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North America board of trade and admiralty report, 1872

Date: 1872
Dimensions:
Overall: 325 x 220 x 46 mm, 2.1 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Parliamentary paper
Object No: 00028531
Place Manufactured:London

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    Description
    This North America board of trade and admiralty report was presented in 1872. It contains the general principles of the "Alabama Claims" (the Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Shenandoah) as well as the Case and Counter-Case presented to the Tribunal of Arbitration at Geneva.
    SignificanceThese two volumes represent the compilation of correspondence, arguments and legal principles which led to the payment of compensation to the United States for the activities of the CSS SHENANDOAH.
    HistoryThe Alabama Claims Tribunal was set up in Geneva in 1871 to assess United States claims against Britain for damages inflicted by British-built Confederate ships. Found Great Britain responsible for all acts committed by the Shenandoah after leaving Melbourne due to the negligent behavior of the colonial government in not protecting their sovereignty as a neutral country.

    An 1871 hearing at the International Court in Geneva awarded damages of £820,000 against Britain to the US government for use of the port at Williamstown by the CSS Shenandoah.

    Waddell’s surrender to British authorities raised two points of contention between the United States and Great Britain. For one, the Shenandoah had been built by the British and sold to the Confederate States of America for warfare against the United States, even though Great Britain had not officially recognized the legitimacy of the Confederacy. Voices were loud in the North that the British owed compensation for the losses inflicted on Yankee shipping by the Confederate raider.

    The second point of contention was Waddell’s status. Would the British courts try Waddell as a pirate, since he was not obeying military orders from any legitimate government recognized by Great Britain? Complicating the situation further was Waddell’s contention that he was unaware of the war’s ending until Aug. 30—at which point, he claimed, he immediately sailed to England to surrender, fearing he might face piracy charges if he surrendered in a U.S. port.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: North America board of trade and admiralty correspondence

    Web title: North America board of trade and admiralty report, 1872

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