James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
inquiry on the part of the authorities in Liverpool would have disclosed her true character and destination, and a friendly disposition towards the United States would have caused her detention until sufficient legal investigation could be made in proceedings for her condemnation.
A still more culpable act of negligence was that which permitted the escape of the Alabama. Adams asked Russell that she be prevented from sailing unless the fact should be established that her purpose was not inimical to the United States. The communication was referred to the proper department and in due course reached Liverpool, where the sympathy of the community with the Confederate States was notorious. The surveyor of the port, who undoubtedly suspected for whom the ship-of-war was intended, took care to shut his eyes to any condemnatory evidence, and made a colorless statement which was submitted by the Commissioners of Customs in London to their solicitor and was adjudged by him to be sufficient ground for advising against her seizure. The Commissioners in their communication to the Lords of the Treasury concurred in the opinion of their legal adviser, but said that the officers at Liverpool will keep a strict watch on the vessel. All these papers came to Earl Russell who, on the advice of the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, suggested to Adams that the United States consul in Liverpool (Dudley) be instructed to submit to the collector of the port any evidence that confirmed his suspicion. Adams and Dudley were indefatigable and on July 9 Dudley addressed to the collector a letter which no impartial man could have read without being convinced that the vessel in question was designed for the Southern Confederacy. The greater part of his statements, wrote Chief Justice Cockburn afterwards in his opinion dissenting from the award of the Geneva