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Old 30-06-2011, 09:09   #271
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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Re: Maritime History

Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
So I sstarted hunting on the web:

"[United States Consul to England] Thomas Haines Dudley...was charged with the responsibilty of disposing of four Confederate ships that the British had handed over to the U.S.. ...In January of 1866, an attempt had been made to sail the Shenandoah to the United States, but had failed due to stormy weather. Dudley was authorised to sell the ship, her equipment and stores at auction...The U.S. Government was apparently satisfied with this, as he was then authorised to sell the Tallahassee (Chamelion) and the Sumter."

When Liverpool Was Dixie

If that's correct, the USN had no claim to the bell, as the ship and all her contents had legally been sold off by the US.

Houghton-Mifflin confirm that the ship was legally SOLD by the US before she sunk: ships/html/sh_083300_cssshenandoa.htm
"Seized by the U.S. government, she was sold to the Sultan of Zanzibar and renamed El Majidi. She foundered at sea en route from Zanzibar to Bombay."

So the logic here eludes me.

Between 1986 and 1990 I worked very closely with the US State Department, Office of Ocean Law and Policy's J. Peter Bernhardt, regarding the French claim of title to CSS Alabama.

Please know, US title, specifiacally that of the US Navy - is still vested in the wreck, artifacts, and detritus belonging to CSS Alabama - as the French Govt was informed.

After the Civil War all Confederate property was ceded to the U.S. Treasury Department which remanded her, ultimately to the US Navy. Yes, U.S. Consul Thomas Haines Dudley most certainly did go after former Confederate property (cotton, cargoes, and vessels etc.) in the ports of Liverpool/Birkenhead. In the High Court he faced, of all people, Judah P. Benjamin, the former Confederate Sect of State, who served as Queen's counsel.

We used the very same cases as precident. France rescinded their claim to CSS ALABAMA. Her artifacts repose in the museum of the NHC at the Washington Navy Yard and in Mobile Alabama...and some in France, on an artifact sharing program.

For your guidance, as I recall, the validity of the bell was later called into question.

Respectfully submitted,
M P Higgins

M P Higgins is offline   Reply With Quote


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