THE CLIPPER SHIP STAGHOUND, Capt. Richardson, on the passage from New York to San Francisco, about 6 A.M. on the 2d of March, in latitude 20 25 S., longitude 38 29 W., fell in with a boat containing twelve persons, who were immediately taken on board. They were the captain and crew of the Russian brig La Sylphide, which was bound from Rio Janeiro for Helsingford [Helsingfors], with coffee. Three days before, she was capsized by a squall, and sunk so rapidly that the crew had barely time to escape in the boat, without food or water. One of their number, who was below, sick, went down in the vessel. The survivors had been three days in the boat, and were half naked and almost famished when picked up. Capt. Richardson supplied them with clothing, and every other necessary, and had the pleasure of soon seeing them restored to their wonted health. They were landed at Valparaiso, where the Russian Consul offered to defray their expenses, but Captain Richardson, in accordance with the instructions of his owners, in such cases -- "relieve the shipwrecked without charge" -- very properly refused remuneration. These facts were communicated to the Emperor of Russia, who directed his Minister at Washington to "convey his thanks to Capt. Richardson," in the following letter, which was addressed to Mr. Webster, Secretary of State, and by him transmitted to Capt. Richardson. The Staghound is owned by Messrs. George B. Upton and Sampson & Tappan, of this city; and we know their captain's conduct meets their cordial approbation:
WASHINGTON, Dec. 29th, 1851.
Mr. Secretary of State:
A Russian vessel, La Sylphide, Captain Sundström, was wrecked on the coast of Brazil, in the course of last spring. The captain and eleven sailors appertaining to the crew, having taken refuge in a frail boat, without water and without means of subsistence, remained for three days in a most dreadful position; and it was when they had reached the culminating point of their sufferings, that they were met by an American vessel, called the Staghound. Captain Richardson, who was in command of said vessel, hastened to pick up these shipwrecked persons, and supplied with whatever clothing they wanted. He fed them on board hid vessel during six weeks, and after landing them at Valparaiso, Captain Richardson positively refused to receive any pecuniary compensation whatever. The particulars of this act of humanity and disinterestedness have been communicated to the Emperor, and His Imperial Majesty has been pleased to authorize me, Mr. Secretary of State, to convey his thanks to Captain Richardson, as well as express his gratitude to that officer, for the promptness with which he hastened to save and to take care of these Russian sailors.
Having no knowledge of the place of residence of Captain Richardson, I venture to ask, Mr. Secretary of State, that you will make such enquiries as may be within your reach, on the subject, and that you will cause to be forwarded to that brave sailor this mark of the kind appreciation which His Imperial Majesty entertains of an act which reflects so much honor on the merchant marine of the Union.
Be pleased to accept, Mr. Secretary of State, the assurances of my high consideration.
A. DE BODISCO.
The Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER,
Secretary of State, &c.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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