Mr. Hunter to the Marquis de Montholon

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a copy of a letter of the 22d instant, from the Secretary of the Navy, and of that of the 10th instant, referred to therein, relative to the case of the United States merchant steamer Sonora.

I hope that you may deem it proper to take such steps as may he in your power towards securing the restoration of the steamer to Mr. Clavel or his agents.

Accept, sir, a renewed assurance of my highest consideration.

W. HUNTER, Acting Secretary.

The Marquis de Montholon, &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Welles to Mr. Seward

Sir: I have the honor to refer to you the accompanying letter, dated the 10th instant, addressed to this department by Mr. F. Clavel, of New Orleans, Louisiana, who appeals to the government to aid him in repossessing himself of the steamer Sonora, which he states formerly belonged to him; was captured by her crew, or a part of it, taken into an insurgent port, subsequently ran out, and is now, or was recently, at Tampico, where she appears to have been detained at the request of Mr. Chase, the United States consul general.

Very respectfully, &c.,

GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy.

Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

Mr. Clavel to Mr. Welles

Excellency: The undersigned respectfully begs leave to state that he is the owner of the steamer Sonora, belonging to the district of New Orleans, where she was registered on the 25th of February, 1864.

On the 16th of November, 1864, when on her way from Brazos Santiago to this port, she was forcibly captured by a part of her crew, who ran her into Aransas bay, where they delivered her to the rebel authorities. She was condemned as being the property of a citizen of the United States, and sold for the sum of eleven thousand dollars in gold, which was divided among the captors. The crew had been shipped, and every one of them had taken the oath of allegiance to the United States.

Owing to the strict watch kept by the vessels of the western gulf blockading squadron, she did not leave Aransas bay before the 9th of June, 1865, after having learned the surrender of Texas, flying the rebel flag, bound to Tampico, where she arrived on the 12th of the said month.

The above stated facts will easily demonstrate that the capture of the steamer Sonora was a wrongful act of piracy, and her subsequent sailing from Aransas Pass, after the surrender of Texas, is another confirmation of the illegality of her capture.

The undersigned hopes that your excellency will afford him the protection of our powerful government to help him to recover his vessel. She is now detained in the port of Tampico by the demand made by Mr. Franklin Chase, United States consul, for her delivery to him, as being the property of an absent American citizen, piratically taken from him.

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The undersigned, in a letter by him received from Mr. Chase, United States consul at Tampico, is advised by him to furnish your excellency with all the information in his power. The above statement is made to that effect.

Respectfully submitted:

F. CLAVEL, 77 Magazine street, New Orleans, Louisiana.

His Excellency the Hon. Secretary of the U. S. Navy, Washington, D. C.