Report of the Commander of the Relief Ship Constellation

		46th Congress,          SENATE.         Ex. Doc.
  2d Session.                           No. 215.





Report of the commander of the relief-ship Constellation.

       June 15, 1880. - Ordered to be printed.

                                 NAVY DEPARTMENT,
                               Washington, June 14, 1880.

      Vice-President of the United States:

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Senate that in obedience
to the act approved February 25, 1880, I caused the United
States ship Constellation to be fitted out for the purpose
of transporting from New York to Ireland such supplies as
were donated by the liberal-minded citizens of that city
to the starving people of that country. That vessel, under
the command of Commander Edward E. Potter, left New York on
the 30th day of March, and has just returned.
  The Constellation reached the port of Queenstown on the
20th day of April, and delivered the supplies to the proper
authorities at that city, whereupon they were immediately
distributed to those in need of them.
  The authorities and people were impressed in an
extraordinary degree by the fact that the Government of the
United States had fitted out a national vessel upon this
mission of benevolence, and demonstrated their gratitude
by continued acts of courtesy and kindness to the officers
in charge. The Government of Great Britain, through its
minister plenipotentiary to the United States, has also
expressed its high appreciation of this act of
international comity. Evidences of these are herewith
  The act of Congress contained an indefinite appropriation
of "any sum of money" I might consider necessary for the
purposes of this expedition. But I have the honor to inform
the Senate that I have not drawn from the Treasury a single
dollar for the purpose, having paid the whole expense out
of the ordinary appropriations for the support of the Navy
for the present fiscal year.
    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                          R. W. THOMPSON,
                          Secretary of the Navy.

              U.S.S. CONSTELLATION (3d rate)
              Queenstown, Ireland, April 20, 1880.
  SIR: I have the honor to inform the department of the
arrival of this ship in the port this morning. We had a
very anxious and boisterous passage. Sent the accompanying
telegram to United States consul at Dublin.
  Have communicated with United States consul here, and am now
awaiting the decision of the committee as to whether I shall
discharge here. Some repairs to main chain plates are necessary.
   Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                 EDW'D [Edward?] E. POTTER,
                                       Commander, Commanding.
Hon. R. W. Thompson,
     Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.

  Copy of a telegram sent by Captain Potter to United States
consul, Dublin, Ireland.

 U.S.S. Constellation (3d rate),
 Off Roche Point, Ireland, April 20, 1880.
Inform New York Herald Relief Committee that this ship is here,
drawing twenty-one feet. Wish to discharge here.
  Wind unfavourable. Please forward all mail.

          U.S.S. CONSTELLATION (3d rate)
          Queenstown, Ireland, April 28, 1880.
SIR: In my letter from Queenstown, of April 20, I had the
honour to inform the department of the arrival of this vessel
at this port, and to transmit a copy of the telegram sent to
the United States consul at Dublin. Rear-Admiral Hamilton
kindly placed a buoy off Haulbowline at my disposal.
  On April 21, Rev. Dr. Hepworth visited the ship in behalf
of the New York Herald Relief Committee. On the evening
of April 21, while awaiting the decision of the relief
committee, I received the following telegram from his royal
highness the Duke of Edinburgh, admiral and superintendent
Naval Reserves:
  Having been directed to meet the Constellation in Ireland,
I congratulate you on your safe arrival at Queenstown, and
I am bringing all the ships engaged upon the relief service
to Queenstown to receive the Constellation's cargo and carry
it to the places where it is intended it should be
distributed. Please await my arrival on Friday before taking
further action.
  His royal highness, the admiral, arrived in his flag-ship,
the Lively, Friday afternoon. I immediately called upon him,
which call he returned the following morning.
  During the afternoon, Saturday, a gun-boat came alongside,
took a small portion of the cargo and left the harbor. The
relief squadron, of which the lively is the flag-ship, flies
the American ensign at the fore while a relief vessel is
passing out of the harbor. Have been busily engaged
discharging this week, and hope to be able to commence
taking in ballast by the 3d of May, and to sail from this
port about the ... May.
   Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
   ED'WD [Edward?] E. POTTER,
   Commander, Commanding.
Hon. R. W. Thompson.
         Secretary of the Navy.

         U.S.S. CONSTELLATION (3d rate)
         Queenstown, Ireland, May 1, 1880.

SIR: I have the honor to inform the department that since
the arrival of this ship at this port we have been the
recipients of very marked attention on the part of the
people of Queenstown, Cork, and Dublin.
  His worship the mayor of Cork, Mr. Shaw, M.P., as
chairman of the New York Herald Relief Committee, and
Colonel Brooks, United States consul, visited the ship
while at the outer anchorage. The mayor delivered a short
address and hoped they would have an opportunity of giving
us the "heartiness of an Irish welcome" to the port.
  As the ship passed along the city front to the anchorage
off Haulbowline, the people assembled along the heights
overlooking the harbour and sent up cheer after cheer of
welcome. In the evening a large number of the townspeople,
headed by Rev. S.C. Ashelin, administrator (a Catholic
priest), and accompanied by the Confraternity Band, came
alongside; a short address of welcome was delivered and
the people visited the ship for a few moments.
  On Wednesday, 21st April, the lord mayor of Dublin,
accompanied by Mr. William Lane Joynt, visited the ship on
the part of the Mansion House Committee. The lord mayor
delivered an address of welcome, and invited us on behalf
of the lady mayoress to visit Dublin and join them at a ball
at the mansion House. I have accepted the invitation for
Tuesday, May 4.
  I also received an invitation to witness a representation
of the drama "The Eviction," at the Cork Opera House,
Friday, April 23; also to be present at a fancy dress ball,
given by the Nile Street Hospital, on Friday, 23d April.
Both invitations were accepted, and we received every
  On Thursday, 22d April, his worship the mayor of Cork, the
high sheriff (an ex-mayor), and the Very Rev. Precentor
Sheetan visited the ship on behalf of the Cork Relief
Committee, and extended an invitation, in the name of the
mayor and citizens, to a banquet to be given at Cork, which
I accepted, for Thursday, 29th April. A copy of the Cork
Examiner, containing an account of the banquet and speeches
made, will be transmitted by mail.
  Received a copy of a resolution of the Board of Guardians
of the Cork Union. A copy appended and marked A. The Right
Rev. Dr. McCarthy paid a visit and welcomed the officers to
  On Saturday, 24th April, His Royal Highness the Duke of
Edinburgh, admiral superintendent Royal Naval Reserves,
visited the ship, offered  congratulations  on  our  safe
arrival, and stated the object of his visit to this port. The
arrangements with regard to the disposal of the cargo were
talked over, and it was decided that the entire cargo would
be transferred by the gunboats under his command. In the
evening I dined with His Royal Highness on board his flagship.
  Received an offer of free passes to and from Dublin from the
directors of the Great Southern and Western Railway. On Sunday,
25th April, the ship was crowded with visitors. A deputation
from the Cork branch of the Irish National Land League came on
board and presented an address of welcome and thanks.
  "The people of Queenstown and the Great Island" presented an
address, some parts of which I caused to be struck out before I
could receive it. Original inclosed, marked B.
  The people of the county and city of Cork then presented a
short address, which was accepted. Copy inclosed, marked C.
  On Monday, 26th April, I received the following telegram
from lord mayor of Dublin:
  Corporation of Dublin to-day unanimously resolved to confer
the freedom of the city upon you on Tuesday, the fourth.
  To which I replied in the following telegram:
I thank through you the corporation of Dublin for the honor
mentioned in your telegram of this date.
  I lunched with Admiral Smith Barry and the members of the
Royal Cork Yacht Club, and dined with Rear-Admiral C.V. Hamilton
in the evening, meeting His Royal Highness in each case.
  On Tuesday, 27th April, received copy of the resolution
adopted at a meeting of the municipal council of Dublin,
conferring upon me the freedom of the city. Copy inclosed,
marked D.
  We have been tendered the use of the following named
club-rooms, viz: Royal Cork Yacht Club
and Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland, of Queenstown, and the
Cork Club, of Cork. Have received invitations to dine with the
different army and navy messes and with the County Cork Club.
Also complimentary tickets to the spring show of the South
of Ireland Horticultural Society, to be given at the Corn
Exchange, Cork. We go to Dublin on Monday, May 3, and to
Galway Wednesday, May 4, where we are to be entertained at a
dinner and a ball on Thursday, May 6; will return to
Queenstown Friday, May 7; will receive our friends and those
who have entertained us on Saturday, May 8, and will sail
from this port by the first fair wind.
  Will commence taking in ballast Monday, May 3, which will
be stowed during the early part of the week.
       Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

               EDW'D [Edward?] E. POTTER,
               Commander, Commanding.
   Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.


                 CORK UNION.

Copy of resolution of the Board of Guardians, passed at their
meeting on Thursday, 22d April, 1880.

  Proposed by Sir George St. John Colthurst, Bart.; seconded by
Mr. Farrell:

   Resolved, That the Cork Board of Guardians wish to express
their gratitude for the generous supply sent by the American
Nation for the relief of distress in Ireland, and beg to express

to the captain and officers of the Constellation our
of their efforts to serve our country, and while doing so, beg
wish them a hearty welcome to Ireland.


                                   NICHOLAS MAHONEY.
                                 Chairman of Board of Guardians.

The address of the people of Queenstown and the Great Island to
Captain Potter, the officers, and crew of the American
sailing-frigate Constellation, now in the harbor with relief
for our suffering people.

CAPTAIN POTTER AND GENTLEMEN: This being the first port at
which you on your [able?] but melancholy mission of charity
have called, we, the inhabitants of the first town and
district on that port, deem it our imperative duty to offer
you a most heartfelt welcome. We desire to express our deepest
gratitude to the generous and noble people of your free
country for this practical proof of their sympathy with our
suffering poor; we desire to thank your government for the
promptness with which it granted for the transmission of
such timely relief the gallant vessel now under your command;
and to yourselves we tender our most undying gratitude for
chivalry so worthy the soldiers of your free country, which
on a mission of mercy led you at a most tempestuous season
to brave the dangers of the deep.
Thirty-three years ago, in one of the darkest periods of our
strange history, we had a similar proof of the generosity of
your nation. We have not forgotten it, we have not been
ungrateful for it, and this other fresh proof of your
sympathy for us shall bind a thousand-fold more firmly the
bonds that link the people of Ireland in sympathy and
affection to their friends and kindred beyond the sea.
But, gentlemen, while with full hearts we give expression
to that gratitude which you have merited so well, we cannot
conceal from you our deep sense of humiliation that for
the exercise of such generosity towards us any occasion
should arise.
  Trusting, therefore, that under these melancholy
circumstances you will appreciate our motives in expressing
our gratitude through this simple address, and assuring you
that our gratitude shall last as long as Irishmen have Irish
hearts to feel it, we remain, Captain Potter and gentlemen,
on behalf of Queenstown and the Great Island,
      Yours, very respectfully.
          STEPHEN ASHLIN, Adm., Chairman,
          DANIEL CAHILL., T.C. and P.L.G.,
          JOHN O'CONNELL, P.L.G.,
          JOHN J. TANY, C.C.,
          C. G. DORAN, T.C.,
          JOHN AKENOM, T.S.,
          EDMUND FARRELL, T.C., P.L.G.,
          THOMAS O'SULLIVAN, Sol'r.
          Committee of Presentation.
April 25, 1880.


From the people of the county and city of Cork to Captain
Potter, the officers, and crew of the American naval ship

  On the threshold of that country you have come to succor
on a sad mission of noble charity, we greet you warmly, and
welcome you, and proffer you the gratitude, sincere indeed,
of a poor, downtrodden, but liberty-loving people.
  We desire to express our gratefulness to the generous
citizens of your free country for the many practical
manifestations of sympathy with our suffering people, and
to your government for the promptitude shown by giving the
gallant ship under your command for the transmission here of
your timely relief.
  In return for such noble and unselfish generosity, we can
only hope that in future generations, as it has been in the
immediate past, Irishmen will be ever ready to defend America's
honor and integrity, and continue to be the vigilant sentinels
on the watch-towers of her liberties.
  In conclusion, we can only say that that flag which is the
epitomization of your country's honoured history, the spangled
diploma of your well won authority, will be ever respected by
those who have been afforded by a melancholy coincidence the
opportunity of seeing you here to-day.
  God save Ireland.


  Moved by Councillor Brooke, M.C.; seconded by Councillor Sir
John Barrington, D.L., J.P.:
  Resolved, That the freedom of the city be conferred upon
Capt.E. E. Potter, commander of the United States ship
Constellation, dispatched to Ireland by the United States
Government with food and other supplies contributed by the
people of the United States for the relief of the distress
now prevalent in this country, as a mark of gratitude for
the noble and generous assistance extended by the people of
America to the people of Ireland.
Moved by Alderman Vaysey, J.P.: seconded by Sir George Owens,
M.D., J.P.: Resolved, That advantage be taken of the acceptance
by Captain Potter and the officers of the Constellation of the
invitation of the right honorable the lord mayor an
at the Mansion House, on Tuesday, the 4th of May, formally to
carry out the foregoing resolution; that a special meeting be
summoned for that purpose.
Members to attend in their robes.

                    U.S.S. CONSTELLATION (3d rate),
                          Queenstown, Ireland, May 9, 1880.

SIR: I have the honor to inform the department that on
Monday, May 3, I, with a party of officers, left Queenstown
for Dublin, arriving there in the evening. The next day, in
the afternoon, I received the freedom of the city of Dublin.
In the evening we attended a ball given in our honor at the
Mansion House by the lord mayor and lady mayoress. I sent
from Dublin a paper giving a detailed account of the day's
proceedings. On Wednesday we went to Galway. On Thursday,
at the invitation of the president, Dr. Moffatt, I visited
the Galway College, and in the evening we dined by invitation
with the Galway County clerk, and then attended a ball given
in honor of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, who
was present accompanied by his staff.
  On Friday returned to the ship. On Saturday afternoon we
gave a dancing party, at which were present between three
hundred and four hundred people. The endeavor having been
made to extend invitations to all who had been civil to us.
  The railway companies supplied us with special cars and
passes over their roads, which favour I personally
acknowledge to the superintendents.  All classes and
conditions of people have endeavoured to extend to us
civilities and kindness.
  Rear-Admiral C. V. Hamilton, commander-in-chief of Her
Majesty's forces on the coast of Ireland, has placed us
under many obligations by the attentions shown us. All
necessary repairs to the ship were made at the dock-yard,
Haulbowline. They also furnished us with fresh water. He
loaned us his band and steam-launch for the conveyance of
guests to and from shore. Yesterday he sent me a note
inclosing the following telegram from Lord Northbrook,
admiralty: "Express to captain of Constellation my regret
that, as he will not visit London, I shall have no
opportunity of offering him any hospitality."
  Mr. McQueen, agent Cunard line, was good enough to place
a steamer at our disposal for the conveyance of guests to
yesterday's entertainment.
  We completed the ballasting of the ship on Friday evening.
I hope to sail to-morrow, May, 10, if the ship's bills can
be collected and paid and the wind is favorable.
  I consider it exceedingly fortunate that we found here so
efficient a public officer as Mr. E. P. Brooks, United
States consul, who has rendered us much service.
          Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
          EDW'D [Edward?] E. POTTER,
                          Commander, Commanding.
     Secretary of the Navy, Washington. D.C.

                                DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
                                  Washington, May 25, 1880.
                  Secretary of the Navy:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a note
dated the 14th instant, from Sir Edward Thornton, the
minister of Great Britain at this capital, conveying to
the government and citizens of the United States, the
cordial thanks of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain
and Ireland, and of Her Majesty's Government, for the
provisions sent on board the United States ship
Constellation for the relief of the distressed people
of Ireland.
      I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
      WM. [William?] M. EVARTS.

   Inclosure: Sir Edward Thornton to Mr. Evarts, May 14,
1880. Copy.

            Sir E. Thornton to Mr. Evarts.

                                WASHINGTON, May 11, 1880.
  SIR: In compliance with an instruction which I have
received by telegraph from Earl Granville, Her Majesty's
principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, I have
the honor to convey through you to the Government of the
United States the sincere and cordial thanks of Her Majesty
the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and of Her Majesty's
Government for its generous and friendly conduct in having
despatched the United States ship "Constellation" loaded
with provisions which were so much needed for the relief
of the distressed subjects of Her Majesty in Ireland, and
which, besides being a substantial aid to them in their
affliction, have been accepted by all Her Majesty's subjects
as a proof of the friendly feelings entertained towards
them by the government and citizens of the United States.
    I have, &c.,
                                          EDWARD THORNTON.
  Hon. WM. [William?] M. EVARTS, &c., &c.

                          U.S.S. CONSTELLATION (3d rate),
                          Off Annapolis, Md., June 12, 1880.

  SIR: I desire to express my thankfulness to the honorable
Secretary of the Navy for my orders to this ship; as among
other things it has given me an opportunity to witness
the (I believe) heartfelt gratitude of the Irish people
to the United States Government for assistance; certainly
the attentions to us, representatives of that government,
were bewildering in their multiplicity, and almost overpowering
in their demonstration.
     Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                EDW'D [Edward?] E. POTTER,
                Commander, Commanding.
  Hon. R. W. THOMPSON,
        Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.