The New Student's Reference Work/Alabama Claim, The

Alabama Claim, The. The Alabama was a cruiser which was built in a British port for the use of the Confederacy in destroying the commerce of the northern states during the Civil War. Against the protests of Mr. Charles Francis Adams, the American minister to Great Britain, the Alabama was permitted to sail from the latter country in 1862. For three years she did much harm to the shipping of the United States, but she was at last defeated and sunk off the northern shore of France (June 19, 1864) by the Kearsarge, under the command of Captain Winslow. The United States presented its claims for damages to Great Britain. In 1871 it was decided by a treaty between the two countries to submit all claims for damages done by the Alabama and other vessels to a tribunal of five persons, who were to be named by the President of the United States, the Queen of England, the King of Italy, the President of the Swiss Confederation and the Emperor of Brazil. In 1872 this court awarded $15,500,000 to the United States. Because the tribunal met in Geneva, Switzerland, its verdict is often called the Geneva Award.