within the limits of its territory, and do not keep watch in the ports of its dominion to course from them after vessels of the adverse party. Instructions on this point will be addressed to the governors of the Netherlands colonial possessions. I flatter myself that the preceding explanations will suffice to convince the federal government of the unchangeable desire of that of the Netherlands to maintain a strict neutrality, and will cause the disappearance of the slightest trace of misunderstanding between the cabinets of the Hague and of Washington. Accept, sir, the renewed assurance of my high consideration. IDE ZUYLEN DE NIJVELT. Mr. PIKE, Minister Resident of the United States of America.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Pike.

No. 23.] DEPARTMENT of STATE, Washington, September 28, 1861.

SIR : By some accident our foreign mail missed the steamer. It is onl just now that I have received your despatch of September 4, (No. 15.) The proceeding at Curaçoa in regard to the Sumter was so extraordinary, and so entirely contrary to what this government had expected from that of Holland, that I lose no time in instructing you to urge the consideration of the subject with as much earnestness as possible. I cannot believe that that government will hesitate to disavow the conduct of the authorities if they have been correctly reported to this department.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. JAMEs S. PIKE, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Pike.

No. 24.] - DEPARTMENT of STATE, Washington, October 4, 1861.

SIR : I am just now informed by a despatch from Henry Sawyer, esq., our consul at Paramaribo, that on the 19th day of August last the piratical steamer “Sumter" entered that port, and was allowed by the authorities there to approach the town and to purchase and receive coals, to stay during her pleasure, and to retire unmolested, all of which was done in opposition to the remonstrances of the consul.

You will lose no time in soliciting the attention of his Majesty's government to this violation of the rights of the United States. They will be well aware that it is the second instance of the same kind that has occurred in regard to the same vessel in Dutch colonies in the West Indies.

It is some relief of the sense of injury which we feel that we do not certainly know that the authorities who have permitted these wrongs had received instructions from their home government in regard to the rights of the United States in the present emergency. We therefore hope for satisfactory explanations. But, in any case, you will inform that government that the United States will expect them to visit those authorities with a censure preserved as will prevent the repetition of such injuries hereafter.

An early resolution of the subject is imperatively necessary, in order that this government may determine what is required for the protection of its national rights in the Dutch American forts.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, -
JAMES S. PIKE, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

f Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.

The Hague, October 9, 1861.

SIR : Since my last (under date of October 2) I have received a letter from the United States consul at Paramaribo, of which the following is a copy: “UNITED STATES CoNSULATE, “Port of Paramaribo, September 4, 1861.

“SIR : I have the honor (but with chagrin) to inform you that the rebel steamer Sumter arrived at this port on the 19th of August, and left on the 31st, having been allowed to coal and refit. I used my best endeavors to prevent it without avail. “I am, &c., “HENRY SAWYER.”

Immediately on the receipt of it I addressed the following note to the minister of foreign affairs.

“THE HAGUE, October 8, 1861.

“SIR : I have just received a communication from the American consul at Paramaribo under date of the 4th of September last, which I lose no time in laying before your excellency.

“The consul states.”

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“The reappearance of the Sumter in a port of the Netherlands, after so brief an interval, seems to disclose a deliberate purpose on the part of the persons engaged in rebellion against the United States government to practice upon the presumed indifference, the expected favor, or the fancied weakness of the Dutch government.

“During a period of forty-six days, during which we have heard of this piratical vessel in the West Indies, it would appear that she had been twice entertained and supplied at Dutch ports, and spent eighteen days under their shelter.

“This can be no accidental circumstance.

“In the multitude of harbors with which the West India seas abound, the Sumter has had no occasion to confine her visits so entirely to the ports of one nation, especially one so scantily supplied with them as Holland. And the fact that she does so is, in my judgment, not fairly susceptible of any other interpretation than the one I have given.

“I feel convinced that the government of the Netherlands will see in this repeated visit of the Sumter (this time, it appears, without any pretext) a distinct violation of its neutrality according to its own views, as laid down in your excellency's communication to me of the 17th of September last, and a case which will call for the energetic assertion of its purpose expressed in the paper referred to, namely, not to allow its ports to be made the base of hostile operations against the United States. For that the Sumter is clearly making such use of the Dutch ports would seem to admit of no controversy. . “In view of the existing state of the correspondence between the United States and the Netherlands on the general subject to which this case belongs, and of the questions and relations involved therein, I shall be excused for the brevity of this communication upon a topic of so much importance and so provocative of comment. “The undersigned avails himself,” &c., &c.

I called to-day upon Baron Von Zuylen, but he was absent, and I shall not therefore be able to see him again before the close of the mail which takes this. And I do not know that an interview would in any way affect the existing state of things or give me any new information. This government's intentions are good; and it desires to avoid all difficulty with the United States, and with everybody else.

As I stated in my despatch of the 25th September, I have confidence that orders have been given that will impede the operations of these vessels in Dutch ports hereafter, and probably drive them elsewhere.

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

JAMES S. PIKE. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Pike.

No. 25.] DEPARTMENT of STATE, Washington, October 10, 1861.

SIR: Your despatch of September 18 (No. 17) has been received.

The delay of the government of the Netherlands in disposing of the unpleasant questions which have arisen concerning the American pirates in the colonies of that country is a subject of deep concern; and you are instructed, if you find it necessary, to use such urgency as may be effectual to obtain the definitive decision of that government thereon so early that it may be considered by the President before the meeting of Congress in December next.

I am, sir, your"obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. JAMEs S. PIKE, Esq., d.c., d.c., déc.

Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.


No. 22.] UNITED STATES LEGATION, The Hague, October 12, 1861. SIR: After reflection, upon the reappearance of the Sumter, and her prolonged stay in the port of Paramaribo, (this time apparently without pretext of any kind,) I have felt, in view of the position taken by the Dutch government in their communication to me of the 17th of September, that we were entitled to be specially informed of the precise interpretation which this government puts upon their general declaration in the communication referred to, namely, that it will not permit its ports to be made the base of hostile operations against the United States commerce.

I have accordingly made the direct inquiry of Baron Van Zuylen, without waiting to hear what you have to say in response to that communication. In reply to my inquiry, Baron Van Zuylen has informed me that, previous to his receiving information of the appearance of the Sumter at Paramaribo, orders were issued by the department of the colonies, instructing the colonial authorities not to permit the repetition of the visits of the Sumter, and other vessels of the so-called Confederate States; and if they did make their appearance in Dutch ports, to require them to leave within twenty-four hours, under penalty of being held to occupy a hostile attitude towards the government of the Netherlands. And further, that those authorities have also been instructed to forbid the furnishing of such vessels with more than twentyfour hours supply of fuel. These instructions, thus defined, are to the point. Whether they have been made general, and with that disregard of distinctions between the rights of mere belligerents and those of recognized nationalities, enjoying pacific relations and acting under treaties of amity and friendship, that mark the communication to which I have adverted, I did not deem it pertinent to inquire, nor do I consider the inquiry of any value as regards the practical bearings of this case.

In compliance with my request, Baron Van Zuylen has promised to furnish me with a copy of the order referred to, which, when received, I shall transmit to you without delay.

Although this order, as thus described to me by Mr. Van Zuylen, only sustains the expectations I have expressed to you on two former occasions as to what the action of this government would be, yet, considering the present attitude of the question, it is a matter of some surprise to me that a copy of it should not have been tendered without waiting to have it asked for.

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Taking it to be as herein described, I do not see that the position of this government, so far as its action is concerned, is amenable to very grave censure, whatever may be said of its theoretic views, since the Dutch ports are now, substantially, shut to the vessels. The restriction in regard to supplying fuel, if adopted by other powers holding colonies in the West Indies, will put an end to rebel operations by steam in those seas.

I take some gratification in reflecting that my persistent appeals to the government to issue specific orders, on some ground, to their colonial authorities, looking to the exclusion of the piratical vessels of the seceding States from the Dutch ports, have not been wholly unavailing. That the government has argued against it, and declined acting on any suggestion I could make, is of small consequence, so long as they have found out a way of their own of doing the thing that was needed.

Baron Van Zuylen has renewedly expressed great regret that any questions should have arisen between the two governments.

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

JAMES S. PIKE. Hon. WILLIAM. H. SEwARD, Secretary of State.

Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.

No. 23.] UNITED STATES LEGATION, The Hague, October 16, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to enclose you the reply of the minister of foreign affairs to the communication I addressed to him on the 8th instant, in regard to the reappearance of the Sumter at Paramaribo. He states therein the character of the orders which have been sent to the colonial authorities, to which I referred in my last despatch, of October 12, (No. 22.) The British minister here, Sir Andrew Buchanan, expressed incredulity and surprise when I informed him this government had issued the order in question. He declared the British government would not do it, and that the United States would not under similar circumstances. He said it was giving us an advantage, and was not therefore neutral conduct. He added that Russia asked Sweden to close her ports against both belligerents during the Crimean war, and England would not permit it, alleging that as Russia did not want to use them, and England did, it gave the former an advantage to which that power was not entitled. The British government held that Sweden, aS a o had no right to alter the natural situation unless it operated equally. You see herein how thoroughly English officials (and it seems to me all others) are imbued with the idea that the rights of a mere belligerent are the same as the rights of a nation, in cases like the one under consideration. I have received to-day a letter from our consul at Paramaribo, dated September 20, in which he says the United States steamer Powhatan arrived there on the 14th in search of the Sumter, and left for Brazil the same day; also that the Keystone State arrived on the 18th on the same errand, and left on the 19th for the West India islands. Your despatch of the 28th of September, acknowledging receipt of mine of the 4th, has arrived. As you make no mention of mine of the 11th, it would seem another mail has missed. I wrote our despatch agent at London on the subject several days ago. He replies that my despatch of the 4th of September went on the 7th, and that of the 11th on the 14th, which was in regular order. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant, JAMES S. PIKE. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

Baron Van Zuylen to Mr. Pike.

THE HAGUE, October 15, 1861.

SIR: By your despatch of the 8th of this month you have fixed my attention on the arrival of the “Sumter” at Paramaribo, and you complain that on this occasion the said vessel was admitted into ports of the Netherlands during eighteen days out of the forty-six in which the Sumter had shown herself in the West Indian seas.

You suppose that this is not a fortuitous case, and you demand that the government of the Netherlands, in accordance with the intentions mentioned at the close of my communication of the 17th September last, may not per

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