The Man Who Stopped The Rams

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The vessels stayed in Britain, becoming the source of a legal controversy between the Lairds and the Crown. Eventually the government bought them and added them to the British Navy. Dudley, his major victory won, kept right on sending dispatches about suspected violations of the Foreign Enlistment Act; his very next one came from Glasgow, where he helped a fellow consul assemble a case against two more ships he was sure were intended for the South.

Dudley continued as the United States consul in Liverpool after the Civil War. In 1871, he helped present his government’s case in the Alabama Claims proceedings at the Court of Arbitration in Geneva—proceedings that resulted in a judgment of $15,500,000 against Great Britain for not listening to Dudley and Adams in the first place.