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of arms, boxes of leather, and other goods and hardware, six guncarriages, and four brass cannon or howitzers. The crew demanding an explanation of this transaction, and refusing to work further, Gen. Quesada promised them an advance in their wages, and a considerable bonus in case they made a successful landing in Cuba, and they thereupon returned to their duties. After this transfer the Virginius proceeded to Puerto Cabello, where she arrived October 24, and remained until about the middle of November. At this time a civil war was raging in Venezuela, one of the parties, under the command of Guzman Blanco, being called the “ Yellows," and the other party the “ Blues.” After some delay and negotiation Gen. Quesada avowed his purpose of aiding the “ Yellows” and Blanco, under an agreement that when the contest was ended he in turn should be assisted by Venezuelan troops and arms. Captain Shepperd deeming this proceeding a breach of his contract made with the junta in New York, and being disappointed also in the prompt and full payment of his salary, left the ship about the middle of November and returned to New York. After his departure, Marquis, the chief engineer, was designated as the nominal captain ; but as he was ignorant of navigation the real master was a Cuban, Eloy Camacho, he always acting, however, under the immediate direction of Quesada. The negotiation with the Venezuelan commander was still carried on, and an arrangement was soon concluded. While the Virginius was thus lying in the harbor of Puerto Cabello, one of her small boats, manned by sailors from the crew, took Quesada and Varona and carried them to a spot two or three miles distant on the beach, where Quesada landed and held a private conference with a Venezuelan officer, supposed to have been Blanco. During this short expedition the boat openly carried the Cuban flag. The arrangement spoken of was doubtless made at this interview, and its fruits soon became apparent. A part of the arms and ammunition which the Virginius had received from the Billy Butts was landed and placed in a Venezuelan fort, while the remainder was transferred to the Venezuelan gun-boat La Orientala, which was then lying in the same harbor. Late in November the Virginius took this gunboat in tow and proceeded out to sea, and soon met a fleet of schooners, each armed with a single gun, belonging to the “ Blues,” which the witnesses call “ the mosquito fleet.” The Virginius remaining stationary, the Orientala went into action. The conflict, however, was short and bloodless; only one shot was fired by the gun-boat, and the mosquito fleet surrendered. During this “action,” of which the Virginius was a near spectator, the American flag, which to that time had been flying upon her, was hauled down, and the Cuban [insurgent] flag was run up by the direction of Gen. Quesada, who was on board. After the surrender the American flag was restored. This peculiar transaction is deposed to by several independent witnesses, by Greenwood, the assistant-engineer, who had been loaned to the Orientala for the purpose of superintending repairs upon her machinery, and who witnessed it from her deck, and by several seamen on the Virginius, who watched the performance at the distance of a few feet. The Virginius immediately took the captured schooners in tow, and carried them into the harbor of Puerto Cabello; in fact, it is not improbable from the whole evidence that this “Blue” fleet actually struck their colors to her and not to the Venezuelan man-of-war; they were certainly overawed by her presence, and regarded her as a Cuban ally of the Orientala. She rendered further aid to Blanco and the “ Yellow" party by transporting troops and arms from place to place along the coast. From this date there is a considerable gap in the evidence taken during the months of November and December last, but the most important operations of the vessel during the interval are known from other sources. The Venezuelan contest appearing to have been ended, the Virginius on the 14th of June, 1871, sailed from Puerto Cabello with a small force of Venezuelans and Cubans under the command of Gen. Rafael Quesada, and on the 21st of the same month made a successful landing at Bocca de Cabello, on the southern coast of Cuba. She at once discharged the troops and her cargo, which consisted of · carbines and rifles, a large quantity of ammunition, military equipments, and clothing. It is unnecessary to follow her through the next six' months, until we find her, about the 1st of April, 1872, laid up at Aspinwall, where she had spent a large part of the time in idleness. At that date Francis Bowen, an experienced ship-master, was employed by Gen. M. Quesada to act as her captain. In answer to an inquiry as to her destination, Quesada informed him that the steamer was to land an expedition on the coast of Cuba, and offered $300 per month salary, with a further

bonus of $5000 if the attempt was successful. Quesada further assured him that if they were successful “ every thing would then be prosperous with the Cuban junta at New York,” and that he should be put in command of a new ship armed as a privateer. Bowen took the command, but during its whole continuance, which was brief, he only knew and recognized Quesada as the owner and as the person having supreme control over her movements. Varona, Quesada's original secretary or deputy, who sailed with him from New York, had long ago left the vessel upon other business, and his place was now filled by one Pedro Alfaro, through whom the general communicated all his wishes and instructions. There were at that time fifty or sixty Cuban recruits living near by in barracks awaiting her departure, who were daily supplied with provisions from the steamer. The new captain, finding no American flag on board, purchased one. No concealment was attempted by Quesada or. Captain Bowen in reference to the character and destination of the vessel. About the 1st of May she sailed with sealed orders issued by Quesada. · By the direction of the American consul, the United States gunboat Kansas escorted her out to sea, in order to protect her from an apprehended attack by the Spanish man-of-war the Pizarro, which was lying at Aspinwall. In compliance with her orders, the Virginius proceeded to Carthagena, and after a short delay to Puerto Cabello. Quesada soon followed, and upon his arrival Captain Bowen resigned his command, and soon after went to New York. One transaction, in which he took a nominal part, requires a special notice. The Virginius was largely indebted at Aspinwall (or at least such indebtedness was pretended) for repairs, supplies, and other necessaries. In order to release her from these claims, Captain Bowen signed a bottomry bond to the Mahl Brothers, merchants of that place, who had acted as her agents, and also as the general agents of the Cuban junta. This bond for over $10,000 was executed at the sole direction of Quesada, without any communication, or attempt to communicate, with Patterson in New York, who stood as owner in the registry. This one fact alone is conclusive. If Patterson had been the owner, a bottomry bond signed by the master without his instructions, when there was ample time and opportunity to communicate with him and obtain his advice, would be void ; but the creditors, who were familiar with all the facts, knew there was



no risk, for they had the assent of the actual owner, Quesada, and did not need that of the pretended owner Patterson. Bowen testifies, “I signed this bond entirely under the direction of Manuel Quesada ; . . . of course, I exercised no judgment.” At the retirement of her late master the Virginius was left at Puerto Cabello without a crew, and with only two or three inferior officers; but in June an American ship-master, Charles Smith, was engaged as her captain. This person was employed by Quesada, acting through Alfaro as his secretary and interpreter, the same terms being offered and the same destination disclosed as in the case of Bowen's hiring. Upon taking command Smith found on board one Venezuelan flag, one old American, — that purchased by his predecessor, — and six Cuban flags. Having shipped a crew, after a delay caused by a transaction to be immediately described, the steamer cleared and started, by Quesada's directions, on a course towards St. Thomas; but when out at sea, Gen. Quesada ordered the direction to be changed to Maracaibo, saying, “I want to go to Maracaibo. Pulgar is my friend, and I will get plenty of money there.” To Maracaibo they went. The transaction at Puerto Cabello referred to indicated in the plainest manner the character of the vessel and its real ownership. A judicial proceeding was commenced, and was regularly conducted, according to the forms of the local law, upon the bottomry bond above described. This suit was managed by Alfaro, who appears to have controlled both sides of the litigation. He iustructed Captain Smith what papers to sign and make oath to, and the captain implicitly followed his directions. A decree was rendered ordering the steamer to be sold, appraisers having been appointed, who fixed her value at $18,000. The sale took place, and the Virginius was knocked down to an Englishman named Bailey, residing in Caraccas, for $17,500, Alfaro, however, actually making the bid, and announcing that he had received his authority by telegraph. From this time it was designed to raise the British flag, and to treat the vessel as British ; in fact, before the sale the captain, by order of Alfaro, was engaged in making the proper British colors. Her Majesty's consul, however, had a very different notion of his country's honor than the American consuls in that and neighboring ports seemed to have, and at once crushed the fraudulent scheme which Quesada and Alfaro had contrived. The day after the sale this official called upon Captain Smith, and after inquiring if the latter intended to hoist the British flag, quietly added, “I have a telegram from the British minister at Caraccas to seize her as a pirate if she hoists the British flag.” Of course, that flag was not raised. This message being at once communicated to Alfaro, he prudently discovered some convenient irregularity in the judicial proceedings; further affidavits were made, additional steps taken before the court, and the sale was pronounced a nullity. Thus, in the summer of 1872, by a decree of a competent local tribunal, the Virginius was condemned in an action in rem, brought to enforce a common maritime lien, was regularly sold, and the title completely transferred to the new purchaser. This transfer destroyed — “ransacked ” - all prior titles, by whomsoever held, and it was only by means of an assumed nullification of this decree and sale, contrived to avoid the effect of unforeseen obstacles, that the original pretended title in Patterson was restored. It seems very clear, however, that the bottomry bond to the Mahl Brothers was a sham from the outset; that it could have represented no such indebtedness as it purported to secure ; that it was part of a contrivance by which, if occasion required, the paper-title might be changed, and another apparent nationality given to the ship; and that only the firmness, or rather the common honesty, of the British officials prevented this scheme from becoming succeşsful. After leaving Puerto Cabello, and while on the voyage to Maracaibo, Quesada and Alfaro informed Captain Smith that they desired to arm the Virginius, – to put cannon on board her; that they had blank commissions with them to be filled up, and a commander's rank in the Cuban navy was offered for his acceptance. She reached Maracaibo August 11, 1872, and lay there several months. She was openly regarded and treated as a Cuban vessel, as belonging to the insurgents, and not as a mere United States blockaderunner. Quesada and his secretary Alfaro had complete, avowed, notorious control over her and all her movements. The local officers, by their visits and hospitalities, gave an approving welcome. In October she made a pleasure trip with Pulgar and suite, and a number of invited guests, -- ladies and gentlemen; the government band furnished the music; a dinner was followed by dancing, and that by a supper, which closed with speeches, which were vehement in favor of Cuban independence and the success of the insurgents. All the witnesses who were examined

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