Kearney to Commodore Porter,

U. S. Schooner Grayhound, Thompson's Island, August 10, 1823. Sir: I have the honor of transmitting herewith, for your information, the enclosed report of the cruise of this vessel, commenced under circumstances of a vexatious nature, as the report will show, but terminating in a manner, I trust, somewhat satisfactory to you, although the principal object pointed out in your letter (respecting the pirates at the Isle of Pines) has not met that success you may have anticipated; but I have the satisfaction to inform you that, although I have not been so fortunate myself, it has been the fortune of others to apprehend those very villains who committed the outrage upon the American vessels Reuben and Eliza, and Mechanic, as mentioned in your orders. They are now in prison, at Trinidad de Cuba. Having had a communication with the governor of that place on the subject, I submit herewith my letter, with his answer (together with some publications to be seen in Spanish newspapers), for your information. Although I was not successful in getting the pirates into my possession, by the application made through the enclosed letter, and which indeed I did not expect, yet you will perceive it has drawn an official acknowledgment of these pirates being in possession of the authorities; making it a matter of public notoriety, it becomes more obligatory to pursue their prosecution to a just and proper issue.

I take this occasion to express to you the high sense I ertertain of the Governor of Trinidad, which his attentions demand. He tendered us every civility and aid in his power in the prosecution of our duties; offering to procure us a pilot, and, altogether, evincing a disposition of friendly co-operation, seldom met with on the Island of Cuba.

For your better information on the subject of our visit to Cape Cruz, I beg leave to subjoin the detail of events, in a more circumstantial and particular manner than given in the enclosed report, viz:

On the 20th ult., cruising in company with the Beagle, Lieutenant Commandant Newton, Cape Cruz

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bearing S. E. about four leagues, brought to and examined a small armed schooner, of about thirty-five tons, having three prizes in company. She proved to be a Colombian, duly commissioned, commanded by a Frenchman, and manned by Frenchmen, and some others, apparently natives of the country where she belonged. Her commission was dated at Carthagena, last December. Her prizes were examined by Captain Newton, and found to be Spanish droggers, except one, a large canoe, calculated to carry about twenty men, which boat had been taken on shore, near the cape, where she had been abandoned by a party they supposed to be pirates, on being chased by said schooner.

On the following day, we stood in, with the Beagle in company, and anchored under the cape. Captain Newton and myself, as well for recreation as to examine the cape, landed with a small boat; but finding the walking bad, we again embarked, and proceeded along shore in search of some settlement. Soon after getting out of site of our schooners, (by doubling around the cape,) a sudden and quick fire was opened upon us, from among a thicket of mangrove bushes and rocks, with which the cape is bordered.

The party was armed with muskets and blunderbusses, which were fired around us, alternately, without effect; at the same time a firing upon us was opened from another quarter, from guns mounted on a high point of rocks a short distance ahead. Thus situated, with a cross fire upon us, enabled only occasionally to return the fire of the party in ambush, as some of them would dodge from bush to bush, or rock to rock; having for our arms but a fowling piece and one or two muskets, we were induced to return to our vessels, which we did. It being late, we waited till next day.

On the morning of the 22d, Captain Newton and myself again set off, hoisting our colors upon the boat; as it was a fair presumption that, in consequence of a Colombian vessel being on the coast, some mistake on the part of the people on shore might have been made in regard to our character. But that proved to be groundless: for, having reached within the distance of their guns, they opened upon us with more apparent spirit and determination than before, from a position inaccessible, apparently, in the rear, from the thickets of bushes and briars; and the same in front, from a precipice of rugged rocks; and, so commanding, altogether, that, to prevent the loss of lives, I directed both vessels to be warped round the cape, along an extensive reef, which almost encircles it, affording a smooth and shallow harbor. We did not succeed in getting within gun shot of the establishment, until we had reached five and six feet water, when we anchored.

Lieutenant Farragut, with the marines and some seamen, was ordered on shore, to endeavor to gain a position in their rear, to attack them, or cut off their retreat before the schooner moored, or their landing could be discovered by the pirates—as we had deemed the party we were about to attack. The officers of both schooners volunteered, and accompanied the party on shore, one being only reserved in each schooner, and a sufficiency of men for the guns, hoping to attract the attention of the pirates from Mr. Farragut's party. Several shot were fired from the schooners, which drove the pirates into places of security behind the jutting rocks, where they seemed to be in considerable force; the shot being seen to strike among the rocks behind which they sat; and not until the boats were dispatched to land in front, and Lieutenant F.'s party was close upon them, did they abandon the advantageous position they occupied. They were pursued, but with so decided a disadvantage to the pursuers, from their want of knowledge of the passes, that none, unfortunately, were taken, except two old and decrepid beings, whose age and infirmities placed them beyond the merited chastisement their more active comrades, had they fallen into our power, would have received.

A four-pounder, two swivels mounted on the heights, and some indifferent articles of small arms, were found; they, however, escaped with their muskets and blunderbusses, or else hid them in some of the numerous deep and intricate caverns to be found on the cape: in one of which, various articles of plunder were stowed, but of no value; however, enough to show the character of the wretches who infest that place; human bones were found in the cave. We found eight boats, but not of a large size; their principal one was, no doubt, the one taken by the Colombian cruiser, as before stated; and those men armed with muskets and blunderbusses were, no doubt, of her crew.

From information derived from the prisoners, we learn that the captain of the gang was in prison in the interior of the island, for having burnt an English vessel off that cape. As a singular instance of the growing propensity of the present age for piracy, I have to inform you, that even a woman and children were of this gang, belonging to the captain of them—a second "Helen M'Gregor," and the old men, too, who can do nothing else, light up the signal fire, which was done in the present instance, on our appearing on the coast.

In another case, a captain of a vessel informed me that he had been plundered by a gang of pirates, who took him by surprise, under the following stratagem, viz:

An old man, (his bald head and hoary locks exposed to view) and a little boy to steer the boat, pulled, or sailed alongside of his vessel; when it was too late, discovered that a strong party lay concealed in the bottom of the boat, to whom he had to surrender.

The female just mentioned was removed to some place of safety before the attack was made, (said to be the wife of the captain.)

Finding our pursuit of the pirates promised no success, I considered it unimportant to remain longer at the cape, having destroyed their means of doing further mischief for a time; and taking into consideration the state of our officers and men, worn down by fatigue from a long pursuit over one of the roughest countries I have ever seen, their clothes nearly torn off, from bushes of impenetrable thickness, and their shoes cut off their feet by sharp pointed rocks over which they passed, I abandoned the place, bringing off the arms, &c., of any consequence, and setting fire to everything else that would burn.

One large and well thatched house, and three smaller ones, were consumed, and a quantity of fishing nets; and their furniture, which I have always observed to be a part of the outfits of a piratical establishment; they are merely used for their immediate wants, in procuring sustenance, when their real profession proves unfruitful and obliges them to it.

I have written you a very long and full account of this affair, in order that you may he possessed of every information in my power to give, in the event of a question arising as to the propriety of landing and burning property on a foreign shore; and should this case be noticed by the supporters of "territorial jurisdiction," (over uninhabited parts of Cuba, notorious only for murder and piracy,) it will be seen that your officers and men's lives have been jeopardized, and the flag of our country made a target for the lawless villians to fire at, at their pleasure, and which will continue so to be, if any restrictions

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should be put upon our landing in similar places, where no authority exists than the will of the marauders themselves who inhabit those places.

I took the liberty of releasing the two prisoners, as there was no proof to establish them pirates; and I furnished them a boat, with an express condition that they should never appear again at the cape, and that I should take and treat as pirates any persons found there hereafter, not furnished with a special license from the present Captain General of Cuba, setting forth their character and occupation.

This was taking upon myself, perhaps, too much; but it is now submitted to you whether such a measure would not be proper, not only in regard to that place, but all others of a like position.

That there is a chain of intercourse with fishermen who live in such places, and pirates, I have no doubt; and it must be obvious from several cases of late.

As regards those at the Isle of Pines, they affect to know nothing of the robbery of the vessels your order mentions to me as having taken place there, although the very articles of the cargoes of those vessels I saw in their house.

At Cape Antonio, two years since, I found fishermen's huts filled with piratical goods, papers and letters, robbed from different vessels, strewed about their floors.

That fishermen, as well as pirates, should be moved from all the capes, or rather uninhabited parts of Cuba, where the proper authorities can have no control, I think necessary, and will, I hope, be the case.

Very respectfully, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

LAWRENCE KEARNEY, Lt. Com. U. S. Navy.

Com. David Porter, Commander U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

P. S.—In my report of the affair at Cape Cruz, I forgot to mention, that we were not either hailed, or was there any colors displayed by the party that attacked us, by which we could ascertain their character.

As regards our character, they could have no great doubt: for they had seen us communicating with an English ship-of-war, close off the cape, on the same day of our arrival.

I was informed by the Governor of Trinidad, of pirates infesting the coast to the eastward of that place, and was induced to proceed within the keys in pursuit.

On my way, boarded a small schooner, belonging to the Grand Cayman Island, and the information before received was corroborated by her master.

Under these impressions, I reached Cape Cruz, and our reception there induced a belief that we had met the party complained of.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. KEARNEY.

Com. David Porter, Commander U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

Washington, July 8, 1824.

Sir: After executing my orders to Lieutenant Commandant T. H. Stephens, of the 25th of April last, (copy of which I enclose you,) you will fill up your provisions and stores, touch at Havana, offer convoy to vessels bound into the Gulf of Mexico, and then proceed to the coast of Yucatan—run down to Campeachy—there offer convoy and protection, and from thence proceed to Alvarado, La Vera Cruz, and Tampico, remaining in the neighborhood of those places about six weeks, giving protection to our commerce, and governing yourself in all your proceedings by my general instructions of the 26th February, 1823, which have, no doubt, been transferred to you by Lieutenant Commandant Stephens.

If, in the course of your stay in the gulf, our merchants should have specie to transport from one port or place, or to the United States, you will take it on board on the usual freight, taking special care that nothing like illicit shipments are made, and that nothing in the shape of public advertisements appear, or that anything is done liable to misconstruction, or give rise to unfriendly comments, and above all, that your vessel is not made an object of commercial speculation or enterprise. Nothing in the shape of merchandise must be taken on board, except under the circumstances provided for by the act for the better government of the navy. Let all your proceedings in these respects be open; make known frankly to the authorities of the place your objects, and let your conduct be such as to remove all suspicions.

In the transportation of specie, an object of great importance to our country, we have a delicate duty to perform, and one which very many believe is not obligatory on us; confine yourself, however, strictly to your orders, and no remarks, whether publicly or privately made, need cause you pain.

After receiving the specie on board, proceed with the convoy, if any, to Havana, thence to New York, touching, if necessary, at Charleston, to land any specie you may have for that place. After landing your specie at New York, you will return to Thompson's Island by the same route pointed out in my instructions of the 25th of April.

Wishing you a pleasant cruise, I am, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant John Gallagher, New York.

Copy of a letter from Lieutenant Commandant John Gallagher to Commodore David Porter—communicated to the Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. Schooner Shark, Havana, November 6, 1824.

Sir: I had the honor to address you from Thompson's Island, dated 8th September last, giving an account of our proceedings up to that date.

The wind being from the southward, and squally, we did not sail from Thompson's Island until the 10th, and arrived at the Havana on the 12th. After remaining at the Havana three days, not finding any

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vessels bound into the Gulf of Mexico, or desirous of convoy, we left the harbor, and stretched over for Thompson's Island, for the double purpose of landing $2,000, taken on board at Havana for Purser Thornton, (which money I was requested to land there, it being much wanted for the station,) and ascertaining if Lieut. Varnum, in the barge Gallinipper, and the schooner Terrier, had sailed on the expedition to Point Yeacos.

I arrived at the island on the 16th September, landed the specie, (Lieut. Varnum had sailed four days previous,) and sailed again on the next day, shaping our course for the Gulf of Mexico.

After arriving in the gulf we cruised about six weeks, touching off Campeachy, and communicating with the town. Not finding any American vessels here, nor hearing of any pirates or recent piracies, we proceeded to the westward, cruising from Roca Partido up with Alvarado; after which, anchored off the harbor of Alvarado, and communicated with the town, offering convoy and protection to our commerce. There being only three American vessels in port, none of which were ready to sail immediately, my further services being unnecessary at that time, I proceeded to Vera Cruz, at which place we remained at anchor three days, the Weasel in company, bound to Alvarado. There was not a single American vessel in port, consequently my services were not necessary at that place. We got under way, and cruised to the northward, as far as Tampico, where we anchored and communicated with the town, offering protection and convoy to any vessels bound out. We remained off Tampico, and in the neighborhood, ten days; from thence, cruised to the southward, and off Vera Cruz and Alvarado, but was unable to communicate with the shore, in consequence of bad weather.

The term of our cruise in the gulf having nearly expired, we shaped our course for Yucatan bank, where we cruised in sight of Alacran, and in the neighborhood, a few days, stretching off Capes Catoche and Antonio; from thence to this port, where we arrived to-day. It affords me great satisfaction to state that the officers and crew have enjoyed health since leaving New York, not having lost a man by sickness, nor have we heard a single case of malignant fever on board.

I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

JOHN GALLAGHER.

To Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Squadron in the Gulf of Mexico and West Indies.

Sea Gull, Allenton, May 11, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to Matanzas with the United States schooner Jackal, under your command, and from thence give convoy every Sunday morning, as far as the Double Headed Shot Keys, and occasionally examining on your return Key Sal, the keys to windward of Point Yacos, and the coast to leeward, for piratical vessels, and vessels engaged in the slave trade, coming under cognizance of our laws, as explained in my general instructions. Should you, at any time, be possessed of information which may be of importance to me, or letters, or packages of newspapers, and no injury will result to the public interest by your absence from Matanzas, you will please to run over to this island with them.

If, at any time, merchants should apply to you for the transportation of specie to the United States, you will please to inform me, as early as possible, as to the amount, and the time when it will be ready, in order that arrangements may be made accordingly.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant T. H. Stevens.

[Extract.]

Sea Gull, Allenton, June 18, 1823.

You will proceed to Washington with the United States schooner Jackal, reporting her arrival to the honorable Secretary of the Navy, for such changes in the officers as may be necessary, and to fill up her crew—these being the objects of sending her home. When the necessary changes have been completed, she is to return to this place by the way of Crooked Island or Caucus passage, running down the south side of Cuba, examining the coast, and touching at St. Jago and Trinadada, for information respecting piracy.

It is extremely desirable that no unnecessary delay should take place in the United States, as the services of the Jackal will be wanted, and any delay will prevent my carrying into effect the arrangement of the periodical sailing of vessels from here.

(Signed by) D. PORTER.

Directed to Lieutenant Commandant Thos. H. Stevens.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Craney Island, December 27, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to the Gulf of Mexico with the U. S. schooner Shark under your command, and land the two gentlemen, agents of the Bank of the United States, either at Alvarado, La Vera Cruz, or Tampico, at their option; you will then regulate your movements so as to receive on board your vessel such sums of money, in any of the ports of Mexico in the gulf, as they may designate; the money to be received on deck, and in parcels of not less than one thousand dollars, put up in good substantial boxes, barrels, kegs, or skins.

The money received from them is not to include any other than what belongs to the Bank of the

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United States, except on the usual terms of freight; all consignments, therefore, to the bank, and not the property of the bank, are to be taken on the terms usually given by merchants, and you will take the British rule as your guide.

When you shall have completed your freight, you will repair to Thompson's Island, for further instructions.

It is presumed that you will not find it necessary to remain in the gulf more than six weeks, and I shall endeavor to send a vessel to relieve you about the 1st of March next.

I have read to you the instructions of the honorable Secretary of the Navy, relative to the transportation of treasures. I have no apprehensions that you will go beyond the authority given; it is therefore needless to make any further communication to you on the subject. I will merely remark, however, that none of the vessels of war under my command must, on any account whatever, and under any inducement, be used for the purposes of commercial adventure. You can carry the treasure of our citizens from one port or place to another, and you can take it to the United States, but nothing in the shape of public advertisements must appear; and in all your intercourse with the authorities of the places you may visit, make frank acknowledgments of the motives which brought you there. Let all your transactions, in this respect, be open, and not liable to misapprehension. Nothing whatever in the shape of clandestine shipments must be countenanced.

For the information of the government, you will, on joining me, report to me the amount of treasures on board your vessel, where taken from, where destined, and the circumstances, terms and conditions on which you have taken them.

Should I leave Thompson's Island before you arrive there, I shall leave orders for you. During your stay in the gulf, as well as on your passage out and home, you will seek every occasion to give protection to the persons and property of the citizens of the United States.

Wishing you a pleasant and a profitable cruise, I am, sir, very respectfully,

D. PORTER.

Lieut Com. Thomas H. Stevens, U. S. Schooner Shark.

U. S. Ship John Adams, January 1, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed to the Gulf of Mexico with the United States schooner Shark under your command, and land the two gentlemen, agents of the Bank of the United States, either at Alvarado, La Vera Cruz, or Tampico, at their option. You will then regulate your movements so as to receive on board your vessel, such sums of money in any of the ports of Mexico, in the gulf, as they may designate; the money to be received on deck, and in parcels of not less than one thousand dollars, put up in good substantial boxes, barrels, kegs, or skins.

The money received from them is not to include any other than what belongs to the Bank of the United States, except on the usual terms of freight. All consignments, therefore, to the bank, and not the property of the bank, are to be taken on the terms usually given by merchants, and you will take the British rule as your guide.

When you shall have completed your freight, you will repair to Thompson's Island for further instructions. It is presumed that you will not find it necessary to remain in the gulf more than six weeks, and I shall endeavor to send a vessel to relieve you about the 1st of March next.

I have read to you the instructions of the honorable Secretary of the Navy, relative to the transportation of treasures. I have no apprehensions that you will go beyond the authority given; it is, therefore, needless to make any further communication to you on the subject. I will merely remark, however, that none of the vessels of war under my command must, on any account whatever, and under any inducement, be used for the purpose of commercial adventure. You can carry the treasure of any of our citizens from one port to another, and you can take it to the United States, but nothing in the shape of public advertisements must appear; and in all your intercourse with the authorities of the places you may visit, make frank acknowledgments of the motives which brought you there.

Let all your transactions in this respect be open, and not liable to misapprehension. Nothing whatever in the shape of clandestine shipments must be countenanced. For the information of the government, you will, on joining me, report to me the amount of treasures on board your vessel, where taken from, where destined, and the circumstances, terms and conditions on which you have taken them.

Should I leave Thompson's Island before your arrival there, I shall leave orders for you. During your stay in the gulf, as well as on your passage out and home, you will seek every occasion to give protection to the persons and property of the citizens of the United States.

Wishing you a pleasant and profitable cruise, I am, sir, very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Th. H. Stevens, U. S. Schooner Shark.

U. S. Ship John Adams, at sea, February 25, 1824.

Sir: After landing the specie on board your vessel at Philadelphia, you will proceed to the coast of Africa, running down as far as Cape Messurado, communicating with the public agent there, and affording every aid, assistance and protection to the colony of free blacks in your power to bestow.

Should you in your route capture any slave vessels, you will deliver them to the agent appointed by the government to receive them.

From thence you will run for the coast of Guinea, and continue down the coast of Venezuela, thence to Jamaica, and from thence to Havana and Thompson's Island, where you will receive my further orders.

In this route you will seek every occasion to afford such protection to the persons and property of our citizens as may be in your power, and for this purpose you may touch at such places where it is most likely such protection may be required.

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You will carry, according to the prescribed rules, the specie of our citizens from one port or place to another.

You will be governed by the laws for the suppression of the slave trade, and by my general cruising instructions, as regards the duties you have to perform.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Thos. H. Stevens, U. S. Schooner Shark.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, April 25, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed to Charleston and New York, and deliver the specie on board your vessel; you will then return with all possible expedition to this place, touching at St. Barts, St. Thomas and Matanzas, for information respecting piratical vessels, &c. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. Thos. H. Stevens.

U. S. Ship John Adams, February 14, 1824.

Sir: Observing in the public prints your arrival in New York, I have to direct your return to Thompson's Island, with all possible dispatch, by the way of Caycos or Crooked Island passage, and round the south side of Cuba, looking into Cumberland harbor, St, Jago, Cape Cruz, Trinidada, Isle of Pines, &c., &c. You will be governed by the general cruising instructions, as regards the duties to be performed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commanding James P. Oellers, U. S. Schooner Jackal.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Norfolk, January 24, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed with the United States schooner Grampus under your command to the coast of Africa, continuing along the coast in the usual track of slave trading vessels, in pursuance of the general cruising instructions, and the acts of Congress for the suppression of the slave trade and capture of piratical vessels; copies of which, and of the laws relative thereto, you have enclosed.

While on the coast, you will touch on the American settlement of free colored people, communicate with the agent of the Colonization Society, ascertain the state and condition of the colony, giving it such aid, assistance, and protection, as it may stand in need of, and be in your power to furnish.

From thence you will proceed towards the coast of Guinea, and thence in the route usually traversed by vessels with slaves, which is most north of the Antilles, and the keys to Cuba. You will, in your route, touch occasionally at some of the islands of the West Indies, to obtain news of piratical vessels; but you will endeavor to reach Matanzas, fill your water, and repair to Thompson's Island by the middle of May, where you will receive my further orders.

Wishing you a pleasant and successful cruise, I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commanding John D. Sloat.

U. S. Steam Galliot Sea Gull, Matanzas, May 20, 1824. Sir: I have received yours of yesterday, communicating your proceedings, in conformity with my instructions of the 24th January, which is highly satisfactory, and shall be laid before the Hon. Secretary of the Navy, for his information, and for the information of those interested in the establishment at Cape Messurado.

After filling your water and obtaining your supplies of provisions, you will touch at Havana, and take under convoy vessels bound to the Gulf of Mexico, run down on the coast of Yucatan, touch at Campeachy, thence to Alvarado, Sacraficio, La Vera Cruz and Tampico, giving every protection in your power to the persons and property of American citizens, and convoy to vessels of all nations against piratical aggression.

After remaining in the Gulf about six weeks, you will proceed to Havana, and from thence to New York, and you are permitted to receive on board the gold and silver of our merchants at the same rate of freight as is charged by British sloops-of-war; but you will be particularly careful that nothing like clandestine shipments take place, and that nothing in the shape of merchandise be permitted to come on board; for, although it is the desire of the Navy Department that every facility be given to our merchants to get their specie from one port or place to another, it is strictly forbidden that our ships should become objects of commercial speculation and enterprise; in other respects, let all your transactions be open, and not subject to misconstruction, and in conformity with the orders of the Secretary of the Navy. You will, on your arrival at New York, make to me a written report of the sums brought in your vessel; the place or places taken from, where landed, and the rate at which it was taken on freight.

Wishing you a pleasant cruise, I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. John D. Sloat, U. S. Schooner Grampus.

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Extract of a letter from Lieutenant Commandant John D. Sloat to Commodore David Porter, commanding the United States naval forces in the West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, and coast of Africa, communicated to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

U. S. Schooner Grampus, Matanzas, May 29, 1824.

Sir: In conformity to your orders of the 24th January, 1824, I sailed from Hampton Roads on the 28th February, and proceeded to the coast of Africa. On the 4th of April I anchored at Cape Mesurada, and visited the colony of free people of color, where I remained eight days, and have the satisfaction to report that I found them comfortably settled, and at peace with all the neighboring nations; although they apprehend that the tribe they had the difficulty with previous to the visit of the Cyane is not friendly to them, yet they do not believe they will venture to attack them again, particularly since my visit, as I gave the natives to understand that I should return there shortly, and they know that I supplied the colony with ammunition, provisions, &c., &c., a return of which I enclose. The appearance of the Grampus on the coast has been of essential service to the settlement. The trade with the natives in their immediate vicinity had been stopped for some time; but when they found the Grampus to be a vessel of war, the King sent in word that he would open the trade, and before I left there the natives began to come in with provisions and other articles, in considerable numbers. The agent for the United States, as well as for the Colonization Society, had left the settlement some time before my arrival; they have appointed acting agents, Mr. Waring for the United States, and Mr. Johnston for the society, both colored men. By their advice the people have elected a council of twelve to assist in managing the affairs of the colony, and by what I could discover, they appear to be doing very well, but they are extremely desirous to have the advice of good agents; they say they do not yet feel themselves competent to manage the establishment. Their settlement is very pleasantly situated on a narrow peninsula, the sea on one side, and Mesurada river on the other, on high ground; and they have for its protection a tolerably good fort, built of stone, at one end of the village, on which are mounted, at present, one long eighteen-pounder, and two eighteen-pound gunades; at the other extremity is a block-house, with one nine-pounder and one six. They have also mounted one brass four-pound field piece and one two-pound swivel, besides several other guns not mounted, and about one hundred muskets, eighty of which are in good order, and the others they will be able to repair with the tools and materials I gave them. The number of inhabitants is two hundred and thirty-seven; seventy-eight of them capable of bearing arms, who are formed into a company, and muster for exercise every Saturday. They have all very good houses, and some of them begin to cultivate gardens; they have also cleared a considerable piece of ground intended for cultivation. They catch in the river a variety of fish, and plenty of oysters. They have an abundance of fine timber, and the soil is very good; and they all appeared to be quite contented with their situation. They probably enjoy as good health there, as they would in any part of the world. Of the last emigrants, one hundred and five, all have gone through their seasoning; three young children only have died, and they with complaints incident to every climate and country. I have made this detailed report, believing it would be agreeable to you, to the society, and to all those friendly to the settlement, to know exactly how these people are situated, as I have been informed at St. Thomas that there are very discouraging reports in circulation in the United States. We sailed from thence on the 12th of April, and I am sorry that I am obliged to add, on the eighth day several cases of malignant bilious fever occurred on board, three of which proved fatal. A particular description of the character and progress of the disease, by Dr. Halse, I beg to enclose. No person has been permitted to go on shore except when necessity required it, and no persons were attacked with this disease except those who had been thus exposed. After leaving Cape Mesurada, I beat up the coast to the northward of Rio Grande, but did not meet with any vessels coming within the limits of my instructions. From there I proceeded in the execution of your further orders, and, on the 10th of May, anchored at Martinico, to obtain information, fill my water casks, and obtain other supplies, all of which were nearly exhausted. Sailed thence on the 16th, and anchored at St. Bartholomew on the 18th; sailed again on the 19th, and anchored at St. Thomas on the 20th; sailed thence on the 21st; called off St. Johns, Porto Rico, on the 22d, and communicated with the American consul. The next day I stood close in to the town of Aguadilla, where I found a Dutch man-of-war brig; communicated with the commander, who informed me that he had been there some days, and had not heard of any piracies or suspicious vessels in the Mona passage lately. Remained in the Mona passage all night, and then made the best of my way to the Island of Cuba.

I have examined the north coast closely as far down as Sugar Key, where I anchored in consequence of seeing several tents on the key. I, however, found them to be the crew of a Spanish brig-of-war from Cadiz, cast away there twelve days previous. From there the weather did not permit me to approach the keys along the Cuba shore. I examined Ginger Key, but found no person there, nor any indication of any having been there recently.

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

JOHN D. SLOAT.

To Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, and Coast of Africa.

Washington, August 16, 1824.

Sir: It has been intimated to you, that the Grampus, under your command, could be ordered to give convoy to certain vessels from the port of New York to Carthagena, but on a reconsideration of the subject it has been deemed advisable and prudent not to confine our protection to particular cases, on the application of individuals, but to make it of a general nature, formed on general principles, and given to all alike. This is necessary, to guard against any infringements of the rights of belligerents as regards blockades and contraband of war, the first of. which is in no case to be violated, and the second is never to be protected. Upon these principles, our public ships should never give convoy to our merchant vessels to the ports of either of the belligerents, without a perfect knowledge that they had no contraband articles on board, nor are they ever to be protected against a blockading force when warned off.

Under these considerations, you will sail, in execution of my orders of this date, taking under your

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teers, fitted from Porto Rico, will aid you in identifying the character of those you may meet in your cruise.

From thence you will proceed down the coast, touching at the various places, wherever it may be found necessary, until you get to La Vera Cruz, in which neighborhood you will remain for the protection of our commerce until it may be necessary for you to rejoin me, which will depend on your provisions and supplies.

If, in the course of your cruise, you should find persons who have money to send to the United States, you will take it on board, agreeing with them as to the amount of freight; and while you remain at or about La Vera Cruz, you will please to communicate with Mr. John Mason, in Mexico, who is Secretary of American Legation there, on the subject of moneys to be transported to the United States, giving him information of your movements, that his arrangements may be made accordingly.

On leaving La Vera Cruz, you will proceed to Thompson's Island for my further instructions.

I should wish to be apprised of the time when it would be likely that you would leave La Vera Cruz, sufficiently early for me to send a vessel to relieve you. With great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant M. C. Perry.

Sea Gull, Allenton, June 24, 1823. Sir: You will proceed off Havana with the schooner Shark, under your command, and there offer convoy to vessels bound to the United States; from thence you will proceed to New York, there to land the specie, discharge the men whose times are out, as well as those who have but a short time to serve, and to cause the necessary repairs to be made to your vessel with all expedition, that she may return to this station with the least possible delay.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant M. C. Perry.

Sea Gull, Allenton, June 24, 1823.

Sir: Understanding as you do my views with regard to the service to be performed in these seas, it is my wish, should you return in the Shark, that her protection to the commerce of the United States, on her way here, should take a range equal or nearly so to the round recently taken; but should her commander be changed for one who has not served under my command on this expedition, it is my wish that she should return here by the shortest route, in order that I may give him his instructions.

Should you leave the Shark, you will furnish your successor with a copy of this letter for his government.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant M. C. Perry.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Matanzas, March 29, 1823.

Sir: You will, with the United States schooner Wild Cat, accompanied by the Beagle, remain to give protection to the American commerce in this quarter, and afford convoy every Sunday as far as the Double Headed Shot Keys. There is a bay to the windward of this place, and around Port Yeacos, called Sequappa Bay, which has been the resort of pirates. I wish you to embrace the first opportunity to visit it; but don't let your visit interfere with your convoy.

Any supplies that may be wanted for the two schooners you will obtain through the agency of Mr. L. Adams, a merchant of this place. You will be careful in not obtaining any but such as may be absolutely necessary.

Any intelligence you may receive of sufficient importance to make it necessary that I should be made speedily acquainted with it, you will convey to me as early as possible by one of the schooners. She will find me at Thompson's Island.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant C. W. Skinner, U. S. Schooner Wild Cat.

Sea Gull, Matanzas, April 16, 1823. Sir: Proceed with the Wild Cat and Beagle, to give convoy from Havana next Sunday morning, after which, go to Thompson's Island, take in one month's provisions, and return to Havana, to give convoy every Saturday. Should you meet the Grayhound, inform the commander of my being here, and my wish to see him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed)  D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant C. W. Skinner.

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Sea Gull, Allenton, May 19, 1823.

Sir: As soon as you are relieved by the Grayhound, you will fill your water and proceed to this place with the Wild Cat and Beagle, that they may undergo the necessary repairs.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Directed to Lieutenant Commandant C. W. Skinner.

Sea Gull, Allenton, June 18, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to Havana, and deliver the letter bag of the Wild Cat to Messrs. Castillo, Black & Co., informing them you will leave there for the United States, on the 1st of July. You will then offer convoy, proceed to Matanzas, leave a letter bag with Messrs. Latting & Co., informing them you will sail on the 28th.

You will offer convoy from Matanzas, take in specie, return to Havana, take in specie from there for the United States, and return here for further orders, leaving Havana on the 1st of July.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant C. W. Skinner.

Navy Department, June 19, 1824.

Sir: Circumstances have rendered it necessary to give to your cruise a direction which was not intended or anticipated, until within two or three days past.

You will receive such orders from Captain Kennedy as he shall transfer to you, relating to his cruise on the coast of Africa, and you will obey them, as if directed to yourself.

On Wednesday next, the Rev. Mr. Gurley will leave this, and on his arrival at Norfolk, you will receive him on board, and proceed without delay to the coast of Africa, touching at Cape Mesurada, and following, thence, the directions in your orders. It will probably be necessary for you to remain at the cape eight or ten days, in order that Mr. Gurley may accomplish what he is directed to do. He will return with you to the West Indies, where you will report to Commodore Porter. Mr. Gurley will return thence to the United States by the first opportunity.

I am, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,

SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.

Lieutenant Charles W. Skinner, commanding U. S. Schooner Porpoise, Norfolk, Va.

Copy of a letter from Lieutenant C. W. Skinner, commander of the United States Schooner Porpoise, enclosing copies of the correspondence referred to in the letter.

United States Schooner Porpoise, Matanzas, October 24, 1824. Sir: I have the honor to inform you that, after leaving the convoy from Havana, I stretched in for this port, where I anchored on the evening of the 18th. On inquiry, I was informed no piracies had been recently committed in this vicinity. I, however, determined to dispatch the boats secretly from the harbor, and examine the adjacent bays and inlets. On the night of the 19th, I placed them under command of Lieutenant Hunter, and Acting Lieutenant Johnson, with orders to examine about Point Yeacos, Sewappa Bay, and Camrioca, places long notorious as a retreat for pirates. On the evening of the 22d, Lieutenant Hunter returned with a piratical schooner of one carriage gun, one new American cutter, and two other boats; one, having three men on board, he captured in Sewappa Bay. Every appearance justified the suspicion of piracy. The persons informed Lieutenant Hunter their vessel had been taken by armed men; the boat they were in, given in exchange, with a promise of returning in a few days and restoring their vessel. The next day, off Camrioca, Lieutenant Hunter discovered a suspicious schooner standing to sea, in chase of a vessel in sight. On his approach, the schooner tacked, and made for the shore, closely pursued by the boats. The crew abandoned the vessel, and fled to the woods, where they were sought for in vain; she proved to be a pirate, mounting one gun, and small arms. From the number of nautical instruments, trunks of clothing, rigging, and sails, with three sets of American colors, found on board, she must have robbed several vessels. From stains of blood on the clothes, and other articles on board, I fear the unfortunate persons to whom they belonged must have been murdered. No papers were discovered which could lead to the name of the vessel or vessels captured; several articles of clothing were marked "Captain Shaw," a number with the initials "A. S." A bag on board was lettered "brig Morning Star's letter bag." One waistcoat contained in the pocket a printed card, "Mr. M. Loris' boarding house, Charleston, South Carolina," and appeared to have been newly printed. A medicine chest on board was put up in New York. I have delivered the prisoners to the Governor of Matanzas, and shall furnish him all the testimony in my power which can throw light on their character. The schooner I sent out last night, under command of Acting Lieutenant Brown, in hopes of decoying some of her former comrades. I sail with convoy to-morrow, and after joining the prize at sea, shall proceed to Thompson's Island for supplies, and return to the protection of commerce on this coast. I trust, sir, should the prize be sufficiently fortunate to meet with pirates, I shall have the pleasure to give a satisfactory account of them.

I do myself the honor to enclose the correspondence relative to the capture of the vessels and prisoners.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

CH. W. SKINNER.

To the Hon. Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy, Washington City.

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U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, December 22, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed to Havana, where you will complete your provisions and stores, offer convoy to vessels bound into the Gulf of Mexico, and then proceed to the coast of Yucatan, run down to Campeachy, there offer convoy and protection, and from thence proceed to Alvarado, La Vera Cruz, and Tampico, remaining in the neighborhood of those places about six weeks, giving protection to our commerce, and governing yourself in all your proceedings by my general instructions of the 26th of February, 1823.

If, in the course of your stay in the gulf, our merchants should have specie to transport from one port or place, or to the United States, you will take it on board on the usual freight; taking special care that nothing like illicit shipments are made, and that nothing in the shape of public advertisements appear, or that anything is done that may be liable to misconstruction, or give rise to unfriendly comments; and above all, that your vessel is not made an object of commercial speculation and enterprise. Nothing in the shape of merchandise must be taken on board, except under the circumstances provided for by the act for the better government of the navy. Let all your proceedings in these respects be open; make known frankly to the authorities of the place your objects, and let your conduct be such as to remove all suspicions.

In the transportation of specie, an object of great importance to our country, we have a delicate duty to perform, and one which many believe is not obligatory on us. Confine yourself, however, strictly to your orders, and no remarks, whether publicly or privately made, need cause you pain.

After receiving the specie on board, proceed with the convoy, if any, to Havana, where you will await for further orders.

Respectfully, your obedient servant, D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Chas. W. Skinner, U. S. Schooner Porpoise.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Norfolk, January 25, 1824.

Sir: When the U. S. schooner Porpoise shall have obtained a new crew, and received the necessary repairs, you will proceed with her to the coast of Africa, continuing along the coast in the usual track of slave-trading vessels, in pursuance of the general cruising instructions, and the acts of Congress for the suppression of the slave trade and capture of piratical vessels; copies of which, and of the laws relative thereto, you have enclosed.

While on the coast you will touch at the American settlement of free colored people; communicate with the agent of the Colonization Society; ascertain the state and condition of the colony—giving it such aid, assistance and protection, as it may stand in need of, and be in your power to furnish.

From thence, you will proceed to the coast of Guinea, and thence in the route usually traversed by vessels with slaves, which is mostly north of the Antilles and the keys to Cuba. You will, in your route, touch occasionally at some of the islands of the West Indies, to obtain news of piratical vessels; proceed to Matanzas, fill your water, and repair to Thompson's Island, where you will receive my further orders.

Wishing you a pleasant and successful cruise, I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Skinner.

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Havana, January 23, 1825.

Sir: On your return to this place, from the Gulf of Mexico, should you have upwards of one hundred thousand dollars on board, for the United States, you will proceed with it to the most convenient port, land it, take in the necessary supplies for your vessel, and return to Thompson's Island.

Should you not have so large an amount on board, you will, after landing it here, proceed to Thompson's Island for further orders.

Very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant C. Skinner, U. S. Schooner Porpoise.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, June 12, 1823.

Sir: You will receive herewith eleven letters from the Captain General of Cuba to the military governors of Taraco, Bayamor, Gilaca, Batabano, Puerto Principe, Jaqua, Baracoa, Halquin, St. Juan de los Remedios, Trinidad de Cuba, and one from me to the admiral at Jamaica.

You will proceed with the United States schooner Beagle to deliver the above-mentioned letters, and, at the same time, keep in view the suppression of piracy.

It is my intention, on your return to this place, which must be within two months, to send your vessel to the United States. You will, therefore, take on board such sums of money as merchants may wish to ship in her, and on such terms of freight as you may think proper to establish with them.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant John T. Newton.

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Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, September 1, 1823.

Sir: On your way to the United States, you will touch at Havana, and deliver the accompanying letters, receive such letters as the merchants may wish to send by you, and should specie be offered by them for the United States, you will take it on board at the usual freight.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant John T. Newton.

U. S. Ship John Adams, January 13, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed to sea with the U. S. brig Spark and schooner Weasel, under your command, touch at St. Bartholomew and St. Thomas for information; run down the south side of Porto Rico, examine the Mona passage and Island of Mona; continue down the south side of St. Domingo, keeping well in shore; and from thence down the old Straits of Bahama to Matanzas, where you will land Dr. Anderson.

There have been two armed vessels carried off by their crews lately, one a ship from St. Bartholomew, belonging to the Colombian government, the other a brig belonging to Porto Rico, and they have both turned pirates.

The ship was called the Oronoke, formerly commanded by a Captain Nutter, but ran away with by the boatswain's mate (Wilson, an Englishman, with black hair and whiskers, grey eyes and a long, narrow face) and sixty of her crew.

Part of the officers were forcibly carried off and probably murdered. She is a black ship with a yellow streak, American sharp built, shows sixteen guns, low in the water, and sails fast; mast-head and spars painted white.

The brig was called the Scipio, and was carried off by sixty of her crew, from Margagues, Porto Rico. It is said she has plundered several vessels in the Mona passage.

Two small piratical vessels, sloop rigged, with pivot guns, have lately plundered the brig William Henry, Captain Lester, at the Island of Mona, where it is stated there is an establishment formed by the piratical population from Porto Rico, and it has been suggested that it would be the most certain means of capturing and destroying them to take possession of and destroy all the boats that can be found there, and thus cutting off their retreat; of this you can better decide when you get there.

It is said they are well armed, and supplied with provisions and ammunition. It is not improbable that you will find plunder deposited there; there is good anchorage on the west side.

After you leave St. Domingo, send the Weasel to Jamaica, with the enclosed letter for Commodore Sir Edward Owen; from thence around the west end of Cuba to Thompson's Island, to fill up your provisions; run down the coast of Yucatan, touch at Campeachy, and there offer protection and convoy to our vessels.

After executing these orders, you will then govern yourself by No. 2, herein enclosed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant John T. Newton, U. S. Brig Spark.

U. S. Ship John Adams, January 13, 1824.

Sir: On your arrival at Campeachy, and after obeying my orders No. 1 of this date, you will proceed to Alvarado, Tampico, and La Vera Cruz, at one of which places you will in all probability find the U. S. schooner Shark, Lieutenant Commanding Stevens, who is there for the purpose of protecting the commerce of the United States, and giving conveyance to specie to this country.

You will open a correspondence with two of the agents of the Bank of the United States, now in Mexico, Messrs. Andrews and Crawford, and regulate your movements so as to receive on board your vessel such sums of money in any of the ports of Mexico, in the gulf, as they may designate; the money to be received on deck, and in parcels of not less than one thousand dollars, put up in good, substantial boxes, barrels, kegs or skins.

The money received from them is not to include any other than what belongs to the Bank of the United States, except on the usual terms of freight. All consignments, therefore, to the bank, and not the property of the bank, are to be taken on the terms usually given by merchants, and you will take the British rule for your guide.

When you shall have completed your freight, you will repair to Thompson's Island for further instructions. It is presumed that you will not find it necessary to remain in the gulf more than six weeks, and I shall endeavor to send a vessel to relieve you about the 1st of May next.

I have read to you the instructions of the honorable Secretary of the Navy, relative to transportation of treasures. I have no apprehension that you will go beyond the authority given; it is therefore needless to make any further communication to you on the subject. I will merely remark, however, that none of the vessels of war under my command must, on any account whatever, and under any inducement, be used for the purposes of commercial adventure. You can carry the treasure of our citizens from one port or place to another, and you can take it to the United States, but nothing in the shape of public advertisements must appear; and in all your intercourse with the authorities of the places you may visit, make frank acknowledgments of the motives which brought you there. Let all your transactions in this respect be open and not liable to misapprehension. Nothing whatever in the shape of clandestine shipments must be countenanced.

For the information of the government you will, on joining me, report to me the amount of treasures

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on board your vessel, where taken from, where destined, and the circumstances, terms and conditions on which you have taken them.

Should I leave Thompson's Island before your arrival there, I shall leave orders for you. Should I send one of the small schooners to assist in the performance of your duties, you will enjoin on her commander the precautions to be observed in taking on board specie.

During your stay in the gulf, as well as on your passage out and home, you will seek every occasion to give protection to the persons and property of the citizens of the United States.

Wishing you a pleasant and profitable voyage, I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. Jno. T. Newton, U. S. Brig Spark.

Washington, July 12, 1824.

Sir: Understanding, from information communicated to me by the Secretary of the Navy, that the brig Spark, under your command, has arrived at the quarantine ground, New York, you are hereby required to have her got in readiness for sea as soon as practicable, and it is hoped she will be ready to sail about the middle of August.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. Jno. T. Newton.

U. S. Ship John Adams, April 21, 1824.

Sir: After landing what money you may have on board for Havana, you will proceed to New York, with such as you may have in for the United States, and as soon after the delivery of the same as possible, you will return to Thompson's Island, touching on your way at St. Barts, St. Thomas and Matanzas. Should you find no orders here, you will proceed to the Gulf of Mexico, and act in conformity with the course prescribed to you in my letter of January 13, 1824, No. 2.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. Jno. T. Newton.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Allenton, April 12, 1823.

Sir: The two schooners, the Terrier and Ferret, are to be got ready for sea as soon as possible, and so soon as Captain Cassin returns from his cruise, you will proceed with them to Cape Antonio, and remain in the neighborhood of that place, until a renewal of your supplies makes your return here necessary.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. R. M. Rose, U. S. Navy.

U. S. Steam Galliot Sea Gull, Matanzas, May 4, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to sea with the two schooners, and give convoy as far as the Double Headed Shot Keys, if necessary, thence to Key Sal, then across to the keys to the windward of Point Yeacos, down the coast of Cuba to Cape Antonio, around to Trinidada, on the south side, and if your provisions will hold out, and there should be no necessity for your continuance in that neighborhood, you will make the circuit of Cuba, returning to Thompson's Island by the way of the old Straits of Bahama, giving every suspicious place a thorough examination.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. R. M. Rose.

Lieutenant Commandant R. M. Rose:

There has been a report of piracy at or near Keytaca. Captain Rose will proceed there and ascertain the grounds of the report, taking with him the Midge, under the command of Lieutenant Boughen, and act according to circumstances.

It will be desirable to proceed to-night or to-morrow morning, early, and to work up inside the reef.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, June 18, 1823.

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Sea Gull Allenton, July 1, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to Havana, land the two Spaniards, deliver to the captain general the accompanying package, and offer to bring over any claimant of the detained property who may wish to come.

You will place the letter bag of the Terrier in the counting-house of Messrs. Castillo, Black, & Co., informing them you will leave there, for the United States, on the 15th of July.

You will there offer convoy; proceed to Matanzas, leave a letter bag with Messrs. Latting & Co., informing them you will sail on the 12th.

You will offer convoy from Matanzas; take in specie; return to Havana; take in specie from there, and return here for further orders, leaving Havana on the 15th of July.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant R. M. Rose.

[Extract.]

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 13, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to prepare the Weasel for a cruise, with all dispatch.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant Beverly Kennon.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 19, 1823.

Sir: When the Weasel shall be ready for sea, you will proceed to cruise for two weeks on the coast of Cuba, between Havana and Cape Antonio, at the expiration of which time you will return to this place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant B. Kennon.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 25, 1823.

Sir: I have directed Lieutenant Commandant Ritchie, who is cruising off Havana, to place himself and vessel under your command.

You can exercise your own discretion, whether to cruise to leeward or to windward of Havana.

It is my intention to send you home, and that you shall leave Havana for this place on the 15th of August. You can, therefore, leave a letter bag with Messrs. Castillo, Black & Co., calling for it on your return from your cruise, and taking on board specie, if any offers, for the United States, at 2 1/2 per cent. freight.

From Havana, you will proceed here for further orders.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. B. Kennon.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, August 14, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to Washington city with the United States schooner Weasel, reporting her arrival to the honorable Secretary of the Navy, for such changes in the officers as may be necessary, and to fill up the crew—those being the objects of sending her home. When the necessary changes have been completed, she is to return to this place by the way of Crooked Island, or Caucus passages, running down the old Straits of Bahama, touching at Baracoa and Matanzas, showing yourself off Havana, and giving the whole coast a thorough examination.

It is extremely desirable that no unnecessary delay should take place in the United States, as the services of the Weasel will be wanted, and any delay will prevent my carrying into effect the arrangement of the periodical sailing of vessels from here.

I should presume that the vessel might leave the United States to return to her station, in one week from the time of her arrival; and, if you leave her, whoever may be your successor, I wish you to impress this on his mind, giving him a copy of this order.

In case you resign the command, there is no absolute necessity, should any difficulty occur, in sending a commander in her, as Mr. Randolph can bring her out, and the command can then be given to one of the old lieutenants on the station, some of whom are entitled to her.

With the assurance that it will ever afford me pleasure to be associated with you on duty, please to accept my best wishes for a speedy and pleasant passage, and a happy sight of your friends.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. Beverly Kennon.

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Navy Department, December 1, 1822.

Sir: Soon as the United States schooner Grampus shall be completely equipped for sea, proceed direct to the Havana, and resume your former cruise about the Island of Cuba, for the suppression of piracies, under your former instructions. John Warner, Esq., consul for the port of Havana, has permission to embark on board, to be landed at Havana.

I am, respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) SMITH THOMPSON.

Lt. Com. F. H. Gregory, commanding U. S. Schooner Grampus, New York.

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Allenton, May 6, 1823.

Sir: So soon as you receive this, you will repair to this place, where the services of the Grampus are much wanting.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lt. Com. F. H. Gregory.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, June 13, 1823.

Sir: So soon as the Grampus shall be ready for sea, you will proceed to Matanzas, taking with you the barge Gnat, for the purpose of giving to our commerce there all the protection in your power against piracy, until you are relieved.

It will be well to visit occasionally the by places between Point Eycaco, Cayo Blanco, and Havana, if you can do so without leaving our merchant vessels unprotected.

You will be governed in the performance of your duties by my general instructions of the 26th of February.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lt. Com. F. H. Gregory.

Lieutenant Commandant Gregory to Commodore Porter.

U. S. Schooner Grampus, Thompson's Island, July 3, 1823.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that this vessel sailed from the Balize, on the 24th of April, with a convoy for Tabasco, where she arrived on the 1st of May. Sailed thence again on the 6th, with convoy, towards Vera Cruz; parted with the convoy on the 9th, and arrived at Campeachy on the 13th, where I received information of several piracies committed upon the merchant vessels of the United States; and that the coast of Yucatan, from Cape Catoche to Lagona, was then infested by several gangs of pirates, who had been guilty of every atrocity imaginable. Finding there were a very considerable number of merchant ships at the several ports upon that coast, unprotected, and others arriving almost daily, I continued thereabouts until the 25th of June, scouring the coast up and down; and, occasionally, when any information was had which offered the least chance of detecting those villains, the boats were employed, and sometimes were sent along the coast twenty and thirty leagues from the vessel. On the 22d of May, I chased a schooner ashore to windward of Sisal, which I have no doubt was a pirate, from his appearance and conduct; as it was in the night, and upon a part of the coast where I was not sufficiently acquainted, and blowing fresh upon the shore, I had not an opportunity of completing his destruction. On the 11th of June, I seized a suspicious vessel in the harbor of Campeachy, and resigned her to the authorities there, on that account. This last vessel had just come from New Malaga, or Vigia de Chiguila, a little to the windward of Cape Catoche, where the pirates have a very considerable establishment, and came down to Campeachy for the purpose of procuring stores for a vessel then preparing for a cruise. Two seamen, who had been held as prisoners at New Malaga, informed me that this gang were sometimes a hundred and upwards in number; that they held possession of a small fort, having two twenty-four pounders; and that an officer, named Molla, who had been placed there by the government, had joined them. This was corroborated by the authorities of Campeachy, who requested me to land and destroy the place. The pirates issue from their post in barges, small vessels, and. in canoes, hover along the shores, enter the harbors, murder and destroy almost all that fall in their power. On the 2d of June, the American schooner Shibbolit, Captain Perry, of New York, being then ready for sea, was boarded by a canoe, having fourteen of those villains on board; the watch was instantly murdered, eight others of the crew were put in the forecastle, the hatch spiked down, a ton or more of logwood put over it, the head sails set, the wind off shore, and fire put to the vessel in the cabin. By the most extraordinary exertions, these men broke out in time to save their lives. I arrived while the vessel was burning down. The same canoe then proceeded to windward, and two days afterwards took the schooner Augustus and John, off Sisal, and burnt her, having turned the crew adrift in a small boat, with every probability of their perishing. The people of the country were much exasperated, and turned out to hunt them from their shores.

A party of dragoons having met them, a skirmish ensued, wherein the captain of dragoons, and several of his men, were killed, and the pirates, taking to their boats, escaped. One of the seamen I mentioned as having been amongst them, stated that he belonged to an English schooner from New Providence, called the Flyer; that the crew, with the exception of himself, were instantly butchered. He was detained by them about two months, during which time they had captured nine vessels, some of

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which were brought in, but the principal part destroyed; and, in some instances, he was certain that the whole crews were murdered. When he left the place, (about twenty days since,) they had a Guineaman, with two hundred slaves, and a large quantity of ivory; two small schooners, Americans. And an English cutter informed me that the pirates had a direct and uninterrupted intercourse with Havana, by means of small coasting vessels that ran regularly to the ports on the coast, and always touched at New Malaga. Frequently, some of them would go up to the Havana, and others of the gang come down.

That this infernal horde of villains have established themselves at New Malaga, I have no doubt; and, from the information given me by men of the first respectability at Campeachy, Sisal, and other places on the coast, I believe the pirates have been guilty of all the acts as herein stated.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

FRANCIS H. GREGORY, Lieut. Com. U. S. Navy.

Com. David Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Forces, West India Station.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 4, 1823.

Sir: You will "proceed to or near Key Vacas, in search of an armed schooner called the Centilla, and sailing under the Colombian flag, which has lately captured and sent to that place several Spanish vessels, which have been perfectly wrecked there, and the cargoes sold.

On meeting said vessel, you will require her commander to come with her to this place, and, should he refuse to do so, you will take possession of her, and bring her in. The captain of the Centilla claims for her the character of a national vessel. It is therefore desirable that no violence should be used, if it is possible to avoid it, as I can have no disposition or wish to offer any insult whatever to the officers or flag of any nation in amity with the United States. But as the conduct of the officers and crew of the Centilla has been such as to produce doubts as to her real character, and as they have disregarded and violated the neutral character and laws of the United States, and, by the wrecking on our coast, and selling of prizes before condemnation, committed piracy, the flag of Colombia must not protect them. The Centilla must be brought in here, and such of her crew and prizes as you may fall in with.

Force is only to be used in the last resort, and when every other means have failed. But, if necessary, it must be used until she submit.

Lieut. Rodgers, of the marines, can give you any information respecting her; and, if you learn from him that she has left the coast, you will return to this place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER,

Commanding U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

Lieut. Com. P. H. Gregory, commanding U. S. Schooner Grampus.

Port Rodgers, Thompson's Island, September 16, 1823.

Sir: On your arrival here, you will set all the carpenters you can muster at work on the house building for the marine officers; you will take the brig, fitting for an hospital, and moor her carefully and securely at the upper part, and on the east side of the harbor.

You will use, for this purpose, one of the chain cables and anchors on shore, (she has a chain and anchor on board,) after which, you will please to finish her by laying her berth deck and laying a tier of cribs above and below on each side amidships, and finishing off with rough boards a snug cabin for the commander and surgeon, and closing her in all around on the outside with the same, leaving sufficient openings for ventilators, and for hoisting things in by fore and main yards; then all the new work must be whitewashed.

The hull of the brig is to be painted pretty much as it is now; this will take you about a fortnight or three weeks.

The barges are, however, in the first place, to be hauled up and carefully housed, and Mr. Platt is to take care of all the bargemen, until the arrival of the Hornet, when he will join her, with all of his officers and men.

After you have performed these duties, you will proceed to Campeachy, La Vera Cruz and Tampico, for the protection of our commerce, for six weeks or two months, and receive on board all moneys which may offer you, the destination of which is to the United States. You will proceed to Norfolk with it, where you will report to me at Washington.

You will touch at this place on your way home, as there is a possibility of my being here again by that time.

While you are here let your surgeons give all the aid in their power.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant P. H. Gregory.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, January 28, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed down along the Colorados reef in search of the two barges, Gallinipper and Diabletta, as far as Cape Antonio, and should you meet them you will deliver to the officer in command of them the enclosed orders for their return to this place, after which you will return to Matanzas, for the purpose of giving protection to our commerce there, in conformity with my former instructions.

Very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant McKeever.

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Washington, August 11, 1824.

Sir: As soon as the United States steam galliot Sea Gull shall have completed her repairs, and be in every respect ready for sea, you will proceed with her to New York, there to wait my further orders.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Isaac McKeever, New York.

Washington, October 20, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed with the United States galliot Sea Gull, under your command, as speedily as possible to Mantanzas, for the protection of our commerce there, and thence to Thompson's Island, where you will report yourself to the senior officer on the station for further instructions.

Very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant McKeever.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, January 5, 1825.

Shi: You will leave Lieutenant Bell in charge of the duties which have been assigned to you, in the neighborhood of Matanzas, with the two small schooners and the barges, and you will proceed with the Sea Gull to this place, touching at Havana.

You will please to bring with you all the letters and newspapers for myself and the officers here; and if Col. John Mifflin, of this place, and now at Havana, should wish to come over with you, I will thank you to give him a passage.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant I. McKeever.

U. S. Ship John Adams, January 13, 1824.

Sir: On receiving your provisions and water at Thompson's Island, after parting with the Spark, you will proceed to the coast of Yucatan, running down the coast from Cape Catoche to Campeachy; look in at Campeachy; then proceed to Alvarado, La Vera Cruz, and Tampico, at one of which places you will find the United States brig Spark, Lieutenant Commandant Newton, who will be there for the purpose of giving protection to our commerce, and the conveyance of specie to the United States.

If it is found that you can be advantageously employed in these duties, Lieut. Commandant Newton will be instructed to employ you there, and if not to send you back to Thompson's Island.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant John P. Zantzinger, United States Schooner Weasel.

Washington, July 13, 1824.

Sir: I have received your communication of the 12th, which is satisfactory. There is an absolute necessity for your return to the West Indies immediately. Your orders will therefore be issued to-morrow.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant John P. Zantzinger.

Washington, July 14, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed to the West Indies, touching at St. Bartholomew, St. Thomas, and running down the south side of Porto Rico and Cuba, touching, if necessary, at Jamaica, examining for pirates, and offering convoy and protection to the property and persons of our citizens, according to my general instructions.

You will then proceed around Cape Antonio to Thompson's Island, where you will fill up your provisions, and proceed thence to the port of Havana, and offer convoy to the Gulf of Mexico, running down the coast of Yucatan, touching at Campeachy, Alvarado, La Vera Cruz and Tampico, giving all the protection in your power to our commerce.

If, in the course of your cruise our citizens should wish specie carried from one port or place to another, you can take it on board under the restrictions formerly laid down to you, and on your arrival in the gulf, if there should be any considerable quantity to be taken to New Orleans, you can proceed there with it under like instructions. If it should be the opinion of the merchants at New Orleans, or the commanding naval officer, that the Weasel can be usefully employed between Tampico and that port,

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you can remain there six months, reporting to me from time to time; but if not, you will return with specie to the United States, touching at Havana and Thompson's Island for orders.

In the whole of your cruise, do not lose sight of the main object, the protection of the property and persons of our fellow citizens.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Jno. P. Zantzinger.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, August 10, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed with the U. S. brig Spark, under your command, off Havana, where you will offer convoy, and after the vessels shall be well off from the land, you will run down, examining the coast to Cape Antonio; thence around the south side of Cuba to the Isle of Pines and Trinidad, where you will offer protection and convoy.

Should there be information of pirates in that neighborhood that will, in your opinion, make your stay there necessary, you will continue to cruise about there for a reasonable length of time; you then will proceed to windward, examining the coast to Cape Cruz, where it is probable there are pirates, of which Lieut. Com. Kearney will give you particular information. These you will endeavor to capture and put to rout, giving the place a thorough examination.

From Cape Cruz proceed to St. Jago de Cuba, and there offer protection and convoy, remaining in the neighborhood of the place as long as in your judgment your presence may be required.

From thence continue your cruise to the east, around Cape Mayzi, thence down the north coast to Baracoa, there offering protection and convoy, and exercising your judgment as to the period of your stay about there.

Continue to examine the coast from thence down to Matanzas, through the Old Straits. At Matanzas you will, if necessary, fill up your water and offer convoy; then proceed off Havana, offer convoy, and return to this place.

Throughout your course you will endeavor by every means in your power to preserve the health of your crew, by avoiding infected places, by great attention to their comfort and cleanliness, and by preventing unnecessary exposure.

The object of the course being the suppression of piracy and the slave trade, reference, as your guide in the performance of these duties, is to be had to my general instructions, of the 26th February last.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. E. R. Shubrick, Brig Spark.

Washington, October 29, 1823.

Sir: When you shall have performed the duties required of you by my instructions of the ------, you will proceed to the coast of Yucatan, running down toward Campeachy, thence to La Vera Cruz and Tampico, giving such protection as may be in your power to the commerce and citizens of the United States, against unlawful interruptions.

Should merchants and others have specie to transport to the United States, you will take it on board, proceed to the port most convenient for their purpose, touching on your way at Thompson's Island, Havana, and Matanzas, for orders; and, in the event of not receiving any, you will, after landing your specie, return to Matanzas with all practicable dispatch, to receive my further instructions.

Very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. E. R. Shubrick, Brig Spark.

Washington, August 11, 1824.

Sir: So soon as the U. S. schooner Ferret shall be in every respect ready for sea, you will proceed to the West Indies, running down through the islands, to ascertain whether our commerce requires protection; and if, in the course of your route, you should find protection necessary, you will afford it as far as your means will allow, governing yourself strictly in this respect by the general cruising instructions, and the orders of your predecessor.

You will run down the south side of Cuba, touching at St. Jago and Trinidad, examining the intermediate places, and then go round Cape Antonio, to Thompson's Island, where you will report to the senior officer there for further instructions.

At every place you touch, offer your vessel for convoy and protection.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. T. H. Bell.

Washington, August 12, 1824.

Sir: So soon as the United States schooner Ferret, under your command, shall be ready for sea, you will repair to Thompson's Island, and report yourself to the commanding officer there for further duty. On your way to the island, you will touch at Matanzas, and afford such protection to our commerce there

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as may be necessary. In the suppression of piracy and the slave trade, in the protection of the persons and property of citizens of the United States, and in your intercourse with foreign officers, you will be governed by my general cruising instructions and other orders, which you will receive from Acting Lieutenant Farragut.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Com. T. H. Bell.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, January 5, 1825.

Sir: With the two schooners Ferret and Terrier, and the barges Musquito and Diabletta, you will take charge of the protection of the commerce of Matanzas, and the suppression of piracy in that neighborhood, until further orders. My general instructions of the ----- 182- will be your guide in all cases where they can be applied.

You will call on Lating, Adams & Co. for such occasional and indispensable supplies as may be required for the vessel.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant Bell.

[Extract.]

Washington, December 21, 1822.

Sir: You will proceed to Norfolk with the eight schooners purchased for the suppression of piracy, and deliver them to the commandant of the Navy yard, to be manned and equipped.

As I have explained to you my ideas, generally, as to the manner of equipping these vessels, I shall refer Captain Warrington to you for information, time not allowing of my going into detail. They will each have on board three lieutenants, three midshipmen, a surgeon's mate, and twenty-four petty officers, seamen and marines, and boys; therefore, accommodation must be procured for that number.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Directed to Lieutenant J. Newell, U. S. Navy.

Norfolk, February 8, 1823.

Sir: When the two schooners of which you have the charge shall be prepared, with the barges, &c., you will proceed with them to Thompson's Island, and there land their cargoes, after which you will place the barges in a condition for service, and await my arrival. The schooner hired by the month you will keep with you, the other you will discharge as soon as possible.

In landing the materials for building, you will consult, as far as practicable, our ultimate convenience. Midshipman Morehead, who will go out with you, has been some time on the island, and can give you much useful information relative thereto.

The circuitous route which I shall take with the squadron will prevent, in all probability, my arriving so soon as yourself. You will therefore have an opportunity of making yourself well acquainted with the harbor and navigation; and you will please to place buoys, of casks, to point out the deepest water, keeping a look-out for me in the offing, in order that you may give me your aid in taking the vessels to the best anchorage.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Thos. Newell.

United States Ship Peacock, Allenton, April 10, 1823.

Sir: So soon as the schooner Mary, now called the Trap, shall be ready for sea with her provisions and stores, you will take on board a detachment of marines, and stretch over to the coast of Cuba, throwing yourself in the way of open boats from the shore, and making your way slowly down toward Cape Antonio, where I shall expect to find you after I have visited, with the steam vessel and barges, the coast to windward of Matanzas.

There is anchorage under the lee of the cape, and at Cape Conantas; and as I shall depend on you for my provisions and coal, it will be best for you to anchor at one of those places; but be careful to guard against a surprise, and also to conceal your force.

Accompanying this, you will receive a set of general instructions for your government.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant Thos. Newell, U. S. Schooner Trap.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, June 12, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed with the schooner Ferret under your command, to the south side of Cuba, to give protection to our commerce in that quarter; and when your provisions shall have been expended, you will return to this place.

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It is my intention to send you to the United States, soon after your return; you can therefore take on board any sum of money which merchants may have to ship, and on such terms of freight as you can agree on.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed)  D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant T. M. Newell.

Lieutenant Commandant Newell to Commodore Porter.

United States Schooner Ferret, Thompson's Island, June 25, 1823.

Sir: Pursuant to your instructions, I left this place on the 14th inst., on a cruise to Trinidad, on the south side of Cuba, in company with the Beagle, Captain Newton. On the second day we parted company, and on the third day I made the Havana, (on my way to Matanzas;) from thence I commenced a diligent search in all the by ports and bays. On Tuesday sent my boat into Canised, and obtained information that some pirates were still lurking about the coast. During that night I kept close in with the land, and on Wednesday at 10 A. M. discovered an armed barge, with sixteen oars, and well manned, in a small bay, called Bacuna Yeauga. I immediately sent Lieutenant Doming, with five men, the most my boat could carry, to examine all the boats, there being seven in number. He approached within fifty yards of the barge, when the crew showed their character by opening a fire on him with musketry and blunderbusses, which, fortunately, did no other damage than nearly to sink the boat, she having received a ball at the water edge. Five other ones were found in the boat, which, being nearly spent, had struck the water, and innocently jumped into her. My boat, at no time suitable for the transportation of men, and now rendered useless, induced me to take possession of a small coaster that was near, and manned her with fifteen men, and at that time intended to stand in, if possible, with the Ferret, in order to cover the men while they took possession of the barge, which then had the American colors, union down; but, on approaching, found that the channel would not admit of my entering. It then blowing very hard, and a heavy sea on, I deemed it proper to recall the coaster, which had like to have gotten ashore: for, had that catastrophe occurred, I question much whether the pirates would have had the gratification of butchering them, as they certainly would have been drowned. The sea was then breaking with great violence over the reef that covered the bay. I was then compelled to resort to making tacks, close in with the reef, and giving them long torn, with round and grape, in hopes to destroy the boats—as to killing any of them it was impossible: for, on the approach of the Ferret, they would completely secure themselves behind the rocks and trees, which hung all around the harbor; but this I was frustrated in, by the enormous roughness of the sea; and, the wind being on shore, prevented me from taking any position from which I could annoy them much. Finding it impossible to do anything with the means then in my power, I stood out to sea, in hopes to fall in with some vessel from which I could get a suitable boat, (but, I am sorry to say, that it was not until next morning that my wishes were obtained,) and, if that could not be done, to push to Matanzas, to concert a plan with the governor, by which the pirates, as well as their boats, may be taken. I, however, obtained a boat from an English vessel, and immediately bore up for the same place, which was then but a short distance off. I had not run but a short time, when I discovered a Spanish brig of war lying to, off the bay, which proved to be the Matae. On the report being sent to the Governor of Matanzas, that one of the United States schooners was engaged with the pirates, he dispatched this brig, and at the same time took with him a land force, and had cruised there a few minutes before me, and had taken possession of a small schooner boat the pirates had abandoned, and which lay on the beach. I sent in my boat after he had left, and ordered a search, when two of the boats I had seen the day I attacked them, were found, well sunk, up a lagoon, which, upon further examination, extended several miles into the island, and have no doubt but that the large barge is now at the head of it; but, not being prepared with boats, I did not think it proper to send my boats out from the Ferret. The two boats I have brought over, and shall await your orders relative thereto.

On my arrival at Matanzas, I found my mainmast very dangerously sprung, which has made it necessary for me to return here, but not until I had given convoy to eight of our merchantmen from Matanzas and Havana.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, you obedient servant,

THOMAS M. NEWELL.

Com. David Porter, Commander of the United States Naval Forces, West India Station.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 13, 1823.

Sir: After landing the persons, you will run down the coast to Artigasa to search for some cannon and ball left there by a pirate, which you will take on board if you find them.

You will then look in at Cayo Blanco, on the eastern part of the Colorados, and return to this place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Thomas M. Newell.

Lieutenant Commandant Newell to Commodore Porter.

U. S. Schooner Ferret, Port Rodgers, July 23, 1823.

Sir: I have the honor to report to you that, after delivering the pirates at Havana, I cruised down the coast of Cuba to the windward, as far as Cayo Blanco, and examined every creek and. harbor. After

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searching and diving for sometime at Artigos, (a small hidden river,) I found the guns you alluded to in your instructions; also, a new gun carriage, calculated for a twenty-four pounder, was taken from the mangroves, where the pirates had carefully hidden it. My vessel being so much lumbered up, I could not bring it; I therefore cut it up, and saved the irons; the guns taken are five in number—one long six-pounder, one short six-pounder, one nine-pounder carronade, and two long threes; the latter well mounted, and appear to have been very recently placed there.

I then returned to Havana, and, on Sunday last, gave convoy to six American, and one Danish ship.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS M. NEWELL.

Com. D. Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 24, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed with the schooner Ferret, under your command, to Havana, leave your letter bag at the counting house of Messrs. Castillo, Black & Co.; offer convoy; continue cruising in the neighborhood, for the protection of our commerce; and should merchants or others wish to avail themselves of this opportunity to send specie to the United States, you can take it on board at the usual freight, leaving Havana on the 1st of August and returning to this place for further orders.

Very respectfully your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Thomas M. Newell.

[Extract.]

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, August 1, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to Washington with the United States schooner Ferret, reporting her arrival to the Hon. Secretary of the Navy, for such changes in the officers as may be necessary, and to fill up her crew, these being the objects of sending her home. When the necessary changes have been completed, she is to return to this place by the way of Crooked Island, or Caucus passages, running down the old Straits of Bahama, touching at Baracoa and Matanzas, showing yourself off Havana, and giving the whole coast a thorough examination.

It is extremely desirable that no unnecessary delay should take place in the United States, as the services of the Ferret will be wanted, and any unnecessary delay will prevent my carrying into effect the arrangements of the periodical sailing of vessels from here.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Directed to Lieut. Commandant Thomas M. Newell.

[Extract.]

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 19, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to Havana to give protection to our commerce; and you will communicate with Messrs. Castillo & Black every day.

Should they have any communications for me, you will lose no time in conveying them to this place.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Directed to Lieut. Commandant Jno. T. Ritchie.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 25, 1823.

Sir: You will place yourself and vessel under the command of Lieut. Com. Kennon.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Jno. Ritchie, Schooner Fox.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, August 8, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to Havana with the U. S. schooner Fox, and place yourself under the command of Captain Sidney Smith.

Should Captain Smith have left Havana, you will proceed with all possible dispatch to a place called New Malaga, near Cape Catoche, on the coast of Yucatan, where it is said there is a piratical establishment; and in the event of your not finding Captain Smith there, you will proceed to obtain all the information in your power with regard to said establishment, and return to this place with all possible dispatch.

You will endeavor to ascertain whether a British force has gone against it, how far it has extended its operations, and whether successful or otherwise.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant J. T. Ritchie.

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Lieutenant Commandant Ritchie to Commodore Porter.

U. S. Schooner Fox, August 29, 1823.

Sir: In compliance with your instructions, of the 8th ultimo, I proceeded to the coast of Yucatan, to ascertain the situation of a piratical establishment, said to be there. On the 14th, I arrived off the port of New Madrid, (New Malaga) and immediately sent a boat to obtain all the information possible, relative to the situation and character of the fortification.

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the establishment alluded to is a fortification for the protection of the town of New Malaga, recently established there for commercial purposes, and that no pirates have been heard of on that coast for some time.

The enclosed letter from the commandant at that place, in answer to a letter addressed to him, by me, will, no doubt fully explain their character; also, a letter from the commander of H. B. M. brig Scout, on the subject of the attack on the fort, which, no doubt, gave rise to the report of its being a piratical establishment, and the answer thereto upon that subject.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN T. RITCHIE.

Com. D. Porter, commanding West India Station.

Port Rodgers, Thompson's Island, September 16, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to Washington without delay, touching at Norfolk to land your specie. On your arrival you will report yourself to the Secretary of the Navy and Navy Commissioners for repairs.

You will inform them that I am on my way home in the Sea Gull.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Jno. T. Ritchie.

United States Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, April 16, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed with the Fox, accompanied by the Beagle, Lieutenant Commandant Cross, to the Colorado reef, and endeavor there to join and co-operate with the Sea Gull and barges under the command of Captain Wilkinson, in pursuit of pirates.

Should you not join Captain Wilkinson before reaching Cape Antonio, you will wait his arrival there, near which place you will find the Grayhound. You will receive from him your further orders.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant John T. Ritchie.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, April 12, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed to Havana, and should any of our merchants have specie for New Orleans, you will take it on board on the usual freight, and proceed to that place.

From thence you will proceed to Tampico, and continue to ply between that place and New Orleans, giving such protection to our commerce in that quarter as may be in your power.

Endeavor to make your arrival and departure as regular as possible, in order that persons requiring your protection may be enabled to make their arrangements accordingly.

You will make all your requisitions, and receive all your supplies of provisions in New Orleans, and report yourself at every arrival and departure to the commanding officer there, and you will seek every opportunity of communicating with me.

You will return to this place by the first of October, unless otherwise instructed, and you may touch at Havana before coming here, for the purpose of landing specie.

I have read to you the instructions of the honorable Secretary of the Navy, relative to the transportation of treasures; I have no apprehensions that you will go beyond the authority given—it is therefore needless to make any further communication to you on the subject. I will merely remark, however, that none of the vessels of war under my command must on any account whatever, and under any inducement, be used for the purposes of commercial adventure.

You can carry the treasure of our citizens from one port or place to another, and you can take it to the United States, but nothing in the shape of public advertisements must appear; and in all your intercourse with the authorities of the places you may visit, make frank acknowledgments of the motives which brought you there. Let all your transactions in this respect be open, and not liable to misapprehension. Nothing, whatever, in the shape of clandestine shipments must be countenanced.

For the information of the government, you will, on joining me, report to me the amount of treasures which you have on board your vessel, where taken from, where destined, and the circumstances, terms, and conditions on which you have taken them.

During your stay in the gulf, as well as on your passage out and home, you will seek every occasion to give protection to the persons and property of the citizens of the United States.

Wishing you a pleasant and a profitable cruise, I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

To Lieutenant Commandant John T. Ritchie.

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Washington, October 14, 1824.

Sir: I have received your several communications respecting the schooner Fox, under your command.

She is to be got in readiness for sea with the least possible delay; and when ready, you will report to me.

Very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant J. Ritchie.

Washington, October 21, 1823.

Sir: Ton will proceed to Matanzas, in the Island of Cuba, with the schooner Beagle, and there join the Wild Cat, which you will find there. With these two vessels, you will give such protection as may be in your power, against pirates, to the commerce of the United States, and to the vessels of all nations requiring it.

You will receive your supplies of all kinds from Thompson's Island. You are to be governed in your operations by my general instructions of the 26th of February.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant Jos. Cross.

United States Schooner Weasel, Alvarado, December 5, 1824.

Sir: I sailed from Thompson's Island on the 17th of September, for Havana, off which port I fell in with, and convoyed in, the American brig Herald, of Boston. After watering, sailed from Campeachy, giving convoy to three American schooners—(the Daet, Commerce, and Superior,) to the Bank; arrived there 27th September, and sailed on the 29th for Alvarado. On the 6th of October, a little to the east of Alvarado, spoke the United States schooner Shark, Captain Gallagher; received instructions to stand for and anchor at Sacrificios, for the purpose of taking on board Mr. Taylor, American consul, (then on board the Shark,) and returning with him to Alvarado. In riding out a norther at Sacrificios, I parted my hemp cable, and was unable to find the anchor. I have been under the necessity of purchasing a cable and anchor in this port. Sailed from Vera Cruz on the 9th, and arrived here on the 10th. On my arrival, received a letter from the American consul, giving an account of the capture of the American brig Cato, by the pirates, and the schooner Leader wanting protection at Tabasco; a copy of which letter is enclosed, and marked A. I was compelled to remain a few days in port, to repair my sails, and procure an anchor and cable; which being done, I sailed on the 19th for Tabasco. In consequence of a strong southwesterly current, we drifted in near Chittepeque river, where I dispatched a boat with an officer for a pilot; the boat returned without the officer, the commandant having detained him. Situated thus, I thought it most advisable to stand for the river; which I did, and anchored directly opposite the fort, and in good shot distance. I was determined to knock down his fort, if he did not give up the officer immediately, and take him by force. Immediately on the demand being made, he delivered him up, making many apologies for having detained him. Here I was detained near two weeks, by a continual succession of northers, which rendered it impossible to cross the bar. On the 28th, I received a letter from Captain Dulany, dated Villa Hermosa, requesting to see me; a copy of which I have enclosed, and marked B. The next day I proceeded there in the cutter, for the purpose of seeing the two captains; reached there in two days; on the third, returned to the vessel, bringing with me Captain Dulany, of the Cato. On my return, I had the pleasure of finding the water on the bar quite smooth; and sailed for Tabasco, where I arrived on 6th November. After a few days' delay I proceeded to Chiapa river, distant about thirty-four miles from the mouth of the river. I here found it imprudent to proceed farther up the river, in consequence of sickness, which was brought on by excessive fatigue, in warping up against a four knot current I dispatched Acting Lieutenant Taylor, with Captain Dulany, in the cutter, to Villa Hermosa, and sent a letter to the governor, requesting him to facilitate the brig and schooner's passage down the river. On their arrival I set sail and convoyed them fifty miles clear of the coast, and then stood for this place, where I arrived on the 29th. The Weasel has been actively and usefully employed on this station, particularly in this port. On my first arrival I found nearly all the crews of the American vessels down with sickness, and my men were compelled to assist them in various ways—in taking care of their vessels, &c. Since being in the gulf I have had much sickness on board, which was brought on by the severe duty performed by my men. Jacob Rise, O. S., died in this port on the 28th October, of the fever. Now, with pleasure I inform you, my officers and crew are in good health, and shall sail from this port for Tampico as soon as the present norther is over, and the bar smooth enough to cross with safety. I have been compelled to draw two or three bills on government, in supplying my vessel with provisions, &c. In consequence of Acting Lieutenant Carr leaving the vessel at Philadelphia, I appointed Sailing Master E. C. Taylor lieutenant in his place; which appointment, I presume, will meet your approbation—since which time he has been performing both duties. I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,

CHAS. BOARMAN, Lieut. Commandant U. S. Schooner Weasel.

U. S. Schooner Weasel, Havana, January 21, 1825 Sir: I have the honor to report the arrival at this port of the U. S. schooner Weasel, thirteen days from Tampico. The particulars of my movements up to my leaving Alvarado I presume you have received. Sailed from that port for Tampico on the 7th December, and arrived there on the 12th. I continued at

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that anchorage till the twelfth instant, giving all necessary assistance to our merchantmen, which was great. Thomas Gray, seaman, was drowned by a fall from the main boom in assisting one of them. John S. Holey, O. S., deserted. The Weasel has not been successful in capturing pirates, but she has been both usefully and actively employed in giving protection to our commerce. Further particulars I will give you during the day.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

CHAS. BOARMAN, Lieut Commandant U. S. Schooner Weasel.

Sea Gull, Havana, January 24, 1825.

Sir: You will proceed to a convenient port of the United States, there land the money on board your vessel, and report yourself to the Hon. Secretary of the Navy, and the state and condition of your vessel to the Board of Navy Commissioners.

Very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Boarman.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompsons Island, April 25, 1824.

Sir: When the Sea Gull and Gallinipper are ready for sea, you will proceed with them to Matanzas, and there await my further orders, giving all protection in your power to our commerce in that quarter.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant R. Vorhees.

U. S. Ship John Adams, April 24, 1824.

Sir: With the United States schooner Jackal under your command, accompanied by the Wild Cat, Lieutenant Legare, you will proceed to the Island of Mugeres or Woman's Island, on the coast of Yucatan, near Cape Catoche, in search of and for the destruction of a piratical establishment said to exist there. From thence you will continue to cruise along that coast towards Sical, giving it a thorough examination.

From Sical you will send the Wild Cat to me with a report of your proceedings, and shape your course toward Campeachy, and thence to Alvarado, Sacrificios, and Tampico, looking in at La Vera Cruz, at one of which places you will meet this ship; and at the time, or soon after your arrival, you will receive by her instructions as to your further proceedings.

You will ask of Lieutenant Commandant Oellers my general instructions, which will explain to you the duties you have to perform as regards the suppression of piracy and the slave trade.

During your stay in the gulf, and on your passage there, you will seek every occasion to give protection to the persons and property of our citizens.

Wishing you a pleasant and successful cruise, I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant John H. Lee.

Copy of a letter from Lieutenant Commandant John H. Lee to Commodore David Porter, commanding United States naval forces on the West India station, Gulf of Mexico, and coast of Africa, dated—

U. S. Schooner Jackal, Sical, May 12, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to report to you that, for the purpose of executing your orders to me on the 25th of April, the Jackal and Wild Cat sailed on the 26th of that month from Thompson's Island. On the following day we made the coast of Cuba, (Bahia Honda,) and passing Cape Antonio in the night, we were unable to look in there, although I felt a great desire to do so. On the 29th arrived off Cape Catoche, and on the same afternoon anchored between the Island of Contoy and the main land. This island is small and thinly wooded, so that it required but a few hours to examine every part of it. We could discover no traces of any persons living there, or even of any persons having been there, except two thatched huts in a very decayed state.

Early on the morning of the 30th we left that island, and approaching as near the shore as the safety of the vessels would permit, we proceeded to the Island of Mugeres, and in the night anchored between its southwest end and the main land. On the following morning, having found the watering place, the vessels were removed to it, and, at the same time, detachments of men were sent on shore for the purpose of commencing an examination.

This island is larger, more thickly wooded, and much more difficult of access than Contoy; and we were, consequently, compelled to proceed at a comparatively slow rate. But, sir, I can safely say that, at the expiration of two days, almost every foot of Mugeres had been traversed.

We found here six Indians from the vicinity of Sical. They stated that they made annual visits to this island for the purpose of making salt, large quantities of which were piled up on the borders of the salt ponds in the interior. While at Mugeres we were visited by several parties of Indians from the main and the Island of Cankum.

I could glean nothing satisfactory from these men respecting piracy. The stories they told were so

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very contradictory, and seemingly without foundation, that it was impossible to reconcile them with each other, or with truth; but from all I could hear, and from my own observations, Mugeres has not, for the last two years, been the resort of pirates.

A severe gale detained us at anchor three days longer than was necessary, and this circumstance afforded an opportunity of visiting the main land, which was done by Lieutenant Commandant Legare and Lieutenant Piercy, though without discovering anything more than a few uninhabited fishing huts. On the 7th of this month, we sailed from Mugeres, and passing again by Contoy, anchored near Cape Catoche, and here, sir, our researches were as little to our satisfaction as they had been hitherto. Nothing was to be seen but an old dilapidated church and a fishing hut. From thence we continued our course towards New Malaga, examining the coast as we went along, and arrived there on the afternoon of the 8th. Some of the Indians had informed me that a piratical vessel was fitting out at that place; but, sir, no such vessel was there on our arrival, and the commandant, who is apparently a respectable man, assured me that the Fox was the last vessel he had seen.

On the 9th we left New Malaga, and coasted it along within two miles of the shore, looking into all the inlets, and communicating with almost every settlement between Malaga and Sical, until our arrival at the latter place, late on the 11th. From the time we commenced our examination of the coast, we have never sailed during the night, except once in chase of a schooner, which proved to be a privateer fitted out at Sical, and then, sir, I returned, with the Jackal, to the place I discovered her, and waited until the following morning.

At this port the commandant has been barely civil to us, and the inhabitants generally appear to view us more in the light of spies than friends.

You will perceive from this report, sir, the manner in which we have performed our duty, and I sincerely hope it will meet with your approbation. To the prompt and active exertions of Lieutenant Legare I feel much indebted; and I assure you it would have afforded me great pleasure to have been associated with him for a longer time.

From this place I shall proceed with all possible dispatch, to execute your further orders.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

JOHN H. LEE.

Commodore D. Porter, commanding United States Naval Forces on the West India Station, Gulf of Mexico, and Coast of Africa.

Matanzas, June 5, 1824.

Sir: After touching at Thompson's Island, you will proceed to the coast of East Florida, and give it a thorough examination, to discover an establishment there, said to be of a piratical or irregular character, somewhere about Charlotte Harbor, Chatham's Bay, or between that and Tampa Bay.

The inhabitants are said to be Spaniards and Indians; hoist the Spanish flag and have two guns mounted. You will have intercourse with them, ascertain their true character, force, and condition, and on your return make me a detailed report. Should you find the aid of a land force necessary, you can no doubt obtain it from the military commanding officer of the post at Tampa Bay.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant James M. McIntosh.

Allenton, Thompson Island, July 8, 1824.

Sir: I had the pleasure of addressing you on the 5th inst. by the Diabletta, enclosing a copy of a letter from Captain P. C. Greene, and a sick report, which I trust you will receive at an early period, as the weather has been uncommonly fine since she sailed. The departure of the Martha this evening with a load of flour affords me another opportunity to communicate to you our situation. The expedition in the barge will necessarily impede much our progress in the buildings and other improvements, for in giving her a complement I have left the island almost destitute. The new store which I find by a letter of Lieutenant Oellers, dated 29th ult., reported to be nearly finished, I regret to say is little more than half done; it is only in part covered, floor not laid, no partitions up, or doors or windows made, nor have I any person at present to continue on with it. The only two carpenters at present on the island I have employed putting a small addition to the house formerly occupied by Captain Wilkinson, to render it barely comfortable for my family. But I am in hopes soon to complete the store on the return of the Diabletta. I would take the liberty of suggesting the propriety of a house carpenter being employed, rated as master carpenter, and sent out immediately; the good advantages which would arise from it I have perceptibly seen displayed with the citizens working for Mr. Simonton. Since his return from Baltimore with a decent young man in that capacity, almost double the work has been performed by his carpenters, and I find that I cannot, with all the attention I can possibly bestow, have as much done by men employed in the public service. I cannot lay out their work, or do I really know, to be candid, what is a day's work for a house carpenter, and having no person here who feels any ambition in forwarding that branch, I am liable constantly to impositions.

I have the honor to enclose you a duplicate copy of Captain Green's letter, and Doctor Bassit's sick report of to-day, by which you will find one of the cases reported by him on the 5th as bilious remittent fever, marked to-day as a case of yellow fever; and I regret to inform you that Richard Purcels, a private marine, died yesterday at the hospital of what the doctor calls a low type of bilious fever. It is with much pain, sir, that I am compelled to inform you that I witness, daily, symptoms among the men a little alarming; almost every day since my arrival and command here one or more have been taken with severe vomiting, pains in the head and bones, and the disease appears to fluctuate, one day at work and the next a relapse; and it is high time that Dr. Bassit was assisted in his duties. His riding twice a day frequently

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from the hospital to Allenton and his exposure to sun is well calculated to bring on disease; and if he is indisposed we are deprived entirely of medical assistance.

1 have endeavored to gain, for the purpose of communicating to you, all the information respecting the cruise of Domingo on the coast of Yucatan. It appears that he was connected, in his piratical depredation, with Diabletta, and that, in the division of prize goods captured, a dispute arose; in consequence of too large a portion being demanded by the two leaders, the men seized a blunderbuss and literally blew Diabletta to pieces. Domingo escaped with a severe sabre cut on his arm, by jumping overboard and swimming to shore. Joseph Morales saw him since his return from Yucatan, and corraborated these circumstances.

I have, sir, respectfully to request that I may be informed if there is a probability of my being permanently stationed here. The command of the yard I presume I shall not retain longer than the sickly season; after that time many superior to me will be making applications; and although I have every confidence in your disposition to do me justice, still I am aware that the calls of superiors must be attended to. But as I am now making preparations for my family, it would be a great source of satisfaction to me to know if I could hold the situation of executive officer of the yard, if superseded in the command.

The plants are doing well; the late showers of rain which we have had have much revived them. I have not yet received any cocoa-nut plants, but expect them in the Terrier. I have allowed fifty of the nuts to be planted by Col. Mifflin and Captain Greene within the enclosure.

I have the honor to be, sir, most respectfully,

JAS. M. McINTOSH, Lt. Com.

Com. David Porter, Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, Coast of Africa, &c.

Extract of a letter from Lieutenant Commandant James M. Mcintosh to Commodore D. Porter, communicated to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

Allenton, Thompson's Island, July 12, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the Terrier, with the barge Diabletta in company, returned here yesterday. Lieut. Paine reports the brig robbed off Escondio to have been the Acasta of Portland. They robbed her of two thousand dollars in cargo, her sails and anchors, beat the commander and crew severely, and then suffered her to proceed to Havana.

Could I, sir, have received the information one day earlier, the Diabletta would have completely succeeded in recapturing the property, and probably have detected the pirates in the very act. The property stolen has been carried to Havana, at which place Mr. Paine saw and conversed with the master of the Acasta. The appearance of the barge at so early a period after the transaction, together with the very strict search, I trust will have a good effect.

Extract of a letter from Lieutenant Commandant Mcintosh to Commodore David Porter, communicated to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

Allenton, Thompson's Island, August 8, 1824.

The Terrier, Lieut. Paine, returned yesterday morning with the medical stores which I had the honor to inform you were necessary for the station, on the 2d inst. She has been longer executing this service than could have been contemplated, in consequence of continued calms since she sailed from here, and considerable drift to the eastward. She sails again to-day for Matanzas, with orders to give convoy to any of our vessels requiring it, and then to proceed and examine minutely the key in the vicinity of Point Yeacos and the Bay of Suagasa, from thence to run down the north coast of Cuba to Bahia Honda, at which place piratical depredations are said to be almost daily committed.

Washington, August 12, 1824.

Sir: I have received your various communications by the different vessels that have arrived from the island, all of which are satisfactory to me.

As regards your continuing on the island, you may rest assured that there is no disposition on my part to make any change whatever in your situation, and it is not my opinion that any change will be made by the Department.

You may therefore, I think, consider yourself permanently fixed.

It is likely that I shall be out in a month or two after you receive this, and it is my intention to reside for a time on the island, to commence some extensive improvements, affecting its salubrity, that I have in contemplation; I shall therefore want my house finished that I may be comfortable.

I sent several mechanics out in the Wild Cat, expressly for the purpose of being employed on the island; you must endeavor to work them to the best advantage. I laid down a plan for the porches round my house, but on consideration I wished them changed to the one enclosed, letting the rafters commence and rest on the rafters of the main building, about one-half the distance up from the eaves, instead of commencing at the eaves as in the old plan. This arrangement will allow of the porch being much wider than formerly intended; it would be very desirable to have it thirteen feet. The eaves of the porch need not be lower than the eaves of the main building, which will make the whole sightly, light, and airy. I have sent out medical aid in the Decoy; I hope it may arrive in season. I would advise that the men be as little exposed as possible to the weather—the more they are kept under shelter the better.

I am in hopes you will be able to get through this season without much sickness. Endeavor to keep every one as comfortable as you can, and let me hear from you by every favorable opportunity, that I

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issued to your predecessor. You will continue on that station, furnishing convoy and protection to our merchant vessels through the passages, until my arrival there, or until further orders.

Should your vessel require any supplies of provisions, stores, &c., you can obtain them by application to Mr. Furnace, a merchant of that place, who has offered to furnish them.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant C. T. Platt.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, January 28, 1825.

Sir: In consequence of the affair at Foxardo, I have been directed by the Hon. Secretary of the Navy to repair to Washington, in order that the merits of the case may be perfectly understood, and it is considered important that all witnesses in the case, and particularly yourself, should be present. It is also desirable that all written testimony that can be had, should be produced.

You will therefore call on Mr. Stephen Cabot, and Messrs. Bergest and Whlhorn, and get their depositions as to the particulars of the robberies on their stores, explaining to them the object, and the great importance it is to me, that proofs should be had that the robberies, in former cases, had been traced to Foxardo and its neighborhood. You will also call on Messrs. Ellis, Gibson & Co., John Kettle, Esq., Robert Alexander, Esq., Saubot, Taubert & Co., and all others whose stores have been robbed, and ask them for their depositions respecting the particulars of the robberies; the tracing of them to Foxardo; the detection of the perpetrators, and particularly in the case of Messrs. Ellis, Gibson & Co.; also ask these gentlemen, as well as Messrs. Bergest and Whlhorn, for the original attested copies of all correspondence they may have had on the subject of these with Mr, James Campos, or any other person residing at Foxardo, or any other place to which these robbers had been traced.

You will please to ask Messrs. Cabot, Bailey & Co. to assist you in collecting all the testimony, in the fullest manner, as I conceive it to be of the highest importance to the mercantile interest of the United States that the landing on the Spanish coast for the suppression of piracy, and the holding the local authorities responsible, should be justified.

When you have collected all the information and testimony you can obtain on the subject, you will repair with the U. S. schooner Beagle to Washington, where you will report yourself to me.

With great respect,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Platt,

Washington, October 20, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed, accompanied by Midshipman L. M. Goldsborough and J. Boarman, in the United States schooner Fox, now at this place, to Pensacola and Tampa Bay, for the purpose of surveying those places, and reporting on the same at as early a day as possible.

Your examination and report will be directed to the following point, to wit, the depth of water on the bar.

Very respectfully, D. PORTER.

Lieutenant J. W. Sherburne.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, January 15, 1825.

Sir: You will proceed to the port of Matanzas with the barge Gallinipper, and there await my arrival.

Very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Acting Lieutenant Benjamim S. Grimke.

U. S. Steam Galliot Sea Gull, Havana, June 20, 1825.

Sir: You will proceed with the barges to leeward, inside the Colorados, as far as Cape Antonio, in pursuit of pirates, searching, in your way, every place likely to give them shelter.

Between Porto Coranas and Bahia Honda is a small river called Artigosa, where they formerly took shelter, and where, if there are any on the coast, they may probably be found. Cayo Blanco and Rio Puereos are also suspicious places, and require to be well examined.

You will use every means in your power to preserve a good understanding with the authorities of the places you may visit, and you will protect the honest and peaceable inhabitants; but whenever you find fishermen without their families, you will give them a rigid examination, and if you find them without license and with arms, you will destroy their establishments, and, if there is good and sufficient reasons to believe that they have been engaged in acts of piracy, you will bring them off with you or deliver to a Spanish civil or military officer. You will endeavor to get back to the John Adams at Thompson's Island, in fifteen or twenty days.

Very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Grimke

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Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 19, 1823.

Sir: On your arrival at Washington, you will receive the schooner Terrier, from Lieutenant Commandant Rose, and proceed to get her in readiness to return to this place without delay.

The Terrier will require a new suit of sails, caulking; her crew completed and her stores replenished.

If the Secretary of the Navy should not appoint a commander, you will, as soon as ready, return here through the Crooked Island or Caucus passage, and down the south side of Cuba, touching at St. Jago and Trinidada, looking in at Cape Antonio, and showing yourself off Havana.

Should a commander be appointed, you will hand him these instructions for his government; you will apply to the Board of Navy Commissioners for orders respecting the repairs.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Acting Lieutenant Wm. McKean.

Lieut. Commandant Rose will please to land his marines, and make me a return of the officers, seamen, ordinary seamen and boys, on board his vessel.

Respectfully,

(Signed)  D. PORTER.

Sea Gull, July 19, 1823.

P. S.—You will please cause all the sweeps and spare oars of the Terrier to be delivered to the storekeeper at Allenton.

(Signed) D. P.

Copy of a letter from Acting Lieutenant Alexander B. Pinkham to Commodore David Porter, communicated to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—

U. S. Schooner Beagle, Quarantine Ground, New York, August 4, 1824.

Sir: I have the honor to acquaint you of the arrival of the Beagle at this place, in eleven days, from Thompson's Island, and have also the painful duty of announcing to you the death of the late commander of this vessel, Lieut. N. L. Montgomery, who died on the 30th ultimo, in latitude 35 degrees, 23 minutes north, longitude 74 degrees, 30 minutes, in consequence of which I considered it my duty to acquaint you with the events of our cruise, in continuation of a report commenced by Lieut. Montgomery, found among his papers, and hereto attached.

The convoy from St. Jago de Cuba, consisted of the brigs Susan, of Philadelphia, Jane and Boston packet of Kennebunk; we also fell in with, off Cape Dona Maria, and took under convoy, the English ships Glasgow and Caledonia, from Jamaica. Having accompanied the convoy through the Crooked Island passage, as far as Matland's Island, we returned to St. Jago, (having touched at Crooked Island to fill up our water,) on the 21st of June; we sailed from thence on the 22d, and arrived at Trinidad on the 27th.

Sailed from thence on the 4th July, having under convoy the brigs Florida of Boston, Mary and Eliza of Sandwich, schooner Hannah, of Boston, and the French brig Duc d'Angouleme. Parted company with the convoy on the 9th, off Cape Antonio, in order to make the best of our way to Havana, in consequence of the sickly state of the officers and crew, the yellow fever having made its appearance on board on the 6th, of which disease six persons, including Lieut. Commandant Montgomery, have died. More than half the crew were attacked, but most of them have recovered.

On the 20th we arrived at Havana, filled up our water, and sailed same day. On the 22d, arrived at Thompson's Island, and having received the necessary supplies of provisions, sailed from thence on the 24th. You may rest assured, sir, that the the disease did not originate from any local cause. The general regard to cleanliness observed on board the vessel, and Lieut. Com. Montgomery's attention to the comfort of the crew, would impress a belief that it originated from the unhealthiness of the climate, and of the ports we lay in.

I have the honor to enclose you a correspondence between Lieut. Com. Montgomery and the Governor of Trinidad, with other papers; also, a list of the officers and crew of the Beagle.

In consequence of the disability of my right arm from the effects of a violent attack of the yellow fever, from which I am yet much debilitated, I am not able to sign my name, but

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

ALEX [his X mark] B. PINKHAM, Acting Lieutenant.

Commandant D. Porter, &c., &c., &c.

Washington, August 11, 1824.

Sir: I have received your communication of the 4th, announcing the arrival of the Beagle, and the melancholy news of the death of Lieut. Montgomery and several of the crew. I hope sincerely that those who have been attacked with the fever may soon recover, and it is my wish that every comfort that they may require may be furnished them, so far as circumstances will permit.

The Beagle must be got ready for sea again with all possible dispatch, and her crew is to be filled up by requisition on the recruiting officer.

Capt. Finch will give you more detailed instructions when necessary.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Acting Lieut. A. B. Pinkham.

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Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 14, 1823.

Sir: The services of every officer who can attend to duty will be required, on the intended expedition, and I cannot feel myself justifiable in permitting any one to return to the United States as sick, except under a sick ticket from the physician.

Very respectfully, your obedient,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. R. M. Potter.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Craney Island, December 30, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed with the United States ship Decoy to Thompson's Island, running down the south side of Cuba. On your arrival there, you will receive further instructions from Master Commandant Jesse Wilkinson, to whom I refer you in all cases of difficulty, either in deciding on the character of vessels you may meet with, or other circumstances. I enclose to you my general instructions as to the duties of officers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant F. B. Gamble.

Matanzas, May 4, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed to New York with the United States ship Decoy take in a supply of stores for the squadron under my command, and return with all possible dispatch to Thompson's Island.

The men whose terms of service have expired are to be discharged, and others are to be got to supply their places.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant F. B. Gamble.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Aguada, March 11, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed with the Sea Gull under your command, accompanied by the Fox, down through the old Straits of Bahama to Thompson's Island.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant Wm. H. Watson.

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Allenton, May 10, 1823.

Sir: You will take command of the barges Gallinipper, Musqueto, and the two schooners Weasel and Fox; with them you will proceed in search of pirates in the old Straits of Bahama. If your provisions will hold out, and circumstances will make it in your opinion necessary and proper, you will extend your cruise so as to make the complete circuit of the island, returning by the way of Antonio.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieutenant Commandant Wm. H. Watson.

Lieutenant Commandant Watson to Commodore Porter.

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Allenton, Thompson's Island, July 11, 1823.

Sir: Having had the honor to report the circumstances attending the cruise of the division under my orders, prior to our separation off St. John de los Remedios, I have now to communicate, for your information, my subsequent proceedings in the barges Gallinipper and Musquito.

After a strict examination of the coast and islands, from Cayo Francis to Cayo Blanco, in the vicinity of Point Hycacos, whilst cruising in Siguapa Bay, we discovered a large topsail schooner, with a launch in company, working up to an anchorage, at which several merchant vessels were then lying. Being to windward, I bore up in the Gallinipper for the purpose of ascertaining their characters, and, when within gun-shot, perceiving the large vessel to be well armed and her deck filled with men, I hoisted our colors, on seeing which, they displayed the Spanish flag, and the schooner having brailed up her foresail, and commenced firing at the Gallinipper, I immediately kept away and ran down upon her weather quarter, making signal at the same time for the Musquito to close. Having much the advantage in sailing, they did not permit us to do so, but made all sail before the wind for the village of Siguapa, to which place we pursued them, and, after a short action, succeeded in taking both vessels, and effecting the almost total destruction of their crews, amounting, as nearly as could be ascertained at the time, to fifty or sixty men; but, as we are since informed, to seventy or eighty. They engaged us without colors of any

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description, having hauled down the Spanish flag after firing the first gun; and, on approaching to hoard (our men giving three cheers and discharging their muskets), the pirates fled precipitately, some to their launch (lying in shore, from whence a fire was still kept up), whilst others endeavored to escape by swimming to the land. A volley of musketry, directed at the launch, completed their disorder, and drove them into the sea; but the boats going rapidly through the water cut off their retreat, with the exception of fifteen, eleven of whom were killed or desperately wounded, and taken prisoners by our men who landed in pursuit, and the remaining four apprehended by the local authorities and sent to Matanzas.

The larger vessel was called the Catilini, commanded by the celebrated pirate Diabolito, taken some weeks since from the Spaniards, between Havana and Matanzas, carried to Siguapa Bay, where she received her armament; had captured nothing, this being the commencement of her piratical cruise.

I cannot close this communication without performing a most pleasing task, in reporting the active gallantry and good conduct of my officers and men, none of whom sustained the slightest injury in the action, the result of which is, I trust, sufficient to satisfy you that all under my orders did their duty, particularly when it is considered that we had but twenty-six men opposed to a force of piratical vessels well supplied with arms of all kinds, amongst which was one long nine and two six-pounders.

I have much pleasure in naming as my associates Lieutenant Inman, Acting S. Master Bainbridge, Dr. Babbit, Midshipmen Harwood and Taylor, and Messrs. Webb and Grice, who obeyed and executed all orders and signals with a promptitude and zeal which could not be exceeded.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. WATSON.

Commodore D. Porter, commanding U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

[Extract.]

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 13, 1823.

Sir: You will take command of the barges Gallinipper, Musqueto, Midge, Sand Fly, Grab-all, and Decibolita, and get them ready for sea with all dispatch. When ready, you will please to inform me.

The Gallinipper and Musqueto will be manned from this vessel; the Midge from the Hornet, and the Sand Fly and others from the ships which may hereafter arrive.

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Directed to Lieut. Commandant Wm. H. Watson.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, April 21, 1824.

Sir: If, on your arrival at Jamaica, our merchants there should have any considerable amount of specie to transport either to St. Jago, Havana, or the United States, you are at liberty to depart from my instructions of this date, so far as to accommodate them with a conveyance for it in your vessel, giving me, or the commanding officer here, the earliest intelligence on the subject.

I have read to you the instructions of the honorable Secretary of the Navy, relative to the transportation of treasures. I have no apprehension that you will go beyond the authority given. It is therefore needless to make any further communication on the subject. I will merely remark, however, that none of the vessels of war, under my command, must, on any account whatever, and under any inducements, be used for the purposes of commercial adventure. You can carry treasure of our citizens from one port or place to another, and you can take it to the United States, but nothing in the shape of public advertisements must appear: and in all your intercourse with the authorities of the places you may visit, make frank acknowledgments of the motives which brought you there. Let all your transactions in this respect be open, and not liable to misapprehension. Nothing, whatever, in the shape of clandestine shipments must be countenanced.

For the information of the government, you will, on joining me, report to me the amount of treasures on board your vessel, where taken from, where destined, and the circumstances, terms and conditions on which you have taken them.

Wishing you a pleasant and profitable cruise, I am, very respectfully,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant N. L. Montgomery.

U. S. Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, April 12, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed with the United States schooner Grayhound, under your command, to Matanzas, and thence to Havana, with the enclosed general order, which you will show to the commanders of such of the small schooners as may be at either of these places, or as you may meet with on the coast.

You will collect all the letters and papers at Matanzas and Havana for the squadron, and send them over to this place in one of the schooners.

From Havana you will proceed to the west end of Cuba, anchoring near Cape Antonio, and there wait the arrival of the barges, under the command of Captain Wilkinson, from whom you will receive your further instructions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Ray.

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Matanzas, May 4, 1824.

Sir: You will proceed to Havana, with the United States schooner Grayhound, and there receive on board such specie as may offer for the United States, at 2 per cent, freight. You will be particularly careful that nothing in the shape of advertisements are put forth, and that no clandestine shipments are made; and you will make me an accurate return of the amount taken on board, the names of the shippers, and all the circumstances attending the same, in order that I may transmit it to the government.

When ready for sea, you will proceed to New York, land the specie, and deliver the Grayhound to the commandant of the Navy yard, to be coppered and repaired. As soon as her repairs, &c., are completed, you will return to Thompson's Island, by the way of St. Bartholomews and St. Thomas.

Very respectfully, &c.,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Lieut. Commandant Ray.

Commodore Porter to Captain John Porter.

U. S. Ship Peacock, March 4, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed to the port of St. John's, in the harbor of Porto Rico, and deliver the accompanying letter to the governor.

You will there wait, if necessary, two days for the answer, apprising him of your intention so to do; and at the expiration of that time you will proceed to join me, either off the harbor, or at the port of Aguada, at the west end of the island, where I shall water the squadron.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. PORTER.

To Captain John Porter, U. S. Schooner Grayhound.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Aguada, March 11, 1823.

Sir: You will proceed with the United States schooner Grayhound, under your command, to Thompson's Island, taking with you the Ferret, Terrier, and Weasel.

You will run down the south sides of St. Domingo and Cuba, giving the coasts of both these islands a thorough examination.

You will remain at Thompson's Island until my arrival.

With great respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Captain John Porter.

Matanzas, June 6, 1824.

Sir: Being about to return to Washington, and the season when we may expect sickness approaching, I have to direct that such of the small vessels as are now absent from this neighborhood are to bo directed to repair to New York as fast as they may arrive at the island. The Ferret, Lieut. Com. Mcintosh, is to remain on the station, as also the Grayhound, on her return from New York. The Wild Cat, Lieut. Com. Legare, I shall, from Washington, direct to return to the station immediately, where she will remain subject to my further orders. Of the large vessels, the Hornet and Porpoise have been directed to remain in the neighborhood of Havana, Matanzas, and Thompson's Island, for the protection of our commerce. All the rest will proceed to New York, with the exception of the Decoy, which ship will remain at Thompson's Island for my further orders. The cargo she may bring out is to be disposed of in the stores to the best advantage.

You will keep me regularly informed, by every opportunity, of the occurrences on the station, its state, and condition.

It is probable my return to the island will be about the last of October or the beginning of November.

I hope, sir, that everything will be conducted with the greatest economy and prudence, and that nothing will be done to disturb the good understanding which now happily exists between the squadron and the authorities of Cuba.

The completion of the buildings, and other works going on, is to be expedited with all the means in your power.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

To the Commanding Officer at Thompson's Island.

Washington, August 12, 1824.

Sir: I enclose you a copy of instructions from the Secretary of the Navy, which you will cause to be executed whenever one of the small schooners can be spared for the service.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

The Senior Officer, Thompson's Island.

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Matanzas, July 27, 1824.

Sir: Understanding by the public prints that you have been directed to take the minister to Mexico, I have to direct that (after the performance of this service, or any other confided to you by the Secretary of the Navy,) you remain in the neighborhood of Havana, Matanzas, and Thompson's Island, for the protection of our commerce, until further orders, unless you should have on board moneys belonging to our merchants, destined for the United States; in which case you will proceed to New York, reporting to me your arrival there, should I be in Washington; but in case I shall have left the United States, you will, after landing the money, repair to Thompson's Island, visiting in your way there St. Bartholomew, St. Thomas, coasting down the south side of Porto Rico, St. Domingo and Cuba.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

Commanding Officer of the U. S. Schooner Porpoise.

OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN COMMODORE PORTER AND THE CONSTITUTED AUTHORITIES OF THE WEST INDIA ISLANDS.

Commodore Porter to the Governor of Porto Rico.

U. S. Ship Peacock, March 4, 1823.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to inform you that, in pursuance of orders from my government, I have taken command of all the United States forces in these seas, for the protection of the commerce of the United States against all unlawful interruptions; to guard the rights, both of property and person, of our citizens, whenever it shall become necessary; and for the suppression of piracy and the slave trade.

As great complaints have been made of the interruption and injury to our commerce by privateers, fitted out from Spanish ports, I must beg your excellency to furnish me with a descriptive list of vessels, legally commissioned to cruise from Porto Rico, with a set of the blank forms of these papers, that I may know how and when to respect them, if I should meet with any of them.

I must also beg your excellency to inform me how far they have been instructed to interrupt our trade with Mexico and the Colombian republic, and whatever instructions or authorities they may have, affecting our commerce generally.

As the suppression of piracy, the principal motive for my visit to these seas, is an object that concerns all nations, (all being parties against them, and may be considered allies,) I confidently look to all for co-operation, whenever it may be necessary, or at least their favorable and friendly support, and to none more than to those most exposed to their depredations; I therefore look with confidence to your excellency for the aid of such means as may be in your power for their suppression; and, in the absence of means, I beg to assure your excellency that, whatever course may be pursued by me, to destroy these enemies of the human race, it will have no other aim; and I shall observe the utmost caution, not to enroach on the rights, or willingly offend the feelings of others, either in substance or in form, in all the measures which may be adopted to accomplish the end in view.

It will afford me sincere pleasure, should I be so fortunate as to fulfill the expectations of my government, and at the same time preserve harmony and a good understanding with those with whom I may be so unfortunate as to come into collision or discussion, in relation thereto; indeed, it will add much to my happiness, if it can be avoided altogether.

That such is my sincere wish, and that the objects set forth by me are the only ones which brought me to these seas, I beg leave to assure your excellency in the most positive and unequivocal terms.

With the highest respect, I have the honor to be

Your excellency's very obedient and humble servant,

DAVID PORTER.

His excellency the Governor of Porto Rico.

Captain General of Porto Rico to Commodore Porter.

Office of the Captain General of Puerto Rico, March 6, 1823.

Most Excellent Sir: I have this moment received the very estimable letter of your excellency, dated the 4th of the present month, in which your excellency has been pleased to communicate to me the important commission which has been entrusted to you by a government that claims the respect of all the territories within its influence.

I have the satisfaction of forwarding to your excellency a nominal report of the privateer vessels which have been armed and dispatched, for the purpose of cruising, by the competent authority in this island, agreeably to the request which your excellency has made me in the letter of that date; and I am extremely sorry to find myself so situated that I cannot comply with the wishes of your excellency in regard to my transmitting to you a set of blank forms, for the purpose of enabling your excellency to know how and when to respect their commissions. The diplomas which they receive come from our court, already signed by his Most Catholic Majesty and the minister to whom this office pertains; leaving, in these cases, the naval authority here limited only to the filling of the blank spaces in them with the name of the captain and of the vessel. Thus situated, it is impossible for me to accede to your circumspect views in this particular object. But, nevertheless, if it should, on occasion, appear requisite to your excellency, the said diplomas or commissions can be examined, together with a blank signature of the captain of this port, in order that a sufficient ground may be established for comparing this signature with those which may be presented, keeping in view the prospectus of those with which the said privateers are cruising.

I am likewise asked by your excellency for information how far my instructions are extended, for interrupting the commerce of the United States with Mexico and the republic of Colombia; and, for your

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gratification, it is my duty to declare that I find myself sufficiently instructed to state that the blockade, which was established on all the coasts and ports of the provinces of Venezuela, has been raised. Under these circumstances, I consider the commerce of the United States to be in free capacity for an intercourse with that of the places formerly blockaded; reserving, however, for lawful capture, the vessels of any nation which shall be found conveying implements of war to the insurgents, or people disposed to cooperate with them in their military resistance. I can give your excellency no certain information concerning Mexico; but it is my opinion that the circumstances and condition are to be found the same as those of Venezuela.

The very important objects to which your commission into these seas is directed, and your good intention and views, afford me the greatest satisfaction, and hasten me to manifest myself to your excellency, as at the instant I now do, in order to assure you that all within the scope of my authority and faculty in this island, as one of the places most interested in the flourishing of commerce, and the revival, if possible, of good faith and due respect to the property of the citizens.

Trusting that your excellency may be able to fulfill the desires of your government in this important charge, and that they may be ever more and more happy in their election:

I have the honor of being, with the greatest respect,

Your excellency's most attentive and sure servant,

Who kisses your hands, excellentissimo señor,

MIGUEL DE LA TORRE.

Most excellent sir, Commander of the Squadron of the United States, in the offing of this Port, D. David Porter.

Office of the Captain General of Porto Rico, March 6, 1823.

Most Excellent Sir: At noon, this day, just as I arrived from the village of Caguus, where I received, at eight o'clock this morning, the official letter of the King's lieutenant commandant of this place, advising me of the arrival of the squadron under the command of your excellency, with a disposition to enter this port, I have been inauspiciously informed of the misfortune occurring in the death of the commander of a schooner-of-war belonging to the squadron, which, it seems, persisted in entering the port, notwithstanding his having been warned by the fort to desist from his undertaking, by a discharge of two cannons, the first with a blank cartridge, and the other at an elevation, with a ball. But the garrison, in seeing his obstinacy, followed, with an extraordinary rigor, the orders for hindering the entrance of the squadron till my arrival, according to the determination formed by the said lieutenant of the place yesterday. I wish to persuade the mind of your excellency into a consciousness of the sorrow which this event, so mournful and unfortunate, has caused me; so much the more painful, inasmuch as it has happened in a place in the district under my command, and on an individual under the orders of your excellency, and a citizen of the United States—of a nation with whom, in all acceptations, the Spaniards of both hemispheres are found united.

So unexpected a misfortune, which, it seems, ought never to be feared in friendly establishments, appears to carry on itself a character of criminality, which more and more aggrieves my feelings.

But the juncture of the circumstances which have conspired towards this fatality, according to the information received by me, is such, that, if your excellency will be pleased to examine it with impartiality, you will perceive that, if the facts are not sufficient to mitigate the regret, they are, at least, enough to prove that there has been no intention of failing in regard to your excellency, nor of offending any citizen of the United States, and much less their government.

The lieutenant of the King, and commandant of that place, grounded on various reasons, of which it is not important to trouble your excellency with a citation, but of which, however, I will point out a few, believed that he ought not permit the entering of the squadron until my arrival. One of his motives arose from his recollecting that, during the last year, an expedition was armed, in the ports of North America, against this island, and placed under the command of a man named Decoudray Holstein, which expedition actually went to the port of St. Bartholomew, under the American flag. And, among his other reasons, were the following: It has been reported here that another similar expedition is this year in preparation; that the schooners alluded to, on their entering, yesterday, would not receive the pilots on board unless they practiced with particular plans of the harbor, and the lead in their hand, of which the captain of the port made his complant; that, when the officers came on shore, a rumor was spread that they were saying Spain had ceded this Island, and that of Cuba, to the English, which relation they confirmed to the lieutenant of the King, as he himself has assured me; that their not having presented to him the writing, nor any expression from your excellency, he suspected he had found something alarming in these rumors, and not sufficient proofs that these were national vessels, merely by the uniform in which the officers were dressed.

These are some of the reasons which he has informed me he had in view in not consenting to the entrance of the squadron until my arrival; and, in consequence of them, he dispatched his orders to the Castle of the Moro, not for the purpose of committing hostilities, but merely preventive orders. He sent an adjutant, at half-past six o'clock in the morning, accompanied by an interpreter, on board one of the schooners under the command of your excellency, to entreat her commander to be so good as to call on the government, in order to agree with them on the means and form of making known to your excellency this their determination. Unfortunately, the commander of the American vessel deferred, in the first place, his seeing the lieutenant of the King until one o'clock in the afternoon; and, provoked by the adjutant to view it as an urgent case, and to consider duly the cause of his being disturbed, and of which he was fully informed, this commander promised the adjutant that he would go to the government as soon as he could dress himself. By an unheard of fatality, he did not accomplish this promise until after his hearing the firing of the cannons at the Moro, which might have been avoided had he only presented himself for an interview with the commandant of the place.

The remissness of this officer, and the pertinacity of him who commanded the schooner, in his not suspending his entering, in spite of the cannon that was fired without a shot, and without waiting for a pilot; but notwithstanding this, and the second discharge of a gun, at an elevation, to crowd sail, in order, at all events, to gain the port; these acts, most excellent sir, have been the means of depriving the United

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States of a citizen, your excellency of an officer, of filling Puerto Rico with mourning, and myself with inexpressible sorrow. I feel it to be my duty to assure your excellency that the orders issued by the lieutenant of the King, and commandant general of the place, were by no means intended to commit hostilities or offence against the vessels; but as the firing was made at an elevation, either the tumbling of the sea, or perhaps some bad pointing, must have been the cause why the fourth discharge should produce such a fatal effect.

Immediately on my return to this place, I gave orders that all the vessels under the command of your excellency, of whatever description, may enter freely into this harbor, as into a port of friends, where they will meet that reception which the law of nations assigns to those who claim a title of civilization, and other privileges, secured by the treaties of friendship existing between the two nations. In this act, I anticipate for myself the satisfaction of being able to manifest, personally, all the consideration which your person merits from me, and my regret for so mournful and disagreeable an event.

May God preserve your excellency many years, excellentissimo señor.

MIGUEL DE LA TORRE.

To the most excellent Commander-in-Chief of the Anglo-American Squadron, in the offing of Puerto Rico, D. David Porter.

Office of the Captain General of Puerto Rico, March 7, 1823.

Most Excellent Sir: One of the first objects of my attention, as soon as I was informed of the mournful accident concerning which I wrote to your excellency in my letter of yesterday, was to acquaint myself with the actual condition of the wounded individual, in order that he should be located where the duties of friendship might be exercised for his accommodation and comforts; but, being certified that he had died, during the transaction before related, I could do no otherwise than give my orders that his funeral should be conducted with all the decorum and manifestation of respect due to an honorable officer of his character and station; and causing his corpse to be attended to the grave by a procession, composed of the principal chieftains, authorities, and other officers of this garrison. In this act, I could wish that your excellency might recognize an expression of the lively sorrow which has been excited in me by this misfortune.

May God preserve your excellency many years, excellentissimo señor.

MIGUEL DE LA TORRE.

To the most excellent Commander-in-Chief of the Anglo-American Squadron, in the offing of this port, D. David Porter.

Commodore Porter to the Governor of Porto Rico.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Aguada, March 8, 1823.

To his excellency the Governor of Porto Rico:

Your Excellency: On the 3d of this month I dispatched from the squadron under my command the United States schooner Grayhound, commanded by Captain John Porter of the United States Navy, who was the bearer of a letter from me to your excellency, written in strict conformity with instructions which I had received from my government, propounding certain inquiries to enable your excellency to put me in possession of such information as would place it in my power to fulfill the benevolent intentions of the Government of the United States, without infringing on the rights of Spain as a belligerent.

The commander of the Grayhound was directed to remain in St. John's two days, for your excellency's answer, and then to join me off the port, or at this place, where I proposed watering the squadron under my command.

On the second day after his arrival at St. Johns, I directed the commander of the United States schooner Fox to proceed there with his vessel to ascertain what time it was probable your reply would be obtained, with orders to return immediately, and apprise the commander of the United States schooner Beagle, another of my squadron, of my intention to come to this place.

On the arrival of the Fox within gun-shot of the castle, I was much surprised to observe that six guns were fired at her; but, knowing of no cause to justify such an act of violence, I should have thought that perhaps I might have been mistaken, had not the commanders of all three of those vessels failed to obey my instructions, which could not have happened but for some violent detention by the authorities at St. Johns.

Until I am better satisfied of the fact, however, I shall refrain from the expression of my sentiments on the subject, and shall, for the present, merely observe that their character could not have been misunderstood: as my squadron, at the time of the departure of the Fox, was laying in full view of the castle, with their colors flying, and a British squadron, under the command of Sir Thomas Cochrane, which had several times communicated with me, and well knew the vessels, arrived there the day previous to the last-mentioned vessel, and on the day previous to my arrival off the port.

I know not whether my suspicions are correct; but I have, in the event of their being so, directed the senior officers to abandon the vessels and leave the Island of Porto Rico as soon as possible, leaving it to my country, to whom I shall make known the facts, to resent the outrage as it may think proper, and which it will, no doubt, do promptly and effectually.

Your excellency must be aware that it is always in my power to retaliate, and even in this place; but it would be a poor return for the friendship and hospitality I have received from its inhabitants, and I cannot reconcile it to myself that the innocent should be made to suffer for offences not their own.

With great respect, I have the honor to be your excellency's most obedient humble servant,

D. PORTER.

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Commodore Porter to the Captain General of Porto Rico.

U. S. Ship Peacock, Aguada, March 11, 1823.

To his excellency the Captain General of Porto Rico:

Your Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your several favors of the 6th and 7th of this month.

That which is in reply to the letter I had the honor to address you on the 4th, is perfectly satisfactory in all its details; and the promptness with which you have been pleased to attend to it, as well as its contents, will, no doubt, be highly gratifying to the Government of the United States.

I know not how to touch on the melancholy subject of your other letters, without giving vent to some of those feelings which operate at this moment on my mind. I shall endeavor, however, to treat it coolly and dispassionately, and hope, by a few facts, to convince your excellency that there was not the shadow of an excuse for interdicting the entrance of my squadron into the harbor of St. John's; that nothing can justify the order issued by your second in command, to fire upon any of the vessels composing it; and that the act of firing was, to say the least of it, an act of the most unpardonable cruelty and barbarity. It is painful to me to see that your excellency has labored to justify the act, and to throw the blame on the commander of one of the United States vessels, then in port.

A statement in the Echo of the 8th, drawn by the same hand that penned your letter to me, is given to the public, with the same object in view. Your excellency may have reasoned yourself into a belief of the correctness of the inferences you have in both cases drawn from information given you, or both may have been considered as necessary and proper to prevent excitement; but I must be excused for saying to your excellency that the charge is only an aggravation to the outrage which had already been committed. It was not the duty of that officer to move at the beck and call of the King's lieutenant, or to leave the duty unexecuted which I had sent him to perform, to communicate to me the hostile intentions of a subaltern, which, had they been fully explained to him, he never could have believed he would have dared to have carried into effect; but they never were explained, and no such conversation took place between the King's lieutenant and the American officer as is related by your excellency. Your excellency has been misinformed on the subject; and had it taken place, and had it been the duty of the American officer to have communicated to me the intention to prevent my coming into port, it would have been impracticable for him to have executed it, as the sea raged with such violence at the time that no vessel or boat could possibly have left the harbor.

It is not magnanimous in your excellency to resort to such means to excuse the bad conduct of those under your command.

The officer you would implicate was the bearer of a dispatch from me to your excellency, apprising you of the benevolent intentions of my government in fitting out the squadron I have the honor to command.

He had been two days in your port, and was possessed of a copy of my letter to you, which had been seen by your second in command at the moment of presenting himself to him, which was on the day of his arrival; and if any doubts existed as to his character, or to the character of the vessel under his command, being in the power of the authorities of Porto Rico, they could easily have satisfied themselves. But he had been received and treated as an American officer; and it is only to endeavor to palliate or excuse the conduct of the offending individual, that your excellency has sought for facts, which would never have been brought into notice but for the lamentable circumstance which gave rise to these painful remarks.

He informed your second of the character of my squadron; a British squadron was then lying in the port, which knew me, and, there cannot be a doubt, had communicated intelligence of my intentions to visit Porto Rico.

The sloop-of-war, on board which my pendant was flying, with some small vessels of my squadron, were lying in full view of the castle, with their colors hoisted; the schooner which was fired into was standing directly into port, in open day; she could not have escaped, after the first shot was fired, or have given up her intention of going into St. John's, had she been so disposed, or had she understood what was intended by the firing. But, let me ask your excellency, who for an instant could have supposed that a small schooner, of scarcely forty tons burthen, mounting only three guns, with a complement of twenty-five officers and men, would have occasioned any alarm to the city of St. John's, surrounded as it is by fortresses, rendered as impregnable as nature and the art of man can make them? Was it not more natural to believe that the firing was intended to compel her approach? And, even if the intention was not complied with, ought not her feeble condition to have claimed from those in your fortress some mercy? But, no! the vessel, after the death of her lamented commander, was compelled to anchor between the forts, where a tremendous sea was running, which jeopardized the lives of every one on board; to send the small boat on shore, where the young midshipman who commanded her was insulted, by having a heavy gun pointed at the boat, and threatened with destruction if he attempted to move from his position. He was then taken, like a criminal, and placed under guard.

These are facts, your excellency, and incontrovertible ones.

Let me ask your excellency what better proofs you have of the character of my squadron now than were produced on the first day of the arrival of the officer you wish to implicate? What further examination has been made, that the authorities of Porto Rico are better satisfied of our being Americans now than they were before? None.

I repeat it, that the character of my squadron was well known in St. John's. Even in this obscure place, I found American newspapers containing all the details respecting it; and at St. Thomas I saw persons direct from St. John's, who informed me that its equipment and object were well known there. There has, in fact, been a degree of publicity given to the expedition, and an interest felt in it, that have been rarely equaled. The whole of the civilized world was interested in its success. It is in vain, then, to say that we were taken for lawless invaders; and it is unjust to stain the character of my country by a charge of the frequency of hostile expeditions against the Spanish possessions, or offer them as an excuse for the conduct of the offender. Bad men escape sometimes the vigilance of the most rigid authorities, and no government deserves reproach when it does its utmost to detect and bring them to punishment.

I find your coasts lined with troops, since my arrival here. I find reinforcements daily coming

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in, as I am informed by your order, to protect the inhabitants from my resentment. I have found every precaution taken to keep me in profound ignorance of the lamentable occurrence, but these things were all in vain. I saw the insult offered to the flag of my country. I have satisfied your military commanders that their force is despicable when compared to that at my disposal, and I have convinced the inhabitants that, although they are at my mercy, they will not be made answerable for the offence of an individual.

It is not, then, becoming to the character of your excellency to resort to subterfuge, in order to divert the odium of the act from one officer, to attach blame to another.

I will further ask, why a rigor should be exercised towards vessels bearing the American flag, that was not extended to the British squadron, or to the French frigate which arrived subsequent to the attack on Lieut. Com. Cocke? In the one case there was only a small schooner to fire at; in the other, there were vessels of force!

Had he fallen in battle, and by the hand of a declared enemy, we should have been reconciled to his fate by the proud satisfaction that he died in the performance of his duty to his country; but, to be thus cruelly torn from us, and by the hand of a dastard, whose aim was the more sure from a confidence in his own safety and the defenceless condition of his object, admits of no consolation.

Your excellency, in conversation with the officer you wish to implicate, adverted to the affair of the Panchita as some palliation for the offence; and there is too much reason to apprehend that the officer who gave the order to prevent the entrance of my squadron, as well as those who executed it, thought this a fair opportunity to retaliate. Otherwise, why heat shot in the furnaces to destroy my squadron? Why open two batteries on the schooner, and why fire round shot and language while the lamented victim was hailing the fort? And why the remark of the man who pointed the gun, that the shot was intended to avenge the Panchita?

Your excellency will recollect that, in the case of the Panchita, there was an equality of force. Such an occurrence would not have taken place had there been as great a disparity as in the present instance. The cases are not, therefore, parallel; and if the satisfaction of retaliation was sought for, the offenders have failed in their object: it is yet to be obtained.

I shall leave the island to-morrow morning, with a heavy heart, and shall, without delay, communicate to my government the melancholy result of my visit here, which was intended for the benefit of the civilized world in general.

With the highest respect, I have the honor to be,

Your excellency's most obedient humble servant,

D. PORTER.

Commodore Porter to the Captain General of Cuba.

U. S. Ship Peacock, off Matanzas, March 26, 1823.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to inform you that, in pursuance of orders from my government, I have taken command of all the United States naval forces in these seas, for the protection of the commerce of the United States against all unlawful interruptions; to guard the rights, both of property and person, of our citizens, whenever it may become necessary; and for the suppression of piracy and the slave trade.

As great complaints have been made of the interruption and injury of our commerce by privateers, fitted out from Spanish ports, I must beg your excellency to furnish me a descriptive list of vessels legally commissioned to cruise from Cuba, with a set of the blank forms of their papers, that I may know how and when to respect them, if I should meet with any of them.

I must also beg your excellency to inform me how far they have been instructed to interrupt our trade with Mexico and the Colombian republic, and whatever instructions or authorities they may have, affecting our commerce generally.

As the suppression of piracy, the principal motive of my visit to these seas, is an object that concerns all nations, (all being parties against them, and may be considered allies,) I confidently look to all for co-operation, whenever it may be necessary, or at least their favorable and friendly support, and to none more than those most exposed to their depredations. I therefore look with confidence to your excellency for the aid of such means as may be in your power for their suppression; and, in the absence of means, I beg leave to assure your excellency, that whatever course may be pursued by me to destroy those enemies of the human race, it will have no other aim; and I shall observe the utmost caution not to encroach on the rights, or willingly to offend the feelings, of others, either in substance or form, in all the measures which may he adopted to accomplish the end in view.

It will afford me sincere pleasure, should I be so fortunate as to fulfill the expectations of my government, and at the same time preserve harmony and a good understanding with those with whom I may be so unfortunate as to come in collision or discussion in relation thereto. Indeed it will add much to my happiness if it can be avoided altogether.

That such is my sincere wish, and that the objects set forth by me are the only ones which have brought me to these seas, I beg leave to assure your excellency in the most positive and unequivocal terms.

With the highest respect, I have the honor to be,

Your excellency's very obedient and humble servant,

D. PORTER,

Commanding U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

To his Excellency the Captain General of Cuba.

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[Translation.]

Habana, March 29, 1823.

I feel much satisfaction in your arrival into these seas with the commission explained to me in your official letter of the 26th of the present month, which I am now answering; and I offer you at once a hearty welcome.

You are pleased to manifest that there have been great complaints on account of the mischief committed on your commerce by corsairs fitted out in the Spanish ports, and wish me to furnish you with a description list of the vessels lawfully authorized at the Island of Cuba for cruising; also, a set of blank forms of their papers, in order that you may know how and when to respect them, if you were to fall in with any of them.

In answer I must state, that as this business pertains exclusively to the general marine command, at this station, you will be pleased to address this department for these objects of your requisition.

This government, commodore (Señor Comodoro), anxiously desires, and loses none of the means in their disposal, to prosecute those enemies of the human race, even to annihilation; and you can be well assured that, on all occasions, it is, and will be, ready to lend every aid that is compatible with the territorial rights and privileges of the nations co-operating for the extermination of these freebooters.

Deign to accept the considerations of my respect and friendship.

God preserve you many years.

SEBASTIAN KINDERLAN.

Señor Don D. Porter, Commander of the Naval Forces of the United States in this sea.

Commodore Porter to the Captain General of Cuba.

Havana, April 20, 1823.

Your Excellency: Having been informed that an order has been issued by your excellency to the military commanders of districts in this island, forbidding the entrance into the harbors thereof of the squadron under my command, I have, therefore, to. repeat to your excellency, that I came by the orders of the Government of the United States, in aid of the local authorities, for the suppression of piracy, and for no other object, as I have always assured your excellency, and I have to beg of you to prevent any unpleasant consequences from the existence of an order so hostile to the interests of Cuba, and so opposed to the friendly and benevolent intentions of my government, that your excellency will be pleased to cause it to be revoked as early as practicable; and that you will furnish me with a paper, bearing your excellency's signature, whereby the friendly character of the forces under my command may be made understood by the aforesaid military commanders, as well as by all others in authority, with whom I may come in contact; and your excellency will pardon me for urging, with great earnestness, this request, as the knowledge of this order has been the source of great uneasiness to me, particularly since an admission on the part of your excellency confirms its existence.

I have the honor to be, with the highest respect,

Your excellency's most obedient and humble servant,

D. PORTER.

To his Excellency the Captain General of the Island of Cuba.

Commodore Porter to the Captain General of Cuba.

U. S. Steam Vessel Sea Gull, Allenton, Thompson's Island, May 16, 1823.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 10th, with the circulars accompanying it; and beg leave to return my sincere thanks for your prompt and satisfactory reply to my application of the 4th of this month, as well as assurances of the high sense I entertain of the favorable disposition of the higher authorities of Cuba towards the squadron under my command, which has been manifested by various acts that have greatly facilitated the execution of the duties entrusted to me; and it is the cause of great regret that I should have been under any erroneous impression with regard to orders of any kind, issued by your predecessor in office, in any way concerning the operations of my forces; and beg leave to offer, as my apology, the assurances of those who had stated to me that they had seen the orders; the admission of the captain general, as understood by [the] officer whom I sent to him on this subject, that orders of a restrictive nature had been issued; the conduct of the commandants of Mariel and Porto Cabanes; and information received from the commandant of Bahia Honda, that some orders with regard to the forces under my command had been received by him. The assurances of your excellency have put the subject forever at rest; and your circulars have relieved my mind from the serious apprehensions under which it labored.

Permit me to embrace this opportunity to felicitate your excellency on your arrival; to assure you that nothing but a severe indisposition has prevented my paying my respects in person; and to offer you my best wishes for your health and happiness.

I have the honor to be, with the highest respect, your excellency's very obedient servant,

D. PORTER,

Commanding U. S. Naval forces in the W. I. and Gulf of Mexico.

To his excellency Don Francisco Dionisio Vives,

Captain General of the Island of Cuba and its Dependencies.

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The Captain General of Cuba to Commodore Porter.

[Translation.]

Habana, May 10, 1823.

In the last conference which you had with his excellency, my predecessor, you, no doubt, became satisfied with the friendly demonstrations and sincere offers of this government to that of the United States, unequivocally expressed by that chieftain, with explanations of the subjects of your doubts relative to his official letter of the 29th of March, in his last paragraph in answer to one from you, dated the 26th of the same month.

Having gained an understanding of this case, I have now the satisfaction of declaring to you that this government has not issued any order for prohibiting the entrance of the vessels, in the squadron under your command, into the ports of this island; but, on the contrary, your squadron will meet with every aid and co-operation, on the part of the local authorities, in the pursuit of pirates who may shelter themselves in the uninhabited coasts, compatible with the territorial privilege, conformable to the laws of nations. And I can do no less than assure you that the Spanish government, always a faithful observer of the rights pertaining to each nation, as well as jealous of their own, never would take measures of the kind to which you allude, without proclaiming their intention with that frankness and clearness which are its strong characteristics; and, in the present case, it has had no motive for acting contrary to the sentiments which it has heretofore expressed to you.

And that you may remain satisfied and convinced, I enclose to you circulars for the different commandants of the military stations on this island, in order that they may afford you all the assistance necessary for the attainment of your important commission. With this, I consider your official letter of the 28th of last month as answered.

This opportunity allows me the pleasure of offering my services to you, with the highest consideration.

God preserve you many years.

FRANCISCO DIONISIO VIVES.

Commodore David Porter, Commander of the U. S. Squadron.

Translated copy of a circular letter from the Captain General of Cuba to the commandants at the several military stations in that island.

Office of the Captain General of the Island of Cuba, Habana, May 10, 1823.

An American squadron, under the command of Commodore David Porter, being destined to cruise about the coasts of this island, in aid of our forces, who are engaged in a like enterprise, namely, the purpose of exterminating the pirates who infest our seas, and cause so much injury to commerce in general, without respecting any flag whatever: and it being an obligation of every civilized nation to annihilate such banditti, who, heedless of their duties in society, employ themselves in such execrable practices, I have thought it proper to give orders that, wherever this squadron may arrive, and present itself to the constituted authorities, they must afford it every aid which may be compatible with the territorial privilege and respect.

God preserve you many years.

FRANCISCO DIONISIO VIVES.

The Captain General of Cuba to Commodore Porter.

[Translation.]

Habana, June 30, 1823.

I have received your official letters, one of which is dated on the 21st and the other on the 24th of the present month. In "the latter I observe a complaint of the conduct of the provisionally appointed Governor of Matanzas towards an officer of the sloop-of-war Hornet. I have, consequently, already made arrangements for a close investigation of this subject, in order to convince you that no other sentiments animate this government than what have already been manifested to you on several occasions, and from which it will never deviate; and, likewise, to satisfy you that its views are the same as those of the Government of the United States, in the extirpation of the enemies of the human race who have infested the coasts of this pacific island; and I wish you to be fully persuaded that it will never be able to view with indifference any intentional insult, committed by its subalterns, on the officers of any nation engaged in so laudable an enterprise.

In regard to your letter of the 21st, I would say that I will accomplish the objects of its contents without delay among those who are interested in their respective reclamations, applauding, at the same time, the just comparison which you make, of the rights of a strict neutrality towards the nation whom I have the honor of serving.

I renew to you my most distinguished consideration.

May God preserve you many years.

FRANCISCO DIONISIO VIVES.

To Commodore David Porter.

A true copy: P. Wilson, Secretary.

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Commodore Porter to the Governor of Cuba.

U. S. Galliot Sea Gull, Allenton, Thompson's Island, July 13, 1823.

Your Excellency: With a full confidence that they will be brought to condign punishment, I send you, to be tried by the laws of Spain, five pirates, taken on board two piratical vessels by two of the barges of my squadron. I also send, by the same conveyance, two men, making part of the original crew of one of the vessels when she fell into the hands of the pirates.

The witnesses being on the spot, will enable you to make the punishment prompt, and the example, I have no doubt, will be highly salutary.

With sentiments of the highest respect, I have the honor to be,

Your excellency's very obedient and humble servant,

D. PORTER,

Commanding U. S. Naval Forces in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico.

To his excellency Don Francisco Dionisio Vives,

Captain General of the Island of Cuba and its Dependencies.

General Vives to Commodore Porter.

Office of the Captain General of the Island of Cuba, Habana, July 24, 1823.

I acknowledge the receipt of your official letter of the 13th of the present month, transmitted by the schooner Ferret, with five individuals, under the character of pirates. These men were immediately put under the disposal of the judiciary authority, in order that they might be judged in a manner accordant to our laws; and the judge who was especially charged with the duty has directed to me the following official statement of the result of his examinations:

"Most Excellent Sir: The commander of the American schooner-of-war the Ferret, Mr. Thomas M. Newell, being examined, likewise the mariners whom he presented before me, and those whom he brought here as prisoners, by order of Commodore D. Porter, of whom three were, by the disposition of your excellency, committed to the jail, and two to the hospital of Saint Ambrosio, characterized as pirates: an appearance has not resulted that they had an actual participation in the invasions and robberies—they were brought to their condition by compulsion. But, as I have information that those who escaped are now apprehended and carried to Matanzas, where a process will be instituted against them, and where the most sure means will be adopted for discovering the plain truth, I have considered it expedient to send these prisoners to Matanzas, hoping that your excellency will be pleased to facilitate their transportation, with the necessary provisions, affording to the disposition of the judge of that district the means of determining, with clear understanding, what has been done and what is now actually doing."

This copy is forwarded to you for your information and satisfaction.

FRANCISCO DIONISIO VIVES.

Commodore David Porter.

United States Ship John Adams, November 12, 1824.

Sir: It has been officially reported to me that an officer under my command, who visited the town of Foxardo, of which you are the chief, in search of robbers and freebooters, who, with a large amount of American property, were supposed to have taken shelter there, and bringing with him sufficient testimonials as to his object and character, was, after they were all made known to you, arrested by your order, by armed men, and shamefully insulted and abused in your presence, by the captain of the port, after which he was sent by your orders to prison, and, when released therefrom, was further insulted and abused by the inhabitants of the town. His object in visiting Foxardo has by these means been defeated, and for these offences no atonement or explanation has yet been made.

The object of my visit is to obtain both, and I leave it entirely to your choice whether to come with the captain of the port and the other offenders to me, for the purpose of satisfying me as to the part you have all had in this shameful transaction, or to await my visit at your town. Should you decline coming to me, I shall take with me an armed force, competent to punish the aggressors, and if any resistance is made, the total destruction of Foxardo will be the certain and immediate consequence.

If atonement for the injury is promptly made, those innocent of the offences will escape all punishment. But atonement must and shall be had, and if it is withheld from me, they will be involved in the general chastisement.

I shall hold the town and vessels in the harbor answerable for any detention or ill treatment of the officer who bears this letter.

I allow you one hour to determine on the course you will pursue, at the expiration of which time, if you do not present yourself to me, I shall march to Foxardo.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your very obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

To the Alcalde of Foxardo.

United States Ship John Adams, Thompson's Island, April 15, 1824.

Your Excellency: I have the honor to transmit you copies of two resolutions of the Congress of the United States, in the House of Representatives, adopted on the 23d of December last, requiring that the Secretary of State be directed to ascertain and report to that House, "whether the rocks called the

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Double Headed Shot Keys, or any other of the rocks or desert islets near the Bahama hanks, but separated therefrom by a deep channel, and in which the security of the navigation of the Gulf of Florida, requiring that light-houses or beacons should be placed, are within the dominions of any and what foreign kingdom or State; or whether they are not now subject to be appropriated by the right of occupancy;" and, secondly, "That the President of the United States be requested to negotiate with the government of Great Britain for a cession of so much land on the Island of Abaco, at or near the Hole in the Wall, and on such other places within the acknowledged dominion of that power, or the islands, keys, or shoals on the Bahama banks, as may be necessary for the erection and support of light-houses, beacons, buoys, or floating lights, for the security of navigation over and near the sand banks, and to be used solely for such purposes."

In consequence of these resolutions, and a call made by the Secretary of State on the Secretary of the Navy, the whole subject has been referred to me, with instructions to obtain the necessary information thereon, to be laid before the government, and I have the honor to solicit of your excellency the information called for, with your opinion as to what portion of the Island of Abaco, near the Hole in the Wall, and what other places within the acknowledged dominion of Great Britain on the islands, keys, and shoals, as described in the resolutions, may be necessary for the purposes therein mentioned.

The description of the places should be made with sufficient precision, with regard to topography, to be inserted in the articles of cession, if the consent of Great Britain to make it should be obtained.

Such information as your excellency may be enabled to furnish, without reference to his Britannic Majesty's government, I shall be glad to have as early as convenient; and where reference is necessary, where the information may be obtained, I beg that I may be enabled to lay it before the Government of the United States with as little loss of time as possible, in order that an object so desirable to the commercial world may be promptly undertaken and speedily executed.

I had hoped to have had it in my power to have done myself the honor to make this application in person, but circumstances connected with my public duties deprive me of the pleasure I had anticipated.

With the highest respect, your excellency's obedient servant,

(Signed) D. PORTER.

To his excellency Major General L. Grant, Governor of the Bahamas.

OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS TO AND FROM THE BRITISH OFFICERS IN THE WEST INDIES.

Sir Thomas Cochrane, Captain of his Britannic Majesty's ship Forte, and commanding a squadron of his Britannic Majesty's ships and vessels at Porto Rico, to Commodore Porter, commanding the United States squadron in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico:

His Britannic Majesty's Ship Forte, Porto Rico, March 6, 1823.

Sir: I avail myself of the opportunity offered by the United States schooner Grayhound, to return you my best thanks for the ready attention to my communication of the 4th instant, as well as to renew the assurances of my sincere desire to cultivate that harmony and good understanding so happily existing between our respective countries, and in which I am only anticipating what I know would be the commands and wishes of my own government.

The extended view you have taken of the measures necessary to be pursued against pirates, in the orders issued to your sqadron, must entitle you to the thanks of all nations who have commercial relations in these seas.

And I will not fail to communicate to Commodore Sir Edward Owen the signals by which the several vessels of your squadron may be known; and, in conformity to your wishes, I beg leave to enclose a signal, by which the vessels on the leeward island station may be recognized on meeting your cruisers, which I am sure the commodore will cause to be communicated to the ships and vessels under his command, without loss of time.

With sentiments of the highest consideration,

I have the honor to remain, sir, your obedient servant, THOS. COCHRANE.

[Quadruplicate.]

The Commodore Sir Edward W. C. B. Owen, Knight, commander of the most honorable military Order of the Bath, commanding a squadron of his Britannic Majesty's ships and vessels, to Commodore Porter, commanding the naval forces of the United States of North America in the West Indies:

Sir: Captain Sir Thomas Cochrane, of his Britannic Majesty's ship Forte, having represented to me the particulars of his correspondence with you, upon the circumstances which occurred on the occasion of his Majesty's sloop Bellette communicating with the Grayhound, a schooner-of-war belonging to the Government of the United States of North America, and under your command, I have great pleasure in adopting the signals which have been established between you for the recognition of the vessels of each squadron by those belonging to the other; a measure well calculated, not only to prevent unnecessary interruption, but to ensure co-operation, if any case of mutual interest shall require it.

I hope to find in this measure, and in the conciliatory style of your reply to the representation which Captain Sir Thomas Cochrane thought right to make to you, a firm foundation for that confidence, goodwill and harmony with which the officers of friendly powers should meet each other; and I assure you that I shall be at all times happy, in what regards myself, to set a good example of this feeling, and to cultivate in those whom I command the same good disposition with which I have now the honor to subscribe myself,

Sir, your very obedient, humble servant, E. W. C. R. OWEN.

On board his Britannic Majesty's Ship the Gloucester, in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, March 22, 1823.

N. B.—Copy of an order issued with them is enclosed.

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[Extract.]

Extract from a report made by Captain Maclean, of his Majesty's brig Bustard, to Commodore Sir Edward Owen, K. C. B., dated—

Havana, July 5, 1823.

E. W. C. R. Owen, Commodore:

On the 9th of June, the Speedwell came off the fort, when she was dispatched to Manati. On that day the United States schooners-of-war Fox and Weasel, with two barges similar to ours, arrived, under the orders of Lieut. Watson, the commander of the steamboat Sea Gull. He waited upon me, and most handsomely offered to place his force under my orders, which I would not accept of, but stated, as we were employed upon a similar service, we could mutually consult what measures were best to be observed, and the pleasure we all felt in acting in concert.

We were together some time, and they never did anything without consulting me, and the utmost unanimity and friendship were observed. On the 10th sailed from Nilarra, two squadrons in company, which were dispersed along the coast. On the afternoon of the 11th, we all anchored at Nuevitas.

It took us to the 13th making various researches, and boarding various vessels at the upper part of the harbor, which extends five leagues.

We that day proceeded to Cayo Confites together, and on the morning of Saturday, at daylight, observed two ships on shore, on the Chesterfield reef, Cayo Verde. We immediately dispatched all our boats, and found them to be the American ship Warrington, L. Dillingham, master, from Bordeaux to Havana, and the Hamburg ship Cæsar, W. James, from Hamburg to Havana. They had got on shore that morning at 4 o'clock. After every exertion was used to extricate them, without effect, we were under the necessity of getting what cargo we could on shore on Cayo Verde, and commenced their destruction, to prevent pirates equipping from the wrecks.

The Americans dispatched, by mutual wish, the Weasel for New Providence, to provide vessels to carry away the cargoes, which were most valuable, at least from two to three hundred thousand dollars; but from the linens getting wet made them of little value. On the 18th I dispatched the barge to visit all the keys and inlets to Boca Lagua la Grande, proceeding with the Bustard towards Ginger Key, on Bahama bank, and left the Speedwell, with the American schooner Fox, and two barges, to protect the property on Cayo Verde. I anchored that night on the bank, and the following morning had the misfortune to break my anchor in purchasing it. We were anchored in a bottom of sand and limestone.

It affords me much pleasure in stating the manner and conduct observed by the United States squadron when we were at work on the wrecks, as also on shore at Cayo Verde, where we had guards placed, and the officers observed each others orders according to rank, and our respective crews went to the senior officer for order and to make their reports while employed personally on board the wrecks or on shore.

The American commander invariably came to me, before commencing any new service, for my sanction. They got their vessels under way to pick our boats up, let us make use of their pilots, and considered our squadrons as one.

The Commodore, Sir Edward W. C. R. Owen, Knight, commander of the most honorable military Order of the Bath, and Commander-in-Chief of his Britannic Majesty's ships and vessels employed in the West Indies and seas adjacent, to Commodore Porter, commanding the naval forces of the United States of North America, in the West Indies:

Sir: The chief command of his Britannic Majesty's ships and vessels in these seas having devolved on me by the return of Rear Admiral Sir Charles Rowley to Great Britain, I avail myself of the occasion of his Majesty's ship Tyne, passing near the rendezvous of the squadron under your command, to make known to you that circumstance, and to repeat to you the assurance that I shall always have great pleasure in cultivating with yourself, and between the officers and others we respectively command, that confidence and amicable feeling, which it is no less my inclination than my duty to preserve, by all means in my power.

I take the opportunity, at the same time, to enclose you the counterpart of a letter which I had the honor of writing to you from Barbadoes, and which has been forwarded by several vessels with the hope of reaching you.

I beg, also, further to acquaint you that, after a patient investigation in a court of vice admiralty in this island, the captain and nineteen of the crew of the pirate schooner Zaragozana, captured by the boats of his Majesty's ships Tyne and Thracian, after communicating with you in the Bahama channel in the month of March, have been condemned to death.

And, that the trial of three others, forming, with the exception of those who gave evidence, the remainder of those captured by the boats, has been deferred, to allow them to procure some proof which they consider will be favorable to them.

This, together with the numerous vessels which have been destroyed of late, I hope will give a check to the nefarious practices of these remorseless depredators, and relieve the peaceful trader from all fear of future outrage.

And, in the hope of seeing this great end accomplished by the exertions of the several individuals we respectively command, in which we may preserve a commendable rivalry, I have the honor to subscribe myself, sir, your very obedient and humble servant,

E. W. C. R. OWEN.

On board his Britannic Majesty's Ship the Gloucester, in Port Royal Harbor, Jamaica, May 19, 1823.

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Commodore Sir Edward W. C. R. Owen, Knight, commander of the most honorable military Order of the Bath; Commander-in-Chief of his Britannic Majesty's ships and vessels employed in the West Indies and the seas adjacent, to Commodore Porter, commanding the naval forces of the United States of North America, in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico:

Sir: I avail myself of the arrival of the schooners Grayhound and Beagle, to acknowledge the receipt of the letter which you did me the honor to address to me on the 12th of June last, inclosing one for Captain Sir Thomas Cochrane, commanding his Britannic Majesty's ship the Forte; and I shall not fail to transmit the gratifying assurance which it contains, that the respect it was his pride and duty to show to the remains of a gallant officer, whose estimable qualities had endeared him to his brethren and to those who best could estimate his worth, had been received with satisfaction by yourself and the several officers under your command.

He will receive, with pleasure, that testimony of the interest which you take in promoting and improving the sentiments of mutual good-will which hitherto have marked the intercourse of the vessels of our respective squadrons, a disposition which, I trust, the confidence that we reciprocally manifest will confirm and render still more perfect.

I am happy to enclose you a gratifying proof of this improving sentiment of good-will in an extract from a report which has been made to me by Captain Maclean, of his Majesty's brig-of-war Bustard, making known to me how perfectly a small detachment from your force, commanded by the Lieut. Commandant Watson, has co-operated with him in the service which I had entrusted to his guidance; and I beg that I may be permitted to express the pleasure that communication has afforded me.

I am happy, further, to acquaint you that a piratical schooner, which had been cruising in the vicinity of the Isle of Pines, was driven on shore, and captured by the schooners Lion and Union, under my command, on the 5th June; and, though the crew escaped on shore, I am glad to learn by some Cuba papers, that a party which had been ordered by the commandant of Trinidad to pursue them into the interior, had been successful in taking a considerable number of them.

I cannot close this letter without offering you my congratulations on the success attending the exertions of Captains Kearney and Newton in destroying the piratical establishment at Cape Cruz, in which vicinity a row-boat had, a short time back, been stated to have robbed some smugglers.

Although your squadron has not been fortunate in capturing the crews of pirates, who, since the affair of the Zaragozana, are cautious in committing themselves, by a resistance which denies escape, yet the judgment with which your squadron is distributed, and the perseverance which your officers have shown, under circumstances of great deprivation, have not been unrewarded; and, to these causes, we may attribute truly a considerable portion of the comparative "security which the merchant vessels, passing through the gulf, have felt since its arrival.

I trust success will still mark the exertions it is making for the general benefit.

I have the honor to remain, with sentiments of sincere respect,

Your very obedient humble servant,

E. W. C. R. OWEN.

On board his Britannic Majesty's ship Gloucester, in Port Royal Harbor, Jamaica, July 28, 1823.

To Commodore Porter, commanding the naval forces of the United States of North America, in the West Indies:

His Britannic Majesty's Ship Gloucester, in Port Royal Harbor, Jamaica, Sept. 23, 1823. Sir: I have had no opportunity since the arrival of his Majesty's brig the Bustard, of forwarding to you the sincere acknowledgments that I so justly owe you, for the kindness and attention which you lavished on that vessel's sick and helpless crew, when her captain thought it right to seek refuge at your rendezvous.

In my own name and that of Captain Maclean, and of every officer and man belonging to her, I beg you will accept my warmest thanks, not only as the attentive care with which you watched the progress of that afflicting malady was consoling to the sufferers in the depression which attends disease, but as your own experience was made useful in the anticipation, and your stores were generously applied to the removal of their wants, even to your own deprivation, in cases where the infant state of your establishment did not enable it to supply them otherwise.

I have charged Captain Stafford, of his Majesty's sloop Carnation, if he has the good fortune to meet you, personally to repeat how sensibly I feel and how highly I value the humane and liberal sentiments which have governed you herein.

The necessities of the Bustard took largely from your supply of medicines and medical comforts: these I request permission to replace; and as arrow-root and castor-oil are native productions here, and not only abundant, but I hope good, I have given directions for a small quantity of each to be put up, and I request you will do me the favor to apply it to the comfort of any of your people who require it.

Whilst I sincerely hope that no case will happen to call on us for a return of kindness such as leaves me now so much your debtor, I will likewise hope all future intercourse between the officers of our respective services may be marked like this—by frank and liberal sentiments, such as best can soften prejudice and lead them to a just and proper estimation of each other.

It will be my duty to lay the report of Captain Maclean before the lords commissioners of the admiralty of the United Kingdom, in doing which I shall have pleasure likewise in repeating the sentiments I here convey to you, as I have now in renewing the expressions of consideration and esteem with which I have the honor to remain, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

E. W. C. R. OWEN,

Commodore Commander-in-Chief of H. B. M. Ships and Vessels in the West Indies.

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Captain Roberts, of his Majesty's ship Thracian, presents his compliments to the American commodore, and would have had the pleasure of waiting on him, but is indisposed.

He begs to inform the commodore that the vessels at anchor are H. M. ships Tyne and Thracian— that all the boats of both ships are away on the coast, under Captain Wolcott, of the former ship. They have been away three days, and are expected back. Both ships have been on the coast, this side of Auguilla, for five weeks, and have taken nothing. The boats have been often away; and about nine days back, being off Ensenachos, the Thracian's boats chased amongst the keys a small schooner and three row boats, having with them a merchant sloop, apparently American. Not knowing the coast sufficiently, the boats could find no passage within sand banks, and were obliged to carry them over three. The sloop was aground, and threw all her cargo overboard, consisting of flour; but the other vessels went away to westward, within the keys, with a breeze. Night coming on, and it blowing strong from the north-northeast, the boats returned.

Captain Roberts will feel obliged to the commodore for any information or papers; and if he has anything to send to Jamaica, will be happy to convey it, as the ships are about to proceed there shortly.

H. M. S. Thracian, March 19, 1823.

H. B. M. S. Bustard, Key West, July 23, 1823.

Sir: I beg leave to acquaint you that, in cruising in the old Bahama channel with a small squadron under my orders, I had the good fortune to meet at Port Xilarra with a detachment of yours, under the orders of W. H. Watson, Esq., employed upon a similar service to myself; we were together a considerable time; and on two merchant ships being wrecked upon a reef of Cayo Verde, it afforded us the pleasing opportunity of acting in junction, both afloat and on shore, and I feel most sincere satisfaction in having the honor of reporting the unanimity and cordiality which were invariably observed. To Captain Watson I consider myself personally indebted for his friendly attention, and desire of keeping up an interchange of information which is most gratifying for officers to meet with from each other when pursuing the same object. I have come to this anchorage for the express purpose of making this communication, and felt a pleasing duty representing the same to Commodore Sir Edward Owen, whose orders to me were to co-operate with your forces, if it met the wishes of those officers I might have the pleasure of meeting with.

I have the honor to be, with every sentiment of respect and esteem, sir,

Your most obedient and very humble servant,

R. MACLEAN, Commander.

Commodore Porter, &c., &c., &c.

Sea Gull, Port Rodgers, July 25, 1823.

Dear Sir: I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 23d, communicating the circumstances of your co-operation with part of my forces in the old Straits in the pursuit of pirates, and in the rescue of the cargoes of two merchant ships, wrecked near Key Verde, of your satisfaction in reporting the cordiality which prevailed, and making an offer of future co-operation.

On the return of Lieutenant Commandant Watson from his expedition, the representations made by him to me of the conduct of yourself and officers, on all transactions wherein you were mutually engaged, was most gratifying to me, and gave me a high opinion of your character, which I find loses nothing on acquaintance.

It will afford me, as I am sure it will every officer under my command, sincere pleasure to co-operate with you, or any other British officer, against our common enemy, so long as the same cordiality of feeling which has been manifested by you shall prevail.

It will be highly gratifying to me if the British officers on this station will visit our little establishment more frequently, and although we have not much to offer them, we can assure them of a hearty welcome.

With great respect, I have the honor to be, your very obedient servant, (Signed) D. PORTER.

To Captain R. Maclean, H. B. M. Brig Bustard.

H. M. S. Bustard, Thompson's Island, August 8, 1823. Dear Sir: Your having placed in my hands an account transmitted you of an act of piracy, committed by the capture of the American brig Two Brothers, of Newburyport, I beg leave to acquaint you, for the information of those concerned, that upon the 11th of May last I visited Cumberland harbor, in the southeast