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the island should be declared free and independent of Denmark, but only in suspension, until his Majesty's pleasure could be known. I have in no other respect interfered in the government here, farther than in protecting our property and persons. It has also been impossible for me to transmit an account of these transactions before to England, as there have been no vessels fit for the navigation of these seas; of which you can easily assure yourself. You will find, Sir, that there are two parties in this island; the Danish party and the Icelandic, or English, party. I hope I have listened to and favored that party which will be most approved of by his Majesty's ministers; but, if it should not prove to be so, I have erred unintentionally.
I have the honor to be,
SAMUEL PHELPS. To the Honorable Alexander Jones,
Captain of His Majesty's Ship
COPY OF A LETTER FROM THE HONORABLE CAPTAIN JONES TO
REAR-ADMIRAL SIR EDWARD NEAGLE, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, &c., &c., &c.
His Majesty's Sloop, Talbot, Reikevig Bay,
Iceland, August 23rd, 1809. Sir, I have to acquaint you that, owing to extremely bad weather, I had no communication with this island until the 5th of August, when I anchored for a few hours in Oreback Bay. I was there informed that there were three English vessels at this place and that an English merchant had become governor of the island. On the 8th I anchored in Havnfiord Bay to water, when I learned that Mr. Phelps, an English merchant, and the owner of the Margaret and Anne letter of marque, had made Count Tramp, the Danish governor of the island, prisoner, and that Mr. Jorgensen (a Danish gentleman brought from England by Mr. Phelps) had taken upon him the government of the island; but that it was not satisfactory
to the inhabitants, in consequence of his former situations in life. I came here on the 14th from Havnfiord, for the purpose of being better informed upon this subject, as well as for the sake of repairing my rigging. On entering the harbor I found at anchor the Margaret and Anne privateer with two or three other vessels, and saw a blue flag, with three white fish in the upper quarter, flying over the town: this I was told was the new Iceland colors. Count Tramp, who was a prisoner on board the privateer, requested to have an interview with me, during which he stated that he had been extremely il] used, and in a manner that was contrary to the laws of nations ; that Mr. Jorgensen was a traitor to his own country (Denmark); that he had first served Great Britain ; then fought against it; and was now, by hoisting the above-mentioned flag, and by declaring the island free, neutral, and independent, and at peace with all nations, acting in rebellion to both. I therefore thought it necessary to inquire of Mr. Phelps by what authority he acted. Thạt gentleman having first declined to give any explanation to me, and after
wards sent me the enclosed written statement of his transactions, together with my being informed by Mr. Jorgensen himself that he had been an apprentice on board an English collier, served as a midshipman in the English navy, then commanded the Admiral Juul Danish privateer, which was captured by his Majesty's sloop Sappho, that he was not exchanged, neither had he signed any parole of honor as a prisoner of war, but was set at liberty in London without any written documents: all these circumstances considered, I deemed it my duty to prevent his being left alone on the island at the head of a government of his own formation, and have consequently taken those steps to obviate it, which to the best of my opinion and that of my officers would be right and most approved of by government. Enclosed I send copies of my answer and order to Mr. Phelps, in consequence of the before-mentioned statement, also every other document in my power to obtain, hoping they will give every information and explanation necessary on the subject. Not considering myself authorised to interfere with the imprisonment of Count Tramp, nor thinking it would be proper under the present circumstances to hoist the British colors on the island without first informing you ; at the request of Mr. Phelps, I have restored the former government to the two men next in rank on the island to Count Tramp. In order to secure the quick and safe delivery of this intelligence, I have sent in the Margaret and Anne Lieutenant Stewart of his Majesty's ship under my command, who is acquainted with all the circumstances, and charged with the delivery of the new Icelandic flag to you.
I have the honor to be,
N° 9. COPY OF AN AGREEMENT Between His Royal Danish Majesty's Counsellor of State and Chief Justice of Iceland, and His Danish Majesty's Bailiff in the Western County of the said Island on the