Friday, May 09, 2003
Wilkes reached St. Thomas on October 13, 1861,where he took command of two other cruisers, and then sailed onward, arriving at Cienguegos, Cuba eleven days later. While in port Wilkes learned of the arrival of the Confederate commissioners in Havana. He then set sail in the hopes of catching the Theodora, but by the time he reached Havana on the last day of October the Theodora had already left. Rather than attempt a near futile chase of the Theodora (which had a two week head start), Wilkes turned his attention towards the two Confederates.

The Captain sent to of his officers to call upon Mason to try and ascertain through casual conversation what the Confederates' plans were. Mason, however, realized their intent and made sure to thwart their efforts. Wilkes, however, discovered through the United States consul-general in Havana, Robert Shufeldt (himself a formal naval officer), that the Confederates were planing to sail November 7th on board the British mail packet Trent. Wilkes began making preparations for the capture of Mason and Slidell and provisioned his ship with supplies for their comfort.

His executive officer, Lt. Daniel Macneill Fairfax, however, objected to Wilkes' course of action. He felt that the capture of the Trent could ignite a war between the United States and European powers such as Britain and France. Fairfax urged Wilkes to consult an expert in maritime law before continuing. Wilkes, however, was confident in his own interpretation of the law and was unmoved by Fairfax's arguments. Fairfax, realizing the futility of further reasoning with his commanding officer, dropped the issue.

On November 2nd the San Jacinto departed Havana, making sure to leave the impression that she was sailing directly for the United States, as per her original orders. However, during the night Wilkes had the ship double back towards Key West. There Wilkes planned to take on additional supplies for the planned "guests" and he hoped to find additional Navy vessels to aid in the capture of the Trent. Unfortunately, no vessels were then at Key West, so Wilkes turned the San Jacinto around and set a course to intercept the Trent in the Bahama Channel, 300 miles east of Havana.

At 11:40 am on November 8th, the San Jacinto's lookout spotted the Trent less then 10 miles away. Wilkes called his officers to his quarters and explained to them his plans. He put a number of them whose loyalties he doubted under arrested and then selected the members of the boarding party, to be commanded by Lt. Fairfax. The boarding party was authorized and ordered to board the Trent and demand her papers. If Mason and Slidell were on board, Fairfax was to make them and their secretaries prisoners, seize their possessions and dispatches, and make the Trent a prize of war.

At 1:15 pm the San Jacinto fired a shot across the Trent's bow, and that vessel stopped and received the boarding party. Fairfax encountered no resistance beyond the verbal variety and the reluctance of the Confederate commissioners to leave the Trent. However, they eventually realized the futility of resistance and allowed themselves to be taken prisoner. Then, disobeying his orders, Fairfax departed the Trent without making it a prize. He was able to convince Wilkes, however, to overlook that fact by claiming that put a prize crew on the Trent would inconvenience its innocent passengers and would also impair the San Jacinto's fighting ability.

Unfortunately, as the San Jacinto sailed back to a hero's welcome in the United States, Wilkes and Fairfax had no way of knowing that the British didn't appreciate their generous act of allowing the Trent to go rather than making it a prize. Little did they know that their actions would bring the United States and England to the brink of war. 1862 John Newland Maffitt was given command of the Confederacy’s first commerce raider, Florida. May 4, 1862, then commanded her until October 1863. At some point during his command he was photographed by a Northern firm, C.D. Fredericks & Co., based in New York. However, they had branch operations in Havana, Cuba, and Paris, and it is at one of these that Maffitt sat for his photograph. On August 7, 1863, Maffit was promoted to commander. The commander’s cap badge bore two stars, while the cap badge in Maffitt’s photograph bears the single star of a lieutenant.

Maffitt was twice in Havana when in command of the Florida. The first time was in early August 1862, when the crew was struck with yellow fever. Maffitt had to put into a port. On August 19 he anchored off Cardenas, Cuba. The local Confederate official then reported to Richmond that Maffitt was “prostrated by yellow fever” and unable to comply. He was deathly ill for ten days, but recovered to take the ship to Havana on September 1. Unable to get necessary help there, however, a still ill Maffitt put to sea that night for Mobile. It’s unlikely the photo was taken then.

The second time was on January 20, 1863. The log entry for January 21, reads, “Many persons visited the ship. We were enthusiastically welcomed at Havana.” On January 22 the Florida left Havana. Certainly Maffitt would have had a chance to have his photograph taken between the 21st and the 22nd, while leaving his executive officer to oversee coaling operations.

In August 1863 the Florida, badly needing repairs, put into Brest, France. Maffitt left the ship there in October to return to the Confederacy. He was then a commander, with a new cap badge, but could have visited Paris with his old hat to be photographed then. However, Maffitt is more likely to have taken advantage of being in Europe to obtain a new uniform

JANUARY 16,1863- C.S.S. Florida, Lieutenant John N. Maffitt, ran the blockade out of Mobile in the early morning after having remained in that port for some 4 months in order to complete repairs to her equip-ment. Confusion in the blockading fleet enabled Florida to escape, for the Confederate commerce raider passed within 300 yards of U.S.S. R.R. Cuyler, Commander George F. Emmons. Upon her arrival at Havana on 20 January to debark prisoners from her first prize, U.S. Consul-General Robert W. Shufeldt described the raider: ''The Florida is a bark-rigged propeller, quite fast under steam and canvas; has two smoke-stacks fore and aft of each other, close together; has a battery of four 42's or 68's of a side, and two large pivot guns. Her crew consists of 135 men . . . is a wooden vessel of about 1,500 tons." Farragut was concerned by Florida's escape: "This squadron, as Sam Barron used to say, 'is eating its dirt now'-Galveston skedaddled, the Hatteras sunk by the Alabama, and now the Oreto [Florida] out. . . . The Admiral's son, Loyall Farragut, com-pleted the letter: ''Father's eyes have given out; so I will finish this letter. He has been very much worried at these things, but still tries to bear it like a philosopher. He knows he has done all in his power to avert it, with the vessels at his disposal. If the Government had only let him take Mobile when he wished to, the Oreto would never have run out."

Captain Semmes, with a keen interest in the advancement of scientific knowledge, recorded the following observation from on board C.S.S. Alabama.' . . . the old theory of Dr. Franklin and others, was, that the Gulf Stream, which flows out of the Gulf of Mexico, between the north coast of Cuba, and the Florida Reefs and Keys, flows into the Gulf, through the channel between the west end of Cuba, and the coast of Yucatan, in which the Alabama now was. But the effectual disproof of this theory is, that we know positively, from the strength of the current, and its volume, or cross section, in the two passages, that more than twice the quantity of water flows out of the Gulf of Mexico, than flows into it through this passage. Upon Dr. Franklin's theory, the Gulf of Mexico in a very short time would become dry ground. Nor can the Mississippi River, which is the only stream worth noticing, in this connection, that flows into the' Gulf of Mexico, come to his relief, as we have seen that that river only empties into the Gulf of Mexico, about one three thousandth part as much water, as the Gulf Stream takes out. We must resort, of necessity, to an under-current from the north, passing into the Gulf of Mexico, under the Gulf Stream, rising to the surface when heated, and thus swelling the volume of the outflowing water."

President Lincoln ordered a 100-gun salute at the Washington Navy Yard at noon on Monday, the 5th of September, and upon receipt of the order, at each arsenal and navy yard in the United States ''for the recent brilliant achievements of the fleet and land forces of the United States in the harbor of Mobile and in the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan. .
The President also proclaimed that on the following Sunday thanksgiving should be given for Rear Admiral Farragut's victory at Mobile and for the capture of Atlanta by General Sherman. These events, said Lincoln, "call for devout acknowledgment to the Supreme Being in whose hands are the destinies of nations."



Thursday, May 08, 2003

Here are two notes of interest to you I have on Robert W. Shufeldt.

U.S. Navy lieutenant, "resigned from the service to become a merchant ship captain for the New York and Alabama Steamship Company while John Quitman was planing the Cuba expedition. He quit the conspiracy fearing that the Spanish authorities might detain him in Cuba during his biweekly voyages to Havana. (Robert May, Manifest Destiny's Underworld, 34)
"Havana. Arrival of the Quaker City." The United States Mail steamship Quaker City, R. W. Shufeldt, Commander, left New-Orleans on the morning of the 12th inst. for New York via Havana at which port she arived at 9 A.M. of the 14th after a rapid run of forty-eight hours from city to city; left Havana evening of same dayfor this port and arrived at her wharf at 6 o'clock last evening. The Quaker City brings 174 passengers, $118,000 in silver spicie, a full cargo for this port. (N. Y. Times, May 19, 1859, 4).
I have also enjoyed your website.
Regarding my review of Tom Chaffin's book, not only is it badly researched and written because he does not understand Spanish, but I have compared where he ripped off every single reference to Portell Vila from my Ph.D. dissertation. That makes him an "authority" on rip-offs.
This is the biography of Robert Wilson Shufeldt who negotiated with Quitman in Mobile in 1854 for the command of the filibuster navy the junta planned to send to Cuba. At the time Shufeldt was commander of the side wheeler, Cahawba(I believe this should read "Catawba"), which the junta negotiated to purchase from the New York and Alabama Steamship Company
SHUFELDT, Robert Wilson, naval officer, born in Red Hook, Dutchess County, New York, 21 February, 1822. He entered the navy as a midshipman, 11 May, 1839, was attached to the naval school at Philadelphia in 1844-'5, and became a passed midshipman, 2 July, 1845. He was promoted to master, 21 February, 1853, and to lieutenant, 26 October, 1853, but resigned from the navy, 20 June, 1854, and was connected with the Collins line of Liverpool steamers as chief officer for two years. He then commanded the steamers "Black Warrior" and "Catawba" on the line between New York and New Orleans, and had charge of the party that surveyed the Isthmus of Tehuantepec for a railroad and interoceanic canal. When the civil war began he was in command of the steamer "Quaker City," of the New York and Havana line of steamers, and was appointed United States consul-general at Havana. In April, 1863, he resigned, and was reinstated in the navy with a commission of commander, dated 19 November, 1862. He was given the steamer " Conemaugh," on the blockade at Charleston, where he participated in the engagements on Morris island. He commanded the steamer "Boteus," of the Eastern Gulf blockading squadron, in 1864-'6. After the war he had the "Hartford" of the East India squadron, in 1865-'6, and the "Wachusett," of the Asiatic squadron, in 1866-'8. He was commissioned captain, 31 December, 1869, and commanded the monitor "Miantonomoh " in 1870, after which he had charge of the Tehuantepec and Nicaraguan surveying expeditions of 1870-'1. He was chief of the bureau of equipment and recruiting in the navy department in 1875-'8, and was commissioned commodore, 21 September, 1876. In 1879-'80 he sailed in the "Ti-Conderoga" oil a special mission to Africa and tile East Indies, to ascertain and report on the prospects for the revival of American trade with those countries. While he was on this expedition the sultan of Zanzibar, Said Barghash, presented him with a sword. He was promoted to rear-admiral on 7 May, 1883, and was retired, 21 February, 1884.
I thought this was an interesting typo
Cuban American National Foundation
The Cuban American National Foundation is committed to the promotion of freedom and democracy in Cuba. CANF has a short-wave station that broadcasts daily to Cuba uncensored information that the Fidel Castro regime denies to the Cuban people. They monitor the human rights situation in the island and distribute information to international organisms accordingly. Their contact with Cuba is limited to "unofficial" human rights groups and independent journalists

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

My ole buddy, capn skyp, allowed me to place my "Robert's Angel's" photo on the web. Ya'll help him out at

ole buddy, ole pal, dis is berry impotent. I'se needs to get dis pikchuh on duh website fo' tomorrah cause da Spotes Illistated artuhcle be comin' out fo' long.
I'se sho 'preciate it.
lo mas mejor,
roberto, numero 51

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

AIN'T LOVE GREAT, AIN'T LOVE GRAND!!!! One of my son's buddies wants me to put LAUREN MORRISON on the website. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, EVEN THOUGH CHISTOPHER'S DAD IS THE "ORIGINAL HIPPIE", Lauren is our biggest website fan!!!! Check out here favorite website at
I typed "post-communist/post-Castro Cuba" into and got two hits. One was the "Lessons Learned From Eastern Europe...." paper where I got the term in the first place and the other was this MASSIVE WEBSITE This damn thang scares the shit out of me when I see how many Americans support CASTRO !!!!
There are many good organizations on this list but look at the ones that TOTALLY REPRESENT TYRANNY!!!!! What happened to these poor people to have them turn their backs on everything their ancestors fought for?


Not only is Cuba in the "Twilight Zone," so are some of the Alabama-Cuba Initiative folks and the Cuba Sister City folks. Those quotes from Lisa Valanti Anna [Thibodeaux] used made me want to puke!
Instead of boo-hooing about how Bush ain't gonna issue visas for 20 of Castro's ass-kissing Politburo suckbuddies to come to T-Town, the tea sippers at U of A ought to contact the Cuban American National Foundation to discuss the future of a post-Communist/post-Castro Cuba. What Larry Clayton and the rest of that university community need to understand is that the most important Cubans in the world live in the United States. The most important Cubans in Cuba are in jail.
Keep up the good work. I kept your Cuban issue. Keep up with "Cuba, Alabama." All people have to do is type "cuba alabama" into Google [] and I come up #1 and #2. It's getting better and better and I ain't spent a dime.



Robert Register
Via e-mail

Editor¹s note: Mr. Register is writing in response to The Strip¹s April 24 cover story, "The Cuba connection."

Monday, May 05, 2003

This information comes from Laura Lee Scott's website. She prepared a family tree for John Panton which,of course, includes James Innerarity, grandson of John Panton. Innerarity had a Cuban family on his Matanzas plantation, Heloisa, and their lawsuits concerning the Forbes Purchase may now await discovery in Cuba.
12. James INNERARITY was born on 18 Aug 1777.1 He died on 3 Oct 1847.1

He was married to Heloise Isabella TROUILLET on 6 Aug 1808 in Mobile, Mobile, AL.2 Heloise Isabella TROUILLET died in 1820. James INNERARITY and Heloise Isabella TROUILLET had the following children:

+19 i. William Panton INNERARITY.
+20 ii. Heloise INNERARITY.
21 iii. James INNERARITY JR..

He was married to Laura Manuella CENTENO.2 Laura Manuella CENTENO was born in , Cuba. Manuella bore James
Innerarity 5 children, 1 born in Cuba, the other 4 were born in Mobile, AL. These children did not inherit from Innerarity. James INNERARITY and Laura Manuella CENTENO had the following children:

22 i. Frank INNERARITY was born in 1832 in , Cuba.