Alabama Claims

John Bull (Great Britain) is dwarfed by a gigantic inflated American "Alabama Claim" cartoon in Punch--or the London Charivari 22 Jan 1872.
Commemorative plate and model of the CSS Alabama in the Salle de l'Alabama of the Geneva town hall.

The Alabama Claims were a series of demands for damages sought by the government of the United States from the United Kingdom in 1869, for the attacks upon Union merchant ships by Confederate Navy commerce raiders built in British shipyards during the American Civil War.

- Alabama Claims

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Clockwise from top: Battle of Gettysburg

Union Captain John Tidball's artillery

Confederate prisoners

ironclad USS Atlanta (1861)

Ruins of Richmond, Virginia

Battle of Franklin

American Civil War

Civil war in the United States between the Union (states that remained loyal to the federal union, or "the North") and the Confederacy (states that voted to secede, or "the South").

Civil war in the United States between the Union (states that remained loyal to the federal union, or "the North") and the Confederacy (states that voted to secede, or "the South").

Clockwise from top: Battle of Gettysburg

Union Captain John Tidball's artillery

Confederate prisoners

ironclad USS Atlanta (1861)

Ruins of Richmond, Virginia

Battle of Franklin
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, aroused public opinion about the evils of slavery. According to legend, when Lincoln was introduced to her at the White House, his first words were, "So this is the little lady who started this Great War."
Frederick Douglass, a former slave, was a leading abolitionist
Marais des Cygnes massacre of anti-slavery Kansans, May 19, 1858
Mathew Brady, Portrait of Abraham Lincoln, 1860
The first published imprint of secession, a broadside issued by the Charleston Mercury, December 20, 1860
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America (1861–1865)
Bombardment of the Fort by the Confederates
Rioters attacking a building during the New York anti-draft riots of 1863
Clashes on the rivers were melees of ironclads, cottonclads, gunboats and rams, complicated by naval mines and fire rafts.
Battle between the USS Monitor and USS Merrimack (1855)
General Scott's "Anaconda Plan" 1861. Tightening naval blockade, forcing rebels out of Missouri along the Mississippi River, Kentucky Unionists sit on the fence, idled cotton industry illustrated in Georgia.
Gunline of nine Union ironclads. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Charleston. Continuous blockade of all major ports was sustained by North's overwhelming war production.
A December 1861 cartoon in Punch magazine in London ridicules American aggressiveness in the Trent Affair. John Bull, at right, warns Uncle Sam, "You do what's right, my son, or I'll blow you out of the water."
County map of Civil War battles by theater and year
Robert E. Lee
"Stonewall" Jackson got his nickname at Bull Run.
George B. McClellan
The Battle of Antietam, the Civil War's deadliest one-day fight.
Confederate dead overrun at Marye's Heights, reoccupied next day May 4, 1863
Pickett's Charge
Ulysses S. Grant
Albert Sidney Johnston died at Shiloh
By 1863, the Union controlled large portions of the Western Theater, especially areas surrounding the Mississippi River
The Battle of Chickamauga, the highest two-day losses
Nathaniel Lyon secured St. Louis docks and arsenal, led Union forces to expel Missouri Confederate forces and government.
New Orleans captured
William Tecumseh Sherman
These dead soldiers—from Ewell's May 1864 attack at Spotsylvania—delayed Grant's advance on Richmond in the Overland Campaign.
Philip Sheridan
Map of Confederate territory losses year by year
Burying Union dead on the Antietam battlefield, 1862
Through the supervision of the Freedmen's Bureau, northern teachers traveled into the South to provide education and training for the newly freed population.
Beginning in 1961 the U.S. Post Office released commemorative stamps for five famous battles, each issued on the 100th anniversary of the respective battle.
The Battle of Fort Sumter, as depicted by Currier and Ives.

The most famous, the, did considerable damage and led to serious postwar disputes.

Portrait by Mathew Brady, 1870–1880

Ulysses S. Grant

American military officer and politician who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877.

American military officer and politician who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877.

Portrait by Mathew Brady, 1870–1880
Grant's birthplace, Point Pleasant, Ohio
Grant c. undefined 1845–1847
Battle of Monterrey Published 1847
Chinook Indian Plank House Published 1845
Grant believed Pacific Northwest Indians were a peaceful people and not a threat to settlers.
"Hardscrabble" Published 1891
The farm home Grant built in Missouri for his family. His wife Julia called the home an "unattractive cabin".
Brigadier General Grant photographed at Cairo, Illinois, September 1861 (Published 1911)
21st Illinois regiment monument in the Viniard Field, Chickamauga
Grant's successful gamble: Porter's gunboats night ran the Confederate gauntlet at Vicksburg on the Mississippi River.
Published 1863
The Battle of Jackson, fought on May 14, 1863, was part of the Vicksburg Campaign.
Published 1863
Union troops swarm Missionary Ridge and defeat Bragg's army. Published 1886
Commanding General Grant at the Battle of Cold Harbor, June 1864
Grant (center left) next to Lincoln with General Sherman (far left) and Admiral Porter (right) – The Peacemakers by Healy, 1868
Defeated by Grant, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House
Ulysses S. Grant by Balling (1865)
Grant–Colfax Republican Ticket
Published 1868
220px
Inauguration of President U.S. Grant, Capitol building steps.
March 4, 1869
Anthony Comstock Grant's vigorous prosecutor of abortionists and pornographers.
Amos T. Akerman, appointed Attorney General by Grant, who vigorously prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan
Image of mobs rioting entitled "The Louisiana Outrage". White Leaguers at Liberty Place attacked the integrated police force and state militia, New Orleans, September 1874.
Published October 1874
Secretary of Treasury George S. Boutwell aided Grant to defeat the Gold Ring.
Secretary of State Hamilton Fish and Grant successfully settled the Alabama Claims by treaty and arbitration.
Wharf of Santo Domingo City
Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
American Captain Frye and his crew were executed by Spanish authority.
King Kalākaua of Hawaii meets President Grant at the White House on his state visit, 1874.
Published January 2, 1875
Ely Samuel Parker
Grant appointed Parker the first Native American (Seneca) Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
Battle of the Little Big Horn
Great Sioux War
Published 1889
Cartoon by Thomas Nast on Grant's opponents in the reelection campaign
Grant is congratulated for vetoing the "inflation bill" in 1874.
Cartoonist Thomas Nast praises Grant for rejecting demands by Pennsylvania politicians to suspend civil service rules.
Harper's Weekly
cartoon on Bristow's Whiskey Ring investigation
Grant and Bismarck in 1878
Cartoonist Joseph Keppler lampooned Grant and his associates. Grant's prosecutions of the Whiskey Ring and the Klan were ignored.
Puck, 1880
Official White House portrait of President Grant by Henry Ulke, 1875
Commanding General Grant
Constant Mayer's portrait of 1866
Grant National Memorial, known as "Grant's Tomb", largest mausoleum in North America

Grant's foreign policy was mostly peaceful, without war, the Alabama Claims against Great Britain skillfully resolved.

Photograph by Mathew Brady

Hamilton Fish

American politician who served as the 16th Governor of New York from 1849 to 1850, a United States Senator from New York from 1851 to 1857 and the 26th United States Secretary of State from 1869 to 1877.

American politician who served as the 16th Governor of New York from 1849 to 1850, a United States Senator from New York from 1851 to 1857 and the 26th United States Secretary of State from 1869 to 1877.

Photograph by Mathew Brady
U. S. Representative Hamilton Fish
Sketch by Fenderich – 1844
Gubernatorial portrait of Hamilton Fish
U.S. Senator Hamilton Fish
Winfield Scott and Hamilton Fish dined regularly in New York during the onset of the American Civil War.
President Ulysses S. Grant was determined to annex Santo Domingo.
The American High Commissioners met in Washington D.C. Hamilton Fish served as chairman. Brady – 1871
John Bull (Great Britain) is dwarfed by a gigantic inflated American "Alabama Claim" cartoon by Joseph Swain in Punch--or the London Charivari 22 Jan 1872.
Caricature of Hamilton Fish
Vanity Fair – 1872
U.S. Naval officers in the Asiatic Squadron on board the U.S.S. Colorado off Korea in June 1871
Celebration demonstrations in New York over the release of Virginius prisoners. Secretary Fish negotiated the release of the Virginius prisoners from Spanish authorities.
Morgan-January 1874
Fish seated left of Grant in Grant's Cabinet 1876–1877
Hamilton Fish Elder statesman
Hamilton Fish Memorial Cathedral of All Saints (Albany, New York)
Hamilton Fish II

Fish settled the controversial Alabama Claims with Great Britain through his development of the concept of international arbitration.

Confederate cruiser and blockade runner CSS Tallahassee.

William Bell, No. 24

Pilot boat built in 1864 by shipbuilder Edward F. Williams at Greenpoint, Brooklyn for a group Sandy Hook Pilots.

Pilot boat built in 1864 by shipbuilder Edward F. Williams at Greenpoint, Brooklyn for a group Sandy Hook Pilots.

Confederate cruiser and blockade runner CSS Tallahassee.
The Geneva Board of Arbitration settling the Alabama Claims.

On February 17, 1883, Henderson and Callahan petitioned the United States, via the Alabama Claims award, for compensation of their loss of the William Bell during the American Civil War.

Joseph Henderson v. United States

Confederate cruiser and blockade runner CSS Tallahassee.
The Geneva Board of Arbitration settling the Alabama Claims.

Joseph Henderson v. United States, 709 (1882), is a decision of the Alabama Claims to compensate New York Sandy Hook pilots for their loss of a pilot boat by an attack upon Union pilot boat by Confederate Navy commerce raiders during the American Civil War.

The British high commissioners to the Treaty of Washington of 1871.
Standing: L. to R.: Lord Tenterden, Sir John A. Macdonald, Mountague Bernard.
Seated: L. to R.: Sir Stafford Northcote, Earl de Grey & Ripon, Sir Edward Thornton.

Treaty of Washington (1871)

Treaty signed and ratified by the United Kingdom and the United States in 1871 during the first premiership of William Gladstone and the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant.

Treaty signed and ratified by the United Kingdom and the United States in 1871 during the first premiership of William Gladstone and the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant.

The British high commissioners to the Treaty of Washington of 1871.
Standing: L. to R.: Lord Tenterden, Sir John A. Macdonald, Mountague Bernard.
Seated: L. to R.: Sir Stafford Northcote, Earl de Grey & Ripon, Sir Edward Thornton.
The American High Commissioners to the Treaty of Washington. U.S. Secretary of State Hamilton Fish served as chairman. Standing: L. to R.: Ebenezer R. Hoar, George Henry Williams, Bancroft Davis. Seated: L. to R.: Robert C. Schenck, Sec. Hamilton Fish, Samuel Nelson. Brady – 1871
John Bull (United Kingdom) is dwarfed by a gigantic inflated American "Alabama Claim" cartoon in Punch--or the London Charivari 22 Jan 1872.

It settled various disputes between the countries, including the Alabama Claims for damages to American shipping caused by British-built warships, as well as illegal fishing in Canadian waters and British civilian losses in the American Civil War.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Sovereign state that existed between 1801 and 1922.

Sovereign state that existed between 1801 and 1922.

The United Kingdom in 1914
The signing of the Treaty of Ghent ending the war with the United States (by Amédée Forestier, c. 1915)
The Peterloo Massacre of 1819 resulted in 18 deaths and several hundred injured.
A painting by James Pollard showing the Trafalgar Square before the erection of Nelson's Column
Opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830
A painting by George Hayter that commemorates the passing of the Reform Act of 1832. It depicts the first session of the newly reformed House of Commons on 5 February 1833. In the foreground, the leading statesmen from the Lords: Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764–1845), William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (1779–1848) and the Whigs on the left; and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769–1852) and the Tories on the right.
Lord Palmerston addressing the House of Commons during the debates on the Treaty of France, February 1860
Jeremy Bentham's panopticon prison (1791 drawing by Willey Reveley)
Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901 (1882 photograph)
The British Empire in 1910
Benjamin Disraeli
Lobby card, 1929
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Men of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment following up the Germans near Brie, March 1917
The Irish Free State (red) in 1922
George V, the last British king to be styled as King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

The warships caused a major diplomatic row that was resolved in the Alabama Claims in 1872, in the Americans' favour by payment of reparations.

Lord Palmerston

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

British statesman who was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century.

British statesman who was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century.

Lord Palmerston
Temple (age 18) in 1802, by Thomas Heaphy
The British Empire at the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815
Statue of Palmerston in Parliament Square, London, by Thomas Woolner
Statue of Palmerston in Southampton
Palmerston (age 50s), c. 1830s–1840s
British bombardment of Canton from the surrounding heights, May 1841
Portrait of Emily Lamb, then Countess Cowper, by William Owen, ca. 1810.
Palmerston, c. 1845
Battle of Inkerman, November 1854
Lord Palmerston, c. 1855 by Francis Cruikshank
Original engraving by D.J. Pound, from a photograph by Mayall, the Right Honourable Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B. K.G., Prime Minister. From the "Supplement to the Illustrated News of the World" ca 1855–58.
Lord Palmerston Addressing the House of Commons During the Debates on the Treaty of France in February 1860, as painted by John Phillip (1863)
Palmerston, Lord Russell and Prince Albert looking on as Queen Victoria presents a Bible to an African ruler who is bowing down before her.
Carte de visite depicting Palmerston, 1863
Palmerston's Memorial in Southampton
Palmerston addressing the House of Commons
Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

This was the basis of the postwar Alabama claims for damages against Britain, which Palmerston refused to pay.

Charles Sumner

American statesman and United States Senator from Massachusetts.

American statesman and United States Senator from Massachusetts.

Birthplace, Irving Street, Beacon Hill, Boston
An 1842 bust of Charles Sumner by Thomas Crawford
Sumner ca. 1850
Lithograph of Preston Brooks' 1856 attack on Sumner; the artist depicts the faceless assailant bludgeoning the learned martyr
The walking cane used to attack Charles Sumner on exhibit at the Old State House in Boston
1860 steel-engraved portrait of Sumner
Senator Sumner and his friend Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, photograph by Gardner, 1863
Sumner ca. 1865, by Brady
Sumner puts head in British lion's mouth—Harper's Weekly, 1872
President Ulysses S. Grant The Dominican Republic annexation treaty caused bitter contention between President Grant and Sen. Sumner. —Brady 1869
Sumner in later years
Death of Sumner
Charles Sumner House, Boston
Statue by Anne Whitney in Harvard Square

At the Geneva arbitration conference which settled U.S. claims against Britain, the panel of arbitrators refused to consider those "constructive" or "national claims."

Cobden c. early 1860s

Richard Cobden

English Radical and Liberal politician, manufacturer, and a campaigner for free trade and peace.

English Radical and Liberal politician, manufacturer, and a campaigner for free trade and peace.

Cobden c. early 1860s
Richard Cobden wearing an Ambassodors badge reading "La Loi", The Law. Painted by Ary Scheffer
Cobden's Manchester home on Quay Street.
Statue of Richard Cobden outside St Ann's Church, Manchester
Statue of Richard Cobden in Camden
Meeting of the Anti-Corn Law League in Exeter Hall in 1846
Sunderland Lustreware "splash" plaque.
Cobden's grave in West Lavington churchyard in West Sussex

When relations with the United States were becoming critical and menacing in consequence of the depredations committed on American commerce by vessels issuing from British ports, actions that would lead to the post-war Alabama Claims, he brought the question before the House of Commons in a series of speeches of rare clearness and force.