Mr. Gresham to Sir Julian Pauncefote .

No. 22.]

Excellency: In further response to your note of the 8th instant, relative to fires on cotton ships in certain ports of the United States, I have the honor to transmit herewith, for your information, a copy of a letter from the Acting Secretary of the Treasury, of the 28th instant, inclosing a copy of a communication on the subject from the president of the Savannah Cotton Exchange.

I have, etc.,

W. Q. Gresham.
[Inclosure in No. 22.]

Mr. Hamlin to Mr. Gresham .

Sir: Further replying to your letter of the 4th instant, transmitting copy of a dispatch from the American ambassador at London relative to the fires on cotton ships, I have the honor to transmit for his information copy of a letter from the president of the Savannah Cotton Exchange, dated the 22d instant.

Respectfully, yours,

C. S. Hamlin,
Acting Secretary.
[Subinclosure in No. 22.]

Mr. Gordon to Mr. Chamberlain .

Mr. Eugene T. Chamberlain,
Commissioner Bureau Navigation, Treasury Department, Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir: I am in receipt of your favor of the 8th instant, addressed to the president chamber of commerce, inclosing copy of letter from the committee of Lloyds addressed to the ambassador of the United States to Great Britain, in reference to fires on cotton ships at the ports of the United States this season up to November 24.

In reply, I beg to say that, so far as this port is concerned, the fires on shipboard on night of November 5–6, involving nine foreign steamships, were the only cotton fires we have had this season, and in our opinion were clearly of incendiary origin.

This exchange, being always in the front of all movements for the welfare of Savannah, called a general meeting of its members on the morning of November 6 and appointed a committee composed of its president and board of directors to immediately call upon the city council and request that immediate steps be taken to ferret out the perpetrators of the crime and to prevent any recurrence of similar acts.

The city council, realizing the seriousness of the situation, affecting as it did not only the cotton business of Savannah but involving the interests of every citizen and the good name of our city, acted promptly, actively, and energetically in the matter and offered a large reward for the apprehension of the incendiaries.

This exchange immediately followed with a reward of $5,000, and the underwriters with one of $1,000. We regret to say that up to this time the measures taken have failed to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice, but we are still actively engaged upon the work and hope for a speedy and successful termination of our labors.

Respectfully, yours,

Beirne Gordon,
President Savannah Cotton Exchange.