Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.
Sir: The Shenandoah having failed to make her passage across, by reason of the roughness of the Weather, the person commanding her has returned to Liverpool, where she now lies under the care of the consul, Mr. Dudley. Before consulting me he sent telegrams to Admiral Goldsborough to learn whether he could detail any force from his command to take charge of her. Thus far I do not understand that he has received any reply. On many accounts I should be very glad to devolve the whole care of the vessel on the admiral if he will consent to take it in his charge and send her home, as he would a prize. But if he should decline, I have serious doubts about making a second experiment with a wholly irresponsible captain. There are objections to letting her remain in a port so ill-affected as Liverpool, but, on the whole, they seem to me less serious [Page 33] than those which spring from an irregular and unauthorized mode of dealing with the case. I am, therefore, disinclined to advise any further measures to equip the vessel from here without formal instructions from the proper department of the government. I hope, therefore, that the Navy Department will prepare the necessary steps to assume this charge, in case Admiral Goldsborough, who is now believed to be in the Mediterranean, should find himself unable to do so. Of his decision you will probably receive intelligence very soon, either from Mr. Dudley or myself.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.