Page images

any place, and our boat was not taken from our deck after leaving York till it was taken off by order of the officers of the brig Argus, nor was any article taken out of said schooner, from the time we left York till she was taken possession of as before named.

Therefore the said William Stover and his said crew, to-wit: Josiah Stover, Theodore Webber, jr., William Simpson, jr., Solomon Avery, and Hanson Forgerson, did declare and protest, as by these presents they do most solemnly protest, against the commander and crew of the said brig Argus, and against every person concerned in the capture of said schooner Charles, for arbitrarily, unlawfully, unjustly and cruelly taking said schooner, as no just or legal cause existed to justify said taking and deten






The within named William Stover, Theodore Webber, jr., William Simpson, jr., Josiah Stover, Solomon Avery and Hanson Forgerson, personally appeared before me, Alexander McIntire, notary public within and for the county of York, and entered the foregoing public declaration and protest by them severally subscribed, and made solemn oath that all the facts therein stated by them severally are true.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my notarial seal, this 10th day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three.

[L. S.

A true copy from the original. Attest:


Notary Public.

Notary Public.

Mr. Canning to Mr. Adams.

BALTIMORE, July 1, 1823.

SIR: In acknowledging the receipt of your official letter, dated the 25th ultimo, enclosing copies of a complaint and protest received at your department with reference to the capture and detention of the schooner Charles, a fishing vessel belonging to George Moody, of York, in the State of Maine, a citizen of the United States, I have only to mention at the present moment, that, agreeably to your request for the exertion of my good offices in the case, it will afford me pleasure to take an early opportunity of referring the papers, which you have done me the honor of communicat

ing, to the proper authorities, for the purpose of effecting a more particular inquiry into the circumstances of George Moody's complaint and attaining the ends of justice in a spirit according with the friendly relations established between our respective countries.

I request, sir, that you will accept, on this occasion, the assurance of my distinguished consideration.


Secretary of State.

Mr. Addington to Mr. Adams.

WASHINGTON, October 12, 1823.

SIR: In reference to a letter addressed by you to Mr. Stratford Canning, dated the 25th of June last, enclosing copies of a "complaint and protest received at the Department of State, stating the capture and detention of the schooner Charles, a fishing vessel belonging to George Moody, of York, in the State of Maine, and soliciting Mr. Canning's good offices, in the first instance, to obtain the restitution of the said schooner, and in the next, to claim the satisfaction and indemnity due to all the sufferers by the interruption of their voyage," to which, you subjoin, "should be added the reparation to the United States for the indignity offered to their flag, and the injuries inflicted upon their citizens," I have the honor to transmit, for your information, a copy of a letter which I have just received from the rear admiral commanding his majesty's ships on the Halifax station, covering several other documents, from various authorities, in reference to the case above mentioned.

On perusing this correspondence, you will, I trust, sir, be satisfied that the seizure and subsequent condemnation of the schooner Charles took place upon strictly legal grounds.

By the report of Captain Arabin it appears that the said schooner was found at anchor in Shelburne harbor, into which she had not been driven by stress of weather. From that harbor she had already sailed once, after having previously anchored there, and had returned a second time, before she was captured by the Argus, the weather being fine and moderate the whole time. She was accordingly detained by Captain Arabin, for a breach of the act 59 George III., chapter 38, passed for the protection of the British fisheries, in conformity with the stipulations of the Convention concluded between his majesty and the United States on the 20th October, 1818. On the same grounds that vessel was subsequently condemned by the vice admiralty court, at St. Johns, in the province of New Brunswick.

With regard to the equipping of the said schooner, by the captain of the Argus, and despatching her in quest of smugglers, you will observe, sir, that admiral Fahie acknowledges that act to have been irregular; but he at the same time states that irregularity to have been practised then for the first time, and announces that he has taken measures for preventing the recurrence of it.

With so frank an acknowledgment, I feel assured, sir, that you will be

perfectly satisfied. The rest of the case is so clear as to render all further comment or explanation entirely superfluous.

I beg, sir, that you will accept the assurance of my distinguished consideration.


Secretary of State.

Halifax, September 5, 1823.

SIR: On the 2d of last month I received a letter from Mr. Canning, dated Philadelphia, July 5, enclosing copies of a complaint and protest given in to the government of the United States by an individual named George Moody, a citizen, as he is described, of the United States, relative to the detention of the American schooner "Charles," by his British Majesty's sloop the "Argus," and requesting me to afford him such information respecting the case as would enable him to place it in a proper light.

Previously to my receipt of Mr. Canning's letter, Captain Arabin, who commanded the Argus when the detention of the schooner occurred, had returned to England-a circumstance which obliged me to draw from other sources the particulars of her detention, and of the subsequent proceedings in the vice-admiralty court at New Brunswick, which have been followed by her condemnation.

Mr. Canning's departure for Europe causes me to avail myself of the intimation of your appointment as chargé d'affaires ad interim, contained in his letter to me of the 24th of June, to forward for your information and that of the American government, copies of several documents, as particularized at the foot of this letter, which go to contradict, in material points, the statements made in the protest, and will, I trust, sir, furnish sufficient evidence that the Charles was detained and proceeded against on legal grounds.

The manning, however, and sending her "down the bay in pursuit of smugglers," which is admitted in the report of Mr. Innes, the first lieutenant of the Argus, was certainly irregular; and, if she had been acquitted, it would probably have induced the court to award a proportional remuneration to the claimants. It is the first instance of such a proceeding that has come within my knowledge, and I have taken measures to prevent its recurrence.

I have the honor to be, &c.,
Rear Admiral and Commander-in-Chief.

His British Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires.

Copies of documents above referred to.

No. 1. The commander of the Argus's letter, enclosing statements, &c., relative to the detention of the American schooner Charles.

Nos. 2, 3, 4. Statements of officers of the Argus relative thereto,

No. 5. Extract from the Argus's log-book for the 9th of May, the day of the detention of the Charles.

No. 6. Letter from the collector of his Majesty at St. John's, New Brunswick, stating the condemnation of the schooner Charles on the 17th of July, in the court of vice admiralty there.

No. 7. Memorandum of Captain Arabin's reasons for detaining the Charles, as given in to the customs at St. Johns, and enclosed in the collector's letter, No. 6. W. C. F.

No. 1.

SIR: In compliance with the orders contained in your letter of the 6th instant, I have called upon the officers of his Majesty's sloop Argus, under my command, who had anything to do with the seizure and detention of the schooner Charles, American fishing vessel, and I beg leave to enclose for your information a detail of the circumstances of this case, as delivered to me by the respective officers; as also an extract from the Argus's logbook of the 9th of May, 1823.

I have the honor to be, &c.


Halifax, August 11, 1823.

To Rear Admirai FAME, C. B.,
Commander in Chief.

JOHN B. DUNDAS, Commander.

His Majesty's Sloop Argus.

[ocr errors]

No. 2.

Halifax, August 11, 1823.

SIR: In compliance with your order to make known to you such particulars as I may be acquainted with, relative to the schooner CharlesAmerican fishing vessel-I beg leave to state, that, having been ordered by Captain Arabin, on the 9th of May, 1823, to board the said schooner, lying in Shelburne harbor, I went in the gig, manned by four seamen and the corporal of marines, and, having boarded, demanded her papers. I inquired what brought him within the limits? And the master replied, to avoid a storm. How long he had been at anchor? He replied, he had but just anchored. I then ordered the master to weigh; and, according to the orders I had received from Captain Arabin, anchored close to the Argus. I was ordered on board, and to bring the master and schooner's papers with me.

I am, sir, &c..

HENRY TROUCH, Midshipman.

Being ordered by Captain Arabin, on the 9th of May, to take charge of the American schooner Charles and proceed along the coast to St. John's, New Brunswick, and detain such unlawful vessels as I might meet in my way, I sailed from Shelburne on the 12th of May, and, on my way to St. John's, detained one English and one American schooner, and arrived at St. John's on the 20th of May, at which place I was taken out of the schooner Charles and she was delivered into the custom-house.

H. LEGARD, Midshipman.

No. 3.

Halifax, August 10, 1823.

[ocr errors]

No. 4.

SIR: In obedience to your orders to make known to you such particulars as I may be acquainted with relative to the American schooner Charles, I beg leave to state that on the arrival of his Majesty's sloop Argus, at Shelburne, on the 9th of May. 1823, the Charles was at anchor in that port, and was boarded by Mr. Henry Touch, (midshipman,) and brought to an anchor close to the Argus, by Captain Arabin's order. She was detained in the usual way, but I am not acquainted with the circumstances of her detention. I believe it was owing to information received from the shore of her having committed some breach of the treaty.

On the Argus sailing on the 12th of May, she was given in charge of Mr. Legard, midshipman, to proceed to St. John's, New Brunswick, and the crew, their clothes and provisions, with the exception of the master, were, at their own request, taken on board the Argus for a passage to St. John's. The master afterwards requested that his brother might accompany him in the Charles, which was granted. They were landed with their clothes at St. John's, New Brunswick, on the Argus's arrival on the 16th of May.


Halifax, August 11, 1823.

On the 20th, the Charles arrived and was reported to the collector of the customs for libelling. On the 21st she was manned and given in charge of Mr. Hugh Bowers, midshipman, and sent down the bay in quest of smugglers; when the master requested a passage, he was taken on board and landed at Campo Bello, about two miles distant from Moose island, (United States;) on the 7th of June the Charles again joined the Argus, and was ordered to St. John's, where she was given up to the collector of his Majesty's customs for legal adjudication.

I am, sir, &c.,

First Lieutenant his Majesty's sloop Argus.

His Majesty's sloop Argus.

« PreviousContinue »