April 1963 | Volume 14, Issue 3
The Union had failed to prevent the construction of Rebel steam raiders in England. Now the U.S. consul in Liverpool detected a weapon capable of changing the course of the war. But could he prove it to the British?
To watch the movements of the Southern agents I who are here purchasing arms and munitions of war and engaged in fating out vessels for the so-called Southern Confederacy it is necessary to employ one or two detectives and occasionally to pay money in way of traveling expenses to the men so employed. They are not as a general thing very estimable men but are the only persons we can get to engage in this business, which I am sure you will agree with me is not a very pleasant one.”
So wrote Thomas Haines Dudley to Secretary of State William Seward on December 11, 1861, soon after his arrival in Liverpool to serve as United States consul. Dudley spent most of the next four years pursuing this “not very pleasant business.” He employed detectives, he quizzed seamen and water-front workers, he combed newspapers and frequented the Liverpool Exchange—all in the interests of gathering complete and accurate information. He sent it on to Washington and to the United States Minister in London, Charles Francis Adams. His handwritten dispatches, now in the National Archives, went to Washington two and three times a week, full of naval intelligence for the blockading squadrons oft the southern roast and those patrolling off the Bahamas, Cuba, and Bermuda. And the evidence he collected played an essential role in the diplomatic struggle conducted by Seward and Adams to persuade the British government to enforce its neutrality law, the Foreign Enlistment Act, forbidding the supply of war vessels or fighting men to the belligerents. In that struggle, Dudley saw some of his work end in failure. But he also saw it finally crowned with success—a success that had a measure of influence on the outcome of the war.
Dudley was forty-two years old when he arrived in Liverpool-thin, tall, sharp-featured, bearded and mustached. Benjamin Moran, a secretary in the United States legation in London who kneel to record both physical descriptions and waspish comments about his visitors in his journal, was favorably impressed by his first meeting with Dudley. The new consul had “a fine head and remarkably intellectual countenance. His hair is dark brown & wavy and sets oil his high and broad forehead with great effect, at the same time concealing much of it. He is as intelligent as he looks, and talks with great force. … I was much gratified to find him a strenuous patriot. He is modest, refined and able … has a genteel figure and is fully 6 feet high.”
Dudley had been a New Jersey lawyer, a city treasurer of Camden, and a participant in Republican party activities in the state. His appointment as consul was undoubtedly due in part to the fact that he had been an early Lincoln supporter at the 1860 Republican convention.
The Liverpool to which he came in 1961 was the great port of the day—embarkation point for passengers making the transatlantic crossing, port of entry for the cotton that led Lancashire’s textile mills, a shipbuilding center, and a communications link between the Old and New worlds. (Recently it had been the terminus of the first, unsuccessful Atlantic cable.)
As a community Liverpool was less friendly to the Union cause than was official London. Minister Adams and other representatives of the Union lamented the apparent pro-Southern leanings of the British government and many members of Parliament. But the position of the government, proclaimed in May, 1861, was one of neutrality. Britain recogni/ed the South as a belligerent part), but she did not recogni/e an independent Confederate nation nor did she have diplomatie relations with the Confederate government. When a Federal cruiser stopped the British steamer Trent on the high seas ami took off the Southern commissioners James M. Mason and John Slidell, who were coming to Europe to seek recognition, there was talk of war in both Britain and the North. But the outcome of the dispute emphasized British neutrality rather than (he reverse. London showed moderation in pressing its case, and Lincoln, after an interval, ordered the commissioners released. When Mason finally arrived in England, he was received privately by Lord John Russell, the Foreign Secretary, who stressed the unofficial nature of their relations and said that any change in British policy must wait on events.
In commercial Liverpool, however, Confederate purchasing agents were active, and British businessmen were eager to try for the speculative profils of blockade-running or the surer gains of shipbuilding. Soon alter arriving, Dudley wrote: The feeling among the great mass of residents of the place is and has been against the North and in favor of the South. This feeling has been very much intensified by the Trent affair, ft is now deep and bitter. … Some houses [business firms] at this place are openly engaged in aiding the South in sending arms etc. while many others sympathize with and aid them secretly.
A few weeks laier he told Seward: “It is reported that there are at the present time more men employed in the dockyards in building new and fitting out old ships and in the armories and arsenals in the manufacture of munitions of war than there ever was at any time before, not even excepting (he pendancy of the [Crimean] War.”
Dudley collected all kinds of water-front news—of the sale of steamers and other vessels to known Confederate agents and sympathizers, along with detailed descriptions of the vessels so that they could be identified by blockading patrols. He sent long lists of cargoes leaving the port, noted the arrival of shipments of cotton in Liverpool, picked up information about how the Confederacy financed its war effort, and recorded how wartime events affected Liverpool’s sympathies.
Dudley did not tell Seward how he got his results. Soon after asking permission to hire his “one or two detectives,” he enclosed a confidential note with one of his dispatches stating: “In my report to the department of the persons in my employ etc. 1 do not give the names or even refer to the men in my employ as detectives. Regarding their engagement with me as confidential in its character, I suppose it not right or proper for me to refer to them.” As time went on, for one reason or another, he revealed the identity of a lew of these men, but the names and specific actions of most of them are unrecorded.
A good deal of the legwork of these detectives was expended in searching out facts related to Dudley’s most important task—the gathering of information about the warships being built in Liverpool lor the Confederates. These are referred to in Union correspondence sometimes as privateers, sometimes as pirates. They were in fact designed to become vessels in the Confederate Navy. They were Dudley’s big game. If he could stop any one of them from sailing, he would do as much as a successful naval commander in an engagement at sea.
Dudley reported his first news of a man-of-war in a dispatch dated January 24, 1862. A screw gunboat named the Oristis , he said, was fitting out at one of the Liverpool dockyards. She was supposed to be intended for an Italian purchaser, but circumstances made him suspect she was really meant for the South. Ten days later he had the name straightened out—it was the Oreto , and she was taking on coal. “They pretend she is built for the Italian government,” Dudley wrote, “but the Italian consul here informs us that he knows nothing about it.” As February wore on, he added new details—that William C. Miller and Son had built the hull, that Fawcett Preston and Company supplied the machinery and seemed in charge of construction, that Fraser, Trenholm & Company had advanced the money, that the vessel would be equal in strength and armaments to the Federal cruiser Tuscarora , the largest Union ship in European waters at the time.
At the beginning of March Dudley reported that the Oreto was signing on a crew. She had not yet been equipped xvith guns; one former employee of Fawcett Preston and Company said her guns were being shipped to Sicily, while another said they were going to Bermuda. The blockade-runner Annie Childs had arrived in the Mersey with the Confederate flag flying at her mast; as she passed, the Oreto dipped her ensign.
And aboard the Annie Childs , Dudley said, was Captain James D. Bulloch of the Confederate Navy, who had been in Liverpool the previous fall and was known to be a purchasing agent for the South. Bulloch, four years younger than the Union consul, was a strenuous patriot, too, and he was to lead Dudley on long and exasperating chases.
“A part of the crew of the steamer Annie Childs has just left my office,” Dudley wrote to Seward on March 22. They had told him—quite inaccurately—that Bulloch would command the Oreto . Dudley complained that the Southern men and their Liverpool agents were kept in ignorance about the ship—“they have managed this business better than anything else they have attempted at this Port.” Bulloch, in his memoirs, admitted being close-mouthed: “I merely practiced such ordinary business prudence and reserve as a man would be likely to follow in the management of his private affairs. I never told any employee more than it was necessary for him to know.”
One reason for Bulloch’s security consciousness was the advice he had received from Liverpool lawyers about the Foreign Enlistment Act. The act, the lawyers told him, forbade Englishmen to “equip, furnish, fit out or arm” any ship with intent that it be employed in the service of a belligerent. It called for forfeiture of the vessels and punishment of the individuals concerned if this prohibition was disobeyed. But it also said that seizure and punishment must be based upon proof of the offense. Bulloch wanted not just one ship but as many as he could get, and so it was his clamlike policy not to tell shipbuilder, carpenter, chandler, or crew just what intentions he had for the vessels until they were well out on the high seas.
This worked like a charm in the case of the Oreto . She left Liverpool on March 26, later to turn up in Nassau, still later to turn up roaming the seas as the Confederate raider Florida , captor of some forty Federal merchant ships. Before the Oreto departed, Minister Adams registered a strong protest at the Foreign Office; still other representations were made before she left Nassau. In each case the British government asked for proof that the vessel was intended for belligerent service.
The Florida was the first—there were others. Dudley had heard early in March of a vessel being built in the Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, just across the Mersey River from Liverpool. Soon after the Oreto left, he wrote to Seward that the new gunboat was of the same model. “I have reason to believe she is for the Confederate government,” he said. “She lias not yet been launched. No expense is being spared in her construction. Her tonnage is 1,100, her engines to be goo horsepower. 1 will look after her.”
She was launched in May, and in mid-June Dudley wrote that ilie vessel had had a trial trip—“none of the press were invited; no one was admitted on board without a ticket; they were issued only to the persons actively engaged in aiding the Rebellion.” Hc complained that he was finding it more and more difficult to get information about the vessel. 11 he did not yet have a name for the ship, at least he had learned its identifying number, 290, this being the serial number given the vessel in the Laird yard.
Minister Adams told Dudley that there was a better feeling toward the North on the part of the British government and that “they will now do what they can to conciliate us and will stop the fitting out of this ves sel.” Earl Russell wanted Dudley to furnish evidence on No. ayo’s character to the Collector of Customs at Liverpool, but Dudley found this difficult. Hc sent to Seward an exchange of his correspondence with Samuel Price Edwards, the customs collector; he had told Edwards that everything about the ship “shows her to be a war vessel,” and he had given various details, getting in return the curt reply that “the statement made by you is not such as could be acted upon by the Officers of this Revenue unless legally substantiated by evidence.”
At Adams’ suggestion, Dudley employed a solicitor to attempt to present legal proof that the Foreign Enlistment Act was being violated. “I have retained AIr. S(|uarcy of Liverpool, a man of ability in his profession,” Dudley told Seward. “Hc has taken hold of the case with energy and 1 entertain some hopes that we will succeed in preventing (he gunboat from sailing.” Dudley and Syuarcy got allidavits about Xo. ygo, laid them before Collector Edwards, went to London to confer with Adams; but getting binding proof that this vessel was really a warship built for Confederate service was very hard.
“There were men enough who knew about her and understood her character,” wrote Dudley, “but they were not willing to testify, and in a preliminary proceeding like (his it was impossible to obtain process to compel them, indeed no one in a hostile community like Liverpool … would be a willing witness, especially if he resides there and was in any way dependent upon the people of that place for a livelihood.”
Yet success finally seemed at hand. Dudley and Squarey went to London and got from a distinguished lawyer there a written opinion that the Foreign Enlistment Act was being broken and that there was evidence enough to justify detention of Xo. ago. Adams presented this to Lord Russell, who on July 26 passed it along to the Queen s Advocate, who, at precisely that moment, went insane. There was a two-day delay while the papers were passed to other law officers, and on July 2t) these officers ruled that the vessel should be detained. But by now it was too late.
Captain Bulloch saw how things were going, and he acted just in time. Xo. 2()o left Liverpool on July zg for a trial run in the open sea. A tug met her a few hours later to bring back the invited guests; No. 290 cruised down the Welsh coast, managed to dodge U.S.S. Tuscarora , which was eagerly looking for her, and then swung around north of Ireland and went to the Azores. There she met Hulloch’s supply ships, took on guns and supplies and Confederate officers, and then headed out for the open sea as a Confederate sea raider—C.S.S. Alabama , most famous and cHective of all the Confederate cruisers to operate in the 1860’s.
Dudley grew pessimistic, warned that Europeans “are all against us and would rejoice in our downfall,” and told Seward that (he best thing the United States Xavy could do would be to build a large number of ironclads, like the famous Monitor . This, he believed, “would do more at the present time to prevent intervention than diplomacy or anything else.”
This led to the all-important problem: ironclads. The Alabama was, after all, a wooden ship with all of a wooden ship’s limitations. Hut now the Laird yards were laying down something different—ironclad rams, heavily armored, much more seaworthy than America’s monitors or the armored vessels the Confederacy was building at home, ships that would not simply be commerce raiders but which, if finished and delivered, would form a striking lorce too strong for the Federal Navy to handle.
Confederate Navy Secretary Stephen Mallory dreamed that the Laird rams, as they came to be called, would break the blockade, attack the ports of New York and Roston, and force their way into Chesapeake Bay. Confederate agents in Europe were told that “no effort, no sacrifice, must be spared” to secure their delivery. Washington told Attams to stop them “at all haxards as we have no defense against them.”
The British Navy had ironclads of its own; so had the French, but in each navy the principal reliance was still on wooden ships. The British newspapers in March and April of 1862 had carried long stories and much comment about the exploits of the Confederate ironclad Merrimac , or Virginia , and her battle with the Monitor , all of which clearly showed that nothing but ironclads could be used in the line of battle. In London, The Times stated: “It is quite impossible to dissemble the fact that nine-tenths of the British Navy have been rendered comparatively useless.” In the House of Commons some members raised the question of whether the news did not make obsolete certain coastal defenses Britain was building. And John Laird, member from Birkenhead, retired head of the shipyard and father of its two proprietors, said that Britain must have an efficient iron-steam navy, and he hoped the government would turn its attention seriously to the subject.
Dudley, naturally enough, turned his serious attention, as time went on, toward keeping the Lairds from selling the Confederacy an iron-steam navy. He was aided in this by the difficulty of hiding the construction of an ironclad or pretending that the finished product was to be a merchant ship.
Dudley’s reports on the Laird rams were interesting to Washington. On August 30, 1862, he wrote Seward: I have had the shipyard of the Messrs. Lairds at Birkenhead examined. The keel of one of the gunboats for the Confederates has been laid in the same stocks from which the 290 was launched. It is 250 feet long. She is to be built as soon as possible with the utmost dispatch, to be ironclad and in all particulars to be finished in the most substantial manner without regard to expense. A large number of workmen are now employed on her. The keel for the other has not yet been laid but the place in the yard has been selected and the ground and stocks are being prepared preparatory to laying it.
In October Dudley reported again that there had been “no cessation of the work neither night nor day” on the two rams. “The ribs of one are all up,” he said, “and they have commenced to put on the plates.… They are using great precaution to keep us ignorant of their doings. No stranger is admitted into their yard. I shall send for my special detective at London and endeavor at the proper time to get up some evidence and have it lain before the government but I have very little hope that they will do any thing to stop them.”
Later in the month he reported having the yard of William C. Miller & Sons “examined again,” to learn that another gunboat for the Confederacy was being built there. The Miller yard, he reminded Seward, was where the Oreto had been built. In the same dispatch Dudley commented on the diplomatic sensation of the moment—a speech, unauthorized as it turned out, by Chancellor of the Exchequer William Gladstone to the effect that Jefferson Davis had made an army, was making a navy, and had created something still greater, a nation. About the navy, Dudley was particularly sensitive. It would have been nearer the truth, he wrote, if Gladstone had said England, not the South, was constructing the navy.
And this, in fact, was becoming the issue that Lord Palmerston, the Prime Minister, and Lord Russell, his Foreign Secretary, could not escape—and which neither Washington nor its representatives in London or Liverpool had any intention of overlooking. In October, 1862, the Alabama was taking prizes in the North Atlantic, and their captains, crews, and passengers were brought to Liverpool in two vessels the Alabama ’s Captain Semmes released for the purpose. Dudley took depositions from the captains whose ships had been seized. The picture was clear: here was a sea raider built in British yards, equipped with British guns, manned mainly by a British crew. Her officers alone were from the South.
It was true, as an American student of the subject had written a generation earlier, that international law is like a false nose made of wax, to be pushed to one side or the other by whoever was molding it to his fancy. But did Britain, the world’s foremost naval power, the nation most likely to want to deny a future foe the use of neutral shipyards, really want to set this kind of a precedent?
Seward played his own part in bringing this argument home. He discussed with the British ambassador in Washington, Lord Lyons, the American exasperation with the departure of the gunboats from English ports. At the same time he spoke of a bill considered by Congress in the latter half of 1862 and passed in March, 1863. This gave the President power to issue letters of marque so that merchant ships might be made into a militia of the seas, empowered if necessary to make war on British commerce. But there was another hint from Seward to Lyons—followed up by an instruction to Adams in London—that the presidential authority might not be used if the departure of future Alabamas , and more important, of the rams, was prevented.
These hints produced results in April, when the British government ordered the seizure of the ship Dudley had reported building in the Miller yard—the Alexandra —on the grounds that the Foreign Enlistment Act was about to be violated. Now the question of what the act really meant could be settled in court. And simultaneously Dudley received some solid evidence that looked as though it would be conclusive in court. The evidence came from a Confederate defector—twentynine-year-old Clarence Randolph Yonge.
Yonge had been brought to England by Captain Bulloch as his clerk and had sailed in the Alabama as her paymaster. When the raider stopped in Jamaica early in 1863, Yonge left her in disgrace. According to Confederate accounts, he had been accused of inciting mutiny and had also bigamously married a Jamaican mulatto. He brought his wife to Liverpool and apparently deserted her, at least temporarily. Dudley received papers from her, including letters from Bulloch about the Alabama . On April 1 he brought these to the American legation in London and there found Yonge himself telling his story to Benjamin Moran, Assistant Secretary to Minister Adams.
Dudley, Yonge, and a solicitor went to a hotel together and worked until 11:30 P.M. producing a deposition. It attested that the Lairds had built the Alabama under contract for Bulloch, that nine-tenths of her crew was British, that many crew members were members of the British Naval Reserve receiving government pensions, that the men were paid by Fraser, Trenholm & Company in Liverpool, that the Alabama was armed and coaled from England and permitted to refit and repair in Jamaica, receiving every assistance and courtesy from British officials.
Yonge’s affidavit, Dudley told Seward, was “enough to convict the Lairds, … Fraser, Trenholm & Company … and Captain James D. Bulloch under the Foreign Enlistment Act if there was any disposition on the part of this government to take it up.”
Moran, in his journal, described Yonge as a “man of talent” but “a slippery fellow.” His willingness to embrace the Union cause, the Assistant Secretary noted, “was the result in a measure of empty pockets and partly as a matter of revenge.” “He is a reckless and uncertain kind of man,” wrote Dudley, “quite likely a bad man, but it seems necessary to retain him. I have therefore made a bargain with him to stay. I am to give him six pounds per week while he is here and pay the passage for himself and wife to the States after we are done with him. This is what he received on the Alabama . He is to leave Liverpool and go to one of the towns in the interior. This is done to get him out of the way of the other side.”
Dudley then used the papers he obtained from Yonge’s wife to try to penetrate the enemy camp. His instrument for this was George Temple Chapman, a former Annapolis midshipman from New England who posed as a sympathizer for the Southern cause. Described by Moran as “an impudent fellow,” Chapman took the papers to Fraser, Trenholm & Company as an earnest of his good intentions. He first saw Charles K. Prioleau, the Liverpool resident partner of the firm, and then Captain Bulloch. Whether Chapman won the full confidence of the Southerners or not, he did gain admittance to the Laird shipyard and was conducted on a tour of the rams, providing Dudley with some more naval intelligence which was promptly sent off to Washington.
All this activity reached its first test at the Alexandra trial in London at the end of June. The case justifying the government’s seizure of the vessel was presented by the Crown, but the evidence was all Dudley’s. Dudley sat unhappily in the courtroom watching what he considered a weak presentation of the evidence. His dismay became even deeper when he heard what he described to Seward as “the strange and extraordinary charge given to the jury by the judge,” Sir Jonathan Frederick Pollock, the Chief Baron of the Court of the Exchequer. He told the jury that a shipbuilder had as much right to build a ship and sell it to either belligerent as a maker of gunpowder or muskets or any other warlike implements had to sell these articles in the same way. The law, he said, was not made to protect belligerent powers, but to keep British ports free of the hostile movements of warring nations. He indicated there were no grounds for seizure of the still-unarmed Alexandra . The jury, after the judge’s charge, found in favor of the defendants.
The British government promptly appealed the verdict, continuing to detain the ship. This, at least, was cheering news, but it did not relieve Adams and especially Dudley of their uncertainties about the rams. Less than a week after the end of the trial, Dudley told Seward that the launching of the first ram was imminent.
It would therefore be well [he wrote] for the Department to consider at once what is best to be done in the event of the government here refusing to stop these vessels, a contingency quite probable. … I am doing all I can to strengthen and obtain additional evidence against these vessels but I find it now much more difficult than it was before the trial of the case against the Alexandra . The cry they have got up against me and the spy system which they say I have inaugurated has driven almost all my men away. … Feeling is deep and strong against us and the whole town seems to take sides with those who are building these vessels.
On July 4, 1863, Dudley reported the first ram had actually been launched. He fell to work producing the customary affidavits, putting them before the Liverpool Collector of Customs, sending copies to Adams to lay before Lord Russell and dispatching other copies to Seward. Yonge and Chapman were again called on for testimony. Yonge said that he had seen a set of plans and specifications for the ironclad rams. He had gone to the Laird yard, and in its southerly part under a shed he had seen two ironclad steamers being built. “I believe them to be the same that I saw on the plans and drawings made by the Messrs. Laird and in possession of Captain Bulloch at the office of Fraser, Trenholm & Co. hereinbefore mentioned,” he wrote. “I have not the least doubt about the matter.”
Chapman told of his tour of the Laird yard, of the armor plate and turrets being put on the ships. “Each ram,” he noted, “had a stem made of wrought iron about eight inches thick, projecting about five feet under the water line and obviously intended for the purpose of penetrating and destroying other vessels. The rams in question were of immense strength and could by no possibility be intended for anything but vessels of war.”
Dudley obtained a joint affidavit from William Hayden Russell, an American merchant-ship captain, and Joseph Ellis, a Liverpool shipwright, who said they had been in the Laird yard and had witnessed the launching of the first ram. They had walked alongside the ship before the launching and had seen her armor, her turrets, and her underwater beak. They wrote: “We have no hesitation in saying that the said vessel is an iron clad ram of the most formidable description and cannot be intended for any purpose but that of war.” A boilermaker and a ship caulker swore that Bulloch was often seen in the Laird yard looking after the building of the rams.
Dudley was also at pains to track down and refute reports that the rams were actually destined for the emperor of China, the government of Egypt or Turkey, or for a buyer in France. In fact, Bulloch, fearful that the rams would be seized as the Alexandra had been, had sold the two ships to Bravay & Company of Paris with the understanding that they would be sold back to him after delivery in France. Again he had taken legal advice and had gone to a great deal of trouble to make the transaction one that would withstand legal scrutiny.
But by this time the hue and cry was great, and so were the pressures on the British government. There was news of Vicksburg and Gettysburg; there was Seward’s threat of armed privateers; there were the many embarrassing prizes that the Alabama and Florida had taken at sea. Finally, Dudley and Adams were tirelessly at work, offering affidavits, presenting protests. Early in September the British government was already taking steps to halt the rams, when Adams applied the last diplomatic turn of the screw. In a long note to Russell, he wrote that if the rams escaped, “it would be superfluous in me to point out to your lordship that this is war.”
Russell decided to halt the ships, and the Lairds were ordered not to allow them to make their trial runs. Still Dudley was left in doubt. On September i he told Seward that the first ram had her masts up and was fully rigged, that her machinery was in and her turrets in place. “I see nothing to prevent her going out whenever she chooses.” On September 8 he said he knew of nothing that was being done by the government to stop the rams. The next day he said Adams had informed him by telegram they were to be stopped. But two days later Dudley noted that some Liverpool papers were saying the rams were to be stopped and still others that they were not. The Lairds, he pointed out, were pushing work on the ships with as much speed as possible.
He was worried by the fact that there were many Southern officers in Liverpool. He had visions of a raid and seizure. He had memories of how the Alabama had slipped away. If it could happen anywhere, it could happen in Liverpool.
Not until October 10 could Dudley report victory to Seward. He had learned that Captain Inglefield of Her Majesty’s Ship Majestic had taken custody of the rams in the Mersey. He wrote: The issuing of orders to Captain Inglefield satisfied me that they [the British authorities] were now in earnest. Up to this time I could not say that they were, for although they had assured us the vessels would not be permitted to sail without their being satisfied they were not to be used against the United States, it was very evident from the way they acted about them that it was with reluctance they had given us the notice and that they were still willing to permit them to sail if any decent pretext could be found to justify them. Captain Inglefield is a very energetic officer and will obey his orders. I think I can now say to you with every assurance of its truth that the two rams are stopped.
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.