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(Inclosure 2.)-Vice-Consul Doyle to Captain Hillyar.
I HAVE the honour to transmit to you, herewith, a certified copy of a Declaration and Protest, made before me, setting forth the piratical acts committed on the high seas by Antonio Pelletier, master of the barque called the William, said to be of the port of New Orleans, and carrying the American flag.
You will be best judge of what steps should be taken in this matter, so that, if possible, the said pirate and his vessel may be captured.
In such case the parties named in the declaration, some of whose signatures are thereunto attached, can be produced as witnesses, at Jamaica or elsewhere, against the said pirate, and through your investigation the man Antonio Baena, of Carthagena, whose family reside there, may, on his return to that city, be made a party to prove the charges against Pelletier, should Bacna be able to exculpate himself from all complicity in those proceedings.
I have, &c.
BENTINCK W. DOYLE.
By this public instrument of Declaration and Protest be it known, that on Wednesday, the 23rd day of January, 1861, before me, Bentinck W. Doyle, Her Britannic Majesty's Vice-Consul at this port of Santa Martha, New Granada, personally appeared Señor Juan Cotes, native of the Province of Rio Hacha, in the said Republic, who declared that he had been, during the last 6 years, acting as a travelling agent in the employ of Mr. Antonio Cano, merchant and British Vice-Consul at Rio Hacha, in the Republic. That deponent being in Carthagena, in the State of Bolivar, in the month of December last past, on Mr. Cano's business, looking for an opportunity to return to Rio Hacha, with some cargo purchased for and on account of the said Mr. Cano; and Antonio Pelletier master of the American barque William, said to be of the port of New Orleans, offered to take deponent, his wife, and child, and servant, together with his said cargo, and land them at Rio Hacha, deponent paying the said Antonio Pelletier the sum of 185 dollars as freight. That on the 1st day of December last past deponent shipped on board of the said barque William 185 bags of maize (Indian corn), value 555 dollars; 112 boxes of Castile and yellow soap, value about 400 dollars; 36 bales of mats (esteras), value about 150 dollars; and 44 bales of tobacco, value about 1,760 dollars; for all of which the said master, Antonio Pelletier, signed bills of lading.
That on the 6th day of the said month deponent, together with his
wife, child, and a man-servant, called Felix Pascual Ouates, went on board of the said barque William, and the same day made sail and left the port. That the first few days all went well, but about the eighth day deponent began to understand from the said Antonio Pelletier that the supply of water on board was getting short; and about 3 days afterwards the deponent was told by the said Antonio Pelletier that neither he, deponent, nor his wife, child, nor servant, should be given any more water unless he (deponent) would sign a document and indorse the bills of lading. That said deponent stated, amongst many other falsehoods, that deponent requested the said Antonio Pelletier to land deponent and family in the nearest port the ship could make, because his (deponent's) wife was unwell, and far advanced in pregnancy, and that for so doing the deponent would pay the said Antonio Pelletier the sum of 500 dollars. That the indorsement on the said bills of lading to which the said Antonio Pelletier required deponent's signature, stated that the said bills of lading remained cancelled. That deponent refused to sign said document, or to indorse the said bills of lading, observing to the said Antonio Pelletier that the goods were the property of the aforesaid Antonio Cano, and that he, deponent, could not commit such an act of infamy. That the said Antonio Pelletier replied, that in that case he (deponent) and his family might die; and that if he preferred death to signing the said document and endorsement he might do so. That after this conversation nearly 24 hours passed without deponent or his family getting any water, when, finding that further resistance was out of the question, he (deponent) was compelled to sign the document and to indorse the said bills of lading. That on the 19th of December last deponent signed the said document, and also indorsed said bills of lading; and on the following day the said deponent, together with his wife, child, and servant, were landed on the island called Grand Cayman. That shortly after landing on that island the said Antonio Pelletier told deponent that he, Pelletier, having been compelled to alter his course could not be expected to bear the expense of landing deponent and his family without deponent paying the 500 dollars specified in the document before named; and that as deponent had no money he, Antonio Pelletier, would keep 8 bales of tobacco, and hand over to deponent there the remainder of the cargo. That the day after this conversation the said Antonio Pelletier told deponent that he had spoken with the master of a small schooner then laying in the offing, with the view of getting him to take the remainder of the cargo on board, for account of deponent; and the following, namely, the 22nd day of December, the said Antonio Pelletier told deponent that he would not give him the cargo; that the cargo was damaged, and same time presented to deponent another document
for him to sign, in which it was stated that deponent had sold him (Antonio Pelletier) all the cargo for 1,000 dollars, 500 of which deponent had engaged to pay as stated in the document hereinbefore referred to, and 500 more for losses and damages which he, the said Antonio Pelletier, said he considered he had been caused. That deponent refused to sign this last-mentioned document, and told the said Antonio Pelletier that he was a thief, when the said Antonio Pelletier replied, "If you do not sign it, I will have you, your wife, child, and servant murdered."
The deponent, seeing himself surrounded by a set of wild-looking people, and without any hope of assistance, and being unable to speak, and thereby explain himself to those of the island around him, he felt compelled to submit, and sign the document in question, which document the said Antonio Pelletier retained in his possession.
That deponent saw in the hold of the said barque William, during the voyage, two large boilers, about 5 feet in diameter by 3 feet deep, capable of cooking food for a large number of people, as also a large quantity of rifles and pistols; the deponent has no doubt, from what he saw and heard whilst on board, that the said barque William is a piratical vessel.
That the person who wrote out the document hereinbefore mentioned for deponent to sign, is Señor Antonio Baena, a native of Carthagena, who continued with the said Antonio Pelletier after deponent was put on shore. Wherefore deponent, the said Juan Cotes, did declare and protest, as by these presents he does solemnly protest for himself, as also for and on behalf of his said employer, the said Don Antonio Cano, against the act of piracy committed by the said Antonio Pelletier as hereinbefore set forth and described, and does declare that all losses, damages, and detriments arising therefrom to the said deponent or to the said Señor Antonio Cano are and ought to be borne by the said Antonio Pelletier, and not by either the deponent or the said Señor Cano.
All of which matters and things were declared, alleged, and affirmed, as before set forth, in the presence of me, the said ViceConsul, and therefore I have hereunto subscribed my name, and affixed my seal of office, being requested to testify and certify the
Thus done and protested at Santa Martha, the day and year first written.
BENTINCK W. DOYLE.
FELIX PASCUAL OUATES.
Juan Cotes, travelling agent for Mr. Antonio Cano, merchant and British Vice-Consul at Rio Hacha, being duly sworn according to his religious faith and the custom of this country, doth make oath and say, that the instrument or protest hereunto annexed hath been clearly and distinctly translated and read over to him, the deponent, and that the several matters and things therein contained are right and true in all respects as the same are therein particularly alleged, declared, and set forth.
I, Bentinck W. Doyle, Her Britannic Majesty's Vice-Consul at the port of Santa Martha, New Granada, do hereby certify that Felix Pascual Ouates, mentioned in the hereunto-annexed instrument of Declaration or Protest, did appear before me, this 31st day of January, 1861; and that the said declaration was carefully translated and read over to him, the said Felix Pascual Ouates, and that he, having been duly sworn according to his religious faith and the custom of this country, did solemnly swear to the truth thereof, so far as it relates to the acts of piracy committed by Antonio Pelletier, as set forth and described in the said declaration.
BENTINCK W. DOYLE.
FELIX PASCUAL OUATES.
I, Bentinck W. Doyle, Her Britannic Majesty's Vice-Consul at this port of Santa Martha, New Granada, do hereby certify and attest that the foregoing is a true and faithful copy of the original Declaration or Protest entered in the acts of this Vice-Consulate, copied therefrom and carefully compared therewith. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my name and affixed the seal of this office at Santa Martha, this 31st day of January, 1861.
BENTINCK W. DOYLE.
No. 110.-Rear-Admiral Sir A. Milne to the Secretary to the Admiralty.
Nile, at Halifax, June 9, 1861. COMMODORE DUNLOP having transmitted to their Lordships a copy of his despatch to me of the 16th ultimo, relative to the two Spanish vessels detained by Her Majesty's ship Barracouta in October last being now sent to the Havana for adjudication, it is unnecessary for me to enter into the subject beyond expressing a very decided opinion that I consider it would have been much more satisfactory to all parties, had the Admiralty Court at Jamaica come to this decision as soon as the vessels were brought within their jurisdiction, instead of allowing more than 6 months to elapse,
causing thereby a heavy expense, at the same time great inconvenience to the captors. The impression I received on the spot, when at Port Royal in April last was, that one, if not both, were cases of that character that might at once have been dealt with by the High Court of Admiralty. I have, &c.
The Secretary to the Admiralty.
No. 111.-Rear-Admiral Sir A. Milne to the Sec". to the Admiralty.
I HAVE the honour to transmit, for their Lordships' information, a copy of a letter dated the 10th ultimo from Commander Wood, of Her Majesty's ship Barracouta, reporting his proceedings in connection with a recent visit he paid to the Bahama Islands in June last. I have, &c.
The Secretary to the Admiralty.
(Inclosure 1.)-Commander Wood to Commodore Dunlop. Barracouta, Havana, July 10, 1861. I HAVE the honour to report the arrival of Her Majesty's ship Barracouta at this port on the 8th instant, having visited all the different places shown on the other side hereof, according to your instructions of June 13th.
I found the whole of the Cays of the Bahamas to be in a perfectly quiet state, and those inhabitants with whom I had any intercourse were all well conducted, and had no complaint of any sort to make, either as to the encroachment of foreign vessels for guano, or for the forcible abduction of the people; and although it was true that a very suspicious vessel (since found out to have been the William, and now a prize to the Haytian Government) had anchored at the Great Tuagua for water, she certainly never attempted to take away any of the people by force, but having been obliged to slip suddenly on account of bad weather, three white men were unavoidably taken to sea for a day or two, but she returned with them again so soon as the wind changed. Hence the false report concerning the abduction of the negroes there.
The only other instance is the fact of a certain American vessel having actually kidnapped 3 or 4 negroes from off the Great Bahama Island some time since, but this case is at present under the serious consideration of the American Government.
After conferring with the Governor of Nassau, and remaining there 3 days, for the purpose of giving leave to the ship's company, I proceeded to the Great Bahama Island, and from thence to Anguilla, in order to ascertain, if possible, from ocular demonstration whether these slaves (vide inclosed Reports) had actually been landed there.