The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 6 by Abraham Lincoln
Message to Congress. December 3, 1862.
WASHINGTON, December 3, 1862.
TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
On the 3d of November, 1861, a collision took place off the coast of Cuba between the United States war steamer San Jacinto and the French brig Jules et Marie, resulting in serious damage to the latter. The obligation of this Government to make amends therefor could not be questioned if the injury resulted from any fault On the part of the San Jacinto. With a view to ascertain this, the subject was referred to a commission of the United States and French naval officers at New York, with a naval officer of Italy as an arbiter. The conclusion arrived at was that the collision was occasioned by the failure of the San Jacinto seasonably to reverse her engine. It then became necessary to ascertain the amount of indemnification due to the injured party. The United States consul-general at Havana was consequently instructed to confer with the consul of France on this point, and they have determined that the sum of $9,500 is an equitable allowance under the circumstances.
I recommend an appropriation of this sum for the benefit of the owners of the Jules et Marie.
A copy of the letter of Mr. Shufeldt, the consul-general of the United States at Havana, to the Secretary of State on the subject is herewith transmitted.