Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies: Ser. II, Vol. 2, Ch 2.
Home Store Products Research Design Strategy Support New
 Research US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. II, Vol. 2, Ch 2.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

SERIES II, VOL II.
TREATMENT OF SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS NORTH AND SOUTH.
–––
INDIVIDUAL CASES–UNION.

–––

SUMMARY OF PRINCIPAL EVENTS.

Apr.27, 1861.–President Lincoln authorizes Lieut. Gen. Winfield Scott, U. S. Army, to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in his discretion on any military line between Washington and Philadelphia.
June28, 1861.–Capture of the steam-boat Saint Nicholas in Chesapeake Bay by a party of disguised laboring men under command of Richard Thomas Zarvona.
July8, 1861.–Arrest of Richard Thomas Zarvona, a Virginia officer, for piracy in Chesapeake Bay.
12, 1861.–The House of Representatives asks the Attorney-General to lay before it a copy of his opinion on the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and copies of executive orders authorizing its suspension by military commanders.
18, 1861.–The Secretary of State transmits to the House copies of said executive orders.
The Attorney-General transmits to the House a copy of his opinion.
21, 1861.–Congressman Ely, of New York, captured on the Bull Run battlefield by the Confederates.
23, 1861.–Hon. Arnold Harris, of Kentucky, arrested at Fairfax Court-House, Va., and sent to Richmond.
Aug.8, 1861.–An act of the Confederate Congress defining alien enemies approved by the President.
12, 1861.–Arrest of Hon. Charles J. Faulkner, the American minister to France. He is sent to Fort Lafayette.
14, 1861.–President Davis issues a proclamation warning alien enemies to leave the Confederate States.
19, 1861.–Arrest of M. Louis de Bebian, a French citizen.
Arrest of William Henry Hurlbert at Atlanta, Ga., and confinement in a Richmond prison.
25, 1861.–Arrest of Hon. James G. Berret, mayor of Washington.
27, 1861.–Lieutenant-General Scott, U. S. Army, directs Lieut. Col. M. Burke, U. S. Army, commander of Forts Hamilton and Lafayette, to allow no writs to be served on him for prisoners under his charge.
Sept.12-14, 1861.–Arrest of the brothers Charles H. and William H. Winder.
11, 1861.–Arrest of Hon. James W. Wall, of New Jersey.
12-14, 1861.–Arrest of W. W. Glenn, F. Key Howard, Thomas W. Hall and S. S. Mills, Baltimore newspaper editors.
13, 1861.–Arrest of Hon. Henry May, a member of Congress from Maryland.
24, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Robert Anderson, U. S. Army, makes important political arrests in Kentucky. Other arrests follow by Brig. Gen. William Nelson, U. S. Army.
Oct.6, 1861.–Lord Lyons, the British minister, writes the Secretary of State protesting against the alleged cruel treatment of British seamen captured on blockade-runners. {p.2}
11, 1861.–The Secretary of State, Hon. William H. Seward, replies to Lord Lyons, transmitting a letter of explanation from the Secretary of the Navy.
Arrest of J. R. and F. D. Flanders, editors at Malone, N. Y., for disloyal utterances.
14, 1861.–The President authorizes the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus on any military line between Washington and Bangor, Me.
26, 1861.–The General-in-Chief directs the transfer of the political prisoners in New York Harbor to Fort Warren, Boston Harbor.
Nov.8, 1861.–The Confederate Commissioners, James M. Mason and John Slidell, arrested by Capt. Charles Wilkes, U. S. Navy.
15, 1861.–Brig. Gen. E. V. Sumner, U. S. Army, arrests William M. Gwin, Calhoun Benham and J. L. Brent, of California.
Feb.14, 1862.–President Lincoln issues Executive Order, No. 1, transferring the power to make extraordinary arrests from the State to the War Department.
27, 1862.–Secretary Stanton appoints Maj. Gen. John A. Dix, U. S. Army, and Hon. Edwards Pierrepont a special commission to examine state prisoners.

CONTENTS.

Case of Richard H. Alvey.349
Case of John S. Emerson.354
Case of Edward Seymour Ruggles.358
Cases of Messrs. Hitchcock, Burson and Nettleton.368
Case of Richard Thomas (Zarvona).379
Case of Purcell M. Quillen.415
Case of Austin B. Smith.424
Case of Louis de Bebian.432
Case of John Williams, jr.456
Case of Charles J. Faulkner.463
Case of Thomas S. Serrill.480
Case of Charles Kopperl.485
Case of the National Zeitung Newspaper.493
Case of Pierce Butler.505
Case of John Garnett Guthrey.509
Case of George Miles.531
Case of Charles Barkley and the Schooner H. Middleton.544
Case of Jerome R. Barber.555
Cases of Mrs. Greenhow and Messrs. Walker and Van Camp.561
Case of Daniel C. Lowber.578
Case of Mayor Berret, of Washington.596
Case of Robert Tansill, Captain of Marines.599
Case of Samuel J. Anderson.602
Case of Ellis B. Schnabel.620
Case of William Patrick and J. C. Rahming.627
Case of Benjamin F. Grove.635
Case of Robert Mure.643
Case of Henry A. Reeves.665
Case of Cyrus F. Sargent673
Case of Algernon S. Sullivan.682
Case of Robert Elliot.688
Case of Edward B. Wilder.693
Case of George L. Bowne.703
Case of John C. Brain.711
Cases of Charles H. and William X. Winder.721
Case of lames L. Pruett.747
Case of Messrs. Millner, Walker, Burton and Corlies749
Case of Marcus Cicero Stanley.766
Case of James W. Wall.771
Case of Howard and Glenn, of the Baltimore Exchange Newspaper.778
Case of Thomas W. Hall, Jr., and S. S. Mills, of The South Newspaper.787
Case of Henry May, a Member of Congress.790
Case of Daniel Cory.801
Case of Benjamin F. Longley.802
Case of James A. McMaster.802
Case of Mrs. Elizabeth K. Baldwin.805
Case of Charles S. Morehead, Reuben T. Durrett and M. W. Barr.805
Cases of Messrs. Gilchrist, Haig and Wyatt.829
Cases of Messrs. Harbin, Watkinses, Jones, Dents and Others.857
Case of Henry E. Johnston.881
Cases of Messrs. Clay, Kearny, Grubbs and others.881
Case of John C. Stovin.897
Cases of J. H. Maddox and Thomas H. Maddox.904
Case of William F. Getty.905
Case of William H. Aymar.909
Cases of Richard H. Stanton and others.913
Case of Capt. Michael Berry.933
Case of E. B. Grayson.937
Case of the Flanders Brothers.938
Cases of James McKay and the Crew of the Steamer Salvor.956
Case of John G. Shaver.982
Case of Gwin, Benham and Brent1009
Military Surveillance of Judge William M. Merrick.1021
Case of John F. Parr.1023
Case of Messrs. Posey and Linton.1027
Case of Robert S. Bunker.1031
Cases of Andrew Low, Mrs. John Low and Charles Green.1031
Case of Matthew F. and Rutson Maury, Jr.1041
{p.349}

–––

Case of Richard H. Alvey.

The first known of this person [Richard H. Alvey] at the Department of State was by a letter from him dated Fort Warren, November 5, 1861, in which he states that he was arrested in his office at Hagerstown, Md., and committed to Fort McHenry about the 18th of June last and has been detained there and at Fort Lafayette and Fort Warren ever since. He asked his release on grounds of humanity, but as he made no allegations of loyalty inquiry was made which resulted in his being offered his release on the 18th of December, 1861, upon condition of his taking the oath of allegiance. This he refused making objection to the form of the oath tendered him. Finally, however, he was released on taking an oath of allegiance in a different form and giving his parole not to commit any act of hostility against the Government nor to go into any seceded State during the war nor to communicate with any person in any such State and to report himself at any place of confinement or imprisonment when required so to do. This release was made on the 6th day of January, 1862.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, August 8, 1861.

[Hon. JOHN THOMPSON MASON.]

DEAR JUDGE: I wrote to you immediately upon my arrival here, but as all letters and correspondence written and received here are subjected to the inspection of the commanding officer and as he informed us that all our letters had been forwarded to headquarters of the Army I take it for granted you have not received it as you make no mention of it in the two favors received here from you.

I am under many obligations to you for your kind interposition and I sincerely hope that by a renewal of your efforts at Washington you will be able to accomplish my release from this place. You may be sure that nothing would conduce so much to my comfort and relief. I am greatly surprised that there should be any difficulty in getting a copy of the paper mentioned in your letters. The report was certainly made as I was informed by several parties. Nor can I see the sense or reason for the delay. I hope Doctor Wharton may be able to procure the paper or a letter from Mr. Addison, such as seems to be required at Washington. I think surely that the Government will not {p.350} persist in detaining me here when it is fully assured by its own officials after an examination such as has been made that there is no case against me sustainable by the Constitution and laws of the land.

We are all well, and Messrs. Howard, Gatchell and Davis desire to be kindly remembered to you. If you have an opportunity please see Judge Bartol or Mr. Dobbin, either of whom will I am sure see Mr. Addison in regard to the matter and procure from him whatever statement he is willing to make with reference to the examination of the case. I wrote to Brent the day after my arrival here but I suppose he has not received the letter. My kindest regards to Mrs. Mason and all your family, and hoping soon to see you all,

I remain, yours, very truly,

R. H. ALVEY.

P. S.-Direct your communications to me in care of Lieutenant Wood at this fort. Colonel Burke is commanding the post including both forts, Hamilton and this, but Lieutenant Wood is in command at this fort.

R. H. A.

–––

WASHINGTON, September 2, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

DEAR SIR: I take the liberty of presenting the bearer the Hon. John Thompson Mason, of Maryland, who desires to make some explanations respecting Mr. Alvey. Mr. Alvey was arrested some time since at Frederick and Judge Mason thinks has been detained from oversight.

I hope you will be able to give him a hearing. Yours, truly,

M. BLAIR.

–––

FORT WARREN, November 5, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have been a prisoner kept in confinement since about the 18th of June last. I was arrested in my office at Hagerstown, Md., and have been detained in the several forts of McHenry, Lafayette and this (Warren) ever since. Immediately upon my arrest I requested and urged a speedy investigation but though two several grand juries have sat in the Maryland district since the arrest no action has been had that I am aware of. The imprisonment has not only been exceedingly onerous to me personally but has in a great measure effected ruinous consequences to my family, they being entirely dependent upon my professional labors which have not only been suspended but my business itself mainly destroyed and lost. I write now simply to ask of you that you will order my release. If the Government entertaining any suspicion or apprehension of hostile purposes on my part shall exact as a condition of my release any guaranty I would be willing to give my parole to commit no act of hostility, or to enter into a recognizance to appear in the proper court to answer any accusation that may be preferred against me.

Hoping that your determination may be favorable to my request, am your obedient servant,

R. H. ALVEY.

{p.351}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 7, 1861.

RICHARD BATES, Esq., Chief Clerk, Attorney. General’s Office.

SIR: The Secretary of State directs me to refer to your office the accompanying letter* to him of the 30th ultimo from William Schley, of Baltimore, and the letter to that gentleman from the U. S. attorney there, and to remark that as the Mr. Alvey referred to is understood to have been arrested by judicial process the expediency of his discharge is most properly a question for the decision of the Attorney General.

I am, your obedient servant,

W. HUNTER, Chief Clerk.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 10, 1861.

Maj. Gen. JOHN A. Dix, Baltimore.

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith for your information some papers* relative to Richard H. Alvey, a Maryland prisoner at Fort Warren. Will you have the kindness to examine and return them to me with any additional information in your possession and with such suggestions as you may have to make?

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* See preceding correspondence.

–––

ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S OFFICE, December 11, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF STATE.

SIR: In consequence of a conversation (last Friday I think) at council about the imprisonment of Richard H. Alvey, of Baltimore, I understood you to say that Alvey was in judicial arrest and that he was subject to be disposed of by the judicial authority. Consequently I wrote to the district attorney at Baltimore whose answer I transmit herewith for your inspection. If he is not held as a political prisoner I think he had better be discharged.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD BATES.

[Inclosure.]

OFFICE OF U. S. ATTORNEY, Baltimore, December 9, 1861.

Hon. EDWARD BATES, Attorney-General, Washington.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant in regard to the case of Mr. Richard H. Alvey. It was written evidently under the impression that Mr. Alvey is a prisoner in this State and under the control of the civil authorities. Mr. Alvey is a prisoner in Fort Warren, in Massachusetts, where I apprehend my orders would not be respected. In the exercise of the discretion which you invest me with I should were he here instantly order his discharge, and if it was the purpose of your Department to give me authority in the premises I beg that this letter may be considered as an order to that {p.352} effect. I am acquainted with no facts warranting his further detention. On the contrary I believe that justice to the prisoner and the honor of the Government alike demand his immediate release.

I am, sir, most respectfully, yours,

WM. MEADE ADDISON, U. S. Attorney.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 13, 1861.

Lieut. Col. JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren.

SIR: Let Richard H. Alvey, a prisoner confined in Fort Warren, be released on taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States stipulating that he will neither enter into any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the United States Government nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those States without permission from the Secretary of State; and also that he will not do anything hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. I transmit this order to John S. Keyes, esq., U. S. marshal, who has been instructed by this Department to cause a police examination to be made in some cases of the persons and baggage of prisoners discharged from custody to the end that no correspondence or other improper papers be conveyed by them to persons outside the fort.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, December 14, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: In response to your letter of the 10th instant ... I know nothing of Richard H. Alvey. He was sent here from the Upper Potomac. I respectfully suggest that persons who have been long in confinement without specific charges against them should be released on taking the oath of allegiance. This it is supposed is such a case. The papers in his case are herewith returned.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

–––

FORT WARREN, Boston Harbor, December 19, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: After an imprisonment of six months (since 18th of June last) I was yesterday offered release upon terms of taking an oath of allegiance and stipulating to observe certain other conditions. I extremely regret that the terms of the tendered release were such as I could not accept consistently with self respect and a proper regard for the opinion of those with whom I live and am accustomed to associate. However willing and ready I may be upon all lawful occasions to take an oath of allegiance to the Government (and I hold myself ready upon all such occasions) I cannot reconcile it to my own self-respect to become the especial object of tests that are not prescribed to all others bearing the same relation to the Government as myself (that of a mere private citizen) nor justified by any law of the land. The oath of allegiance proposed {p.353} has never been by any legal authority as you are aware directed or authorized to be administered to the citizen as such, but prescribed only and exclusively to a certain class of employés of the Government. This oath then when proposed to me is entirely extra-judicial and subjects me to a test to which other citizens are exempt and in my conscientious view of the matter can only tend to degrade and humiliate me in the estimation of myself and others whose good opinion I value and esteem.

If the oath were prescribed by any law of the land to the citizens generally or any occasion offered when it was lawful to administer it I should not hesitate about it or in the least object to it, but the objection now is that it was not intended to apply to me or to any other private citizen, and in submitting to its illegal administration I should humiliate myself and forfeit the good opinion of mankind. This feeling though it may not be predicated upon the same reasoning that you would suggest yet being sincerely and conscientiously entertained I hope will be appreciated. I have deemed it proper that I should thus state the reason for declining the terms of the tendered release. If conditions be exacted of me I am willing to give any proper parole such as to commit no act hostile to the Government and not to go into the seceded States or communicate with persons therein. This I feel justified in offering because of the great necessity for my being out of prison to attend to the wants of my family and the requirements of my business. I must therefore again request that you will order my release without the condition of taking the oath.

I am, your obedient servant,

R. H. ALVEY.

–––

WASHINGTON, December 27, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Esq., Assistant Secretary of State.

MY DEAR SIR: It seems that Alvey has felt obliged to reject the liberty offered to him because of the oath required. It is very silly of him I think, and proceeds entirely from the sensitiveness which he has for the ridicule attached to it by still more silly people. I do not see the difference between that which I herewith inclose* and that proposed by the Department and yet he is willing to take this and not that. I would be glad if the Secretary would indulge him in his preference and let him return to his family which really needs his attention.

Yours, truly,

M. BLAIR.

* Omitted here. See p. 354 for oath finally taken by Alvey.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 31, 1861.

Hon. MONTGOMERY BLAIR, Postmaster-General.

SIR: Your letter of the 27th instant with its inclosure has been received. Colonel Dimick has been directed to release R. H. Alvey, a prisoner confined in Fort Warren, on his taking the oath in the form inclosed by you.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

{p.354}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 31, 1861.

Col. JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren, Boston.

SIR: Let R. H. Alvey, a prisoner confined in Fort Warren, be released on taking an oath that he will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and commit no act of hostility against the Government thereof, and that during the continuance of the present war he will not go into any of the seceded States or hold any communication with persons therein; and further that he will hold himself in readiness to return to any place of confinement or imprisonment at any moment he may be required so to do by the Government of the United States or by any of its properly constituted officers.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

FORT WARREN, Boston Harbor, January 6, 1862.

I, R. H. Alvey, a prisoner confined in Fort Warren, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and that I will not commit any act of hostility against the Government thereof, and that during the continuance of the present war I will not go into any of the seceded States or hold any communication with persons therein; and further that I will hold myself in readiness to return to any place of confinement or imprisonment at any moment I may be required so to do by the Government of the United States or by any of its properly constituted officers. So help me God.

R. H. ALVEY.

Sworn to and subscribed before me at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, Mass., this the 6th day of January, A. D. 1862.

J. DIMICK, Colonel First Artillery and Brevet Colonel, Commanding Post.

–––

Case of John S. Emerson.

John S. Emerson was arrested by Lieut. C. H. Shepard, provost-marshal of Alexandria, and committed to the city jail, Washington, by order of General Mansfield June 23, 1861. Emerson was formerly from Memphis where he was employed as steam-boat captain on the western and Mississippi rivers. He left there in May and came to Alexandria, passing himself off as Lieutenant Hill, of the Sixth Massachusetts, and claimed to have been wounded while passing through Baltimore with that regiment. He mingled with the officers and men, talking with the sentinels, and seemed desirous of ascertaining the position and strength of the Union forces in and about Alexandria. His conduct was so suspicions that he was finally arrested as a spy and committed as stated above. He was released on taking the oath of allegiance October 17, 1861, by order of the Secretary of State.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 8, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON.

SIR: I have been confined in the jail of this city by order of General Mansfield over three months and I would respectfully appeal to you in {p.355} the name of law, justice and humanity to give me my discharge from this horrid place. I claim to be loyal to the Government having at no time said or done anything against the Constitution. True my residence has been in Virginia; I was born in Alexandria, Va., but have not been a resident of Virginia for twenty years. I have not been in Virginia for nearly six years up to the time of my arrest. My residence has been ever since I left Virginia South and West; my business that of steamboat officer and merchant. I never have given nor will I ever give any aid to the enemy or the Southern rebels. My situation is truly unpleasant and I am compelled from sickness and indisposition to request your favor in my case.

Most respectfully,

J. S. EMERSON.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 11, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: Herewith I inclose to you a communication from J. S. Emerson, a prisoner confined in this city. Will you have the goodness to examine his case and return to me with this inclosure your opinion thereon?

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

[Inclosure.]

WASHINGTON, D. C., JAIL, October 8, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

SIR: Permit me with all due respect to call your attention to my imprisonment in this jail by order of General Mansfield under the suspicion of being a spy or political prisoner. I have been confined here some three months, have never had any examination and do not know what is to be my lot. General Mansfield promised me nearly three months since to look into my case and thought it more than possible I would soon be released. The papers and matter of my arrest were laid before General Mansfield by Lieutenant Shepard, provost-marshal of Alexandria, by whom I was arrested, and up to this time nothing has been done in my case. I would be under many obligations if I can prevail on you to take my case into consideration and give me at least my doom.

Satisfied I am that I am no secessionist or disloyalist. I never have during this crisis said or done anything against this present administration. I am no politician, having at no time in my life ever took sides with either party. I never voted at a Presidential or municipal election in my life. I was born in the town of Alexandria, Va.; my parents and relatives reside there; I have not been a resident of Virginia for twenty years; have not been in Virginia for six years or thereabouts until last June; my residence has been South and West ever since I left Virginia; my business has been that of steam-boat officer and merchant.

I would respectfully ask you in the name of justice and humanity to look or cause to be looked into my case, for this place where I am now confined is horrible; the food of the jail is more than miserable; the stench of the place is horrible; the quarters where myself and eight other political prisoners are confined are upon the same floor and in {p.356} immediate connection with the quarters of the negroes, a part of whom are confined to their bed sick with various diseases. You will pardon this lengthy letter but I am compelled to seek your assistance. I claim to be loyal to the Government and would do anything in my power to crush this rebellion. My only apology for any seeming misconduct on my part subjecting me to incarceration must be that of too free use at the time of drink.

Most respectfully,

J. S. EMERSON.

–––

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., October 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: In the case of John S. Emerson, a prisoner committed to the city jail about the 2d of July last by order of General Mansfield on the charge of being a spy, I have the honor to report in obedience to your request that it appears from the statement of the prisoner and the meager papers in the case that he is a native of Alexandria, Va., where the most of his family connections reside; that he is about forty years of age; that he has for several years past followed the business of a steam-boat captain on Southern and Western rivers, principally the Mississippi; that he left Memphis in April last on account of the suspension of navigation by the national troubles and came on a visit to his friends in Alexandria, and that he was arrested by the provost-marshal there on the 24th of June on the charge of being a spy and sent to this city where he was committed to the jail where he is now confined by order of General Mansfield. The following is the record in the case, as per copy furnished by Justice Donn:

ALEXANDRIA, July 2, 1861.

Prisoner John S. Emerson (alias Lieutenant Hill) was arrested by myself on the supposition that he was a spy. He has been around the camps and inside the lines and made himself familiar with the officers and men and passed himself off as Lieutenant Hill, of the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, Company B, and that he was wounded at the fight in Baltimore at the time the regiment passed through there; and as there was no such officer in said company and he being a native of this place I arrested him June 24, and he has been in confinement since the time of his arrest. He made it a point to go around and converse with the sentinels and try to pick up all the information he could in relation to their numbers, names of regiments. &c.

C. H. SHEPARD, Lieutenant and Provost-Marshal.

[Indorsement.]

Mr. Justice Donn will commit this man as a spy for the present.

MANSFIELD, Brigadier-General, &c.

OCTOBER -, 1861.

The above is a true copy of papers in my possession in relation to the party now confined in Washington jail. I have written in connection with the case to Lieutenant Shepard put have heard nothing relative to the case.

THOMAS C. DONN, Justice of five Peace for Washington County, D. C.

Mr. Emerson says in his statement that he is Union in feeling; has never cast a vote for any one, having been constantly on the river and not having any permanent place of residence and consequently taking no interest in political matters; that he will take the oath of allegiance; that he does not wish to take any part in this contest; that he has no {p.357} family and doesn’t care which whips; that he left Memphis fearing that he might not be able to get away if he remained longer; that upon meeting with old acquaintances in Alexandria he got on a spree and might have made some remarks in the presence of the officers who were drinking with him that were offensive, that Lieutenant Shepard was around with him considerable and that he (Emerson) thinks he has suffered enough, having been in jail nearly four months without an examination. He also states that his health is suffering for the want of recreation and on account of the unhealthiness of his present quarters which latter state of affairs my operative (P. H. D.) fully certifies to.

Although a man who does not care which side whips in this contest is not exactly the man we would like to affiliate with these trying times still he has made the impression in our bureau that he would not be a dangerous man to set at large under the humanizing influence of the oath of allegiance. His palming himself off among the officers at Alexandria or being introduced by his comrades, in the language of his counsel, as a U. S. officer is represented by his counsel as a drunken joke incident to the spree that he was on.

I herewith inclose you the documents received from the State Department.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. J. ALLEN.

[Indorsement.]

I have reason to believe from the representations contained in the within report and from what other evidence I have been able to obtain that the arrest and committal of the within-named John S. Emerson grew out of indiscretions of his while in a state of intoxication without any real criminal intentions on his part, and I would respectfully recommend his discharge.

Very respectfully, &c.,

A. PORTER, Brigadier-General and Provost-Marshal.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington.

SIR: Let John S. Emerson, a prisoner confined in your custody, be released on taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States stipulating that he will neither enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the United States Government nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those States without permission from the Secretary of State; and also that he will not do anything hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. You will please make the stipulations a part of the oath.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

I, John S. Emerson, late of Memphis, Tenn., solemnly swear on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God without any mental reservation that I will at any and all times hereafter and under all circumstances yield a hearty and willing support to the Constitution of the United States and to the Government thereof; that I will not either directly or indirectly take up arms against the Government or aid those now in {p.358} arms against it; that I will neither enter any of the States now in insurrection against the authority of the Federal Government nor hold any correspondence whatsoever with them or any persons in them during the present rebellion without permission from the Secretary of State; that I will do no act hostile or injurious to the Union of the States; that I will give no aid, comfort or assistance to the enemies of the Government either foreign or domestic; that I will defend the flag of the United States and the armies fighting under it from insult and injury if in my power so to do and that I will in all things deport myself as a good and loyal citizen of the United States.

JOHN S. EMERSON, JR.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 17th day of October, 1861.

THOMAS C. DONN, Justice of the Peace for Washington County, D. C.

–––

Case of Edward Seymour Ruggles.

June 24, 1861, Edward S. Ruggles arrived at New York on the steamer Ariel from Aspinwall and was ordered to be arrested on suspicion of treason. Amos B. Corwine, U. S. consul at Panama, by letter dated June 14, 1861, and Daniel A. Robinson, jr., U. S. consul at Aspinwall, by letter dated June 15, 1861, denounced Ruggles as an agent of the rebels in their service on the Isthmus seeking information in regard to the shipments of treasure from California and the measures if any adopted to protect it and bearing dispatches to General [A. S.] Johnston and other military officers. After his arrest a letter was found in Ruggles’ possession from his father Daniel Ruggles, late a captain in the U. S. Army, now a general in the rebel service, showing that the prisoner had been at Montgomery in March and April, 1861, seeking an appointment in the marine service of the rebels; also a draft of an application for such appointment in his own handwriting. He also wrote and endeavored privately to send a letter to W. Preston Johnston, a known rebel at Louisville, Ky., speaking of his case as bad and urging that measures be taken to exchange him. On his examination Ruggles stated that his only mission to the Isthmus was to deliver a letter to the consul at Panama for General A. Sidney Johnston. On the 15th of July R. W. Shufeldt, U. S. consul-general at Havana wrote to the Department of State stating that in May preceding Ruggles called on him with a letter of introduction from J. P. Benjamin, late Senator from Louisiana, and left with him a letter to General A. Sidney Johnston addressed and sealed by the said J. P. Benjamin; that he was afterward led to suspect that Ruggles was an agent for the rebels, and on seeing a notice of his arrest in a New York paper he opened the letter so left in his charge and now incloses it to the State Department. The letter so transmitted proved to be from William Preston Johnston to his father General A. Sidney Johnston, dated Louisville, April 26, 1861. The writer informed his father that he had just been to Montgomery and had had an interview with the President and Secretary of War of the rebel Government and had become satisfied that his father would be second only to President Davis in rebel consideration and position. He urged his father to avoid all Northern ports and endeavor to get into New Orleans, and not to trust himself in the hands of a “perfidious and merciless enemy.” He informs him that he himself will probably be a major or lieutenant-colonel of volunteers in Kentucky, where he is raising men. From the evidence in the case it appears that Edward {p.359} S. Ruggles was at Montgomery in March and April, 1861, soliciting employment in the marine service of the insurgent Government-that in May following he was sent to Havana and the Isthmus of Panama to convey dispatches to General Johnston and other military officers to persuade them to enter the rebel service and to warn them against entering any port in the loyal States, and also to acquire information in relation to the shipments of treasure from California across the Isthmus and the provision if any for its protection; and that he executed this mission. The said Ruggles remained in custody at Fort Warren February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

PRIVATE.]

CONSULATE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Panama, June 14, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

RESPECTED SIR: I have he honor to advise that a person styling himself Edward S. Ruggles and a midshipman in the naval service of the United States presented himself at my consulate about a week since and deposited two letters with the following superscriptions upon then with the request that I should retain them until called for by the parties to whom they are addressed, viz: “General A. Sidney Johnston, Panama, Isthmus of Panama,” and “Lieut. E. P. Alexander, U. S. P[ioneers], probably in charge of company of sappers and miners en route from San Francisco, at Havana or Aspinwall; maybe without his company.” The first he said was from the wife of General Johnston, who was exceedingly anxious that her husband should receive it when he passed through this place en route for the United States. It appears that young Ruggles (he is a lad about eighteen years old) reached Aspinwall via Havana and Saint Thomas.

This fact and some expressions which he inadvertently made led to the suspicion that he was an emissary from the usurped Government of Montgomery sent to this Isthmus either to make overtures to the officers of the U. S. Army and Navy on the Pacific who were known to have resigned and were supposed to sympathize with the rebels, or else for the purpose of ascertaining what measures if any had been adopted to protect the treasure from California against seizure. He probably had both objects in view. At any rate the inquiries he made of a forward officer of the U. S. ship Saranac as to how long it would require to land a force from that vessel and dispatch it to Aspinwall in case of an emergency would seem to confirm the suspicion that one of the objects of his visit to this Isthmus was to procure information with regard to the movements of specie in transit from California to New York.

I made every effort to ascertain from him the object and nature of his visit without success. He prevaricated so much that it was impossible to elicit from him the truth. On referring to the Navy Register I found that he was among the officers who had resigned, and upon my calling his attention to the fact he said that he had tendered his resignation but that the Secretary of the Navy had refused to accept it on account of his father’s strong Union proclivities. I afterwards learned that his father at last accounts was in command of the rebel forces at Petersburg or Fredericksburg, Va.

{p.360}

Finding that I could get no satisfactory or truthful statement from him but still suspecting that he was in the interest of the so-called Confederate States I suggested to Capt. Robert Ritchie, commanding the U. S. steamer Saranac, that lie order the young man on board his ship, as he claimed to belong to the Navy, which that officer accordingly did when the fact was disclosed by the production of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy which he had about his person that his resignation had been accepted. He was then permitted to return on shore and the next day (10th instant) he proceeded to Aspinwall whence he sails for New York to-morrow as I learn from our consul at that port on board the steamship Ariel.

Since the departure for Aspinwall of Ruggles I have learned from my brother D. M. Corwine, agent of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company at this place, that General Johnston’s wife is now in California, having accompanied her husband to that State some months since via Panama, consequently the letter left at this consulate to the address of that officer could not have been written by that lady as alleged by Ruggles. Mr. Robinson, the consul at Aspinwall, informs me that he has taken measures to have him arrested immediately upon the arrival of the Ariel at New York as he thinks with me that Ruggles is a secret agent of the rebellious States and that his arrest in the United States may lead to the establishment of the fact.

There can be no doubt of the intentions of the rebels to seize the treasure from California and it is not unlikely that they will attempt it should a favorable opportunity offer outside the harbor of Aspinwall. This they could do with impunity as there is no armed vessel of the United States at that port at present except the store-ship Falmouth which is dismantled and unfit in her present condition for sea service. There are now in Aspinwall two gun-boats, English and French, but it is questionable whether they would render any assistance in case of our steamers being attacked by privateers since Great Britain is understood to have declared its purpose to recognize the rebellious States as belligerents entitled to all the rights of war. I respectfully suggest therefore that a vessel of war be dispatched to Aspinwall with as little delay as possible. A steam vessel would be much more effective than a sailing vessel.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

AMOS B. CORWINE.

–––

CONSULATE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Aspinwall, New Granada, June 15, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: I think it a matter of duty to inform the Department of the following facts: On or about the 7th instant a young gentleman entered this consulate and introduced himself as Mr. Ruggles, a midshipman in the U. S. Navy. He told me that he had been ordered to join the U. S. transport steamer Morgan at this port; that the Morgan was originally the Star of the West; that after her seizure by the rebels her name was changed to Sumter; that she was recaptured by the Crusader in the latter part of April and taken to Havana, Cuba, and her name was then changed to Morgan and had sailed from Havana for this port on the 5th of May; that she was to meet here General A. S. Johnston and his command from California and convey him to the {p.361} United States; that he (Ruggles) had been ordered to join the Morgan here and for that purpose went to Havana, thence to Saint Thomas and thence to this port by the steamer Solent, of the Royal Mail Packet Company’s line, which was certainly a very roundabout way to get here. In conversation with citizens here Ruggles expressed himself as strongly in favor of secession. He went from here to Panama and theme represented himself as a midshipman. Capt. Robert Ritchie, of the Saranac, met him when he told Captain Ritchie that he had been in the Navy but had resigned and produced a letter from the present Secretary of the Navy accepting his resignation. Ruggles made many inquiries from citizens here concerning the U. S. naval force at this port, also the amount of treasure usually carried on the California steamers. He goes to the United States in the steamer of to-day (the Ariel). His stories are not only improbable but to a great extent false. I regard him as a suspicious character, and believe the Government will be fully justified in detaining him and prevent his communicating to the secessionists the information which he has obtained here. The U. S. brig-of-war Bainbridge which I observe has been ordered here has not yet arrived. She is now twenty-five days out from Boston.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DANL. A. ROBINSON, JR., U. S. Consul.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, June 25, 1861.

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, Esq., U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

SIR: I am directed to forward you the accompanying copy of two letters addressed to this Department-one bearing date the 14th instant marked private from Amos B. Corwine, U. S. consul at Panama; the other of the 15th instant from Daniel A. Robinson, jr., U. S. consul at Aspinwall. Both of these communications relate to certain proceedings of Mr. Edward S. Ruggles, late a midshipman in the Navy, which indicate that he may have been in that quarter for treasonable purposes in the service of the insurgents in this country. As he is supposed to be now in New York and may continue his practices the expediency of arresting him for examination and prosecution is submitted for your consideration.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, June 27, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose for your consideration a letter* of the 25th instant and the papers to which it refers addressed to this Department by John A. Kennedy, superintendent of police at New York, relative to Edward S. Ruggles, late an active midshipman in the Navy of the United States. I will thank you to cause the papers to be preserved or to be returned-to this Department.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found.

{p.362}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, June 27, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: Your letter* of yesterday with the accompanying papers relative to Edward Seymour Ruggles has been received. Your course in the matter is approved and Ruggles will be detained for such further proceedings as upon consultation with Mr. E. Delafield Smith, the attorney of the United States for the southern district of New York, may be deemed advisable.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found, but obviously reporting the arrest of Ruggles.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, July 3, 1861.

Hon. JAMES BOWEN, Commissioner of Police, New York.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter* of yesterday with the accompanying copy of one from young Ruggles to William Preston Johnston, at Louisville, Ky. This may well be considered as confirming the suspicion as to his loyalty. It is proper that you should be informed that Colonel Scott or the principal officer of the U. S. Army at New York has authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus there should this be deemed necessary.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, July 3, 1861.

JOHN J. SPEED, Postmaster, Louisville, Ky.

SIR: A young man named Edward S. Ruggles, who was at the U. S. Naval Academy, but who for some cause left the service shortly before or after the 4th of March last, was recently at Panama and Aspinwall, at both of which places his conduct excited the suspicions of our consuls. They were induced to believe him to be an agent of the insurgents in this country sent thither to communicate with General Johnston, recently in command of U. S. forces on the Pacific coast. These suspicions having been made known to the police of New York Ruggles was arrested there a few days since on his return from Aspinwall and is now held in custody. Inclosed is a copy of a letter* of the 25th instant [ultimo] addressed by Ruggles to William Preston Johnston, Louisville. I will thank you to inform me who Mr. Johnston is and of any particulars concerning him which would enable me to determine the nature of his connection with Ruggles.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, July 17, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: Edward Seymour Ruggles has for some time past been in the custody of the superintendent of police at New York where he was arrested on his return from Aspinwall at the instance of the U. S. consul upon suspicion of having been employed for disloyal purposes. {p.363} I will thank you to cause him to be transferred to Governor’s Island or some other fort in that quarter. The superintendent of police has been instructed to deliver him to your order.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, July 17, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent Metropolitan Police, New York.

SIR: Lieutenant-General Scott has been requested to transfer Edward Seymour Ruggles to Governor’s Island or some other fort in that vicinity. You will please deliver him to the general’s order.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, July 17, 1861.

Col. C. F. SMITH, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Columbus, New York Harbor.

SIR: The Secretary of State having requested that Edward Seymour Ruggles now in custody by the superintendent of police in New York may be transferred to the care of the military authority the General-in-Chief directs that you receive him from the superintendent who has been instructed to deliver him on this order and confine him as in the case of Mr. Quillen.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Fort Columbus, N. Y., July 19, 1861.

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters of the Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Pursuant to the instructions of the General-in-Chief dated on the 17th instant I sent to the city of New York this morning and received from the superintendent of police as a prisoner Edward Seymour Ruggles. Shall I send him to Fort Lafayette?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. F. SMITH, Lieut. Col. Tenth Infantry and Brevet Colonel, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, July 20, 1861.

Col. C. F. SMITH, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Columbus, New York.

SIR: The General-in-Chief directs that ... Edward Seymour Ruggles, prisoner for political offenses, be sent to Fort Lafayette and reported to Lieutenant-Colonel Burke.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.364}

–––

FORT COLUMBUS, N. Y. July 24, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I understand that writs of habeas corpus will probably be served upon me in the case of ... Edward Seymour Ruggles, detained by me under the order of General Scott. It seems to me proper to ask instructions as to the course which it will be best for me to pursue in the event of the service of such writs.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, July 29, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, U. S. Army, Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor.

SIR: Your letter of the 24th instant has been received. Orders were sent you the 24th instant in case a writ of habeas corpus was served on you in the matter of Purcell M. Quillen to return upon it that you beg leave to decline obeying the writ at this time. The General-in-Chief directs that you make the same return in the case of Edward Seymour Ruggles.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, July 31, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: I inclose a copy of a private letter* to me from the U. S. consul at Panama and of the letters to which it refers relative to Edward Seymour Ruggles, who was arrested in New York and at the instance of this Department subsequently transferred to the custody of the military authorities in that quarter.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* See Corwine to Seward, June 14, p. 359.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, August 2, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, U. S. Army, Commanding, &c., Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

SIR: By direction of the General-in-Chief I inclose a copy of correspondence bearing on the case of Edward Seymour Ruggles, one of the political prisoners confined under your charge.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 14, 1862.

Col. JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren.

COLONEL: If you believe that Mr. E. S. Ruggles, a prisoner confined in Fort Warren, would observe his obligations you may release him from {p.365} custody on his giving his parole of honor that he will return and surrender himself to you within thirty days from the date of his release unless within twenty days Capt. Edward Taylor should be unconditionally released from the confinement in which he is now held at Richmond and sent within the lines of the U. S. forces, and that meanwhile he (Ruggles) will not do any act hostile to the Government of the United States or give any information calculated to aid the insurgents. You will at the same time deliver to him the inclosed passport enabling him to pass through the lines of the U. S. Army.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Fort Monroe, Va., January 23, 1862.

[Maj. Gen. B. HUGER, Commanding, Norfolk, Va.]

GENERAL: I send herewith by flag of truce Mr. B. S. Ruggles, who is desirous of proceeding South. I also forward a package of letters addressed South.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN E. WOOL, Major-General.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, February 15, 1862.

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

SIR: Herewith I have the honor to transmit an abstract of the proofs in the case of one Edward S. Ruggles, who is now a prisoner* at Fort Warren, Boston. It is respectfully recommended that he be tendered his release upon parole according to the terms of Executive Order, No. 1, of the War Department dated February 14, 1862. Will you have the kindness to retain this inclosure?

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Error; Ruggles had already been released on parole. See preceding correspondence.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, March 3, 1862.

Col. JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren, Boston Harbor.

COLONEL: You may release Edward S. Ruggles, a prisoner confined in Fort Warren, upon his giving his written parole of honor that he will render no aid or comfort to the enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

–––

CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

LOUISVILLE, KY., April 26, 1861.

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War of the Confederate States.

SIR: In accordance with your request I communicate to you on my return, as I can do so more fully and with less hazard than by telegraph. I inclose this to you in care of Mr. Edward Ruggles whom I regard as worthy of confidence. My father resigned April 9 and awaits orders from the United States Government. I have sent Mr. Ruggles to intercept {p.366} him on his return and warn him to avoid a Northern port. Your friendly advice is solicited for him on this mission. I saw Governor Magoffin to-day (I arrived last night) and he told me of his reply communicated to you by messenger. He is satisfied that any precipitate action on the part of our friends will react and damage us. The State is unarmed with a border of 700 miles exposed to a furious foe. That such is the case is the fault neither of the governor or of our party but of those false leaders and imbeciles who preferred party advantage to the safety of our Commonwealth. Our military organizations are being perfected but we are badly armed, and I regret to say that other companies are being enrolled hostile to the South and I fear equipped with Federal gold. The governor is trying, however, to intrust our State arms only with the loyal men. The Journal and Democrat are Lincoln papers. The sentiment of the Southern States’ rights men is opposed to taking action until Kentucky is armed and organized. I cannot say that my judgment disapproves of this however my heart may point. An unarmed people is a mob. Trust a little to time and be not distrustful of men who have so much at stake as the Kentucky patriots. Four hundred men left here yesterday for Virginia. I learn from Col. John S. Williams (known as Cerro Gordo Williams), lately a citizen of Southern Illinois, that he has been compelled to abandon his large estate there and that Kentuckians are no longer safe there. He has come home to excite our people to war.

The Saint Louis Arsenal has in it about 1,800 regulars, and some 8,000 Germans are armed and equipped in its immediate vicinity. Colonel Steuart date paymaster) is the authority for this. He also informs us that Cairo has a strong body of troops stationed there who compel all boats to round-to. The roads to Saint Louis are in the hands of the Illinois (Lincoln) volunteers. In consequence of this Major Clark remains here. We hope to have his assistance in organizing our artillery and ordnance here. In Nashville he was waited on by citizens for the same purpose. Tennessee will secede immediately. If I can be of service to the cause of Southern rights you can command,

Yours, with very great respect,

WILLIAM PRESTON JOHNSTON.

–––

RICHMOND, VA., July 2d, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Confederate States.

SIR: On or about the 1st instant according to current advices my son Edward S. Ruggles returning from California by a public steamer was treacherously pursued and on his arrival in New York arrested and detained under the instructions of Mr. William H. Seward, the Secretary of State of the Federal Government, and has been since then held in duress and cut off from all communication with his friends. My son is a youth of seventeen, of excellent repute, not in public employment and under the customs of war recognized by civilized nations could not be justly held in duress by any Government claiming to represent a free people realizing the ordinary impulses. As my son was an acting midshipman at the late Naval Academy, on political grounds] he resigned at the time of his departure for the Southern Confederacy. I respectfully ask that he may be restored to his home and his liberty by an early exchange or by the exercise of such remedial power as the President of the Confederate States may deem just and expedient.

I respectfully request prompt action in behalf of my son with the hope of removing him at an early moment from the baneful influences {p.367} by which he is surrounded under which his intellectual manhood, moral integrity and refined sense of honor as a mere youth are sensibly endangered.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DANIEL RUGGLES.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, Norfolk, Va., January 24, 1862.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR.

SIR: In a communication of this date I inclosed a letter of General Wool to myself dated 23d instant in which General W. makes no allusion to Mr. E. S. Ruggles being a prisoner of war. Mr. Ruggles has called and shown me a copy of his parole by which it appears he is released on parole for thirty days unless within that period Capt. Edward Taylor is released. General Wool’s letter was forwarded on the permit or passport of the Secretary of State in which he with his usual duplicity alludes to Mr. Ruggles as a citizen of the United States. Mr. Ruggles takes this up.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. HUGER, Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

FORT WARREN, Boston Harbor, January 20, 1862.

I, E. S. Ruggles, a prisoner at Fort Warren, do pledge my word of honor that I will proceed without any unreasonable delay to Fort Monroe, Va., and thence by flag of truce to Norfolk, and that I will do no act hostile to the United States nor convey any correspondence or information beneficial to the insurgents, and that I will return and surrender myself to the commanding officer at Fort Warren at the expiration of thirty days unless within twenty days Capt. Edward Taylor be unconditionally released and put at liberty at Fort Monroe, Va., in which event I may consider myself discharged from my parole.

E. S. RUGGLES, of Virginia.

–––

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, C. S. FORCES, Camp Benjamin, La., January 24, 1862.

General. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit an appointment for my son Edward S. Ruggles, now at Norfolk, Va., paroled for thirty days with the expectation of being exchanged for Capt. E. Taylor, with the urgent request that it shall receive immediate attention. The commission to which he will be entitled under this appointment will I trust remove any obstructions on the score of rank in effecting an exchange within twenty days and thus prevent his being forced back to prison at Fort Warren. I respectfully urge that his case shall receive your immediate attention and the fullest protection of his Government and that he may be ordered to join me without delay. The distance interposed between myself and son and the increasing responsibility of my present position alone prevent me from giving this matter which has been quite too long neglected my personal attention.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DANIEL RUGGLES, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

{p.368}

[Indorsement.]

ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, February 4, 1862.

Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War.

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

AMERICAN HOTEL, Richmond, January 25, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Confederate States.

SIR: By direction of the President I called on E. Taylor, a Federal prisoner here, who the President said would be discharged in exchange for me, ascertaining certain facts (already transmitted to the President) in regard to his position and standing.

By order I reported at his office and there learned that you were in private conversation with the President, therefore adopt this method of addressing you to ascertain if I can immediately (say to-morrow) depart for Norfolk in charge of E. Taylor, to proceed therefrom under a truce and be released from my parole, upon the consummation of which I can communicate to you the subject upon which I spoke at your office.

I would further request that Lieut. Louis Florance, of Louisiana Zouaves, may accompany me on said duty, he being on furlough at present from the Peninsula.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. S. RUGGLES.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, January 26, 1862.

Maj. Gen. BENJ. HUGER, Norfolk, Va.

SIR: ... Mr. Edward Taylor, of Cincinnati, will be sent you in exchange for Mr. E. S. Ruggles.

...

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

–––

Cases of Messrs. Hitchcock, Burson and Nettleton.

Thomas Hitchcock was arrested by an officer of General Smith’s brigade near the Chain Bridge in Virginia the 3d of July, 1861, and having been sent to Washington was committed by Justice Donn to the District Jail and from thence transferred November 1, 1861, by order of General Porter to the Old Capitol Prison. The charges against Hitchcock were that he had conveyed information to time rebel army; with having been guilty of shooting Federal pickets, and hunting up Union men and causing them to be driven from their homes. The testimony of various persons to the above charges against Hitchcock has been taken and is said to be on file in the office of Justice Donn, of Washington. The said Thomas Hitchcock was released November 25, 1861, by order of Brigadier-General Porter, provost-marshal of Washington, on taking the oath of allegiance.

...

{p.369}

John W. Burson was arrested in Washington September 11, 1861, and committed by Justice Donn to the District Jail and from thence was transferred November 1, 1861, to the Old Capitol Prison. The charges against Burson were that he was a spy, disloyal to the United States Government and in correspondence with persons in the rebel army. It appears from the evidence taken before Justice Donn that Burson was removed from the Navy Department where he had held a clerkship for his disloyal sentiments, and that he refused to take the oath of allegiance; also that he was writing constantly and in correspondence with the rebels. A number of letters were found upon Burson at the time of his arrest written by one B. F. Lum, formerly of Washington, who joined the rebel army. These letters prove that Burson was regarded by Lum as true to the rebel cause and that a constant communication was kept up between them. The letters and the evidence taken before Justice Donn are it is stated on file in the office of the provost-marshal of Washington. The said John W. Burson remained in custody at the Old Capitol February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.

...

Alfred Nettleton was arrested in Washington and September 11, 1861, was committed by Justice Donn to the district Jail and from thence was transferred November 1, 1861, by order of Brigadier-General Porter to the Old Capitol Prison. The charges against Nettleton were that he was a spy, disloyal to the United States Government and having aided and assisted one Lum to leave Washington for the purpose of joining the rebel army. It appears from the evidence taken before Justice Donn that Nettleton was removed from the Navy Department where he had been a messenger on account of his disloyal sentiments; that he was associated with one Burson, known to be in correspondence and sympathy with the secessionists and that he had been heard to say, “Damn the Union, the South will whip hell out of us.” In a letter written to J. W. Burson dated at Wethersfield, Conn., August 13, 1861, Nettleton says he was glad to hear that the Yankees got defeated at Bull Run; “it would have suited me if every mother’s son of them had been left dead on the battle-field;” that he is coming to Washington in the course of three weeks and perhaps may go farther South. The letter above referred to with others and other evidence against Nettleton are said to be on file in the office of the provost-marshal of Washington. The said Alfred Nettleton remained in custody in the Old Capitol Prison February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.-From Record Book. State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

Statement of Alfred Nettleton.

WASHINGTON, Monday, October 14, 1861.

I am thirty-nine years old; was born in Middle Haddam, Conn.; have no wife, but two children staying with my father in Hartford County. I was messenger in the Navy Department, Bureau of Construction, last Administration; resigned 20th of April fearing I would be removed and went home to my friends; remained until the fore part of September; returned here and was arrested the 11th of September charged with being in correspondence with the rebels; complaint made by one John {p.370} Hammond, a huckster in Northern Liberty Market, with whom I had some difficulty but to whom I never spoke as he is a contemptible loafer. I was always a strong Democrat and Hammond claimed to be for Lincoln. I never communicated any information to the rebels and it is the furthest from my intentions. I claim to be a Union man and will take the oath. Have never had an examination; have used every exertion to ascertain before whom I could be brought for an examination.

–––

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., October 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: Inclosed I hand you reports in the cases of John S. Emerson,* Alfred Nettleton, John W. Burson and Thomas Hitchcock, now confined in the city jail on suspicion of disloyalty to the Government. Emerson and Hitchcock have been there since about the 2d and 3d of July respectively and Nettleton and Burson since the 11th of September, all being unable to obtain an examination. I submit that they are entitled to an early hearing or more properly a discharge.

From information that I have of the sanitary condition of the place in which they are confirmed I further deem it my duty to suggest that if it should be thought best to keep them in confinement any longer they should at least be removed to more comfortable and healthy quarters, if there are any such belonging to the Government unoccupied. I was unable to find any papers on record in the cases of Nettleton, Burson and Hitchcock.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. J. ALLEN.

* See case of Emerson, p. 354 et seq.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., October 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that John W. Burson, a U. S. prisoner now confined in the city jail here, makes the following statement to an operative of mine detailed to examine him in prison. He states that he was born near Middleburg, Va.; that he is twenty-seven years of age; that he was lately a clerk in the Interior Department; that previous to getting the situation he resided at Belmont, Belmont County, Ohio; that he was in company with Mr. Nettleton and was arrested at the same time, September 11; that he has never been able to ascertain what the charge was against him; that he has never had an examination or been able to obtain one, and that he is a Union man and is perfectly willing to take the oath of allegiance.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. J. ALLEN.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., October 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that Thomas Hitchcock, a political prisoner confined in the city jail, states to one of my operatives detailed to examine him in prison that he lives near Vanderwerken’s, {p.371} two miles beyond the Chain Bridge on the Virginia side; that he was arrested on the 3d of July by Sergeant Preston; taken as he supposed to the camp of General Smith; kept until the 13th of July when he was brought to where he now is; that he was told he was arrested for giving information to the rebels; that he never did anything of the kind; that he is entirely blind in one eye and is unable to see out of the other at night; that he is a poor man and has a wife and two little children living in a log house and depending upon him for a support; that he has used every exertion in his power to obtain an examination but has been unable to do so; that he is willing to take the oath of allegiance, and that as he is for the Union and has been in jail over three months, he thinks his case is one of great hardship, in which sentiment I heartily concur.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. J. ALLEN.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., October 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report in the case of Alfred Nettleton confined in the city jail here since the 11th of September ultimo on a charge of being in correspondence with the rebels that he states to one of my operatives detailed to examine him in prison that he is thirty-nine years of age; that he was born in Middle Haddam, Conn.; that he has two children staying with his father in Hartford County; that he was a messenger in the Navy Department, Bureau of Construction, during the last Administration; that he resigned April 20 fearing he would be removed and went home to his friends where he remained until the fore part of September when he returned here and was arrested on the 11th of the month; that complaint was made by one John Hammond, a huckster in the Northern Liberty Market; that he was always a strong Democrat while Hammond claimed to be for Lincoln; that he never communicated any information to the rebels and that nothing could be further from his intentions; that he claims to be a Union man and is willing to take the oath of allegiance.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. J. ALLEN.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington.

SIR: Let Thomas Hitchcock, a prisoner confined in your custody, be released* on taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States stipulating that he will neither enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the United States Government nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those States without permission from the Secretary of State; and also that he will not do anything hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. You will please make the stipulations a part of the oath.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

[NOTE.-On the same day the same order was issued in the cases of Burson and Alfred Nettleton]

* But see Allen to Porter in the two following reports.

{p.372}

–––

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., October 21, 1861.

Brig. Gen. A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 15th of the present month I made and submitted to you a report in the case of Thomas Hitchcock, a political prisoner then and now confined in the city jail; that since the making of said report and in obedience to an order of yourself to me to execute an order of the Secretary of State dated October 16, 1861, and addressed to you I proceeded to the city jail of Washington, D. C., for the purpose of having said Hitchcock released from custody upon his taking the oath of allegiance; that upon arriving at said jail I was informed by the keeper of the jail, Mr. Wise, that according to his understanding of the evidence against Hitchcock there was good ground for holding him in custody still; that I went to the office of Justice Thomas C. Donn, the committing magistrate, and there found such evidence against Hitchcock as convinced me that he should not be discharged until I had further reported on the case to you. Accordingly I took the responsibility of leaving him still in the city jail. The following is a copy of a letter addressed to you by Justice Donn which, with the accompanying evidence, the substance of which I herewith embody, I received from said magistrate:

WASHINGTON, October 19, 1861.

Brigadier-General PORTER:

SIR: Inclosed you will find the testimony taken by me in the case of Hitchcock. There could have been other testimony adduced as I was then informed, but the country being in possession of the enemy where the scene was enacted and the man who was shot having left the Army and gone home, taking said testimony with the attending circumstances and his general character as detailed to me by others caused me to make a report to Brigadier-General Mansfield and subsequently to Colonel Hamilton that I thought he was a dangerous man and recommended his imprisonment. You can judge from the testimony whether his punishment has been sufficient or not.

Respectfully,

THOMAS C. DONN, Justice of the Peace for Washington County, D. C.

William H. Sherman (citizen) swears that up to the time of the vote when Virginia seceded from the Union he had always believed Hitchcock to be a Union man, but that at that election he voted for secession and has been a secessionist ever since.

Lieut. William McLean, Second U. S. Cavalry, swears that he knows Hitchcock; that he was arrested charged with carrying information to the enemy; with shooting pickets and hunting up Union men and causing them to be driven from their homes. There was a rumor at the time of Hitchcock’s arrest that a man named Walker was driven from home on account of his Union feeling, and as deponent was informed Hitchcock was looking for Walker with a gun in his hands and that another man was seen in his company, and that in consequence Walker had to flee to the pines for protection and shelter and that Hitchcock and his nephew were, as he (Lieutenant McLean) was informed, the principal parties; that he was ordered to arrest Hitchcock and did so, and that Hitchcock thereupon denied having a gun on that day.

Taylor Sorrell (citizen) swears that Hitchcock came with another man to his father’s house [and] the other man had a double-barreled gun. They inquired for Walker (who had been driven away by the disunionists): they made particular inquiry after him. “The report is general,” swears Sorrell, “that Hitchcock is running about hunting up Union men.” Sorrell swears further that he saw Hitchcock on the day of his arrest with a double-barreled gun in his hands.

{p.373}

William H. Patton swears that he was guide for the Union pickets at night when Captain Sorrell, of Maine, commanded; that he took a man with him and waited until 12 o’clock at night. They were lying near the fence and watching after persons whom they saw. Heard a rumbling noise, told his companion to lie still but instead of doing as directed he raised up by the fence and was shot through the hand. Both of them (Patton and companion) retired about 100 yards into the orchard. Patton then placed the wounded man under a haycock. In thirty minutes after five men came along. They passed without being hailed by Patton. In one hour after they passed Hitchcock came along when Patton halted him and he gave his name. This was about 2 a.m. Hitchcock said he was going to market. Patton permitted him to pass. Shortly afterward Patton went to the fence bars and was fired at from the direction in which Hitchcock had gone and from the same direction which the ball came which wounded his companion. Patton then retreated back and took another position away from the haycock where he and his companion had been seen by Hitchcock. In about half an hour after changing positions Hitchcock came along and commenced punching the haycock apparently looking for Patton and his companion. Not finding them he (Hitchcock) after having tossed the hay about returned to the bars where he had a horse and wagon and where he remained talking with some persons for ten or fifteen minutes. He then retired and in half an hour afterward Patton went toward the bars when a man snapped a gun at him. Patton went toward the man when he ran, at which time the man was fired upon by one of our pickets. Three days after Patton was out with thirty cavalry when young Sorrell told him that he had seen Hitchcock with a double-barreled gun. They then found and arrested Hitchcock, but at that time he had no gun and denied having had one but appeared a good deal flurried.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Your obedient servant,

E. J. ALLEN.

–––

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., October 21, 1861.

Brig. Gen. A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 15th instant I made and submitted to you a report in each of the cases of Alfred Nettleton and John W. Burson, both political prisoners then and now confined in the city jail. That since the making of said reports and in obedience to an order of yourself to me to execute two orders of the Secretary of State both dated October 16, 1861, and each addressed to you I went to the city jail on the 18th instant for the purpose of having John W. Burson and Alfred Nettleton released from custody upon their taking the oath of allegiance. That upon arriving at the said jail I was admitted to an audience with the prisoners aforesaid whom I showed the form of oath to which they would be required to subscribe before being discharged. They both expressed themselves willing to take the oath, and they went with me to Justice Donn’s, the magistrate who had committed them, for the purpose of doing so. On arriving at Justice Donn’s office I learned that Burson and Nettleton had been committed to jail upon testimony which in my judgment was sufficient to justify their being held in custody until I could make a further report on their cases to you. Accordingly I took the responsibility {p.374} of returning them both to the city jail and into the charge of the jailer. The following is a copy of a letter directed to you from Justice Donn, the original of which is on file in my office:

WASHINGTON, October 18, 1861.

Brigadier-General PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

SIR: The following is the testimony sent me by the chairman of the House investigating committee, Hon. John F. Potter:

Oath of John Hammond-I reside in this city. I know one A. Nettleton. He was formerly a messenger in the Navy Department and was removed for his disloyal sentiments. After his removal he was engaged in this city in persuading men to into the rebel army. I know this. He induced one Benjamin Lum to go into the rebel army. I saw him take Lum into his buggy and drive to the steam-boat wharf. Lum went on board and is now in the rebel army. Burson who now resides at Dorsey’s Hotel in this city, corner of I and Seventh streets, receives letters from Lum. Burson was an intimate friend of Lum and has told me what Lum has written him. He said he (Lum) had written him when Jeff. Davis would be in Washington. Burson is writing all the time and I have no doubt but that he keeps up a constant correspondence with the rebels. Nettleton has been absent from this city for two or three months and Burson told me that he was at Richmond with Lum. He has recently returned here and is now with Burson at Dorsey’s Hotel where I saw him. I have summoned Hammond before me to testify in their cases. I also have summoned a man named James Cannon and shall take their testimony and forward it to you.

Respectfully,

THOS. C. DONN, Justice of the Peace.

The following is the substance of an affidavit made October 18 before Justice Donn: John Hammond swears that he knows both Burson and Nettleton; knows them to be disloyal to the Government; has heard Nettleton say he would not live under the present Government; knows that he carried Ben Lum to the steam-boat wharf to send him South, and that Nettleton has said he was going South; has heard Lum say he was a secessionist and was going South; heard Burson say ten days before the raising of a rebel flag in Connecticut that it would be raised, and it was raised in accordance with his prediction. Burson also said that Nettleton was at Harper’s Ferry; knew that Burson refused to take the oath of allegiance when in office.

The following is the substance of an affidavit made by James Cannon October 18, 1861, before Justice Donn: He swears that he knows both Nettleton and Burson from their conversation and conduct to be secessionists; heard Burson say that Davis would be here and would have been ere this if he could have got over the dead bodies at Bull Run; heard Burson say that within three weeks a secession flag would be raised in Connecticut and it was raised in accordance with his declaration; he said that Lincoln’s effigy would be burned there; has heard Nettleton say, “Damn the Union; the South will whip hell out of us.”

Jim Green, another witness sworn before Justice Donn, October 18, 1861, states in substance that he knows Nettleton and Burson; has heard Nettleton say that though Northern born he had Southern principles.

T. W. Dorsey swears in substance that he knows Nettleton, Burson and Lum, the latter of whom had gone South and said to be in the Southern Army; knows that Nettleton took Lum to steam-boat wharf when he started South, Burson boarded with Dorsey and Dorsey knows that Burson corresponded with Lum while the latter was in the Southern Army. Burson became alarmed when Dorsey told him that he must stop the correspondence. Burson was clerk in the Navy Department and was turned out because he refused to take the oath of allegiance.

{p.375}

There are two letters on file in my office obtained from Justice Donn which were written at Hartford, Conn., by Nettleton dated respectively May 26 and 30, 1861. In the former he says that he is out of money and that he hardly knows what to do to pay expenses; that he would be glad to have the money sent to him to aid him in getting back to Washington; that he would enlist in the army but does not like to fight against the South. Sends his best respects to Ham Hughes and requests that he be advised to “blow out his light,” an expression which acquires significance from being repeated in the second letter verbatim, and in close connection with his stating he will not return to Washington under five weeks as he intends going to Richmond and will stop about a week in Washington. Both these letters are addressed to a lady in Washington whom he calls “Dearest Laura.” One of my operatives learned that this “Dearest Laura” was a notorious courtesan residing in Washington.

A package of several letters was found at the room of John W. Burson at the time of his arrest which was handed by Justice Donn to one of my operatives on the 18th instant, a brief of which letters is herewith submitted, the originals being on file in my office.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Your obedient servant,

E. J. ALLEN.

–––

Brief of the letters found in the room of John W. Burson at the time of his arrest.

One letter dated Montgomery, Ala., April 17, 1861, addressed to John W. Burson and signed by B. F. Lum.

No. 1.-Lum acknowledges the receipt of Burson’s letter of April 10. Says that he (Lum) is out of money and wishes Burson to send him some. Says things look fine since the fall of Sumter and that the excitement has died away. He tells Burson to expect lively times soon in Florida. Tells Burson he must hold on to his place and keep still about politics. (Burson was clerk in the Interior Department under Mr. Buchanan.) Lum urges as a reason why Burson should “hold on and keep still,” that “ere many days you will have Jeff. Davis to preside over your welfare; you may bet your life.” He says, “Old Abe has but very few days to remain in Washington, and I expect to be there to help drive him and many of his followers from every foot of sacred soil [which] belongs to the South; you may expect to see that before very long, and that will be glory enough for me.” “You may say to Goodenough that he and a good many others will not be excepted.” (This Goodenough appears to have been a Union man who was boarding at the same house with Burson, Emerson and Lum while they were all in Washington, and he (Goodenough) is referred to in one of Nettleton’s letters as being a man standing very much in the way of their treasonable designs.) Lum says they are hourly expecting to hear of the ordinance of secession from Virginia, and that when that takes place there will be 100 guns fired in her honor for the example she sets to other border States. He says, “Tell Uncle Pres. that he is mistaken in supposing that any other element exists at the South besides that of Secession.” He says all lines are abolished in favor of the single idea of Southern rights; that every man is ready at a moment’s warning to shoulder his musket in defense of Southern rights and Southern honor; that he expects Maryland will be all right; that General Pillow is at Montgomery offering 5,000 troops to the Confederacy, and that he can raise 20,000 in Tennessee. He closes by sending his respects to Nettleton.

{p.376}

No. 2.-Dated Montgomery, Ala., April 8, 1861, addressed to John W. Burson and signed by B. F. Lum. In this Lum strongly solicits Burson and Nettleton to send him money to keep him along till he can get good employ. Wishes that Burson could only be there to see the military display. He tells Burson he will tell him facts which he must keep profoundly secret; then goes on to say that as soon as any attack is made on the South President Davis will march on Washington with a large army of men; gives Burson the strongest assurances of the Southern movement on Washington. He says it is not known to many persons, and he found it out through the Department. He closes by urging Burson to write him and tell all about Washington and what is going on there.

No. 3.-Dated Montgomery, Ala., April 29, 1861, signed by B. F. Lum and addressed to John W. Burson. Lum is very sorry to inform Burson that all his efforts to get a situation have failed; that all his - is spent, and that no chance will open a place for him until the volunteers leave for Virginia for there are two candidates for every vacancy; that he has about concluded to enlist in a rifle regiment; he is about as well satisfied with this as with any other position because he wants the pleasure of driving the “Goths and Vandals” from Washington; tells Burson he may rest assured in this being done ere long, and that when he (Burson) sees them he will acknowledge that they far exceed any military company in the metropolis; says he has a list of names down on his book for special attention when he gets to Washington; wants Burson and all his friends to be ready to receive the Alabama chivalry and patriotism; hopes to meet some of the wide-awakes; hopes T. W. Dorsey will not let them pass without some marks of respect and gratitude. (This Dorsey is keeper of the house where Burson, Nettleton and Lum were boarding in Washington on Seventh between I and K streets.) Says that Republicanism has come to the very end that he had always expected; tells Burson that he was badly treated by them in Washington and he intends revenge; wants to meet his old friends in Washington and see how they will look in the face of an extreme Southern army; promises Burson to drop him a line as soon as he reaches Virginia.

No. 4.-Dated Montgomery, Ala., May 1, 1861. B. F. Lum to John W. Burson. He says after writing the letter of April 29 he has changed his plan and will not start as soon for Virginia as he had before expected; says Burson must tell the boys “that we are coming to help them fight the battles of our good cause.” Says tell T. W. Dorsey not to be dismayed; that he will get something good from Jeff Davis; says he will make it part of his business to see that the Southern troops do Dorsey and his property no serious damage.

No. 5.-Dated May 27, 1861. B. F. Lum to John W. Burson. Tells Burson that he is coming to see him once more. He will start to Virginia on Monday morning if God spares his life; says that on reaching Virginia he will write a note to Burson to let him know how he (Lum) likes army life; if he can get a furlough he is corning from Virginia to Washington; that he is to be a second lieutenant in a rifle company. The foregoing was postmarked at Montgomery, Ala.

No. 6.-Dated Hartford, Conn., August 27, 1861. From A. Nettleton to John W. Burson. He acknowledges receipt of Burson’s letter of the 20th instant, for which he tenders him thanks; was sorry to hear of Norris’ death for “he was one of us,” and could be illy spared; is sorry to hear that other friends were wounded in the Bull Run battle and were taken prisoners, and hopes they may yet live to have sweet revenge for all that they have suffered; is glad to hear that Dorsey is {p.377} coming to his senses, and hopes that hereafter Dorsey will see facts as they exist, and that his mind hereafter will be less changeable. He says that the action of the Administration for the last few weeks convinces him, as he has always said, that this war was one of subjugation and not restoration of the Union; that the subjugation was to abolish slavery, and this was the only object, which nobody can deny; and scoffs at the idea of this being a republican Government, and says that no crowned head in Europe would have dared to do what Lincoln had for he would lose his head in forty-eight hours; says Lincoln has committed acts that would damn him to hell; says his (Lincoln’s) party will sustain him and they intend to lay aside all civil and institute military law; says that the Bridgeport (Conn.) Farmer was attacked by a mob of 500 and entirely demolished, all because it favored the rights of the South, and for favoring the close of this war by a fair and honorable compromise; says that in expectation of an attack upon the office of the Hartford Times there had been stationed in the building [men] determined to defend it while life lasted, and determined to sacrifice the three Republican offices if that of the Times was destroyed; says Burson tells him in his letter that B. F. Lum was in the battle of Bull Run, and he (Nettleton) expresses the hope that Lum enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing himself to be a good shot and that he “bagged some of the game.” Sends his kindest regards to his friend Marriott, and tell him the damned abolitionists are too hard for him here. Closes in a postscript saying that he will be in Washington before long, but asks Burson not to let anybody know about it.

No. 7.-Dated Wethersfield, Conn., August 9, 1861. A. Nettleton to J. W. Burson, Thomas Dorsey, of Dorsey’s Hotel, corner Seventh and I streets. Inquires if Burson is in Washington, and if not what is his address; inquires also for the post-office address of Benjamin Dorsey and James Morris; also to know where Doctor Snowden is; says if the hard times go on much longer laboring classes will revolt; inquires if Dorsey has heard of Lum lately.

No. 8.-Dated Wethersfield, Conn., August 13, 1861. A. Nettleton to John W. Burson. Acknowledges Burson’s letter of the 10th; says he has done but little for three months except to drink whisky; says he was glad to hear that the “damned sons of bitches of Yankees got defeated at Bull Run.” Says, “It would have suited me if every mother’s son of them had been left dead on the battle-field.” Thinks the Yankees as a general thing are a poor, worthless set of devils, of no use to themselves nor anybody else, and that they are worth 3 cents a pound more dead than alive; that at Bull Run they got what they justly deserved but not as much as he wished they had. Nettleton says he is coming to Washington in the course of three weeks and perhaps may go farther South.

The following is a paper found among Burson’s letters and written in Burson’s handwriting:

WASHINGTON, September 5, 1861.

Mr. JOHN W. BURSON.

DEAR SIR: You will please call at my headquarters. I wish to see you and employ you as a guide to go with me through to Fairfax as a guide and on to the Junction.

Respectfully, yours,

McCLELLAN, General, Commanding.

No. 9.-A note dated August 3, 1861, signed by John W. Burson and addressed to Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, states that he has heard the friends of the late Colonel Cameron are anxious to obtain his remains and offers his services to obtain the same.

{p.378}

No. 10.-This is an anonymous letter written in pencil addressed without date to John W. Burson. The writer states that he is about to communicate information to Burson of the greatest importance to the South and that he knows Burson’s sympathies to be all with the South. He then goes on to say that he feels a hearty conviction of duty to forewarn the South of their impending danger, and that he selects Burson because he knows the latter carries in his bosom a Southern heart whose sympathies are wholly identified with them. Says the writer:

Besides I have written to other gentlemen who have not received my letters or have deemed them unworthy of notice. I wrote a letter to Governor Wise last fall prior to the invasion by John Brown, which he heeded not. More latterly I wrote one to Governor Floyd stating that there was a plot on foot in the Northwest to invade the South in case of Lincoln’s election to whip them into subjection and free the slaves. Mr. Floyd has not received my letter or he has deemed it unworthy of notice. This information I now communicate to you hoping that you will place it in the hands of some Southern gentleman of influence who will exhort the South, especially Virginia, to prepare for the worst, for I call upon high heaven to witness what I have stated is true. I have traveled over the greater portions of Illinois and Ohio and heard it intimated a thousand times. A short time since in Ashtabula County, Ohio, at a political meeting resolutions were adopted to invade the State of Virginia between now and the 4th of March or about that time.

On a part of the same sheet is a note written and signed by J. W. Burson addressed to Miss Parsons apologizing for an insulting remark made about her as she was passing by where Burson and another gentleman stood. This note is dated “Washington, D. C., Wednesday morn, 31.”

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 25, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington.

GENERAL: Having examined the cases of John W. Burson, Alfred Nettleton and Thomas Hitchcock I have to inform you that they cannot be released.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 20, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington.

GENERAL: You will please transfer ... John W. Burson and Alfred Nettleton ... to Fort Lafayette, New York Harbor.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSION RELATING TO POLITICAL PRISONERS, Washington, March 25, 1862.

W. P. WOOD, Esq., Superintendent, &c.

SIR: You will please discharge Alfred Nettleton ... prisoners confined in the Old Capitol Military Prison on their giving their paroles of honor not to render any aid or comfort to the enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States.

Very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Commissioners.

{p.379}

–––

WASHINGTON, March 25, 1862.

I, Alfred Nettleton, of Hartford, Conn., do hereby give my parole of honor that I will render no aid or comfort to the enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States.

ALFRED NETTLETON.

–––

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSION RELATING TO POLITICAL PRISONERS, Washington, March 26, 1862.

W. P. WOOD, Esq., Superintendent, &c.

SIR: You will please discharge John W. Burson, a prisoner confined in the Old Capitol Military Prison, on his giving his parole of honor that he will not render any aid or comfort to the enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States.

Very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Commissioners.

–––

WASHINGTON, March 26, 1862.

I, John W. Burson, of the county of Loudoun, Va., do hereby give my parole of honor that I will render no aid or comfort to the enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States.

JOHN W. BURSON.

–––

Case of Richard Thomas (Zarvona).

This person, who was indicted by the name of Richard Thomas but who signs his name as Zarvona, was arrested early in July, 1861, and imprisoned at Fort McHenry from whence he was afterward removed to Fort Lafayette. He was charged with piracy and with being a spy. He was afterward indicted in the U. S. district court for the district of Maryland for treason in committing the act of piracy alleged against him, namely, the surprise and capture of the steam-boat Saint Nicholas* by taking passage on board of her disguised in female attire, with a large force or band of Confederates disguised as laborers or mechanics, and after departure on the voyage rising upon the master and crew and taking said vessel by force into their possession and into a portion of the State of Virginia then in rebellion. The evidence upon which the said indictment is founded has not been sent to the State Department. It is not known that the defendant has been arraigned on said indictment. The military authorities at Baltimore have objected to Thomas being exchanged, preferring that he be put on trial for the offenses of piracy and being a spy to treating him as a prisoner of war. The said Thomas remained in custody at Fort Lafayette February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

* The Saint Nicholas was seized June 28, 1861, but no report of the affair can be found in the War Department. But see Naval W. R., Vol. IV, p. 549 et seq.

{p.380}

–––

FORT MCHENRY, MD., July 8, 1861.

The SECRETARY OF WAR:

Four men were arrested this evening on board the Mary Washington, parties to the seizure of the Saint Nicholas. The leader is a colonel in the Virginia volunteers. His commission dates July 1, and bears address to Richard Thomas Zarvona. Richard Thomas is his true name. They were identified by officers and men of the Saint Nicholas who were on board the Mary Washington. The colonel was secreted in a bureau. He was undoubtedly on another mission. He was identified here as a West Point student.

N. P. BANKS.

–––

FORT MCHENRY, July 8, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

Four men, parties to the seizure of the Saint Nicholas, were arrested on board the Mary Washington this evening. The officers and sailors of the Saint Nicholas on board the Mary Washington identified the prisoners. The leader had a commission as colonel of the Virginia army dated July 1 and signed by Governor Letcher. He was secreted in a bureau when arrested. Captain Williams who arrested him identified him as a West Point student.

N. P. BANKS.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ANNAPOLIS, July 13, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

SIR: ... It is my duty to represent to the Government that such prisoners as Marshal Kane* and Colonel Thomas are not entirely safe if they should contemplate the chances of escape. No such suspicions exist as to the first, but the second is a dangerous and desperate man. He is confined in a room within twenty feet of the sally-port with seven others equally desperate and so far as we can judge his companions in the piratical acts in which he was engaged. Four of these were brought in yesterday armed with weapons and ammunition sufficient for six or eight men, and moving when arrested as we suppose for the purpose of joining other parties of the same character of whose organization and purposes we have had notice from the Government at Washington, the owners of steam-boats and many private sources. With the measures we are taking the arrests of these persons will be rapidly multiplied.

...

With great respect, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS, Major-General, Commanding Department of Annapolis.

* See Vol. I, this series, p. 619, for case of the Baltimore police commissioners and Marshal Kane.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ANNAPOLIS, Fort McHenry, Md., July 14, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

SIR: By direction of Major-General Banks I have the honor to report for the information of the General-in-Chief that the schooner Georgiana, owned by Thomas and his party and with which a portion of them {p.381} had been lying in wait for the capture of other steamers from Baltimore, has been taken possession of and is now at the dock of this port, having been run aground and deserted by the crew. No capture of rebels was made on board of her.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBT. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., September 5, 1861.

Maj. Gen. G. B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Army of the Potomac.

GENERAL: ... Two of these prisoners are confined for piracy. One is the celebrated Thomas or Colonel Zarvona, commonly known as the French lady. He is of one of the first families in Maryland; is rich, intelligent and resolute. His nervous system is much broken by confinement and want of active occupation and he has made earnest appeals to me for the privilege of walking about the garrison within the walls on his parole of honor not to attempt to escape. There is no doubt it would be sacredly respected. I have not thought proper to extend the indulgence to him, though I think his health requires it, without your direction. ...

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, September 10, 1861.

Maj. Gen. JOHN A. DIX, U. S. Army, Commanding, &c., Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md.

SIR: Your letters of the 5th and 8th instant to Major-General McClellan on the subject of the prisoners confined in Fort McHenry have been referred to the General-in-Chief who directs me to reply as follows: ... In regard to the prisoner Thomas the general does not think it prudent to extend his liberty. ...

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Baltimore, Md., September 11, 1861.

WILLIAM MEADE ADDISON, U. S. District Attorney.

SIR: We have several witnesses detained in the case of Thomas. What is the extent of our control over them? Are they entitled to pay while detained? They are restive and were disorderly and Colonel Morris in consequence put them in a cell by night and on fatigue duty by day. They are sailors and are not very well contented on dry land. If they are entitled to pay how can they get it? Some of them have families, and as they are deprived by their detention of the power of earning anything they think the Government should pay them so that their wives and children may not suffer.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.382}

–––

ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, September 28, 1862.

Brig. Gen. W. W. MORRIS, U. S. Army, Fort McHenry, Md.:

Send to this office without delay all the papers on file at Fort McHenry relating to the case of Zarvona alias Thomas.

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

–––

[No date.]

Col. Thomas Zarvona, confined at Baltimore as a political prisoner, was an officer in the Confederate service when captured. If evidences of this fact are needed they will be produced. His exchange for an equivalent is asked.

ROBT. OULD, [Confederate] Agent, &c.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, November 22, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

SIR: There are six sailors in custody at Fort McHenry detained as witnesses in the case of Thomas alias Colonel Zarvona alias the French lady, who is indicted for piracy. These men have now been in custody for several months. Their clothes are worn out. . Some of them have wives and children without the means of support. They are entitled to a per diem allowance during their detention, and the U. S. district judge would have ordered it to be paid to them if they had been in the custody of the court. Will you please to give the necessary direction for the relief of these men who are detained by the Government for its own benefit and who ought at least to receive the allowance to which they are entitled by law.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 2, 1861.

Maj. Gen. JOHN A. DIX, Baltimore, Md.

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith a memorandum* which has been submitted to me by Mr. Schleiden, the minister from Belgium, relative to John Henry Bargfried who is supposed to be in confinement at Fort McHenry. Will you please ascertain whether his testimony against Colonel Thomas is material. If it is I will thank you to see that he is provided with necessary clothing and that his confinement is made as comfortable as is consistent with his safekeeping. If on the contrary you should come to the conclusion that his testimony is immaterial or unnecessary you may release him.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* Not found.

{p.383}

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, Md., December 2, 1861.

Col. W. W. MORRIS, Commanding Fort McHenry, Baltimore.

COLONEL: You will please have ready for embarking on the New York steamer which leaves here at 2.30 p.m. the following-named political prisoners now confined in Fort McHenry to be taken to Fort Lafayette, New York Harbor: Richard Thomas Zarvona. ...

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, December 3, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have this morning received from General Dix the following prisoners from Fort McHenry and have sent them to Fort Lafayette:

Richard Thomas Zarvona. ...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, December 9, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter* of the 22d ultimo addressed by me to the Secretary of War in relation to the six sailors at Fort McHenry detained as witnesses in the case of Colonel (Zarvona) Thomas. John Henry Bargfried, referred to in your letter of the 2d instant, is one of these six persons. At my request Colonel Morris, commanding at Fort McHenry, has examined the case and makes the following report:

The within-named John Henry Bargfried is an important witness in the case of Colonel Thomas alias Zarvona. He together with the other witnesses in the same case was for a length of time after his reception at this post allowed the liberty of the public grounds and lodged and fed as comfortably as the men of the garrison. He made his escape from the post and proceeded to Baltimore where he was arrested by the police and brought back, since which he has been more closely confined bat only with such restrictions as are necessary to prevent his escape. The food furnished him has been in all respects the same as that provided for the troops, but I respectfully recommend that he be furnished with suitable clothing.

In accordance with the recommendation in my letter to the Secretary of War I trust these men may receive the per diem allowance to which they are entitled as several of them have wives and children. As they are shut up and can earn nothing by their labor they ought to receive the compensation which is allowed them.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General, Commanding.

* Omitted here. See p. 382.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, December 10, 1861.

Hon. M. F. ODELL, Member of Congress, Washington.

DEAR SIR: ... I see by to-day’s papers that Congress is taking some steps toward an exchange. Independent from that I am well satisfied that if the authorities will consent to an exchange of one {p.384} person now in confinement (not as a prisoner of war taken with arms) that for him Col. A. M. Wood and all the privates and members of the Fourteenth [Eighty-fourth] will be given. I will give the name with the understanding that no publicity shall be given but the case to be kept as secret as possible. I refer to Richard T. Zarvona confined in the next room to mine. I know of what I write. ... Any communication in relation to the above address me and if the authorities consent obtain the necessary permit to obtain the necessary authority from him. If nothing can be done either for Colonel Wood and Fourteenth [Eighty-fourth] or the other party destroy this. I would suggest you to see personally the authorities as it is at his request that this matter be kept as secret as possible. Excuse the composition of this as I have written without copy. Please write me.

Yours, most truly,

WM. H. SUYDAM.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 11, 1861.

Mr. R. SCHLEIDEN, Minister Resident.

SIR: Referring to your memorandum of the 22d ultimo I have the honor to inform you that I have made inquiries of Major-General Dix concerning John Henry Bargfried and am informed that he is regarded as an important witness in the case of Colonel Thomas (Zarvona) and that after his reception at Fort McHenry he was allowed the liberty of time public grounds and was treated in every respect as the men of the garrison were until he made his escape. Since his re-arrest he has been more closely confined but only to such an extent as is deemed necessary to prevent him from again escaping. I have also to state that General Dix informs me that he has recommended the Secretary of War to allow Mr. Bargfried a per diem for the time he is necessarily held as a witness. This if allowed will be amply sufficient to provide him with any comforts he may need. He has already been provided with clothing.

I am, sir, with high consideration, your most obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

89 MADISON STREET, New York, December 13, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

HONORED SIR: The inclosed letter from a witness confined in Fort McHenry to his wife in this city is of a character to require the immediate attention of the proper authorities. The writer is a seaman, a member of my congregation. He is not accused of crime and yet appears to be treated worse than those who are traitors to our Government. Will you for the sake of his wife and three children who are now suffering for bread and for the sake of our common humanity read this letter and see that inquiry is made into the case?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. J. JONES, Pastor of the Mariners’ Church.

[Inclosure.]

FORT MCHENRY, November 26, 1861.

MY DEAR WIFE: In my last I informed you that the trial was put back until next April and that I had promise of having something done for us, but as yet nobody has been here and I am at a loss what {p.385} to do. Dear Ann, knowing that you had trouble enough to contend with I have kept all my own sufferings locked in my own bosom, thinking it would be time enough for you to know all after I had been released, and the hope of having both your and my miseries ended this month has kept me in pretty good spirits although many times I have cursed the hour that brought me to this place of misery.

My dear wife, I now send you a true statement of my treatment since I have been here, and I think if you could manage to get it published in one of the daily papers it could not fail to come before the eyes of some kind person who would have both power and the will to investigate our case and have justice done us, for I do not believe that by the laws of a civilized country innocent men can be imprisoned for months without support for themselves or their families.

On the 8th day of July six of the crew of the different vessels taken by the Confederates on the 28th of June were detained as witnesses against Colonel Thomas under promise of kind treatment and $2 per day. As you know I am one of this unhappy number, and how this promise has been kept I will now state: We arrived here in very destitute condition, having lost nearly everything on our journey from Richmond here. From the outsetting we had to sleep on bare boards, but being warm weather we did not mind it much; and as we expected to be sent to Fort Lafayette we did not apply for anything until the latter part of August when our case was stated to the commanding officer, Colonel Morris. He returned us as answer that he never heard of such a thing as witnesses receiving any pay but that he would see about blankets. At the same time he told us he would have to give us something to do or we would spoil, and true to his word shortly after orders were given for one of us every day to assist in the kitchen. We at first refused, and for our pains we were locked up in dark cells for five days during the day and at night were turned out to sleep in the yard. We were then released, and had to assist in the kitchen for fear of similar treatment.

We have stated our case to General Dix repeatedly, but he says we are under Colonel Morris’ charge and he has nothing to do with us. About the last of September one of our number who slept near the door was told by the sergeant of the room (we were kept among the soldiers) not to show himself again in the room because a dog belonging to the fort had dirtied the floor. The man not knowing where to go made his escape out of the fort into the city where he was arrested and brought back and handcuffed. Since then we have been kept in the prisoners’ department, which is a stable in not the best condition. Every breath of wind goes right through and no sunshine can get through. After we had been there about a fortnight Colonel Morris gave orders for two of us every week to cook for the outside prisoners consisting of from twenty to forty men. We refused, not caring what would be the result. Since then we have received our rations raw and have to get them cooked ourselves the best way we can.

I would say a great deal more but I think this enough to show that a cell in a city prison would be far preferable to our present condition. I have applied by letter to both of the officers who detained us here, and the marshal of the city has been applied to, so far without success, and I give up all hope of having anything done for us.

We are almost naked, and if it were not for some old clothes that I have received from the soldiers I should have to paint my body and go naked. We have no fire or any blankets, so you may judge what a life {p.386} we lead. If you could get a lawyer to take your case in hand I think the Government would have to support you. I continue to enjoy good health, and I hope this will find you all well.

I remain, your affectionate husband,

CHARLES WILSON.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, December 16, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to return papers inclosed to me in relation to Charles Wilson and M. J. Koldenback.* Of the latter we have no knowledge whatever. He has never been confined at Fort McHenry. May he not be at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington? Wilson is one of the witnesses detained by the Government in the case of Thomas alias Zarvona, referred to in my letter to you of December 9 and it my letter to the Secretary of War of the 22d of November last, inclosed in mine to you.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

* No papers found relating to Koldenback.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, December 2.2, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF STATE, U. S. A.

SIR: I have been held as a prisoner of state as I have been unofficially informed for five months and a half. My health which for several years has been delicate now causes me great suffering. I request you to release me upon parole. I will offer you guarantees which I believe you will consider sufficient that any obligation which I enter upon will be faithfully kept.

Respectfully, the colonel,

ZARVONA.

–––

No. 9 MONROE STREET, New York, January 3, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Please excuse me, but necessity compels me to call your attention once more to the case of Charles Wilson, my husband, now in prison to wait the trial of Thomas the rebel. He is witness against him, and has been in prison at Baltimore since July last. The particulars of the case were sent to you some time in November last by Capt. Joseph O’Donoghue, of Company C, Eighty-eighth Regiment New York Volunteers, and I have been patiently waiting ever since for his release. Wilson was a hand on board of the schooner Margaret, of Boston, when taken by Thomas. Please let him come home or please let me know why not. My three children have been sick for some time and two at present lie at the point of death, and myself in a state of destitution, and have I might say no aid at all. It depends on you whether we live or die. For God’s sake let my husband come home.

MRS. C. A. WILSON.

{p.387}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington January 6, 1862.

Maj. Gen. JOHN A. DIX, Baltimore, Md.

GENERAL: Application has been made for the release of Charles Wilson, who is confined in Fort McHenry as a witness against Thomas Zarvona. If there is no objection within your knowledge you will please release Wilson on his giving assurances satisfactory to yourself that he will appear and give his testimony against the prisoner Thomas Zarvona whenever required to do so.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary of State.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, January 9, 1862.

Hon. SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES.

SIR: I addressed to you a letter on the 22d day of December, 1861. A response is requested.

Respectfully, the colonel,

ZARVONA.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, January 11, 1862.

Hon. F. W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 6th instant relating to the release of Charles Wilson, confined at Fort McHenry as a witness in the case of Zarvona, and have referred it to Colonel Morris, commanding at Fort McHenry, who has made to me the following report:

Wilson is an important witness in the case of Zarvona, and states that he is unable to give security for his appearance. He did not apply himself for his release and supposes that his wife made the application. He is willing to remain here provided some means of support are furnished his family which is in destitute circumstances.

Permit me in this connection to call your attention to my letter of the 9th of December last in which I recommended the payment to all these witnesses of the per diem allowance to which they are entitled that their wives and children might not suffer.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, February 3, 1862.

Hon. JAMES A. PEARCE, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: I notice in the daily papers that application has been made to authorities of the South for the exchange of Colonel Corcoran, of the Federal Army; also notice his friends are exceedingly anxious to obtain the presence of Colonel Corcoran among them once more. Now in my opinion this object could be soon effected if Colonel Zarvona, of the Confederate Army, at present in confinement at Fort Lafayette, were offered in exchange for Colonel Corcoran, of the Federal Army. Colonel Zarvona has been a prisoner since July last and has been subject to illness during the whole of that time. I would have you to understand that this proposition comes from myself and not from Colonel Zarvona. I respectfully ask you to consider the above, {p.388} and if you can conscientiously do so aid the cause of humanity by laying the matter before the Secretaries of War and State at Washington.

Your friend and obedient servant,

R. W. RASIN.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, February 4, 1862.

Hon. CALEB B. SMITH, Secretary of the Interior.

SIR: Herewith I have the honor to inclose a letter from William Gitting, who is detained at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, by the Government of the United States as a witness against Colonel Thomas alias Zarvona alias the French lady. There are other persons similarly detained in the same case all of whom are represented to be poor men, and some of them having families that are in a suffering condition. General Dix recommends the payment to all of these witnesses of a per diem allowance to which they are entitled. It seems to me that this recommendation is reasonable and that the payment should be promptly made. I inclose also a letter* from Captain O’Donoghue relative to the case of Charles Wilson, another witness similarly detained. Will you have the kindness to return these inclosures?

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not inclosed.

[Inclosure.]

FORT MCHENRY, MD., February 4, 1862.

Maj. Gen. JOHN A. DIX.

HONORABLE SIR: I respectfully solicit your kind attention after a confinement of seven months, as I am entirely destitute of clothing and other necessaries of life. I am held as a witness against Colonel Thomas, of the rebel army, who stands indicted for piracy. I lost a great amount of my clothing when he took possession of the vessel where I was employed, and since being detained in this fort I have not received the least piece of clothing or one cent of money. I pray that you may kindly intercede in my behalf and please let me know whether anything can be done.

With the greatest respect, your humble servant,

W. GITTING, Witness against Colonel Thomas.

–––

FORT MCHENRY, February 4, 1862.

FREDERICK BERNAL, Esq., &c.

DEAR SIR: I, the undersigned, most respectfully inform you that on the 8th of July, 1861, I was detained here as a witness against Colonel Thomas (the French lady). I was a seaman on board the schooner Mary Pierce, of Boston, which was captured by Colonel Thomas on the 29th of June in the Chesapeake and made a prize to the Confederates. On my return here in the steamer Mary Washington Colonel Thomas was a passenger in her likewise. He was arrested here and myself and five others were kept as witnesses against him. During all this time, now near seven months, I have not been able to receive any money or clothing although I have often made application for it and I am now in most destitute circumstances. I most humbly beg of you, sir, if it be in your power to interfere for me and if possible get me part of my pay.

{p.389}

I am a British subject, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Hoping you will kindly take my case in hand and relieve me from suffering,

I am, &c.,

THOMAS INGRAM.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, February 6, 1862.

WILLIAM H. SUYDAM, Esq., Howard House, East New York.

DEAR SIR: When I last saw you in this fort you made a proposition to exchange a friend of yours for Colonel Zarvona. I then said I could not mention it to the colonel, but if you could do so I would answer for the colonel. I now say if Colonel Corcoran is the friend I can get the exchange if permitted to go to Richmond. I am as confident as I exist that if there is a man the colonel is that man. I write without his knowledge. Please answer as soon as possible.

Very respectfully, yours,

R. W. RASIN.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, February 14, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose a letter* from one of the sailors who have been held in confinement at Fort McHenry for several months as witnesses in the case of Colonel Zarvona alias Thomas, and to renew my repeated requests that these unfortunate men may be paid in order that they may provide themselves with necessary clothing and do something for the support of their families.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

* Omitted as unimportant.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 17, 1862.

Maj. Gen. JOHN A. DIX, Baltimore.

GENERAL: Will you have the kindness to inform this Department whether in your judgment Colonel Thomas alias Zarvona alias the French lady ought to be transferred to the list of prisoners of war?

I have the honor to be, &c.,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, February 20, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to return the letter of Colonel Thomas (or Zarvona)* referred to me on the 10th instant. I did not report on it in consequence of the illness of the U. S. district attorney whom I wished to see. Two days ago the Secretary of War submitted to me the inquiry whether Thomas should be transferred to the list of prisoners {p.390} of war. I have replied that he ought not. I suppose this answer accompanied by my reasons renders any report to you unnecessary.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

* Not found, but see Zarvona to Secretary of State, December 22, 1861, p. 386, and also of January 9, 1862, p. 387.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, February 20, 1862.

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

SIR: Your letter of the 17th instant asking whether Colonel Thomas alias Zarvona alias the French lady ought to be transferred to the list of prisoners of war is received. I think not. He went in the disguise of a woman on board the steamer Saint Nicholas, running as a passenger vessel between this city and the Potomac, and with the assistance of a number of other persons disguised as mechanics seized the vessel and carried her into Virginia as a prize. He afterward returned to Maryland with a commission as colonel in the service of Virginia and was detected and arrested on the Patuxent River in this State. These transactions took place before I was placed in command here.

It was understood that he was confined on the charge of piracy but he was indicted for treason only. I inclose a copy of the indictment. Major-General Banks never recognized these proceedings. In a letter to the General-in-Chief of the 13th of July he designates the crime of Zarvona as “piracy of the worst form.” It appears to me that he should have been treated as a pirate and a spy and that he ought not to be classed with persons captured in open warfare. This course was not taken with him.

He was not indicted for piracy and he has been held under arrest like other prisoners of state. Still I see no propriety in transferring him to the list of prisoners of war.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

[Inclosure.]

In the district court of the United States of America in and for the Maryland district.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Maryland District, to wit:

The jurors of the United States of America in and for the body of the Maryland district do on their oath and affirmation present that Richard Thomas, late of the district aforesaid, gentleman, being an inhabitant of and resident within the United States of America and under the protection of the laws of the United States of America and owing allegiance and fidelity to the United States of America, not weighing the duty of his said allegiance but wickedly devising and intending the peace and tranquillity of the United States of America to disturb and to stir, move, excite, levy and carry on war, insurrection and rebellion against the United States of America on the 28th day of June, in the year of our Lord 1861, at the district aforesaid and within the jurisdiction of this court and of the circuit court of the United States for the fourth circuit in and for the Maryland district, unlawfully, falsely, maliciously and traitorously with force and arms did compass, imagine and intend to raise and levy war, insurrection and rebellion against the United States of America; and in order to fulfill and bring to effect the said traitorous composings, imaginations and {p.891} intentions of him the said Richard Thomas, he the said Richard Thomas afterward, to wit, on the 28th day of June, in the year of our Lord 1861, at the district aforesaid and within the jurisdiction of this court and of the circuit court of the United States for the fourth circuit in and for the Maryland district, with a great multitude of persons (whose names to the jurors aforesaid are at present unknown) to the number of fifty persons and upward armed and arrayed in a warlike manner-that is to say, with guns, pistols, bowie knives and stones and other warlike weapons as-well offensive as defensive-being then and there unlawfully, maliciously and traitorously assembled and gathered together, did then and there falsely and traitorously join and assemble themselves together against the United States of America, and then and there with force and arms did falsely and traitorously and in a hostile and warlike manner array and dispose themselves against the United States of America; and then and there on the said 28th day of June, 1861, at the district aforesaid and within the jurisdiction of this court and of the circuit court of the United States for the fourth circuit in and for the Maryland district, in pursuance of such their traitorous intentions and purposes aforesaid, he the said Richard Thomas with the said persons so as aforesaid traitorously assembled, armed and arrayed in manner aforesaid, most wickedly, maliciously and traitorously did ordain, prepare and levy war against the United States of America contrary to the duty of the allegiance and fidelity of the said Richard Thomas against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace, government and dignity of the United States of America.

And the jurors aforesaid upon their oath and affirmation aforesaid do further present that on the 28th day of June, in the year of our Lord 1861, and long before and continually thence hitherto an open and public insurrection, rebellion and war was and yet is prosecuted, levied and carried on against the United States of America by divers large bodies of evil-disposed persons, citizens of the United States of America and residing therein and owing allegiance to the United States of America, contriving and with all their strength intending traitorously to break and disturb the peace and common tranquillity of the United States of America, and to stir up, move and excite insurrection and rebellion and to levy war against the United States of America, and to subvert, alter and overthrow by force of arms the Government established in the United States of America; and that the said Richard Thomas, being an inhabitant of and resident within the United States of America and under the protection of the laws of the United States of America and owing allegiance and fidelity to the United States of America, not weighing the duty of his said allegiance but wickedly devising and intending the peace and tranquillity of the United States of America to disturb and by all the means in his power to aid and assist the aforesaid evil-disposed persons and bodies of men so as aforesaid levying war, insurrection and rebellion against the United States of America in the prosecution of the said war, insurrection and rebellion against the United States of America on the said 28th day of June, in the year of our Lord 1861, he the said Richard Thomas, with force and arms at the district aforesaid, maliciously and traitorously did compass, imagine and intend to raise and levy war against the United States of America; and that the said Richard Thomas in the prosecution, performance and execution of his the said Richard Thomas’ traitorous compassings, imaginations and intentions {p.392} and to fulfill, perfect and bring the same to effect, he the said Richard Thomas as such traitor as aforesaid during the said war, insurrection and rebellion to wit, on the day and year aforesaid at the district aforesaid, and within the jurisdiction of this court and of the circuit court of the United States for the fourth circuit in and for the Maryland district, with a great multitude of persons (whose names to the jurors aforesaid are at present unknown) to the number of thirty persons and upward, armed and arrayed in a warlike manner-that is to say with guns, pistols, swords, bowie knives and other warlike weapons-being then and there maliciously, unlawfully and traitorously assembled and gathered together, did falsely and traitorously join and assemble themselves together against the United States of America, and then and there with force and arms did falsely and traitorously and in a hostile and warlike manner array and dispose themselves against the United States of America; and on the said 28th day of June, in the year of our Lord 1861, at the district aforesaid and within the jurisdiction of this court and of the circuit court of the United States for the fourth circuit in and for the Maryland district and in pursuance of such their traitorous intentions aforesaid, he the said Richard Thomas, with the said persons so as aforesaid traitorously assembled, armed and arrayed in manner aforesaid, most wickedly, maliciously and traitorously did ordain, prepare and levy war against the United States of America.

And further to perfect, fulfill and bring to effect the said treason of him the said Richard Thomas, lie the said Richard Thomas being such false traitor as aforesaid, with divers other false traitors to the number of twenty and upward (whose names to the jurors aforesaid are unknown), on the day and year aforesaid at the district aforesaid, with force and arms did seize, take, capture and convey away a certain steamboat then and there being called the Saint Nicholas, together with a valuable cargo of merchandise then and there being on board of the said steam-boat, said cargo being then and there the property of loyal citizens of the United States (whose names to the jurors aforesaid are unknown), with the intent that the said steamer and cargo should be used and appropriated toward carrying on the war, insurrection and rebellion so as aforesaid levied and carried on against the United States of America, and did carry and deliver said steam-boat and cargo to the said evil-disposed persons and bodies of men so as aforesaid levying war and exciting insurrection and rebellion against the United States of America contrary to the duty of the allegiance and fidelity of the said Richard Thomas against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace, government and dignity of the United States of America.

And the jurors aforesaid upon their oath and affirmation aforesaid do further present that on the 28th day of June, in the year of our Lord 1861, and long before and continually thence hitherto an open and public insurrection, rebellion and war was and yet is prosecuted, levied and carried on against the United States of America by divers large bodies of evil-disposed persons, citizens of the United States of America and residing therein, and owing allegiance to the United States of America, contriving and with all their strength intending traitorously to break and disturb the peace and common tranquillity of the United States of America, and to stir up, move and excite insurrection and rebellion and to levy war against the United States of America, and to subvert, alter and overthrow by force of arms the Government established in the United States of America.

{p.393}

And that the said Richard Thomas, being an inhabitant of and resident within the United States of America, and under the protection of the laws of the United States of America and owing allegiance and fidelity to the United States of America, not weighing the duty of his said allegiance but wickedly devising and intending the peace and tranquillity of the United States of America to disturb, and by all the means in his power to aid and assist the aforesaid evil-disposed persons and bodies of men so as aforesaid levying war, insurrection and rebellion against the United States of America and being enemies of the United States of America in the prosecution of the said war, insurrection and rebellion against the United States of America, on the said 28th day of June, in the year of our Lord 1861, he the said Richard Thomas with force and arms at the district aforesaid maliciously and traitorously did adhere to and give aid and comfort to the said evil-disposed persons then and there being enemies of the United States of America levying war, insurrection and rebellion against the United States of America.

And that the said Richard Thomas in the prosecution, performance and execution of his, the said Richard Thomas’ treason and traitorous adhering aforesaid and to fulfill, perfect and bring the same to effect, he the said Richard Thomas as such traitor as aforesaid during the said war, insurrection and rebellion, to wit, on the day and year aforesaid at the district aforesaid, and within the jurisdiction of this court and of the circuit court of the United States for the fourth circuit in and for the Maryland district, with a great multitude of persons (whose names to the jurors aforesaid are at present unknown) to the number of thirty persons and upward armed and arrayed in a warlike manner-that is to say with guns, pistols, swords, bowie knives and other warlike weapons-being then and there maliciously, unlawfully and traitorously assembled and gathered together did falsely and traitorously join and assemble themselves together against the United States of America, and then and there with force and arms did falsely and traitorously and in a hostile and warlike manner array and dispose themselves against the United States of America.

And on the said 28th day of June, in the year of the Lord 1861, at the district aforesaid and within the jurisdiction of this court and of the circuit court of the United States for the fourth circuit in and for the Maryland district, and in pursuance of such their traitorous intentions aforesaid, he the said Richard Thomas with the said persons so as aforesaid traitorously assembled, armed and arrayed in manner aforesaid, most wickedly, maliciously and traitorously did ordain, prepare and levy war against the United States of America.

And further to perfect, fulfill and bring to effect the said treason and traitorous adhering of him, the said Richard Thomas, he the said Richard Thomas with divers other false traitors to the number of twenty and upward on the day and year aforesaid at the district aforesaid, with force and arms did seize, take, capture and carry away a certain steam-boat then and there being called the Saint Nicholas, together with a valuable cargo of merchandise then and there being on board of said steam-boat (the said steam-boat and cargo then and there being the property of loyal citizens of the United States whose names to the jurors aforesaid are unknown) with the intent that the said steam-boat and cargo should be used in carrying on the war, insurrection and rebellion as aforesaid levied and carried on against the United States, and did deliver said steam-boat and cargo to the said evil-disposed {p.394} persons and bodies of men so as aforesaid levying war and exciting insurrection and rebellion against the United States of America contrary to the duty of the allegiance and fidelity of the said Richard Thomas, against the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace, government and dignity of the United States of America.

WILLIAM MEADE ADDISON, U. S. Attorney for the Maryland District.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 25, 1862.

Maj. Gen. JOHN A. DIX, Baltimore.

GENERAL: Unless in your judgment the testimony of James Ingram is absolutely necessary to the proper administration of justice in the case of Colonel Thomas alias Zarvona you may release him from confinement.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 28, 1862.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette.

COLONEL: Herewith I transmit for your information a copy of a note from Col. E. D. Townsend, assistant adjutant-general, relative to the correspondence of Colonel Thomas alias the French lady, who is now confined at Fort Lafayette, New York Harbor. It is deemed advisable under all the circumstances connected with his arrest and the developments which are made in this note to request that he be placed in close confinement and that a strict surveillance be kept over his correspondence.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, February 27, 1862.

[Adjt. Gen. L. THOMAS.]

DEAR SIR: I have been informed that Thomas, the French lady imprisoned at Fort Lafayette, has a cipher by which his correspondence with a Mrs. Norris and others in Baltimore passes without suspicion. For instance his quotation of a line of poetry will in some way convey a request for acids, files or anything he may desire and which will be conveyed to him under the case of a breast-pin or something apparently harmless. He is a desperate man and very restless under his confinement, and designs escaping if he can. My informant was lately released from Fort Lafayette, where he seems to have been confined under a misapprehension and where he says he became acquainted with the above fact.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.395}

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, March 1, 1862.

Col. W. W. MORRIS, Commanding Fort McHenry.

COLONEL: If you have the commission of Colonel Zarvona* in your possession Major-General Dix would be glad to be informed what is the date of that commission.

By order of Major-General Dix:

JOHN A. BOLLES, Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

* For copy of the commission see inclosure Morris to Thomas, September 28, 1862, p. 399.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, March 5, 1862.

Brig. Gem. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Inclosed you will receive papers* in reference to yours of the 28th ultimo about Colonel Zarvona alias the French lady. His peculiarity in writing has been noticed here for some time. ...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

* Several inclosures omitted as unimportant.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, February 25, 1862.

Box received. Box inclosed for Mr. H. delivered. Your letters not received. Have you signed in language? My love and thanks to you and Mrs. G. Won’t you write soon?

Affectionately,

R[ICHARD].

[Inclosure No. 2.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, February 26, 1862.

See to-day’s Herald, column 6, pages 1 and 2. Please inform me if any books or letters from France for me addressed to care of J. have arrived. Please thank little Mary and give her my love, and my love to you also.

Affectionately,

R[ICHARD].

[Inclosure No. 3.]

FEBRUARY 28, 1862.

Mails unpropitious for nearly three weeks.

R[ICHARD].

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, March 10, 1862.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, New York Harbor.

COLONEL: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter and its inclosures of the 5th instant relative to Zarvona and to inform you that the Government approves your proceedings.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary of War.

{p.396}

–––

BALTIMORE, April 3, 1862.

Colonel BURKE.

SIR: I have written to Colonel Wood, also Lieutenant Wood, to know how my son, Colonel Zarvona, is situated. My letters have not been noticed by either Colonel or Lieutenant Wood. Excuse a mother’s anxiety in requesting you to inform me of the situation of my son; also the state of his health. Knowing the active mind that my son has I fear much the effect of solitary confinement on his mind. Direct Mrs. R. Thomas, care of St. George W. Teackle, corner of Courtland and Lexington streets, Baltimore, Md.

Yours, respectfully,

MRS. R. THOMAS.

P. S.-Please let me know if he received my several letters dated March, &c., a suit of clothes, &c., sent by Adams Express March 22, 1862.

–––

APRIL 9, 1862.

Major-General DIX and Hon. Mr. PIERREPONT.

SIRS: Presuming that you have no idea where I am I inform you that I am at the house of detention. I am subject to additional inconveniences and am very unwell. I request you to return me to my former prison. You will oblige me by allowing me to go unattended, and I will report myself this day to the lieutenant commanding, Wood.

Respectfully,

ZARVONA.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, April 22, 1862.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Inclosed you will receive the report of an attempt to escape by a well-known state prisoner from Fort Lafayette. Not the slightest blame in my opinion can be imputed to my officer in command of that post. Unfortunately or fortunately one of the new soldiers instead of one of the old garrison was sent with him to the water closet by the sergeant of the guard. Had it been one of the latter he would have been shot at once. It was a stormy night, tide ebb and the wind blowing out of the harbor; a few minutes more and he must have been drowned, and it was not by any means a night suitable for lowering a boat.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Artillery.

[Inclosure.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, April 22, 1862.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE, Third Artillery, U. S. Army, Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor.

COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report: At half-past 9 o’clock last night Richard Thomas Zarvona, the French lady, a prisoner in close confinement at this post, informed the sergeant of the guard that he wanted to go to the water closet. The sergeant sent him out attended by a member of the guard; when he had reached the water closet (which is situated on the seawall) instead of entering it he {p.397} jumped overboard and attempted to escape by swimming to the Long Island shore. The guard immediately gave the alarm, when the barge belonging to the post was manned and he was recaptured before he had succeeded in getting but a short distance. To prevent a recurrence of this I have had a police tub placed in his room.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. O. WOOD, First Lieutenant, Ninth Infantry, Commanding Post.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, June 27, 1862.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, U. S. Army, Commanding, &c., Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: In reply to your letter of June 24 concerning a pass said to have been given Mrs. Thomas to visit her son, the French lady, the Secretary of War directs that you revoke and take up the pass referred to and hold as before the prisoner Zarvona in close confinement; also that should any passes be presented to visit the said Zarvona you transmit them to Washington for authentication and instructions before permitting them to go into effect.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, July 8, 1862.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington City, D. C.

SIR: In obedience to instructions from the War Department dated June 27, 1862, Washington City, signed E. D. Townsend, assistant adjutant-general, directing all passes for the French lady to be sent to Washington City for verification, I herewith inclose one from the War Department allowing Mrs. Richard Thomas and Mrs. Henry W. Thomas to visit Zarvona, a prisoner at Fort Lafayette. Please telegraph an answer.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Artillery.

–––

WASHINGTON, July 10, 1862.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton:

Two passes have been issued to enable parties to see a prisoner at Fort Lafayette,-one of them calling himself Thomas, which you declined to recognize because as is said he had been committed by the name of Zarvona, and the other calling him Zarvona which it is alleged you have also refused to recognize. Please advise the Department of the difficulty in the premises.

By order of the Secretary of War:

C. P. WOLCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War.

{p.398}

–––

FORT HAMILTON, July 10, 1862.

Hon. C. P. WOLCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War:

In answer to your dispatch asking why I refuse to recognize a pass permitting certain parties to see a prisoner at Fort Lafayette named Zarvona I have the honor to transmit the following letter:

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, June 27.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Commanding Fort Lafayette.

SIR: In reply to your letter of June 24 concerning-a pass said to have been given Mrs. Thomas to visit her son, the French lady, the Secretary of War directs that you revoke or take up the pass referred to; hold as before the person Zarvona in close confinement; also that should any passes be presented to visit the said Zarvona you transmit them to Washington for authentication and instructions before permitting [them] to go into effect.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Artillery, Commanding.

–––

WASHINGTON, July 10, 1862.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton:

Your course in not recognizing the permits given to Mrs. Thomas to visit her son was perfectly right. I had not been informed of the order issued on the 24th of June nor did it even occur to me that the prisoner in question was the French lady. From representations made to me I supposed there was simply some mistake about the name and my telegram was designed merely to learn whether this was so.

C. P. WOLCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, July 14, 1862.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, Washington, p. C.

SIR: [have received an application from Mrs. Thomas (mother of the prisoner at Fort Lafayette called the French lady) asking that she may send books and papers to him. I shall await your decision in regard to the application before giving her an answer.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Artillery.

[Indorsement.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, October 4, 1862.

Permission refused.

By order of the Secretary of War:

P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary of War.

–––

HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH ARMY CORPS, Fort Monroe, Va., September 27, 1862.

Adjutant-General THOMAS.

GENERAL: Will you be so kind as to send me a copy of the letter from Mr. Ould in reference to the release of General Pope’s officers? Mr. Ould seems to take a deep interest in the release of Zarvona. If {p.399} compatible with the public interests an advantageous exchange can be effected for him. I understand from Captain Mulford, the officer who brought down General Pope’s officers, that Mr. Ould informed him an exchange could be speedily effected for them.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. H. LUDLOW, Lieutenant-Colonel and Inspector-General, Seventh Army Corps.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Fort McHenry, Md., September 28, 1862.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General, U. S. Army.

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram received this moment, 5.30 p.m., and inclose you the papers relating to the case of Zarvona alias Richard Thomas, of Maryland. The paper signed “R.” and addressed to “Dear John,” supposed to be his cousin, was found in a book belonging to Zarvona. The handwriting I think can be proved to be Zarvona’s. The witnesses in the case are here and ready at any time to give testimony to the capture of the steamer Saint Nicholas, &c., by Colonel Thomas alias Zarvona. Lieutenant Kibbe will hand you this.

Respectfully,

W. W. MORRIS, Brevet Brigadier-General, U. & Army, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA TO RICHARD THOMAS ZARVONA, greeting:

Know you that from special trust and confidence reposed in your fidelity, courage and good conduct our governor in pursuance of the authority vested in him by an ordinance of the convention of the State of Virginia doth commission you a colonel in the active volunteer forces of the State to rank as such from the 1st day of July, 1861.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto signed my name as governor and caused the seal of the Commonwealth to be affixed this 2d day of July, 1861.

JOHN LETCHER

CITY OF RICHMOND, VA., to wit:

This day appeared before me, Joseph Mayo, mayor of the city of Richmond, Richard Thomas Zarvona and qualified to the within commission by taking the oaths prescribed by law.

Given under my hand this 2d day of July, A. D. 1861,

JOSEPH MAYO, Mayor.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Richmond, July 3, 1861.

Permit Col. R. T. Zarvona, of the Potomac Zouaves, to pass at will free over the roads and rivers of this Commonwealth upon his own certificate, and upon like certificate pass his men and baggage. All officers, civil and military, will respect him and give him such facilities as he may require in their power to afford.

By order:

S. BASSETT FRENCH, Aide-de-Camp to Governor of Virginia.

Approved:

JOHN LETCHER.

{p.400}

[Inclosure No. 3.]

MATTAPONY, April 26, 1861.

DEAR JOHN: I expected to leave for Baltimore to-morrow to join some active force, but upon my mentioning the subject to George he told me that he had already determined to go and that it was my imperative duty to remain here as mother is so disabled by the accident which she lately met with. In a word the matter was so presented to me that I who of all my family can be spared with the least loss am kit here to sun myself. One argument of George’s had some strength-that I could not stand the exposure. Very good; but I am told that something may be done in a week and I could last that long. To avoid the fatigues of a private’s life which I admit I am little prepared for I wrote for information as to means necessary to procure a commission on the staff either as engineer or topographical engineer and for recommendations as to my capabilities to an old friend of mine, Col. Henry Washington, of Virginia. I am sure the letter did not reach him. It would not matter now if it had reached him for time is precious. Mother now tells me that as I am so uneasy and if I must go she will write to her brother to come on here with her. If that can be managed perhaps I can be put somewhere so as to be of use. I believe you are willing to help me; is it possible to get either of these,-staff, engineer or topographical corps, armed ship of Maryland or any Southern State, private armed vessel bearing the Confederate flag? If not, anything else? I probably would be better afloat. If Maryland raises no navy will not some one be willing to fit out a small, strong and swift propeller carrying two (or even one) 10 or 11 inch guns mounted upon the patent carriage-boat, guns, ammunition? As for men I believe I can get 150 in one day-seamen who will and can board; and as for working guns I can get a few who know that and the rest will soon learn. In addition to the large guns the men will require revolvers (can get them in the North), cutlasses, knives and about two dozen carbines. If we can arm in this way and the vessel is good, steams fast and draws but little water some damage will be scattered around. If it is possible to communicate please do so. To-day a steamer went down with the Constitution (I suppose) in tow. It was a tantalizing sight for I am confident that a gun-boat as above could have taken both. As the Constitution mounts forty guns and the steamer may have a few small ones this may appear visionary, but here is how it would be done: The gun-boat would steam twice as fast as the tow possibly could. The Constitution does not steam; her sails appeared to be unbent. Certainly her light yards were struck and under other circumstances she could not have acted for there was no wind. Under these circumstances if the gun-boat had ranged ahead bringing the steamer and frigate in range she could have worked her stern gun playing upon the steamer’s bow exposed only to return fire from her; then about quick, board, cut tow-line and get out of the way if necessary, leaving the frigate perfectly helpless exposed as long as necessary to the rake of the gun-boat, the latter all safe except from her bow guns for a few minutes; then the gun-boat steaming away and playing upon the frigate with stern gun until beyond range; then lie too and play upon with bow gun as long as her flag was up. That down steam for her, the bow gun always ready in case of deception; bearing in mind to never let the frigate present her broadside which she could not possibly do if the gun-boat is near her and managed with ordinary skill.

Can anything be done? Mother sends love to Cousin May and Chase.

Your affectionate,

R.

{p.401}

–––

FORT MONROE, September 29, 1862.

General THOMAS:

... In regard to Zarvona please say to the Secretary of War that he is a crack-brained fellow who can do no mischief beyond his individual capacity, mental and physical, which is constitutionally small. I only make the suggestion in case there are no public considerations involved in the question of his release.

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.

–––

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., January 2, 1863.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States.

SIR: On the 17th of April, 1861, the convention of the Commonwealth of Virginia representing the sovereignty of the State passed “An ordinance to repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution.” In this ordinance it is declared that “the union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.” This action of the convention was subsequently ratified by an overwhelming majority of the people of the State, and the Commonwealth was thereafter absolutely separated from the Government of the United States and became to that Government an independent and foreign power. The State subsequently by its solemn acts became a member of the Confederate States of America.

Against this Confederacy the Government of the United States declared war by levying troops to conquer and reduce them to subjection, and has been since waging with unabating fury this unnatural war. The sovereign States of this Confederacy in pursuance of conventions between themselves and the Government of the Confederacy bound themselves to make common cause in this contest, and have since prosecuted the war with all the vigor in their power, and by the help of God will continue to do so until their independence is unconditionally recognized and their ancient boundaries fully and incontestably established.

In the prosecution of this purpose Col. Richard Thomas Zarvona, an officer with others under his command with the authority and by express orders from the executive of this State, planned and executed an expedition by which the steamer Saint Nicholas and other vessels belonging to the marine of the United States were captured and brought as prizes into the waters of this State. In a subsequent expedition undertaken under the same authority, and while bearing on his person a commission from the governor of this State appointing him a colonel of volunteers and with orders of a warlike character, he was arrested by the police on board the steamer Mary Washington on her trip to Baltimore and carried a prisoner to Fort McHenry; from thence he was removed and is now confined at Fort Lafayette as a felon in a dungeon, and subjected to the greatest inhumanity. That he was under these circumstances rightfully a prisoner of war is not denied, and that he might be held as such until exchanged under some cartel for the purpose I do not controvert. He had been known to be in hostility {p.402} to the Government of the United States, and was liable therefore to be captured wherever found. But he was not in any sense to be regarded as a felon, holding as he did the military commission of the State of Virginia and in the execution of her military and naval orders. If he was regarded in any other light than as a colonel in the service of the State then he was in the language of the Constitution of the United States entitled “to a speedy and a public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime [shall have] had been committed, which district [shall] should have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” Notwithstanding this express clause he has now been confined for eighteen months, and not one of the provisions contained in it has been attempted to be complied with.

The only cause that I have seen assigned for his incarceration was announced in a paper printed in the city of Baltimore on the 9th of July, 1861, immediately after his arrest, in which it is stated “that Mr. Richard Thomas and five or six other persons were arrested on board the steamer Mary Washington as she was coming up the bay yesterday. The charge against them we believe to be that they were concerned in the seizure of the Saint Nicholas a few days since. The party were coming up to the city as passengers when they were pointed out by two spies on board the boat, and as she reached the wharf at Fort McHenry the boat rounded to and they were delivered up to the officer in command.” If his offense was the seizure of the Saint Nicholas that seizure was accomplished by a justifiable stratagem by naval and military officers of this State in company with Colonel Zarvona, and with a design to carry out a bolder and more daring military and naval enterprise the success of which would have been beyond doubt if Virginia’s action had not been thwarted by circumstances beyond her control. When the Saint Nicholas was taken Colonel Zarvona was an officer appointed by and in the service of Virginia, and was in flagrante bello engaged in a hostile act and entitled to be considered if taken as a prisoner of war, and if taken afterward for the offense then committed he could only be so considered and so treated.

Under the cartel for the exchange of prisoners entered into between the Governments of the United States and the Confederate States all prisoners of war were to be exchanged upon certain agreed terms. Why Colonel Zarvona has not been exchanged under this agreement it is for the Government of the United States to explain. Why he has been subjected to indignities that no other prisoners have been compelled to undergo is not for me to consider. It is sufficient for the executive of this State to be apprised of the fact to induce him for the sake of humanity and for the sake of the usages of civilized nations to ask that such severity should not be practiced upon an officer in the service of this State for his obedience to orders emanating from her authority.

It is proper under all the circumstances of this case that I should inform you distinctly of the course I have taken and the policy I intend to pursue.

Independent of the forces which have been contributed by this State to the armies of the Confederate States Virginia has a force of her own operating under the command of Maj. Gen. John B. Floyd, by whom there have been captured 201 prisoners, most of whom have been brought to the city of Richmond for safe custody. From these prisoners I have taken two of the officers belonging to the Fourth Regiment {p.403} of troops under the usurped government of Virginia, to wit, Capt. Thomas Damron and Lieut. Wilson Damron, and have ordered them to be imprisoned in the penitentiary of this State and to be kept in solitary confinement, and I have further ordered that the following privates, to wit, John W. Howe, Isaac Goble and David V. Auxier, who belonged to the Thirty-ninth Kentucky Regiment, and Samuel Pack, also from Kentucky, and William S. Dils, from Ohio, both of the Fifth Regiment of troops under the usurped government, to be also kept in the penitentiary in solitary confinement, all of them there to remain until Colonel Zarvona is properly exchanged under suitable agreement or discharged and permitted to return to this city.*

...

Respectfully,

JOHN LETCHER, Governor of Virginia.

* Omitted portion relates to cases of prisoners held in the Albany (N. Y.) penitentiary convicted of robbing the mails.

–––

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS, Washington, January 27, 1863.

Lieut. Col. W. H. LUDLOW, Agent for Exchange of Prisoners, Fort Monroe, Va.

COLONEL: ... We hold at Fort Lafayette I believe Zarvona alias Mr. Thomas, who attempted to capture a steam-boat at Baltimore, who I understand is a man of note with the rebels and that they hold seven officers in close confinement as hostages for him. I don’t know whether this man is for exchange, but I will inquire and let you know. ...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN, Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

–––

Resolution adopted by the U. S. Senate January 28, 1863.

Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia be instructed to inquire for the purpose of extending such relief as the circumstances may require into the case of Mr. Thomas [Zarvona], of Maryland, now a prisoner of war at Fort Lafayette, who it is represented has been confined in a dungeon of that fortress since June last and is now hopelessly insane by reason of his sufferings.*

* Introduced by Mr. Wail and unanimously adopted.

–––

WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., February 2, 1863.

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

SIR: I have the honor to ask whether Zarvona alias Thomas, now in confinement at Fort Lafayette (taken in woman’s clothes), is a subject for exchange. I have understood that the State Department of the Government does not propose to prosecute him for an offense against the civil law.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. A. HITCHCOCK, Maj. Gen. of Vols., Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.

{p.404}

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 10, 1863.

Hon. HENRY WILSON, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, U. S. Senate.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 28th of January last the reports of the commanding officer and surgeon at Fort Lafayette, New York Harbor, in relation to the confinement, treatment, health and mental condition of Mr. Thomas, of Maryland.

I also [inclose] the report of the Adjutant-General giving the reasons for subjecting him to close confinement after the 3d of March last.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, February 10, 1863.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

SIR: In compliance with your instructions I have the honor to report that Col. Richard Thomas alias Richard Thomas Zarvona was captured on board the steamer Mary Washington near Annapolis July 7,1861, and confined at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md. He was recognized as the man who headed a party which captured the steamer Saint Nicholas plying between Baltimore and the Potomac, and was indicted by the grand jury of Maryland district for this offense and for treasonable conduct.

When search was made for him on the Mary Washington he was found dressed in female apparel and concealed in a bureau in one of the state-rooms. General Dix in his report of February 20, 1862, thinks he should have been treated as a “pirate and a spy.” There are four witnesses against him as to the first crime who were at Fort McHenry the last of September. The evidence of his being a spy consists in his having been taken in disguise as a female with a commission of colonel in the active volunteer forces of Virginia upon his person at the time.

In consequence of the report made in his case he has not been placed on the list of prisoners of war but is held confined at Fort Lafayette. He was placed in close confinement for trying to make arrangements to escape and while so confined did make a desperate attempt to escape by breaking away from the guard and jumping overboard on the night of April 21, 1862.

Respectfully submitted.

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, February 2, 1863.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Inclosed herewith you will please receive papers marked 1 to 3, being communications made to General Canby about a resolution passed by Congress in regard to the health, situation and treatment of Mr. Thomas, of Baltimore, now a prisoner at Fort Lafayette.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Artillery.

{p.405}

[Sub-inclosure No. 1.]

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, February 2, 1863.

Brig. Gen. E. R. S. CANBY, U. S. Army, Washington City, D. C.

Sill: I have to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 30th day of January, 1863, inclosing a resolution* of Congress. I have the honor herewith to forward an answer to that communication accompanied by a surgeon’s certificate with regard to the health of Mr. Thomas.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Artillery.

* See Senate resolution, p. 403.

[Sub-inclosure No. 2.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, February 2, 1863.

Col. M. BURKE, Commanding, &c., Fort Hamilton.

COLONEL: In obedience to the instructions this day received from you I have the honor to report the following, viz:

Richard Thomas Zarvona was committed to this fort on the 3d day of December, 1861, and was allowed the same privileges as the other prisoners until the 3d day of March, 1862, on which date he was placed in close confinement by order of the Secretary of War dated 28th day of February, 1862; after that date he was not allowed to leave his room except to go to the water closet (which is situated on the seawall) in charge of a member of the guard, of which privilege he took advantage on the night of the 30th day of April, 1862, and attempted to escape by jumping overboard and swimming to the Long Island shore. Since that time he has not been out of his room except to see his mother who visited him in October last by permission of the Secretary of War.

The room he is confined in is one of those intended for quarters, twenty-five feet long and fifteen feet wide, with three windows, one of which is closed because it opens upon the court where the other prisoners exercise; the others are open. The room is the same which Senator Wall (with several others) occupied while confined here. He is not allowed communication with any one except the officers of the post and non-commissioned officers of the guard.

He is permitted to supply himself through the commanding officer of the post with anything he may wish in the way of food, in addition to the regular ration which is issued to him, and clothing. He is not permitted the use of paper or books as he has taken advantage of these privileges to communicate with parties outside.

As regards his health I have the honor to transmit herewith the report of Acting Assistant Surg. W. H. Studley who is surgeon of the post.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. O. WOOD, First Lieutenant, Ninth Infantry, Commanding Post.

[Sub-inclosure No. 8.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, February 2, 1863.

Col. M. BURKE:

In obedience to your orders I have this day examined Col. Richard Thomas Zarvona, C. S. Army, and find that his health is generally good; according to his own admission that it is better than when he entered the fort.

{p.406}

In reference to his mental condition I find him social and rational, but somewhat eccentric in some of his ideas, and yet no more so than in thousands who may be said to be born with a certain turn of character.

Therefore in my opinion I should deem his peculiarities perfectly consistent with sanity of mind.

Respectfully, yours,

W. H. STUDLEY, M. D., Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army.

–––

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, February 12, 1863.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

SIR: About a month since I cut from the Chronicle of this city the following purporting to [be] the latest news from Richmond:

One hundred and eighteen men captured by the Virginia Line at Petersburg and at Pikeville, Ky., are confined at Richmond, and the governor has announced to President Lincoln* the terms upon which such exchange can alone be made. ...

He also holds in solitary confinement Capt. Thomas Damron and Lieut. W. Damron, and Privates John W. Howe, Isaac Goble, David B. [V.] Auxier, Samuel Pack, and William S. Dils as hostages for Zarvona. ...

Very respectfully,

JAMES R. MORRIS.

* See p. 401, et seq., for letter to Lincoln, January 2, 1863.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA, Fort Monroe, February 16, 1863.

Col. WILLIAM HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

COLONEL: I shall go to City Point to-morrow to meet Mr. Ould. ... The Secretary of War desired me to ascertain the best exchange for Zarvona. ...

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. H. LUDLOW, Lieut. Col. and Inspector-General Seventh Army Corps, Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.

–––

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Washington, p. C., February 27, 1863.

Hon. JUDGE-ADVOCATE-GENERAL.

SIR: The foregoing list,* names of prisoners captured in Wayne County, Va., and Lawrence County, Ky.; the first mentioned are confined in the penitentiary, held as hostages for prisoners confined by our Government. Captain Damron’s letter from Richmond does not state for whom they are held, except the two first mentioned. I am acquainted with most of the persons named in the list and know that they have served as home guards and have been of great service to the Union cause in that vicinity by scouting and watching rebel cavalry and giving information to officers of the regular troops, and they probably can only be exchanged for guerrillas confined by our Government.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

K. V. WHALEY.

* Omitted. See inclosure following.

{p.407}

[Inclosure.]

PENITENTIARY OF VIRGINIA, Richmond, February 5, 1863.

Hon. G. W. DUNLAP.

SIR: Your petitioners are prisoners of war confined in the penitentiary of this city. We are held as hostages for one Colonel Thomas, who we understand is confined in Baltimore or some other place. We have been prisoners more than three months, one and a half of which has been in this loathsome place where we have suffered extremely. We were brought to this place on the 31st of December last, since which time we have been kept in close confinement. Our rooms are very small and of course not very comfortable. Our diet is the same as the convicts. We were captured by General John B. Floyd, commanding the Virginia State Line, in consequence of which we are deprived of the cartel for the exchange of prisoners between the two Governments. There are seven of us held for the release of one man. We should think our Government ought to make the exchange without hesitation. It would certainly be to their advantage to get seven men in place of one. There are four officers among us and very gallant ones, too, at that, viz, Captain Damron, of Western Virginia State Guards; Lieutenant Damron, Western Virginia State Guards; Isaac Goble, first lieutenant Thirty-ninth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers; David V. Auxier, second lieutenant Thirty-ninth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers. The privates are Samuel Pack, Virginia State Guards; William S. Dils, Lawrence County, Ohio, and John W. Howe, Johnson County, Ky. Goble and Auxier are residents of Johnson County, Ky.

We have written several letters to Secretary Stanton upon the subject but have received no reply; we therefore concluded to write to you as our representative, imploring you to aid us in our present suffering condition. The whole matter is at the discretion of our Government. Governor Letcher has long since notified our Government of his readiness to exchange us.

Capt. Thomas Damron, W. S. Dils and S. Pack request that you show this letter to Hon. Kellian V. Whaley, of Virginia, for perusal, request that he aid you in our release. Please write to my father, and Nathaniel Auxier, Johnson County, Penceville Post-Office, Ky., and acquaint him of my situation and you will greatly oblige his son David V. Auxier. Please write us as soon as possible and let us know whether we will be exchanged or not.

Very respectfully, your obedient servants,

DAVID V. AUXIER. ISAAC GOBLE. J. W. HOWE. W. S. DILS. SAMUEL PACK. THOMAS DAMRON. WILSON DAMRON.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, March 4, 1863.

Col. W. HOFFMAN, Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington City.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of this date and in reply respectfully report as follows: R, T. Zarvona {p.408} says while at Fort McHenry he gave Richmond, Va., as his address. He was born in Saint Mary’s County, Md. ...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Artillery, Commanding Post.

–––

OFFICE OF COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS, Washington, March 6, 1863.

Lieut. Col. W. H. LUDLOW, Agent for Exchange of Prisoners, Fort Monroe, Va.

COLONEL: Fearing that my letter of the 28th ultimo addressed to - may not reach you I inclose a copy herewith. Since its date I have consulted the Secretary of War in relation to Zarvona and he declines to authorize his exchange. ...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN, Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

[Extract from inclosure.]

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS, Washington, February 28, 1863.

Lieut. Col. W. H. LUDLOW, Agent for Exchange of Prisoners, New York City.

COLONEL: Your letter of the 25th instant is received. ... I will consult the Secretary of War in relation to the exchange of Zarvona and if approved will have him accompany the other prisoners. ...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN, Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

–––

JUDGE-ADVOCATE-GENERAL’S OFFICE, March 12, 1863.

WILLIAM PRICE, Esq., U. S. Attorney.

DEAR SIR: Your telegram in relation to the criminal proceedings pending against Thomas has been received. My purpose in addressing you on the subject was this: At the time of Thomas’ arrest six persons supposed to have knowledge of the crimes he had committed were also arrested and placed in confinement at Fort McHenry as witnesses on behalf of the Government. One of these has escaped; another was released by order of Major-General Dix, while the remaining four are still continued in confinement. They have thus been deprived of their liberty for about twenty months and have had no allowance made them beyond the daily rations which they have consumed. Their families as is represented to me are without the means of support, and one of them at least has suffered for want of the necessaries of life, and one of the children it is alleged has actually died from the inability of her mother to procure medicines and proper medical attention. This strikes me as a case of extreme hardship and altogether without precedent. Under these circumstances as there seems to be no probability of the early trial of Thomas I would ask your opinion as to whether the purposes of public justice will not be fully subserved by an immediate discharge of these men on their personal recognizance to appear and testify in the case at the next term of the court in which the indictment is pending. If you are not already in possession of their names they can be obtained from General Schenck’s office, and you could easily learn from the persons themselves the nature of the testimony they are able to give.

{p.409}

Should not Thomas have been indicted for piracy also? In the divided condition of public sentiment a conviction for treason no matter how clearly the crime may be proved is extremely difficult. The same prejudice might not be encountered in a prosecution for piracy, of which if the facts have been correctly reported to me the prisoner is undoubtedly guilty.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT, Judge-Advocate-General.

–––

JUDGE-ADVOCATE GENERAL’S OFFICE, March 18, 1863.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

Charles Wilson and three others committed as witnesses against one Col. Thomas Zarvona, charged with having committed piracy, have been in confinement at Fort McHenry since July, 1861. There were originally six of them, but one was released by General Dix and one escaped. The remaining four have been imprisoned for about twenty months without any pay or allowance except their daily rations. One of them, Charles Wilson, states that he has a wife and children in New York without support from any one, suffering all the miseries of poverty; so much so that one of his children perished the last winter for want of medical aid. In the meanwhile Thomas Zarvona, though long since indicted and still confined, has not been tried. The cause of this delay is stated to be the continued ill health of Chief Justice Taney, and in consequence there seems to be no prospect of an early trial of the case.

The imprisonment of a witness for so long a period of time and under such circumstances is without a precedent and should not be long permitted. I therefore recommend, as has been done by Brigadier-General Morris, that these four persons be at once discharged on their giving their personal recognizance to appear and testify against Thomas Zarvona when summoned on behalf of the United States to do so. I would further urge as an act of simple justice that these men be paid a reasonable compensation for the time which they have lost by the confinement to which they have been subjected. No allowance can be made by the court, as has been determined, because they have never been formally summoned, and could not be, because held in military custody, and like Thomas Zarvona himself beyond the reach of civil process. The position in which they have been placed and held they have been forced to occupy by action of the War Department and to it they must look for a fair remuneration for the time they have lost. The U. S. attorney at Baltimore should be instructed to have a subpoena issued for these witnesses and served before their discharge which will render formal and obligatory the recognizance which it is proposed they shall then execute.

J. HOLT, Judge-Advocate-General.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, March 19, 1863.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General, U. & Army, Washington City.

SIR: I have to report that Colonel Zarvona (the French lady), now in close confinement at this post, wishes to give the following parole, {p.410} viz: That he will not escape from the fort or hold communication with any one except through the authorities of the post and that there shall be no secret meaning to any communication so held. He wishes to give this that he may be released from close confinement and allowed the privileges of exercise in the parade of the post. I would respectfully recommend that his request be granted.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Artillery, Commanding Post.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, March 24, 1863.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I wrote you some days since in regard to a parole for R. T. Zarvona (the French lady). He now desires me to say that if released he will leave the country and give his parole of honor not to return to the United States or the Confederate States during the war, and that he will not take part in the rebellion. He says he will do this because his health is destroyed by the confinement he has undergone.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Artillery, Commanding Post.

–––

HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH ARMY CORPS, Fort Monroe, Va., April 11, 1863.

Col. WILLIAM HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

COLONEL: ... The Secretary of War has authorized me to exchange Zarvona. Please send him with the other officers. ...

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. H. LUDLOW, Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.

–––

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS, Washington, April 11, 1863.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Commanding Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor.

COLONEL: By direction of the Secretary of War you will forward without delay the prisoners of war named on the accompanying list. ... Von will also forward to Fort Delaware at the same time Thomas alias R. T. Zarvona. ...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN, Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN KENTUCKY, Louisa, Ky., May 11, 1863.

Colonel HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

COLONEL: I have the honor to inquire whether the following-named persons who were understood to be held in close confinement at Richmond as hostages for Colonel Zarvona alias Thomas have been released, viz: Capt. Thomas Damron, West Virginia Home Guards; Lieut. Wilson Damron, West Virginia Home Guards; Lieut. Isaac Goble, Thirty-ninth {p.411} Kentucky Volunteers; Lieut. David V. Auxier, Thirty-ninth Kentucky Volunteers; Privates J. W. Howe, Thirty-ninth Kentucky Volunteers; William S. Dils, Thirty-ninth Kentucky Volunteers; Samuel Pack, Thirty-ninth Kentucky Volunteers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JULIUS WHITE, Brigadier-General, Commanding District.

[First indorsement.]

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS, May 21, 1863.

Respectfully referred to Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow, agent for exchange of prisoners.

I am unable to find anything on the records to show whether the within named have been delivered or not.

W. HOFFMAN, Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

[Second indorsement]

FORT MONROE, May 26, 1863.

The officers and men within named have been released and declared exchanged.

WM. H. LUDLOW, Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.

CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

RICHMOND, July 25, 1861.

[Governor JOHN LETCHER.]

SIR: I was requested before leaving Baltimore on the 17th instant by John L. Thomas, esq., counsel of Col. Richard Thomas Zarvona, to make to you the following statement of the treatment he has received of the Federal officers since his capture and confinement in Fort McHenry:

He with six others is confined in a dungeon having no ventilation except through the door, and from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. is locked up in a cell opening from the same dungeon. The only aperture to this cell by which light and air are admitted is a square of rather less than a foot in the door covered with zinc through which small holes are punched. His commission was taken from him at the time of his seizure. He declined to accept the privilege of the fort on his parole saying he desired to have a precedent established by the Federal authorities of the treatment of officers of his rank. On being remonstrated with for the unnecessary strictness of his confinement Major Morris, commandant, styled him a pirate and thought the treatment better than he deserved. His meals are served from the officers’ mess.

Very respectfully,

W. C. HALL.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, U. S. A., December 7, 1861.

Hon. Mr. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, C. S. A., Richmond, Va.

SIR: I am compelled by the state of my health to call your special attention to my case. For about five months I have been in close confinement and recently with winter fast approaching have been transferred to this fort. My health for some years past delicate is failing {p.412} and unless some arrangements can be made to effect my early exchange I have great cause for serious apprehensions. I was arrested while on special duty, and there is no reason why I should be treated in any way different from a prisoner of war. My services to my Government are well known and I think might reasonably entitle me to an early exchange. His excellency Governor Letcher is acquainted with the circumstances of my case and I take the liberty of referring to him as to the justice of my claims for some special effort in my behalf. I desire that my name be placed among the first on the list of prisoners to be exchanged and that I shall have the full benefit of the long time I have been already a prisoner.

I am, with great respect, your very obedient servant, the colonel,

ZARVONA.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, U. S. A., December 7, 1861.

His Excellency Governor LETCHER.

DEAR SIR: I have been transferred to this fort as you may possibly have heard. My health is seriously affected and the prospect of passing the winter in this climate far from satisfactory. I have this day addressed a communication to Mr. Secretary Benjamin requesting that my name should be placed in the list of prisoners to be exchanged, and that some special effort should be made in my behalf. You know how far I am entitled to this consideration, and 1 would respectfully request you to see the President and the Secretary of War and endeavor to have something done for me.

With regards to my friends, I am, with just respect, yours, truly, the colonel,

ZARVONA.

–––

CAMP MARYLAND, Near Winchester Va., November 18, 1862.

Lieut. Gen. T. J. JACKSON, Commanding Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.

SIR: I have the honor to request for my brother, Sergt. J. William Thomas, Company A, First Maryland Battalion, such assignment to special duty or leave of absence as will enable him to visit Richmond for the purpose of seeing Mr. Davis relative to the case of our brother, Colonel Zarvona, now for more than sixteen months an inmate of a Northern prison, and subject to more of maltreatment and cruel hardship than one could deem possible as coming from a people claiming Christianity and civilization did not testimony not to be doubted proclaim it.

It may be proper for me to mention that I have seen Mr. Davis several times upon the subject but have never been able to get anything more satisfactory than a formal demand on the part of our agents under the cartel for the exchange of prisoners for the release of my brother. This demand was made about the latter part of August last. I immediately notified my friends in Maryland of the fact, requesting them to bring what influence they could to bear upon the Government at Washington. They were told through the present representative of my district in the Federal Congress (Charles B. Calvert) that “the Government had decided not to release Colonel Zarvona.” I have within the past few days received letters from home giving in part an account of a visit my mother was permitted to pay her son after so long a time of painful separation. I {p.413} beg to inclose you an extract from the same. I think, sir, you will feel that this matter appeals most strongly to our Government for prompt action. My brother and I both think that the presence of one or the other of us might be of avail in Richmond toward such action. I trust you will find it agreeable to your sense of duty to grant this request and I will further ask that you furnish my brother with such letters as will tend to facilitate his efforts in Richmond.

I hope I do not ask too much for I speak to you not only as to my commanding officer but as to one of influence who can do much toward relieving the unmerited sufferings of a noble-hearted man who risked very much for the cause in which we are now enlisted, and who is now and has been for a long time treated as a common felon for doing what his country applauded.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your obedient servant,

GEO. THOMAS, First Lieut. and Acting Adjutant First Maryland Battalion.

[Inclosure.]

Your mother obtained last week a permit to visit Cousin Dick. They would allow no one else to see him. ... When she got to Fort Lafayette she was taken to Wood’s (the commander) office. ... When he came in she did not recognize him at first he was so changed. He looked so tall and was very thin and emaciated and had hardly strength to speak. His hand which you know was short and plump is now long and bony. He held her hand all the time. She asked him how he was. He said he was as well as could be expected shut up without light or air, his cell partly under water, with a place about the size of a dollar to admit the light; on cloudy days he could not see to walk about his room. ... Aunt Jane has been sending him money all the time and he would never have known it if she had not seen him. At the end of half an hour she was told that the time was out; she asked if she could not stay longer. They said no, and he was marched off to his dark and gloomy cell. Aunt Jane says if he is kept there two months longer he cannot stand it; it must kill him. ... It is your mother’s request that I write you. She is too sick to write herself. She has been sick ever since her return. ...

–––

SENATE CHAMBER, Richmond, Va., March 12, 1863.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON.

SIR: The Committee on Confederate Relations of this body would feel obliged (if convenient to yourself) that you would respond to the inquiry whether in the event of the transfer of prisoners held by the State authorities to the Confederate Government a sufficient number of officers will be held as hostages for the release of Colonel Zarvona, Captain Duskey and Lieutenant Varner. An early reply will oblige the committee.

Respectfully, &c.,

A. D. DICKINSON, Chairman of Committee.

[Indorsement]

No officers set apart as hostages for Colonel Z. as I had supposed. We suggest that officers be selected, set apart by State government, before turning over prisoners to Confederate Government. This course would relieve the subject of difficulty.

J. A. SEDDON.

{p.414}

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, March 13, 1863.

A. D. DICKINSON, Esq., Chairman, &c., Virginia Senate.

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 12th instant I have the honor to say that on inquiry I learn from Mr. Ould, commissioner of exchange, that no officers have been set apart as hostages for Colonel Zarvona as I had supposed. I would suggest that officers be selected by the State authorities as hostages for Colonel Zarvona, Captain Duskey and Lieutenant Varner before the prisoners are turned over to the Confederate Government. This course would relieve the Department of considerable difficulty, as the persons selected would come into our possession with the liability attached to them by the State government.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, May 2, 1863.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War.

SIR: I respectfully recommend that of the Federal officers now held by us a sufficient number be set aside to retaliate for the unjust detention of the following-named persons, all of whom have been in prison for more than six months and all of whom are already declared exchanged by the Federal agent of exchange, to wit: ... Colonel Zarvona (Thomas), Fort Delaware. ...

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT OULD, Agent of Exchange.

–––

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Richmond, May 16, 1863.

ROBERT OULD, Esq., Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.

SIR: Your letter to the governor* dated the 13th instant has been received at this department, and in the absence of the governor I have the honor to state that on the 6th instant the governor transmitted to the superintendent of the penitentiary the following paper:

MAY 6,1863.

Hostages for Colonel Zarvona: Capt. Thomas Damron, Lieut. Wilson Damron,

Lieut. David V. Auxier, Lieut. Isaac Goble, Privates Samuel Pack, William S. Dils, J. W. Howe. Colonel Bass will at once release the prisoners named herein and hand them over to the Confederate authorities for exchange for Zarvona.

JOHN LETCHER.

Upon this paper is indorsed the following:

C. S. MILITARY PRISON, Richmond, Va., May -, 1863.

Will Colonel Bass please deliver to bearer, Sergeant Hite, the within-named prisoners?

Respectfully,

T. P. TURNER, Captain, Commanding.

Upon the same paper is the following:

MAY -, 1863.

Received the within-mentioned prisoners.

T. P. TURNER, Captain, Commanding.

* Not found.

{p.415}

The superintendent of the penitentiary, Colonel Bass, informs me that the prisoners were delivered according to the copy of the foregoing receipt. He states that the men all answered to their names in the order in which they stand on the preceding list. The only discrepancy being that the man who is designated by you as William G. Dils answered to his name as William S. Dils. These papers show that the prisoners were turned over by order of the governor to the Confederate authorities to be exchanged. I presume therefore the exchange has been made, or if not that Captain Turner can give the necessary explanation.

Very respectfully,

GEORGE W. MUNFORD, Secretary of the Commonwealth.

[First indorsement.]

OFFICE EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS, Richmond, Va., May 16, 1863.

Respectfully referred to Capt. Thomas P. Turner, commanding Libby Prison.

ROBERT OULD, Agent of Exchange.

[Second indorsement.]

C. S. MILITARY PRISON, May 17, 1863.

The within-mentioned officers were paroled May 5, 1863. The men mentioned within as privates gave in their names as citizens when they were received at this prison. They were paroled and sent home by flag of truce May 15, 1863, as citizen prisoners. They were captured in Floyd County, Ky., December 4, 1862.

THOS. P. TURNER, Captain, Commanding.

[Third indorsement.]

OFFICE EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS, Richmond, Va., May 18, 1863.

Respectfully referred to Lieut. Col. William H. Ludlow, agent of exchange.

ROBERT OULD, Agent of Exchange.

–––

Case of Purcell M. Quillen.

Purcell M. Quillen was arrested in Washington by order of General Scott and forwarded to Fort Lafayette where he was committed July 22, 1861. He was charged with being a rebel spy and coming North from his home in Charleston, S. C., for the purpose of purchasing military equipments and engaging workmen to go South to manufacture knapsacks. Quillen confessed to a Government employé while en route to New York that he served for three months in the Confederate Army and participated in the bombardment of Fort Sumter, but claimed that he was pressed into the service by the vigilance committee of Charleston, and although a British subject was informed by Mr. Bunch, the British consul, that he must obey the committee. He was released August 7, 1861, by order of General Scott on the ground that he was a British subject.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

{p.416}

–––

OFFICE UNION DEFENSE COMMITTEE OF THE CITIZENS OF NEW YORK, New York, June 17, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: Lord Lyons upon a letter of recommendation from Mr. Bunch, consul at Charleston, S. C. (or perhaps a pass or passport from him), has given a pass to a young man by the name of Quillen, who resides at Charleston, S. C., and is in the employ of Lambert & Howell, of that city. Mr. Quillen is here endeavoring to get a supply of military equipments to send to the South and has made arrangements with several men to go South and manufacture knapsacks, &c. There are he says many men sent here in this way under the passport of Mr. Bunch and with the indorsement of Lord Lyons. I presume they have deceived the representatives of Great Britain but it can do no harm to let them know of this abuse of their complaisance.

Your obedient servant,

S. DRAPER.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, June 18, 1861.

SIMEON DRAPER, Esq., New York:

No passport is a protection for treason. If you have reliable evidence of facts arrest Quillen, passport or no passport. Hereafter no diplomatic or consular passport will be good unless countersigned by me.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

[JUNE -, 1861.]

Mr. MONSON, British Legation.

DEAR SIR: I called at the State Department (by request) at 2.30 o’clock to get my passport signed. Instead I have been arrested and lodged in this d-d jail. If you would see to my case you would much oblige,

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

P. M. QUILLEN.

–––

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 26, 1861.

Gen. J. K. F. MANSFIELD, Commanding Department of Washington.

GENERAL: The inclosed are all the papers* found upon the person or among the baggage of Mr. Quillen, arrested by me on your order and lodged in jail.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. H. STARR, Captain Second Dragoons.

He was arrested at the State Department.

* The only paper inclosed is a slip with the address: “Myer Phineas, from New York.”

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, June 28, 1861.

SIMEON DRAPER, New York:

Send hither at once any witnesses to the facts in regard to Quillen spoken of in your note to Mr. Cameron of the 17th. He was alleged to be buying equipments and hiring men to make them for Confederate troops.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

{p.417}

–––

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington County, ss:

Be it known that on this 28th day of June, A. D. 1861, before the undersigned, a notary public in and for said county, personally appeared Purcell M. Quillen and makes oath in due form of law that he has not been engaged in any contraband business and that he has not done anything hostile to the Government of the United States; that he will not hereafter in any way by act or word do anything hostile to the Government of the United States.

P. M. QUILLEN.

Subscribed and sworn before me.

N. CALLAN, Notary Public.

–––

[WASHINGTON, June 29, 1861.]

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: In obedience to your request I have taken the statement of Purcell M. Quillen in relation to himself and the circumstances connected with his arrest on the suspicion of his being a spy. The foregoing [following] statement is the account which he gives of himself.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. GODDARD, Justice of the Peace.

[Inclosure.]

WASHINGTON COUNTY JAIL, Washington City, June 29, 1861.

Minutes of a preliminary examination of Purcell M. Quillen, arrested on suspicion of being a spy, had before Capt. John H. Goddard, justice of the peace:

I was born in Ireland. Am not naturalized. Am twenty-four years of age; about fourteen years in America. Am employed in the carpet trade at Charleston in the house of Lambert & Howell. Received my passport from the British consul, Mr. Bunch, at Charleston, about four weeks ago. Am not married. Have been at New York City. Had a letter with me from Mr. Bunch to Lord Lyons to facilitate my progress or to help me along. Did not present that letter until I returned here yesterday. Came here Thursday night; left New York Wednesday evening; did not stop any time in Baltimore; have some relatives there and dined with them; have lived there; have lived in New York previous to my living in Charleston; have lived in Charleston about eleven months; have been engaged with the above house since I went to Charleston. In visiting New York my object was merely to visit my friends. I thought that perhaps the present troubles might be soon settled and I found I could do but little at Charleston. I still hold my situation at Charleston if I should return. I expected to get a commission in the U. S. Army through the influence of Mr. Hosea Perkins, who is acquainted with Hon. Dan. Sickles, but I got no satisfaction in that way and I determined to return to Charleston. I did not represent myself to the British consul as a married man. In speaking of my family I meant my friends. I sign my name Quillen; my brother signs his McQuillen. I have one brother in the Eighth New York Regiment. I received a package of letters (shown) from Mr. Monson, secretary of legation (British) here. In order to deliver it with another letter to Mr. Bunch, consul at Charleston, I was directed at the legation to get my {p.418} passport countersigned by the Secretary of State and was desired to make an affidavit which I did and to my astonishment found myself arrested. I never made any arrangement with any parties in New York to go South to manufacture knapsacks-never. I never made arrangements to get military equipments for the South while in New York. I have never stated while in New York that several men had been sent to New York under the passports of Mr. Bunch indorsed by Lord Lyons. I know one young man-yes I know three young Englishmen who had got passes in Richmond from Governor Letcher and a letter from the vice-consul at Richmond. I met them at Strasburg and again at Harper’s Ferry on my way from Charleston. I did not come through Washington on my way from Charleston; I came through Harper’s Ferry. I took the railroad from Manassas Junction to Strasburg. I did not go through the Gap. I stayed about three weeks in New York. I did nothing particular there. I had no goods to attend to there. I lived at the house No. 87 Spring street, corner of Broadway. I was acquainted with a Mr. Moore, No. 99 Bowery, clerk with Hiram Anderson ;also George Reed, of the same place; also Michael or M. Noonan, nearly opposite The Herald, a bookseller. I have also been in at Julian Bros.’ carpet warehouse, corner of Broadway and Canal street; they are an importing house. The memoranda in the pocket-book were made in the store at Charleston. What I have stated in the foregoing is all true. I was sick in New York for a little time. I did not state to any one that I had a stock of goods in New York. I thought when I went on that we might order our spring goods, but I found that nothing in the way of trade could be done and I thought it was better to return to Charleston where I could get something to do as I had nothing to do in New York and there was money owing to me in Charleston. I have not stated that I had a stock of goods or that I expected a stock of goods in New York and that I wanted to get then into the South to avoid paying duties, &c. I never stated that I am aware of that I had any goods to attend to or look after there. My object now is to get back to Charleston the readiest way I can go and the least expensive. I did not state that I was in business on my own account in Charleston. I did not state that I desired to get back to Charleston in order to attend to the settling up of the business of my own store or to see after my goods but I stated that I wanted to get back there to get my business settled up.

Question. Did you not state that your object in coming North was to attend to the disposition of some goods which you expected to arrive from Europe and to see if it would pay to take them to the South; or on the other hand to dispose of them in New York and thus save extra expense, freight, commission, &c., which would be incurred by taking them to the South?-Answer. I did not state that but something similar to it. I did not state that I was sick in Baltimore a considerable time with my friends but I stated that I was sick in New York. I did state that business was the entire cause of my detention. I did not state that I had two brothers in the Eighth New York Regiment. The whole of this trouble has originated with one man in New York by the name of Jefferies, No. 99 Bowery, in Hiram Anderson’s carpet store. His reason for persecuting me is that he applied to the parties in Charleston who now employ me for the situation and did not get it which caused his malicious feeling toward me as I believe. He reported me to Mr. Kennedy, chief of police in New York, the night I arrived as a secessionist. My brother’s name in the Eighth Regiment is Thomas McQuillen, Eighth New York City Regiment, stationed at Arlington

{p.419}

Heights; C. McDonald, in same regiment, Engineer Corps, also has known me the last six or seven years; Thomas R. Turnbull, sergeant of engineers, same regiment, also knows me; N. P. Fitzpatrick, of sane regiment, also; Hugh S. Powers, of Ellsworth Zouaves, also knows me; Charles Lambert, of Morristown, N. J., is principal partner in the house I am in at Charleston.

–––

NEW YORK, June 29, 1861.

W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:

The witnesses must be examined here. They are so situated that they peril much in what they may be called to do. They have learned all they know from the young man himself and there is no doubt of his complicity with the Montgomery Government. There is no doubt but he can tell you of direct acts of the British consul or his deputy at Richmond aiding and abetting by the use of British dispatch agent and messenger. The names of the witnesses will be furnished to any person on a demand being made for them.

S. DRAPER.

NEW YORK, June 29, 1861.

W. H. SEWARD:

Witness will be in Washington and report himself to you on Monday morning.

S. DRAPER.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC CHARITIES AND CORRECTION, New York, July 1, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I inclose a note received from the witness in the case of Mr. Quillen. If you have the power to take him to Washington you will be forced to exercise it. His brother and also Hiram Anderson, a well-known carpet dealer in the city, can furnish the necessary information.

Your obedient servant,

S. DRAPER.

[Inclosure.]

NEW YORK, July 1, 1861.

SIMEON DRAPER, Esq.

DEAR SIR: My partner having gone to the country with his family on Saturday leaving important business matters for me to attend to to-day it was impossible for me to go on to Washington. When, as a patriotic merchant, I gave you a hint as to how easily men from the South got passes it was understood between us that I should not be mixed up in the matter any further, and as you know all I could communicate I should prefer not going on.

I am, dear sir, respectfully, yours,

HENRY G. JULIAN.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, July 2, 1861.

B. DELAFIELD SMITH, U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

SIR: A few days since Purcell M. Quillen, a British subject, having presented here to be countersigned the inclosed passport* from Mr. {p.420} Bunch, the British consul at Charleston, was arrested at my instance by military authority and committed for examination. This step was occasioned by a note of the 17th ultimo addressed to Mr. Cameron, the Secretary of War, by Simeon Draper, esq., chairman of the Union Defense Committee of New York, a copy of which is also inclosed. I then caused an examination of Quillen to be made by Captain Goddard, the chief of the police here, a copy of which is also herewith transmitted.

Mr. Draper having been asked to send hither witnesses with a view to further proceedings against Quillen has replied that they could not leave New York, and as the offense of the prisoner appears to have been committed in that city it is deemed advisable to transfer him thither. I have accordingly directed him to be transferred and placed in the custody of the marshal of the United States. It is desirable that he should be further examined at New York and if the result of the examination should justify it that he should be held for trial. Mr. Forrest, a clerk in this Department, to whom Quillen applied to have his passport countersigned and who questioned him as to his object, takes this letter and his deposition in the matter may be important. If the proof against Quillen should not warrant his detention for trial the memorandum book found upon him with the passport which he presented to be countersigned both may be returned.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found. See ante for the other inclosures referred to.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington. July 2, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOSEPH K. F. MANSFIELD, Washington.

GENERAL: Difficulty having been experienced in obtaining such witnesses from New York as would be necessary for further proceedings against Purcell M. Quillen it is deemed advisable that he should be transferred to that city and delivered to Robert Murray, esq., marshal of the United States there. I will thank you to cause him to be transferred accordingly. This Department will defray any expense which the transfer may occasion.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

P. S.-Mr. John A. Kennedy, superintendent of police, who is now here will receive Quillen and transfer him to the marshal;

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, July 2, 1861.

ROBERT MURRAY, Esq., U. S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York.

SIR: Herewith you will receive Purcell M. Quillen whom you will detain as a prisoner to await the order of the attorney of the United States for your district.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

NEW YORK, July 4, 1861.

WILLIAM HUNTER, Esq., Department of State, Washington.

DEAR SIR: We arrived here early this morning and as soon as possible I reported myself to the U. S. marshal and also endeavored to see {p.421} the district attorney, but he has left the city for the day. Mr. Draper is also absent. It will therefore be impossible to have Quillen’s examination before to-morrow.

Whatever may be the result of this case I am more than ever convinced that he is either a spy or an agent of the rebels-perhaps both, and it seems to me it would be highly improper to permit him to go at large or at all events to communicate with the South. I have thought it proper to communicate to the Department what seems to be important admissions made by him since we left Washington not only as showing his own guilt but as impeaching the good faith of the British consul at Charleston, Mr. Bunch. He has stated to me that some time previous to the attack on Fort Sumter he was notified by the vigilance committee at Charleston to join the Confederate forces forthwith. He at once consulted the consul as to his being compelled to do so and Mr. Bunch advised him-indeed said that he must do as the committee had ordered and he accordingly he says took up arms against the United States, and was so engaged for a period of three months and three weeks and participating in the bombardment of Sumter. I asked him if he was not aware that the consul had the power to save him as a subject of Great Britain from this impressment. He replied that the consul had stated that he had not; that Lord Lyons had given him positive instructions on this point to the effect that British subjects having resided six months in the State of South Carolina were presumed to be citizens or intending to become so and were therefore liable to be compelled to perform military duty. So that the consul instead of discouraging him from engaging in hostile demonstration against the United States rather encouraged him to do so.

I have thought it proper to let the Department know these facts as early as possible. If you should desire to communicate with me to-morrow be pleased to direct to care of the U. S. marshal. I shall leave New York as soon as this case is disposed of-perhaps to-morrow night or Saturday morning.

In great haste, I remain, dear sir, faithfully, yours,

THOMAS L. FORREST.

Quillen states that he knows of several cases where the consul advised British subjects to comply with the demands of the vigilance committee.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, July 10, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that Purcell M. Quillen, a British subject, offered to be countersigned some days since a passport from Mr. Bunch, the consul of his country at Charleston, in order that he might return thither. The conduct of the man being somewhat strange, leading to suspicion of his disloyalty, I caused him to be arrested and examined. The examination tended to confirm this suspicion, but as the principal witnesses in the case were at New York he was transferred thither for further examination. A copy of the deposition of Henry George Julian and Hiram Anderson at New York is herewith inclosed.* My impression is that it would not only be unadvisable to allow Quillen to return to Charleston but that for the present at least he should be detained in custody. I will consequently {p.422} thank you to order him into confinement at Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor, or some other U. S. fort. He is now in the Tombs at New York but I have directed the marshal of the United States to deliver him to your order.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, July 10, 1861.

ROBERT MURRAY, Esq., U. & Marshal, New York.

SIR: I have requested Lieutenant-General Scott to transfer Purcell M. Quillen now confirmed in the Tombs at New York to Fort Hamilton. You will consequently deliver him for that purpose on application of the proper officer.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, July 11, 1861.

Col. C. F. SMITH, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Columbus, New York.

SIR: The Secretary of State having requested that Purcell M. Quillen, a British subject, who is now confined in the Tombs in New York City as a political offender, may be detained in custody for the present by military authority the General-in-Chief accordingly directs that you receive him from the U. S. marshal, who is instructed to deliver him on this order, and confine him to a room at Fort Columbus under a guard until further orders.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, July 20, 1861.

Col. C. F. SMITH, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Columbus, New York.

SIR: The General-in-Chief directs that Purcell M. Quillen and Edward Seymour Ruggles, prisoners for political offenses, be sent to Fort Lafayette and reported to Lieut. Col. Martin Burke.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

OFFICE OF THE U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, New York, July 23, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

DEAR SIR: A writ of habeas corpus in the case of Purcell M. Quillen has just been granted directed to the military officer in charge at Governor’s Island, returnable on Thursday at 12. Judge Shipman who granted the writ did so very reluctantly, and I say to you in confidence that rebellion and treason will obtain no aid and comfort from {p.423} his action, judicial or otherwise. Courts and judges, however, cannot alter or suspend the law, and it has occurred to me that Quillen may not be of sufficient consequence to render worth while any stand by us in the matter. If you think proper please telegraph me. I will postpone action till you telegraph or write.

With great respect, gratefully and truly, yours,

E. DELAFIELD SMITH.

P. S.-I should add that if the military officer refuses to produce Quillen I believe Judge Shipman will assume the responsibility and decline to grant an attachment or order to show cause.

Respectfully,

E. D. S.

[Indorsement.]

Perhaps it will be well for General Scott to give instructions to the commandant to obey no writ.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT COLUMBUS, N. Y., July 24, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I understand that writs of habeas corpus will probably be served upon me in the cases of Purcell M. Quillen ... detained by me under the order of General Scott. It seems to me proper to ask instructions as to the course which it will be best for me to pursue in the event of the service of such writs.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, July 24, 1861.

Col. D. D. TOMPKINS, Quartermaster’s Department, No. 6 State Street, New York:

Send orders immediately to commanding officers of Forts Hamilton and Lafayette to return to writ in case of Purcell M. Quillen that he begs leave to decline obeying the writ at this time.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, July 29, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, U. S. Army, Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor.

SIR: Your letter of the 24th instant has been received. Orders were sent you the 24th instant in case a writ of habeas corpus was served on you in the matter of Purcell M. Quillen to return upon it that you beg leave to decline obeying the writ at this time. ...

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.424}

–––

[No date.]

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, Willard’s Hotel, Washington, D. C.:

Quillen case following return made: I beg leave to decline obeying this writ at this time. Betts ordered adjournment to Wednesday for amended return. He wants the officer to state by whose authority he declines. Advise me.

STEWART L. WOODFORD.

–––

WASHINGTON, August 5, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

MY DEAR SIR: Of the two prisoners at New York about whose liberation we spoke confidentially last night one is Quillen, with whose case you are well acquainted. ... I do not, however, in this private and confidential note enter into the merits of either case because your view was that it would be expedient rather to exercise your discretionary power in favor of these two countrymen of mine than to discuss legal or other questions. In the same spirit in which we spoke of the subject last night I venture to say that I should be very glad to have the means as soon as possible of anticipating any sensation which the cases might make on the other side of the Atlantic.

Believe me to be, my dear sir, yours, sincerely,

LYONS.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, August 5, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, U. S. Army, Commanding, &c., Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

SIR: It is deemed advisable by higher authority that Purcell M. Quillen, confined as a political prisoner in Fort Lafayette, should be at once quietly released. The General-in-Chief accordingly directs you to release him. ...

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

Case of Austin B. Smith.

On the 2d day of August, 1861, Austin E. Smith, late navy agent at San Francisco, was arrested at New York by the marshal of the southern district of New York charged with being a defaulter to the Government and having the books and papers of the naval agency in his possession and with being a secessionist and rebel, and was on the 3d day of August by order of the Department of State committed to military custody at Fort Lafayette as a political prisoner. Many per sons charged Smith with disloyal and rebellious sentiments and purposes, alleging that he was a rabid and fiery rebel and that he had openly declared on board ship that had he had in his possession any considerable amount of Government funds he would have retained it for the use of the army South. He was twice tendered his release from confinement on condition of taking the oath of allegiance and giving his parole not to go to any seceded State nor correspond with any person {p.425} in such State, but he declined either to take the oath or give his parole. On the 29th of October the Fourth Auditor of the Treasury informed the Department of State that on a final settlement of Smith’s accounts as late naval agent and acting paymaster at San Francisco a balance was found to be due from him to the United States of $4,042.47. On the 7th day of December having made no denial of his disloyalty Smith made several propositions to obtain his release, among which was a proposal to be exchanged for some loyal citizen held as a prisoner by the rebels, thus admitting his own treason. From all the evidence in the case it appears that Austin E. Smith is a disloyal man in full sympathy with the rebellion, and from his personal and social relations shown by the active and persistent efforts of many persons of cultivation and respectability to obtain his release and serve him in his confinement possessed of dangerous influence and power for evil. The said Smith having been transferred to Fort Warren remained in custody there the 15th of February, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

WASHINGTON, August 2, 1861.

ROBERT MURRAY, Marshal Southern District of New York:

Deliver Austin E. Smith, a political prisoner, to Lieut. Col. Martin Burke, U. S. Army, commanding Forts Hamilton and Lafayette, who has instructions to receive and hold him in custody.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, August 3, 1861.

Bvt. Lieut. Col. M. BURKE, Commanding Forts Hamilton and Lafayette.

COLONEL: I this day received of Robert Murray, marshal southern district of New York, Austin E. Smith, a political prisoner, and have confined him in same room with Messrs. Lyon, Alvey, and the three police commissioners. I herewith inclose you the telegram from Hon. William H. Seward to Robert Murray authorizing him to deliver the prisoner at this post.

I am, colonel, with respect, your obedient servant,

CHAS. O. WOOD, Second Lieutenant, Ninth Infantry, Commanding Post.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 27, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: Mr. Hobart Berrian, the Fourth Auditor of the Treasury, has addressed a letter to this Department requesting leave to visit Mr. Austin E. Smith at Fort Lafayette on business relating to his accounts as navy agent at San Francisco. I will consequently thank you to send Mr. Berrian a permit for that purpose.

I have the honor to be, general, your very obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

{p.426}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 12, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: James M. Smith, of 247 Broadway, New York, having requested an interview on business with Austin E. Smith, a political prisoner at Fort Lafayette, I will thank you to comply with his request, being careful, however, that the interview takes place in your presence or in that of some other commissioned officer of the United States.

I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 10, 1861.

HOBART BERRIAN, Esq., Fourth Auditor of the Treasury, Washington.

SIR: I inclose a note* to the Secretary from Mr. Senator Latham and will thank you to inform me if it is necessary that Mr. Austin E. Smith, who you are aware is a state prisoner at Fort Lafayette, should be released for the purpose of coming hither to settle his accounts. Please return the note with your answer.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 11, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: Let Austin B. Smith, a prisoner confined at Fort Lafayette, be released on taking the oath* of allegiance to the Government of the United States stipulating that he will neither enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the United States Government nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those States without permission from the Secretary of State; and also that he will not do anything hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. I transmit this order to Robert Murray, esq., U. S. marshal, who has been instructed by this Department to cause a police examination to be made in some cases of the persons and baggage of prisoners discharged from custody to the end that no correspondence or other improper papers be conveyed by them to persons outside the fort.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Smith declined to take the oath. See Smith to Seward, December 7, p. 427.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 31, 1861.

HOBART BERRIAN, Esq., Fourth Auditor of the Treasury.

SIR: I have received your letter of the 29th instant* apprising me of the result of the adjustment of the accounts of Mr. Austin E. Smith, late navy agent at San Francisco. If you should not have already communicated the same information to him I would suggest that it be done.

I am, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. {p.427}

413 BROOME STREET, November 25, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: J. K. Millner,* A. E. Smith, of Virginia, and Charles Kopperl,* of Mississippi, are clients of Hon. William H. Ludlow, who has pressed me diligently to report in their cases. But for this I could properly pass them as I shall all of the prisoners deemed to be disloyal now unless there is something special in their cases. ...

The case of Mr. Austin E. Smith is I think fully known to you. He is in all respects it seems to me a disloyal man-energetic, active and determined. His tone is defiant. He demands the right to come on to Washington to settle his accounts. That might be allowed provided he was certain to be remanded to duress. ...

I am, very respectfully, yours,

S. C. HAWLEY.

* For cases of Millner and Kopperl, see poet.

–––

FORT WARREN, December 7, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: On the 2d of August I was arrested by your order in the city of New York when on my way to Washington City for the purpose of settling my accounts as late navy agent for the post of San Francisco. On the 5th of the same month I communicated to you the facts and circumstances. On the 14th of October and the 16th of November I was tendered my release upon terms to which I could not conscientiously subscribe. And now after an incarceration of upward of four months in accordance with the suggestions found in your two communications lately received by Colonel Dimick and read to the political prisoners here confined I propose the following parole: I pledge and bind myself upon my honor if set at liberty by the President of the United States to proceed without unnecessary delay to Washington to settle my accounts and thence if required by the President to return immediately to California.

Your obedient servant,

AUSTIN B. SMITH.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 27; 1862.

Col. JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren, Boston, Mass.

COLONEL: You will release Austin E. Smith, a prisoner confined at Fort Warren, in exchange for William Ayres, of Philadelphia.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, May 7, 1862.

Hon. P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary of War:

Austin B. Smith, released from Fort Warren in exchange for William Ayres, has applied here for a permit to go to Fortress Monroe with the view of going South. What is the direction of the Secretary of War regarding him?

WM. H. LUDLOW, Major and Aide-de-Camp.

{p.428}

–––

WASHINGTON, May 15, 1862.

Maj. Gen. JOHN E. WOOL, Commanding:

Austin Smith, exchanged for a person whose parole expires the 18th instant, is ordered to report to you. Send him through the lines by the first opportunity after he arrives.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE DEPARTMENT, Baltimore, Md., May 15, 1862.

Lieut. Col. WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of Virginia, Fortress Monroe.

COLONEL: I am directed by the major-general commanding to inform you that a pass to Fortress Monroe has been issued at these headquarters to Austin B. Smith, a prisoner released for exchange upon the inclosed telegraphic order from the War Department.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILSON BARSTOW, Aide-de-Camp.

[Inclosure.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, May 15, 1862.

Mr. Austin E. Smith will be permitted to pass to Fort Monroe, Va. and will be forwarded through the lines to Richmond without delay, having been exchanged. The parole of the person for whom he was exchanged expires the 18th instant.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

CAMP PICKENS, January 30, 1862.

President DAVIS.

DEAR SIR: Since I saw you last I have received a letter from my son, Austin E. Smith, confined in Fort Warren; had a visit from Captain Tansill who called to deliver a message from him; also a visit from Colonel Tyler for like purpose in addition to the letter he had written to me, and now a letter from Captain Tattnall (as I read the name), who was released on the 13th instant from Fort Warren, from whose letter I respectfully submit the following extract:

NORFOLK, January 25, 1862.

... Your son requested me to see you in Richmond and to deliver to you the following message. He begs that all efforts may be made to obtain his release but that be has no hope that such effort will be successful unless he can be exchanged for some prisoner of war in whom the U. S. Secretary of State may feel personal interest or in whose favor he may be induced to act in consequence of political influences. Your son cannot give up the hope that your representations to our Government of the service he has rendered to our cause and his desire to face the invaders of our soil may induce them to offer some such person as I have mentioned in exchange for him. ...

{p.429}

In all the late communications from him the view presented by the above extract characterizes them all. I therefore yield. Property considerations I doubt not he has somewhat cared for, and at any rate they must not be weighed in the balance against liberty and duty to our country, and I most anxiously urge the carrying out of your kind suggestion to make him an officer and exchange him as a prisoner of war, My son is about thirty-one years old, has had two years at West Point and desires to enter the army. When I was in Richmond last inquiring about the officers in person as I did by his request I found a Lieutenant Parks (I think such was the name; at any rate he was an adjutant to a Massachusetts regiment and was captured I think in the fight near Leesburg), of Boston, who was represented by the officer in command to be a high-toned gentleman who would respect the parole and who commanded considerable influence in his native city. I cannot say more for fear my feelings should master me but trust in God and my country’s chief for an early opportunity to clasp to my bosom my noble, gallant son.

I am, Mr. President, most respectfully and truly, yours,

WM. SMITH.

[Indorsement.]

Acknowledge. Expect soon some arrangement for exchange of prisoners will be made, and Secretary of War will please file this for attention and reply to Colonel Smith, whose feelings he will appreciate.

JEFF’N DAVIS.

–––

HDQRS. FORTY-NINTH REGT. VIRGINIA VOLUNTEERS, February 10, 1862.

President DAVIS.

DEAR SIR: Having just received a letter from my son and not having heard from the Secretary of War as I was advised by your private secretary I might expect to do, I have concluded to inclose the letter to you that you may see that he adheres inflexibly to his resolve in the first instance, “that the granite of his prison home would crumble into dust before he would acknowledge the slightest allegiance to the tyranny which oppressed him or have his devoted loyalty to the South to become a question.” With you, my dear sir, now rests my hopes-all my hopes and his. I know not, care not how he has managed about our pecuniary interests. Money is but dust in the balance against liberty-the liberty to defy, to brave, to conquer our enemies; the liberty to fight, to bleed and if need be, to die for our country.

I am, Mr. President, very truly and sincerely, yours,

WM. SMITH.

[Indorsement.]

SECRETARY OF WAR:

One inclosure. Please answer and explain.

J. D[AVIS].

[Inclosure.]

FORT WARREN, January 26, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM SMITH, Warrenton, Va.

MY DEAR FATHER: Your favor of 12th instant came to hand yesterday, and I must say that I was greatly surprised and deeply mortified that you should have given me such advice. My feelings are {p.430} somewhat soothed by the conviction that you saw from an erroneous standpoint and knew not the true character of the obligation. There are no contemplated combination of circumstances which could induce me to waver from the position I have taken. Kidnapped as I have been I will not wink at any further degradation. The fact that I was arrested because this Government thought I was on my way South to take up arms against the United States makes me at least a quasi prisoner of war. The South has adopted no policy upon the question of exchange. The South has given up her military prisoners for political prisoners held in this fort; witness Faulkner* for Ely and the resigned navy officers who were arrested as and held as prisoners of state. Every guaranteed right of this Government disregarded or denied me I now appeal with an abiding confidence to my native land.

Very affectionately, your devoted son,

AUSTIN E. SMITH.

Warmest love to all. Please carry out my views and leave the rest to me.

* See p. 463 for case of Faulkner, exchanged for Congressman Ely, of New York.

–––

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Richmond, March 31, 1862.

President DAVIS.

DEAR SIR: A recent capture of some citizen prisoners from the enemy afford some chances of extricating my son from his imprisonment in Fort Warren. Allow me to call your attention again to this matter, deeply interesting to me, and implore again your interference for my dear son’s extrication.

Yours, most respectfully,

WM. SMITH.

[First indorsement.]

SECRETARY OF WAR:

The case is a hard one and Colonel Smith has the highest claims on our regard. His devotion and gallantry are known to you. His son has shown a spirit worthy his descent. If the request can be consistently complied with you will please avail yourself of an opportunity to grant it.

J. D[AVIS].

[Second indorsement.]

Inform Hon. William Smith, House of Representatives, that if he can suggest a suitable exchange the Department will consider the suggestion with a cordial wish to adopt it.

G. W. R[ANDOLPH].

–––

CARY STREET CITIZENS’ PRISON, Richmond, April 10, 1862.

Ex-Governor WILLIAM SMITH.

DEAR SIR: Since the brief interview of yesterday I have revolved in my mind the subject of procuring the exchange of your son, A. E. Smith, for myself, and I will now specifically set forth some of the influences I can bring to accomplish that result.

First. My uncle, Mr. Robert Allen, of Philadelphia, is a most intimate friend of Mr. John Tucker, one of the Assistant Secretaries of {p.431} War. Mr. Tucker enjoys intimate relationship with Secretary Stanton, and through him and my friend I can secure a very weighty influence, as much so as any individual in the Administration. Mr. Allen is also the relative by marriage and friend of Mr. E. Cowan, one of the U. S. Senators from the State of Pennsylvania, whose influence would also be used in my behalf and whom I know would take pleasure in serving me. My brother-in-law, J. N. Criswell, of Harrisburg, Pa., has been for years on terms of greatest intimacy with Thomas A. Scott, esq., another Assistant Secretary of War, and for whom I am certain Mr. Scott would use all his influence. My brother, Col. B. Ayres (formerly superintendent of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad and a gentleman whose sympathies are with the South from long residence and acquaintance), was a former associate in business with Mr. Scott, and a person whom I think Mr. Scott would do anything for. I am also personally acquainted with Mr. Scott and will demand the favor. My brother-in-law, A. J. Jones, of Harrisburg, is a prominent politician of the party now in power and can command the services and influence of J. W. Killinger, the influential representative of his district, and others at Washington. John P. Verree, esq., and John M. Butler, the representatives of the First and Third districts of Philadelphia in Congress, will give me their aid. Isaac Newton, head of the Agricultural Bureau in Washington; James T. Hale, the-brother-in-law of Secretary Welles and representative in Congress, will aid me. Myself and family are intimate with Governor Curtin and family, of Pennsylvania, whose influence I can secure with the President. My wife is a warm personal friend and acquaintance of Mrs. Secretary Welles, whom I know would use her influence to oblige her (sometimes very potent).

The fact is I am so confident of my ability to secure the desired result if I am afforded an opportunity that I am willing to risk a return to this place according to the terms of a parole should one be granted to me for that purpose. I therefore suggest to you the propriety of pro curing a parole of honor-say for twenty or thirty days. It has been granted by both Governments in cases where the parties stood in the position of belligerents, and your Government would in no way compromise themselves by granting it to me, a non-combatant, against whom there is no charge, taken as you are aware three weeks since while viewing the famous battle-field of Manassas. You are aware of the difficulty of attempting to command my influences by correspondence and the difference in effect where I would urge them in my proper person, and I hope you will use your influence to secure it knowing that it will result to our mutual satisfaction.

I have no personal acquaintance in Richmond, but if Mr. J. R. Anderson, of the Tredegar Works, or Col. Sam. Tate, president of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, were in the place I could acquaint you with my social position (they knowing my brothers) and give you and the Government assurances that the terms of a parole of honor would be faithfully carried out. Should you be successful you can have the honor of a gentleman that every effort would be made for the release of your son and any influence that would procure that result would be procured. It is not that the burdens of prison life are so onerous and hard to bear but for the sake of my family who may be suffering pecuniarily from effects produced by this revolution.

With hopeful anticipations I await the result and remain, yours, very respectfully,

WM. AYRES.

{p.432}

Case of Louis de Bebian.

The President of the United States, by his proclamation of April 27, 1861, for the reasons set forth therein, established a blockade of the ports of the States of Virginia and North Carolina, including the port of Wilmington in said last-named State. On the 6th day of August, 1861, the schooner Adelso, of Saint John, New Brunswick, having entered the port of Wilmington a few days previously by a fraudulent evasion of said blockade, sailed thence to Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a full cargo of turpentine and rosin, again violating the said blockade in her departure. The said schooner Adelso was built at Eastport, in the State of Maine; was a vessel of ninety-eight tons, owned by John Kay, of Eastport aforesaid, and called the A. L. Hyde. Kay to save the vessel from seizure and loss, he being in trouble, put her in the hands of Henry Horton, his brother-in-law, a resident of New Brunswick; and she was then registered as Horton’s property and sailed under Capt. Thomas Kimball, a naturalized American citizen of British birth, as master. Her name was also changed to the Adelso. This vessel with her doubtful ownership, equivocal hailing place, double nationality and master of twofold citizenship and allegiance was chartered expressly for the business of carrying on a trade with the said port of Wilmington in fraudulent disregard of the said blockade; and in pursuance of such intent sailed from the said port of Wilmington for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the 6th day of August aforesaid; and was driven by stress of weather into the port of Newport, R. I., on the 13th day of the same month, when she and her cargo were immediately taken possession of by the officers of customs. Louis de Bebian, represented to be a native of the Island of Guadaloupe and claiming to be a French subject, was a passenger on the said vessel on her said voyage from Wilmington aforesaid, where he resides, bound for Halifax, and was on the said vessel when she came to Newport, constrained by stress of weather as aforesaid. The collector of the port of Newport reports that by direction of the district attorney no person was allowed to go on shore from the said vessel nor anyone to go on board except the officers of the revenue; and all the papers found on board were sealed up.

On the 17th of August De Bebian was permitted to land, and on the 19th he voluntarily made an affidavit stating that he sailed from Wilmington, N. C., on the said schooner Adelso on the 6th of the same month; that said vessel was bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a full cargo of turpentine and rosin; that he understood that the said port of Wilmington was declared to be blockaded at and before the time they sailed from that port; that J. & D. McRae & Co., of Wilmington, one of whom was the British vice-consul at that port, were the consignees of said vessel when she arrived; that the said cargo was shipped for and on account of a house in Boston as he was informed by the master during the voyage; and that after he engaged his passage but before sailing the master of the schooner informed him that he should stop at Welchpool and promised to see him on board a boat there that would take him safely to Halifax. This affidavit was made by De Bebian to show that he was simply a passenger not connected with the said vessel or her voyage or her cargo; yet he wholly omitted to state anything of the contents of his own papers showing his own business or of his possession of letters from parties in an insurrectionary State for parties in other portions of the United States. The said collector of the port of Newport further reports that on inspecting his trunk the {p.433} officers found concealed among his clothing letters and papers by which it appeared that he was to purchase an assorted cargo at Liverpool, England, and return with the same to Wilmington, N. C. The letters of instruction were from Messrs. O. G. Parsly & Co., of Wilmington, N. C., to Brown, Shipley & Co., Liverpool. The invoice or list of goods to be purchased was as follows: 5,000 to 10,000 army blankets, 1,000 bags of coffee, - tons of iron of various sizes, round and flat, whole amount of invoice to be $40,000; also a list of numerous articles of clothing, &c, apparently on private account. The goods were to be shipped in a British or French vessel. With these papers were also instructions how to proceed on the arrival of the vessel off the port of Wilmington, N. C. They were to make signal from the vessel which would be answered from the shore, and if proper a pilot would be sent on board by which means the blockade could be run. The said collector further reports the discovery in De Bebian’s possession of a number of letters, some addressed to parties in foreign countries and some to parties in each of the States of Vermont, Maine, New York, Missouri and Connecticut. The said collector although not previously intending the detention of said De Bebian-coming as he did from a port in the power of the insurrectionists, a passenger on a vessel detected in illicit commerce-on the discovery of these evidences of his conspiring to evade the blockade and render aid and assistance to the rebels and of his agency in the unlawful forwarding of correspondence between the insurrectionary States and other portions of the Union, ordered his arrest on the said 19th day of August, 1861, for the said offenses. The said De Bebian was sent to Fort Lafayette and held in custody there until September 16, 1861, when he was discharged on his parole for two weeks; which time was subsequently enlarged, and on the 4th day of October, 1861, he was discharged from his parole. The said collector of the port of Newport, Seth W. Macy, esq., subsequently made the following affidavit.*

It thus appears that Louis de Bebian had been engaged in illicit commerce in disregard of a lawful blockade in transporting lumber from Wilmington to the West Indies, and had entered into engagements for the further prosecuting of the same business; that he had embarked on board a vessel of equivocal character then engaged in unlawful evasion of the blockade in which he participated; that he was engaged in the unlawful conveyance of clandestine correspondence between an insurgent State and other portions of the Union; that he had conspired with others to afford aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States by purchasing and importing supplies for their armies; by stealthily and fraudulently through the means of concerted reciprocal signals evading the blockade, and that lie was detected on the way to carry these purposes into effect with the evidence of his criminality upon him. On the 21st of August, 1861, De Bebian addressed a paper to the French vice-consul at New York in which he alleges that his voyage “was for business purely commercial,” and in giving the particulars of his mission makes the following statement:

I am going to Europe to be at hand to learn the decision of the two great powers on the subject [question] of blockades, to move to advantage at the first possible chance by investing our funds in shipments of merchandise most in demand. Our house means articles such as seem best for a future time, such as woolens, blankets, &c., for it is customary in autumn to lay in every sort of winter covering and a pair of blankets for each negro. The wants of the army having absorbed all that there {p.434} was of blankets not only at Wilmington but nearly through the whole country this article of blankets is most in demand. These blankets were formerly known by the designation of negro blankets. I fear lest the house may have used in its letter the new appellation of soldiers’ blankets. If such is the case that is the sole and only charge that can be made against me.

He also says that he had “some letters from individuals giving good accounts to their families and friends in the North-letters which I was to mail at Halifax-two or three loose sheets with memorandums of merchandise suitable for the market and commissions to be executed for friends; in fine, one pointing out what should be done to announce to me whether or not the port was blockaded.” On the 27th of September, 1861, De Bebian wrote a statement of his case to the French minister representing that he was a partner in the house of O. G. Parsly & Co., of Wilmington; that his usual occupation was traveling abroad in the business of said house; that he returned from a voyage of that kind on the 6th of July, 1861; and proceeding to state with regard to his last voyage as follows:

My partners and myself concluded that it was opportune that I should go to England to liquidate some weighty affairs we had with various houses. That being done I was according to circumstances to remain in Europe and keep the funds in hand or else rent their equivalents in the shape of sundry merchandise in case the port of Wilmington, N. C., should have ceased to be closed to commerce.

After alleging that his detention was without cause and attended with sundry hardships he makes the following statements in relation to his papers:

The journals have spoken of heavy sums and of papers compromising me found among my baggage. That is false. The amounts I had at the time of my arrest were made up of about $250 in gold and a bill of exchange for 5,700 francs. These sums seized at that time have since been restored, but not so with my other papers, which consisted of four letters addressed to different correspondents of the house of O. G. Parsly & Co., and solely devoted to the details and settlements of accounts. A note annexed contains some instructions about the shipments of merchandise I was to make in case the blockade should have ceased to trammel commerce-not a single line that could be interpreted as implying any political mission.

The said letter of De Bebian to the French vice-consul seeks to mislead that functionary in regard to the intended investment of “funds in shipments of merchandise most in demand” by representing that the house meant “articles such as seem best for a future time,” and by an attempt to confound army blankets or soldiers’ clothing with negro blankets; and also to transfigure his system of reciprocal signals to facilitate the running of the blockade into a method of “pointing out what should be done to announce to him whether or no the port was blockaded.” Toward his excellency the French minister De Bebian was still more disingenuous. In his letter to that personage he speaks of his intended evasion of the blockade under the disguise in the first place of a design to rent the equivalents of certain funds in the shape of sundry merchandise in case the port of Wilmington should have ceased to be closed to commerce; and in the second place of referring to some instructions about the shipments of merchandise he was to make “in case the blockade should have ceased to trammel commerce,” these equivocal expressions being evidently used to cover his premeditated design fraudulently to evade the blockade, and all reference to his code of reciprocal signals to effect that object being suppressed, as was also all notice of the letters attempted to be conveyed by him from parties in the insurrectionary States to parties in other portions of the United States.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

* Omitted here. Seep. 450 for Macy’s affidavit.

{p.435}

–––

COLLECTOR’S OFFICE, CUSTOM-HOUSE, Newport, R. I., August 16, 1861.

Hon. GIDEON WELLS, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

SIR: The schooner Adelso, of Saint John, Kimball master, from Wilmington, N. C., put into this port on the 12th instant, said schooner having run the blockade on the 6th. I requested Captain Bennett, of the revenue cutter Henrietta (then lying in this harbor), to put a prize crew on board. Wingate Hayes, esq., district attorney, being in this city I called upon him for instructions. He directed that no person should be allowed to come on shore or any one to go on board except the officers of the revenue, and also directed all the papers found on board to be sealed up and the same to remain until further advised. There is a French gentleman, a passenger on board, who has been detained under the above instructions. Should like to be advised in the matter. Have been expecting to hear from the district attorney. I wrote the honorable Secretary of the Treasury as soon as possible; as yet have received no answer.

I am; very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. W. MACY, Collector.

–––

NEWPORT, August 17, 1861.

SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

Found in French passenger’s possession letters from Messrs. O. G. Parsly & Co., of Wilmington, N. C., to Brown, Shipley & Co., Liverpool, directing passenger to purchase 5,000 to 10,000 army blankets, 1,000 bags coffee, and blank tons of iron of various sizes, the whole amounting to $40,000, and to be shipped in a French or British vessel, with signals how to avoid the blockade at Wilmington, N. C., on arrival. Shall I detain said passenger?

S. W. MACY, Collector.

–––

NEWPORT, August 19, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF STATE:

French passenger’s name L. de Bebian, of Wilmington, N. C.

S. W. MACY, Collector.

–––

DISTRICT AND PORT OF NEWPORT, R. I., Collector’s Office, August 19, 1861.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I wrote you on the 16th in relation to the detention of the schooner Adelso, of Saint John, New Brunswick, from Wilmington, N. C., cargo, spirit., turpentine and rosin. I telegraphed you on the same day for instructions in relation to the landing of a French passenger from on board said schooner, an answer to which by telegraph was received the next day, l7th, and he was allowed to land. My reason more particularly for his landing was that he knew from conversation with the captain of the schooner that time cargo was owned by a firm in Boston, Mass. This fact he has made oath to before a notary at the custom-house.

{p.436}

On inspecting his trunk the officers found concealed among his clothing letters and papers by which it appeared that he was to purchase an assorted cargo at Liverpool, England, and return with the same to Wilmington, N. C. The letters of instruction were from Messrs. O. G. Parsly & Co., of Wilmington, N. C., to Brown, Shipley & Co., Liverpool. The invoice* or list of goods to be purchased was as follows: 5,000 to 10,000 army blankets, 1,000 bags of coffee, blank tons of iron of various sizes, round and flat; whole amount of invoice to be $40,000. Also a list of numerous articles of clothing, &c., apparently on private account. The goods were to be shipped in a French or British vessel. With these papers were also instructions how to proceed on the arrival of the vessel off the port of Wilmington. They were to make signals from the vessel which would be answered from the shore, and if proper a pilot would be sent on board by which means the blockade would be run.

On finding these papers I telegraphed to you to know if I should detain him, partially doing so by not allowing him to leave the place although he is not under arrest. By my letter to you under date of 16th instant I mentioned that I had acted in the matter under the advice of the district attorney, but on that day I received from him a letter saying that he had no authority to act in the matter, since which I have used my best judgment under the circumstances, and hope what I have done will meet your approbation.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. W. MACY, Collector.

P. S.-I have had the passenger’s papers at the custom-house sealed up. Have had L. de Bebian, the French passenger, arrested this day.

* Invoice not found.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

Louis de Bebian, of Wilmington, N. C., now at present in Newport, in the State of Rhode Island, on solemn oath doth depose and say that he was a passenger on board schooner Adelso, of Saint John, New Brunswick, now in the port of Newport, and now seized by the revenue officer of that port on charge of breaking the blockade of said Wilmington. That he left said Wilmington on the 6th day of August, 1861, and bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, but would first touch at Welchpool, in New Brunswick. That he was on board said schooner as a passenger and was to be landed at said Halifax. That when he engaged his passage with the master of said vessel at the wharf in said Wilmington the stevedore and crew were loading said schooner with turpentine and rosin. That the schooner had a full cargo in her hold and some on her decks. That we sailed from Wilmington on the 6th of August as aforesaid and arrived at said Newport on the 13th of August, 1861. That he understood that the said port of Wilmington was declared to be blockaded at once, before the time they sailed from that port. That he is personally well acquainted with Messrs. J. & D. McRae & Co., merchants residing in said Wilmington, and that they were the consignees of said vessel when she arrived at that port, one of whom is Her Britannic Majesty’s vice-consul at that port. That the said cargo was shipped for and on account of a house in Boston, as he was informed by the master of said vessel during the voyage, but cannot now recollect the name of the house as was told him by the {p.437} captain of the schooner. He would say that after he engaged his passage to Halifax and just before sailing the master of the schooner informed him that he should stop at Welchpool, from which he could reach Halifax in eight or ten hours, and that he would see him on board a boat that would take him safely to Halifax.

L. DE BEBIAN.

NEWPORT, August 19, 1861.

subscribed and sworn to before me.

WM. GILPIN, Commissioner Circuit Court, Rhode Island District.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

WILMINGTON, N. C., August 5, 1861.

BARRON C. WATSON, Esq., Liverpool, England.

DEAR SIR: We were rather surprised a few days ago by receipt of a letter from your house in New York advising of the non-payment of our draft on them for $6,500, which was not very comfortable to us. We shall, however, provide for it here soon, and therefore request that you will pay over to Messrs. Brown, Shipley & Co., Liverpool, all the funds of ours in your possession or which may accrue from the sale of our cotton. We have instructed them to invest our funds, and desire that our funds in your hands may be similarly invested. Should you meet M. L. de Bebian while in England please favor us by rendering him any service in your power by way of assisting him in the prosecution of his business. Old Abe hasn’t whipped us yet, and we hardly think he will.

Very respectfully, &c.,

O. G. PARSLY & CO.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 19, 1861.

SETH W. MACY, Collector, Newport, R. I.:

Deliver Louis de Bebian into charge of U. S. marshal to convey him to Col. Martin Burke, Fort Lafayette, N. Y., who is authorized to receive him.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

–––

U. S. MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Providence, August 20, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have this day taken Louis de Bebian to Fort Lafayette and delivered him to Col. Martin Burke and taken his receipt for same, as directed by you in your dispatch of the 19th directed to Seth W. Macy, collector, Newport, R. I.

Your obedient servant,

ALBERT SANFORD, U. S. Marshal.

P. S.-His trunks are in Marshal Murray’s (of New York) hands, and they have not been thoroughly examined.

A. S.

{p.438}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 21, 1861.

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, Esq., U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

SIR: I inclose a copy of a letter* of the 5th instant from O. G. Parsly & Co., of Wilmington, N. C., to B. C. Watson, Liverpool, found on L. de Bebian, a Frenchman who was on board the British vessel Adelso which has been seized at Newport, R. I. It is suggested that any funds the writers may have in the possession of the branch of Mr. Watson’s house at New York to which allusion is made in the letter might be attached for the benefit of the United States.

I am, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* Omitted here. See inclosure No. 2, Macy to Welles, August 19.

–––

OFFICE SUPERINTENDENT METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, August 22, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:

He says that he is a French subject; that he never was naturalized.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, August 22, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington City, D. O.

SIR: I inclose two* French letters. As I do not understand the language and it will be but a short delay I thought it best to send them through your office.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

* Only one inclosure found.

[Inclosure.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, August 21, 1861.

[COUNT MONTHOLON, Consul of France, New York:]

A Frenchman resident for nearly five years at Wilmington, N. C., I embarked on the 6th August instant on the English schooner Adelso, Capt. Thomas Kimball, cleared for Halifax, Nova Scotia. I was going to take at Halifax the English line of steamers to go to Liverpool, England, provided with a passport from the Governor of Martinique viséed by the French consular agent at Wilmington for business purely commercial. The schooner Adelso appears to have been chartered by an American house at Boston to go and take on a cargo at Wilmington. She arrived off the bar on the 30th of July and was obliged to come to anchor outside until next morning waiting for a tide and fair winds. Eight days afterward she went down the river just at the same time the English schooner Beverly which had been twenty-four hours ahead of her. These two schooners were obliged to anchor inside the bar to wait for the tide, and went out together at 4 or 5 o’clock on the afternoon of the 6th of August. I was passenger on board the Adelso. During the day on the 12th of August a heavy squall having carried away {p.489} a portion of the canvas of the schooner and the gale increasing in intensity the captain judged proper to go into the nearest port. We anchored in the bay of Newport on the 13th. The custom-house officer who came to inquire whence time Adelso had arrived reported her to the revenue cutter Henrietta as from a Southern port. The schooner was very soon taken possession of by a gang of men armed to the teeth. I presented my passport to the commanding officer declaring myself to be only a passenger traveling under the double protection of my country and of a friendly flag in a friendly country. The officer remarked to me that it was nowise possible to land in the present stormy weather but that I would have the opportunity on its clearing away in the morning. My request was evaded until during the afternoon when the captain’s papers as well as my trunks were placed under seals; all external communication strictly forbidden, even the courtesy of informing the consul of my country of my unlawful detention.

After four or five days of the worst treatment, deprived of the use of my trunk, the chief of the custom-house accompanied by a subordinate and by the lieutenant of the revenue cutter Henrietta came and removed the seals from my trunk; my linen examined piece by piece, the lining of my clothes tried, &c. I had voluntarily delivered the few papers I had. They were placed under a fresh seal and deposited in the Newport custom-house. Those paper are a letter of credit on Latimer & Tavall, of Mayagues, Porto Rico, of April last, of which I had no use; of three letters from my firm demanding a settlement from a house in the island of Cuba; one to a house in England and finally of another to our correspondents at Liverpool for the settlement of balances in their hands.

I am going to Europe to be at hand to learn the decision of the two great powers on the question of blockades; to move to advantage at the first possible chance by investing our funds in shipments of merchandise most in demand; our house means articles such as seem best for a future time, such as woolens and blankets, & c., for it is customary in autumn to lay in every sort of winter covering and a pair of blankets for each negro, the wants of the army having absorbed all that there was of blankets not only at Wilmington but nearly through the whole country. This article of blankets is most in demand. These blankets were formerly known by the designation of negro blankets. I fear lest the house may have used in its letter the new appellation of soldiers’ clothing; if such be the case that is the sole and only charge that can be made against me. To these papers it must be added some letters from individuals giving good accounts to their families and to their friends at the North-letters which I was to mail at Halifax; two or three loose sheets with memoranda of merchandise suitable for the market and commissions to be executed for friends; and finally one pointing out what should be done to announce to me whether or no the port was blockaded.

Such, M. Consul, is the exact character of the papers found in my possession. I set at defiance the idea that the result can make in the slightest degree against me; nothing that can justify my arbitrary detention, marked by every circumstance that could render it more disagreeable. I have constantly demanded and persisted in demanding the examination of these papers by competent judges, resigning myself to all the consequences of such examination if it could inculpate me. I have in vain demanded a mitigation of my detention, my provisional liberation on bail; everything has been refused me. Set at liberty Saturday, 17th of August, on parole I was again arrested on Monday, 19th. At first my detention was caused by the need of my evidence in {p.440} the matter of the schooner Adelso, but on the 17th of August instant I made before a commission the only deposition I could make; but now an accusation of treason is alleged against me. I am not naturalized. I have never taken any oath. I am not traveling in the territory of the United States. I am arbitrarily arrested on an English vessel bound to an English province accidentally driven into American waters by stress of weather at sea. M. Vice-Consul of France, this statement must have given you an idea of the arbitrary and unworthy manner in which I have been treated.

I have no need, M. Consul, to expose the consequences of these acts; you will readily infer them. In claiming your protection and that of our minister at Washington I declare positively and in the most solemn manner that I have never directly or indirectly taken any part in politics or in this actual war either at the South or at the North. My voyage is purely and entirely commercial. My detention exposes my house to immense losses and deprives my numerous family of their only support, besides which the assertion of the national honor and dignity give me the greatest confidence in the measures you will take.

I have the honor to be, M. Consul, with respect your very humble, obedient servant,

L. DE BEBIAN.

P. S.-Mr. Lovell, of Newport, informed me that there was on board the Adelso a traveler from Wilmington, came along shore to see this voyager and seek to be of use to him. It is he who informed our consul at Providence of my detention. Returning along shore next day with Mr. Nottoway to give me a mark of their interest they were sent away, and have declared to me that they were forbidden to communicate with me. It is my express desire that the contents of this letter or any part of it will not be put in such situation as to be published in any newspaper.

L. DE B.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 23, 1861.

ROBERT MURRAY, Esq., U. S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York:

This Department has been informed by Mr. Sanford, the marshal for Rhode Island, that he had lodged with you the trunks of Louis de Bebian, who is confined as a political prisoner at Fort Lafayette. You will send to this Department any letters or documents which may have been found in them.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 24, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: This Department telegraphed to you* a day or two since to send a suitable person to Fort Lafayette for the purpose of ascertaining whether L. de Bebian there confined as a political prisoner is a French subject or a naturalized citizen of the United States. No intelligence on the subject having since been received from you** it is apprehended {p.441} that the telegram may have miscarried. As the point referred to, however, is of some importance in the case of that prisoner I will thank you to have it ascertained as soon as it may be convenient after the receipt of this, should it not have previously been attended to.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found.

** But see Kennedy’s telegram to Seward, August 22, p 438.

–––

EASTPORT, August 24, 1861.

COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, Newport, R. I.

SIR: I am informed that the British schooner Adelso, formerly the A. L. Hyde, of this port, is now detained at your port in custody of U. S. officers for an alleged violation of the blockade. I also am informed that the owners and parties interested in that vessel plead ignorance of their knowledge of the existence of such blockade or their intention to violate it. As a loyal citizen I deem it my duty to inform the Government through you that this schooner Adelso, nominally owned by one Henry Horton, of Saint John, New Brunswick, is well known in this vicinity to be the property of one Capt. John Kay, of Indian Island, a place about two miles east of our town.

Captain Kay called on me some time last spring just previous to his chartering the Adelso (to go out South) and voluntarily stated to me the business that the vessel was to be engaged in; that he had been offered some $300 per month for the use of his vessel by parties claiming to reside in Boston; that she was to go to some Southern port and run the blockade, which it appears she has done. I advised him at the time to keep out of such business; that he was running a great risk and would lose his vessel. He said he had been referred to me to ascertain the standing and responsibility of the parties who then wished to charter the Adelso. I told him that I knew nothing about them, and if he let his vessel he had better get an indemnifying bond for the safe return of his vessel. She left here shortly after in command of Capt. Thomas Kimball, a naturalized American citizen of the United States, resident of this place, with contraband of war for a rebel port out South. The captain and crew were shipped at this port with a full knowledge and understanding of the business that they were engaged in. The vessel, freight and her destination were common subjects of conversation in our streets at the time she left this bay last spring. Our loyal citizens were rejoiced to learn of her capture, and trust that the guilty parties may be held to answer for furnishing aid and comfort to the enemy.

Respectfully, yours,

WINSLOW BATES, Notary Public and Justice of the Peace.

–––

NEW YORK, August 31, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

Mr. SECRETARY: Our father, M. Louis de Bebian, having been shut up for a fortnight at Fort Lafayette we requested our consul through the intervention of our minister to take the necessary measures near your Government to obtain his liberation. The absence of our minister from Washington makes us apprehensive of very long delay in the decision of the matter. Under these circumstances we take the {p.442} liberty, Mr. Secretary, to make a direct appeal to your kindness, praying you will be so good as to take up the case of our father whose advanced age and feeble health might suffer from too long detention.

Accept, Mr. Secretary, the assurance of our respect and of our deep gratitude.

AUGUSTA DE BEBIAN. OCTAVIA DE BEBIAN. LOUISA DE BEBIAN.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, September 4, 1861.

Col. B. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington City, D. C.

SIR: Inclosed you will receive-a letter from M. de Bebian, prisoner, inquiring about his letters.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, September 3, 1861.

Lieutenant-Colonel BURKE, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Hamilton.

SIR: As I am a citizen of France and was arrested while on my way to that country I have addressed my communications since I have been a prisoner in this place to the consul of my country at New York and to the French minister at Washington. I have not received replies to any of my letters, and this morning a letter from my daughter in New York who goes daily to the consular office informs me that the consul tells her he has not received any letter from me. I have been a prisoner here for fourteen days and have addressed two letters to Count Montholon, the French consul in New York, and my surprise consequently was very great to learn that they had not been received by him. In addressing these letters I have endeavored to conform to the written instructions which have been furnished us in regard to correspondence and you will confer a favor by letting me know why my letters to the consul have not reached their destination and what has been done with them; also if those addressed to the French legation at Washington, one of which contained my passport, have been forwarded. In addition to the letters referred to above which were in the French language I have written two in English which I do not ask about as there has not been time to receive replies to them.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

L. DE BEBIAN, [Retired] Chef de Bataillon.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 7, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: Please inform M. de Bebian, at Fort Lafayette, that his letters for Prince Napoleon and M. Mercier, the French minister, have been communicated to the legation of France in this city. ...

I am, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

{p.443}

–––

FORT HAMILTON, September 11, 1861.

Col. B. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington City, D. C.

SIR: I thought it would not be improper to send you the inclosed letter to me from one of the prisoners.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, September 10, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Hamilton.

SIR: I had a violent diarrhoea in Martinique last May. I have not entirely recovered from it, and again I am very suffering since two days of the same disease. I wish to be permitted to go for a few days to my family in New York to receive such peculiar care as would check the evil on parole, or if preferred on bail or bond to resume my prison at the time appointed. I would consider as a great favor an early answer, because it is fearful in such case to be locked up from 7 o’clock in the evening till 6 o’clock the next morning.

I remain, sir, your obedient,

L. DE BEBIAN.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 13, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: Lieutenant-General Scott has referred to this Department the letter of M. L. de Bebian to you requesting leave to visit his family in New York in consequence of feeble health. You may allow him this privilege for a fortnight upon his giving his word that he will be ready to return to Fort Lafayette when summoned by the police at his residence should this be necessary.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

I, M. L. de Bebian, do give my word that being allowed to visit New York I will return to Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor, on or before the 30th day of September instant or upon being summoned by the police at my residence should this be necessary.

Given at Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor, this 17th day of September, 1861.

L. DE BEBIAN.

Witness:

J. S. BOOTES, First Lieutenant, Twelfth Infantry, Officer of the Day.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, September 24, 1861.

Col. B. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose an application from the French prisoner, M. L. de Bebian (whom you allowed a leave of absence of two weeks) requesting an extension until about the 10th day of October 1861.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

{p.444}

[Inclosure.]

No. 71 WEST TWENTY-THIRD STREET, NEW YORK, September 24, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE, U. S. Army, Fort Hamilton.

COLONEL: The French minister on duty near His Imperial Highness Prince Napoleon has not yet been able to return to Washington to communicate with the Government of the United States about my arrest and release. As I have not the slightest doubt that no charge can be brought against me I trust, sir, that the Secretary of State will have no objection to prolong my furlough for a week after the 30th instant. I will consider it a favor from you to transmit my demand in time to the proper authorities so I may be dispensed with resuming prison on the 30th instant.

I beg to subscribe myself, sir, very respectfully,

L. DE BEBIAN.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 25, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: M. L. de Bebian had leave to stay at his own house for two weeks, and you will please extend the time three weeks longer.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

NEW YORK, September 27, 1861.

His Excellency BARON MERCIER, Minister of France, Washington.

M. MINISTER: I take the liberty to place before you the facts relative to my arrest and imprisonment at Fort Lafayette by order of the Government of the United States. I believe it of advantage before all to declare that I have never for a single instant ceased to be a French subject; that I have remained out of the pale of any American naturalization; that I have taken no part in the political questions of the country and it is even with difficulty that I can be considered as having effectively a residence in it.

Connected in interest for five years past with the house of O. G. Parsly, of Wilmington, N. C., almost all my time passes in traveling abroad settling the accounts of the house, collecting its funds, watching its markets and entering into new business arrangements. In the month of May last I set out on a voyage of this kind among the French Antilles and returned the 6th of July. My partners and myself concluded that if it was opportune I should go to England to liquidate some weighty affairs we had with various houses. That being done I was according to circumstances to remain in Europe and keep the funds in hand or else rent their equivalents in the shape of sundry merchandise in case the port of Wilmington should have ceased to be closed to commerce. All this would fall within my habitual employments and in the course of our regular business. I awaited a favorable opportunity for embarking when on the 31st of July the English schooner Adelso, Capt. Thomas Kimball, entered time port of Wilmington seeking a cargo of turpentine and other like merchandise destined for Halifax, Nova Scotia. This port offering no chance for taking passage on the line of steamers to Liverpool I embarked on the Adelso and we went to sea on the 6th of August. I took care to have my passport taken out at Saint Pierre (Martinique) viséed by the French vice-consul at Wilmington.

{p.445}

On the seventh day of our voyage the Adelso was struck by a squall which carried away some of her canvas and the captain found himself obliged to go into Newport, R. I., in distress. He declared whence he came at the custom-house and was soon afterward boarded by a gang of armed men from the Federal cutter Henrietta under the orders of in officer called Pennington, who stated that time schooner was seized. I exhibited my passport to establish my nationality and my character of mere traveler, entirely a stranger to the cargo of the schooner and the vessel also. I requested permission to continue my journey across the United States to go and take at the nearest port a trans-Atlantic steamer. In place of acceding to my request and even without reply I was detained on board and found myself a close prisoner. All communication from without was interdicted; I was not even allowed to make my situation known to the consular agent of France at Providence. I passed five days thus confined with eight sailors in a small cabin where three persons would have difficulty in putting themselves at ease. My trunk having been put under seal I found myself deprived even of the use of my linen.

On the fifth day at evening (August 17) the seals were taken off and the contents of my trunks minutely examined. After seizing upon all the papers found there the custom-house officer told me I might land at Newport, a prisoner on parole.

The next day but one the same functionary intimated to me that I must consider myself as under formal arrest. The French vice-consul at Providence instructed by a third party was taking some steps. After having referred me to the district attorney he came to Newport announcing to me that the U. S. marshal was close at hand for the purpose of releasing me. This functionary in fact soon presented himself but in place of setting me at liberty he rested content with delivering a dispatch to the collector. This person looked at it and left the office in which we were with him. After an absence of half an hour he reappeared and the vice-consul asked for my release. He was answered that precise orders from the Government enjoined him to detain me. The vice-consul requested that I should at least be allowed to remain at Newport for further light on the matter, binding himself on his personal and official responsibility to produce me when required. This request was refused. He was not more fortunate when he wished to know what charge, were specifically made against me and to obtain my passport to annex to the report he desired to address to the legation. Thus repulsed in every attempt to protect me the vice-consul was obliged to retire. A few moments after his departure the U. S. marshal came to notify me of a deposition under oath signed by a person quite unknown and who certainly knew no more of me. The deponent declared “to his best knowledge and belief” that I had given aid and comfort to the rebels and that I was consequently guilty of treason. So far as I yet know this is the only foundation on which reliance is had for depriving me of liberty, taking me from my business, obstructing my voyage and sending me as a malefactor in custody of a police officer from Newport to New York to be shut up in Fort Lafayette. There I passed twenty-seven days from August 20 to September 16 shut up-I the eighth-in an unwholesome casemate; deprived of all communication from without, unable even to address myself to the French authorities, my natural protectors, unless at the pleasure of the commandant of the fort; constrained to live at my own cost by reason of the detestable food given to me; restrained from taking more than two hours’ exercise daily, and to rest shut up in a suffocating atmosphere from 6 o’clock in the afternoon till 6 in the morning without {p.446} the privilege of going out of the casemate for any cause whatever. The consequence has been such serious alteration in my health that for that reason I was compelled to ask my conditional release on parole, which was granted on the 16th instant under obligation again to constitute myself a prisoner on the 30th instant.

Under these circumstances, M. Minister, I place myself under your excellency’s protection as a French subject imprisoned without cause, without examination, without having had even the privilege of showing my real position to the authorities that have treated me thus arbitrarily. The journals have spoken of heavy sums and of papers compromising me found among my luggage; that is all false. The amounts I had at the time of my arrest were made up of about $250 in gold and a bill of exchange for 5,700 francs. These sums seized at that time have since then been restored, but not so with my other papers which consisted of four letters addressed to different correspondents of the house of O. G. Parsly & Co. and solely devoted to the details and settlement of accounts. A note* annexed contains some instructions about the shipments of merchandise I was to make in case the blockade should have ceased to trammel commerce. Not a single line could be interpreted as implying any political mission.

I should add one particular which is not without importance: it is that the schooner Adelso on which I had taken passage was chartered by a Boston house so that the only real offense that there can be found here-the violation of the blockade-recoils upon a Northern merchant. I hope your excellency will take my condition into your serious consideration, and begging you to excuse the length of this statement, I pray you to believe me,

Your very humble and obedient servant,

L. DE BEBIAN.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 4, 1861.

Mr. HENRY MERCIER, &c.

SIR: Upon further consideration of the case of M. L. de Bebian, recently detained at Fort Lafayette, it has been determined to discharge him from further custody. Au order to that effect has gone by telegraph to the proper authorities at New York.

I avail myself of the occasion, sir, to offer to you a renewed assurance of my very high consideration.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 4, 1861.

WINGATE HAYES, U. S. District Attorney, Providence, R. I.:

Have you or Sanford any papers or letters found upon De Bebian?

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

(Same to Robert Murray, U. S. marshal, New York.)

–––

NEW YORK, October 4, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD:

I have no papers taken from De Bebian. Send nine printed oaths of allegiance by mail.

R. MURRAY, U. S. Marshal.

{p.447}

–––

PROVIDENCE, R. I., October 4, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD:

Neither Marshal Sanford nor myself have any papers belonging to De Bebian. I have never had any knowledge of the case.

WINGATE HAYES, U. S. District Attorney.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 4, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.:

L. de Bebian, late a prisoner at Fort Lafayette, may be finally discharged from custody.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, October 4, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Your dispatch of this date has this moment arrived, M. de Bebian has been absent some days on leave. According to your instructions his name will be stricken from the roll of prisoners at Fort Lafayette.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 5, 1861.

S. W. MACY, Esq., Collector of Customs, Newport, R. I.:

Have you the letters found upon the person of the Frenchman De Bebian, referred to in your dispatch of August 17 to the Secretary of the Navy? If so please send them to this Department immediately.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

NEWPORT, R. I., October 7, 1861.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:

Telegraph received; all papers found on L. de Bebian were sent August 19. No mail till evening; will then write you.

S. W. MACY, Collector.

–––

DISTRICT AND PORT OF NEWPORT, R. I., Collector’s Office, October 7, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. O.

SIR: Your telegraph dispatch of the 5th was received too late to answer on that day. Herewith I forward you a list,* of all the papers which were forwarded you on the 19th of August, the receipt of which you acknowledged by telegraph August 21. The package sent at that time contained all the papers found upon L. de Bebian the French passenger on board schooner Adelso. The letter referred to in my dispatch of August 17 was the one to Brown, Shipley & Co. from O. G. Parsly {p.448} & Co., Wilmington, N. C., and was forwarded the 19th day of August with the other papers. By reference to my letter of August 19 I find they were forwarded under two inclosures and think they may have been mislaid at the Department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. W. MACY, Collector.

* List omitted.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 9, 1861.

S. W. MACY, Esq., Collector, &c., Newport, R. I.

SIR: Your letter of time 7th instant with its inclosure relative to De Bebian papers has been duly received.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

No. 828 ARCH STREET, Philadelphia, October 22, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD.

SIR: While in Wilmington, N. C., a year ago I was introduced to a Frenchman called De Bebian. M. de Bebian supported himself by teaching the French language and was in rather straitened circumstances. As I some time ago observed in the public papers an account of the arrest of a man of this name who represented himself as a merchant, and who if I remember aright was about to sail for Europe with a considerable sum of money in his possession I thought it might be the teacher and that the little item of information now furnished might be useful.

I am, sir, respectfully,

GEO. MILLIKEN.

–––

LEGATION OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED STATES, Washington, January 19, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c.

SIR: Your Department is acquainted with the details of the affair of M. L. de Bebian, imprisoned at Fort Lafayette in the month of August last-and whom at my instance you were so good as to order to be set at liberty after six weeks’ detention, however-and the seizure of his papers. M. de Bebian on his arrival at Paris presented to the Imperial Government a claim based on the two points which I had the honor to indicate to you here and I have received orders to call the attention of the Government of the United States to the claim of this French man.

Without wishing to enter into a discussion of the circumstances which appeared to justify in the eyes of the Federal Government the arrest of M. de Bebian I ought none the less to state that the English schooner Adelso on which he was captured with his property and papers entered the port of Wilmington and left it without difficulty, that port not being at that time blockaded, and that she went into Newport under stress; that if these acts perfectly lawful nevertheless gave the Government room to suspect that there were on board this vessel some passengers in contravention of law those passengers ought {p.449} at any rate to have been subjected to a prompt investigation, the con sequences of which if their innocence were established ought necessarily to fall upon the Government.

The Sieur de Bebian was engaged on a voyage of business; was deprived of his freedom for the space of five weeks; the papers of which he was the bearer and which were indispensable to him for procuring the resources which he needed and for his business enterprise not having been returned to him he finds that he has suffered considerable damages, and you will no doubt deem it proper that he should be indemnified. As to the manner in which this indemnity should be fixed upon I will request you, sir, to be so good as to let me know what shall appear to you to offer the best guaranty of perfect equity.

I embrace this occasion, sir, to renew to you the assurance of my high consideration.

HENRI MERCIER.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 23, 1862.

M. HENRI MERCIER, &c.

SIR: Your note of the 19th of January relating to a claim of Louis de Bebian for damages for his detention under suspicion of designs hostile to the United States has been received. I lose no time in informing you that an investigation of the subject has been directed to be made, and I shall communicate to you the result as soon as shall be practicable.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you, sir, the assurance of my high consideration.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

WASHINGTON, February 11, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Having heard of the arrest and imprisonment of M. L. de Bebian, merchant of Wilmington, N. C., from on board of a vessel bound to some neutral port I would inform the Department that as has been stated M. de Bebian is a French subject only according to French jurisprudence which recognizes no alienation of native-born citizens even if such persons shall be naturalized citizens of another nation and therefore under their special protection. As to whether M. de Bebian is a naturalized citizen of the United States I am unable to state, but I am under the impression that he is. He was born in the Island of Guadeloupe, and has resided in Wilmington for ten or twelve years, and is connected with parties in the shipment of lumber, naval stores, &c., to French ports.

My acquaintance with him was formed while I had the honor to represent this Government at the Island of Guadeloupe at the several times he visited that port on business.

M. de Bebian having made certain demands against this Government for his losses and imprisonment I consider it my duty to inform the Department of my knowledge and opinions concerning him, formed while in conversation at the time he was last in this city. I consider him part owner or interested in the cargo of the vessel on board of which he was taken. He informed me that he had delivered a large cargo of lumber at Martinique as late as May last; that at this time he has two or three contracts for cargoes of lumber to be delivered as {p.450} early as possible, and that he will evade the blockade if possible; also that he has been in the West Indies within the last six months for the purpose of shipping cargoes of salt and molasses to Southern ports.

I feel assured that he has no idea of leaving Wilmington; that he regards the United States as his country of adoption only on pecuniary motives, and will take every advantage to that end. He said to me that he owed no allegiance to the Federal Government, to any State or to the Confederate States, but in this connection I will state that I have no knowledge of his having been the bearer of dispatches or carried any information to the States in rebellion. He informed me that during his stay in France he had conversed with persons high in authority, and had drawn the inference that any interference the South might have expected from the French nation was hopeless. All my conversations with him were carried on in French and therefore not subject to the ear of bystanders.

I remain, sir, your obedient servant,

CHARLES W. KIMBALL, Late U. S. Consul at Guadeloupe.

–––

Deposition of Seth W. Macy, esq., collector of the port of Newport, R. I., who being duly sworn says:

Am acquainted with M. Louis de Bebian, and first became acquainted with him on the 16th of August, 1861, he being a passenger on board schooner Adelso, seized in Newport, R. I., for running blockade from Wilmington, N. C. Had conversation with him on that and the following days until he was taken in custody of the U. S. marshal and conveyed to New York. He stated that he was a Frenchman by birth, but had been a resident of Wilmington for a number of years; that he had a wife at that place, and that Wilmington was his home. He stated to me that his reasons for leaving Wilmington were on account of the troubled state of the nation, and was going to Europe to remain until the troubles were over. He stated also that he was in reduced circumstances, and he could not see why he was held as a prisoner on board of the vessel because he was in no business and had no reason to fear. To my surprise on going on board the vessel to liberate him I found papers and letters in his possession connecting him with business transactions for purchasing a return cargo to Wilmington, to be composed of army supplies, judiciously made out for that purpose; and also to substantiate his complicity for a return cargo I found a complete set of signals by which they might communicate or converse with parties on shore in relation to the proper time to run the blockade as well as of conversing with each other in person, and from every fact and circumstance connected with him there was no doubt he meant to give aid and comfort to the rebels by importations. When I had the first conversation with him M. de Bebian was very pleasant and courteous in his conduct and conversation and highly praised the Government and people of the United States, but afterward when he was taken in custody by the marshal of this district his language and conduct entirely changed, and he commenced abusing both the Government and people of the United States and myself and other official persons who were present at the time. He also stated that he should go to England and blow the United States Government to hell, and then he would go to France and return with fifty ships of war and have full redress, and other conversations to the same effect.

S. W. MACY, Collector.

{p.451}

I, William E. Dennis, of the city and county of Newport, do solemnly swear that the foregoing deposition of Seth W. Macy was read in my presence, and that all parts thereof (excepting the conversation between M. de Bebian and the U. S. marshal and other officers) are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. The conversation was not had in my presence.

WM. E. DENNIS, her Britannic Majesty’s Vice-Consul for Newport, R. I.

–––

NEWPORT, February 20, 1862.

RHODE ISLAND DISTRICT, Newport, ss:

Then personally appeared the foregoing Seth W. Macy and William E. Dennis and severally made oath in due form of law to the truth of the foregoing statements by them subscribed.

WM. GILPIN, Notary Public and U. S. Commissioner Rhode Island District.

–––

U. S. CONSULATE, Nantes, February 26, 1862.

Hon. FREDERICK W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary of State.

SIR: I see from a paragraph in the New York Weekly Herald of February 12, 1862, that M. L. de Bebian, of the firm of O. G. Parsly & Co., lumber and commission merchants of Wilmington, N. C., claims damages from Congress for losses and is likely to get them. This gentleman was with me on the City of New York which left New York for Liverpool November 16, 1861. The first day out he told me his story. Said he had been taken prisoner on a vessel bound to Halifax by Mr. Bennett’s cutter. Was sent to Fort Warren, thence to Fort Lafayette. Owing to the absence of the French minister he got no hearing until after four weeks when his release came through the direct intervention of the French Government. His firm had made a first venture in cotton consigned to Brown Bros., in England. Fears as to the honesty of the consignees induced them to send De Bebian to Europe. He was greatly offended with what seemed to him the injustice of his treatment and fell into the hands of some insolent Englishmen, one of whom especially urged him to expose in the French press the villainies and tyrannies of the Lincoln Government immediately on his arrival in France, which I think he promised to do. Almost without exception the Englishmen on the ship were loud in unjust denunciations of the North and fellowship with the South.

I thought it my duty to thwart the intentions of this English clique and therefore before reaching Liverpool gained the confidence of M. de Bebian. I found he was an old soldier of the First Napoleon, whose name he revered, and had been at Waterloo. By waking memories of English injustice to the Emperor, the Waterloo defeat and Saint Helena his latent hate of England and Englishmen was aroused and he promised me not to take their advice, but to go quietly about his business in France. He said he should seek redress in a legal way. I could make no objections to that. He assured me he had been offered rank in the rebel army, but declaimed saying he would not fight the country which had treated him so well, “But,” said he to me, “sir, if the occasion comes when I can fight with America against England although I am no longer young and have a young wife and family I would gladly fight in such a cause.” As an illustration of how deeply rooted is this national antipathy he one day said, “If I could put the {p.452} English nation in this ship and could reach the magazine I would blow her up and gladly perish with the hated race.” Among the papers found with him was one containing the phrase, “Old Abe has not subdued us yet and I don’t believe he will very soon.”

He also assured me that at the commencement of the secession movement a large meeting was held in Wilmington favoring separation. A few days after the senior member of his firm called a meeting for the Union. Notice was given and the American flag hung out. With the hour appointed came only twenty-five people. The old man attempted to speak, received some hisses and broke down in the effort. The younger member of the firm tried and met with equally bad success. The old man went home and wept over the ruin of the Union. “Now,” said M. de Bebian, “the junior of the firm is a major in the Confederate Army, the son of the senior partner is a captain and the father is with the son.”

I give you these details in order that you may judge whether if M. de Bebian is reimbursed by Government for any losses sustained the other members of the firm ought to share his benefits after having under any circumstances so far forgotten their allegiance while so many thousand loyal men are lavishing treasure and life for the dear old honored flag. I hope you will excuse me if this letter should seem unnecessary, but I write it because it was my fortune to meet with and know somewhat of this man and I suppose I have no right to infer that you are familiar with all facts. I mentioned M. de Bebian’s name to Mr. Dayton when I passed through Paris coming here.

With assurances of respect, I am, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN DE LA MONTAGNIE, U. S. Consul.

–––

Before me, John S. Hollingshead, notary public in the city of Washington, D. C, personally appeared Charles W. Kimball, of Boston, under oath deposed and said that he was and had for a long period been acquainted with M. Louis de Bebian, native of the Island of Guadeloupe, West Indies, and at present resident of Wilmington, N. C.; that at the time of said De Bebian’s visit to this city in the month of January last past I had at several times long conversations with him concerning his departure from Wilmington, his confinement at Fort Lafayette and his visit to Europe in which he expressed to me freely his motives in leaving Wilmington which were pecuniary, and also his designs; that he being a Frenchman should not take active part in the war; that he took passage in the schooner Adelso to go to Halifax and thence to Europe for the purpose of purchasing blankets, shoes and articles most in demand for warlike purposes, and which he thought would pay large profits as they were much needed at the South. That he had letters of credit to a large amount belonging to parties residing South. That he had carried a large cargo of hard pine lumber to the West Indies during the summer of 1861, and returned to Wilmington with several contracts for lumber which he should ship as soon as he had a good chance. That his capture and confinement had caused him severe losses.

CHARLES W. KIMBALL.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 3d day of March, 1862.

JOHN S. HOLLINGSHEAD, Notary Public.

{p.453}

–––

LEGATION OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED STATES, Washington, March 11, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c.

SIR: In conformity with what was agreed upon between us at our last conversation on the affair of M. de Bebian I have the honor to communicate to you six numbered papers, which have been addressed to me by this Frenchman as well as the letter ,* begging you will please return them to me after you shall have so used them as you shall deem proper.

I seize this occasion to repeat to you, sir, the assurance of my high consideration.

HENRI MERCIER.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE Washington, March 14, 1862.

M. HENRI MERCIER, &c.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 11th instant with the six papers and the letter therein referred to in relation to the case of M. de Bebian which accompanied it.

Be pleased, sir, to accept the assurance of my high consideration.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, March 25, 1862.

M. HENRI MERCIER, &c.

SIR: I have already explained to you that the accidental displacement of certain documents rendered it necessary to defer my reply to your note of the 19th of January last concerning the case of Louis de Bebian.

You are but too well aware, sir, that a party of seditious persons early in the last year organized an insurrection and attempted by civil war to set up a revolutionary government under the name of the Confederate States of America upon the ruins of the constitutional government of the United States of America. You are also well aware that as early as last April this revolutionary movement was accepted by the political body of North Carolina with all its authorities and that the city of Wilmington went under the sway of that pretended government.

You hardly need to be reminded that as early as the month of March last the insurgents laid siege around this capital which siege has only been fully raised within the past month; nor are you a stranger to the fact that agents of the revolutionary authorities have for more than a year been engaged in different parts of the United States endeavoring to extend the insurrection while others being political agents were abroad, some seeking direct intervention by the European states to subvert the American Union, and still others who were commercial agents were engaged in those states in obtaining ships, ordnance, ammunition, military stores and supplies for the revolutionary army.

I beg also to recall to your recollection the fact that so early as the 27th of April the President upon the grounds of that insurrection proclaimed and set on foot a blockade of all the ports in the then insurrectionary district including the port of Wilmington, in the State of North Carolina, and that this blockade was actually established at that port on the 24th day of July last.

{p.454}

You are also aware that on the breaking out of this attempted revolution the President of the United States having issued his proclamation declaring the existence of the insurrection assumed the extraordinary powers vested in him by the Constitution for such emergencies and proceeded to suppress it by prohibiting commercial intercourse and treasonable correspondence between the then insurrectionary portion of the country and the other parts of the United States, and arresting and detaining temporarily when necessary without judicial process parties who were found or suspected on probable grounds to be engaged in contraband trade or treasonable combination and conspiracies against the Government.

On the 17th of August, 1861, the United States collector for the port of Newport, in the State of Rhode Island, by telegraph informed this Government that he had found in the possession of a French passenger letters from O. G. Parsly & Co., of Wilmington, N. C., to Brown, Shipley & Co., of Liverpool, directing this passenger to purchase 5,000 to 10,000 army blankets, 1,000 bags of coffee and tons of iron of various sizes, the whole amounting to $40,000 in value and to be shipped in a French or British vessel with signals how to avoid the blockade at Wilmington, N. C., on arrival, and upon this information the collector inquired whether he should detain the passenger. A second dispatch informed the Government that the passenger thus described was L. de Bebian, of Wilmington, N. C. Upon this information directions were given by the Government that De Bebian should be conveyed to Fort Lafayette for safe-keeping and that the papers found in his possession should be sent to the State Department.

Upon inquiring into the case it was found that De Bebian was a native of the Island of Guadeloupe and that he had been residing within the United States and domiciled several years at Wilmington apparently without any intention of ever removing from that place. He was a teacher of the French language, without capital or credit, and was taken into some kind of partnership or agency by the mercantile firm of O. G. Parsly & Co. established in that city. The political character of this firm was revealed by a letter signed by them and addressed to Messrs. J. C. Burnham & Co., Havana. This letter bore the treasonable date of Wilmington, N. C., C. S. A., and closed with the words: “As soon as we whip out our Yankee enemies which will not we think be long we shall again we hope have the pleasure of your correspondence.” Another letter of the 5th of August addressed by the same O. G. Parsly & Co. to Barron C. Watson, Liverpool, closed with the words: “Old Abe has not whipped us yet and we hardly think he will.” The fact that De Bebian was thus found in the act of carrying treasonable correspondence tending to endanger the public safety at a critical period justified the Government in detaining him until that period shall have passed by.

Subsequent inquiries resulted in the facts described by De Bebian himself, that the junior partner of the firm of O. G. Parsly & Co. was a major in the insurrectionary service and that a son of the senior partner was a captain in the same service and that the father was with the son. Such being the political relations of O. G. Parsly & Co. in whose service or connection De Bebian was attention was next directed to the nature of the business which he was transacting for them. This was learned in part from the circumstances of his arrest and in part from the letters and instructions he carried. He was found on board the schooner Adelso, a vessel of ninety-eight tons, which had been built at Eastport, in the State of Maine, and was then owned by John Kay of that place and was called the O. L. Hyde. Kay as is understood {p.455} nominally transferred the vessel to a brother-in-law named Harry Horton who changed her name to the Adelso, and she was then dispatched from a British province to Wilmington under the command of Thomas Kimball as master, who claimed to be a British subject, although he had been naturalized as an American citizen. The vessel entered Wilmington by running the blockade, and she left it in the same way on the 6th of August freighted with resin and turpentine bound for Halifax.

The letters and papers which he was conveying were found hidden among his clothing, and these papers showed that he was to purchase for O. G. Parsly & Co., at Liverpool, an assorted cargo and return therewith to Wilmington, N. C. Among the papers thus found were instructions from O. G. Parsly & Co. to Brown, Shipley & Co., Liverpool, giving the invoices for purchases, namely, 5,000 to 10,000 army blankets, 1,000 bags of coffee, - tons of iron, round and flat (notoriously needed for military purposes). The whole sum to be thus expended was $40,000. The goods were to be shipped in a French or a British vessel. With these instructions were directions how to give notice by concerted signals of his return and arrival off the coast and to receive in the same way warning of the presence and movement of the blockading forces.

The two letters of O. G. Parsly & Co., which I have already mentioned, directed the foreign mercantile correspondents to whom they were addressed to pay over to Brown, Shipley & Co. certain assets belonging to the former firm, and the last letter asked aid to M. de Bebian in the business with which he was charged. Brown, Shipley & Co. are well-known commercial and political agents of the insurgents and actually engaged in fitting out vessels for them in violation of the blockade and with contraband of war.

Besides the papers mentioned others full of disloyal and treasonable matter written by persons who confessed they were engaged in treasonable occupation were found in possession of De Bebian. One of these letters condemned time Government of the United States and avowed the opinion that it must pretty soon acknowledge the Southern Confederacy.

In view of these circumstances this Government considered that it would be incompatible with the public safety to permit Louis de Bebian to proceed at that moment with his $40,000 to Europe and he was retained under military custody at Fort Lafayette merely as a measure of precaution. As soon as it was supposed that his health might suffer by reason of close confinement he was enlarged, but held under surveillance and shortly thereafter when it was supposed that the treasonable purposes in which he was believed to be engaged were practically defeated this surveillance was removed and he was left at liberty to go to France. After remaining there until he grew weary of exile in his native country this Government at your request made in his behalf permitted him to return to his disloyal associations at Wilmington, in North Carolina.

You will perceive, sir, that De Bebian is not regarded by us as having been an innocent passenger on board the Adelso nor is the Adelso regarded as having been a neutral vessel. Moreover the examination in his case was made with all the promptness that was possible and his discharge from confinement was granted as soon as a prudent regard for the public safety then deeply imperiled would permit.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you, sir, the assurance of my high consideration.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

{p.456}

CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, Norfolk, Va., February 2, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR:

...

P. S.-Monday, 3d of February.-Last evening General Wool sent up by a flag of truce M. de Bebian, a subject of France living in Wilmington, N. C, and Mrs. Kerr, of Savannah, M. de B. informs me the commissioners arrived at Fort Monroe yesterday.

B. H[UGER].

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, Norfolk, Va., February 3, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR: I have had an interview with M. de Bebian, the gentleman mentioned in my postscript to letter of yesterday. He was arrested by the Lincoln Government last summer while on his way to Europe and confined in Fort Lafayette. He was released at the instance of the French minister, but his papers were retained and he was refused permission to return to Wilmington, N. C. He asked for and obtained a passport to go to Europe, and Mr. Seward indorsed on it “It is understood M. de B. is not to enter into any of the insurrectionary States.” On his arrival at Paris he had an interview with the Emperor who on seeing this indorsement said he should be allowed to return to his place of business, and directed him to call next day on the minister of foreign affairs who would give him the necessary papers. He called accordingly and was furnished with letters to the French minister at Washington. On his arrival in Washington he called on Mr. Seward and asked for a permit to come to Wilmington, which was refused. Next day the French minister called and obtained the permit on which he has come here. He states to me he has made his claim for damages, and he heard it was taken before a committee of Congress. M. de B proceeds to Wilmington to-day, and I thought his case of sufficient interest to send you an account of it.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. HUGER, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

Case of John Williams, jr.

John Williams, jr., of Norfolk, Va., was arrested by the U. S. marshal in Boston on the 9th day of August, 1861, who reported that the prisoner had held a major’s commission in the Confederate Army, and had been arrested on suspicion of treasonable purposes in his visit to Boston. He was confined in Fort Lafayette by direction of the Secretary of State and afterward transferred to Fort Warren. Williams did not conceal the fact of his disloyalty. On the 16th of September, 1861, he was offered his release on condition of taking the oath of allegiance, which he declined to do. On the 26th of the same month he recalled his refusal and offered to take the oath. He having declined to take the oath he was ordered to give security in the sum of $10,000 besides taking the oath, and was ordered to be released on such terms October 4, 1861. It appears that the information upon which Williams {p.457} was arrested came to Major-General Butler from Fortress Monroe, and that he was arrested by direction of that officer. There was some delay on Williams’ part in furnishing the bond required, but he was finally released on the terms before mentioned on the 14th day of November, 1861.–From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

BOSTON, August 9, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF STATE:

John Williams, of Norfolk, Va., who has held a commission of major in the Confederate Army, has been arrested by me on suspicion of treasonable purposes in his visit to Boston. Will the Department give me any instructions about him?

JOHN S. KEYES, U. S. Marshal.

–––

WASHINGTON, August 9, [1861].

JOHN S. KEYES, U. S. Marshal, Boston:

Deliver John Williams to Lieut. Col. Martin Burke, Fort Lafayette, N.Y.

W. H. SEWARD.

–––

U. S. MARSHAL’S OFFICE, DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, Boston, August 12, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States.

SIR: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of the directions contained in your telegram of the 9th instant I have-delivered John Williams to Lieut. Col. Martin Burke, at Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

I also desire to report to the Department that I am informed by a reliable source that a Captain Vincent, an old ship master of North Carolina familiar with that entire coast, in company with a wealthy citizen of South Carolina of a French name not remembered correctly, were met on the steamer from this port to Saint John week before last, and from their conversation my informant had no question that their errand was to fit out privateers from some of the ports of British America if they could be obtained either by purchase or fraud or force. The fact has also come to my knowledge that two Southerners were conversed with in the Province of Canada East last week who avowed their business to be to procure vessels for that business, and to the question of where they would get their letters of marque, &c., replied that they were to receive them when they were ready to sail in Boston. Whether these were the same Captain Vincent and friend I do not know.

These taken in connection with the report of a plan on foot in the British Provinces for an organized party to take passage on board some of the steamers plying to this port or New York as passengers and putting on board as freight such armament as they desired, rise on the passage and capture the steamer and take her on a privateering cruise which has been circulated here for some days have led me to believe that there was need of great vigilance on the part of our consuls and agents in Canada to guard against such practices. I have therefore taken the liberty of communicating these facts to the Department that if of any value or materiality they may be acted on. In the {p.458} matter of the ship Alliance at Saint John reported to be engaged in shipping munitions of war with a design of running the blockade, I have already communicated to the American consul there and at Halifax through Mr. Amory, the U. S. dispatch agent at this port. I should have transmitted this through the same hands but he is absent from the city and I therefore send this direct, and am,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN S. KEYES, U. S. Marshal.

–––

OFFICE OF U. S. ATTORNEY, Boston, September 10, 1861.

Maj. Gen. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER.

DEAR SIR: The wife and father of John Williams, arrested here and now confined in Fort Lafayette, have been to see me on his behalf, and at their request I have read their papers and heard their statements. The case is wholly out of my power, but I have examined the documents because I understood you desired it. The statements of Mrs. Williams and of the letters seem to show that so long as there were any Union men in Norfolk he was one of them, and that his errand North was a legitimate one The order for his removal to Fort Lafayette was received from the Secretary of State; and probably the authorities in Baltimore and Washington, the provost-marshal and head of police in these cities, have more information about him than I have, and inquiries should be made of them. There are some circumstances which may entitle his case to favorable consideration. He is a young man with a wife and several little children dependent on him, and if he had any illegal errand here his confinement must have broken up his plans and rendered his visit fruitless.

Very respectfully, yours,

THORNTON K. LOTHROP, Acting U. S. Attorney.

The story of his having a commission which was in circulation here seems to have sprung in part at least from what is now said to be a joke of his, which is alluded to in one of the letters.*

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 14, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: I will thank you to discharge John Williams who has been confined for some time past at Fort Lafayette upon his taking the oath of allegiance to the United States.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, September 16, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States, Washington, D. C.

SIR: In obedience to your instructions I offered to release John Williams upon his taking the oath of allegiance which he declined or refused to do.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

{p.459}

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, September 18, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Colonel Burke informed me this morning that he had your order for my release on condition of my taking a certain oath a copy of which he handed me. As far as I have been able to ascertain no charge made against me has been sustained and I am unable to understand why I should be compelled to take the oath required. Please inform me if you will accept my parole of honor not to take up arms against the United States or to engage in any treasonable practices. It is my intention to reside in the United States, and you will still have the opportunity of watching my conduct.

By attending to this request at your earliest convenience, you will much oblige,

Yours, respectfully,

JNO. WILLIAMS.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 21, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette.

SIR: Mr. John Williams having declined to take the oath of allegiance you will retain him in custody until further instructions from this Department.

Very truly, yours,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, September 26, 1861.

Colonel BURKE, Fort Hamilton.

SIR: If you still have authority to release me upon taking the oath of allegiance as directed by the Secretary of State last week please let me know as early as possible. I am induced by serious matters connected with my family to comply with the order.

Respectfully, yours,

JNO. WILLIAMS.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 4, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter containing the communication from John Williams dated September 26, 1861. Having heretofore declined to take the oath of allegiance and being induced to do so now only by “serious matters connected with his family” he must besides taking the oath give good and sufficient bonds in the sum of $10,000 approved by the U. S. district attorney to do no act hostile or injurious to the United States, and that he will neither enter nor hold any correspondence whatever with the insurrectionary States during the present rebellion without permission from the Secretary of State.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, October 7, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: An order was received from the State Department about two weeks [ago] authorizing Colonel Burke to release me upon taking the {p.460} oath of allegiance. I declined doing so at the time because I expected to return to my home in Norfolk, Va., and did not know what effect it would have upon me there. Since that time, however, I have made arrangements to remain in the North (Baltimore), and if permitted will now take the necessary obligation. My case was examined by you at the solicitation of my wife and father, and so far as they were able to ascertain no charge against me was sustained and my release was ordered by you. The situation of my wife and family urge me to ask a speedy reply to this communication.

Yours, respectfully,

JNO. WILLIAMS.

P. S.-My case was also examined and reported on by General Butler* and Marshal Keyes,* of Boston, at which place I was arrested.

J. W.

* Not found, but see Lothrop to Butler, September 10, p. 458.

–––

FORT MCHENRY, [Baltimore,] October 21, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD:

Has John Williams, jr., a prisoner at Fort Lafayette, been released? His friends are very anxious about him. His father is one of our most loyal citizens. The understanding is that you ordered him released two weeks ago on security in the penal sum of $10,000 not to go South and that it has been given.

JOHN A. DIX.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 22, 1861.

Maj. Gen. JOHN A. DIX, Baltimore, Md.

GENERAL: Your telegram of the 21st instant relative to the case of John Williams has been received. In reply I have to inform you that on the 4th day of October, 1861, instructions were issued to Lieut. Col. Martin Burke, the commanding officer at Fort Lafayette, to discharge that person on his giving in addition to the oath, &c., a bond in the sum of $10,000 that he would faithfully observe the obligations imposed. Colonel Burke is very prompt in the execution of the orders of this Department. It is inferred that the prisoner has not yet complied with the terms upon which his release was granted.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary of State.

–––

FORT MCHENRY, October 29, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

MY DEAR SIR: Mrs. Williams who will deliver this note to you is desirous of seeing you in regard to her husband. She will explain the difficulty, and I think the security will be perfectly good if Mr. Jenkins is allowed to be held for $2,500 or omitted altogether in the bond.

I am, dear sir, truly, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX.

[Indorsement in pencil.]

Desires to know whether they can be allowed to be held severally and not jointly.

{p.461}

–––

WASHINGTON, October 30, 1861.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States.

RESPECTED SIR: I would be extremely gratified (having come from Baltimore this a.m. for the purpose) if you would devote a few moments of your much taken up time for my benefit in behalf of my husband, now confined in Fort Lafayette, N. Y., whose release has been ordered but not fully consummated owing to a very trifling circumstance which I am extremely anxious to state to Your Excellency. Fully aware as I am that your mind is now overtaxed almost beyond endurance and the very early hour at which I call being unusual, still long, tedious suffering and privation from his want of occupation may apologize for the promptings of a wife to plead in behalf of her great trouble and distress an interview with Your Excellency for but a few moments previous to the press at business hours.

Hoping my request of your clemency may be granted, I am, very esteemed sir, yours, respectfully, &c.,

MRS. CECILIA WILLIAMS.

I also send a letter of introduction from Major-General Dix to His Honor W. H. Seward, Secretary of State, showing his views from a knowledge of the case.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 30, 1861.

W. M. ADDISON, Esq., U. S. District Attorney, Baltimore, Md.

SIR: Application has been made to this Department for instructions to you to draw the bond in the case of John Williams, a prisoner in Fort Lafayette, so as to make the sureties liable severally instead of jointly. If you see no grave objection to such procedure and if the sureties severally are responsible for the amounts pledged you are at liberty to accept the bond in that form.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 31, 1861.

Maj. Gen. JOHN A. DIX, Baltimore, Md.

GENERAL: In answer to your note of the 29th instant which was handed to me by Mrs. Williams I have to state that the U. S. district attorney, William M. Addison, esq., has been authorized to accept the sureties in the case of John Williams severally instead of jointly as you suggest.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

OFFICE OF U. S. ATTORNEY, Baltimore, October 31, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 30th instant in reference to the bond of John Williams, a prisoner in Fort Lafayette. In it you state that if I see no grave objection to making the sureties therein liable severally instead of jointly I am at liberty to accept a bond in that form. I presume the object of your {p.462} letter was to gratify the application of Mrs. Williams that the $10,000 bond might be drawn in such form that each security (four in number) should only be responsible for his proportion of the obligation, to wit, $2,500. She has caused to be prepared the bond so as to obtain that end and presented it to me for my approval. It is herewith inclosed* and I have appended my certificate that the several sureties are worth $2,500 each.

I deem it quite unnecessary to remind the Department that a bond for $10,000 wherein the sureties are severally responsible is a very different one in substance and effect. I have therefore thought it best to transmit the instrument to you in the form in which it is presented to me so that if it has your approval you may send it immediately to the district attorney of New York on whom the father is now in attendance (John Williams, sr.) waiting to add his signature. I will take the liberty to add that Mrs. Williams has requested me to beg the favor of you to dispatch the bond should it meet your approval as soon as possible to New York as the father is detained there at great inconvenience.

I am, sir, your very obedient servant,

WM. MEADE ADDISON, U. S. Attorney.

* Bond omitted.

–––

BALTIMORE, NOVEMBER 4, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD:

Is the bond of John Williams’ sureties right?

JOHN A. DIX.

It is.

F. W. S[EWARD].

–––

FORT WARREN, November 14, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: The marshal of the district of Massachusetts having informed me that the district attorney had John Williams’ bond for $10,000 duly executed I discharged him yesterday in obedience to your letter to Lieut. Col. Martin Burke, commanding Fort Lafayette, of October 4, 1861. I have the honor to inclose herewith Mr. John Williams’ oath.

I am, sir, with the highest respect, your obedient servant,

J. DIMICK, Colonel First Artillery, Commanding Post.

[Inclosure.]

I, John Williams, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, loyalty and allegiance to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any State convention or legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; and further that I do this with a full determination, pledge and purpose, without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever; and further that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties which may be required of me by law, hereby stipulating that I will neither enter into any of the States in insurrection against the Government of the United States nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those States nor transmit any correspondence between disloyal persons without {p.463} permission from the Secretary of State; and also that I will not do anything hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. So help me God.

JNO. WILLIAMS.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 13th of November, A. D. 1861.

J. DIMICK, Colonel First Artillery, Commanding Post.

–––

Case of Charles J. Faulkner.

Charles J. Faulkner, of Martinsburg, Va., late minister of the United States to France, was arrested at Washington on or about the 12th day of August, 1861, by order of the War Department, and was soon after taken to Fort Lafayette for safe-keeping and was subsequently transferred to Fort Warren. Faulkner himself alleges in a letter to the Secretary of State that he was taken as a hostage for Mr. Magraw, of Pennsylvania, who was held in custody by the rebels, but whether he has any warrant for such assumption or whether any such motive had any influence in prompting his arrest there was deemed to be sufficient cause for his detention in his disloyalty and in the hopes built upon his expected services by the rebels; the Department of State had reliable information that as early as February, 1861, Faulkner had advices from the rebel Mason, of Winchester, Va., that he must hold on and not quit Paris on any consideration; that Virginia would certainly secede on the 20th of February, and on the night of the 3d of March Virginia would take possession of the city of Washington; that the whole Southern Government was perfectly organized to go into operation immediately; also that Faulkner’s son distributed secession cockades in Paris in the office of the legation. The Department also had like information that a regiment near Winchester was waiting for Faulkner to be their colonel, and that it was currently reported there that he had sent arms from France to the Southern Confederacy. But a more conclusive proof of the disloyalty of Faulkner was furnished by himself on the 1st of December, 1861, in a proposition to effect an exchange of himself for a loyal citizen of the United States held in captivity by the rebels. In pursuance of that suggestion Faulkner was released on his parole to proceed to Richmond and in a certain time restore the Hon. Alfred Ely, of New York, to his seat in Congress or deliver himself to the order of the Government in Washington. He proceeded to Richmond accordingly and having effected the proposed exchange, and Mr. Ely having been restored to his seat in Congress, Faulkner remained at liberty and in the portion of the country controlled by the rebels.-Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

The commanding general will rescind the pass given to the Hon. Charles J. Faulkner permitting him to cross the lines of the armed forces of the United States, and will detain him in custody unless on being arrested he shall take aim oath of allegiance to the United States.*

* Memorandum found among State Department papers, with neither date nor signature.

{p.464}

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WASHINGTON, Washington, D. C., August 12, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF STATE:

A lady came to my office to inquire for her husband, Addison T. Munsel, a schoolmaster, who was pressed into the service near Winchester, Va. He is supposed to have made his escape to our lines or have been murdered. This lady was introduced to me by the Rev. B. N. Benton, pastor of the Second Baptist Church, near the navy-yard. He resides 563 Fourth street east, a sound Union man. This lady said to me a regiment near Winchester was waiting for Charles J. Faulkner, our minister to France, to be their colonel, and that it was currently reported there that he had sent arms from France to the Southern Confederacy.

MANSFIELD, Brigadier-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WASHINGTON, Washington, D. C., August 12, 1861.

On the 15th of February Faulkner read a letter from Senator Mason, of Virginia, dated U. S. Senate Chamber, that he must hold on and not quit Paris on any consideration; that Virginia would certainly secede on the 20th of February, and on the night of the 3d of March Virginia would take possession of the city of Washington; that the whole Southern Government was perfectly organized to go into operation immediately. Faulkner’s son distributed secession cockades in Paris at the legation in the office. This was read and done in the presence of William C. Barney, now in this city.

MANSFIELD, Brigadier-General.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 14, 1861.

EDWARD C. CARRINGTON, Esq., U. S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

SIR: It being desirable to take the deposition of a witness in the case of Charles J. Faulkner, recently arrested in this city, I will thank you to proceed at once to the office of General Mansfield, who will inform you of the name of the witness, and to attend to the taking of the deposition before a magistrate.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

Personally appeared before me William Chase Barney, a citizen of the United States, and being duly sworn says that on the 28th day of April, 1861, he the said Barney told the Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, that on the 13th day of February, 1861, Charles J. Faulkner, then U. S. minister at Paris, read to him the said Barney a letter from Senator James M. Mason, of Virginia, dated U. S. Senate Chamber, directed to said Faulkner, advising said Faulkner to hold on and not to quit Paris on any consideration; that Virginia would certainly secede the 20th of February, 1861, and in the night of the 3d of March following Virginia would take possession of the city of Washington; that the whole Southern Government was properly organized {p.465} to go into operation immediately; that said Faulkner’s son called Boyd Faulkner distributed secession cockades in the office of the U. S. legation at Paris. The said Barney says that the above statement made to the Secretary of State is true to the best of his knowledge and belief.

WILLIAM C. BARNEY.

Sworn and subscribed before me this 16th day of August, 1861.

GEO. C. THOMAS, Notary Public.

–––

ASTOR HOUSE, NEW YORK, August 19, 1861.

SECRETARY OF STATE.

SIR: In conversing with Major Townsend, of Albany, this afternoon he urged me to write you my strong convictions in reference to our late minister to France, now under arrest. Whatever my own conclusions may be-formed from a residence in Europe during the whole time of Mr. Faulkner’s official position there and an intimate acquaintance with the opinions of my countrymen abroad-I do not think I possess actual facts which you will consider important.

I only know that Mr. Faulkner is a secessionist-known and acknowledged to be so by all who have come in contact with him during the last two years; that his family are secessionists of the most violent character; that the French ministers with whom he was on terms of intimacy and the members of the Senate all knew his strong feelings of sympathy with the rebels, and that the embassy in Paris was the rendezvous of all the most violent of the traitors so long as he stayed. My wife returned to this country on the same ship with the ladies and children of Mr. Faulkner’s family. This was early in May. At that time Virginia was supposed to be hesitating. The son was most bitter and violent in his denunciations of the United States Government, and outspoken in his wishes that his father’s State should cast in her lot with South Carolina.

I have no doubt that numberless facts bearing directly upon Mr. Faulkner’s treasonable complicity with the rebellion while he was the resident minister of the United States at Paris could be gathered now, but until he was arrested so accustomed had I been in the presence of our late consuls at Liverpool and London to hear rebellion approved that I never thought of obtaining accurate information upon a subject of common fame. There is, however, not a shadow of doubt that the sympathies of the French ministry were enlisted by the most constant efforts of Mr. Faulkner in favor of the seceding States. In fact it is not yet four weeks since the minister of foreign affairs recommended my friend Col. Enrico Fardilla, who was coming to this country, to enlist at the South.

If I can be of any service to the Government in this matter a letter addressed to me at Copake Iron Works, Columbia County, N. Y., will reach me. I beg you will pardon the liberty I have taken, and believe me to be,

With great respect, sir, your obedient servant,

N. S. DODGE.

{p.466}

–––

MILITARY PRISON, MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE, Washington City, August 29, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Some days ago I addressed to you a communication* apprising you of the fact of my arrest by order of the Secretary of War, and of the reasons which he assigned to me in justification of that act. I endeavored in that letter to show that my arrest was in every point of view unsustainable upon any of the grounds upon which it was placed by that high functionary. I concluded by asking that my letter embracing a protest against the justice and legality of my imprisonment might be laid before the President for his consideration and action. I have received from you no reply to that communication, not even an acknowledgment of its receipt. Since that time I wrote a note to the Secretary of War * informing him that my health was suffering from the unnecessarily close confinement to which I was subjected and requesting an extension of my prison limits with a view to some exercise in the open air. To this I received a reply in which declining to grant my request he informed me that I was no longer his prisoner, and that I was now transferred to the custody of the Secretary of State,. No reason was assigned by him for my transfer from his charge to your safe-keeping.

Being thus left to conjecture as to its motive I can imagine but one explanation of the fact. It is that you have laid my letter before the President; that he has given just weight to its facts and reasoning, and that he has disapproved the grounds upon which the Secretary of War ordered my arrest and made me his prisoner. If I am correct in this inference I see no reason why I should not have been promptly remitted to my liberty and placed where I stood on the 9th of this month when I received from you a safe conduct and pass to my family in Virginia, unless indeed some facts have been brought to your notice since that day to give a new aspect to my case. Be that as it may I cannot but express my gratification at the assurance that I am once more relieved from the grasp of military power-a power in its nature always irresponsible, which in every age submits to no maxim but sic jubeo stat pro ratione voluntas, and that I am placed in relations, hostile even should they be, with one who has been trained to respect the legal rights of his fellow-men; to acknowledge the paramount importance of justice and law in national as well as individual affairs, and who must feel some regard for the judgment which impartial history will one day pronounce upon his acts.

I have already in my first communication to which I again invite your attention submitted my conduct while abroad to the highest standard by which it could in the nature of things be judged. If any allegations have since been made to impugn the declarations there made it is right and just that I should be apprised of them. Up to this moment I have not heard from any official source nor indeed from any source entitled to the least respect that the Government of the United States has any complaint of any kind against me. If there be one I desire to meet it promptly. You cannot be insensible to the fact that this recent movement of the Secretary of War has already done me much injury here and in Europe.

The public is but little enlightened as to the avowed cause of my arrest, and even if the true explanation of it had been earlier and more generally announced it would be difficult to satisfy those whose good opinion I value especially in Europe that a public minister of the {p.467} United States returning to the capital of his country to report himself to his Government and to close the affairs of his mission could have been arrested and imprisoned upon such grounds as the Secretary of War has assigned as the motive of his action. Such a proceeding for such a cause would strike them as incredible. In their conception of the proprieties and probabilities of governmental action nothing could justify such a measure but gross and treasonable infidelity to the diplomatic trust with which I was honored. That deduction I have no doubt even those most inclined to a favorable judgment of me have felt constrained to draw from the fact and circumstances of my arrest; and even in this country where the public judgment has become so deplorably inflamed by the extraordinary state of our affairs the brief editorial in the National Intelligencer giving quasi officially the reason of my arrest is passed by unnoticed and the papers are still filled as they were before with speculations upon the enormous crimes which I must have committed whilst abroad to be thus so long the subject of such close and vigilant governmental detention.

Now, sir, having been transferred to your custody as a prisoner of state and the responsibility of my further detention resting entirely with you I respectfully inquire of you as I did of the Secretary of War why am I thus held in confinement? Of what infidelity to my Government-of what offense against the country am I accused that I should be thus deprived of my liberty? What object suggested by public policy or touching the public safety demands my imprisonment? Dark and unexplained as the whole course of procedure has been it has become to me a subject of painful and embarrassing mystery. In periods of great public danger and excitement like the present individual wrong is often done. The true defense of any government under such circumstances is the reparation of that wrong at the earliest moment that it is made sensible of its error. I trust I shall be favored with a reply to my earnest and respectful inquiries.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. J. FAULKNER.

* Not found.

–––

SEPTEMBER -, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:

I heard some weeks since of Mr. Faulkner’s arrest but hoped by this time that he would be released as he had taken no part in the present contest. Why is he detained in Washington when he went there upon business with the Government feeling it his duty to give an account of his ministerial duties while at the court of France? I am sure Mr. Seward cannot refuse to give me information if my husband will be released or detained until the war is over. If he be detained, will Mr. Seward send me a pass to go from Martinsburg to Washington City? In order for me to receive this pass the letter must be addressed to the care of my daughter, Mrs. G. V. Lott, Everett House, Union Square, New York.

I remain, with respect,

MRS. C. J. FAULKNER.

–––

MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE, BETWEEN SEVENTH AND EIGHTH STREETS, Washington City, September 1, 1861.

Hon. Mr. MCDOUGALL, Senator from California.

MY DEAR SIR: I perceive from the morning papers that you are now in this city. Can’t you pay me a visit? I am sure if you apply to the {p.468} Secretary of State he will not refuse you. I am quite anxious to see you. I remember with infinite pleasure our agreeable relations in Congress, and more especially the incidents of that “mess” of which we formed a part. Don’t fail to make an effort to see me, and at the earliest moment your convenience will admit.

I am, truly and sincerely, yours,

CHAS. J. FAULKNER.

–––

HEADQUARTERS CITY GUARD, OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL, Washington, September 8, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE, Commanding Fort Lafayette.

SIR: By direction of the honorable Secretary of War you will please receive the Hon. Charles J. Faulkner, of Virginia, and hold him in confinement until further orders.

A. PORTER, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Provost-Marshal.

–––

Memorandum for Captain Willard.

SEPTEMBER 8, 1861.

Captain Willard will oblige me by calling on the Secretary of State, the provost-marshal, or whoever has the right to determine the point, and ascertain if some relaxation of the severe rigor of my confinement cannot be obtained so as to enable me to have the benefit of some exercise. I have already stated to Captain Willard frequently within the last two weeks the injury which I have sustained in my health from my unnecessarily close confinement, and I have explained the parts of my system which have been most painfully and injuriously affected by this long deprivation of exercise. I can hardly presume that the Government has resorted to my imprisonment as a measure of punishment, and yet it has signally operated so in fact. Neither can I for a moment suppose that it has any aims against my life, and yet if the present system be continued much longer it is very certain that my life will soon cease to be a source of dread to my enemies or of value to myself or friends. I am not young as I once was, and naturally of a weak and delicate condition it has only been by the most assiduous attention to my health and amongst other remedies of the resort to regular and systematic exercise that I have been enabled to check the progress of disease and to retain the health which I possessed when I was arrested and first imprisoned.

As a lawyer for many years in full practice I have had an opportunity of knowing something of prison discipline in the State of my birth and I will say that I have never, except in one extraordinary instance, known a malefactor after conviction for a capital or penitentiary offense subjected to a more rigid and vigilant surveillance than I have been since my arrest. The unceasing tread of armed sentinels around my door and windows leaves me not a moment in the twenty-four hours to indulge the delusion that I was born in a land of freedom, and this surveillance is observed toward a man who although imprisoned one month and the Government repeatedly called upon has not avowed to him or to the public that it has against him the shadow of a ground of accusation or complaint.

CH. J. F[AULKNER].

{p.469}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 10, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: You will allow to the Hon. Mr. Faulkner such indulgence as to air and exercise as shall be compatible with his safe-keeping and the construction and regulations of the place in which he is detained.

I am, sir, respectfully our obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 11, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: I will thank you to inform the Hon. Charles J. Faulkner, now in confinement at Fort Lafayette, that he is committed and is detained in military custody as a political prisoner upon the ground that the authorities acting in the State of Virginia which he is understood to acknowledge and obey have inaugurated and are prosecuting by force of arms a treasonable insurrection for the overthrow of the Federal Government and the dissolution of the Union, and that the Government is informed and believes that in this hour of public danger his sympathies are given to the conspirators, and his services as well as his influence are expected to be employed in behalf of the treason. He can procure his release at present as he could have done at any time hitherto by taking and subscribing an explicit oath of allegiance to the United States excluding all express or implied reservations.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, September 13, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States.

SIR: Your letter of the 11th instant with regard to the Hon. Mr. Faulkner (a certified copy) was duly handed to him, as you will see by the inclosed hitter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, September 12, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE, Commanding Forts Hamilton and Lafayette.

COLONEL: I beg leave to report that in obedience to your order I have delivered in person to the Hon. Charles J. Faulkner the copy of the letter received by you from the honorable Secretary of State.

I am, colonel, with respect, your obedient servant,

CHAS. O. WOOD, Second Lieutenant, Ninth Infantry, Commanding Post.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, September 13, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Lieutenant Wood, commandant of this fort, delivered to me last evening a certified copy of a letter addressed by you to Colonel Burke, dated Washington City, September 11, 1861, in which you say {p.470} that my release from imprisonment can be procured at any moment by taking and subscribing an explicit oath of allegiance to the United States. Before I reply to this proposition I am justified in recurring to a few facts connected with my arrest and in asking some information which may serve for my future guidance.

Near five weeks ago I was arrested by an order from the Secretary of War in the city of Washington to which place I had gone to close the affairs of my mission and where I was resting as I supposed under the protection of a safe conduct and pass inclosed to me in a letter or dispatch from you. On the fourth day after my arrest (15th of August) in reply to an inquiry addressed to the Secretary of War as to the ground of my arrest I was officially informed that I had been arrested and was then held as a hostage for the safe return of Henry S. Magraw, of Pennsylvania, and that I should not be released until Mr. Magraw’s return. On Saturday morning, 17th of the same month, the National Intelligencer, a journal well known for its discretion and accuracy of information and which is believed to occupy confidential relations with the Administration, announced substantially the same motive as the cause of my arrest. The records of that portion of the Eighth Infantry under the command of Captain Willard, in whose charge I was placed for the first month of my imprisonment and which was used as a military police under the immediate control of the Secretary of War, show that such alone was the cause assigned for my arrest and that my detention was to continue until Mr. Magraw’s return. After my arrest I was assigned quarters in the city of Washington separate both from prisoners of war and political prisoners. There was at least a seeming fitness in that arrangement, for as I had not been captured whilst engaged in any military enterprise against the authority of the United States and as I had been arrested without a charge or accusation of any kind against my fidelity and was held in the anomalous condition of a hostage, of which so far as I am informed I was the only example North or South, it was not proper that I should be confounded with those against whom the Government had or supposed it had grave charges of complaint.

On Monday last I was by an order from the Secretary of War removed to this place. A small casemate of this somber and isolated fortification accommodates eight persons including myself. Through three small apertures a dim and imperfect light is admitted-not sufficient to enable the occupants to read or write unless when the door is open, which can only be when allowed by the state of the weather and the regulations of the fort. From the limited character of the accommodations the opportunities for lighting can only be enjoyed by each prisoner in turn. In another casemate near me are twenty-four prisoners in chains. I pretend not to know for what crime these men are incarcerated and ironed, but I must be allowed to say that I think the Government is acting with extraordinary hardship toward me, when without its ability to allege any matter of offense of any kind against me it nevertheless places me in the same prison and under many of the same regulations with those whom it feels justified in treating as the worst and most dangerous of malefactors.

I have myself written to no person in Virginia or in any other place informing them of the ground of my arrest as avowed by the Secretary of War, and consequently I have not directly or indirectly solicited the interposition of any person to effectuate the release of Mr. Magraw that I might thereby acquire my own freedom. I could not consistently {p.471} have done so, as must be very obvious to those who have read the protests against my imprisonment addressed to yourself and the Attorney-General. Nevertheless I have strong reason for believing that the seemingly authoritative annunciation of the cause of my arrest contained in the National Intelligencer has reached my family in Virginia, and that their influence has been exerted to accomplish the liberation of Mr. Magraw in the hope thereby of conferring a benefit upon me. Such a course was quite natural with females, who always act more under the influence of their affections than in conformity to any standard of political principle. To what extent this influence has operated I do not know, but I observe the public journals announce the probability of the speedy return of Mr. Magraw. How far I should feel at liberty myself to submit to such an exchange should the contingency occur it is not necessary for me at this time to say.

In view of these facts I respectfully desire to know whether the proposition which you now submit authorizing my release upon taking the prescribed oath is designed to anticipate the condition originally annexed to my arrest or whether the Government now disavows that cause for my arrest with the condition necessarily implied in it, and means to hold me a prisoner in disregard of that condition whether Mr. Magraw shall be hereafter released by those at Richmond who now have the control of his liberty or not. You will oblige me by a reply to these inquiries.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. J. FAULKNER.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, September 20, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Mr. Lott, a son-in-law of Mr. Faulkner, came here to see him about 10.30 last night in accordance with your orders of September 17. I thought it an unusual hour but of course ordered the boat for him to go over. I called his attention to your letter which strictly speaking only admitted him on one visit but I have taken upon myself to admit on your letters of similar kind and upon other high authority at Washington the persons named to two and sometimes three interviews. I understand that Mr. Faulkner’s friends consider your permit as permanent, entitling them to other visits. Please inform me if I am so to understand it and also other letters of similar nature.

I have the honor, sir, to be, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fort.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 24, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.:

No permit entitles the person to whom it was granted to more than one visit.

F. W. SEWARD.

{p.472}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 24, 1861.

RICHARD SCHELL, Esq., New York.

SIR: Your letter of the 23d instant asking permission to visit Mr. Faulkner, a prisoner confined in Fort Lafayette, has been received and as it has been found necessary to restrict such permissions I regret to say your request cannot with propriety be granted.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, September 25, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: A severe indisposition for some days past has prevented an earlier response to your letter to Colonel Burke of the 11th of the present month. Discouraged by the neglect with which all my previous communications have been treated, nothing but a sense of duty has prompted this additional trespass on your time, and as this will in all probability be the last letter which I shall address to you during the period of my imprisonment, be that long or short, I must express the hope that you will at least do me the favor to read it. On the 13th instant I addressed to you some inquiries which I deemed pertinent and proper. To these inquiries I have as usual received no reply. I now avail myself of the earliest moment of my convalescence to respond to the views which you take of my case in your letter to Colonel Burke.

There are two conclusions which flow necessarily from your letter. First, that the Government now disavows the ground upon which I was arrested on the 12th of August by order of the Secretary of War and that henceforth it does not hold me as a hostage for the safe return of Mr. Magraw, of Pennsylvania. Second, that after an imprisonment of upward of six weeks, during which time every opportunity has been afforded for the fullest inquiry into my conduct and relations whilst in Europe, the Government is forced to the admission that no act has been done by me upon which it can found even an accusation of infidelity or disloyalty.

In the absence then of all proof or even allegation that I have done anything inconsistent with the high and responsible trust with which I have been honored by the Government your letter which is somewhat in the nature of an indictment charges, first, that I am understood to acknowledge and obey the authorities acting in the State of Virginia, by which of course you mean the authorities of what is called the Confederate States; second, that the Government is informed and believes that my sympathies are with those authorities; third, that it is expected that my services as well as influence will be employed in behalf of the cause which those authorities are sustaining.

Assuming that the Government has repudiated the original and real cause of my arrest it is then upon these vague understandings, beliefs and expectations of what my personal opinions are and of what my future conduct may be that I have for more than six weeks been robbed of my liberty, torn from all association with my family and friends, now lodged in a distant and isolated fortress, exposed to the permanent injury of my health, treated as a common malefactor and subjected to irreparable pecuniary loss. I do no more than justice to the intelligence and virtue of every judicial tribunal from the Aroostook to the Potomac when I assert that there is not one of them which would {p.473} not dismiss such a complaint against a citizen upon its own showing without defense or examination. But I will reply to your series of conjectures.

First, I deny that I have ever by act, word or correspondence acknowledged or obeyed the authorities now acting in Virginia; second, what may be my sympathies (if it be allowable for man for such a purpose to penetrate the human heart) may I admit present a subject for argument, inference and conjecture founded upon evidence, past party associations and opinions expressed prior to the late fatal rupture of the peace of the country, although every day’s experience of the conduct of men now on the stage of action shows how fallacious would be the conclusions drawn from such premises, but since the present rupture, having been absent from the country and in no way connected with its interior movements, my sympathies whether for or against the Union are known only to myself and I defy the production of any credible testimony as to their expression by words or deeds since the present unhappy struggle commenced; third, the expectation that my services and influence will be employed in behalf of the authorities acting in Virginia rests upon no foundation or evidence of any kind whatever, and is one of those intangible surmises alike incapable of proof or refutation and which should not be made the basis of any action against the liberty of a citizen. It is impossible that one as familiar as you are with the principles of constitutional law can for one moment believe that you are justified in the eyes of God or man in depriving me of my liberty upon such unsubstantial pretenses. This is virtually conceded by your letter. It in effect admits that there is no just ground for my detention and you suppose that you open a very easy door for my escape by instructing Colonel Burke that I can release myself at any moment from imprisonment by taking an oath of allegiance to the United States.

I have often taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States when tendered to me in accordance with that Constitution and the laws of the land, and I should do so again if ever placed in a position where that requirement should legally and properly be demanded of me. The condition which you impose may thus at first sight not seem very formidable and yet when I present, as I shall in the most perfect spirit of candor, my objections to your proposal, I think you will concur with me that if persisted in by the Government it will be equivalent to a sentence of indefinite imprisonment against me.

My objections to the oath which you prescribe are:

First. That it is without sanction or authority of law. As a Christian I cannot take an oath which in my conscience I believe to be unauthorized by law, and as a citizen I cannot make myself a party to so manifest an usurpation of executive power. It can scarcely be necessary for me to say to a jurist of your intelligence and high legal reputation that an oath is one of those solemn appeals to the Divinity prescribed by the interests and necessities of society, and held to be so important in its consequences to the State and to the individual concerned that no power short of the supreme authority of a community is competent to authorize its administration and to provide the penalties for its violation. The tender and enforcement of an oath by an officer of the Federal Government where not prescribed by some existing law is in my judgment a grave misdemeanor for which he should be held judicially responsible. I might safely challenge the production in a single instance in any State of this confederacy where an oath is ever sought to be enforced except in pursuance of some statute emanating {p.474} from the legislative power of that State. Congress did at its last session authorize the administration of an oath of allegiance to all persons holding civil and military appointments under the Government and the penalty prescribed for noncompliance with the law is not imprisonment but simply dismissal from office. So in like manner Congress has required an oath of allegiance from every foreigner seeking to become a citizen of the United States. But I know of no law of Congress which authorizes the President or any of his subordinate agents to administer the oath of allegiance to a native-born citizen of the United States holding no office or employment under the Federal Government. To take the oath therefore which you prescribe to me would make me in my opinion a party to a clear violation of law and to a manifest usurpation and abuse of executive power.

Second. The condition which you seek to impose establishes an invidious and offensive discrimination against my rights as a citizen to which I could not submit without dishonor. To concede your right to single me out of the great mass of my fellow-citizens and to impose upon me a political test, which is neither authorized by law nor exacted as a general rule of policy, would be to concede that my political rights in the community are inferior to others, a concession which I will never make so long as I adhere to those great principles of political equality upon which our institutions are founded. In addition to this general view it is within my own personal knowledge that two individuals who were confined in the same casemate with myself in the fort and who were arrested upon allegations of disloyalty far more specific than any attributed to me have been discharged without the requirement of the oath and upon their simple parole of honor not to do any act hostile to the United States during the existing troubles.

Third. The letter in which you submit this condition to me cannot be otherwise regarded than as a personal indignity. You assume without a particle of evidence that I am an enemy to the Government of the United States; that my heart is filled with sympathy with rebellion and with treason to the Union, and yet you present to me an oath which if I took holding the sentiments which you so gratuitously ascribe to me and which you make the justification for tendering it to me would make me guilty of moral if not of legal perjury in the eyes of God and man.

Fourth. Of all the foreign ministers accredited by the United States to the Governments of Europe and America I am the only one who has been selected for the imposition of this illegal test, and yet I have only to invite you to the testimony of my fellow-citizens abroad and to the records of your own Department to show that in maintaining the national honor and the national flag and in a faithful and zealous discharge of my duties to the Government I need not shrink from comparison with any man in the foreign service of the country.

Fifth. To take the oath which you prescribe would under existing circumstances furnish no evidence of my loyalty. It might be proof of my subserviency and cowardice. It could afford no guarantee of heartfelt devotion to the Union. To say to a prisoner that the bars of his dungeon shall be forever closed upon him unless he swears to be true to the Government may make a hypocrite and a knave. It cannot make a good citizen or a true patriot. Loyalty springs from the heart; it cannot be manufactured by thumbscrews, political tests or prisons.

Sixth. From-the day of my-arrest up to the present moment my tongue has been silenced and my hands paralyzed in my defense. In the meantime calumny has been unceasing in its assaults upon me.

{p.475}

In not one leading paper deserving patronage and support from the Government have I been represented otherwise than as a traitor. There is scarcely an act of official perfidy of which a minister could have been guilty that has not been falsely ascribed to me. Before I had even received a copy of your letter of the 11th of September writers having access to the bureaus of the Government were familiar with its contents and announced the test that was to be applied to me, and they accompanied it with the statement that although I was clearly and unquestionably guilty of treason and could upon the clearest evidence be convicted of it before a jury yet as an act of clemency I would be allowed to escape if I complied with this requirement of the Secretary of State. I cannot accept your clemency on such terms. I cannot rest under imputations which a submission to your requirements would only fortify and confirm. If I am guilty of any official infidelity or of treason let me be tried and punished. If I am innocent of all such charges I should be unconditionally released. It is not becoming a great Government thus to palter with the interests of human liberty. Neither would it be just to my own character to accept of any such equivocal order of release.

Seventh and lastly. During the period which led to the existing difficulties I was not only absent in Europe but I was there the accredited representative of the Government of the United States, and if a love and veneration for that system of government founded by the fathers of the Republic had been without their proper influence on may conduct my official position at least utterly forbade my having any participation directly or indirectly in any movement for the overthrow of the Federal Union. I have ever made it not less a matter of pride than of duty to punctiliously and scrupulously [be] faithful to every trust public or private with which I have been honored. Of this you have satisfactory proof in my correspondence and relations with your Department, and I have no doubt in the correspondence and testimony of my successor in office. As I have already informed you I returned to the United States under all the moral responsibilities of that trust although the legal tenure of my appointment had previously ceased. I came back to perform my duties as a citizen and a patriot. I came here as a free man to survey the field of action and to determine by the light of my own judgment the part which duty and patriotism required me to pursue in the present crisis. No one has ever heard from me in conversation or has ever learned from me by correspondence what that decision would be. Indeed ignorant of much that had transpired in the country during my absence I felt it due to my own character and position to reserve the decision of my course until after my return and until I had an opportunity of learning much that it was not possible for me to acquire satisfactorily abroad. I arrived here then without a single committal as to the future that could swerve my judgment as to my course. I cherished the hope, probably an idle and presumptuous one, that the position of total noncomplicity with all the events that then embarrassed the country might furnish, especially if I concluded to reside in Virginia, an opportunity of some signal service to the country. My purpose therefore was to retire upon my estate and there await the progress of events to determine what extent this position which absence and accident gave me might be made useful to the country. It is manifest that such a position which I allude to required free and unconstrained action. It is a freeman alone who can confer with freemen about their rights and interests. They would not take counsel from a slave. But you prefer a course that would rob me of all the merit of {p.476} my position if my conclusions led me to support the cause of the Union. It deprives me of all deliberation and free will. It proposes to rivet patriotism upon me by fetters and to grind loyalty into me by the horrors of the prison. It seeks to anticipate the regular conclusions of my own reason and judgment and to make me a patriot by the potent process of the dungeon. I cannot accept your prescription. Arbitrary power and brute force have given you control over my body but you can exercise none over the mind. I cannot be forced by any threat or menace of the Government to throw away all my chances and capacities for public service in the future and to permit myself to be presented before the country as one who has taken his position on the present eventful crisis of the country not by the light of his own reason and patriotism but under a threat of perpetual imprisonment by the Gov. eminent. Such submission on my part would consign me to deserved contempt and to perpetual inactivity. Even the Union men of Virginia would spurn my counsel and turn their backs upon my recommendations.

I need not trouble you with further remarks. The facts of my case are fully before the Government. It has power to prolong my imprisonment. It will have to use that power under a just responsibility to the country and to the civilized world.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. J. FAULKNER.

–––

WASHINGTON, September 26, 1861.

Hon. JUDAH P. BENJAMIN, Richmond, Va.

DEAR BENJAMIN: I suppose that I may abandon all hope of having you with me at the argument of the Alexander case in the Supreme Court. The continuance or dismissal as I suppose will be determined upon all of the cases from the seceded States, making certain the hearing of ours at the next term. As you will not be able to be present and I am anxious that you save your fee cannot you send a full brief?

Differ as we may-and do totally-on the questions growing out of the deplorable crisis in which we are I shall ever remember with great pleasure the many pleasant hours I have spent with you and lament our separation, which I fear is to be forever.

Among the sad consequences growing out of the present strife is the arrest of gentlemen on both sides in whom I am sure you feel with me a friendly interest. Here my and your friend, Mr. Faulkner, is under arrest and has been for many weeks. He is now in Fort Lafayette, N. Y. You have I am told Mr. Harry Magraw. Now I have no doubt that if Magraw was discharged I could at once procure the discharge of Faulkner. Mr. Davis knows me well enough to be satisfied that I would endeavor in good faith to carry out such a purpose, and my relation to the Administration here is such that I am as certain as I can be of any future event that the endeavor would be successful. Mr. Faulkner I have long known intimately, and I am most anxious to relieve him from his present condition and restore him to his family, deeply distressed, as they cannot but be, at his imprisonment. Magraw’s motive in visiting your camp was a humane one and however technically considered he may have rendered himself liable to arrest his is not a case for extreme rigor.

Hoping that you will find an opportunity to write me and that my suggestion as to Faulkner and Magraw may be carried out, I am sincerely and will continue, happen what will, to be your friend,

REVERDY JOHNSON.

{p.477}

–––

RICHMOND, September 30, 1861.

Hon. REVERDY JOHNSON, Washington, D. C.

MY DEAR JOHNSON: Colonel Phillips has delivered tome your letter of the 26th instant, and I am much gratified to learn that separated as we are toto cælo in our principles and convictions upon the subject of this contest now raging in the country you still remember with the same pleasure that I do our past intercourse. I beg you will present my best and kindest regards to Mrs. Johnson, who seemed with a woman’s true instincts to feel the approach of the calamitous war now devastating our land. In relation to the fee I can do nothing. If that is lost it will be but one of the numerous sacrifices that I have cheerfully made for what I believe to be man’s highest duty to his country.

I much regret that your letters did not reach me a week or two later. I had already with the President’s consent determined on the release of Mr. Harry Magraw and Mr. Arnold Harris,* after a full examination and report on their case by a commissioner specially appointed for that purpose. The object of the imprisonment in vindicating the rights of this Government as a belligerent had been attained, and it would have been equally useless and cruel to have continued it any longer. I beg you therefore distinctly to understand that the liberation of Mr. Magraw is made without the slightest reference to your kind proposal to intercede for the liberation of Mr. Faulkner. He would have been liberated if your letter had not reached me. He would be liberated now if I had the fullest assurance that Faulkner would be detained in confinement till the close of the war. Forgive me for being so persistent on this point.

You write without the clogs of official position. I am in a different position, and am compelled to have it distinctly understood that I am no party to any exchange of prisoners. I would never consent to any other than the usual, open, indiscriminate exchange known to the laws of war. I could be no party to any favoritism in selecting particular persons for the benefits of this humane provision of the laws of war and excluding others. I repeat then that without wishing to do the least injury to poor Faulkner, but on the contrary anxious to do him service in any proper way I hold you totally absolved from all promise of exertion in his favor, and that his release from prison if he is released must rest on the ground of his being unjustly detained. At least that is the only footing on which I can consent to regard it.

Renewing my kindest memories to your whole family, I remain, truly, yours,

J. P. BENJAMIN.

P. S.-If you are in correspondence with our friends Barron don’t fail to mention me to them with the most friendly regard.

* For case of Arnold Harris see p. 1515 et seq.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, October 13, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE.

SIR: The sad and distressing intelligence which I receive of the condition of my family in Virginia, my inability whilst confined here as a prisoner to offer to them any consolation in their afflictions or even to make any provision for their necessities, my solicitude for my children {p.478} who are at an age to demand imperiously the care and restraining influence of a parent, all combine to induce me to inquire if you have any authority to extend to me a release from my present imprisonment upon a parole of honor similar to that which has already been extended to several prisoners at this fort. I confess my extreme reluctance in making this application. I believe the honor, the good faith and the true policy of the Government would dictate my unconditional release, and I believe that my usefulness as a citizen of the United States will be materially impaired by any restraint upon my perfect freedom of deliberation and action. Nevertheless if the Government shall determine otherwise I must of course submit to its terms. I am a prisoner absolutely in its power, and there is no other Government to which I have any right to appeal to take an interest in my defense. I am here without a charge or an accusation of any kind against me, and from a simple apprehension of the Government that if at liberty as expressed in the letter of the Secretary of State to you I might contribute my “influence and services” to the cause of the Confederate States. I will not discuss the grounds upon which Mr. Seward has reached this conclusion, but I presume a parole of honor given by me that I will do no act hostile to the United States during the existing troubles would be a guaranty which the Secretary of State, who has some knowledge of my character, would promptly recognize as an ample guaranty against any such action on my part. I have now been in close confinement as a prisoner upward of two months. If I could perceive that my suffering and privations here could in any manner be made instrumental to the good of the country I could easily reconcile myself to any protracted term of imprisonment; but I see no benefit from it to the country, but utter ruin and impoverishment to my family. I therefore respectfully make this inquiry of you trusting that you will with your characteristic promptitude and urbanity give me an early answer.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. J. FAULKNER.

–––

BURLINGTON, November 22, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD.

MY DEAR SIR: Will you permit me to intrude upon your valuable time with one word in behalf of Mr. Faulkner, now confined at Fort Warren? I am fully aware that the oath of allegiance has been tendered him as a condition of his release but this with him is an impossibility. It would forfeit his entire property and leave himself and family beggars. I think I can promise that he will give his parole not in any way to serve against this Government in future. I know from frequent conversations with him that his views in reference to the present struggle are of the most moderate kind, and I am satisfied that had his voice been potential at the South this country to-day would not be agonized with the fearful throes of civil war. Can his release not be had upon giving his parole? His case is a peculiarly distressing one. For seven months he has not seen his family and for four months he has had no communication with them.

Will you favor me with reply to this and oblige, your obedient servant,

JAMES W. WALL.

{p.479}

–––

FORT WARREN, Boston Harbor, December 1, 1861.

Hon. REUBEN E. FENTON.

DEAR SIR: I perceive from the papers that the constituents of the Hon. Alfred Ely* are forwarding to President Lincoln memorials urging his exchange for some one now held by the Federal Government in confinement Permit me through you and the New York delegation in Congress to submit the following proposition to President Lincoln or Secretary Seward: I will give my parole of honor with any other security deemed necessary by the Secretary of State, if permitted to proceed on to Richmond, that I will in a time to be prescribed by time Secretary of State restore Mr. Ely to his seat in Congress or deliver myself to the order of the Government in Washington City.

I am, truly and respectfully, yours,

CHAS. J. FAULKNER.

* Ely was a member of Congress from the State of New York who was captured by the Confederates at Bull Run, July 21.-COMPILER.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 5, 1861.

Colonel DIMICK, Fort Warren, Boston.

COLONEL: You are hereby directed to release from custody Charles J. Faulkner, a prisoner con fined in Fort Warren, on his giving his parole of honor that he will return and surrender himself to you within thirty days unless within twenty days the Hon. Alfred Ely shall be immediately released from the confinement in which he is now held at Richmond by the insurgents and sent within the lines of the U. S. forces, and that meanwhile Mr. Faulkner will not do any act hostile to the Government of the United States or give any information calculated to aid the insurgents. You will at time same time deliver to him the inclosed passport enabling him to pass through the lines of the U. S. Army.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

BALTIMORE, December 18, 1861.

THOMAS A. SCOTT, Fortress Monroe:

The Georgiana brought down from Baltimore this morning Hon. Charles J. Faulkner, released on parole from Fort Warren, Boston, en route for Richmond where he is confident of being able to exchange himself for Hon. Mr. Ely* taken prisoner at Bull Run. Mr. Faulkner spent the forenoon at General Wool’s headquarters and was sent by a flag of truce to Craney Island at noon.

...

Captain Ricketts was serenaded by band of the Second Artillery on the wharf before the boat started and numbers availed themselves of the opportunity to get a look at the captain. He is still very weak and suffering from the effects of his wounds.

FULTON.

* The exchange of Faulkner for Ely was subsequently effected, but no official statement of the fact can be found-COMPILER.

{p.480}

Case of Thomas S. Serrill.

Thomas S. Serrill was arrested at New York upon a warrant obtained against him by U. S. District Attorney Smith about August 16, 1861, and committed to Fort Lafayette by order of the Secretary of State. He was charged with treason; having been to England and there made arrangements with leading bankers to secure a loan for the Southern Confederacy and with bringing £20,000 of such loan with him for the use of said Confederacy. An order was issued from the Department of State dated September 3, 1861, directing Colonel Burke, commanding at Fort Lafayette, to release Serrill on his taking the oath of allegiance. He was accordingly released September 5, 1861.-From Record Book, State Department,” Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

OFFICE OF THE U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, New York, August 16, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

SIR: I have obtained a warrant of arrest against Thomas Steele Serrill charging him with treason. We can prove that on his passage on the steamer Persia which has just arrived here he stated that he had seen all the bankers in England; that he could get as much money for the Southern Confederacy as he wanted; that he had in his possession £20,000 sterling which lie should carry down there; that he had been presented a set of silver by the bankers in England for his own use. We found on his person £40,000 in Bank of England notes. This is all the testimony I have been able to gather to-day. He is committed for examination before a commissioner upon whom I can rely. He has employed good counsel. Perhaps you will deem it best to transfer him to the military authorities.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, U. S. District Attorney.

–––

OFFICE OF THE U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, New York, August 23, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: In reply to your communication of the 22d instant* I beg leave to state that as represented to the custom-house officers by the witnesses whose names are given below Mr. Serrill on his passage to this country on the steamer Persia repeatedly stated that he had been to England and had had interviews with the leading bankers and had made arrangements to secure a loan for the Southern Confederacy; that he had £20,000 of such loan with him, which was to be used by the Confederate States for the benefit of their army; that he expressed himself strongly in favor of the rebellion and as determined to aid them by all means in his power. He also stated that he was en route for New Orleans with the funds in his possession. This statement is made to me by Rufus F. Andrews, esq., surveyor of this port. The witnesses are as follows: John H. Wray, with A. T. Stewart & Co.; George A. Jackson, 647 Broadway, New York; John Morrison, 278 Washington street; J. C. Berhard, 41 Warren street; Thomas J. Brown, Alexander {p.481} Isaacs, James B. Archer, inspectors at New York custom-house. The surveyor states to me that the witnesses are men of character and position in this city; also that a full statement has this day been made by the collector of this port to the Secretary of the Treasury.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, U. S. District Attorney.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 24, 1861.

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, Esq., U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

SIR: This Department has not yet received the testimony in the case of Serrill, confined at Fort Lafayette. I will thank you to cause it to be forwarded without any delay which can conveniently be avoided.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

OFFICE OF THE U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, New York, August 26, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Your letter of the 24th instant in relation to the testimony in time Serrill case was this morning received. I wrote on the 23d instant as requested by your favor of the 22d and received on the day when I answered it. I inclose a copy of my communication of the 23d instant which will place in your hands all the information under my control. Should you desire any inquiries instituted in this city my services will be cheerfully at your disposal.

I am, sir, very truly, your obedient servant,

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, U. S. District Attorney.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 27, 1861.

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, Esq., U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

SIR: Your letter of the 23d instant relative to the case of Serrill, a prisoner at Fort Lafayette, has been received. The facts and the references mentioned in your communication go far toward making out a strong prima facie case against Serrill. On the other hand a letter* to the Department of the 22d instant from Clarkson N. Potter, of New York, and other papers* tending to exculpate time prisoner are herewith inclosed. It must be confessed that these in a measure at least must be allowed to counteract the adverse testimony. With a view, however, to throw further light on the case the Secretary wishes that you would yourself or that you would request Mr. Evarts to proceed to Fort Lafayette, examine Serrill in connection with the proof on both sides, take down the examination in writing and forward it hither with the papers, in order that the expediency of further detaining him may be determined.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* Not found.

{p.482}

–––

OFFICE OF THE U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, New York, August 28, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Your communication of the 27th instant in relation to the case of Mr. Serrill with the accompanying book and letters was this day received. Mr. Smith is absent from this city but is daily expected to return; and Mr. Evarts is in Vermont. I learn from his law partner that he is not to return for several weeks. Mr. Smith will certainly be at the office by next Monday, the 1st proximo. Awaiting any further instructions,

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

STEWART L. WOODFORD, Assistant U. S. Attorney.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 3, 1861.

THURLOW WEED, R. M. BLATCHFORD and ROBERT MURRAY, Esqs., New York.

GENTLEMEN: Your letter* relating to the case of Thomas S. Serrill has been received. I have directed that Serrill be discharged from duress on his taking and subscribing an oath of allegiance. ...

I am, gentlemen, respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 3, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: From trustworthy representations which have been made to this Department it is thought that the discharge of Thomas S. Serrill now confined in Fort Lafayette may compatibly with the public interest be granted upon the condition of his swearing and subscribing before a magistrate the accompanying oath of allegiance. You will inform him of the condition, and if it be accepted the form of oath when executed must be returned to this Department for file.

I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

OFFICE OF THE U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY New York, September 4, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

SIR: On reaching home Monday last after a short absence I found your letter directing an examination of Serrill by myself personally or by Mr. Evarts. As the examination may be quite likely to require his discharge I thought it wise to have our action sustained by the opinion of a lawyer of Mr. Evarts’ position having no official connection with the Government. Mr. Evarts has come from the country in response to a telegraphic dispatch from me. We are now engaged in the examination and shall proceed to Fort Lafayette to-morrow. I will transmit minutes of the examination and Mr. Evarts’ opinion to you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, U. S. District Attorney.

{p.483}

–––

FORT HAMILTON, September 5, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: In obedience to your instructions dated the 3d instant at the State Department, Washington, D. C., I have discharged the prisoner, Thomas S. Serrill. Inclosed you will receive the oath legally administered and taken by him which was the condition of the discharge.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

STATE OF NEW YORK, County of Kings, ss:

I, Thomas S. Serrill, of the city and county of Philadelphia, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any State convention or legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; and further that I do this with a full determination, pledge and purpose without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever; and further that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties which may be required of me by law. So help me God.

THOS. S. SERRILL.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 5th day of September, 1861.

CHARLES W. CHURCH, Justice of the Peace.

–––

OFFICE OF THE U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, New York, September 6, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

SIR: In the matter of Thomas Steele Serrill Mr. Evarts and myself took sundry depositions and were about to proceed to Fort Lafayette when Mr. Blatchford showed us your letter in which you state that you have directed his discharge. I agree with Mr. Evarts, a copy of whose letter to me follows below, that as a condition of the release of his property Serrill should be required under the circumstances to pay the expenses of his arrest and examination. From a conversation with his counsel. Mr. Potter, I infer that he regards this suggestion as proper and that I should have no difficulty in so arranging in relation to a redelivery to him of the bank notes and accounts taken from his person. The bank notes are in the hands of the officers of the customs but I presume they would deliver them upon my request.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, U. S. District Attorney.

[Inclosure.]

2 HANOVER STREET, September 5, 1861.

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, Esq., U. S. Attorney.

DEAR SIR: The decision of the Government to release Serrill upon his taking the oath of allegiance renders any further prosecution of the examination I had commenced unnecessary. I had made, however, a sufficient examination in the matter to satisfy myself that the arrest of the prisoner was not only fully justified by his own statements made on shipboard but that the Government would have been inattentive to {p.484} its duty if he had been suffered to escape arrest. As Mr. S. has brought upon himself this intervention of the Government it strikes me as very proper that as a condition to the release of his property he should be required to reimburse the expenses which his detention and examination have occasioned.

Yours, very truly,

WM. M. EVARTS.

–––

PHILADELPHIA, September 6, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: I will thank you to give such orders that my papers and letters may be returned to me as soon as possible. The letters directed to me here have I believe been sent to Washington. My address is box 2136, Philadelphia post-office.

I remain, very respectfully,

THOMAS S. SERRILL.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 7, 1861.

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, Esq., U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

SIR: Your letter of yesterday relative to the case of Serrill has been received. In reply I have to inform you that it is not deemed advisable for the Government to enter into any such stipulations with that person as those you mention. Any fair charge consequent upon his arrest and examination will therefore be allowed by the proper Department. If you have any papers belonging to Serrill in your possession please return them to him at Philadelphia.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 7, 1861.

THOMAS S. SERRILL, Esq., Philadelphia.

SIR: Your letter of yesterday has been received. In reply I am directed by the Secretary to inform you that the drafts or post notes found upon you were it is understood lodged with the Treasurer of the United States as a special deposit. If you will send hither a person duly authorized to receive them this Department will recommend their restitution.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WM. HUNTER, Chief Clerk.

–––

OFFICE OF THE U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, New York, September 9, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

SIR: I have received your letter of the 7th instant in relation to Serrill’s case, and have written to him at Philadelphia asking in what way I shall transmit to him his account book and papers now in my possession.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, U. S. District Attorney.

{p.485}

–––

PHILADELPHIA, September 16, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: On Thursday last I again presented to Mr. Secretary Chase your order and accompanying lines for the delivery of the package of post notes in the Treasurer’s possession and it was a second time refused, but I left Washington with Mr. Chase’s promise that they should be sent by Friday’s mail to my address here. They have not yet come. Without your personal interference I doubt their coming. The letter, credits, &c., taken from my trunk have not reached me.

Believe me, sir, your obedient servant,

THOMAS S. SERRILL.

–––

Case of Charles Kopperl.

Charles Kopperl, of Carroll County, Miss., was arrested in New York August 17, 1861, and by direction of the Secretary of State was conveyed to Fort Lafayette. Kopperl was charged with having been in the military service of the so-called Confederate States. The affidavit of J. M. Wardwell, of New York, who was in Mississippi in April, 1861, states that in conversation with Kopperl he learned that he was then engaged in raising a cavalry company, and that lie was captain thereof. The company was for the Confederate service. He made no secret of the business he was engaged upon. November 1, 1861, Kopperl with others was transferred to Fort Warren, Boston, Mass. January 30, 1862, an order was issued from the Department of State directing Colonel Dimick to release Kopperl on his parole of honor to return into custody at Fort Warren within thirty days unless within twenty days Hugh Watson, who was captured at Pamlico Sound, should be released by the insurrectionary government and sent within the lines of the U. S. forces. Kopperl was accordingly released February 4, 1862.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 17, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent of Police, New York:

Arrest Charles Kopperl, of Carroll County, Miss., now in your city, and send him to Fort Lafayette.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 17, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: I have to request that Charles Kopperl, now in custody in New York charged with having been engaged among the insurgents at the fight near Bull Run, may be kept under guard at Fort Lafayette.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

{p.486}

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, August 17, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Commanding Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor.

COLONEL: On intimation from a higher authority the General-in-Chief desires that ... you keep under guard at Fort Lafayette Charles Kopperl, charged with having been engaged among the insurgents at the fight near Bull Run. ...

I am, sir, very respectfully,

B. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, August 18, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE, Commanding at Fort Hamilton.

SIR: I am directed by the Secretary of State to deliver into your custody Maj. Charles Kopperl, of Carroll County, Miss., for detention at Fort Lafayette. I have him in charge and am ready to deliver him accordingly.

Very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, October 18, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Having been informed that efforts are being renewed to obtain the release of Charles Kopperl, of Carroll County, Miss., who is now detained at Fort Lafayette I take occasion to inclose to you the affidavit of Mr. Jeremiah M. Wardwell, who put up at the house of Major Kopperl in April last and was an eye-witness to what was then going on under his supervision.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

[Inclosure.]

METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT, City of New York, ss:

I, Jeremiah M. Wardwell, being duly sworn, do depose and say as follows: I was at Vaiden, Carroll County, Miss., in April last, where 1 saw Charles Kopperl, who is now as I am informed detained in Fort Lafayette. In conversation with him I learned that he was then engaged in raising a cavalry company and that he was captain thereof. The company was for the Confederate service. He made no secret of the business he was engaged upon.

JEREMIAH M. WARDWELL.

Sworn before me this 18th day of October, 1861.

S.C. HAWLEY, Chief Clerk.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, October 24, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD.

SIR: I respectfully and earnestly apply to you for my release. I am an Austrian by birth, a naturalized citizen of the United States and {p.487} as such have taken the oath of allegiance and have never taken any other. I have been for many years a resident and merchant of Carroll County, Miss., and have been in the habit of spending my summers at the North with my family. My daughter has been for some time in New York under the medical charge of Doctor Agnew. After direct communication was cut off between the United States and the Confederate States, being very anxious to hear from my daughter I went to Louisville for the purpose of communicating with her. I did so by telegraph and upon the receipt of the telegraph* herewith annexed I proceeded at once to New York where I arrived on the 13th of August and was soon after arrested. I assure you I am a Union man, always opposed to secession. I had no other object in coming North than to see my daughter. I have never carried on any political correspondence detrimental to the Government of the United States. I have never taken up arms against the Government and hold no commission and no position in the Army of the Confederate States. I have a large property at the South which would certainly be confiscated and converted to the use of the Confederate States did I again take the oath of allegiance. Upon this ground and this alone I must decline to take such oath, but will gladly give my parole on the same terms as given by Mr. Chapin, of Mississippi, who has been released. I have been confined nearly ten weeks.

Yours, respectfully,

CHAS. KOPPERL.

* Not found.

–––

413 BROOME STREET, NEW YORK, November 25, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: ... Mr. Charles Kopperl, of Mississippi, no doubt came North to look after his daughter-perhaps with no evil political designs.

But if I am not misinformed you have in your Department evidence that he was connected with a military corps at home, and is, whatever may be the pretenses urged in his behalf, a secessionist only moderated in tone by the latitude of his present location. ...

I am, very respectfully, yours,

S. C. HAWLEY.

–––

WEEDSPORT, CAYUGA COUNTY, N. Y., November 25, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

DEAR SIR: Prompted by those feelings which naturally arise when our friends are in trouble I take the liberty of addressing you in behalf of my brother-in-law, Charles Kopperl, of Carroll County, Miss., who is now confined at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor. In the early part of August last he was summoned from his home to the city of New York to visit and attend to the wants of a sick, blind and motherless daughter of fifteen. After having administered to her necessities his arrangements were made for his annual visit to the grave of his wife who was buried in this village some years since. But on the eve of his intended departure he was arrested and sent to Fort Lafayette, and as he assures me knew not the precise charges preferred against him except as he saw the newspaper reports which he declares to be false. The story of his being a major in the Confederate Army and engaged {p.488} in the battle at Bull Run I know to be untrue. Since his arrest I have been in New York and can learn of no act of his that should brand him with treason or treachery. My brother having no friends at court appeals to me for that assistance which he has a right to demand. While I am not in sympathy with treason and traitors I am also confident that his release would work no injury to our cause but only serve the ends of justice and humanity. I therefore earnestly solicit his freedom.

I am, sir, your friend and obedient servant,

JAMES HENDERSON.

–––

NEWAYGO, MICH., November 30, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: From my long and intimate acquaintance with Mr. James Henderson and Mr. Julius Henderson, of Weedsport, merchants, I take pleasure in saying that implicit confidence can be placed in any statement they or either of them may make of any matter within their personal knowledge, and that their loyalty and desire to see rebellion suppressed is beyond suspicion.

From my limited but agreeable acquaintance with their brother-in-law, Mr. Charles Kopperl, I deeply sympathize with them and him in his unfortunate position as a prisoner of state at Fort Warren, Boston, and earnestly desire that it may be found consistent to release him from confinement upon his taking the oath of fealty to the Government. I am knowing to his having an adopted daughter at or near New York, sadly afflicted, that should cause him to come there. In August last I saw papers sent by him from Richmond giving information to his brothers-in-law of affairs there when he was on his way North from Mississippi. Beyond this and the loss of his wife about a year since while on a visit to her relatives (father and sisters) in Weedsport I have no personal knowledge of anything bearing on his case, unless it be that when excited by drinking as sometimes occurs he is voluble and boastful.

Commending an application for his release to favorable consideration,

I have the honor to remain, faithfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM J. CORNWELL.

–––

FORT WARREN, MASS., January 18, 1862.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I beg leave to state that I have been a prisoner ever since the 17th of August, 1861 (now over five months), without having violated any law of the United States or of the State of New York, where I was arrested. My brother-in-law, Mr. James Henderson, of Weedsport, N. Y., also Mr. Cornwell, wrote you in my behalf some two months ago without apparent result. So many prisoners residents of Southern a States have been released on their parole that I knowing my innocence daily anticipated my own release. I would therefore respectfully beg to call your attention to my case believing that it would result in my enlargement.

If you cannot grant this unconditionally I would give my parole for forty-five days for the purpose of visiting the Confederate States and endeavor to effect an exchange for some one Federal prisoner held there, and if unsuccessful to return. I have never held either military or {p.489} civil position in the Confederate States nor been in any way or manner engaged or participated in the present unfortunate strife, any report to the contrary notwithstanding. Surely my longer confinement cannot benefit the Government nor serve the ends of justice, although it is greatly detrimental to my private interests. I therefore trust you will do me the justice to grant my case your favorable consideration, and much oblige, with high consideration, Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. KOPPERL, Of Mississippi.

–––

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS, Washington City, January 30, 1862.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

MY DEAR SIR: I think it proper that I should inclose to you a letter addressed to me by Charles Kopperl, esq., of Mississippi, now a prisoner at Fort Warren, in the harbor of Boston. Also a letter from the same gentleman to A. T. C. Pearson, esq., of Minnesota, which Mr. Kopperl asks me to read if Mr. Pearson is not in the city, and us he is not I have read it.

I am greatly at a loss as to my duty. Mr. Kopperl I know to be a secessionist because I had it from his own lips in December last, I think. He is my personal friend, and I would do him any favor that I could consistent with my duty as a loyal citizen, and one ready at any moment to lay down my life for my country. Mr. Kopperl avers that he has committed no act which will justify his arrest and imprisonment. I do not know that he has, but doubtless you had good reasons for his arrest and you have good reasons also for holding him.

By reading his letters inclosed you will know what his wishes are, and if anything can consistently be done for him I shall be happy to have it done. I have but little patience with secessionists and would hold them to a strict account, but if I believed an honest man had been misled by the arch fiends who plotted and are leading this rebellion I would not oppress him further than to tie his hands against open action. If proper I should be glad to know whether anything can be done.

With high respect, your obedient servant,

B. B. FRENCH.

[Inclosure.]

FORT WARREN, MASS., January 28, 1862.

Hon. B. B. FRENCH, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: Not knowing whether Mr. Pearson is now in your city I take the liberty of inclosing the within letter to you which you will oblige me by delivering to him should he be in Washington. If not please open and read it, and if you have the disposition and the power to assist me as therein requested I shall gratefully appreciate it.

Very respectfully, yours, truly,

CHAS. KOPPERL.

[Sub-inclosure.]

FORT WARREN, MASS., January 27, 1862.

A. T. C. PEARSON, Esq., Washington, D. C.

MY DEAR SIR: I last had the pleasure of seeing you at Washington in December, 1860. I little thought then that the next December I would be a prisoner at this place. I write this at a venture that you {p.490} are as above addressed, and therefore concluded to drop you a few lines. I took the liberty of addressing a letter to Mr. Rice some days ago, and should this reach you I hope you will do me the favor to do all you can and with all whom you can for the purpose of obtaining for me an investigation, a trial or a release with a permit to return home. It would be a rather singular trial though without the first particle of a violation of law to base a charge upon.

But to the point. In December, 1860, my daughter who was at a school in Pennsylvania near Norristown lost her eye-sight. Hearing of it I immediately proceeded there and placed her under proper medical treatment. On my return home then I met you in W. Owing to the interruption of the mails last spring or summer I at one time received no intelligence from my daughter for about three months, when becoming uneasy I went to Louisville, telegraphed to two parties in New York and received a reply from one that Emma had left the place I [had] left her owing to some misunderstanding and for me to come on at once. I was also informed by several acquaintances that there was not the least difficulty or danger of arrest for me in visiting the North, &c. So I did at once proceed, leaving Louisville Sunday, 11th of August, arriving in New York on the 13th. I found my daughter much improved and with a kind family. I made my arrangements to place her at a school near New York (where she now is) and should have left Friday but was persuaded to remain over Sunday by friends. On Saturday morning I was arrested by the police and Sunday morning I was by telegraph order of Mr. Seward conveyed to Fort Lafayette-and here I am now.

I know not the charges against me except the nonsensical newspaper reports that I was or had said I was an officer in the Confederate Army, &c., all of which I need not tell you has not the least foundation in truth. I held no office of any hind in the Confederate States nor took any part in the present unfortunate difficulties and strife. My arrest was I feel confident the result of malice of an individual whom you perhaps know, and having no friends at court to exercise the influence which effected the release of others from the South I was overlooked and my case forgotten or at least uncared for. ’Tis true my brother-in-law of Cayuga County, N. Y., and another gentleman there well acquainted with and a political friend of Mr. Seward, addressed him in my behalf some two months ago, and besides the Hon. Mr. Ludlow, of New York, who visited Fort Lafayette several times, promised to obtain my release (upon parole not to return South without a permit, &c.) as soon as he visited Washington as he confessed there was no case against me (all for a consideration). But Mr. Seward soon after disowning Mr. L. I am minus my release as well as consideration.

I need not say what my ideas are that all those who actually bore arms against the United States, &c., are released and civilians from the Confederate States, bearers of dispatches, &c., are also released through the exertions of friends or counsel, yet I who committed no wrong, violated no law, have been imprisoned now nearly six months and still there seems to be no remedy.

I will not dilate or extend my remarks or ideas of such a policy. Presuming upon an introduction by you to Mr. Rice I took the liberty of requesting his services in my behalf. As yet I have received no reply. I requested him to obtain my release, and if it cannot be granted unconditionally to obtain it on my parole for forty-five or fifty days for the purpose of visiting the Confederate States and endeavor to obtain an exchange for some one held there as a prisoner and if unsuccessful to return, &c. I have not heard from home since I left {p.491} there which renders me quite uneasy. The day of my arrest I telegraphed to B. B. French, esq., asking his assistance. I received a reply as follows: “Your dispatch received. I can do nothing for you.”

Still you may if you think best speak to him about this. Please write me on receipt of this, and if you can render me any aid I need not tell you that it will be duly appreciated. I am more than willing to have a trial on any charges that can be brought against me. I hope you will pardon the trouble I thus give you which I claim on the score of my situation, &c.

Hoping soon to hear from you, I am, with best wishes and regard, your friend,

CHAS. KOPPERL.

–––

WASHINGTON, January 29, 1862.

Hon. ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE.

SIR: I wish to procure an exchange for my brother, Hugh Watson. He was captured on the Fanny in Pamlico Sound, N. C., near four months ago. He was acting as sutler to the Twentieth Indiana Regiment Foot Volunteers. I simply want the release of a state (Confederate) prisoner on a parole to exchange himself for my brother, a prisoner of like position, if one can be found, or a non-combatant that you will release.

Very respectfully, yours,

W. S. WATSON.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 30, 1862.

Col. JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren, Boston.

COLONEL: If you believe that Mr. Charles Kopperl, a prisoner confined at Fort Warren, would observe his obligations you may release him from custody on his giving his parole of honor that he will return and surrender himself to you within twenty days from the date of his release unless within the period of twenty days Mr. Hugh Watson, who was captured on the Fanny in Pamlico Sound about October 1, 1861, shall be unconditionally released from the confinement in which he is now held by the insurgents and sent within the lines of the U. S. forces, and that meanwhile he (Kopperl) will not do any act hostile to the Government of the United States or give any information calculated to aid the insurgents. You will please fill up the inclosed passport giving as accurate a description of Mr. Kopperl as possible and after he shall have signed it deliver it to him and send a copy of the description to this Department.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 30, 1862.

W. S. WATSON, Esq., Twentieth Regiment Indiana Volunteers.

SIR: Your letter of the 29th instant has been received. In reply I have to inform you that an order of this date has been issued to Col. Justin Dimick at Fort Warren, Boston, directing him to release Mr. Charles Kopperl upon his parole of honor to return and surrender {p.492} himself within twenty days from the date of his release [unless] your brother, Mr. Hugh Watson, shall be unconditionally released by the insurgents.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

SENATE CHAMBER, Washington, February 3, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I respectfully refer the infolded letters. I have no recollection of ever having met the writer.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

HENRY M. RICE.

[Inclosure.]

FORT WARREN, MASS., January 18, 1862.

Hon. H. M. RICE, Washington.

DEAR SIR: Presuming upon an introduction to you in December, 1860, by my friend Mr. Pearson, of Minnesota, and appreciating your character as a gentleman and a statesman I take the liberty of addressing you for the purpose of requesting your kind offices in my behalf, which cannot be I feel sure inconsistent with your duties as a Senator and a citizen but the contrary.

I will briefly state that I visited New York on the 13th of August last to see my daughter who had been under medical treatment there for over eight months and from whom I had not beard in three months. On the 17th of August I was arrested, and on the 18th conveyed to Fort Lafayette by order of Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, since which time (now over five months) I have been a prisoner. I know not the charges against me except the newspaper reports of that day that I was an officer in the rebel army and had been at the battle of Bull Run, &c. I will simply state that I have in no way or shape borne arms or held office civil or military in said Confederate States; never saw a battle, nor have I in any way taken part in this unfortunate civil strife. Had I been as alleged I would probably have been ere now discharged on parole or exchanged as so many other prisoners (officers) have been.

It does seem strange that those who were taken in arms are more favored than one like myself who committed no act in violation of any law of the United States. Other prisoners from the Southern States were released long since on parole. Among those were Mr. Mure, of South Carolina, Mr. Chapin, of Mississippi, and others, none certainly more innocent than myself but probably their friends had more influence than mine or their counsel effected their enlargement. None were ever tried upon any charges but were released by order of Mr. Seward. Will you do me the favor to obtain for me that justice which is due and aid me in obtaining an investigation and my enlargement, and if it cannot be granted unconditionally (as it ought to be) I am willing to give my parole for forty-five or fifty days to visit the Confederate States to endeavor to obtain the release of some one Federal prisoner held there, and if unsuccessful I will return. That I have not the position Mr. Faulkner has or the status the released officers had who have been thus released should not work to my injury and deprive me of the same privileges. It certainly cannot be that I am retained a prisoner for so {p.493} long a period (greatly to the detriment of my private interests and personal comfort) simply because I am a resident of the State of Mississippi. This I take would be inconsistent with the bearing and position assumed by the Government. My continued imprisonment cannot benefit the Government nor serve the ends of justice nor can my release inflict an injury.

I pray you to excuse the liberty I take in thus troubling you and hope you will grant my request on the score of justice and humanity if on no other. I also take the liberty of inclosing a letter* which you will oblige me by delivering to Mr. Secretary Seward as I doubt his seeing all sent him. This is the first I have addressed to any one in authority. My brother-in-law and others, neighbors and old political friends of Mr. Seward, have written him in my behalf, and without as far as I know any result. I hope you will favor me also with a reply.

I am, with high consideration, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. KOPPERL.

* Not found, but see Kopperl to Seward, January 18, 1862, p. 488.

–––

Released* February 4, 1862, to be exchanged for Hugh Watson.

* This is an entry in Colonel Dimick’s record book at Fort Warren, and is the only record found of Kopperl’s final release.-COMPILER.

–––

FORT WARREN, Boston Harbor, February 4, 1862.

I, Charles Kopperl, a prisoner at Fort Warren, do pledge my word of honor that I will proceed without any unreasonable delay to Fort Monroe, Va., and thence by flag of truce to Norfolk, and that I will do no act hostile to the United States or convey any correspondence or information beneficial to the insurgents, and that I will return and surrender myself to the commanding officer at Fort Warren at the expiration of thirty days unless within twenty days Mr. Hugh Watson, who was captured in the Fanny in Pamlico Sound, shall be unconditionally released and sent within the lines of the U. S. forces, in which event I may consider myself discharged from my parole.

CHARLES KOPPERL.

–––

Case of the National Zeitung Newspaper.

No. 8 SIXTH STREET, NEW YORK, August 17, 1861.

His Excellency the SECRETARY OF STATE, Washington:

The undersigned, adopted citizen of the United States, feels himself called upon to guard German honor and to call to the attention of your excellency that for three weeks there has been in this city a German newspaper called the National Zeitung which is in its tendencies absolutely secessionist, and handles the President, Abraham Lincoln, and generally all Union interests in the most accursed manner. It is high time we should make an end of such a nuisance, and I hope your excellency will have leisure to look over these lines and be convinced of their justice.

With most respectful esteem,

JOHN B. RAEFLE.

{p.494}

–––

U. S. MARSHAL’S OFFICE, SOUTHERN DIST. OF NEW YORK, September 9, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Esq.

SIR: Your favor of the 6th instant is received, and in answer have only to say that my attention has already been called to the Staats Zeitung and its editor, but do not think it necessary to arrest the parties in question. Should anything appear in the paper hereafter to warrant the editor’s arrest and confinement at Fort Lafayette I will do it and telegraph you immediately.

Yours, respectfully,

ROBERT MURRAY, U. S. Marshal.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE,. New York, September 10, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I inclose you two more copies of the National Zeitung, Nos. 6 and 7. I am informed they contain matter more objectionable than either of their predecessors. Any order you desire to have executed I am ready to attend to. This paper I informed you before is published by an association and edited by a committee. I think I furnished you* the names of the editors before.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

* See Kennedy to Seward, September 14, p. 496, for the names of the editors of the National Zeitung newspaper.

–––

NEW YORK, September 10, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF STATE.

SIR: Yesterday morning the mail facilities were withdrawn from the New York Staats Zeitung. The undersigned thereupon solicited an interview with the postmaster, in the course of which he was apprised that such course against his paper had been recommended by your honor the Secretary of State, and on further inquiry the undersigned learned that a certain G. H. Paulsen, jr., recently a resident of Westchester County, an unknown and irresponsible individual, had taken it upon himself to act the denunciator of the Staats Zeitung before the Department of State, and it is to be presumed that the same individual being used no doubt as a tool in the hands of others has been instrumental in performing the same dirty office before the grand jury of Westchester County which has proscribed among other papers the Staats Zeitung as a print that gives aid and comfort to the enemy.

Before proceeding to convince you conclusively of the utter baselessness of the charges against the Staats Zeitung and of the injustice of the persecution leveled at it, inadvertently as I trust, I must state that we at once ascertained that the incriminating slips contained in Mr. Paulsen’s letter and said by him to have appeared in my paper and forming the basis of the denunciation against me had been taken from the National Zeitung, a German weekly started some three months ago in opposition to the Staats Zeitung to counteract our influence, and falsely substituted as the product of the Staats Zeitung, should at once dispel every possible cause for the course adopted against my establishment so far as the evidence of the said Paulsen is concerned.

{p.495}

As to the position of the Staats Zeitung I take leave further to refer to the annexed copy from my to-day’s issue which will furnish your honor a general outline of the policy and course maintained in my paper. Far from encouraging the enemy of the National Government or from opposing the most vigorous prosecution of the war or from dissuading of the enlistment of volunteers or doing anything likely to embarrass or to paralyze the action of the Government, the very contrary has been the aim of the Staats Zeitung; for even among its warmest adherents the Government has not had a more upright and candid supporter, disagreeing though we were from the political principles maintained by the party which placed the present Administration in power.

The prosecution of the Staats Zeitung is the more mortifying to its proprietor and his assistants and friends as it emanates from a Department the head of which has on many occasions since the commencement of our national troubles been the special object of a vigorous and impartial defense against the unceasing and virulent attacks of those who labored to embark the Government in an abolition war, and have consistently denounced the conservative policy of the Secretary of State. What the character of the opposition of the Staats Zeitung has been, and how far the legitimate and as I presume under all circumstances judicial use of the right to oppose distinct measures of the Administration went, can be easily made apparent from a more just position of the seemingly most obnoxious expressions of the Staats Zeitung with others from the Tribune, Democrat, Abendzeitung and a host of other Republican papers in all parts of the country. If the honorable Secretary of State wants to be enlightened on that subject we are ready to furnish the proof. I dare say that we have yielded everything, have sacrificed opinions and convictions for the sake of the support and maintenance of the Government. We can do no more. If it had happened that we had been on the Republican side in the last election we are certain of having been accused by prints as those before named of sycophancy and sneakingness toward the Government.

There has never been a more wanton and more malicious denunciation than that of which I am the victim, and do complain before your honor. If any further proof of the truth of my representations should be required by your Department I hope your honor will have the goodness to advise me of such fact. The maintenance of the Union, of the Constitution, of the Government, at any and every price and sacrifice-that is my aim and my end.

I am, sir, with high regard, respectfully, yours,

OSWALD OTTENDORFER.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 12, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: I have your note of the 10th respecting the National Zeitung. In reply I have to state that Mr. Murray, the marshal, and other friends are of opinion that at present proceedings against that paper would not be advisable. If, however, upon consultation with Mr. Murray you both should reach a different conclusion your report upon the subject would be duly considered.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

{p.496}

–––

POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT, September 14, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your notes of the 12th and 14th instant and to inform you that on the day of the receipt of your first note an order was made excluding the National Zeitung from the mails and the postmaster of New York instructed to execute the order. The circulation through the mails of the Staats Zeitung has not been prohibited.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. KASSON, Acting Postmaster-General.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, September 14, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

DEAR SIR: I think you either have misunderstood me or Marshal Murray in relation to the proper way of dealing with newspapers. We entirely concur in the opinion that the seizure of a printing office or of the papers printed is not the best way of correcting the evil; that under present circumstances the only sure way is to put the editors and publishers out of harm’s way. I have consulted with Mr. Murray to-day and these continue to be his views.

The only paper here now that continues rabid is the National Zeitung. The Journal of Commerce is hardly respectable in its opposition. The Daily News has been every day becoming more and more insipid and this morning it closed doors with a notice posted up that the publication of the paper was suspended until the freedom of the press was restored. I clip from the paper Mr. Wood’s formal announcement of the suspension lest you may not otherwise get it. The Staats Zeitung is not so fierce since the action of the grand jury of Westchester County. But the National Zeitung is reported to me as having increased its virulence. In mine of August 19* and 10th instant I have referred to the manner in which this paper is gotten up; that there is an association nominally of German Democrats of which George Keuster is president, Rittig secretary and Joseph Fickler is treasurer. They meet weekly or oftener and have a committee to manage the paper. O. Bengue is chief editor assisted by numerous writers of whom A. Eichoff Dr. William Schirmer (coroner) and M. Gross are a part. The business of the concern is managed by two persons named Hepke and Korn. Now the arrest of one of the most active of these men would lead to a modification in its tone or to a suspension after the manner of the News. If you think it best to try I will notify you of the one whom it would be most useful to take.

Very truly, yours, &c.,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 17, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

DEAR SIR: I have received your letter of the 14th, relative to the National Zeitung and M. C. Stanley. In reply I have to state that if {p.497} you will furnish me with the names of one or two persons whose arrest would be likely to produce a proper effect upon the course of that paper I will communicate a decision upon the subject. ...

I am, very truly, yours,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, September 22, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: On returning on Thursday I found yours of 17th on my table. I have already sent you the number of the National Zeitung of the Saturday previous which was forwarded to me in Baltimore, and by it you may perceive that no change has taken place in its character. The number issued yesterday has not yet reached me, but I will have it to-day and forward it. The chief editor of the National Zeitung is O. Bengue, and probably his arrest would be sufficient for the whole; if it would not I will give you the names of some of the committee of management who are most active in furnishing editorial matter for it. The other German papers are now nearly right. The Staats Zeitung has turned over since the Westchester presentment and is advocating Mr. Lincoln on the point at issue with General Frémont. The other German papers sustain Frémont’s side.

Truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 24, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: Your letter of the 22d relative to the National Zeitung has been received and I will wait for the receipt of the additional paper mentioned by you before taking further steps in the matter.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, September 29, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: In relation to the National Zeitung I have to say that I posted a copy of the issue of 21st instant at the same time my letter of 22d was posted. Yesterday I sent you a copy of that day’s issue. I find it in no manner disposed to slacken its virulence. The number of yesterday is in some respects more hurtful than any of its predecessors. But you can judge of that by a perusal better than I can inform you, receiving as I do the translation from highly excited Germans who desire the whole committee of publication to be hanged. It appears to me, however, that the arrest is called for of O. Bengue, the editor in chief, and Hepke or Korn, the business men of the concern, and one other {p.498} man whose name I am not sure I have correctly but who goes around Brooklyn with a copy of the paper in his hand extolling the articles in it and confidentially informing those he supposes sympathize with him that such and such an article in it is from his pen. He is a physician in Brooklyn. The arrest of three such men would satisfy to some extent the wishes of the loyal German population and may lead to an immediate suspension of publication.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, October 6, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Esq.

DEAR SIR: I send by mail to-day the eleventh number of the National Zeitung. It does not flag in its course. I also send you an old number (July 20) of the London Standard* containing a letter of Manhattan dated July 6, and which has a dialogue in it that may amuse you if you have any time just now for a quiet smile. Independent of the converse between you and the captain the article is not calculated to do harm. On the contrary, in reference to the slavery question it is very well calculated to inform the world in advance what this war is coming to. His reference to Frémont is prophetic, especially so when you look at the date of his letter. I don’t think Frémont had then arrived from Europe. I know he did not go West until after the Bull Run affair for I saw him in Philadelphia on July 22, and there is no personal acquaintanceship between him and Manhattan.

Want of health has kept me from my office for a day or two, so that I could not until to-day send for Mr. Scoville to let him have the benefit of the explanation in the letter of your father relative to his letter. He tells me he sent the letter on Spanish affairs to you. While conversing with him to-day he showed me a letter from the committee of publication of the Herald and Standard which I regard of some importance. It announced to him that the committee had determined to allow him £2 for each of the letters they had received, and would allow him £3 each for all in future. It also requests him to furnish them with leaders on American affairs, for which they are ready to pay liberally. Is it not worth while for him to have help in preparing leaders? At any rate would it not be well to take some trouble and assume some expense in order to have control of such articles in two London papers? Mr. Weed is not in town to-day or I would lay the subject before him. Therefore I write you that something may be done early.

In case the National Zeitung contains anything worthy of making it an object worthy of being struck at the two principal parties are O. Bengue and William Arming. The latter is the Brooklyn man alluded to in my last to your father relative to this paper.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

* Not found.

{p.499}

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, October 19, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have sent you one copy of every issue of the National Zeitung with a single exception. I infer you have not received them from what I learned of the fate of other papers sent to your office. I therefore notify you that the Zeitung of this day is posted with this letter.

Very truly,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

[Translation of parts of the National Zeitung, October 19.]

THE CONFEDERATE STATES AND ENGLAND AND FRANCE.

Various circumstances assure that the recognition of the Confederate States by England and France is already as good as settled. The freeing of Missouri from the Northern force, or anything favorable to the Confederates indicating power to sustain themselves, would without question cause the blow to be struck. All ready for the occasion are Young, Ross, Butler, &c., and two regular envoys, Slidell and Mason, gone to Europe. ... They have run the (paper) blockade. ... Some Lincolnite war vessels have been sent after them from New York. ... Their capture would not alter things at all. ... France and England and the Confederate States are doubtless agreed that the latter should send properly authorized envoys. ... It happens that about the same time Sir J. Ferguson, of the English Parliament, appears at Richmond with letters to Jeff. Davis, &c., and indicates him to be the bearer of important dispatches. ... The cabinet shares the suspicion (of this understanding) and in its wavering malignity or blindness believes it should make preparation for war with those powers. Seward’s sudden circular ... enlightens us on this point. It is possible many simple-minded citizens would ask, Would the Government undertake at the same time war with England, France and the Confederates? Is it possible a Government chosen by the people would plunge that people into utter and absolute ruin? It can only be answered, The Government we now have is capable of anything.

A DREADFUL ILLUSTRATION.

The London Times sets forth the condition of Mexico: “The Republic in fact no longer exists.” The Zeitung remarks: “The whole course and declared purposes of the abolitionists indicate that they, if their rebellion succeeds, intend a like fate for this people. Is it yet too late to put a stop to this?”

BUT HOW?

Taking a distinction as to quarrels in the German and Swiss Confederacies as quarrels of princes and not of the people, the Zeitung remarks:

Who has eyes must see that our calamity, this satanic civil war, springs from the unholy intermeddling of the Northern abolitionists with the relations of slavery which pertain exclusively to the South, and which they cannot forego but with which the North has no more {p.500} to do than with Russian Laplanders. The Government in the North instead of setting a limit and term in place and time to this infamous spontaneous assumption has much the more inclined to the abolition movement and increased the difficulty and stirred the people to carry this assumption with the sword into the Southern States. This must lead to permanent separation-at least make a thorough reunion more difficult. ...” (Here comes another contrast with Germany.) “How is it here? The abolitionist whether plain citizen or office-holder, priest or soldier follows the party movement, its intrigues and gains. Beyond that he takes no interest; for that he raves against the South and tries to carry out his party’s schemes. ... No counter movement is got up at the North against this abolitionism to quiet its ravings, therefore it is folly to think of the preservation of the Confederation (Union). The Union admits no separate independent State government interests, or in other words is not made by the States but by the people, and even therefore must fall to pieces when the people will. This is done by war. To coerce a confederacy of free States by force of arms-impossible!” Suggests, “The President should gather a general convention at Indianapolis, but the Northern abolition element must be shut out. The South will never endure it and will not endure the Northern people until they stand aloof from it.

WITHOUT DISTINCTION OF PARTY.

The Union organization of New York called by its right name would be nothing more than an association for obtaining votes under false pretenses. The false pretense is that no party distinction will be recognized in future.

ONE OR THE OTHER, OR-

The demoralizing influx of lukewarmness, the corrupting influence of indecision upon political affairs shows nowhere more plainly than in the present course of North American entanglements. The final solution thereof would have occurred long since had not the flocks of political hybrids everywhere interposed objections. The abolition terrorism would long since have reached the height to which it tended and from which it must have fallen back if the deserters from the National party which had joined it had not hung on with leaden weight. The National party would long since have worked out a reconstruction if the hybrids who rendered its measures nugatory had been got rid of.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 23, 1861.

Hon. MONTGOMERY BLAIR, Postmaster-General.

SIR: Information has been laid before this Department in regard to the disloyalty of the National Zeitung, a journal published in the city of New York, and the improper influence exercised by it. The evidence is of so conclusive a character that I hereby recommend that the circulation of the journal in question in the mails of the United States may be prohibited.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

{p.501}

–––

POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT, October 28, 1861.

Hon. F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: I am instructed by the Postmaster-General to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 23d instant and to inform you that the National Zeitung, of the city of New York, was excluded from the mails by an order of the Department under date of 12th of September last on the suggestion of the honorable the Secretary of State. It is believed the order has been faithfully carried out by the New York postmaster.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ST. JOHN B. L. SKINNER, Acting First Assistant Postmaster-General.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, January 13, 1862.

F. W. SEWARD, Esq., Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: I inclose you herewith copies of the three last numbers of the National Zeitung. This publication is represented to me as becoming more and more belligerent. However, it is well you should have these numbers examined and determine what course is best to take in order to cure its insanity.

Very truly,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

NEW YORK, January 24, 1862.

His Excellency W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

EXCELLENCE: I take the favor to inform you that in the city of New York is published a paper-under the name New-Yorker Journal, a paper which has much circulation and in consequence of it a great influence as it is published every day, Sundays excepted. This New-Yorker Journal is a thorough-paced secession paper, and unloyal to the highest degree to this present Government, in witness whereof I inclose an exemplar of it for the better information of [your] excellence.

With consideration of the highest regard, I have the honor to be, respectfully, your excellency’s obedient servant,

C. F. SPINA.

[Inclosure.-Translation of extracts from New-Yorker Journal, January 24, 1862.]

[No. 1.]

We live in a period of the highest political excitement. Opinion, the holy living fire to which man owes his God-like qualities, is again degraded to a dumb idol to be used for human sacrifice, and the position for the freest development of civilized culture is trampled by political cannibalism.

[No. 2.]

No compromise with the negro party. This alone can be the basis of a successful effort to bring about a reconstruction of the Union. No compromise with a party which under any circumstances would tread the white man’s rights under foot. Away with a party which would offer these rights to the imaginary claims of the negro.

{p.502}

[No. 3.]

The great delusion of the moment consists in this that we of the North idly think we have nothing more important to do than to bring back the seceding Confederates into the Union, whilst in truth we have to watch over, first, personal liberty; second, the supremacy of our own race throughout the continent; third, the welfare of millions of all races.

[No. 4.]

The question lies between civilization and barbarism-growth-flourishing prosperity-happiness through upholding the laws of nature or degradation, and chaotic desolation through contending against them.

[No. 5.]

That such contest is no child’s play is shown by the gigantic dimensions which such conflicts have assumed in earlier centuries. Those who take part therein on the side of civilization must be ready with steady decision and moral courage to appear on the field of conflict.

[No. 6.]

The melancholy condition of public affairs arises from this, in the North these matters are looked at on one side only and that the wrong (unright) side.

[No. 7.]

The cause of right which has its representative in this paper we shall endeavor to maintain in entire fulfillment of the promises above stated.

[No. 8.]

The thoroughly false principle that sovereign States can “rebel” is that which solely and alone now as for eighty years leads us into a most pernicious war. The misery springing therefrom will alone teach us the only true political wisdom by which the Government confined to the realization of just principles would successfully avoid all that management of matters which especially leads to corruption.

[No. 9.]

Can a State rebel or be at the same time sovereign and subject? As little as a father can be his own son, a king his own vassal. Our States exist absolutely, not under Congress; they are not subject to Congress, and yet the war is waged by us solely in the idea that they are.

[No. 10.]

The abolitionists first speechified and quarreled and platformed the Southern States out of the Union and now draw the sword to fight them again into it. Astonishingly wise people.

[No. 11.]

The abolitionists want to force the Southern negroes to work for wages against their own and their owner’s will. Astonishingly sagacious people.

{p.503}

[No. 12.]

The Albany Argus says that the great Republican party had failed to attain its purpose. This is not true. The purpose was to get the Government into its hands so as to fill its pockets as full as the Democratic party if not fuller. This purpose it had attained superbly. That the confederation should thereby get to land don’t trouble that party.

[No. 13.]

Virginia has not sent funds to England to pay up the State indebtedness. This may give opportunity to the English Government to intervene to the satisfaction of their subjects, as Spain, France and England are now doing in Mexico.

[No. 14.]

It is under consideration to abolish the tariff in the Confederate States. It will not be long ere the North must follow. Good again; thanks to competition. Everything has its two sides in this wonderful world.

[No. 15.]

The Albany Evening Journal assures the Argus that the Republican party will not let go their purpose of sustaining the Union, on which the City News observes that neither of the existing parties can save the Union and least of all the Republican. Well who is to do it? The opposition party; to which we devote our time and strength so long as it is the party of the future, of the Constitution, of moral force and operates in that spirit in which the grand and beautiful confederation was framed.

–––

BROOKLYN, February 11, 1862.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: The undersigned on behalf of a number of citizens of German birth begs leave to call your attention to a paper published in the city of New York in the German language, a copy* of which is herewith inclosed, which ought not to be tolerated. Its articles are filled with gross abuse of the Government, and in fact the paper if published in the South could not be worse. It is circulated gratis among the Germans of New York and Brooklyn, and the undersigned feels greatly mortified that such a pest is allowed to fulminate its treason among the Germans who give their blood and treasure for the Union. The undersigned has no private malice in this matter not even knowing the editors, but as a loyal citizen he feels it his duty to call your attention to it, and the undersigned hopes that you will not only order the paper to be suppressed but also to send the editors to Fort Lafayette. The undersigned has marked some of the most violent articles.

Hoping that this letter will meet your approval, I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,

JACOB ROSENGARDEN.

N. B.-In reference to myself I respectfully refer you to Mr. George E. Baker.

* Not inclosed.

{p.504}

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, February 14, 1862.

F. W. SEWARD, Esq., Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: Yours of the 12th with the inclosures of the letter of Jacob Rosengarden and a copy of the New-Yorker Journal is this moment received. The New-Yorker Journal is a daily which has grown out of the National Zeitung, numerous copies of which I have forwarded to your Department. I have preserved all the numbers of the Journal, as I did of the Zeitung while it was published. The object and course of both papers are the same, viz, to bring the Union cause into disfavor with our German population. I have so informed you repeatedly in regard to the Zeitung, as you will find on reference to my letters to the Secretary of August 19,* September 10, 14, 22 and 29, and to yourself of October 6 and January 13.

I am informed that the same committee that managed the Zeitung manages the Journal and that the same agents and editors (with some additions) are employed on it. In a day or two I will send you a full file of the paper. I have it now in the hands of translators for my own information. During the time the Journal has been published I am continually called on by disgusted Germans anxious to have the active parties arrested. Since I have been writing this letter two have called on me in relation to it, one of whom tells me he wrote to the Secretary of War in relation to the paper two weeks ago and feels greatly disappointed in nothing having been done to abate the nuisance. I herewith return you Mr. Rosengarden’s letter.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

* Not found.

–––

Memorandum found in files of State Department.

FEBRUARY 15, 1862.

Zeitung (newspaper), National, of New York City.

Not arrested.

R. H. M.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, February 24, 1862.

MY DEAR JUDGE: Will you have the kindness to read these papers* and tell me whether the tone is of a character so treasonable as to call for any action on the part of the Government, such for instance as prohibiting its circulation through the malls?

Very truly, yours,

[E. D.] WEBSTER.

* Inclosures not found.

–––

[No date.]

Mr. WEBSTER.

MY DEAR SIR: In ready compliance with your request I have given all the time I could from employment more imperative to a review of the German papers returned herewith, and have added the substance of some paragraphs to what had already been done by another pen, as an indication of the general tone of such papers. It is certainly such as to stir one’s gall; but yet the thing is managed so adroitly that it would be very difficult to hold them to any penalty as they could almost {p.505} always shield themselves behind the example of the papers they quote, the freedom of speech in Congress and at public meetings, and the publication of the Southern arguments under the sanction even of Congress. Besides unlimited abuse of public men has always been the first resource of papers of small circulation edited by hot-brained partisans with more zeal than discretion or integrity of purpose, and this seems to have passed from the times of the Aurora and the Citizen down to the present as a species of editorial heirloom.

This German quotes freely from the Tribune, Times, Journal of Commerce and Evening Post whenever an article in either of them can subserve his purposes and sustain him in expressing his opinions more obtrusively and obnoxiously without additional risk of Fort Warren; but perhaps nothing can have worse effect than the republication of Jefferson’s letter to Giles; yet under the circumstances that can scarcely be objected to, but is so much the worse that he is regarded by the Germans as the soundest teacher of American liberty, &c., and surest exponent of American democracy.

You invite my opinion whether the tone of these papers is of character so treasonable as to call for prohibition of circulation through the mails. My fingers itch to write yes, but yet second thought suggests that the result would probably only increase circulation and influence. The surest counteraction would come from the columns of an ably conducted German paper from the now very gratifying progress of events, and of the earliest possible inoculation of our German citizens with a passable knowledge of our language.

Yours, very truly,

W. HOGAN.

–––

Case of Pierce Butler.

Pierce Butler, a citizen of Philadelphia, was arrested by order of the Secretary of War, but at what time or on what charge the Department of State has no information. He was sent to Fort Lafayette and there confined August 20, 1861. On the 24th day of September, 1861, he was released from confinement on his solemn pledge that during the present troubles he would do no act hostile to the United States and would not visit South Carolina without a passport from the Secretary of State.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, August 15, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM MILLWARD, U. S. Marshal, Philadelphia:

Arrest Pierce Butler, of Philadelphia; make careful examination for commission from the Southern Confederacy. Send him at once under guard to Fort Hamilton.

SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

–––

PHILADELPHIA, September 18, 1861.

General CAMERON, Secretary of War.

MY DEAR SIR: I have a letter from William Roche Wister* this morning stating he had handed you my letter of the 16th* about Pierce {p.506} Butler, and that you said you would have to “think of it.” What I have done is entirely without Mr. Butler’s knowledge. What he would like would be a trial here in the city of his birth. Conscious of his innocence he will ask no favor from those who imprisoned him. His daughters are both strong Northern women, and they are deeply distressed by their father’s imprisonment. One is married to one of the staunchest of our party. As Mr. Butler was arrested by your order and as he is innocent, on your own account, on the Administration’s and on his children’s the sooner he is released on a proper parole and bonds the better. It will much oblige me.

Yours, truly,

C. H. FISHER.

[Indorsement.]

SEPTEMBER 21, 1861.

Mr. Butler declines taking the oath of allegiance in the belief that he might lose his property in the South. I would let him go if he would promise to remain.

SIMON CAMERON.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 21, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: Pierce Butler, a prisoner at Fort Lafayette, may be released upon giving his pledge in writing that during the present troubles he will do no act hostile to the United States Government and will not visit South Carolina without a passport from the Secretary of State.

I am, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, September 24, 1861.

To ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Be it known that I, Pierce Butler, have given my solemn pledge that during the present troubles I will do no act hostile to the United States and will not visit South Carolina without a passport from the Secretary of State.

PIERCE BUTLER.

[Witness:]

G. V. S. AIKIN, Second Lieutenant, Eighth Infantry, U. S. Army.

–––

WASHINGTON, April 18, 1862.

To THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I transmit to Congress a copy of a correspondence between the Secretary of State and Benjamin H. Brewster, of Philadelphia, relative to the arrest in that city of Simon Cameron, late Secretary of War, at the suit of Pierce Butler for trespass, vi et armis, assault and battery and false imprisonment.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

{p.507}

[Inclosure No. 1.]

PHILADELPHIA, April 16, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: By the directions of General Simon Cameron I send you a summons issued by the supreme court of this State at the suit of Pierce Butler v. Simon Cameron, July 1-November 17, 1861. The writ is returnable the first Monday of May, 1862, and is for trespass, vi et armis, assault and battery and false imprisonment. The cause of action is no doubt founded upon the supposed misconduct of General Cameron in causing the arrest of the plaintiff, Mr. Pierce Butler, and placing him in Fort Warren or some other public fortification without authority of law while he, General Cameron, was Secretary of War. As I am instructed the act was not the act of General Cameron, and was done by those who commanded it be done for just reasons and for the public good.

You will please communicate the fact of this suit to the President and such other official persons as should properly be advised of it and have such action taken as shall relieve the defendant Simon Cameron from the burden, cost and responsibility of defending this suit.

By the directions of General Cameron I have as his private counsel ordered my appearance for him, while I also invite and request the intervention of the proper authorities in his behalf and for his protection.

I am, sir, truly, &c.,

BENJAMIN H. BREWSTER.

[Sub-inclosure.]

EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, ss. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the Sheriff of Philadelphia County, greeting:

We command you that you summon Simon Cameron, late of your county, so that he be and appear before the justices of our supreme court, at our same court to be holden at Philadelphia in and for the eastern district of the State of Pennsylvania on the first Monday of May next to answer Pierce Butler of a plea of trespass, vi et armis, assault and battery and false imprisonment, and have you then and there this writ.

Witness the Hon. Walter H. Lowrie, chief justice of our said supreme court, at Philadelphia, the 15th day of April, A. D. 1862.

JAS. ROSS SNOWDEN, Prothonotary of the Supreme Court, Eastern District.

Attested copy:

PHILIP J. BROWN, Deputy Sheriff.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, April 18, 1862.

Hon. BENJAMIN H. BREWSTER, Philadelphia.

SIR: I have received your letter of yesterday stating that by directions of Mr. Simon Cameron you transmit to me a summons issued out of the Supreme court of the State of Pennsylvania at the suit of Pierce Butler against Mr. Cameron for trespass, vi et armis, assault and battery and false imprisonment in causing the arrest of the plaintiff without authority of law.

{p.508}

This communication has been submitted to the President, and I am directed by him to say in reply that he avows the proceeding of Mr. Cameron referred to as one taken by him when Secretary of War under the President’s directions and deemed necessary for the prompt suppression of the existing insurrection.

The President will at once communicate this correspondence to the Attorney-General of the United States and also to Congress.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, April 18, 1862.

Hon. EDWARD BATES, Attorney-General.

SIR: I transmit for your information a copy of a correspondence between this Department and Benjamin H. Brewster, of Philadelphia, relative to the arrest of Simon Cameron, late Secretary of War, at the suit of Pierce Butler.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S OFFICE, May 5, 1862.

GEORGE A. COFFEY, Esq., U. S. District Attorney, Philadelphia.

SIR: Of course you have unofficial information of an action brought in the supreme court of Pennsylvania for the eastern district by Pierce Butler v. Simon Cameron, “in a plea of trespass, vi et armis, assault and battery and false imprisonment.” The copy of the writ sent to me does not disclose the fact that the action is founded upon any official act of the ex-Secretary of War; but it is well understood here that the action arises out of the arrest of Mr. Butler upon political grounds and his supposed complicity in the existing rebellion. Upon this supposition the President adopts the act of the Secretary of War in restraining Mr. Butler temporarily from his liberty, and desires that the suit shall be fully defended as a matter which deeply concerns the public welfare as well as the safety of the individual officers of the Government.

Mr. Cameron has retained private counsel for his defense, Mr. Benjamin H. Brewster, 706 Walnut street, Philadelphia. Mr. Brewster’s letter to Mr. Seward is before me wherein he says:

I have as his (Cameron’s) private counsel ordered my appearance for him, while I also invite and request the intervention of the proper authorities in his behalf and for his protection.

By authority of the President therefore I request that you will give attention to the case and render whatever aid the full defense of the action may in your good judgment require. There are other actions pending of a somewhat similar character-especially one against Secretary Welles in this District-and no doubt they will greatly multiply unless met vigorously and carefully in limine. Of course Mr. Brewster will see that there is no judgment by default, but to bar accidents please see to it. There is a bill pending in Congress which if passed will facilitate defenses in such cases.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

EDWARD BATES.

{p.509}

–––

OFFICE OF U. S. ATTORNEY FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, Philadelphia, May 7, 1862.

Hon. EDWARD BATES, Attorney-General of the United States.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 5th instant instructing me to give my professional and official attention to the suit recently instituted against Hon. Simon Cameron by one Pierce Butler, of this city, and to render whatever aid the full defense of the action may require. It is my pleasure to say in reply that I will be most happy to co-operate with Mr. Benjamin H. Brewster, Mr. Cameron’s private counsel, in defending the case, and to contribute whatever assistance it is within my power to render throughout the progress of the cause.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of high esteem and respect, your obedient servant,

GEO. A. COFFEY, U. S. Attorney. J. HUBLEY ASHTON, Assistant U. S. Attorney.

–––

Order made by the U. S. Senate, July 11, 1862.

Ordered, That the Committee on the Judiciary be discharged from the further consideration of the message of the President of the United States relative to the arrest of Simon Cameron, late Secretary of War, at the suit of Pierce Butler, for false imprisonment.

–––

Case of John Garnett Guthrey.

John Garnett Guthrey, of Petersburg, Va., was arrested* at New York on or about the 21st day of August, 1861, and taken to Fort Lafayette and there confined. He was charged on the information of some members of the detective police with holding unlawful intercourse with persons in the insurrectionary States. On his arrest there was found in Guthrey’s possession a large amount of State bonds of several of the insurrectionary States with evidence of their having been then recently purchased in New York for account of parties residing in Petersburg, Va., and a number of letters addressed to persons in the State of Virginia which he said he had received with the purpose of carrying them to Virginia. On the 3d day of October, 1861, the said Guthrey was released on his parole to do no act hostile or injurious to the United States and not to go to or correspond with any rebellious State. The said Guthrey was again arrested on the 24th day of December, 1861, charged on the oaths of Samuel Hyman and Thomas P. Wood with breaking his parole by corresponding with persons in the seceded States and laying plans to return to Virginia himself by way of England and Cuba as soon as he could get possession of his bonds. The said Guthrey remained in custody at Fort Lafayette February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

* See affidavit of Robert Murray, September 28, 1861, in case of Millner, post, for important reference to Guthrey’s arrest.

{p.510}

–––

NEW YORK, August 21, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:

I now have John Garnett Guthrey, of Petersburg, Va., in custody with State bonds, drafts and money belonging to Southern owners amounting to a very large sum. Let me have an order for the disposition of his person. I will write particulars by mail.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent of Police.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 22, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: I will thank you to issue an order to Col. Martin Burke to receive as a prisoner at Fort Lafayette John Garnett Guthrey, of Petersburg, Va., who has been arrested at New York.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

NEW YORK, August 22, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD:

What am I to do with John Garnett Guthrey, of Petersburg, concerning whom I telegraphed you last night?

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, August 23, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE, Commanding at Fort Hamilton.

SIR: By direction of the Secretary of State I send to your custody Mr. John Garnett Guthrey, of Petersburg, Va. He will be delivered to you by Mr. Inspector Leonard.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, August 24, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: On 21st instant, when Mr. John Garnett Guthrey, of Petersburg, Va., was arrested by Sergeant Young and Detective King, of my force, there was found on his person and among his effects 61 bonds of the State of Tennessee of the par value of $1,000 each; 22 bonds of the State of North Carolina each $1,000; 35 bonds of the State of Virginia each $1,000; 4 bonds of the State of Virginia each $500; 6 bonds of the State of Georgia each $500; 10 Northern Indiana Railroad bonds each $1,000; 16 Atlantic and Gulf Railroad bonds each $500; 3 Peoria and Oquawka Railroad bonds each $1,000, and money to the amount of $1,114.45, the principal part of which he admitted was the property of sundry persons and institutions located at Petersburg. A part he claimed as his individual property.

I have directed $200 of the amount to be placed in the hands of Lieut. Col. M. Burke for the personal use of Guthrey while he may {p.511} remain in confinement. The balance is held subject to seizure by the U. S. marshal under the act of August 6, 1861, whenever he is pre-pared to act in the case. I deem it proper for me to adopt this course in order that the interest of my officers in the prize may be properly protected. I herewith forward to you an inventory of the property found in the possession of Guthrey.*

Very respectfully,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

* See case of George Miles, p. 533, for Seward to Kennedy, August 27.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 27, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your two communications* of the 24th instant, and to state in reply that your course with regard to the cases of Guthrey and Miles is approved.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* See case of George Miles, p. 532, for one of these letters.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 28, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT.

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to return the papers* in the case of Miles and Guthrey which you yesterday referred to this Department, and to state in reply that John A. Kennedy, esq., superintendent of police at New York, has represented to this Department that he has caused to be deposited with Colonel Burke at Fort Hamilton the sum of $200 to defray the personal expenses of Miles, and also a like sum to defray those of Guthrey, which seems to supersede the necessity of making any further provision at this time for those objects.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

FREDERICK W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary.

* Not inclosed..

–––

NEW YORK, August 28, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: The inclosed letter has been addressed to me by a friend of Mr. Guthrey who has been for several years and still is a resident of Brooklyn. His name does not appear because being a Southerner he does not wish through his sympathy for the unfortunate to become in time an object of suspicion. It will perhaps be sufficient for me to say that the writer is a gentleman and that I put implicit faith in the accuracy of his statements.

I do not know under what charges Mr. Guthrey has been arrested but can well understand that in particular cases injustice may be done unwillingly by those who are connected with the administration of the Government. In any examination that may be had of the case of Mr. Guthrey I would therefore respectfully submit the inclosed statement for confirmation or rejection according to the light that may be shed {p.512} upon it by such investigations as it may suit your honor to direct in the premises. I would fain hope that the result of such investigation will be the acquittal of the gentleman in whose behalf I venture to address these lines to you.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. A. LOW.

[Inclosure.]

NEW YORK, August -, 1861.

A. A. Low, Esq.

DEAR SIR: Your kind consideration is asked to the following statement of facts relating to Mr. John Garnett Guthrey, of Petersburg, Va., now confined at Fort Lafayette by order of the honorable Secretary of State at Washington. The writer has known Mr. Guthrey many years and regards him as he is regarded by all who know him best as a most peaceable, quiet, orderly citizen and modest, dignified, high-toned gentleman and Christian. In politics he has been a Henry Clay Whig though never a partisan, and not many days ago told the writer he had not been to a political meeting in several (the writer thinks thirteen) years.

His late mission to this city was a purely unselfish one-most positively undertaken on his part for the sole benefit of the church in Petersburg, of which he has long been a vestryman and liberal supporter. The facts fully are these: About a year ago the congregation of the above church determined and took steps to erect a new and larger place of worship. Mr. Guthrey, though a man of moderate means, headed the subscription list with a donation of $500. About $5,000 are yet to be raised to complete this church, and recently when a party of gentlemen sought Mr. Guthrey as a suitable person to come here and buy for them as an investment some stocks of the Southern States the conditions he named and to which they assented were that these gentlemen should pay to him only his actual expenses of the trip and donate $500 to Grace Church.

In furtherance of this agreement Mr. Guthrey came to this city bringing with him over $55,000 furnished by the gentlemen in question. Other funds were sent on to him, making over $60,000, with which he bought $118,000 in Southern State bonds. It is certain that neither Mr. Guthrey nor those whom he represents are directly or indirectly agents of the Confederate Government for the leaders in this movement are known to be hostile to the investment of Southern funds in this way.

The needles and cotton found on Mr. Guthrey which cost about $15 were not for sale but for family use-for the wives of the gentlemen who sent him on and for the wife of his pastor, all of whom own sewing machines made in the Northern States and bought here or of Southern agents. The needles were all sewing-machine needles, bought chiefly as was the cotton of a sewing-machine establishment that made all the machines but one owned by these ladies. Mr. Guthrey did not suppose he was violating the spirit or intent of any law by carrying these supplies.

Some sealed letters directed to sundry persons in the Southern States were in Mr. Guthrey’s possession when arrested but up to that time there had been no prohibition of letter writing to the South. Mr. Guthrey, however, was totally ignorant of the contents of these letters, and his invariable reply to parties who asked him to take such was in substance, “Yes I will take them and put them in my trunk; but if I {p.513} am examined on my way back in either Kentucky or Tennessee I shall most likely be required to show any letters I may have about me and shall not hesitate to do so.” This he supposed as did others would be regarded as unobjectionable by all authorities and it further demonstrates his repeatedly expressed determination to do nothing to make trouble.

It is believed that John Garnett Guthrey has been arrested and is now confined by orders of the honorable Secretary of State under the misapprehension that he is an agent of the Confederate States, and this plain statement of facts is submitted in the hope that if substantiated to your satisfaction the Secretary will order Mr. Guthrey to be at once released and the bonds restored to him.

With many thanks for the kind attention already extended to the writer he begs leave to subscribe himself, sir,

Your obedient servant,

H. C. HARDY.

–––

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, ss:

Henry C. Hardy, of the city of New York, being duly sworn deposes and says that the foregoing is a copy of a letter addressed by him to A. A. Low, of said city, and the same contains a true statement of all the facts and circumstances within deponent’s knowledge respecting John G. Guthrey. Deponent is a loyal Union man and would not seek the release of said Guthrey if deponent believed that he was acting or intending to act in any manner in aid of the rebellion. Deponent further says that he saw said Guthrey when he first came on here for his last visit to this city; that he presented himself to this deponent, showed his papers to him and stated his object to be to make investments for certain persons in Petersburg, to wit: Reuben Ragland, John M. Wyche, Thomas Wallace, William T. Joynes and perhaps others, having reference to the private interests of the gentlemen for whom he acted and with no public object whatever.

H. C. HARDY.

Sworn to this 20th day of September, 1861, before me.

STEWART L. WOODFORD, Notary Public in New York City.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 20, 1861.

SETH C. HAWLEY, Esq., Metropolitan Police, New York.

SIR: I inclose all the papers in the Department relative to the case of John Garnett Guthrey, now a prisoner at Fort Lafayette. His friends ask for his release on the ground that his visit to New York was solely on business connected with a church at Petersburg, Va., and that the property found upon him was to be invested for the benefit of that church. If the investigation of the case, which I will thank you to make, should lead to a confirmation of these statements his discharge will be ordered as there is no disposition to arrest or detain any person engaged in business of that character.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

{p.514}

–––

NEW YORK, September 28, 1861.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have taken such testimony as has been presented for and against John G. Guthrey, now confined in Fort Lafayette, and examined his case as desired by yours of the 20th instant and beg leave to make the following report:

It appears that Mr. Guthrey purchased in this city and [was] about to carry away to the States now in rebellion a large amount of bonds of several of the States in rebellion. The amount and character of those bonds appear in a schedule furnished by J. A. Kennedy, superintendent of police, to your Department. The purchase and possession of so large an amount of securities under the circumstances was sufficient ground for arresting and detaining him until further investigation should establish his guilt or innocence. The evidence against him is confined to the circumstance that he had such securities and sealed letters directed to persons residing in the rebelling States and was about to carry them to those States.

Such transactions under ordinary circumstances would not be evil in themselves nor contrary to good morals or the common law. Unless his acts are made criminal by the laws of Congress or were designed to aid the enemies of the Government they were innocent. By the testimony of Mr. Henry C. Hardy, consisting of his affidavit, a commercial statement from his books and his letter transmitted through Mr. A. A. Low and now verified by affidavit, it may be held to be probably established that Mr. Guthrey acted in the premises with innocent and commendable motives without any design to aid the Confederate States or injure the United States. It cannot be pretended that paying good funds for the bonds in question was calculated to injure any one except the parties who made the purchase or benefit the States or people in rebellion.

Mr. Guthrey had in his possession letters from persons here directed to individuals residing in the Confederate States and was about to carry them South. They were sealed and he was ignorant of their contents. To carry them was indiscreet, perhaps culpable, but the design to carry them does not amount to a crime. Though the securities found on Mr. Guthrey may be confiscated under the laws of Congress on that subject from the testimony before me I do not see that Mr. Guthrey’s acts have made him liable to any further punishment.

All which is submitted.

Respectfully,

SETH C. HAWLEY.

I inclose herewith all the documents transmitted to me from the State Department and also affidavit of John S. Young, detective, New York; affidavits of Robert King, detective, New York; affidavits of Henry C. Hardy, merchant, New York; commercial statements from books of Henry Hardy.

S. C. H.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT, ss:

Henry C. Hardy being duly sworn doth depose and say as follows: I am a commission merchant doing business at No. 47 Front street, New York. I have long known Mr. John G. Guthrey, of Petersburg, Va., and we have been intimate friends. About the 8th or 9th of August last he {p.515} came to New York for the purpose of investing sums of money for several persons in Virginia by purchase of public securities of Southern States, the design being to take advantage of the state of the market for such securities and purchase them at a cheap rate. With this design he applied to me as an old friend to collect his money here and purchase the State bonds. I did this business for him as an old friend and in this manner came to a knowledge of his design in the transactions. I know all the parties for whose account he made the purchases. They are all men advanced in life. They are men who have means to invest and operate with and I feel confident that the business was all private, commercial or financial business, and in no way connected with the military or political affairs of the country. I am confident that the object and motive of Mr. Guthrey in doing this business is truly and fully stated in a letter written by me and not signed addressed to Mr. A. A. Low and by him transmitted to the Secretary of State, William H. Seward. Annexed hereto is a statement of the account between myself and Mr. Guthrey covering the whole transaction, showing how and when the business was done; how the money was collected and invested. The relations between Mr. Guthrey and myself were friendly and confidential and I have no doubt he told me the whole truth without concealment. The business was done openly and without any thought on my part or, as I believe, on his that he was committing any offense. I made all the entries on my books of the transactions just as they occurred with his knowledge, and he never made any suggestion of any concealment or evasion. In relation to letters found on him I have stated the facts truly in the letter to Mr. Low hereinbefore referred to. They were left at my office sealed. He did not know the contents nor did he or I suppose that the carrying of letters was an offense. He said to one party who asked him to take a letter that if there was anything contraband in it he had better not send it as he would have to show it. The account I have furnished annexed* is a correct transcript of my books. If I had known or supposed that the business he was upon was either illegal or wrong I should not have aided him in the business and advised him not to proceed with it. And further saith not.

H. C. HARDY.

Sworn before me this 28th of September, 1861.

S. C. HAWLEY, Chief Clerk of Police.

* Statement of account omitted.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT, City and County of New York, 58:

Robert King being duly sworn doth depose and say as follows: I am a member of the Metropolitan police of New York attached to the detective force. Sergeant Young, of the detective force, and myself on or about the 21st of August last went to several hotels in search of John G. Guthrey and found him at Fifth Avenue Hotel and arrested him. We brought his baggage to the central police office where it was searched and the bonds found in his trunks. We also found some money upon him. On delivering him at the office I was dispatched to Ohio on business and had no further personal knowledge of the case. {p.516} When arrested he asked me why he was arrested. I replied that you will find out at the office. He said, “I suppose it is because I am a Southern man or because my sympathies are with the South.” I left next day for Ohio.

ROBERT KING.

Sworn before me this 28th day of September, 1861.

S. C. HAWLEY, Chief Clerk.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT, City of New York, ss:

John S. Young being duly sworn doth depose and say as follows: I am sergeant of the Metropolitan police in command of the detective force in the city of New York. In that capacity and with the advice of the superintendent of police, John A. Kennedy, I arrested Mr. John G. Guthrey at the Fifth Avenue Hotel on or about the 25th day of August last, Detective King assisting me. We brought him and his baggage to the central office, where [we] found the bonds and money in his possession, a schedule of which was furnished by Superintendent Kennedy to the Secretary of State. Mr. Guthrey was committed to Fort Lafayette. In my investigations prior to the arrest of Mr. Guthrey I learned that he was in the habit of intercourse with George Miles, who is now a prisoner in Fort Lafayette, and with Walker, also a prisoner in the same place. This I learned by report, and these circumstances pointed to Mr. Guthrey as a party to be watched. I do not know of my own knowledge any treasonable or illegal acts beyond those connected with the purchase of the bonds. The arrest of Mr. Guthrey was actually made by Officer King. I was not at the hotel at the time. When he and his baggage were brought to the central office I searched and found the bonds and money as stated in the schedule.

JOHN S. YOUNG.

Sworn before me this 28th of September, 1861.

S. C. HAWLEY, Chief Clerk.

–––

SOLICITOR’S OFFICE, September 30, 1861.

Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury.

SIR: I have the honor herewith to return a letter of Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, dated 13th instant, inclosing one from John A. Kennedy, esq.,* superintendent of police of New York, and a schedule of property found in the possession of John Garnett Guthrey, of Virginia, who has been arrested as a political prisoner.

The object of the letter of the superintendent of police was to inquire as to the disposition proper to be made of said property and that of the letter from the Secretary of State to submit to you the question of the expediency of instituting proceedings for the confiscation of the property, which question you have referred to me. In regard to this question I have to say that I presume from the fact that this property was found in possession of a person arrested for complicity with those who are in rebellion against the Government that the strong probability is that the property itself was being used or held for the purpose of promoting the {p.517} insurrection now existing against the Government. If so it is of course liable to seizure and condemnation, and I know of no reason why it should not be condemned accordingly.

I have the honor to be, with high respect,

EDWARD JORDAN, Solicitor.

* See Kennedy to Seward, p. 510, August 24.

–––

NEW YORK, October 1, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

SIR: We have the honor to report that pursuant to the instructions of the War Department we have examined the case of John Garnett Guthrey, a citizen of the State of Virginia, now confined as a state prisoner at Fort Lafayette in the harbor of New York; that a personal interview was had with the said Guthrey in which he fully stated his object in visiting the State of New York; that it was purely for business purposes entirely disconnected with the present unfortunate troubles existing in the country; that he has not taken any part with the proceedings of the so-called Confederates in their attack upon the Government of the United States, but on the contrary by his advice and efforts has endeavored to sustain the General Government; that at an early stage of the rebellion and before any action was taken by the State of Virginia he was one of a party in Petersburg, Va., the place of his residence, to haul down the secession flag which had been presumptuously raised in that city; that he with thousands of others in Virginia are true and loyal men but are entirely helpless so far as action is concerned in sustaining the United States Government; that he never has nor does he intend to take action against the Federal Government nor give aid and comfort to those in arms against it; is ready and willing to give any pledge which may be required by the Department to that effect; that the inclosed letter and affidavit of H. C. Hardy,* a most respectable and intelligent merchant of this city, fully states the purposes and objects of Mr. Guthrey’s visit to New York and that we have full confidence in the truth of the same.

After considering this ease we are of opinion that there does not seem sufficient grounds on which to detain Mr. Guthrey as a prisoner of state, and therefore recommend to the War Department that he be discharged from custody upon such conditions as the Department deem just.

Yours, very respectfully,

B. DELAFIELD SMITH, U. S. District Attorney. WALDO HUTCHINS, Of Counsel.

* See Hardy to Low, pp. 512, 513.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 2, 1861.

ROBERT MURRAY, U. S. Marshal: (For Col. Martin Burke, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.)

Release John Garnett Guthrey on engagement to do no act hostile or injurious to the Government of the United States nor enter nor hold correspondence with any insurrectionary State during insurrection without consent of the Secretary of State.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

{p.518}

–––

FORT HAMILTON, October 3, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Inclosed please find engagement of John Garnett Guthrey agreeably to your telegram dated October 2, 1861.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

FORT HAMILTON, October 3, 1861.

I, John Garnett Guthrey, do solemnly give my word of honor that I will do no act hostile to the Government of the United States or injurious to it. I do also solemnly pledge my word of honor not to enter or correspond with insurrectionary States during the present insurrection without the consent of the Secretary of State of the United States.

JNO. G. GUTHREY.

Witnesses:

WALTER L. FRANKLIN, Lieutenant. J. CARBERY LAY, Lieutenant.

–––

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, October 5, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to return herewith the papers inclosed in your letter of the 13th ultimo* from John A. Kennedy, superintendent of the Metropolitan police at New York, with the schedule of property found in the possession of John Garnett Guthrey, of Virginia, arrested and taken to Fort Lafayette as a political prisoner, the said papers having been submitted by you for my consideration as to the expediency of proceeding against the property under the confiscation act. I inclose also a copy of the report of the Solicitor of the Treasury, to whom the papers were referred for his opinion. The seizure having been made by an officer not placed by law under my control or supervision, and the forfeiture being claimed under the act of August 6, 1861, which confers on me no power of remission or mitigation, I do not conceive that this case falls within my jurisdiction, and the papers are therefore returned.

I am, very respectfully,

S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury.

* Not found, but see Jordan to Chase, p. 516.

–––

413 BROOME STREET, NEW YORK, December 8, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State,

DEAR SIR: When in September last I made to you a favorable report in the case of John G. Guthrey, of Virginia, the evidence seemed to warrant the conclusion that he was not a political conspirator and that he was engaged in private financial speculation. He was liberated on parole, the terms of which I do not know.

From recent reports I am inclined to think that he has become a conspirator in some degree. Our department has established a communication with him unknown to him, and from that source we are informed that he expects soon to obtain possession of his State stocks, and is {p.519} preparing to go to England, first sending his bonds there by unsuspected parties, and from thence to get to Havana and the rebel States. If that scheme should be accomplished it is possible that his bonds may be transmuted into arms or other contraband property. It is said that his parole does not preclude his going to England. A secessionist in England with $100,000 is capable of doing more mischief than he could do at home. If his parole does not preclude his going to England it would be well to restrict him to a residence in the city of New York.

He is moving all interests he can reach to get hold of his bonds; has said that he operated only through Black Republican agencies because the Administration is Black Republican. This he said in reply to a suggestion that he should employ J. T. Brady. He has said that he was not proceeding by process of law here to recover his bonds, but was operating directly with the Administration, and had assurances from his counsel that within ten days he would have possession of his bonds by an order from Washington. He is reported to have about $2,000 in the hands of his agent here which had not been paid over when he was arrested and that it will take all of that to get his bonds back.

It is further reported that Mr. Guthrey has entertained the proposition to supply a young man with money claimed to be necessary to get a commission in the U. S. Army with the design of having the officer when opportunity should present go over to the rebels with whatever information or other aid he could command. It is claimed that Guthrey entered into this scheme with avidity, and only held back the money because he needed all of his $2,000 above mentioned to use in getting possession of his bonds. It is further reported that Guthrey has sent the numbers of his bonds South and made arrangements to have payment refused except to himself.

Our detective department has obtained reports to the effect I have written, and if they should prove true the man would be safest in a fortress. But lest there should be some mistake I would suggest that for the present the action if any should be, first, hold on to the bonds; second, require a parole that shall restrict his travels to the city of New York, where the police can observe him.

Yours, respectfully,

SETH C. HAWLEY.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 9, 1861.

SETH C. HAWLEY, Esq., New York.

SIR: I have received your communication of the 8th instant relative to John Garnett Guthrey. In reply I have to state that representations which appear to be entitled to credit have been made to me that Mr. Guthrey was engaged at the time of his arrest in converting funds to aid in building a church at Petersburg, Va. I do not therefore deem it advisable at the present time to make a new order in his case. Still I hope you will continue the surveillance over his movements.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, December 9, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Understanding all sorts of efforts were making by Mr. Guthrey, who was lately a prisoner at Lafayette, to obtain possession of the bills, {p.520} State scrip and cash that was attached as property about to be applied to rebel use on the complaint and information of two of my officers I have been using the facilities of my department to obtain information in regard to the movements of Mr. Guthrey and his friends. By referring to my letters of August 24 you will see the amount found on Guthrey, as well as that found on his companion, George Miles.*

By the means alluded to I learn that Miles notwithstanding his oath to the contrary has found his way to Richmond, and to-day Guthrey received a letter from him dated Richmond, December 4. To a person who has his confidence he (Guthrey) said that if his arrest had been delayed twenty-four hours they would have got $7,000 more on him than they did, as Mr. H. C. Hardy had procured for him that money’s worth more which he had not had time to deliver over and that it still remained in Mr. Hardy’s possession. And further he said that it was perfectly safe in Hardy’s hands as Messrs. Moses Taylor and Stevenson (I have not yet ascertained what Mr. Stevenson) were the friends of Mr. Hardy, and the Government would not dare to disturb Mr. Hardy with such friends. He also to-day expressed great confidence in being able to recover the attached property through the influence of Messrs. Taylor and Stevenson even if the property was confiscated; that should they fail he had a last resort through Mr. Del. Smith, which he wished to avoid if possible, but did not give as a reason for avoiding the last resort that it would cost him heavily.

When he recovers the bonds, &c., he will not attempt to go directly to the South but will go to Europe, thence to the West Indies and watch his chance to get home with his property. I would like to get possession of Miles’ letter to him to prove his forfeiture of the condition of the release of Miles as well as to prove that Guthrey is in correspondence South in violation of his stipulation. But I would not like to rearrest a discharged prisoner without direct orders to that effect.

I would like to hear from you early on this business so as to be able to determine what course it is proper for me to take.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

* See case of Miles, p. 533.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 11, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: I have received your letter of the 9th instant relative to John Garnett Guthrey. In reply I have to state that whenever you have conclusive evidence that he has violated the terms of his parole you will at once return him to Fort Lafayette.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

413 BROOME STREET, NEW YORK, December 11, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: I have received the letter of the honorable Secretary of State of 9th of December relating to Mr. John Garnett Guthrey. If it is proper {p.521} I should like a copy of the parole of Mr. Guthrey in order to know what latitude has been allowed him. If you can furnish me a copy please do so or give me an order on (Do]. Martin Burke, of Fort Lafayette, for a copy.... *

Yours, respectfully,

S. C. HAWLEY.

* For omitted part see case of George Miles.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 13, 1861.

SETH C. HAWLEY, Esq., New York.

SIR: I have received your letter of the 11th instant. In reply I inclose herewith copies of the parole* of J. Garnett Guthrey and George Miles, which you required.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* For parole of Guthrey, see p. 518; for that of Miles, see p 540.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, December 22, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have taken the affidavit of Samuel H. Hyman,* a native of Richmond, Va., who deposes to the fact that $7,000 in bonds belonging to J. G. Guthrey are represented to be in the hands of Mr. H. C. Hardy, No. 47 Front street, by Guthrey to him, and also states in effect that Hardy is custodian of his confidential matters. Hyman also testifies to Guthrey having stated to him that he has written at least three letters to friends in the insurrectionary States and has received some from them. Under your former instruction I feel at liberty to arrest Guthrey on this information, but I fear he has his letters, &c., in the hands of Hardy, and I need an extension of the order to Hardy and the papers in his possession. I would advise authority to that effect to be given me immediately by telegraph. I think I mentioned in a former letter that Hardy is also a Virginian and has a branch house at Norfolk.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

* See pp. 522,523 for Hyman’s affidavit.

–––

OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, December 25, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE, Fort Hamilton.

SIR: Pursuant to directions from the honorable Secretary of State of December 11 I herewith deliver to your custody Mr. John G. Guthrey, of Richmond [Petersburg], Va.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

{p.522}

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, December 26, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: On the 24th instant Mr. John Garnett Guthrey, of Richmond, Va., was again taken into custody and yesterday was taken to Fort Hamilton and delivered to Lieut. Col. M. Burke. The inclosed affidavits of Samuel H. Hyman and Thomas P. Wood furnish the evidence on which I have acted under the discretionary authority given me in yours of 11th instant. The same affidavits implicate Mr. H. C. Hardy, of No. 47 Front street, New York, the brother referred to being in Norfolk, Va., in charge of their house there. Mr. Hardy was also taken in charge on 24th, but after examining him and finding him well inclined to deliver up all he has in his possession or in reach belonging to Guthrey I released him on oral parole. To-day I expect him to deliver over to me whatever bonds, &c., of the kind he retains control of. He informed me that he had loaned the bonds on call and deposited the cash. By taking the course I have with him this property which no doubt was passed out of his hands for the purpose of concealing it may be recovered. In any other course recovery would have been impossible.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT, New York City, ss:

Samuel H. Hyman being duly sworn doth depose and say as follows:

I reside in the city of New York, No. 32 West Houston street; Richmond, Va., was my native place; I resided there until about one year since. I know John Garnett Guthrey, of Petersburg, Va., who was lately a prisoner in Fort Lafayette. I was introduced to Guthrey by a man by the name of Bateman who was in Fort Lafayette with him. Bateman has gone to England. I understood he was paroled not to go to States in rebellion. I understood from Bateman that he intended to get from England to the South. I represented to Guthrey that I wished to get to the South and wanted his assistance. I had repeated interviews with him night after night for some weeks, he always cautioning me to speak low and to secrecy.

I told him the only safe way to get there was to get a commission in the Federal Army and then escape across the lines; that I could get a commission with money; that I had but $500 myself; that it would cost from $800 to $1,000, and that I would like him to assist me to that extent. He expressed a desire and willingness to aid me but stated that all his bonds and funds had been seized except $7,000 in bonds and $2,000 in money, which was in the hands of Hardy & Co., or Hardy & Bro., 47 Front street, who had purchased his bonds for him. The $7,000 in bonds not seized had come in to Hardy from the broker after Guthrey was arrested and his bonds seized, and thus escaped seizure. He said the difficulty about aiding me was that all the money in Hardy’s hands would be required to pay the parties for getting his other bonds free and he did not dare to have the $7,000 in bonds put on the market.

In the course of these conversations he told me his plans after he should get possession of his bonds, as follows: He intended to send them to England by putting them into the possession of some passenger going to England who would not be suspected, and to slip off himself {p.523} and go from England to Havana and thence find his way into the rebel States; or if he could not do that to send the bonds to England and try his chance to get South from here. He also informed me that he had taken the numbers of most of the bonds that were seized just before he was taken and that he had sent the numbers to the governors of the several States by which they were issued and applied to have them repudiated and new ones issued in their stead if they should confiscate the bonds here. He told me the name of the firm of three lawyers (names not remembered) employed by him to get back his bonds. I asked him why he did not employ Brady. He replied that he had employed these lawyers because they were Black Republicans, and Hardy had advised him that they would have more weight with the Administration. He said that one of the lawyers had been at Washington on that business week before last and that he expected to have it settled every day.

He informed me about the 7th or 8th of December that he had received a letter from home dated the 4th of December informing him that they had seen a prisoner from Fort Lafayette who had broken his parole and he was certain it was Miles. He said this letter stated they dare not write much fearing he would not receive the letters, but he said the letter contained more than they would think. He also said that he had written two or three letters home but did not know whether they were received. He said he would give anything to get home, and if he could get back his bonds he would not care if the whole town was burned.

He expresses his feelings very strongly with the Southern rebellion; that it never could be put down as long as they had a dollar left at the South. He also hoped to see England at war with the United States; that that would be the best thing that could happen for the Southern States. He said that he had been informed that the official authorities here could be approached with money to get his bonds free, but he said he was intending to take his chance to get his bonds by Hardy and the lawyers who were backed by Moses Taylor and Mr. Stephens or Stevenson, president or cashier of some bank, and if he failed in that he should have an attempt made to see what could be done with money with the officials. He said if he had had any idea of being arrested he never should have had the bonds in his possession, but should have kept them locked up in Hardy’s safe. He had taken them to his room to take the numbers when he was taken.

Hardy is from Norfolk, where there is a house of Hardy & Bro. conducted by the brother of this Hardy. He said that as soon as he got this thing settled he would be off; he would not stay in the town a day. He boards at the New York Hotel, which is frequented chiefly by secessionists. He does not talk much; says he will not talk to Yankees; is very prudent. He spends the forepart of the day in Hardy’s office, dines about 5 o’clock, and goes to bed at 9. He said hey had means of corresponding with Richmond that the people here know nothing about, and I understand that Hardy is constantly receiving information or letters from Norfolk and Richmond, but he did not say this directly. If he had money in his possession I have no doubt he would have aided me in my pretended plan of getting South. And further saith not.

SAMUEL H. HYMAN.

Sworn before me this 22d day of December, 1861.

S. C. HAWLEY, Chief Clerk.

{p.524}

[Inclosure No. 2.]

METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT, New York City, ss:

Thomas P. Wood being duly sworn doth depose and say as follows:

I live in New York. I have on several occasions been in company with Samuel H. Hyman whose affidavit is annexed, passing as his friend and as being of the same opinion as Hyman and Guthrey. I can therefore corroborate many of the statements of Mr. Hyman, and particularly his statement of the plan of Mr. Guthrey for getting his bonds and sending them to England and going there himself and from there to the Souther States. Guthrey has always expressed a desire to get his bonds and get off home and all his talk has been favorable to secession. I also heard the statement of receiving the letter from Petersburg, Va., which spoke of the prisoner from Lafayette who had broken his parole, as stated in the affidavit of Mr. Hyman. And further saith not.

THOMAS P. WOOD.

Sworn before me this 22d of December, 1361.

S. U. HAWLEY, Chief Clerk.

–––

413 BROOME STREET, NEW YORK, December 26, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: The proceedings for the condemnation of the funds found in possession of J. G. Guthrey are approaching a conclusion and will be disposed of in a few days. Under the present state of the law success is doubtful even with an earnest effort on the part of the officials, and unfortunately the desire to succeed is doubted in the best informed quarters. This is a gentle statement of the belief entertained here. Under such circumstances to allow the case to go on now would be sure to result in defeat. The money does not belong to Mr. Guthrey but to sundry citizens, firms or companies South.

The allegation that he was here on this business for a church, according to his own showing has only this degree of truth. When he undertook to do this business for these parties who own the funds he required them instead of paying him for his services to subscribe $500 toward paying the debt of his favorite church, and all the evidence of this there is in the case is his own statement. The testimony recently taken shows that Mr. Guthrey only awaited the release of this money to go back to his home, and that he is as far from being favorable to the Union as any Virginian.

If this proceeding is allowed to proceed now the result will be that the funds will be released; a not inconsiderable portion will remain with the New York lawyers who manage the business and the remainder go South to strengthen the rebellion. The sure method of preventing this is to direct a discontinuance of the legal process and order the funds to be sent to the State Department. As long as the funds are here the lawyers will not be idle. It is to be hoped that this course will be taken at once.

Yours, respectfully,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent. SETH C. HAWLEY. ROBERT MURRAY, U. S. Marshal.

{p.525}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 28, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: Your letter of the 26th instant with its inclosure has been received. Your proceedings in the case of John Garnett Guthrey and H. C. Hardy are approved.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

NEW YORK, December 30, 1861.

[Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.]

MY DEAR GOVERNOR: I have been requested to forward the inclosed to you and at the same time to testify to the high character of Mr. Moses Taylor.

Ever truly, yours, &c.,

R. M. BLATCHFORD.

[Inclosure.]

NEW YORK, December 28, 1861.

MOSES TAYLOR, Esq.

MY DEAR SIR: I beg leave to ask most respectfully your attention to the following statement:

On the 21st of August last my friend Mr. John Garnett Guthrey, of Petersburg, Va., was arrested at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in this city, deprived of a large amount of property, chiefly bonds of the Southern States bought here in the usual way, and sent to Fort Lafayette. There was no charge against Mr. Guthrey, and after about six weeks of confinement he was released on his parole of honor not to go into any of the rebellious States, &c., without first having obtained permission from the honorable Secretary of State. Since Mr. Guthrey’s release he has lived very quietly in this city, and through counsel has been making efforts to obtain again possession of his property which has been libeled I believe by the parties who made the arrest, and is sought to be condemned or confiscated in the U. S. district court in this city on the ground as I learn that it was about to be carried South in violation of law. The case was to have been tried by appointment on the 26th instant.

On the 24th instant without process and so far as I can learn on no charge Mr. Guthrey was again arrested in this city by order of the superintendent of police, doubtless in obedience to instructions from the State Department at Washington, and on the 25th instant was sent again to Fort Lafayette. There are circumstances of very peculiar hardship in Mr. Guthrey’s case and I earnestly invoke your kind offices in his behalf. I have known Mr. Guthrey long and well, and I believe him to be totally incapable of any act unbecoming a Christian gentleman.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

H. C. HARDY.

[Indorsement.]

NEW YORK, December 28, 1861.

I have entire confidence in Mr. Hardy’s statement, and in my opinion the case of Mr. Guthrey is one of great hardship and he should be released.

MOSES TAYLOR.

{p.526}

–––

NEW YORK, January 2, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

MY DEAR GOVERNOR: Our friend M. O. Roberts will see you on a matter in which he feels much interested-in the imprisonment of James [John G.] Guthrey in Fort Lafayette since the 26th of December. He as well as others of our friends here feels confident that this second arrest of him has been made on some misrepresentation, and that an investigation of the facts will show it. His friends earnestly beg for such investigation and it is at their request that I address you. Unless they can clear him from the charge whatever it is that is made against him they will not for a moment seek his release.

I am, very truly, yours, &c.,

R. M. BLATCHFORD.

–––

413 BROOME STREET, NEW YORK, January 2, 1862.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: The case against the funds of Guthrey must be tried-and will be lost as matters now stand I think-on the 7th. Shall anything be done to avoid that result? If the measures suggested in the communication of Mr. Kennedy, the marshal (Murray) and myself forwarded by Mr. Webster should be approved by you please use the telegraph in carrying them out at once.

Yours, respectfully,

S. C. HAWLEY.

–––

NEW YORK, January 2, 1862.

[MARSHALL O. ROBERTS.]

DEAR ROBERTS: I hand you inclosed a letter just received from Mr. Hardy in relation to Mr. Guthrey. I wish you would see Mr. Seward and say to him from me that I think this is a hard case and there is no doubt in my mind about the propriety of releasing Mr. Guthrey from Fort Lafayette.

Yours, truly,

MOSES TAYLOR.

[Inclosure.]

NEW YORK, January 2, 1862.

MOSES TAYLOR, Esq.

MY DEAR SIR: I am greatly obliged by your kind interest in behalf of my poor friend Mr. Guthrey. In view of it it seems to be my duty to tell you I have just been told that lie is charged at the Department of State in Washington with having intercourse with the South and being about to go thither secretly in violation of the parole he gave when released from Fort Lafayette about the 1st of October last. My knowledge of and confidence in the man will not allow me to credit the charge one moment. By a released prisoner, Mr. Eagle, he received recently via Fortress Monroe a letter from his business partner. It was inspected and marked approved at Fortress Monroe. He showed it to me and I am sure time State Department would not complain of it. I have no idea that he has written a line to the South or had it done. Be very recently refused to send a message home by a foreign consul then in this city on the ground that it would violate his parole. I am {p.527} so assured by an old friend of Mr. Guthrey, resident here, a very respectable gentleman now retired from business, who will cheerfully testify thereto if need be.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. C. HARDY.

It may seem superfluous but I will add my firm belief that he has never had any idea of going home without first having obtained liberty from the Department of State. If the libel suit pending against his property had been tried on the 26th ultimo as it was appointed it was I think his intention then to apply to the Department of State for leave to go home.

H. C. H.

–––

NEW YORK, January 6, 1862.

Hon. F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: On my return I find Mr. Hutchins so situated by reason of the extreme illness of a member of his family that he may not be able to visit Mr. Guthrey. I have therefore to request that the permission to see Mr. Guthrey be made so as to admit Mr. Hutchins or myself. The charge made against Mr. Guthrey we understand to be that he violated his parole by writing South or attempting to go South. It is now desirable that he should have an opportunity to make his explanation. We can scarcely believe it possible that he should have been guilty of either offense, as he has been engaged in preparing for the trial of a cause involving a large amount of property in which the question of his loyalty is involved.

Your early attention would oblige, yours, very respectfully,

AUGUSTUS SCHELL.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 29, 1862.

SETH C. HAWLEY, Esq., New York.

SIR: Herewith I inclose a sworn statement from Mr. J. Garnett Guthrey, a prisoner at Fort Lafayette. Will you please return it to this Department after reading it with your opinion thereon?

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

[Inclosure.]

STATE OF NEW YORK, Kings County, ss:

John G. Guthrey, now in Fort Lafayette, being duly sworn says that he was arrested on the 24th day of December last in the city of New York; that as he has been informed the cause of his arrest was the alleged violation of his parole in writing to his friends in the South and in making arrangements to leave the city of New York. This deponent in answer to said alleged charges denies that at any time since his release from Fort Lafayette, on or about the 3d day of October last he has written or communicated in writing with any person or persons in Virginia or any other of the Southern States, and he denies that he has at any time made any arrangements to leave the State of New York in violation of his parole, nor has he had any intention of leaving said {p.528} State without the authority of the Government of the United States being first obtained. And this deponent further saith that he has important business which requires his attendance in the city of New York; and this deponent further saith that he has faithfully observed the conditions on which his release from Fort Lafayette was formerly granted, and that there is no truth in the allegations which he understands have been made against him. And further this deponent saith not.

And this deponent further saith that he has not received any communication from the South since his said release except a letter from Reuben Ragland, of Petersburg, Va., some time in the middle of December last, which letter as deponent was informed came by the way of Norfolk under a flag of truce and was examined, as its indorsement stated, by Davis, provost-marshal, which letter is now in the possession of the U. S. authorities, the same having been taken from this deponent at the time of his arrest. And further saith not.

JNO. G. GUTHREY.

Sworn before me this 13th day of January, 1862, at Fort Lafayette, I being a commissioned officer in the U. S. Army, and recourse cannot be had to any officer named in 925th article of the Army Regulations of 1857 and 1031 of regulations of 1861 prior to a commissioned officer.

CHAS. O. WOOD, First Lieutenant, Ninth Infantry, Commanding Post.

–––

NEW YORK, February 11, 1862.

Hon. FREDERICK W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: It is now some two weeks since I had an interview with you relative to the release of John G. Guthrey now in confinement at Fort Lafayette. If no report has yet been made to the Department in his case may I request that action may be had as soon as consistent with the public interest, as I am convinced that Mr. Guthrey is unjustly deprived of his liberty.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WALDO HUTCHINS.

–––

NEW YORK, February 12, 1862.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: In pursuance of your order I have re-examined the case of J. Garnett Guthrey and had an interview with him in Fort Lafayette. I am satisfied that he did not break or attempt to break his former parole. The evidence adduced against him on that point was from a tainted source and narrated an attempt by interested parties to induce him to commit himself, which attempt was unsuccessful. Mr. Guthrey is an honest man in everything except his political fidelity. On that head he is a Virginia abstructionist whose prayers are always against the Government. Until his funds that have been libeled are released or confiscated he can be trusted on parole. My belief is that lie will keep the conditions faithfully and that he ought to be offered his release on the former conditions. He says to me that he would as soon remain in the fort but if offered the choice I think he will accept liberty.

I have been a little emubarrassed in his case by the following circumnstance, which has delayed my conclusion in his case, to wit: On Friday, {p.529} the 7th last, a gentleman called on me in relation to Mr. Guthrey. He did not disclose his name. On Monday last, the 10th, Hon. Augustus Schell called on me in relation to Mr. Guthrey and informed me that the gentleman who called on Saturday was from his office. The next day I learned that Doctor Ives was in Fort McHenry and that he was the man who called on mime from Mr. Schell’s office. Not knowing what Mr. Ives is held for I have not allowed the circumstance to prejudice the case of Mr. Guthrey.

On reflection I think Mr. Guthrey should be offered his parole as before. I think also that the suit for the sequestration of the funds taken with Mr. Guthrey ought to be pressed to an issue at once and decided one way or the other. At this point Mr. Moses H. Grinnell called on behalf of Mr. Guthrey and submitted an affidavit* and petition which I inclose. I return herewith the paper inclosed to me and also those submitted by Mr. Grinnell.

Yours, respectfully,

S. C. HAWLEY.

* Affidavit not found.

[Inclosure.]

NEW YORK, February 8, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: The undersigned merchants of this city most respectfully ask your candid notice of the following plain statement of the facts in behalf of Mr. John G. Guthrey, now in confinement at Fort Lafayette. Mr. Guthrey we will premise is over fifty years of age, known to us personally as a man of unusually mild, retiring manners and inoffensive disposition. We regard him as a highly honorable Christian gentleman. Mr. Guthrey is a native of Virginia, resident at the city of Petersburg, where he has been engaged in the manufacture of tobacco. He reached this city on the 8th of August last, his avowed object being to buy the stocks of Southern States in consequence of their then low price here. His purchases were made at the regular board of brokers in the usual way, and such stocks are still daily bought and sold there.

On the 21st of August Mr. Guthrey was arrested at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in this city by the detective police, under orders we judge from the Department of State, and sent to Fort Lafayette. The parties who made the arrest deprived him of sundry bonds, checks, drafts and moneys we believe to the nominal value of over $150,000. After six weeks of confinement Mr. Guthrey, against whom personally we believe no charge was brought, was released from imprisonment on giving his parole not to go or write South except by your permission. The bonds and money taken from him were libeled in the U. S. district court here for confiscation on the ground that they were being carried South in violation of law. After many delays the case was set for trial on the 26th of December last.

On the 24th day of December, two days before the trial was to have taken place, Mr. Guthrey was again arrested by the detective police and on Christmas Day was sent to Fort Lafayette where he yet remains. We are told this second arrest is made under a charge of violating his parole. In reply to this we take leave to refer you to the accompanying {p.530} copy of an oath or affidavit* of Mr. Guthrey made at Fort Lafayette on the 13th ultimo. We have read it carefully and unhesitatingly declare our confidence in the truth of it.

We beg leave now, sir, with great deference, to say that Mr. Guthrey has not in our opinion deserved the punishment he has so long and patiently borne and to venture the hope that it will seem to you proper to restore him to his liberty.

We are, sir, with great respect, your obedient servants,

JAS. T. A. PATTERSON, 104 Front Street. WM. H. PRICE & CO., 77 Front Street. SAML. G. BAPTIST, 93 Water Street. M. H. GRINNELL.

Without knowing anything of his business I believe Mr. Guthrey to be a most reliable, quiet Christian gentleman.

JAMES HUNTER, 174 Front Street, [AND ELEVEN OTHERS.]

* See p. 527 for Guthrey’s affidavit.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, February 17, 1862.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

COLONEL: You may release Mr. John Garnett Guthrey, a prisoner confined at Fort Lafayette, on his giving his written parole of honor that he will render no aid or comfort to the enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States.

I am, colonel, &c.,

E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, February 20, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Inclosed please find the parole of honor of J. Garnett Guthrey, signed by him to-day in obedience to your directions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, February 20, 1862.

I, John Garnett Guthrey, do solemnly promise on my word that I will render no aid or comfort to the enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States.

JNO. GARNETT GUTHREY.

Witness:

HARRY C. EGBERT, First Lieutenant, Twelfth Infantry.

{p.531}

Case of George Miles.

George Miles, of Richmond, Va., was arrested* by John A. Kennedy, superintendent of police in New York City, August 21, 1861, and committed to Fort Lafayette. He was charged with collecting moneys in loyal States for persons residing in the insurrectionary States. Money and securities belonging to persons living South were found on his person. An order was issued from the Department of State dated October 3, 1861, directing Colonel Burke, commanding at Fort Lafayette, to release Miles on his taking the oath of allegiance and stipulating that he will neither enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the Government of the United States nor hold any correspondence with persons residing in those States without permission of the Secretary of State, and that he will do no act hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. He was accordingly released October 5, 1861.– From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

* See affidavit of Robert Murray, September 28, 1861, in case of Millner, post, for important reference to Miles’ arrest.

–––

WASHINGTON, August 21, 1861.

J. A. KENNEDY, Superintendent, New York:

Send George Miles to Fort Lafayette and send the money to me.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, August 22, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE.

SIR: By direction of the Secretary of State I send in charge of Mr. Inspector Leonard Mr. George Miles, of Richmond, Va., whom he wishes detained.

Very respectfully,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, August 23, 1861.

Colonel BURKE Commandant Fort Lafayette and Fort Hamilton.

DEAR SIR: On my arrest on Wednesday afternoon, August 21, 1861, I had taken from me by Superintendent Kennedy, of the New York police department, a package of money sealed in a brown envelope containing over $7,000 in Southern bank notes, checks on Northern banks and negotiable notes on Richmond merchants; also not inclosed in this envelope two checks on New York banks for $4,500; one certificate of Virginia State stock for $1,000; also $1,000 in gold and $225 in gold taken from my person by the sergeant of police who arrested me, making in all $1,225 in gold; also in an envelope directed to Crew & Pemberton, Richmond, negotiable notes on Richmond for collection {p.532} for something like $2,000. I do not now recollect any other money I may have had, nor do not say that there is other money, as my letters and papers were taken from me.

For none of this money have I any receipt or acknowledgment and deeming you to be the proper person to take and hold this money I have taken the liberty of writing to-you On the subject to either obtain the money or an acknowledgment for the same. I claim of this money as my individual property the $1,225 in gold, the Virginia certificate of State stock for $1,000 and $200 of the Virginia bank notes; in all $2,425; also about $900 of the negotiable notes made payable in Richmond to my order. My individual property should at least be in your possession, as I am innocent of any act or attempt to violate the laws of the Government sufficient to place me in my present unpleasant situation, and could my case be properly heard and the proofs I could bring to bear in my case I have no doubt of my being released.

I shall try and bear my confinement as a man unconscious of offense to the Government, hoping all will come right and trusting in your honor as an officer and a gentleman to protect my property as far as it lies in your power.

All of the property in my possession belonged to private citizens. Will you have the kindness to let the letters written be forwarded and confer a favor by letting me know your determination about the money?

I remain, respectfully,

GEORGE MILES.

P. S.-I have only $10 in money and my meals cost me $1 per day. Unless you obtain my money or some portion of it from Mr. Kennedy I shall have no means of buying common necessities.

G. M.

–––

OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, August 24, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: At the time when Mr. George Miles, of Richmond, Va., was arrested Mr. Sergeant Young and Detective King of my force, who effected the arrest, found on his person and among his effects one certificate or bond of the State of Virginia for the par value of $1,000 and sundry bank bills, specie, checks, &c., amounting in the gross to $13,129.16, all of which property Miles admitted to me belonged to persons now residing in Richmond, excepting the Virginia State bond and $1,000 in gold which he claimed as his individual property. I have directed $200 of the amount to be placed in the charge of Lieut. Col.

M. Burke for the personal use of Miles while in confinement. The balance is held for seizure by the U. S. marshal whenever he is prepared to libel it. Meanwhile I deem it proper to forward you an inventory of the property, which accompanies this note.

Very respectfully,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

{p.533}

[Inclosure.]

Inventory of assets found in possession of George Miles, August 21, 1861.

Virginia 6 per cent bond of $1,000, No. 6913.
Amount of bank bills, certificates of deposits, in package addressed to Messrs. J. T. and S. G. Thayer, 17 Central Wharf$7,119.16
Amount of cash in bank bills285.00
Amount of cash in gold1,225.00
Amount in checks payable to the order of James Thomas, jr., on the Bank of North America, New York:
No. 5352$2,500.00
No. 53532,000.00
4,500.00
13,129.16
Of this amount I have deposited in the charge of Lieut. Col. M. Burke at Fort Hamilton, for the personal use of Miles, in gold200.00
Balance cash, &c., in hand12,929.16

J. A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 27, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your two communications* of the 24th instant and to state in reply that your course with regard to the cases of Guthrey and Miles is approved.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* See case of John Garnett Guthrey, p. 510, for one of these letters.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 28, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to return the papers in the case of Miles and Guthrey which you yesterday referred to this Department and to state in reply that John A. Kennedy, esq., superintendent of police at New York, has represented to this Department that he had caused to be deposited with Colonel Burke at Fort Hamilton the sum of $200 to defray the personal expenses of Miles and also a like sum to defray those of Guthrey which seems to supersede the necessity of making any further provision at this time for those objects.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, August 31, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

DEAR SIR: I am a tobacco manufacturer of the city of Richmond whose whole business has been done with Northern commission merchants. At the commencement of these troubles I had a shipment of tobacco seized on the schooner Mary which was afterward released. Feeling some uneasiness about the safety of my goods I went North and was kindly received and well treated.

On my return home I was solicited by Mr. Thomas, a wealthy manufacturer, to return and wind up his business in the Northern cities. {p.534} After some persuasion I agreed to go, especially as my own business was ruined and I wanted to go North to try and make arrangements to commence my business North. I had business in Boston with Fisher & Co., Tilton & Co., Abbot & Co. and J. T. & S. G. Thayer; in New York with Messrs. Charles M. Connelly & Co. and Buckley & Moore; in Philadelphia with Buckner, McCammon & Co., Mercer & Antels, Motz & Beam and Donan & Tait.

This business was purely of a peaceful nature. These were the only parties with whom I had any transactions. I received several letters and accounts and some moneys from these parties; also several letters I supposed of a peaceful and family nature left for me with the request that I would mail them in Nashville. I know nothing of the contents of these, but suppose the contents were not unfriendly to the United States Government as I could not believe that any one would betray my confidence so far as to impose upon my kindness and make me the bearer of any treasonable correspondence.

I claim to be free from any act of hostility or any intention to violate any law of the United States Government either here or at home, and defy proof of any act of mine to justify my present imprisonment. What property I have is principally in the North, and two letters of mine-one in the hands of Fisher & Co., of Boston, and one in the hands of Buckner, McCammon & Co., of Philadelphia can be produced wherein I requested them not to send me any money as I preferred its remaining where it was. I also proposed to Mr. Buckner, of the firm of Buckner, McCammon & Co., of Philadelphia, to start one of his sons in business with me and I would on my return home make my arrangements and move my family to Philadelphia. This proposition of mine was taken into consideration by Mr. Buckner. You can easily ascertain these proofs as they should have some bearing on my case.

I did receive some money for myself (which was taken from me) to pay off some debts in the event of my making arrangements to move my family North. Some portions of the moneys I had in my possession were drafts on Richmond merchants for collection there. I also had business on my return with Cincinnati and Louisville tobacco houses.

I believe, sir, I have given you the Whole truth in relation to my business North and feel confident if you would look into my case that your sense of justice and right would urge it upon you to procure my release. You are not only depriving me of my liberty but are causing a great deal of unhappiness to my wife and children. I have no relations to look after and befriend them.

Respectfully, yours,

GEO. MILES.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, September 17, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

DEAR SIR: I understand I was arrested and imprisoned in this fortress on the charge of collecting money to carry South. If this is the only charge why cannot my liberty be restored, as I have given up the money? It is true I cannot afford to lose this money, but my business is fast going to ruin with no one to look after my interests. I have fifty hired hands with no one to look after and take care of them, to say nothing of my own family who are left in an unprotected situation. In collecting this money I was innocent of any intention to break the laws, as President Lincoln’s proclamation was not promulgated till after I had {p.535} collected the greater portion of this money and I was informed and so understood that this proclamation did not go into effect until the expiration of fifteen days.

If you have any other charge against me of disloyalty to the Government I humbly petition for an opportunity to clear myself, feeling confident that I can bring proof sufficient to convince you that I am simply a business man; have never taken any part in the secession of the Southern States. If I am held as a prisoner of war you did me a wrong as I am not a native of the South. I am from New Jersey.

Is there no way by which I can be restored to my wife and children? Cannot I give my parole to report in Washington and have a hearing, or can I not be released under bonds? Am I to be kept here to the ruin of my health while all may interests are to suffer and go to ruin? I beg of you to give me a hearing or at least let me know why I am detained here. I ask this much in the name of justice and humanity.

Respectfully. yours,

GEO. MILES.

(Copy to Hon. William H. Seward.)

–––

PHILADELPHIA, September 19, 1861.

J. LESLEY, Jr.

SIR: I send you my niece’s letter in regard to Mr. Miles’ imprisonment at Fort Lafayette. You can read it and then hand it to the general. You can tell him who A. J. Buckner is as he deals altogether with the South in the tobacco trade. He is worth $300,000. He says Miles is loyal and if necessary he will go his security for his appearance or for anything the general may want. I would say that my niece is a lady and daughter of A. J. Buckner, of this place. I hope you will urge it on him to have Miles released if not incompatible with the public interest. Please let me know what the general will do in the matter.

Oblige, yours, in a hurry,

T. T. DERINGER.

[Inclosure.]

PHILADELPHIA, September 19, 1861.

[Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT.]

MY DEAR GENERAL: Mr. Miles has been arrested and I would refer you to my niece’s letter in regard to his sentiments. The letter is long but it will pay you for its perusal. Her father, A. J. Buckner, knows him well. He is the largest tobacco commission merchant in the United States, connected altogether with the South. He will go any amount of bail for Mr. Miles if you require it. Now, general, if it is no serious charge against Miles I do hope for the sake of humanity you will have him released. I could write you a volume but I know your time is precious. Anything you may require in regard to Miles’ loyalty can be substantiated by Buckner and Woodward. I will leave it with you hoping you will answer.

Truly, your true friend,

T. T. DERINGER.

[Sub-inclosure.]

LINWOOD, September 13, 1861.

MY DEAR UNCLE: I presume you will be somewhat perplexed to see my name affixed to these pages for it has been some time since we met {p.536} and a much longer one since you received a note from me, but I hope by their rareness when they do arrive they will be doubly appreciated and the love for the writer strengthened. You are well aware that the Government has very properly found it necessary to take into safekeeping men who have been known to possess rebel proclivities and at the same time, even in case of innocence, they are allowed but small chance of defense, and you know too there are men living in the very heart of the South who are loyal Union men to the backbone though afraid to express their sentiments there. Such a one is Mr. Miles. He came up here on his own private business and it was before the law passed prohibiting any money to be paid the rebel States. During his short stay in Philadelphia he ran down and took tea with us, and in course of conversation he remarked he had always been partial to the North and hoped ere long to persuade his wife to leave the South forever and take up their abode in the North. (I write this to show you his feelings, and his friends knowing this it seems to me worse than criminal to hesitate in striving to have him released.) Mr. Woodward’s grandma was present and asked him if he did not fear meeting with difficulties here, being a Southerner. He replied, “Oh, no; my business has nothing, nothing at all to do with either North or South. It is entirely of a private business nature and interferes with no one.” He had transacted his business and was on his way home when he was arrested and put in Fort Lafayette. If there ever was an unjust arrest it was this. He has one of the loveliest wives, who is quite delicate, and two children, and he can neither hear from nor see them. Is it not as bad as death and so sad? The arrest of those wretched traitors to their country’s cause is a deed of charity to us all, but in this case it is a mistake and should be rectified. Now, uncle, for your part. Now, uncle, you know you have much influence with the Secretary of War, Mr. Cameron, and you can get almost any request you make granted, and I want you for my sake, for God’s sake, have justice done this person. If I can induce you to have him released through your good influence I will consider it is the only righteous act of my life and my gratitude to you will be unspeakable. Suffice it to say at any time and in any way I can repay you it shall be done with my whole heart. I could scarcely sleep last night thinking of that poor wife’s feelings. God knows if she be still living. We are promised a rich reward if we “do justly and love mercy.” This will be both justice and mercy. Mr. Woodward and I were speaking of Mr. Miles last evening and he did not know exactly what to do, but thought he would see you and get your advice on the subject; but he is like other business men, puts things off until it is too late; and you know, dear uncle, blood is thicker than water and if an act of justice and mercy is to be done I would like one of my own relatives to be the means of effecting it. This is entirely between you and me. I will be sincerely obliged if you will answer as soon as you consider it and say what can be done. Mr. Woodward does not know I am writing you, neither will I tell him till I have heard from you. God in His mercy grant your answer may be hopeful. If Mr. W. calls upon you before you answer this do not say I have written you, only give him your good advice. I must close.

Believe me, dear uncle, prayerfully, your niece,

LAVINIA.

Direct Mrs. T. W. Woodward, Linwood Station, Delaware County, Pa.

{p.537}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 23, 1861.

SETH C. HAWLEY, Esq., New York.

SIR: I inclose herewith the papers in the case of George Miles, a prisoner confined at Fort Lafayette. Will you please proceed to take proofs in his case, giving notice to John A. Kennedy, esq., and other parties, and report the result of your examination to me.

I am, dear sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 25, 1861.

Hon. SETH C. HAWLEY, New York.

SIR: On the 23d instant this Department transmitted the papers to you for examination and opinion in the case of George Miles, a prisoner confined at Fort Lafayette, and herewith I inclose a letter* from that person to the Secretary of War and by him referred to this Department which you will please examine and return with the other papers.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* See Miles to Cameron, August 31; also September 17.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, October 1, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: It is now six weeks since I have been imprisoned. I have made two appeals to you to be released. My business at home is going to the dogs. I have a wife, children and two sisters dependent upon me for support and you are well aware that provisions and clothing are scarce and very dear. I left them with a small amount of money not expecting to meet with this cruel treatment. I am unable to hear from or to get a letter to them and for their sakes I will cheerfully make any sacrifice.

You have taken from me a considerable amount of money. This money I cannot afford to lose but I will make no claim to it. If I have broken any law in the collection of this money let the loss of it be a sufficient punishment. I am willing to take the oath of allegiance and to execute bonds for the faithful performance of the same, and I again state to you that I have never aided the rebellion of the Southern States either directly or indirectly. I have never meddled in politics and have been the loser by this rebellion in the prostration of my business, and ask my release as a loyal citizen of the whole Union.

If you have any other charge than that of collecting money what is it, and how am I to prove my innocence if I am to be deprived of a personal examination? I have no outside influence to bring to bear upon my case for I am a poor man. I am not able to employ counsel nor do I know of any being employed in my case. Therefore I humbly submit my case to your judgment and ask a release for the sake of my family. If this is denied me then I ask that you will allow me to forward through Washington a letter to my family.

Respectfully, yours,

GEO. MILES.

{p.538}

–––

NEW YORK, October 1, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, United States.

SIR: Yours of the 23d September with inclosures in relation to George Miles, confined in Fort Lafayette, were received in due course. I have examined his case and taken all the testimony against him that I can discover, and beg leave to make the following report:

It appears that George Miles was a commercial agent engaged in disposing of property and collecting moneys in the loyal States for persons in the States declared in the President’s proclamation to be in insurrection. That when arrested he had in possession securities and moneys so collected which he was about to carry South to the States in insurrection. A schedule of these securities and moneys was furnished you by the superintendent of police, J. A. Kennedy, and is herewith reinclosed.* It further appears that he was seeking to cover up the funds and property of his employers to save them from confiscation.

Even if the securities and moneys found on Mr. Miles are subject to confiscation under the act of Congress approved August 6, 1861, or the fifth section of the act approved July 13, 1861, his acts as they appear in the testimony do not amount to a legal offense for which he could be personally convicted as a criminal. I do not think it can be pretended that the securities and moneys were intended to be used or employed in aiding, abetting or promoting insurrection or resistance to the laws. I do not see how any offense can be established against Mr. Miles.

Very respectfully, yours,

SETH C. HAWLEY.

I inclose herewith the documents transmitted to me and in addition the affidavit of John S. Young, sergeant of detectives, which contains all the evidence I can hear of against Mr. Miles.

[Indorsement.]

OCTOBER 3, [1861].

Let Miles be released upon taking the oath of allegiance and engaging to hold no correspondence and do no act hostile or injurious.

W. H. S[EWARD].

* See p. 533 for Kennedy’s inventory.

[Inclosure.]

METROPOLITAN POLICE DISTRICT, City of New York, ss:

John S. Young being duly sworn doth depose and [say] as follows:

I am sergeant of the detective force of New York. I arrested George Miles at the Metropolitan Hotel, New York, about or before 20th of August last and searched him and his baggage and found the funds described in a schedule furnished by Superintendent J. A. Kennedy to the Secretary of State, also numbers of letters addressed to persons South from persons here. These letters were sealed. Miles was prepared to start for the South that evening. He had been a room mate with a man by the name of Jones who talked violent secession doctrines very openly and indiscreetly. Miles said less and was more discreet. Miles said that his business was as agent for Southern men of business in selling commodities and collecting money and sending it South, and that this was done to prevent confiscation of property. He {p.539} said some of the funds in his possession were his own; that the exact amount he could not state. We found also copies of letters purporting to have been sent to Boston urging and directing the shipping, disposing of and covering up the property and demands of his principals to avoid confiscation. It appears by his papers that he was agent of Mr. Thomas, an extensive merchant of Richmond.

Mr. Miles stated that he was not a Southern man; that he was born in New Jersey; had been long in business in the South; that for this reason probably he was employed to do this kind of business upon the idea that he could do it more advantageously than a mere Southern man, but that he had no connection with or sympathy with the rebellion. The letters that related to matters in Boston were sent to Boston; the other letters are with the marshal of the southern district of New York.

JOHN S. YOUNG.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 28th day of September, 1861.

S. C. HAWLEY, Chief of Detectives.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 2, 1861.

SETH C. HAWLEY, Esq., New York.

SIR: On the 23d ultimo I transmitted to you the papers in the case of George Miles. If you have not already done so will you please examine them as soon as you conveniently can and return them to this Department with your opinion as to the case?

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 3, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: Let George Miles, a prisoner confined at Fort Lafayette, be released on taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States stipulating that he will neither enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the United States Government nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those States without permission from the Secretary of State; and also that he will not do anything hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. I transmit this order to Robert Murray, esq., U. S. marshal, who has been instructed by this Department to cause a police examination to be made in some cases of the persons and baggage of prisoners discharged from custody, to the end that no correspondence or other improper papers be conveyed by them to persons outside the fort.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 3, 1861.

SETH C. HAWLEY, Esq., New York.

SIR: Your report as to the case of George Miles dated October 1 1861, with the inclosures has been duly received.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

{p.540}

–––

FORT HAMILTON, October 5, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: According to your orders of the 3d instant I have this day released George Miles ... and herewith inclose [his] separate oath of allegiance and parole.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

STATE OF NEW YORK, County of Kings, ss:

I, George Miles, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies whether domestic or foreign and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any State convention or legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; and further that I do this with a full determination, pledge and purpose without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever; and further that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties which may be required of me by law. So help me God.

GEORGE MILES.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 5th day of October, 1861.

CHARLES W. CHURCH, Justice of the Peace.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, October 5, 1861.

I, George Miles, do give my word of honor that I will neither enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the United States Government nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those States without permission of the Secretary of State, and also that I will do no act hostile to the United States during the present insurrection.

GEORGE MILES.

Witnesses:

CHARLES W. CHURCH. J. C. LAY.

–––

PHILADELPHIA, October 7, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: Mr. George Miles, of Richmond, Va., was arrested by the Government in New York City about the 19th day of August last and confined in Fort Lafayette. Having been acquainted and transacted business with him for a period of two years (and from all of our conversation and transactions with him we believe him to be a loyal citizen) we feel it a duty we owe Mr. Miles to put the Government in possession of such facts as have come under our immediate notice, to wit: Mr. Miles left Richmond for the purpose of making arrangements through us to carry on the manufacturing of tobacco in this city, and for the purpose of defraying his traveling expenses accepted from James Thomas, jr., of Richmond, a power of attorney to close up his accounts in the Northern and Eastern cities. This detained him much longer than he anticipated and as he was about leaving for his home with his business but partially accomplished was arrested.

{p.541}

Mr. Miles is a native of Trenton, N. J., and is willing to bind himself to remove his family north of the Potomac if necessary to his release. He has but limited means, with a wife and several small children depending upon him. In all of our conversations with him he expressed himself decidedly as a Union man and is desirous of getting into business in the North and settling with his family amongst us.

We are, yours, respectfully,

BUCKNER, McCAMMON & CO.

–––

UNITED STATES, Eastern District of Pennsylvania:

David C. McCammon, of the city of Philadelphia, being duly sworn, says that he is a member of the firm of Buckner, McCammon & Co., merchants of the city of Philadelphia; that he knows the contents of the foregoing letter and that the same is true of his own knowledge.

D. C. McCAMMON.

Sworn to and subscribed before me at Philadelphia this 7th day of October, 1861.

CHARLES F. HEAZLITT, U. S. Commissioner.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 19, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: Herewith I transmit to you a letter received at this Department from George Miles relative to money, checks and notes taken from him at the time of his arrest.* Will you please consult with the U. S. district attorney and report to me what proceedings have been taken in the premises?

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found.

–––

WILLARD’S HOTEL, October 20, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: Having been unable to obtain an interview with you I on yesterday obtained an interview with the President to get him to use his influence with you in my behalf. He appeared to take some interest in my case and may possibly have spoken to you on the subject. I have taken the liberty of writing to you to-day as I am compelled to return to Philadelphia this afternoon, my money not holding out. You are a father and can appreciate my feelings toward my absent family at a time like this and will excuse my perseverance for your permission to go to them. I was arrested by your order and imprisoned several weeks at a time when you were allowing others to reach their homes. No charge of disloyalty being maintained against me I was released by your order on the oath of allegiance and pledge of honor not to go home without your permission. This pledge I cannot break. If I was innocent at the time of my arrest, and you have an affidavit on file in your Department from one of the first houses in Philadelphia proving me to be loyal and that I was making arrangements to go into business and remove may family there to reside; if these statements are true, do you not in justice to yourself owe me some reparation, and will you not when you send home your released {p.542} prisoners give me permission to go with them? If you cannot do this will you not release me of so much of my parole as will allow me to get home by my own exertions?

Respectfully, yours,

GEORGE MILES.

–––

111 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, October 24, 1861.

Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury:

Inclosed I submit the affidavit of Mr. George Miles, whose property a list of which is given was seized under the direction of John A. Kennedy, esq., police superintendent of this city, August 24, 1861 ,and for the release of which he applies. The facts in the case are briefly these: Mr. Miles came North August 2, 1861, principally for the purpose of making arrangements, to remove his business to New York or Philadelphia and also as agent of James Thomas, of Richmond, to make collections, &c. Soon after his arrival his property was seized and he taken to Fort Lafayette where he remained till October 5 when he was released upon the oath of allegiance, the examination in his case disclosing the fact that the gold lace, the only contraband property found in his possession, was not his property nor in any respect under his control and that he was merely engaged in his private business. The Government authorities admit that the act of August 6 does not apply to his case but claim to hold it under the act of July 13 and the President’s proclamation of August 16. As you will observe Mr. Miles left Richmond two weeks before the proclamation was issued and therefore his errand was not then unlawful. Admitting therefore that he was collecting money to carry South, having done this without violating any law I submit to your consideration the hardship of depriving him of this property then lawfully in his possession. Added to this the fact that by this seizure he is deprived of all means of support renders this appeal for your consideration especially necessary. It seems to me also that in a legal point of view, apart from all other considerations, the seizure was premature as at most there was but the intent to proceed South. At the time of his arrest he was returning to the hotel at which he then occupied rooms and where he intended to remain till the following day at least.

Trusting that the case may receive your favorable consideration and soliciting as a great favor to Mr. Miles in his present situation an early reply, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS G. RITCH.

[Inclosure.]

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK:

George Miles being duly sworn deposes and says that up to the 2d day of August, 1861, he was a resident of Richmond, in the State of Virginia, and engaged in the manufacture of tobacco. At the time this deponent came North he brought a large number of letters with him directed to the relations and friends of wounded prisoners at Richmond, which he duly mailed as requested; that on the 2d day of August, 1861, he left Richmond to make arrangements to remove his business to Philadelphia, it being impossible for him to continue it at Richmond. To defray his expenses he accepted a power of attorney from Mr. James Thomas, of Richmond, to wind up his business in the Northern cities. Deponent further states that while he was in the city of New York, to wit, on the {p.543} 24th day of August, 1861, he was arrested by direction of John A. Kennedy, esq., superintendent of police, upon the charge as deponent was subsequently informed of collecting money to carry South; that the only property over which deponent had any control or in which he had any interest was the following: One Virginia 6 per cent bond of the denomination of $1,000; a package addressed to Messrs. J. T. and S. G. Thayer, Boston, Mass, containing $7,119.16 in bank bills and certificates of deposit; bank bills and gold, $1,510; certified checks upon Bank of North America, New York, payable to the order of James Thomas, $4,500, and a package of notes belonging to Messrs. Buckner, McCammon & Co., of Philadelphia, against parties in Richmond and given deponent for collection, amounting to $2,900; that one package containing gold lace which is given in the list of property belonging to deponent, was not purchased by nor for deponent nor has he at any time had any interest therein, and the said package was given to deponent by a person named Jones, a resident of Richmond and an acquaintance of deponent, in Maiden Lane near Broadway, with a request that deponent would take it to the hotel at which deponent and said Jones were then staying as he the said Jones was going in a different direction; that upon deponent’s arrival at this hotel with the package in his possession he was arrested and removed to Fort Lafayette, where he remained from August 22 to October 5, when he was released upon taking the oath of allegiance; that the said Jones was also on the same day arrested, but as deponent was informed was released on the plea of ill health and has since returned South, as deponent believes. Deponent says that he first met said Jones at Philadelphia, and that at no time have the said Jones and the deponent had any business relations in common or any other intercourse than that of acquaintance. Deponent further states that it is and has been since his arrival North his intention and desire to remove his business and family to the North and remain here; that his entire property now remaining to him is included in the property seized and now held by the New York police department, and that if said property were confiscated this deponent would be entirely without means to engage in business or to support his family; that he has never done any act or thing inconsistent with his obligations as a loyal citizen of the United. States Government, and that as evidence of his good faith in the matter he is willing that the property may be placed in charge of deponent’s attorney in New York or of such other of deponent’s friends as may be acceptable to the U. S. district attorney and no part of the same delivered to deponent except with consent of the said district attorney.

GEORGE MILES.

Sworn to before me this 24th day of October, 1861.

CHARLES NETTLETON, Notary Public in the City of New York.

–––

PHILADELPHIA, November 9, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: I have endeavored in every honorable way to obtain your consent to go to my family under parole of honor to return or to be released from my parole to you. You not only refuse to allow me to pass by your permission but you refuse to allow me the privilege of writing to my family. You are well aware that I have never been disloyal {p.544} to the Government, for you have ample proof of my loyalty. You had me imprisoned within the walls of Fort Lafayette several weeks when I should have been released on examination. I was released by your orders, taking the oath of allegiance to support the Constitution and giving my pledge of honor to you individually not to go or correspond South without your permission. You have allowed the New York police to take and keep my property, compelling me to live on the bounty of others for my present support. I have written to Mr. Frederick [W.] Seward, Assistant Secretary of State, requesting permission to go for my family or to be returned to my imprisonment, as I cannot enjoy my liberty believing as I do that my family are in great distress about me and possibly suffering many privations. I have appealed to you by letter being refused a personal interview and you refuse to answer my petition.

Believing that you do not intend allowing me to go for my family I have no other resource left me but to throw up my parole and on your order return to my prison. Therefore I now, sir, give you fair and honorable notice that I do not after the expiration of four days consider myself in honor bound to wait your permission to return home. I shall respect my oath of allegiance but shall consider myself untrammeled as respects my parole. My address in this city is Messrs. Buckner, McCammon & Co., where I shall await your pleasure four days and will report to any fortress you may order in that time should you think it proper not to send me back to my imprisonment. And if I should succeed in reaching my home I shall consider myself bound to return with my family.*

Respectfully, yours,

GEORGE MILES.

* See case of Guthrey, p. 509 et seq.; see Kennedy to Seward, p. 519; Hawley to Seward, p. 544, and affidavit of Hyman, p. 522 for, further information as to Miles’ movements.

–––

413 BROOME STREET, NEW YORK, December 11, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: ... I am getting rid of the little confidence I have possessed in Southern men. George Miles who was set free on my report (probably) has evaded his parole I suppose, as he is now said to be in Richmond. I should like to know what were the conditions if any of his release.*

Yours, respectfully,

S. C. HAWLEY.

* The omitted part of this letter relates to case of John Garnett Guthrey. See p. 520.

–––

Case of Charles Barkley and the Schooner H. Middleton.

Charles Barkley was master of the schooner H. Middleton, which vessel was captured outside the port of Charleston, S. C., August 21, 1861, and conveyed to New York. Captain Barkley was conveyed to Fort Lafayette and from thence transferred to Fort Warren. He was charged with having run the blockade and with being disloyal to the United States Government. In a letter of December 2, 1861, he requests the Secretary of State to have him exchanged for some person who may have been captured by the insurgent privateers, thus confessing his sympathy with the rebel cause. The U. S. district attorney {p.545} for the southern district of New York made application for the examination of Captain Barkley in the U. S. district court in a cause pending for the condemnation of the schooner H. Middleton as a prize, and in compliance therewith an order was issued from the Department of State dated January 14, 1862, directing Colonel Dimick to deliver Captain Barkley to U. S. Marshal Murray, of New York, and on the same day an order was made directing U. S. Marshal Murray to receive the prisoner and convey him to New York and after his examination to take him to Fort Lafayette. U. S. Marshal Murray received Captain Barkley and conveyed him to New York. No information has been received at the Department of State this February 15, 1862, showing whether or not Captain Barkley has been again committed to Fort Lafayette.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington. September 16, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: Application having been made to this Department for leave for Mr. Archibald, the British consul at New York, to visit certain of his countrymen at Fort Lafayette captured on board the schooner Henry Middleton off Charleston you may grant the desired permission.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 21, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: Among the prisoners on board the schooner Henry Middleton, recently captured off Charleston and sent into New York, was a Danish subject named Andres Stambol, who with others is now understood to be at Fort Lafayette. It being desirable for the Danish consul at New York to have an interview with that person you will grant it in the presence of a commissioned officer.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

WASHINGTON, September 22, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c.

SIR: It is my duty earnestly to request you to give immediate and serious attention to the inclosed copy of a dispatch which I have received to-day from Her Majesty’s consul at New York. I have learned from it that not less than nine British subjects are confined in irons in an overcrowded casemate in Fort Lafayette for no other crime (as is stated) than being found on board vessels captured on the charge of attempting to run the blockade. The following is a list of these unfortunate men: William Simms, William Williams, Joseph Clifton, Richard Revel, forming part of the crew of the schooner H. Middleton, and Bernard Coogan, passenger by the same vessel, imprisoned on the 7th instant; William Smith, John Angus, Charles McClenahan and William Perry, shipwrecked seamen taken on board a small coasting craft, the Colonel Long, imprisoned on the 13th instant.

I have the honor to be, sir, with the highest consideration, your most obedient humble servant,

LYONS.

{p.546}

[Inclosure.]

BRITISH CONSULATE, New York, September 20, 1861.

[Right Hon. Lord LYONS.]

MY LORD: Referring to my dispatch of the 13th instant and your lordship’s reply of the 16th instant I have the honor to acquaint your lordship that I yesterday visited the British sailors imprisoned at Fort Lafayette, and beg leave to report that there are four seamen who formed part of the crew of the schooner H. Middleton, bound from Charleston, S. C., to Liverpool, which was captured on the 21st ultimo shortly after leaving Charleston by the U. S. ship Vandalia. These men who were imprisoned at Fort Lafayette on the 7th instant are respectively William Simms, aged forty-nine, a native of Chichester, a married man having a wife and children at Portsmouth; William Williams, aged twenty-two, a native of Liverpool; Joseph Clifton, aged nineteen, a native of Montreal, and Richard Revel, aged twenty-five, a native of Wexford.

Simms and Williams arrived at Charleston from Liverpool on board the American bark Susan G. Owen about the end of April and were paid off there. They remained unemployed and unable to leave Charleston until the 6th of August when in order to reach England they shipped in the H. Middleton, being the first vessel which left Charleston for Liverpool after the blockade. Clifton arrived at Charleston in the American ship Amelia from Havre about the end of January and was paid off there and remained there unemployed with the exception of a few days’ labor until the 9th of August when he shipped in the H. Middleton also in order to reach England. Revel arrived at Charleston from Havana on the 10th of June in the schooner Victoria and was discharged there. He also remained unemployed until the 9th of August when he shipped in the H. Middleton with the view of returning to England.

In addition to these four seamen Bernard Coogan, aged twenty-six, a native of Galway, was a passenger from Charleston to Liverpool. He had gone out to Charleston by the Columbia, arriving there on the 12th of March and intending to remain with a brother who is settled there. Finding no encouragement to remain and being unable to bear the expense of a journey northward he took advantage of the H. Middleton, the first vessel by which he could return home, and in which the captain gave him a passage. The master of the H. Middleton, a very intelligent man, corroborated the statement of the seamen and Coogan. Having closely examined them myself I see no reason whatever to doubt the truth of these statements.

Besides these men of the H. Middleton I found in the same room with them four other British seamen named William Smith, aged seventeen, a native of Henley-on-Thames; John Angus, aged twenty-four, a native of Shetland; Charles McClenahan, aged twenty-two, a native of Belfast and William Perry, aged forty-four, a native of Manchester, married and having a wife and three children at Manchester, who were taken by the U. S. ship Jamestown on board a small coasting craft called the Colonel Long near Charleston about the 4th instant, and were imprisoned at Fort Lafayette on the 13th instant.

Smith, Angus and McClenahan were part of the crew of the British bark Prima Donna bound from Havana to New York, which was wrecked on the Florida coast during the hurricane of the 16th of August. Having after much labor and many privations reached a small settlement called Miami where they remained some days a small coasting {p.547} craft or fishing smack called the Colonel Long above mentioned put into that place, and the master in consideration of their assisting him to gather a quantity of limes agreed to carry them to Charleston. They accordingly left Miami in this vessel taking with them a letter from the mate of the Prima Donna to Her Majesty’s consul at Charleston, now in my possession.

Perry was a seaman on board the British bark Sir Walter Raleigh, also wrecked on the 15th of August on the Florida Reefs. He was for seven days on a raft from which he was taken in an exhausted state by a Mr. Johnston belonging to Miami, who carried him to his house and treated him very humanely for a week, when he embraced the opportunity of reaching Charleston in company with the other seamen of the Colonel Long, but which was captured on the way thither as above mentioned. This poor man is still in a weak and miserable condition, having suffered severely from bruises and injuries during and subsequent to his shipwreck.

I have further to report that the whole of these nine men are kept continually in irons. They form part of the number of twenty-seven men who occupy one room-a casemate-the dimensions of which Lieutenant Wood informed me were ten feet wide, thirty feet long and about eight feet high.

I have the honor to request that your lordship will be so good as to bring the foregoing facts under the notice of the United States Government.

I feel satisfied that a knowledge of the circumstances which I have above detailed cannot but be followed by an order for the discharge of these poor men, some of whom have survived the perils of shipwreck only to be made prisoners while attempting to reach an asylum, and all of whom have been actuated by no more criminal motive than that of a desire to return to their native country.

I have, &c.,

E. M. ARCHIBALD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 23, 1861.

Right Hon. Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of yesterday inviting my attention to an accompanying copy of a dispatch addressed to you by Her Britannic Majesty’s consul at New York relative to certain British subjects now imprisoned in Fort Lafayette and to state in reply that orders have been given for their release.

I have the honor to be, with high consideration, your lordship’s obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 23, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: You are hereby authorized to discharge William Simms, William Williams, Joseph Clifton, Richard Revel, Bernard Coogan, William Smith, John Angus, Charles McClenahan and William Perry, detained as prisoners at Fort Lafayette, N. Y., who are understood to be British subjects.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

{p.548}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 23, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.:

Upon the receipt of this letter you will discharge from custody the Danish subject Andres Stambol understood to be a prisoner at Fort Lafayette, concerning whom I addressed you a letter on the 21st instant.

I am, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

NEW YORK, October 2, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD.

SIR: We have been employed as the counsel of the captain and part owner of the schooner Henry Middleton, libeled by the United States for condemnation. Captain Barkley, the master, is confined in Fort Lafayette, and for no offense but that of being found on the vessel (a course not unusual as we understand in such cases), and we are deprived of the means of consulting with him or preparing his defense in the suit against his vessel (to which suit we believe he has a perfect defense), as also from getting personal effects of his on board the vessel. We would respectfully ask permission to see him and prepare the defense in his case, stipulating not to take any steps to procure his personal release unless the Government accord it. It would seem very hard to prevent us seeing and conversing with him or subjecting the communications of counsel to the inspection of the military officer in command, virtually compelling him to defend through the military officer of the United States. We would submit to the fair consideration of the United States whether it is of any possible use or equitable to keep the captain there under the circumstances.

Yours, respectfully,

BEEBE, DEANE & DONOHUE.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 4, 1861.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy.

SIR: Application having been made to this Department for intercourse with persons on board the schooner Henry Middleton, understood to have been captured off Charleston, I will thank you for such information as may be in the Navy Department in regard to the circumstances attending the capture in order that the propriety of granting the application may be determined.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 8, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: Messrs. Beebe, Deane & Donohue, who represent themselves as counsel for Captain Barkley, of the schooner Henry Middleton, who is confined at Fort Lafayette, request an interview with him on business. You will accordingly cause it to be granted to them or either of them in the presence of a commissioned officer of the United States.

I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

{p.549}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 8, 1861.

Messrs. BEEBE, DEANE & DONOHUE, New York.

GENTLEMEN: Your note of the 2d asking an interview with Captain Barkley, of the schooner Henry Middleton, confined at Fort Lafayette, has been received. In reply I have to inform you that Colonel Burke has accordingly been directed to cause your request to be complied with.

I am, gentlemen, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

U. S. MARSHAL’S OFFICE, New York, October 10, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: ... In the fort there were ten more sailors who were perfectly willing to take the oath of allegiance if they had not been intimidated by Charles Bartlett [Barkley], captain of the H. Middleton, who is a rank secessionist and confined in the same apartments with them. This man is calculated to do a great deal of mischief by his secession proclivities, and boasts that he ran the blockade three times before he was caught, and that he would do the same thing again if he was at liberty. I would, therefore, respectfully request authority to have him removed from his present quarters and transferred to some safe place where he can do no mischief.

Very respectfully, yours,

ROBERT MURRAY, U. S. Marshal.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 11, 1861.

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, Esq., U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

SIR: I inclose a copy of a letter* of the 5th instant and its accompaniment addressed to this Department by the Secretary of the Navy relative to the case of the Henry Middleton which is understood to be pending in your district.

I am, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Omitted here; seep. 87.

–––

NEW YORK, October 11, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD:

Charles Bartlett [Barkley] ought to be transferred to Bedloe’s Island with the Hatteras Inlet prisoners.

ROBT. MURRAY, U. S. Marshal.

[Indorsement.]

Send him there.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 12, 1861.

ROBERT MURRAY, Esq., U. S. Marshal, New York:

Transfer Charles Bartlett [Barkley] to Bedloe’s Island.

F. W. SEWARD.

{p.550}

–––

WASHINGTON, October 28, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c.

SIR: Her Majesty’s Government have had under their consideration the note which I had the honor to address to you on the 22d ultimo with the dispatch from Mr. Consul Archibald which accompanied it.

Her Majesty’s Government have learned with much surprise from these papers the cruel treatment to which the nine British seamen who were imprisoned in Fort Lafayette were subjected by the U. S. authorities. Her Majesty’s Government are unable to comprehend the grounds on which persons who were accused of no offense were confined in irons and treated as criminals, and although it has been satisfactory to them to learn from the answer which you did me the honor to make to my representations on the subject that orders were given for the release of these men, yet Her Majesty’s Government cannot but consider that some amends are due to them for the suffering to which they were thus causelessly exposed.

Her Majesty’s Government have accordingly intrusted me to bring the matter again to the notice of the Government of the United States and to express the hope that due compensation may be awarded to the sufferers.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient humble servant,

LYONS.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 29, 1861.

Right Hon. Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your lordship’s note of the 28th instant. In that communication you inform me that Her Majesty’s Government have learned with much surprise the cruel treatment to which the nine British seamen who were imprisoned in Fort Lafayette were subjected by the U. S. authorities. You add that Her Majesty’s Government are unable to comprehend the grounds on which persons who were accused of no offense were confined in irons and treated as criminals, and that although it has been satisfactory to the British Government to learn from you that upon the representations you had made to this Government orders were given for the release of the seamen, yet Her Majesty’s Government cannot but consider that some amends are due to them for the suffering to which they were causelessly exposed. You state that upon these grounds Her Majesty’s Government have instructed you to bring the matter again to the notice of the Government of the United States and to express the hope that due compensation may be awarded to the sufferers.

The case thus presented to me is mainly built on representations made to you by the British consul at New York, founded as he says upon the statements of the parties interested. In these statements they represented themselves as British seamen who had neither done nor meditated any wrong against the Government of the United States; that they had all been unfortunate, while some of them had been shipwrecked and that the latter having escaped from previous evils were innocently found on board lawful vessels, were captured and subjected to inhuman treatment.

It is my duty to consider this case free from these illusions. The owners of the schooner Henry Middleton are insurgents and traitors. The vessel was captured while pursuing a forbidden trade and attempting {p.551} to run the blockade at Charleston. Upon this ground she is held for forfeiture by law with all the property found on board, and all parties captured in the vessel must be condemned as insurgents against the Government, and so falling into the hands of the public authorities they become prisoners of war. The case of the vessel called the Colonel Long is substantially the same.

The persons on whose behalf you appeal were found among the seamen on board of those two vessels and navigating the same. Together with others they became prisoners of war and as such were conveyed to Fort Lafayette, a fortification situate in the approaches to the harbor of New York. Being seamen and brought there simultaneously with privates who had been taken in battle in other vessels the officer in charge thought it prudent to put them in irons until his superior officer should direct what disposition should be made of a body of prisoners so large as to be deemed dangerous.

The British consul applied through your lordship to this Department for leave to see them. Leave was granted. In the same way it was made known to the Government that the nine persons in question though found acting with insurgents against the United States claimed not only to be subjects of the Queen of Great Britain but to have gone on board the vessels not from choice but necessity to seek a return to their native country. So soon as these representations were heard the nine men were released from imprisonment and set at large.

The President thinks that this act of national comity does not properly draw after it an obligation to make any compensation to the persons to whom the clemency of the Government was thus promptly and without inquiry extended.

I avail myself of this opportunity to offer to your lordship a renewed assurance of my high consideration.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT WARREN, December 2, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: On the 21st of August last I was taken prisoner by the U. S. sloop of war Vandalia outside the port of Charleston, S. C., on board the schooner Henry Middleton, of which I was master, and have been detained in custody since that time under your orders as I am informed, and upon the charge of having run the blockade. There are also confined with me here William St. George, J. F. Newton, S. F. Newton and Robert Grissons, of the schooner Albion, captured on August 16 off Charleston by the U. S. gun-boat Seminole; E. Sibern, J. A. Douglass, E. Baum and E. O’Neil, of the schooner May Wood, captured off Hatteras Inlet September 9 by the Pawnee, and E. Myatt, of the schooner Colonel Long, taken by the Jamestown off the coast of Florida. We have lately seen in the newspapers an announcement of the arrival in Charleston, S. C., of sundry prisoners, being the officers and crews of vessels captured by Confederate privateers. Should any exchange of the prisoners in question be contemplated or proposed I desire to suggest on my own behalf and am requested by the persons before mentioned to suggest on theirs that our position would appear to make us suitable parties for, that purpose. My own crew have all been discharged heretofore by your orders. Permit me respectfully to commend our case to your attention in the view proposed.

I remain, your obedient servant,

CHARLES BARKLEY.

{p.552}

–––

OFFICE OF U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, New York, January 10, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: On January 8 instant when the prize cause of the schooner Henry Middleton and cargo was reached in its order on the day calendar of the U. S. district court, Mr. Donohue, counsel for Charles Barkley, claimant, stated to the court that his client was confined at Fort Warren and that he had been unable to communicate with him. The district judge gave Mr. Donohue the inclosed certificate and ordered the cause to be adjourned to the 22d of January instant to await any action the Government might feel disposed to take in the premises. Mr. Barkley was I believe master of the vessel at the time of her capture but has never been examined before the prize commissioners. If not inconsistent with the views of the Department it would facilitate the cause and strengthen the probabilities of condemning the vessel and cargo should the master be regularly examined. I desire only to lay the facts before the Department, leaving the matter of course entirely to its decision.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, U. S. District Attorney.

[Inclosure.]

U. S. district court. The United States v. The Schooner Henry Middleton, her tackle, &c.

This cause being called in its order on the calendar, the U. S. district attorney being present and ready to try, the claimant’s counsel stating that the claimant Charles Barkley is confined in Fort Warren, Boston, and his counsel is prevented from communicating with his client except in presence and hearing of a Government officer, it is hereby certified that it is usual and proper that the counsel have the privilege of communicating privately with his client without being in the hearing of a stranger.

Dated January 8, 1862.

LAWR. R. BETTS, U. S. Judge.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 14, 1862.

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, Esq., U. S. District Attorney, New York.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 10th instant and its inclosures relative to the case of the prize vessel the Henry Middleton. In reply I inclose herewith an order addressed to Col. Justin Dimick directing him to deliver the prisoner Charles Barkley into the custody of Robert Murray, esq., the U. S. marshal, and an order for that officer to proceed to Fort Warren, receive the prisoner and convey him to New York to be examined. I will thank you to deliver these two inclosures to the U. S. marshal.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

{p.553}

[Inclosure No. 1.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 14, 1862.

ROBERT MURRAY, Esq., U. S. Marshal, New York.

SIR: It has been represented to this Department that the testimony of Charles Barkley, a prisoner confined in Fort Warren, is important in the prize cause of the schooner Henry Middleton and cargo. You will therefore proceed to Fort Warren, take the prisoner into your custody and convey him to New York. After he shall have been examined you will commit him to Fort Lafayette and report to this Department. I inclose the necessary order addressed to Col. Justin Dimick.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 14, 1862.

Col. JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren, Boston.

SIR: You will please deliver Charles Barkley, a prisoner confined in Fort Warren, into the custody of Robert Murray, esq., U. S. marshal for the southern district of New York.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

U. S. MARSHAL’S OFFICE, New York, January 21, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: In compliance with the order contained in your dispatch of the 14th instant I have transferred Charles Barkley, captain of the H. Middleton, from Fort Warren, Boston, to this city, and after undergoing an examination before the prize commissioners I shall in pursuance of the same order confine him in Fort Lafayette.

I am, sir, your most obedient servant,

ROBT. MURRAY, U. S. Marshal.

P. S.-The prisoner was originally committed in the name of Charles Bartlett.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, March 13, 1862.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR.

SIR: After leaving Charleston, S. C., on board schooner Henry Middleton bound to Liverpool, of which vessel I was master, I was captured by the U. S. sloop of war Vandalia on the 21st day of August, 1861. On the 22d of the same month I was transferred to U. S. steam frigate Roanoke, off Charleston. On the 6th of September I was again transferred to steamer Quaker City, then lying in Hampton Roads; there put in irons and brought to Fort Lafayette where I was placed in company with privateersmen in a small room much crowded, and in leg chains or irons. About the 10th of September I was released from the irons and on the 14th of September I was removed to Fort Wood at Bedloe’s Island and placed in solitary confinement until the 30th day of September, when with other prisoners I was removed to Fort {p.554} Warren, at which place [was confined until the 19th or 20th of January, 1862, when I was removed to New York and confined in the House of Detention until the 5th of February, in which interval I was taken before the U. S. prize commissioners to give testimony in the case of my vessel, after which the prize commissioners said they had no further use for me in the case of my vessel and I presumed that I would be restored to my liberty, but when the privateersmen were removed from the Tombs to Fort Lafayette I was taken to the Tombs and transferred with them, which was on the 5th day of February, since which time I have been confined with them.

I consider my case one of peculiar hardship. I have not been tried for any offense but have been knocked about from prison to prison without notice or being informed of the reason, and I respectfully ask that you will have my case investigated or let me be informed of the character of my position. I have now been almost seven months a prisoner and have no idea whether I am considered a prisoner of war, or in what class of prisoners I am considered.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. BARKLEY.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, March 31, 1862.

COMMISSIONERS ON STATE PRISONERS.

GENTLEMEN: I beg leave respectfully to call your attention to the inclosed copies of letters* I addressed to Hon. W. H. Seward and Hon. Edwin M. Stanton on the dates of the same, and hope you will investigate my case at your earliest convenience.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. BARKLEY.

* Not found as inclosures, but see ante.

–––

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSION RELATING TO STATE PRISONERS, New York, April 28, 1862.

ROBERT MURRAY, Esq., U. S. Marshal, New York.

SIR: You will please bring before the Commission to-morrow (Tuesday, April 29) at 11 a.m. the following-named prisoners confined at Fort Lafayette, viz: ... Charles Barkley. ...

By order of the Commission:

E. D. WEBSTER, Secretary.

–––

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSION RELATING TO STATE PRISONERS, New York, April 29, 1862.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette.

COLONEL: Charles Barkley and John Courrier having given their written parole of honor not to render aid or comfort to enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States you will please discharge them. ...

Very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Commissioners.

{p.555}

–––

APRIL 29, 1862.

I, Charles Barkley, of Charleston, S. C., do hereby give my parole of honor that I will render no aid or comfort to the enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States.

CHAS. BARKLEY.

Signed in presence of-

E. D. WEBSTER, Secretary.

–––

Case of Jerome R. Barber.

August 21, 1861, Jerome R. Barber was arrested in Onondaga County, N. Y., and indicted for treason in the U. S. district court at Auburn, of which the Attorney-General was informed by telegraph from the district attorney of the northern district of New York the same day. He was taken to Fort Lafayette by order of the State Department and placed in custody there on the 24th of August. The evidence shows that Barber is a native of Onondaga County, N. Y., where he resided till two or three years before his arrest, when he went to Louisiana from whence he wrote a letter to his brother which was received and shown a short time before his arrest, in which he stated that he was a military engineer in the Confederate Army and was going North to build forts on the Mississippi; that Louisiana was the State of his adoption and he should fight for it as long as he had an arm to defend it. In the letter he mentioned his brother who had joined the Federal Army, and he said he had rather he were dead. Barber came to Onondaga County about three weeks before his arrest. After he came home he stated that he had a commission in the Confederate Army; that he built the fortifications in Vicksburg, Miss. After his return he was driving about the country with livery teams and excited suspicion that he was engaged in mischief. After his arrest he admitted to the officer who arrested him that he had been in the service of the Confederate States as an engineer and that he built the forts at Vicksburg. It appears from his own admissions that Jerome R. Barber is a traitor. Having been transferred to Fort Warren the said Barber remained in custody there February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

AUBURN, August 21, 1861.

Hon. EDWARD BATES, Attorney-General:

A man is arrested here who is employed in Mississippi as he says as military engineer and was about to return and had arranged to carry letters to the South. I caused his arrest and indictment. The evidence would hardly convict him of treason but he is an unsafe man to go to the enemy. His name is Jerome Barber. What shall I do-let him bail or hold him?

WM. A. DART, U. S. District Attorney.

{p.556}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 22, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: I will thank you to issue an order to Col. Martin Burke to receive as a prisoner at Fort Lafayette Jerome Barber, who has been arrested at Auburn, N. Y.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 22, 1861.

WILLIAM A. DART, Auburn, N. Y.:

Your telegram to Attorney-General received. Deliver Jerome Barber to the marshal or deputy, who will carry him to Fort Lafayette, in custody of Col. Martin Burke, who is instructed to receive him.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, August 22, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Commanding Fort Hamilton:

General Scott says receive and confine as a prisoner in Fort Lafayette Jerome Barber, who has been arrested at Auburn, N. Y.

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

OFFICE OF DEPUTY U. S. MARSHAL, Syracuse, August 26, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD.

DEAR SIR: Your order to remove Jerome Barber to Fort Lafayette was handed me by W. A. Dart, U. S. attorney. I delivered him to the fort the 24th of August, 9 a.m. I understand a man of our city went to Washington and advised men belonging to our Onondaga regiment that Government had no right to hold them any longer, and I learn six of the men have left and come to this county with their muskets, &c. I shall take these men in custody and keep them for further orders and find out what was said to them by the man I mention. Inclosed please find names* of other men who are here and say they shall not return. Please hand it to the proper officers. If detectives are to be appointed by the Government I wish to take a hand in it as my arrangements are such through the county I can do much good. The man Barber I arrested in this county and shall soon have more of the [same] kind. The course taken with Barber has done much good in our vicinity.

Yours, obediently,

R. R. LOWELL, U. S. Deputy Marshal.

* Not found.

–––

SYRACUSE, August 27, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD.

DEAR SIR: I forgot to put this slip* in the other letter. ... Our city is in a better shape since Barber was transported to Fort Lafayette. I can clean this county of rebels.

Yours, obediently,

R. R. LOWELL, Deputy U. S. Marshal.

{p.557}

–––

U. S. MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Lockport, September 2, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: At the late term of the U. S. district court for this district held at Auburn one Jerome Barber was indicted for treason. The Attorney-General of the United States was advised by telegram of the case, in answer to which the district attorney for this district received your telegram as follows:

WASHINGTON, August 22, 1861.

WILLIAM A. DART:

Your telegram to Attorney-General received. Deliver Jerome Barber to the marshal or deputy, who will carry him to Fort Lafayette, in custody of Col. Martin Burke, who is instructed to receive him.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

Previous to receipt of this telegram the prisoner had been arrested upon capias issued out of said district court returnable at same term, brought into court, arraigned upon the indictment and plead thereto. The capias had been returned to clerk with marshal’s return indorsed thereon. Judge Pratt appeared in prisoner’s behalf and moved the court to admit prisoner to bail. Judge Hall postponed argument of the motion and further consideration of the subject to Thursday, the 29th instant. At this stage of the case your telegram was received and placed in the hands of two of my deputies, who immediately departed with the prisoner to Fort Lafayette, and he was delivered at the fort on the 24th instant as directed in said telegram and I have the receipt of the officer in command at the fort therefor. To prevent all attempt at rescue on the part of the friends of Barber at Syracuse he was by advice of the district attorney taken by way of Canandaigua, Elmira and New York and Erie Railroad to Fort Lafayette. It was feared that the telegram would not in such case be sufficient authority to hold him though we should have assumed that it was and have held him at any risk. As such cases may occur again I would like to receive the instructions and views of the Government, and if proper to have a formal written order follow the telegram.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

EDWARD J. CHASE, U. S. Marshal.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 5, 1861.

EDWARD J. CHASE, Esq., U. S. Marshal for the Northern Dist. of New York, Lockport.

SIR: Your letter of the 2d instant relative to the case of Jerome Barber has been received. Your course in regard to that person is entirely approved. It is conceived that under existing circumstances the public safety requires in similar cases a suspension of ordinary judicial proceedings. If therefore any arrests should hereafter be made by you or any of your deputies for such causes you will at once apprise this Department by telegram and directions will be given through the same medium to place the prisoners in the custody of the military authorities of the United States.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

{p.558}

–––

SYRACUSE, September 13, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

MY DEAR SIR: Allow me to call your attention to the matter of Jerome Barber, who was lately indicted for treason at Auburn and who is now at Fort Lafayette. Mr. Barber is a native of this county and until within about three years always lived here. For about three years Barber has lived in the South engaged as engineer in constructing levees on the Mississippi River. A short time since Barber came North on a visit and while here was arrested and taken before the U. S. commissioner. A day or two afterward he was indicted at Auburn and taken there. I appeared as his counsel. We offered to give bail, and the matter of bail was postponed till the next Thursday after the court adjourned. The hearing was to be had before Judge Hall at his office in Buffalo. Barber was immediately taken to Fort Lafayette. I am convinced that he is wrongly imprisoned and that there is nothing of the matter. He made an affidavit in open court that he was not guilty of the matters alleged in the indictment, and now what he very much desires is his trial. The court at which he may be tried sits next month at Albany. Will you please inform me if the Administration intend to give such men the benefit of a trial and if Barber will be allowed his trial or not?

Perhaps you will be easily assured that I would not attempt to shield any man from his just deserts especially in times like these when I remind you that I was a long time a partner of H. C. Goodwin, of Madison County, with whom I believe you were personally acquainted. And if I were not constrained to believe in the entire innocence of Barber I would not attempt to effect his release. I take the liberty to address you as I learn that Barber was taken to the fort by your order. I hope to hear from you soon.

Most truly, yours,

D. J. MITCHELL.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 23, 1861.

WILLIAM A. DART, Esq., U. S. District Attorney for the Northern Dist. of New York.

SIR: Will you please send to this Department a statement of the proofs in the case of Jerome Barber?

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, Potsdam, September 27, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Your letter of 23d instant requesting a statement of the proofs in the case of Jerome Barber is received. The proofs before the grand jury were as follows: Mrs. Cornelia D. Castle, of Onondaga Hill, Onondaga County, testified that she knew Jerome Barber and had for several years previous to his going to Louisiana, where he went from Onondaga about two years ago. He was a surveyor and a man of some education. Knew his brother Charles Barber, who resides at Onondaga. Charles showed me a letter from Jerome a short time ago. It was dated at New Orleans. It stated that the writer had a friend who was going {p.559} to Louisville and who would mail it there. The letter stated that he (Jerome) was a military engineer in the Confederate Army and was going North to build forts on the Mississippi; that Louisiana was the State of his (the writer’s) adoption and he should fight for it as long as he had an arm to defend it. In the letter he mentioned his brother who had joined the Federal Army, and he said he had rather he were dead. There was a slip of paper in the letter that appeared to have been cut from a daily newspaper that stated that Jerome had been appointed an engineer on the levee works. The letter was inclosed in an envelope and bore the postmark of Owego, in this State. Witness further stated:

Jerome Barber came to Onondaga about three weeks ago (the examination was taken August 20, 1861). He has had a livery team from Syracuse and has been driving a bout the country a great deal. After he came home he stated that he had a commission in the Confederate Army and that he built the fortifications in Vicksburg, Miss. I tried to get the letter after I saw it but found it had been destroyed or secreted.

R. R. Lowell, deputy U. S. marshal, Syracuse, N. Y., was examined and testified that about two weeks before a justice of the peace residing at Onondaga Hill gave him notice that a man who had been an officer in the Confederate service was running about the country with livery teams as he thought for mischief. He referred me to Mrs. Castle, who made the complaint before U. S. Commissioner William C. Ruger, of Syracuse, N. Y. I arrested Barber and made search for the letter but could not find it. Barber was at William Earl’s, in Marcellus, about eighteen miles from Syracuse, when I found him. He admitted to me that he had been in the service of the Confederate States as an engineer and that he built the forts at Vicksburg. He stated that there was $18,000 due him on levee bonds, and that he must return to Louisiana soon or suffer great loss.

The witnesses are all credible and left no doubt upon the mind of the district attorney as to the truth of their statements, and that Barber was a rebel officer and intended soon to return South to join the rebel forces. The grand jury found a bill against him for treason but there is no evidence upon which to try him for that offense. He has powerful friends who seemed anxious for his release and who have undoubtedly exerted themselves in his behalf, but from all the information that has come to the knowledge of the district attorney he thinks he ought not to be at large.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. O. TAPPAN, Assistant District Attorney.

–––

ELBRIDGE, ONONDAGA COUNTY, N. Y., October 10, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

DEAR SIR: The undersigned takes the liberty of writing to you in behalf of his friend Mr. Jerome Barber, who is now a state prisoner in Fort Lafayette. If this epistle should do him no good I pray you let it do him no harm. Mr. Barber was a private pupil of mine in the spring and summer of 1856; lived in my family. I taught him the higher mathematical sciences and qualified him to be a navigator, teacher or engineer. I am a very radical Republican; have always acted against the radical Democrats, and at that time (1856) Mr. Barber, then twenty-six years of age, held similar sentiments-at least so far as I now remember. That was the year of those outrages in Kansas {p.560} and the worse than outrage against Senator Sumner, and we were much excited about these things. Mr. Barber said one day that he would take his rifle and march to Kansas and help to drive out and exterminate the slave-holders there were it not that an election was soon to be held which he thought would change the course of things. You can see by this that he has no natural sympathy for slavery or slaveholders. Soon after this Mr. Barber went to some place near New Orleans where a relative of his had some iron works, he acting for a while as clerk. He did not like this employment very much and he sought a place of assistant engineer in keeping up the embankments against the river at Lake Providence in Louisiana. The chief engineer being a Southerner and not well versed in science soon discovered that Mr. Barber was more at home in the business than himself, and he being wealthy and not liking the responsibility Mr. Barber was offered the place with a salary of $3,000. This is his story, but there is little reason to doubt it for I received letters from him postmarked Lake Providence with Mr. Barber’s name and title of State engineer printed on the envelope. Now we must consider that Mr. Barber was a young man. The people about his early home had done nothing for him. His new friends at the South had done everything for him and we should not wonder if it turned his head. War came; his business was interrupted, his loyalty for the South probably suspected because he was from New York and his salary cut off. He returned to his early home disappointed and probably embittered and in his debates with the rustic inhabitants of his native hills no doubt he used strong language, and I am convinced that this is the first of his offending.

The report has been that he was engineer at Memphis but I think this is not true. It was also said that he was commissioned to purchase provisions and supplies for the Southern army. I do not know how this is but I do not believe it. He has too much common sense to boast of such things among his country associates if it were really true. He is one who is sometimes fond of boasting and like all boasters his truths become very elastic. It is the opinion of those who know him best that he is not worthy of the distinction that the Government has given him and that were he set at liberty he would have no power to do the country harm and I doubt whether he would have the disposition to do so. I write this letter without his knowledge, leave or approbation. It is true I received a letter from him a few days since on a scientific subject and his only complaint in it is that he is accused of crimes without being granted a trial, and at first view this does look hard and is in direct opposition to American professions, but a nation in war must take care of itself in spite of constitutions and of technicalities in law.

Yours, in behalf of justice,

H. N. ROBINSON.

P. S.-The Republicans here are indignant against President Lincoln for his modification of General Frémont’s proclamation. We are all for General Frémont, right or wrong.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 21, 1862.

Col. JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren, Boston Harbor.

COLONEL: You may release on the 22d of February instant the following prisoners confined in Fort Warren upon their engaging upon {p.561} honor that they will render no aid or comfort to the enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States: J. R. Barber. ...

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

–––

FORT WARREN, Boston Harbor, March 17, 1862.

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.

SIR: In reply to yours of the 15th I have the honor to report that the following-named persons have taken their parole and left agreeably to your order of the 21st ultimo: J. R. Barber. ...

I am, sir, with highest respect, your obedient servant,

J. DIMICK, Colonel First Artillery, Commanding Post.

–––

Cases of Mrs. Greenhow and Messrs. Walker and Van Camp.

Mrs. Greenhow* was arrested on the 23d day of August, 1861, in the city of Washington by order of the War Department and was placed under military guard at her own house. She was afterward transferred to the Old Capitol Prison. She was charged with being a spy in the interest of the rebels and furnishing the insurgent generals with important information relative to the movements of the Union forces. At the time of her arrest a number of cipher letters and a large quantity of correspondence containing military information evidently intended for the insurgents were found torn into fragments in the stove where they had probably been cast by her. Some of these fragments were assorted and placed together so as to be read and copied. Mrs. Greenhow while imprisoned did not hesitate to express her sympathy for the success of the rebellion. The said Rose O’N. Greenhow remained in custody in the Old Capitol Prison February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day she was transferred to the charge of that Department.

William J. Walker was arrested by the provost guard in Washington, August 23. 1861, and was committed to Thirteenth Street Prison; from thence transferred to the Old Capitol Prison by order of General Porter. He was charged with being engaged in contraband and treasonable correspondence with the rebels. At the time of his arrest he was entering Mrs. Greenhow’s house at a vary late hour of the evening of the day on which she was placed under surveillance. An order was issued from the Department of State dated November 19, 1861, directing General Porter to release Walker on his taking the oath of allegiance stipulating that he will neither leave the city of Washington nor enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the United States Government, nor hold any correspondence with persons residing in those States without permission from the Secretary of State and that he will do no act hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. Walker refused to take the above-prescribed oath

* In connection with those cases see cases of Thompson and McArthur, Mrs. Baxley and Mrs. Morris, post. {p.562} and stipulation on the 19th of November. Subsequently he signified his willingness to take the oath in the form it had been tendered to him, and he did take it and was released November 26, 1861.

A. Van Camp was arrested in Washington about the 21st of December, 1861, by order of the Secretary of State and committed to the Old Capitol Prison. The charges against Van Camp were that he was a spy and aided in the escape of Dr. J. C. Herndon, late of time U. S. Army, who deserted and carried to the rebels important information, and also that Van Camp not only consented but sanctioned the enlistment of his son in the rebel army. It appears from the report made to the provost-marshal by Major Allen, his agent, that Van Camp’s son was wounded at the battle of Bull Run and that in violation of the President’s proclamation Van Camp clandestinely passed the lines of the Federal Army and visited the leaders of the rebellion, and was allowed to pass amongst them without let or hindrance, enjoying their entire confidence. The said A. Van Camp remained in custody at the Old Capitol Prison February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

WASHINGTON. September 14, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

MY DEAR SIR: I think there must be some misapprehension in the case of Mr. William J. Walker, now imprisoned in this city on the supposed charge of treasonable correspondence with the enemy. Nothing so much surprised me on my arrival in this city a few days ago as the news of his arrest, for I have known Mr. Walker intimately for years past and have seen no occasion to entertain other than the highest esteem for him politically and personally. Up to a very recent period-the time of my departure from here to North Carolina-Mr. Walker had uniformly expressed himself to me as became a loyal and patriotic man. Did I believe him otherwise I would be the last to intervene in his behalf. But I have confidence that an investigation of his case will disclose his entire innocence of what is probably only a malignant and false charge.

I ask you, dear sir, respectfully but earnestly under the peculiarly trying circumstances of Mr. Walker’s case to use your efforts toward a speedy examination of the charge against him. He has an aged mother and a family mainly dependent on him for their support. The humiliation of imprisonment on a suspicion so discreditable and infamous as treason I know deeply affects the members of his household, and in justice to them suffering as they are with him Mr. Walker should receive a prompt and impartial trial. I desire this letter to be filed with any papers the provost-marshal may have in the case to be used in behalf of Mr. Walker.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHARLES HENRY FOSTER.

–––

49 WALL STREET, NEW YORK CITY, October 12, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I understand that Mr. William J. Walker, of the city of Washington, D. C., was arrested some weeks since and now is confined in said city under suspicion of disloyalty to the Government. Permit me to say that in the summer and fall of 1853 I occupied a house on the {p.563} east side of Twelfth street, just above F street, said city, and in consequence became acquainted with Mrs. Oceana Walker who occupied (and still occupies) the house immediately adjoining on the north. I ere long discovered that Mrs. Walker was in very reduced circumstances and had a considerable family of children on her hands without means of support. Both Mrs. Smith and myself were led to take a deep interest in her case and ultimately went to Postmaster-General Campbell (under President Pierce’s Administration) and made a strong appeal to him in favor of her son, William J., and thus got him appointed a messenger in the General Post-Office at a salary of $600 or $700 per year, which office he held for a considerable period but ultimately resigned it in favor of his brother who holds it to this day. ... William on throwing up the situation came to this [place] and became the agent of some Southern railroad or roads in promoting their interest by securing to them patronage, and was doing very well when the pending atrocious rebellion broke out which of course destroyed his business. He then returned to the city of Washington out of employment and I interested myself in his behalf and tried to get him a situation under the Government, when to my great surprise I learned he had been arrested for the cause already indicated.

I consider him a young gent of unspotted honor and rectitude, of very superior attainments and abilities, and I cannot believe he has committed crime or contemplated its perpetration, but if I thought there had been some indiscretion in his conduct I would ask you to overlook it in consideration of the filial piety which he has displayed for his aged mother.

With sentiments of high respect, I have the honor to subscribe myself your fellow-citizen,

TRUMAN SMITH.

–––

POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT, October 22, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: William J. Walker, now in confinement as a prisoner of state, was for several years a messenger in this Department, well known to me. I certainly have never had any reason to doubt Walker’s loyalty but have supposed him a well-meaning, harmless man. He was ambitious to rise above-his position as messenger and applied himself diligently to educate himself for higher duties. I think he became correspondent of one or two newspapers and they may have been Southern papers, but this must have been before the great rebellion burst forth and could not I suppose have compromised him. I was surprised to hear of Walker’s arrest and confinement upon charges of disloyalty, but as I have no knowledge of the circumstances under which they were made I can only say that my knowledge of him through several years would lead me to doubt his being seriously implicated in any treasonable act or project.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

T. P. TROTT, Chief Clerk.

[Indorsement.]

I concur in the statements of Mr. Trott.

A. N. ZEVELY, Third Assistant Postmaster-General. B. L. CHILDS, Private Clerk.

{p.564}

–––

WASHINGTON, October 23, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Having ascertained that William J. Walker, of Washington, has been arrested on suspicion of disloyalty to the Government of the United States and now confined in this city, permit me to say I have known this gentleman for several years and still know him to be a gentleman of high sense of honor and great moral and intellectual attainments. Allow me further to add that up to the time of his arrest I have heard him frequently express himself as a strong Union man and opposed to this most atrocious rebellion against the Government of the United States. I know that he is not guilty of committing any disloyal act against the Government and I think a due examination of his case will prove the correctness of what I say. I hope you will give his case your earliest consideration and find it perfectly consistent with your official duties to release him.

I have the honor to be, yours, most respectfully,

MARION E. ROSS.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 28, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington.

GENERAL: Herewith I return to you some statements* in reference to one Walker, a prisoner in your custody. Will you please examine his case and return to this Department these papers with your report thereon?

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* No inclosures found, but see preceding correspondence.

–––

Papers found in the Confederate archives relating to Mrs. Greenhow and Van Camp.

[No. 1.]

CENTERVILLE, October 29, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN.

MY DEAR SIR: Your note of the 27th instant has been received with its inclosure. The note in cipher was addressed to me-that is, to Thomas John Rayford, a name I adopted before leaving Washington for purposes of cipher correspondence with Mrs. Greenhow by whom the note probably was written. As you will perceive from the translation inclosed the subject-matter is unimportant. I say Mrs. G. probably wrote the note, but it is quite possible she did not and that it is a shallow device of the enemy to entice [us] into a correspondence which shall fall into their hands. This is the best light to view it as a correspondence with her or further use of that cipher is useless. This cipher I arranged last April. Being my first attempt and hastily devised it may be deciphered by any expert, as I found after use of it for a time. I accordingly would have discarded it long since had Mrs. G. escaped detection, and had indeed arranged a cipher to send her just as she was arrested. The War Department at Washington came into possession of one of her letters in this cipher and by its aid ought to have worked out the key. That does not matter as of course I used it with but the {p.565} lady, and with her it has served our purpose including the one great service of saving General Bonham from a disastrous surprise on the 17th of July. I hear from another source that a reward is offered for the key. I am inclined to furnish it through a person in Washington and let the friend get the consideration, for I repeat the possession of the key can do them no possible good now nor can it prejudice any one. My suspicion has been excited by the way the value of the key is dwelt upon in this note and the desire to get at it on part of the enemy, for I cannot doubt that an expert could unravel it.

I know not who wrote the letter signed A. M. H. The place of attack he indicates is one that Doctor Van Camp has just come here to inform us has actually been determined on as the place of descent by the Annapolis armada. Callan, clerk of Senate Military Committee, is informant. It is doubted here, however, but the army has been put in order for such an exigency.

Last night I telegraphed information sent me that Cape Fear River, Smithville, &c., were the real points of attack. This came from one (Washington, 24th instant) with capacity and wit to make a most efficient emissary. Circumstances have placed her en rapport with me lately and I expect a good deal of timely, acute observation of a useful character from her, but as I cannot be altogether certain of her faith all will be received with caution and nothing communicated to her, as was my course I may also say with Mrs. G. The person in question communicates the name of an alien just from Portsmouth, Va., one E. B. Lukins, who is said to have given so much information deemed of value that he has already been commissioned. This man had drawings of batteries in the Peninsula. He, she says, has a brother-in-law by name of Ford now in the works at Sewell’s Point from whom he learned a signal in use by us when our vessels are to run the blockade of York River. If there is such a signal it has been communicated, be assured. Generals Johnston and Beauregard think the matter ought to be examined into.

You rightly say the events of the last six months seem all a dream. The most dreamlike thing in the world’s history is the presence here in Fairfax County in the month of October, 1861, twelve months from the time you were in San Francisco, of two hostile armies of formidable size such as now confront each other.

Be assured I shall be pleased to be of the least personal service to you in this quarter.

Yours, truly,

THOMAS JORDAN.

[No. 2.]

CENTERVILLE, January 18, 1862.

[The following] respectfully transmitted for the information of the War Department by instructions from General Beauregard.

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

DECEMBER 28, 1861.

DEAR GENERAL: I wrote you yesterday giving you some information additional to that contained in my dispatch the day before. I omitted to say yesterday that I inclosed a dispatch from our friend Mrs. Greenhow, which I hope reached you to-day. I also inclosed one from our friend in B. To-day I have it in my power to say that Kelley is to advance on Winchester. Stone and Banks are to cross and go to Leesburg. Burnside’s fleet is to engage the batteries on the Potomac and McClellan & Co. will move on Centerville and Manassas. This move will be made next {p.566} week. This information comes from one of McClellan’s aides and from Fox, of the Navy Department. As I remarked yesterday be prepared for them on every hand and at every moment. Mason and Slidell have been given up and the Hall clique are furious. Look out for a smash-up. I send you the papers containing Seward’s letter, &c.

Now, my dear general, look out for a large army, and tell your men (God bless them) to cut and slay until the last man is destroyed. Do not allow one to come back to tell the sad tale. No living man ever made such a desperate effort as McClellan will make. Nevertheless I believe he is a coward and is afraid to meet you. If some excuse is not hatched up you may certainly expect an attack next week. My God! general, give them the most awful whipping that any army ever received. McClellan’s army will certainly number 180,000 or 185,000 men-perhaps more. Let our next greeting be in Washington You shall have a warm reception. I write in some haste.

From Mrs. Greenhow.

DECEMBER 26.

In a day or two 1,200 cavalry supported by four batteries of artillery will cross the river above to get behind Manassas and cut off railroad and other communications with our army whilst an attack is made in front. For God’s sake heed this. It is positive. They are obliged to move or give up. They find me a hard bargain and I shall be I think released in a fey days without condition, but to go South. A confidential member of McClellan’s staff came to see me and tell me that my case should form an exception and I only want to gain time. All my plans are nearly completed.

–––

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, November -, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I have received at this office a communication from the State Department dated October 28, 1861, signed by F. W. Seward, Assistant Secretary of State, and addressed to yourself in the following words, to wit.*

In compliance with the above request and by your direction I have made a thorough examination of the case of William J. Walker and beg leave to submit for your consideration the following as my report thereon:

That the said Walker was arrested on the night of the 23d of August last under the following circumstances:

That on the morning of the same day by order of - I arrested Mrs. Rose O’Neal Greenhow at her own house, 398 Sixteenth street, Washington; that I stationed a guard which had been detailed for that purpose by myself inside the house in order to insure the safekeeping of Mrs. Greenhow and to aid in the arrest of any persons who might call there for the purpose of seeing the prisoner while being ignorant of her arrest or even of such a suspicion. No guard was placed outside the house for the reason that it was believed many persons who were communicating with Mrs. Greenhow might continue to call, and thus reveal their identity and lead to their detection; that during the day on which Mrs. Greenhow was arrested I employed several of my operatives in searching her house and in examining her correspondence, a very large amount of which-much of it highly treasonable in character-was found in different parts of her house, and no small part of which was torn up recently as it appeared, some of the latter being thrown into the stove but not burned as there was no fire therein; that I continued several of my operatives at the said house during the night of said 23d of August with orders to detain any and all persons who should call and report their detention at once {p.567} to me; that at about 10.30 o’clock on the night of said 23d of August the aforesaid W. J. Walker in company with another person named F. Rennehan came to the house of Mrs. Greenhow and were at once admitted by the man stationed in the hall for that purpose, where they were detained until my arrival at the house, when they were taken before the provost-marshal and there examined in presence of the Hon. Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War; that they there represented themselves to have been making a friendly call on Mrs. Greenhow when they were arrested; that they were asked what their business was with Mrs. Greenhow and that their answers were evasive, indefinite and contradictory; that after a full examination it was the advice of Mr. Secretary Scott that both Walker and Rennehan should be held and they were accordingly sent to prison by order of Brigadier-General Porter, provost-marshal.

I beg leave to say in further continuation of this report that in order to the better understanding of the case it seems to me proper to review as briefly as I can some of the many facts connected with the character, practices and arrest of the said Mrs. Greenhow, in connection with whom and with which the said Walker stands connected. It was a fact too notorious to need reciting here that for months before her arrest Mrs. Greenhow was actively and to a great extent openly engaged in giving aid and comfort, sympathy and information to the enemies of the Government; that although she was living in the capital of the United States and under its governmental protection her house was the rendezvous for the most violent enemies of the Government, not a few of whom were rebels in arms against its authority and who were using every means in their power to accomplish its overthrow; that the house of Mrs. Greenhow was a sort of focal center where treason found a resting place and where traitors were supplied with every needed care and where they were furnished with every possible information to be obtained by the untiring energies of this very remarkable woman; that for a great number of years Mrs. Greenhow has been the instrument of the very men who now lead in the rebel councils and some of those who command their armies; who have successfully used her as a willing instrument in plotting the overthrow of the United States Government and which she no less than they had desired to accomplish; that since the commencement of this rebellion this woman from her long residence at the capital, her superior education, her uncommon social powers, her very extensive acquaintance among and her active association with the leading politicians of this nation has possessed an almost superhuman power, all of which she has most wickedly used to destroy the Government.

With her as with other traitors she has been most unscrupulous in the use of means. Nothing has been too sacred for her appropriation so as by its use she might hope to accomplish her treasonable ends. She has made use of whoever and whatever she could as mediums to carry into effect her unholy purposes. She has used her almost irresistible seductive powers to win to her aid persons who were holding responsible places of honor and of profit under the Government so that she might through them obtain information only known to the employés and agents of the Government and thus aid the rebels to organize and for so long a time to maintain such a powerful resistance to its authority. She has not used her powers in vain among the officers of the Army, not a few of whom she has robbed of patriotic hearts and transformed them into sympathizers with the enemies of the country which {p.568} had made them all they were. She had her secret and insidious agents in all parts of this city and scattered over a large extent of country. She had a long list of names arranged with great care and in alphabetical order composed of persons upon whom she and the other enemies of the Government had calculated to rely and who were to be rewarded when they should have completed its overthrow. She had alphabets, numbers, ciphers and various other not mentioned ways of holding intercourse with traitors unknown to any but themselves; all of which means she was in active use of at the time of and subsequent to her arrest. In the circle of her influence were very many women of various ages as well as men, which women like herself bore to the friends of the Government the most defiant habit. They openly talked of and as openly wished that the rebel leaders and their armed legions might take possession of Washington and hurl from power by force of arms the legally chosen and duly constituted authorities of the people of the United States. These women paid their visits to the camps of the rebel generals, gave them the right hand of fellowship, extended an invitation to them to come and take our nation’s capital and promised them every aid they had power to render. They carried with them on such visits letters to those generals; letters which had been written by or collected at the house of Mrs. Greenhow; letters containing the most valuable information-all designed to aid the rebels in striking all the more effective blows. Statistical facts were thus obtained and forwarded that could have been found nowhere but in the national archives, thus leading me to the conclusion that such evidence must have been obtained from employés and agents in the various Departments of the Government.

I have further to report that for some days previous to the arrest of Mrs. Greenhow I had several of my operatives keeping watch over her house and also over the houses and persons of several who were well known to be in sympathy with Mrs. Greenhow and with other traitors and rebels against the Government. On the night previous to her arrest while I was keeping watch at and about the house of Mrs. Greenhow, being assisted by several of my operatives, an officer of the Army left her house at a late hour of the night and was followed by myself and one of my operatives, who when he discovered me commenced to run and was followed by myself and operative at a rapid gait, leading us to his quarters, where when we came up close behind him he called for the guard and ordered us both under arrest. The officer then went upstairs while I halted and looked at my watch. Said officer returned in twenty minutes with a revolver in his hand, saying that he went upstairs on purpose to get the revolver. The inquiry arises, was it for that purpose he staid thus or for the more probable one of hiding or destroying the evidence of his guilt obtained of Mrs. Greenhow or furnished to her; that I requested said officer to send word for me to Mr. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War, to General McClellan or to General Porter, all of which he refused to do, ordering us (myself and operative) into a most filthy and uncomfortable place under guard until morning, when we were discharged by Mr. Secretary Scott in person.

Such is the character and such were the associations of Mrs. Greenhow at the time of her arrest, since which time she has not ceased to lay plans, to attempt the bribery of officers having her in charge, to make use of signs from the windows of her house to her friends on the streets, to communicate with such friends and through them as she supposed send information to the rebels in ciphers requiring much time to decipher-all of which she supposed she was doing through an officer {p.569} who had her in charge and whom she supposed she had bribed to that purpose, but who faithful to his trust laid her communications before yourself.

At her house under the circumstances heretofore detailed, at an hour approaching to midnight, for no purpose which he was able to explain, in company with a man (Rennehan) who though confined since the 23d of August last in the same room with Walker and who has been residing in Washington for many years has as yet not even attempted to prove his loyalty, Walker had called as heretofore recited and was taken into custody. I need hardly recite his course and appearance at the examination at the office of the provost-marshal, and how that appearance and action impressed Mr. Secretary Scott as well as myself with the belief that Walker was not only not loyal but that his purpose at Mrs. Greenhow’s at that hour of night was beyond even a negative disloyalty. Since that time I have seen nothing to change my opinion.

In conclusion permit me to say that the statements referred to in the communication aforesaid from the State Department have been examined by me, and they are or many of them from distinguished men-men whose statements are entitled to weight.** But I submit that they are all general in their character and do not specifically show that Walker is a loyal man. It is a melancholy fact that hundreds of men who before this rebellion were above reproach, who were ornaments in society and high perhaps in public station, are now acting the traitor’s part and in this our hour of need are joining hands to strike down the best Government in and the hope of the world.

No one can regret the existence of such a state of facts more than myself, nor the reasons which impel me to conclude that under the circumstances it is safer and wiser to hold both these men until the Government has once more established itself on such a basis as that not only them but even Mrs. Greenhow herself may be permitted to go at large with no fear of consequences. It seems to me that this is a time when if ever the line of demarcation between loyalty and disloyalty should be so clearly marked as to admit of very little doubt. I sympathize with any and every person who is deprived of liberty, but it is far better that a few should suffer than that the lives of our best men and bravest soldiers should be sacrificed, or what is worse the country suffer betrayal by men who in all things else bear a good and valuable character.

If Rennehan is a loyal man why has he not undertaken the proof? My inference is he cannot. I believe that both he and Walker went to Mrs. Greenhow’s that night for the purpose of receiving and carrying information to the enemy, and that as a military necessity they ought not to be discharged.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Your obedient servant,

E. J. ALLEN.

* Omitted here; see Seward to Porter, p 564.

** It is probable that some of the letters in Walker’s favor are missing.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 19, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington.

SIR: Let William J. Walker, a prisoner confined in this city, be released on taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States stipulating that he will neither leave the city of Washington nor enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority

It is probable some of the letters filed in Walker’s favor are missing. {p.570} of the United States Government nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those States without permission from the Secretary of State; and also that he will not do anything hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. You will please make the stipulations a part of the oath.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., November 19, 1861.

Brig. Gen. A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that agreeable to an order from the Department of State dated this day and addressed to yourself, signed by F. W. Seward, Assistant Secretary of State, ordering the release of William J. Walker, a prisoner confined in the Old Capitol Prison, I detailed one of my operatives to go to said prison and present him with the oath which it was ordered he should take on the occasion of discharge as a condition precedent by the Assistant Secretary aforesaid, with instructions to my operative to release said Walker if he took the oath but if he refused to let him remain in custody and report the case to me; that my operative went to the prison aforesaid and read the oath prescribed to said Walker, who upon hearing the same told my operative that he would not take the oath, objecting particularly to that part of it which allowed no mental reservation.

My operative further reports that said Walker offered among other reasons why he would not subscribe to the form of oath prescribed that he had relatives or friends in time South and that his sympathies were with them; that said Walker further told my operative that he was willing to give his parole of honor not to leave the city of Washington, but he would not take the oath; that the form of oath presented to Mr. Walker by my operative and which he refused to subscribe to was as follows, to wit.*

In conclusion I beg to submit that the occasion requires of me the reiteration of the opinion given in my previous report upon this case of William J. Walker that he is an unsafe man to be at large at such a time as this, when if ever the best efforts of every man whether in public or private life are required to maintain and defend the Constitution and flag of the United States. This man Walker is willing to enter upon his parole of honor that he will remain in the city of Washington during this rebellion unless permitted to depart by the Secretary of State. Why a parole of honor and not the oath? Because one binds him without mental reservation and the other does not. I further submit that the city of Washington is the very last place for such a man with such antecedents and upon his parole of honor to be allowed at large with his sympathies leaning South and his mental reservations unchecked, when upon that ground alone he refuses to swear like an honest man that he will do no act hostile to the best interests of the best Government on the face of the earth.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Your obedient servant,

B. J. ALLEN.

* Omitted here. See oath at p. 571, as finally subscribed by Walker.

{p.571}

–––

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., December 4, 1861.

Brig. Gen. A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 19th of November last in accordance with an order from the Secretary of State addressed to yourself, and as I reported to you in full at the time, I tendered through one of my operatives to William J. Walker, a prisoner in the Old Capitol Building, the usual oath of allegiance with a view to his taking it and being discharged from custody. He declined to take such oath for reasons satisfactory to himself (which I reported to you in full at the time), and was left as he was found in prison. Subsequently it seems said Walker signified his willingness to take the oath in the form it had been tendered to him, and in accordance with your orders on the 26th of November the oath was again tendered to him, when he took it and was thereupon discharged from prison. I have the honor to hand you the oath inclosed herewith duly executed to be sent to the Secretary of State in accordance with orders coming from that Department.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. J. ALLEN.

[Inclosure.]

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, November 26, 1861.

I, William J. Walker, of Washington, D. C., do solemnly swear upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God without any mental reservation that I will at any and all times hereafter and under all circumstances yield a hearty and willing support to the Constitution of the United States and to the Government thereof; that I will neither take up arms minor aid those in arms against said Government; that I will not enter any of the States now in insurrection against the authority of said Government nor will I leave the city of Washington, D. C., without permission of the Secretary of State; nor will I hold any correspondence whatsoever with any person within said States now in insurrection during the rebellion excepting by permission from the Secretary of State; also that 1 will do no act hostile or injurious to the Union of the States, nor will I give aid, comfort or assistance to the enemies of the Government whether foreign or domestic, and that I will defend the flag of the United States and the armies fighting under it from insult and injury if it be in my power so to do, and that I will in all things deport myself as a good and loyal citizen of the United States.

WM. J. WALKER.

Witness:

W. B. HALL.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 26th day of November, 1861.

THOMAS C. DONN, Justice of the Peace for Washington County, D. C.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 12, 1861.

General ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

GENERAL: The provost-marshal will inform Mrs. Greenhow that her correspondence with the commanding general of the army besieging {p.572} the capital renders all interference in her behalf with the regulations established by the military authorities for the prisoner’s safety improper.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 31, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: I will thank you to examine the case of Aaron Van Camp, a prisoner in your custody, and report to this Department.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., January 9, 1862.

Brig. Gen. A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington City.

GENERAL: In accordance with the request of the Hon. W. H. Seward, Secretary of State, directed to you requesting you to report on the case of Dr. Aaron Van Camp, I have the honor to report that Van Camp was arrested and confined in the Old Capitol under the following circumstances, to wit:

On the arrest of Mrs. Rose O’Neal Greenhow August 26, 1861, a letter in cipher was found in her possession addressed to Thomas J. Rayford,* another noted rebel emissary in forwarding and carrying information to the rebel government, from which letter the following is extracted:

Your three last dispatches I never got. Those by Applegate were betrayed by him to the War Department; also the one sent by our other channel was destroyed by van Camp.

Acting on information thus secured I instructed my operatives to ascertain further particulars regarding the person named Van Camp and watch his proceedings. The result of their inquiries left no doubt as to the identity of the person thus under surveillance with the Van Camp mentioned in the letter above quoted from Mrs. Greenhow to Thomas J. Rayford or as to his intimacy and complicity with leading rebel emissaries in this city, particularly Michael Thompson, Mrs. Greenhow, Mrs. Phelps, William T. Smithson, alias Charles R. Cables, G. Donellan and others.

On November 26 two of my operatives left this city by stage for Leonardtown, Md. Near T. B. a person hailed the stage and traveled with them to the end of their journey. Having obtained the confidence of the stranger they ascertained him to be Dr. J. C. Herndon, U. S. Army, who had just deserted his post and was on his way to the rebels in Virginia with as he said important letters sewed up in his vest. My operatives also discovered that as he could not have left the city in a public conveyance without being suspected and probably arrested by the guards at the Eastern Branch bridge he was under the necessity of obtaining a private conveyance, which was furnished him {p.573} by Van Camp, who knew his object in requiring it to be to desert from the U. S. Army and carry dispatches to the rebel government at Richmond.

Having obtained from various independent sources reliable information of Van Camp’s acting as a spy for the rebels, forwarding information procured in frequent visits to our camps in Virginia and actively aiding all in his power to overthrow the Government of time United States, I directed his arrest to be effected, which was accordingly done. The next step was to take the depositions of persons who were acquainted with him. The substance of the concurrent testimony thus obtained is to the effect that his sentiments and sympathies are entirely with the rebel movement and opposed to this Government. In addition, however, to treasonable expressions of a general character there are particular expressions and acts requiring a special notice. George Stabler, who is intimately acquainted with Van Camp, testifies that the latter expressed satisfaction at his son joining the rebel army and sanctioned his going; that he had visited Manassas after the battle of Bull Run (in which his son was wounded), and that he always seemed to exult at any defeat of the Federal forces. My operative remarks in reference to the testimony of the above witness that it was given very unwillingly, and that the witness knows more about Van Camp than he is willing to tell. The cause of his unwillingness is presumed to be the intimacy and friendship existing between Van Camp and himself, which gives additional weight to the testimony thus elicited, especially when it is considered that the allegations are amply sustained by other testimony.

According to the deposition of Francis Reeside Van Camp told him that on his visit to Manassas he had obtained for his wounded son a position as orderly to General Beauregard. On Reeside’s remarking that he was trying to get a place under Government Van Camp replied that it would be of no use for the Southerners would take this town. Reeside understood from Van Camp’s manner that he had communications with the South. Van Camp furthermore stated to this witness that he had been in Missouri and they were fixing a plan there to kill the Dutch (Federals) and that in a month they would be all cleared out. Reeside heard him tell a man named Francis that he would be damned if he would fight against the South, and abused Francis for enlisting in the Federal Army.

Rev. William [D.] Haley, chaplain to the Seventeenth Massachusetts Regiment, states that he has heard Van Camp say that he was ready and willing to take up arms in defense of the South and secession. Mr. Haley is well acquainted with Van Camp and confirms many of the preceding statements.

Allen G. Fowler testifies that he has heard Van Camp say that he would rather take up arms on the Southern side than the Federal and that he approved of his son entering the rebel army.

In a letter written by Van Camp to his wife and which was found in his house speaking of his prospective return home from a journey to the West he uses the following expressions: says I shall have to take the oath; if it was not for our claim I know what I would do.” The evidence in this case therefore substantiates the following facts, to wit: that his sympathies and sentiments are decidedly with the rebels and against this Government; that with not only his consent but his approbation his son joined the rebel army. His son was wounded at the battle of Bull Run and has been since appointed an orderly on the Staff of General Beauregard by the influence of the said Aaron Van {p.574} Camp. That a close intimacy amounting to actual co-operation in their treasonable acts and designs has been proved to exist between him and a clique of rebel emissaries resulting in one case in his destroying important documentary evidence against them; that in violation of the proclamation of the President of the United States Van Camp did surreptitiously and in a clandestine manner cross the line established by the Federal Army; visited and held intercourse with the leaders of the rebellion; that he enjoyed their confidence and was allowed to pass amongst them without let or hindrance.

I would also, general, especially call your attention to that portion of this report wherein it is shown that Van Camp assisted and abetted the desertion of a U. S. officer with the view of enabling him to join the rebel army; that he did assist the conveyance by the same of valuable information and dispatches to the rebel government, and I would respectfully suggest that in this he has been guilty of a serious military offense for which he should be held to a full accountability as also for his treasonable practices and connection with the rebels.

It is therefore evident that no matter what engagements he may make to the contrary a man of his influence, ability and connections should not be allowed to go at large and thereby be enabled to assist in rebellion those persons whom it is the object of our Army to overcome. I therefore respectfully recommend that as a military necessity Aaron Van Camp be kept in close confinement until the close of the war.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. J. ALLEN.

* Rayford was in fact Col. Thomas Jordan, assistant adjutant-general to General Beauregard, of the Confederate Army, then occupying Centerville. See Jordan to Benjamin, p. 564.

–––

WASHINGTON, January 17, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: We the undersigned, friends of Dr. A. Van Camp, now confined as a prisoner at the Old Capitol under charge of disloyalty, would respectfully suggest on his behalf and by his consent ask the privilege of taking the oath of allegiance to the United States. Dr. A. Van Camp will file a bond to keep the peace toward the United States and all laws thereof, and will so soon as he can close up his business if required by your honor remove to the North or Northwest.

Very respectfully, &c.,

P. B. FOUKE. GEO. C. BESTOR.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 17, 1862.

Hon. P. B. FOUKE and GEORGE C. BESTOR, Esq., House of Representatives, Washington.

GENTLEMEN: Your letter of this date has been duly received. In reply I have to inform you that the case of Doctor Van Camp has been referred to the military authorities and they express a very decided opinion adverse to his release at the present time.

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

{p.575}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 20, 1862.

Brig. Gen. ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington, D. C.

SIR: You will please permit Mrs. Stephen A. Douglas to make a single visit in presence of a proper officer to Mrs. Greenhow, a prisoner confined at the Old Capitol Prison.

I am, &c.,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

WASHINGTON, March 7, 1862.

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

HONORED SIR: After several ineffectual attempts to see you in person I have the honor to address you by letter, the contents of which I trust will elicit your most favorable consideration. In time month of August last I was placed under arrest for alleged disloyalty to the Government of the United States. After a confinement of three months I was released by the honorable Secretary of State upon taking the oath of allegiance and giving my parole not to give aid nor comfort to the enemy nor to leave the city unless by permission of the Secretary of State. Upon making application to the Secretary a few days since with a view to be relieved from that portion of the parole which prevents my leaving the city I was referred to you as being the proper person to make application to inasmuch as you now have control of all such matters. In accordance with the suggestion I most respectfully beg to present my case to your attention. Under your recent proclamation I am inclined to think that I come within its true scope and meaning. If it should be consistent with your sense of duty to release me from that portion of my parole, viz, that portion which prescribes me to the city limits I will remain under perpetual obligations.

I have the honor to remain, your most obedient servant,

WILLIAM J. WALKER.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, March 7, 1862.

WILLIAM J. WALKER, Esq., Washington.

SIR: I am directed by the Secretary of War to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant and to say in reply that it is deemed inexpedient at the present time to modify the terms of your parole.

Very respectfully, yours,

E. D. WEBSTER.

–––

OLD CAPITOL PRISON, [Washington,] March 15, [1862].

[Mrs. MOORE, San Francisco, Cal.]

MY DARLING: All my letters must reach you through our underground as these despicable scoundrels, the detectives, now examine all letters and exercise their discretion about sending them. My last letters were returned to me; also a note to Adie Douglas telling her your order of Stanton’s. My God! you cannot conceive the outrageous practices here. These Black Republican dogs have made a howl in Congress about the negroes that were confined in the jail, and they confined me {p.576} and other ladies in a filthy room the walls of which these few warm days are covered with vermin and have lodged negroes in the same quarters above, below and around. In fact we are confined in a negro quarter of the building. We cannot open our windows without the stench from over 100 negroes, and if you have ever been in the neighborhood of a negro meeting-house in summer you can fancy what odors reach us when our door opens. I will have my revenge and bear these outrages better on that account. I have no feeling but hate toward this detested, demoralized nation and I thank God that it is in its last throes.

McClellan has got his congé, having served the purpose of killing off Scott. Stanton has been brought forward to get rid of McClellan and he will be put aside in his turn. These men let their vanity blind them as to their real position and content themselves with the applause manufactured in advance to suit the rôle they are intended to play and lose sight of what a light observation should point out to them-the necessity of making a party for themselves.

Stanton is now fooled to the top of his bent. He writes magnificent orders for Lincoln and lords it in the most approved fashion. He does not see what others see-that his own fall is not distant. The abolition policy is now fully avowed. Frémont has been again galvanized into prominence. If he was a man of talent and nerve he would be the first American dictator. As it is he will be the cat’s-paw to draw the chestnuts out of the fire for somebody else to eat. I am pressed for time, darling.

The naval engagement has been a glorious victory to the Confederates, unprecedented in daring in any age. The retreat from Manassas is also a most masterly success and I don’t wonder at the howl of indignation of the whole North at being so outwitted. I shall try to give you a full account of things here. I do not care to speak of Mrs. Cutts. I shall publish an account of my experiences. When I tell you this I am now seven months a prisoner but in that time she and Adie have been three times to see me; that only once during that whole period have they ever sent me the smallest thing and this was on Christmas as an ostentatious display. But I am content. I shall send you some colored clothing for yourself and Leila. As for myself I shall never lay aside my mourning. God bless you, darling. My love to dear Leila and Minnie.

Your devoted mother,

R. [O’N.] GREENHOW.

–––

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSION RELATING TO STATE PRISONERS, Washington, March 31, 1862.

JOHN W. FORNEY, Esq., Secretary of the Senate.

SIR: From a note of yours which is on file among the papers in the case of Mrs. R. O’N. Greenhow it appears that you have some of the papers taken from her house at the time she was arrested. If so you will please transmit them to this Commission who are now considering her case.

Very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Commissioners.

{p.577}

–––

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSION RELATING TO STATE PRISONERS, Washington, April 1, 1862.

Brig. Gen. JAMES S. WADSWORTH, &c., Washington.

GENERAL: If they consent* you will please convey Mrs. Rose O’N. Greenhow, ... prisoners at present held in the Old Capitol Military Prison in this city, beyond the lines of the U. S. forces into the State of Virginia and release them upon their giving their written parole of honor that they will not return north of the Potomac River during the present hostilities without permission of the Secretary of War.

Very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. DIX, EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Commissioners.

* Mrs. C. V. Baxley and Mrs. Augusta Heath Morris were the other parties included in this order. For their cases see post.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Port Monroe, Va., June 2, 1862.

We the undersigned, late prisoners in the Old Capitol at Washington, do pledge our word of honor that in consideration of our being set at liberty beyond the lines of the U. S. Army we will not return north of the Potomac River during the present hostilities without the permission of the Secretary of War of the United States.

ROSE O’N. GREENHOW.

NOTE.-Mrs. C. V. Baxley and Mrs. Augusta Morris also signed this parole and were sent South with Mrs. Greenhow.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA, Port Monroe, Va., June 3, 1862.

Mr. FULTON, Baltimore, Md.

SIR: I am requested by General Dix to say to you that he has seen in the New York Times and Herald a notice of his departure from Baltimore, which he supposes was furnished by the agent of the Associated Press, in the latter part of which a gross misstatement is made. The portion alluded to is in relation to the female prisoners, Mrs. Greenhow, Mrs. Morris and Mrs. Baxley. The women were in charge of an officer of the First U. S. Volunteer Cavalry, accompanied by a guard of six men. The general gave him orders to keep them in close confinement with a guard over them with instructions to allow no communication with any one whatever, which order he has every reason to believe was strictly carried out. Besides the guard they were accompanied by the warden of the Old Capitol Prison. The statement that they were permitted to hold a regular “levee” must therefore seen to be a pure misapprehension.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILSON BARSTOW, Aide-de-Camp

{p.578}

Case of Daniel C. Lowber.

Daniel C. Lowber, of New Orleans, was arrested at Crestline, Ohio, on the 23d of August, 1861, by an officer of the New York police, charged with being a bearer of dispatches between the rebel government and Europe. He had sailed from New York for Europe early in July and various charges were made to the State Department and to the police of New York that he took out dispatches from the rebel government and would bring back answers or other dispatches on the steamer Edinburgh near the middle of August. On the arrival of that vessel it was learned that he had disembarked at Halifax and was making his way through Canada. Hence his pursuit and capture at Crestline as aforesaid. During his absence he wrote: “I have succeeded in getting a big thing for the Confederate States of America from some moneyed men in England.” He arrived at Fishkill, N. Y., at a house of a relative on or about 20th of August, 1861, and on the 21st went to New York, as he said, “to dispose of his papers, sending them South if possible through Adams Express, if not by private messenger, John Jackson.” Of all these proceedings the New York police had notice and their vigilance prevented the transmission of papers by either means of conveyance contemplated. Returning to the house of his relative he asked for some letters which he had left lying carelessly about on the library table. One was mislaid and in the fright which seized him he said it was the dispatch brought from England for Davis. He had been unsuccessful in France. He afterward became alarmed and left Fishkill under cover of darkness to take the Harlem Railroad at Dover Plains for New York; but returning under some pretext, before we knew what he was about he had burned the dispatch, trusting to his memory to convey the contents safely to Richmond. He had made proposals to France and England. The commissioners in England had assured him that before Christmas the blockade would be run. With this assurance he went to several large houses in England and made proposals for a loan on sugar and cotton, chiefly upon cotton, and received from some of them proposals in return. Others were to follow him by mail. He made his way by the Harlem Railroad to New York and thence by way of Philadelphia westward till he was arrested at Crestline as before stated. The occurrences at Fishkill and the burning of the dispatch or package explain why no such documents were found in his possession as it was alleged he bore. Among the papers found in Lowber’s possession was a letter from the rebel commissioner P. A. Host, dated Paris, August 4, 1861, addressed to Hon. Pierre Soulé, New Orleans, on private business but containing the following words which may imply that Lowber took dispatches relating to Rost’s public mission: “I have no important news to give you but to report progress.” There was also a letter signed W. W. Mertens, dated Liverpool, August 6, 1861, addressed to the mother of the writer at Petersburg, Va., saying:

I send this by Mr. Lowber, of New Orleans, who tells me he intended going to Richmond to see President Davis. ... I have wanted to send you some money but I do not know how I could do so safely. I would send it in this letter if I were certain that Mr. Lowber would go to Virginia, but his route may be altered if President Davis should not be in Richmond.

Mr. Kennedy, the superintendent of police in New York, in writing the result of the pursuit of Lowber and of the examination of his papers, August 26, 1861, says:

The great pains he took to avoid arrest is the strongest feature against him as it stands, unless some of the letters which I this day forward to you by Adams Express may contain matter of treasonable character.

{p.579}

But the superintendent of police did not then know of the disclosures made by Lowber at Fishkill and of the burning of the package there, which had been communicated directly to the Department of State. Lowber on being brought to New York was confined in Fort Lafayette by direction of the Secretary of state and was afterward transferred to Fort Warren where he was detained till January 10, 1862, when he was released on his parole to leave the United States within fifteen days and go directly to the Kingdom of Great Britain and remain in that Kingdom until the cessation of the present hostilities and not to hold or be engaged in any correspondence nor do any act hostile or injurious to the Government.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

160 PEARL STREET, NEW YORK, August 20, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: From sources entitled to the utmost confidence I learn there is now on the way from Europe a bearer of dispatches to the Confederate States of America. His real name is D. C. Lowber and is a brother of Captain Lowber, of the U. S. revenue service. He left this country under an assumed name and may possibly return under the same appellation. I will endeavor to ascertain what it is and communicate it to the U. S. marshal of this district. I understand his arrival is expected every moment and would be happy if the Government could get possession of his dispatches, and have in writing this morning communicated the affair to the U. S. marshal.

It may appear impertinent for me to offer a suggestion but I avail myself of this occasion to recommend putting martial law in force in New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia as the only means of suppressing the treasonable papers, spies, &c., which are actively at work. It is well known here that Adams Express daily conveys information in every shape to all quarters of the Southern Confederacy and we apprehend the Government is yet hardly aware of the necessity of the most energetic measures against an enemy that stops at nothing and would glory in the destruction of the North.

Very truly, yours,

GEO. H. BALL.

–––

NEW YORK, August 21, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Washington.

DEAR SIR: I have most positive assurances that a rebel ambassador, a bearer of dispatches from Jeff. Davis’ Government to Europe, is now on his return home. His real name is D. C. Lowber but he did not sail under that name when he went out and probably has some other name on his return voyage. There is no doubt whatever that he is now on his way home for I have the intelligence through some of his most intimate friends who condemn his course but will not name it to the Government. Would it not be well to instruct Marshal Murray about this? Permit me also to say that Adams Express is yet daily carrying South from Northern traitors letters containing revelations of all that is doing here, and on application only a day or two since at their office they replied they would take whatever of documents might be desired, not claiming of course to know contents. In this way it is not difficult {p.580} to post Jeff. Davis and his rebels with any news of matters occurring here. The carrying of mails and papers by this express surely can do no good, but I only name the circumstances existing for your consideration.

Respectfully,

N. A. ADAMS.

–––

NEW YORK, August 22, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD:

Daniel C. Lowber, of New Orleans, went to Europe six weeks ago under suspicious circumstances. In returning instead of coming on the steamer he landed at Halifax and came across country to Newburg. Last night he took the 5 o’clock train at Poughkeepsie for the West. He is undoubtedly bearer of important papers from the Confederates and every effort should be made to secure his arrest. We have one of his trunks addressed to him at Indianapolis. Would it not be well to put the officers of all sorts on the border on their guard? He wears false teeth. His whiskers are grayish and he lisps in his speech. I have sent a man in pursuit but he may be too late.

JOHN A. KENNEDY.

–––

PEEKSKILL, August 24, 1861.

W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: My uncle, D. C. Lowber, of New Orleans, passed through New York en route for Liverpool about the 1st of August as bearer of dispatches from the Confederate States to France and England. A day or two before my father left for Liverpool I was shown a letter from Mr. Lowber in which he said, “I have succeeded in getting a big thing for the Confederate States of America from some moneyed men in England.” As my father had only a few hours at home I did not trouble him about it, but arranged that he (uncle) should be searched immediately on his arrival by steamer Edinburgh. This was checked by his coming through by way of Quebec and reaching our house Tuesday evening. Wednesday he went to New York. He told us to dispose of his papers, sending them South if possible through Adams Express, if not by private messenger, John Jackson. I sent messenger through Mr. Monell to have Jackson watched and Adams Express searched for several days. Returning at 3 o’clock, he asked for some letters which he had left lying carelessly about on the library table. One was mislaid and in the fright which seized him he told me it was the dispatch brought from England for Davis. He had been unsuccessful in France. He was to leave at 6 o’clock for Richmond, via Indianapolis and Louisville. The family were too strongly anxious for his safety to permit any information to be given endangering one who through thirty years of political antagonism had continued my father’s closest friend and our dearest relative.

The only means I could contrive to get the papers was to create a panic. I drove to the station in advance with his trunk and returned with news that the station agent had refused to check the trunk; that the detectives were doubtless on his track and gave him a telegram received from John Jackson in confirmation. He handed me the dispatches to conceal, jumped into the carriage which was waiting and we started for Dover Plains where he could take the Harlem train to {p.581} New York. But a second thought for the safety of our family urged him to return and before we knew what he was about he had burned the dispatch, trusting to his memory to carry the contents safely to Richmond, so I was again checked.

In our long night drive, however, his gratitude for my assisting him in his flight, his release from the sudden fear and his old love and confidence in us led him to talk freely. He had made proposals to France and England. The commissioners in England had assured him that before Christmas the blockade would be [broken]. With this assurance he went to several large houses in England and made proposals for a loan upon sugar and cotton, chiefly upon cotton, and received from some of them proposals in return. Others were to follow him by mail. His English letters would be addressed care of A. H. Schultz, or to D. Matthews, 87 (or 78, I forget which) Nassau street, or to John Jackson, 17 Broadway, or box. Wherever they came they were to be taken up by Jackson, opened, memoranda taken of them and copies made and sent to Henry Neill, Galt House, Louisville, or inclosed to editor of Louisville Courier, to be kept until called for by Henry Neill under which name my uncle will travel. If the proposals were accepted Jackson was to telegraph him to the same address “All favorable.” The originals will be sent to me to mail to the same address from Fishkill. His trunk I am to open and make copies of any letters in it which might be detained were it opened and forward to him there or to New Orleans, keeping the originals. There was a new cipher contrived and agreed upon between him and Jackson by which he could send any information which might transpire. This I have not yet got but hope to. He anticipated an attack upon our troops before Sunday, 30th of August. If repulsed or if uncertain of success they would as before feign a retreat to draw our soldiers upon the batteries they have been busied in building since the Manassas affair. These will be completed in eight or ten days and they are in haste to use them before our gun-boats are completed. In order to cover uncle’s flight I urged Mr. Jackson to follow him with me to the Newark station where he might wait for money. Owing to the information given we were all day under police surveillance but at last we eluded them and returned to Staten Island without having seen him, where I was forced from exhaustion to remain.

Uncle will return to England should all be favorable by way of Detroit and Chicago to Quebec. He says the police and marshals in either or any of the Western towns are more careless and indifferent and slow than those of New York and anticipated no detention there. The correspondence I hope can be seized at the post-office or Adams Express. And why can’t this be stopped entirely? If not I would go to New York to mail the letters and they could be taken upon me by notice given to the police. In this case I would rather suffer anything for treason than have my family know that I was acting as spy. Should any name have to be used in the former case Mr. J. J. Monell, of Newburg, has given me leave to substitute his for mine.

With warm thanks for your late kindness to my father and kind remembrance and wishes for myself, I remain, yours, truly,

MARY LOWBER SCHULTZ.

For the purpose of keeping this secret from my family I have written from Mrs. Beecher’s at Peekskill. Should there be any reply or questions to be asked if you address to Peekskill in cover to H. W. Beecher they will at once forward it to me.

{p.582}

–––

NEW YORK, August 25, 1861.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD:

Officer King has just arrived with Daniel C. Lowber in custody, whom he arrested in Ohio. I have examined his baggage carefully. Find nothing in shape of dispatches. If he had any he parted with them. What shall I do with him?

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, August 26, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Previous to the arrival of Mr. Daniel C. Lowber from Europe I was called upon by a person related to him by family ties and who necessarily desires to be kept from exposure and informed that Lowber was expected to return on the steamer Edinburgh, then expected to arrive on Tuesday last, 20th instant; that when he went out he carried dispatches and that doubtless lie would have others on his return. On this information I communicated with the U. S. marshal and arranged for a joint action to secure him and his papers on the arrival of the steamer.

The Edinburgh did not arrive until the 21st, and on the search it was ascertained he had not come on that vessel. While our officers were engaged on the steamer making the search I received the telegraphic dispatch from Newburg, a copy of which I herewith inclose except the names of the parties, who desire not to be made known, but they are respectable persons. I at once placed detectives at the office of Richards & Co., 15 Broadway, where he had a business connection; at Adams Express, where every package during the day received with a New Orleans address was carefully examined and nothing found of the form or character of dispatches to the Confederates. I also put a watch on the house of his brother-in-law, Mr. Evans, in West Twenty-fifth street. At 9.45 in the evening I sent three men to Fishkill Landing to look for him there, he having a sister-in-law living at Matteawan. On arriving there they found his trunk marked “Neill,” the name of his son-in-law, which had been brought to the depot by his niece during the afternoon to be checked for Indianapolis, which was sent to me. And they also ascertained that some intimation was given to the lady at the depot by which she was enabled to infer that officers were in pursuit. She immediately returned home and accompanied him in a carriage in the direction of Fishkill village, giving out that they were going to Poughkeepsie to take the Hudson River train up, but in reality went to a station on the Harlem road and took a train down to the city, passed over to Jersey City and so proceeded to Philadelphia, and then took the next train west via Pittsburg, &c.

On receipt of this telegram from Fishkill announcing his departure I sent a man by the New Jersey Central, being the first train west, to head him off if possible, supposing he had gone by way of Buffalo; but it so happened that by the time they reached Pittsburg both Officer King and the fugitive were on the same train, and the sagacity of the officer led to his detection and identification at a station on the Fort Wayne railroad (Alliance), where the train stopped to dine, but he prudently telegraphed for help to meet him at the depot at Crestline, where the arrest was made, but nothing found on him to implicate him.

{p.583}

The great pains he took to avoid arrest is the strongest feature against him as it stands unless some of the letters which I this day forward to you by Adams Express may contain matter of treasonable character. He denies having had anything of the kind intrusted to him, either in going out or returning; that his visit was on business and in pursuit of health solely. He is a New Yorker by birth, thoroughly southernized by more than twenty years’ residence at the South. I am thus particular that you may see the whole case.

Very yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

[Inclosure.]

NEWBURG, August 21, 1861.

[JOHN A. KENNEDY:]

D. C. Lowber, of New Orleans, at 15 Broadway, New York, house of Richards & Co., came out in the last steamer as bearer of dispatches from England and France in relation to a loan for the Confederates. He came over the country this morning from Halifax. He intends to send his dispatches by Adams & Co.’s Express if he can safely to-day. If not he may send them by a young man by the name of John Jackson, a Southerner, at the above-mentioned house, 15 Broadway. Inform the chief of police or the U. S. marshal at once. Keep the source of this dispatch to yourself.

- -.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 26, 1861.

J. A. KENNEDY, Superintendent Metropolitan Police, New York:

Deliver D. C. Lowber into custody of Col. Martin Burke at Fort Lafayette.

W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

–––

OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, August 26, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE, Commanding at Port Hamilton.

SIR: By direction of the Secretary of State I am prepared to deliver into your custody Mr. Daniel C. Lowber, of New Orleans, who accompanies me.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 27, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendant of Police, New York.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 26th instant relative to the arrest of D. C. Lowber, and to state in reply that the energy and skill evinced by you and your officers on that occasion are highly satisfactory.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary.

{p.584}

–––

PHILADELPHIA, August 28, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

SIR: My anxiety and the occasion of my writing to you yesterday* was, I find in an interview with Mary, not well founded. I feared that Mary felt herself to be the cause of her uncle’s arrest and that it had so influenced her feelings as to prompt an impulsive visit to Washington in the hope of interesting you in a merciful consideration of her uncle’s case. As you know now from Mary’s own statement to you she wrote me under the influence of a high sense of duty that she feared her uncle was possessed of both means and papers to be used against the Government. Believing Mr. Lowber would be in the Edinburgh I sent my brother to Mr. Kennedy to impart my belief and conviction that Mr. Lowber was in a hostile attitude to the Government with both means and papers in possession that would prove his guilt. I desired my brother to say to Mr. Kennedy that I was prepared to make oath as to my belief if such would be required to warrant the arrest. Mr. Kennedy promised prompt action and that Mr. Lowber should be arrested. He did not make sufficiently intelligent arrangements and unnecessary notoriety has been given to a very simple affair.

Mr. Lowber’s visit to the home of my uncle was a gross insult and any man of ordinary sense might have easily so recognized. It may be that it was designed to disarm suspicion. If so the outrage was the greater. That feeling should have acted with some members of the family I can well comprehend, as it too often influences for the time the higher attribute of duty. But as to the loyalty of our family being above all suspicion let, with the simple exception of Mr. Lowber, their record since the first glimpse of treason was manifest attest. But I feel more annoyance as to my uncle, Alex. H. Schultz. I can simply write that I know it to be impossible for him to entertain a thought or feeling not in hearty unison with the Government whose honored servant he at present is and I can forgive everything to Mr. Lowber better than his reckless visit to Fishkill. I would underwrite Captain Schultz with my life and I will hope a suspicion of his integrity has never crossed your mind. I have rapidly and interruptedly written but I trust not impertinently, and will ask you to regard the feeling that has prompted it and kindly overlook any lack of etiquette.

Respectfully,

E. S. JAMES.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 30, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Port Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: I have received a letter from Mr. D. C. Lowber, a prisoner confined at Fort Lafayette, asking permission for his niece, Miss Mary L. Schultz, to visit him which under existing circumstances I cannot with propriety grant. You will please communicate to Mr. Lowber the decision of the Department.

I am, sir, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, October 30, 1861.

Hon. THURLOW WEED.

DEAR SIR: Personally we are strangers but I have known you by reputation since my boyhood and you may have heard my name mentioned {p.585} by my brother-in-law, Capt. A. H. Schultz. I am sadly in need of a friend in my extremity, and stranger as I am to you I thus boldly force myself on your notice and ask your assistance.

Over nine weeks ago I was arrested under very suspicious circumstances at Crestline. I was supposed to be a bearer of dispatches to the Confederate Government. My baggage was taken possession of by the superintendent of police in New York and after a thorough overhauling nothing was found to criminate me, but it was said that I had ample time to dispose of my dispatches before my arrest.

Permit me to state to you “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” On the 6th of July I left my home in New Orleans to make a flying trip to Europe partly for the benefit of my health and partly to have a personal interview with my business correspondents in Liverpool and Glasgow. My whole stay in England and France was but eight days, and here let me assert that I neither carried over nor brought back any writing or any verbal message to or from any person directly or indirectly connected with the Confederate Government except a private letter from the Hon. P. A. Rost to Pierre Soulé which Judge Rost, who is an old friend of mine, told me contained some instructions in relation to a legal suit Mr. Soulé had in charge for him. Further than this I never belonged to a military company, I never held a public office and I cannot recollect that I have attended a political meeting in twenty-five years. Still I would not convey to you the idea that I am not decided in my political opinions. If that is a crime worthy of punishment by imprisonment there is not sufficient prison room in the States to hold those equally culpable as myself.

Please bear in mind that when I came North there was no restriction on Southern travelers but it was held out that quiet persons not interfering with public matters could go and come at their leisure. And even when the passport system was adopted it was not to be operative on citizens (private citizens) of seceded States returning from Europe until they had time to hear of the new regulation. Had I been conscious of being in the act of committing any offense against the Federal Government I would not have unhesitatingly paid the friendly visit I did to my relatives at Fishkill Landing knowing how widely we differed in our political views. Had that visit not have been made I would not probably have been arrested.

As I said before it is now over nine weeks that I have been incarcerated here, shut out from intercourse with all those who make life dear to me. Driven to desperation by the seeming neglect of those who I thought would unasked by me endeavor to effect my release I recently attempted to escape and was caught in the act. The penalty-double irons and a four by six foot cell in the guard house during the pleasure of the commandant of the fort-I was perfectly aware of before making the attempt. It was faithfully but not harshly imposed and of that I have not one word of complaint to make. But I conceive there was nothing particularly atrocious in my endeavor to free myself surreptitiously. At least twenty officers and men confined as prisoners of war at Richmond have evaded the vigilance of their keepers and on their arrival at Washington have been patted on the back as good and enterprising fellows. It may be said that I can be released if I establish all the foregoing facts on taking the oath of allegiance, but the question arises is it right to require me to take that oath when it is well known it will work the immediate confiscation of my property for the benefit of the Confederate Government and that you are not now in a position to protect that property for me? In regard to giving my {p.586} parole not to visit or to correspond with a seceded State that I will do and will honorably keep the promise until released from it. May I beg of you the favor to call the attention of him who has the power to open the gates of my prison to this my case? If there are any other explanations I can make they will be promptly given as the days here seem like weeks and I confess to a great anxiety to get out.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. C. LOWBER.

–––

NEW YORK November 5, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

DEAR SIR: Allow me to call your attention to the inclosed letter* from Mr. D. C. Lowber, now a prisoner in Fort Warren; also to a paper handed me last evening by Charles Todd. Of nearly all the statements in it I hold confirmatory letters from Mr. and Mrs. Lowber and Mr. Neill and other residents of New Orleans dating from October, 1860, to April, 1861, which I will forward if desired. Particularly is it well known that Mr. Lowber made himself to some degree obnoxious in New Orleans by his strong defense of the Union and his condemnation of the precipitate action of the South against an untried Administration, and an unhesitating and continued remonstrance against the existence of a vigilance committee. From my own experience I can say that his house was the only one in New Orleans in which I ever heard abolitionism fairly allowed an utterance. In a conversation with Miss Frémont, then visiting at his house in New Orleans in May, 1860, I remember his distinctly avowed disgust at the demagogues who wished by secession to plunge the country into civil war, for which he believed they had not one unfriendly act of Government to show as excuse. At the time that he broke a friendship of fifteen years’ standing and turned Mr. Thomas Heard from his house for his offensive utterance of secession sentiments (December 24) the feeling against him was so strong that both he and Mr. Neill were repeatedly threatened by the vigilance committee, and I most sincerely believe that he left New Orleans with the simple and sole purpose of visiting his grandchildren and establishing business relations in Glasgow. Also I think it can be proved that whatever letters or papers he carried on his return not one found its way South. All his existing letters and papers are now in possession of the Government. Four or five Union men well known as such are willing in consideration of these statements and his tried truth to give bail for his honorable adherence to his parole. Or should bail be refused they will hold themselves responsible for his word. As we are the only relatives in the North with whom he would care to spend an hour I think it is almost unnecessary to pledge ourselves for his good faith. You must know that no aid or comfort to the enemy would go from our house.

I have been induced to write thus from the belief forced upon me that Mr. Lowber’s health is being seriously affected and his constitution undermined by the inactivity of prison life and by the conviction that if released on parole no harm could result to the cause nearest and dearest to me. The disease from which he suffers is peculiarly fostered by confinement and from my knowledge of the family tendency I have been seriously alarmed lately lest it terminate in some form of insanity. Except my parents he is my dearest relative and I could not entertain {p.587} this belief without longing to save him from such a fate. But for this conviction my perfect trust in the Administration would have forbid my uttering one word on the subject.

Respectfully,

MARY LOWBER SCHULTZ.

* Not found, but probably Lowber to Seward, preceding.

[Inclosure.]

NEW YORK, November 4, 1861.

I hereby declare that having been a resident of New Orleans during the last winter, and being a frequent visitor at the house of Mr. Daniel C. Lowber, I was enabled to know his feelings on the political questions before the country. From the frequent conversations I held with him during the winter I knew him to be a Union man, and it was only upon the actual secession of his State that he felt that loyalty to his home should cause him to favor the acts of the South, but I know he took no active part in politics, and I never knew him to attend any of the political meetings-in fact, he was a remarkably quiet and private citizen. In confirmation of the above I would state that both Mr. and Mrs. Lowber considered me an abolitionist and still I was always welcome at their house; also that I know he turned a boarder out of his house on account of his secession talk, about January last. Again Mr. H. M. Neill was complained of to the vigilance committee and proscribed on account of his Northern feelings, and Mr. Lowber took the most active and determined part in his defense and prevented any action being taken against him. As regards his trip to Europe I can testify that during the winter and spring I frequently heard Mr. Lowber speak of his intention of going to Europe during the ensuing summer, partly on account of his general health but more particularly on account of his hearing which was getting to be very bad; also to arrange for credits and direct shipments of iron pipe from the iron manufacturers of Glasgow. It would certainly be surprising it the rebel leaders employed in a clandestine mission a man so very deaf as he was and so very outspoken on every subject.

I learn from Mr. Lowber that the close confinement and want of exercise is affecting his health. I may add that I am a native of this city and a loyal citizen of the United States.

CHAS. M. TODD.

–––

No. 8 HANOVER STREET, NEW YORK, November 9, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: At the request of the friends of Mr. Daniel C. Lowber, now a prisoner in Fort Warren, I beg to state what I know of his proceedings in Europe. The first I saw or knew of him there was on his arrival at Holywood, near Belfast, Ireland, where he came quite unexpectedly to me or my brother on a visit to my brother and to see his grandchildren, my brother’s children. He staid there only one night and invited my brother to accompany him to Glasgow to introduce him to the manufacturers of gas and water pipes with a view to arrangements for business on the termination of the war. My brother could not go but requested me to accompany him which I readily consented to, as I had business of my own in Glasgow and Edinburgh. I accordingly at Glasgow introduced him to our agent, Mr. John Kincaid, who took him to the largest manufacturer in that line, I not accompanying them. I also called with Mr. Lowber on a firm in the same line {p.588} (McLaren & Co.) with whom he had previously done business in pipes. These calls occupied the forenoon and we parted at about 4 p.m. of the day we reached Glasgow, he to go on to London and I to go to Edinburgh on my own affairs. I have not seen him since nor heard from him except a few lines received from Liverpool before he sailed for America acknowledging the receipt of his watch which I had forwarded to him and referring in sufficiently boastful terms to the battle of Bull Run.

While at Holywood and on board the steamer for Glasgow he talked very freely, defending slavery against our abolition sentiments and expressing the most entire confidence in the success of the rebellion and the restoration of peace within ninety days. He also mentioned to me that Mr. Host, or Judge Rost as he called him, was an old friend of his and he intended to call on him at Paris and learn what prospect there was of the Confederate Government being recognized by the Emperor. I asked him to let me know the result and inquired if he intended to call on the commissioner in London. He seemed in doubt, saying that he did not know him personally.

As soon as I heard of his arrest which I did in Liverpool from Captain Schultz I informed the latter that from what I had seen of him and the entire tone of his conversation I was satisfied he had no official or other connection with the Confederate Government, for if he had I felt certain he would have been proud of it and told me or my brother of it, while on the contrary he stated positively that he was only going to call on Rost as an old Louisiana friend and to satisfy his curiosity as to the chance of recognition. I thought it possible, however, that Rost might have asked him to carry a letter for him and if so it was likely enough that he may have thoughtlessly consented to do so. But if so I know nothing of it, and I may remark that at that time it was a very natural mistake and one I should readily have fallen into myself as it had hardly been declared illegal.

I have no doubt from Mr. Lowber’s character that if released upon his parole he will rigidly keep it and I should readily join in giving bail for him. I am aware that he last winter interfered effectually with the vigilance committee of New Orleans in behalf of my brother who had been proscribed by them as an abolitionist and but for Mr. Lowber’s advocacy he would probably have been notified to leave the State to the destruction of an-extensive and valuable business. Such acts on behalf of men with Northern ideas ought surely to be considered unless there is something serious against him of which I know nothing.

I remain, with great respect, your obedient servant,

WM. M. NEILL.

As to my own trustworthiness and my principles I can refer to the following whom you will not suspect of too great regard for the South:

Charles L. Brace, my brother-in-law; H. J. Raymond, of the New York Times; C. A. Dana, Tribune; Wendell Phillips, W. C. Bryant, Evening Post; W. Lloyd Garrison, Fred. L. Olmsted, Charles G. Loring, H. Ward Beecher, &c., all of whom are my intimate personal friends.

–––

PHILADELPHIA, November 9, 1861.

Hon. F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: On my way to New York I met here an old and highly valued friend of mine, William M. Neill, esq., from England; and I have herewith the honor of introducing him to you. Mr. Neill has resided for a {p.589} considerable time in New York, where his sympathies with liberal ideas and with intellectual and artistic interests have endeared him to a wide circle including some of our most distinguished citizens.

Mr. Neill who holds a high position in the commercial world as the chief partner of a cotton exporting firm is now again in this country particularly for the purpose of studying the nature of our present contest in its bearings upon the cotton interests of Great Britain. Mr. Neill visits Washington for a short time in the pursuit of these investigations and also in that of matters of a more private character. I beg to state that I have known Mr. Neill for a considerable time and that any statement of his is entitled to the most implicit faith in his veracity and integrity.

I have the honor to remain, dear sir, yours, very respectfully,

JULIUS BING.

–––

FORT WARREN, December 30, 1861.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States.

SIR: I was arrested on the 23d of August, and by order of the Secretary of State was committed to Fort Lafayette and thence transferred to this place. Over four months have now elapsed and I have heard of no charges against me, but I presume I am detained as a citizen of Louisiana. As it is not probable I shall ever be brought to trial and the further imprisonment of a humble private individual like myself can be of no benefit to the United States Government 1 respectfully ask permission and a passport to embark for England under a pledge that I will not return to America until the present disturbances are over, nor aid, comfort or hold correspondence with any person in the seceded States.

Your obedient servant,

D. C. LOWBER.

–––

FORT WARREN, December 30, 1861.

DEAR HAMILTON: As the break of day is now apparent to all except those who are fattening and battening on this unholy war I stoop to ask a favor of a political enemy, personal friend though he be. I have now been imprisoned so long that it is absolutely necessary on account of my business affairs that I should go to England before I return home and I want you to see President Lincoln and ask for permission and passport to embark on the steamer that leaves Boston on the 8th. If it is obtained you must also pay my passage on sea as I am entirely out of money. In Liverpool I can obtain what further funds I need. I would prefer that this application should not be mentioned, even in the family, as some of the family are in such intimate companionship with J. A. Kennedy that the first thing we will know will be an account of it in the Tribune, and for a humble private individual my name has been in the papers as often as I care to have it. It is well that you and I have not corresponded since your return from England. The bitter thoughts that this war has created in my heart would have found utterance in bitter words, and the corner stone of something more than an apparent estrangement might have been laid. As it is, the same old love that has filled my heart for you and yours for the last thirty-two years still wells up in it with undiminished force.

{p.590}

Understand me, in asking for my release and passport I do not wish to leave Fort Warren until the day before the steamer sails, so that I can go immediately on board.

Give my love to the old enemy and her inimical scions and believe me, ever truly yours,

D. C. LOWBER.

Much as I wish to get to England I can take no oath of allegiance to the United States Government, but I will give my parole not to return to the country during the continuance of the war and not to aid, comfort or correspond with the Southern States until peace is made. If you think it worth while you can hand this letter to President Lincoln.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 7, 1862.

Col. JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren, Boston.

COLONEL: You will please release Mr. D. C. Lowber, a prisoner confined at Fort Warren, Boston, on his complying with the following conditions, namely: That he will engage upon oath that he will leave the United States within the period of fifteen days from the day of his release and go directly to the Kingdom of Great Britain; that he will remain in that Kingdom until the cessation of the present hostilities between the Government of the United States and the persons in insurrection against its authority; that he will not correspond with or be engaged in any correspondence hostile or injurious to the Government of the United States with persons residing in the insurrectionary States during the present hostilities without permission from the Secretary of State; and further, that he will do no act hostile or injurious to the Government of the United States.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 7, 1862.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: Colonel Dimick has been directed to release Mr. D. C. Lowber upon condition among others that he will leave the United States, and you will therefore permit him to embark without a passport.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

FORT WARREN, Boston Harbor, January 10, 1862.

I, D. C. Lowber, prisoner confined at Fort Warren, do solemnly swear that I will leave the United States within the period of fifteen days from this date and go directly to the Kingdom of Great Britain; that I will remain in that Kingdom until the cessation of the present hostilities between the Government of the United States and the persons in insurrection against its authority; that I will not correspond or be engaged in any correspondence hostile or injurious to the Government of the United States with persons residing in the insurrectionary States during the present hostilities without permission from the Secretary {p.591} of State; and further, that I will do no act hostile or injurious to the Government of the United States. So help me God.

D. C. LOWBER.

Sworn before me January 10, 1862.

J. DIMICK Colonel First Arty. and Brevet Colonel, Comdg. Fort Warren.

–––

Correspondence found among Lowber’s papers.

[No. 1.]

PARIS, August 4, 1861.

N. M. BENACHI, Esq., New Orleans, La. (Politeness of D. C. Lowber.)

DEAR SIR AND FRIEND: I suppose a few lines from this part of the world will be acceptable to you and therefore embrace a direct opportunity to let you hear from us and hope you will do me the favor to write me a few lines and give me what information you possess about matters and things in New Orleans. We are kept in constant excitement about the infamous war the North is waging against us. By every steamer from New York we hear that a battle or skirmish has taken place and that the North is victorious. In fact, if all we hear is true they must by this time have 5,000 or 6,000 prisoners on hand. Many of our people here are dreadfully alarmed and think we are gone, but from what I saw when I traveled from New Orleans to Nashville I don’t think it possible for the North to subjugate us. It is perfect nonsense for them to suppose they can if the South continue united, and from all appearances I don’t think there is a doubt of it. I yesterday made a bet with a gentleman that whenever Jeff. Davis, Beauregard or Lee accepted a battle that they would gain it. I have every hope such will be the result. They are quite right to fall back till they are sure of success for a defeat in a general battle would have a most disastrous effect both on the morale of our army at home and in Europe. All eyes are turned to Virginia and the result of the first and second grand battles. Should we be successful in one or two grand engagements depend on it England and France will immediately acknowledge our independence notwithstanding all you hear from old fogies.

We yesterday saw in the English papers a letter from Mr. Mure, the British consul in New Orleans. We were all much astonished that Mr. Mure should have thought it necessary to write a letter so injurious to the interests of the South at this time particularly. What he says may have taken place but not in the manner that he describes it. I do not believe it was the intention of any of our commanders to press men in our service for I know we had more men than we required. I suppose men would enlist while intoxicated and when sober would repent doing so and try to get off. I assure you letters of this kind operate greatly to our prejudice and make us pass for a set of ruffians, and I am only surprised that Mr. Mure, an old resident of New Orleans, should have written such a letter knowing the bad effect it would have against us. It was entirely uncalled for. He had already explained the whole matter to his Government in a previous letter. Can it be possible that he too is against us? I really hope not. It would be too had.

{p.592}

The newspapers here are not much in our favor; still I find a few of them making a move in the right direction and I think in a short time they will come out more direct, not that they have any sympathy for us but that their interests require them to be on our side. Depend upon it we will be recognized before next December if even a European war with the North should be the result. Cotton and tobacco they will have coûte qu’il coûte. Cotton is very active in Liverpool on account of the war news from America. The lower qualities have not been much affected. Middling Orleans, 8 1/8 pence to 8 1/4 pence; upland, 8 peace, with a brisk demand both for manufacture and exportation, as well as speculation. You have seen I suppose that last week sales amounted to 144,000 bales, a quarter of which was taken on speculation; prices have also gone up in Havre 2 to 3 francs, so that my New Orleans friends will come out of the year’s business right side up. I wish I had a million of bales in Liverpool now. Many here think cotton will go to 10 pence. I should not be surprised particularly if England don’t force the blockade, and that very soon. I am told the North is buying in the Liverpool market, but I only give you this as an on dit, but should not be surprised if such was the case.

A few days ago I called on Mr. Spencer, American consul, to get him to visé my passport. He went back in his room and brought out the biggest Bible I ever saw and told me I would have to take the oath of allegiance to the United States. I refused to do it and he refused to visé my passport. The thing has been brought before M. Thouvenal who refused to take any action at the present time but said that no Americans would be troubled going or coining into France. So Mr. Consul may keep his visé and be d-d. I shall not trouble him again. We think of returning home some tune in October and may put you to a little trouble for a short time till we get settled.*

Your friend,

B. RODRIGUEZ.

We have had two pamphlets lately. One “La Révolution en Amérique du Nord Dévoilée;” the other “La Question Américaine.” Both will do us great good. If the gentleman that takes this letter will oblige me by taking charge of them I will send them to you. The last one is quite complimentary to our ladies. It says: “Les femmes du Sud sont des tendres méres de famille, des épouses devouées; les Créoles le disputent â nos Françaises en grâce, exquise distinction, sensibilité, générosité, chaleur de cœur et d’idées, intelligence de tout ce qui est noble, beau et bien.”**

It is quite a good brochure and I would like to send it to you and shall try to do so.

Yours,

BEN.

* Unimportant personal matter here omitted.

** TRANSLATION-The women of the South ere tender mothers of families, devoted wives. The Creoles vie with our French women in grace, great distinction, refinement, generosity, warmth of heart and ideas, intelligence of all that which is noble, beautiful and good.

[No. 2.]

PARIS, August 5, 1861.

N. M. BENACHI, Esq. (Care Messrs. Ralli, Benachi & Co., New Orleans, La.)

MY DEAR FRIEND: I wrote you a long letter a few days ago, but as the bearer of this is acquainted with you I thought I would write you again to let you know that we have just received the glorious news of the defeat of the Federalists at Manassas Junction. I was not at all {p.593} surprised at it as I offered some Yankees to bet them a suit of clothes that Beauregard would whip them if he accepted a fight. There are many, however, who did not expect such a result.

Although we only received the news yesterday, already there is quite a change in the public mind. The Patrie and Constitutionnel already begin to think it probable that the South may succeed. There is one exception, and that comes from one who has lived among us and made money out of us and now turns round and whenever he has a chance heaps lies and calumnies against us. I inclose you an article from his paper of to-day. You can judge of the wretch’s antipathy to us. Mind what I tell you. Before three months we will be recognized both by England and France. “Ca ira, ca ira, Lincoln a la lantern.” Those that only a few days ago were trying to ridicule the Americans and particularly the Southerners begin to find out that when an occasion requires it we can fight as well as others. To-day we had at our place of meeting seventeen Southerners and true to the cause, and had you seen and heard them talk it would have done you good. I am only afraid this victory has been achieved at a great sacrifice of our brave men. I am very anxious to receive details-but from what I see it must have been a terrible battle. Depend on it another such an one and the whole North will be so demoralized that they will be glad to give us what we have been asking for, “Let us alone.” They expect to get money in this country. They will not get a cent and I really don’t think they will raise the $500,000,000 at home. Parties here interested in cotton think the news will cause a slight decline. As yet nothing is known and can give you nothing of interest to you. My main object in writing you is to send you the inclosed* extract.

Yours, truly,

B. RODRIGUEZ.

* Not found.

[No. 3.]

LIVERPOOL, August 7, 1861.

J. B. PHELPS, Esq., Crescent, New Orleans, La.

MY DEAR SIR: The grand and glorious victory at Manassas Junction, Va., has totally destroyed the remotest chance of Lincoln, Seward, Chase & Co. obtaining a penny of the money they want to borrow in Great Britain. The account of the battle we have received so far is the most favorable tale in which the Yankees can tell of their own defeat, but there is enough to satisfy me that their loss in killed must have been 15,000 to 20,000, though they report only 500. The Great Thunderer* is down upon the Northerners with all its virulence. Even Doctor Russell, LL. D., “licensed to lie damnably,” tells the truth about the stampede from Manassas. England don’t intend to consider the blockade efficient, no matter how many ships Lincoln may have, even if they be as thick as blackberries. I have yours of 13th of July, 1861. Many thanks.

Yours, truly,

W. W. MERTENS.

* See inclosure following.

[Inclosure.*]

“The dissensions which arose some months ago in the United States of North America have unfortunately assumed the character of open war.” Such is the tranquil comment of the royal speech upon the events {p.594} in the New World which have fallen so unexpectedly upon the ear of Europe. Our Queen has reflected with an excellent fidelity the feelings of her people. After the first surprise was over, and when the “God bless me! you don’t say so ?” had been said, we think we never heard of a battle in which 75,000 men seem to have been engaged on each side, and which fell so blank upon the public ear and engaged so little European interest. The fact is that we do not like to laugh and the sense of the ridiculous comes too strong over us when we would be serious. It is a great battle without the dignity of danger or the painful interest of great carnage. There are all the ridiculous incidents of stark fear and rabid terror without much real peril and with very little actual suffering. We begin to feel that we have been cheated out of our sympathies.

When this war broke out we English all pictured to ourselves two earnest sections of the same population interlaced in mortal combat, warring to the knife and to the death. We received by every mail little samples of an atmosphere of blood and thunder and war and wounds. All America appeared to us, poor dupes, like a fresh exploded mine-all smoke and fragments and torn limbs. We fancied our kinsmen reckless, furious, flying at each other’s throats and careless of their own safety. At the same time that they were shaking their knives at each other they were shaking their fists at us. We trembled for what we were fated to see. We held our breath for the first shock of battle between these two young giants. We shut our eyes against the deadly struggle.

We are calmer now. We are all calmer. We are satisfied that these warlike athletes who were issuing such dire threats against any one who should dare to offer to separate them are not so very reckless. Since their dissensions have assumed “the character of open war” they have been carried on upon strictly humanitarian principles. If we are to believe the American press an American battle has never yet been so dangerous as an American passenger boat, and not much more so than an American railway. The hostile forces shell each other out of strong fortresses without losing a single life. They fight a battle in Western Virginia which determines the fate of a district at the expense of less than a score of casualties, and a great stand-up battle is fought between 150,000 men, ending in a panic and a twenty-mile run, and when the “Grand Army of the Potomac” reaches Alexandria the New York Herald reports that “the killed on our side will be between 300 and 500.

It is very difficult to gauge the solidity of anything American, even of a great battle. We know that there was a great rout in front of that gap which runs up into the hills, for we were represented in the ruck and may say that we saw it with our own eyes and heard the cannonade with our own ears. There is a probability also that the number of men present at the battle mounts to the high figure of 150,000, for both accounts seem to agree upon this. Beyond these facts, however, everything seems vague and uncertain. The advance of the “Grand Army of the Potomac” reads in the American papers like a burlesque of the progress of Xerxes to the Hellespont. The great Federal victory of Bull Run which was flashed over the Northern States and recorded in the Northern papers was a thing hovering for hours while yet in print upon the confines of fancy and possibility. The abject rout, the ultimate reality, was what we could have least believed. Perhaps we ought to have anticipated that the same ferocious men who {p.595} had burned up the homesteads on their line of march would speed back over the embers with pale faces in their panic flight. But this never did occur to us. It requires the testimony of the Americans themselves and the witness of our own correspondent to suggest to us that 75,000 American patriots fled for twenty miles in an agony of fear although no one was pursuing them, and that 75,000 other American patriots abstained from pursuing these 75,000 enemies because they were not informed how stark frightened these were. Even the artillery were not captured but picked up. The guns were left behind because they impeded the flight of the artillerymen, and they might have been to a great extent carried off if the apprehensions of the gunners would have allowed them to take advantage of the leisure which the prudent conqueror was so ready to afford.

On the other hand our correspondent thinks that the panic had gone so right to the heart of the North that if General Beauregard had the enterprise to follow up his advantage he might have gone almost unresisted into Washington City itself. All that the Northern press says upon this subject is to congratulate themselves that the enemy did not know in what a fright they were.

This is not our account of this battle. It is the American account. It is the account of the New York papers, alternating as they do between shrieks of victory, of agony and of vindictive despair. If they have only lost between 300 and 500 men it seems to us to be a very cheap lesson. See what they have gained by it. They have found out now that the spirit of patriotism and even the instinct of combat does not prevent Northern volunteers from going off in a body under pretense of their time of enlistment being up although the morning of the combat may be come and the cannon may be sounding in their ears. They have found out also that even a Northern army can without much good military reason given lose its attraction of cohesion and dissolve into a mob. They have also found out that the Southerners are not to be walked over like a partridge manor, and that they have some military heads among them. Of course we must expect them to meet these hard facts by a certain quantity of bluster. They must call out a few more millions of volunteers, and they must make a confident demand upon an incredulous world for a few more hundred millions sterling.

But behind all this there must rise a gathering doubt that this Southern nut is too hard to crack and that the military line as a matter of business does not answer. The North has now made its experiment and not only has it not answered but the process has not been encouraging. As a matter of habit and to ease the American mind a certain quantity of threats and tall words may be necessary and they may pass. But they will be of small avail against the facts as they now stand. In the face of the picture of that screaming crowd-the “Grand Army of the Potomac,” &c.-these great words from the expectant gentlemen at Washington lose every charm. These people do all in their power to alienate our sympathy, for they are amenable neither to courtesy nor to misfortune. Nothing civilizes them. They seem to think that at all seasons and upon all occasions England is a safe target for their insults and their threats. They either feign very well or else they positively think they can influence our policy by their bluster. There was a moment on the 21st of July when victory was supposed to be with the “Grand Army of the Potomac,” and the most popular newspaper in New York seized the opportunity to show what use our excellent friends proposed to make of their victory. The first thought was revenge upon {p.596} England. After some taunts at what are supposed to be our recent recantations the organ of New York moderation continues:

And now, forsooth, because the Queen’s Government sees fit to stultify itself, not daring to carry into execution its implied threats, and prohibits the entry of Southern privateers into British ports, we are required to let bygones be bygones and even to ignore that any cause of displeasure has existed. The absurdity and inconsistency of acknowledging the “equal belligerent rights” of the rebel States and then snubbing them from sheer cowardice and fear of the consequences bestows no title to consideration, nor will leisurely repentance for hastily offered indignities be considered the slightest atonement when the time shall have come to resent them. Both England and Spain may rest assured that just retribution will be visited upon them for taking advantage of our domestic disturbances to further their own selfish schemes of aggrandizement. For the outrage offered in the Queen’s proclamation the United States will possess itself of Canada, and for the invasion of Santo Domingo Her Catholic Majesty will certainly have to pay with the sacrifice of Cuba. We have first to put down rebellion at home, but every hour proves that the war that has begun will be a short one and that ere the lapse of another half year armies will exist on the American continent of over half a million of men, thirsting for a foreign foe upon whom to expend their strength. When the Union element at the South shall have been fairly emancipated and the forces of the Republic shall have been united, let Great Britain and Spain beware. Our armies never will consent to lay down their arms while a vestige of European domination remains in the Western Hemisphere. Causes of war we have enough and they will not cool for keeping.

If this is what we are to receive from the supremacy of the North the North can scarcely expect that we should put up very ardent vows for their conquest of the South. If the conquest of the Southern States means also the conquest of Canada and Cuba and the establishment of a great military aggressive power in North America we may learn to bear more patiently the scene that occurred at Bull Run. We are not, however, fearful enough to be ferocious. On the contrary we cordially and even sincerely congratulate our would-be enemies that they have escaped with such small loss from the sword of General Beauregard, and much as they tell us it would be against our interests we sincerely advise them to make up their quarrel and avoid all serious effusion of blood. When they have returned to the habits of peace they will not be nearly so bloodthirsty as they think they will be, or if they should be they will not be so mischievous as they say they will be. Spain will know how to keep in check a navy which is now terribly embarrassed by two small privateers and the Canadas have in other days given a very good account of invaders from the other side of the river. The United States are a very great nation and we wish them all lawful prosperity, but they are not half so capable of mischief as their newspapers think they are.

* Supposed to be a clipping from the London Times newspaper.

–––

Case of Mayor Berret, of Washington.

This person [James G. Berret] was mayor of the city of Washington, and as appears from a list of prisoners at Fort Lafayette was received at that fort August 25, 1861. There is no evidence on file in the Department of State showing the precise cause of his arrest or what were the charges against him. Application having been made for his release and it having been stated that he was willing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States Government an order was issued September 12, 1861, by the Secretary of State directing Lieut. Col. Martin Burke, commanding at Fort Lafayette, to discharge Mayor Berret on his taking the oath of allegiance to the United States prescribed by a recent act of Congress and resigning the office of mayor of the city of Washington. He was accordingly released September 14, 1861.– From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

{p.597}

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, August 25, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington City, D. C.

COLONEL: I have this day received from Officers Elder and Wilson a state prisoner whom they tell me is Mr. Berret, ex-mayor of Washington, with orders from the Secretary of War to retain him in custody at Fort Lafayette until otherwise ordered by the War Department. He is now at Fort Lafayette.

...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

–––

NEW YORK, September 11, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:

My brother, James G. Berret, mayor of Washington, who ever has been true to every principle of the Union, will take any oath in its support that is required. Will this release him? Answer care of Charles Stetson, Astor House.

JOSEPH H. BERRET.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 12, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: The Hon. James G. Berret, a political prisoner at Fort Lafayette, will be discharged from confinement on taking the oath of allegiance to the United States prescribed by the recent act of Congress and resigning the office of mayor of the city of Washington.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

HUNTER’S POINT, September 14, 1861.

W. H. SEWARD:

No order has been received at Fort Lafayette for discharge of J. G. Berret. Do send one immediately.

W. H. LUDLOW.

–––

WASHINGTON, September 14, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton:

On the 12th instant I addressed the following letter to you:

The Hon. James G. Berret a political prisoner at Fort Lafayette, will be discharged from confinement on taking the oath of allegiance to the United States prescribed by the recent act of Congress and resigning the office of mayor of the city of Washington.

Please discharge him accordingly on receipt of this should he be in custody still.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

{p.598}

–––

FORT HAMILTON, September 14, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, &c.

SIR: In obedience to your instructions of the 12th instant I have released Hon. James G. Berret. Inclosed you will receive his oath of allegiance and also his letter* resigning his position as mayor of Washington City.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

* Not found.

[Inclosure.]

I, James G. Berret, of the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any State convention or legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; and further that I do this with a full determination, pledge and purpose without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever. So help me God.

JAMES G. BERRET.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 14th day of September, 1861.

CHARLES W. CHURCH, Justice of the Peace.

–––

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, Washington, October 14, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: As the question of toe mayoralty of this city will come before our common council to-night and as it is important that we should have all important facts before us which bear upon the official rights and authority of ex-Mayor Berret and of Acting Mayor Wallach, I desire answers to the following questions if it will comport with the regulations of your office to give them:

1. Did Mr. Berret voluntarily resign his office as mayor?

2. When did he resign his office and when did said resignation reach the State Department so as to be communicated to the city authorities?

3. When was Mr. Berret released from arrest?

As information on these points will help us to come to a correct conclusion in the board of common council to-night I most respectfully inquire if you can deem it proper to give it?

I send this communication because I have failed to obtain a personal interview.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Z. RICHARDS, President Board of Common Council.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 14, 1861.

Z. RICHARDS, Esq., President of the Board of Common Council of the City of Washington.

SIR: In answer to the inquiries contained in your letter of this date I have to represent that, first, Mr. Berret resigned the office of mayor of {p.599} this city voluntarily as I understand from him, though it is true his resignation was required as a condition of his discharge from Fort Lafayette; second, it is presumed that he resigned on the 14th day of last month, the date of his oath of allegiance, which with the letter of resignation was transmitted to this Department in a letter of that date from Colonel Burke at Fort Hamilton, N. Y., and received here on the 17th of September; third Mr. Berret was also it is presumed released from arrest on the 14th of September.

Mr. Berret subsequently came to this city and called upon me at which time he confirmed the fact that his resignation and oath had been cheerfully made as an act of loyalty to the Government.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

Case of Robert Tansill, Captain of Marines.

The Department learned of this person’s arrest and detention from himself. His statement shows that he was a captain of marines and arrived at Boston from a foreign cruise in the U. S. frigate Congress on the 23d day of August, 1861, and forthwith forwarded his resignation to the Navy Department rather than join in an unnatural war against his blood relations, kindred and friends. His name was stricken from the rolls, and on the 27th of August he was arrested by the order of the Secretary of the Navy and confined in Fort Lafayette. The Secretary of the Navy under date of October 10, 1861, says :*

On the 26th of November, 1861, Tansill addressed a communication to the Department of State in which he says: “I am unalterably opposed to your political principles and war policy and I would prefer to suffer a thousand deaths rather than raise my hand against the sovereignty or independence of any State of our once happy country.” And also, “I can never consent to receive my liberty upon terms or conditions inconsistent with what I believe to be my obligations and duties as a citizen of my native State, Virginia.” Robert Tansill is as appears by his own voluntary and ostentatious avowals a disloyal man. The said Tansill having been transferred to Fort Warren remained in custody there February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

* Omitted here; see p. 600

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 7, 1861.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy.

SIR: I have the honor to send you herewith the inclosed communication from Robert Tansill, a prisoner in the custody of Colonel Burke, at Fort Lafayette, addressed to the President, and submitted to you to decide whether it is proper to be transmitted to His Excellency.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient

WILLIAM H. SE WARD.

{p.600}

[Inclosure.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, N. Y., October 3, 1861.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States.

SIR: I deem it a duty to myself to bring to the notice of the President the circumstances of my confinement and treatment here. I arrived at Boston in the U. S. frigate Congress on August 23 after an absence from the United States of two years, and resigned my commission as a captain in the U. S. Marine Corps (my only support) rather than join in an unnatural war against my blood relations, kindred and friends. My conscience, the dictates of which I cannot safely disregard, compelled me to this course. On the 27th of August I received a communication from the honorable Secretary of the Navy informing me that my resignation had been received and my name stricken from the rolls of the Marine Corps. Of this I complain not. I was then by an order of the Secretary of the Navy arrested and brought under a guard like a common felon to this fort where I am now incarcerated without even being informed of the charges against me. I have written to the Navy Department* in regard to this unjust and unlawful treatment, to which I have received no answer. As to the particulars and details of my treatment here in prison I deem it unnecessary to trouble Your Excellency. Complaints of this nature have been made by others and forwarded to the Department without having elicited the slightest consideration; besides there are circumstances which decency forbids mentioning to the head of a civilized people. Letters to and from my wife are subjected to the inspection of the commanding officer of this fort, and my dearest friends are denied permission to visit me on the most important business.

Under such extraordinary circumstances I feel justified in appealing and indeed I have no other resource but to appeal directly to the President which I now do, and respectfully ask that I may be brought to trial as soon as possible on the charges against me whatever they may be, or released from this imprisonment which can find no sanction in the laws of war nor in the Constitution or laws of the country which the President has solemnly sworn to support. Should, however, this just request be disregarded I then ask that I may be sent to Washington, D. C., where my wife and children reside that I may be permitted to see them from whom I have been absent in the service of the United States more than two years.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

ROBERT TANSILL.

* Not found.

–––

NAVY DEPARTMENT, [Washington,] October 10, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I received yours of the 7th instant, with a communication of Robert Tansill addressed to the President in which you do me the honor to ask me “to decide whether it is proper to be transmitted to His Excellency.” I have respectfully to state that I am aware of no impropriety in the transmission. Robert Tansill was a captain of marines and has passed most of his life in the service and pay of the Government. When the present difficulties commenced he was with Flag Officer Sands on the Brazilian Station. As soon as he heard of the conspiracy against the Government he addressed the Department {p.601} in a long communication expressing sympathy with the conspirators and indicating a higher allegiance to local authority than to that of the Government whose uniform he wore and whose pay and honor he had through his life received. On reaching the United States he forwarded this communication to the Department, and at the same time his commander notified me that he refused to take and subscribe to the oath. It was under these circumstances that he was sent to Fort Lafayette.

In a conversation with yourself in regard to this man I expressed my sympathy for his family and relatives and a desire that his wife and children might be permitted to see him. You concurred in these views, and further stated that he ought not to be permitted to go at large without taking the oath prescribed. The communication of Robert Tansill is herewith returned.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GIDEON WELLES.

–––

FORT WARREN, Boston, Mass., November 26, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Since my arrest and confinement I have written to the President and Secretary of the Navy asking to be released or brought to a trial on the charges (if any) that may have been preferred against me. Not having received an answer from these gentlemen I have thought that I might accomplish my release by addressing the Secretary of State on the subject.

I presume you are aware that I was arrested and confined on resigning my commission as a captain in the U. S. Marine Corps. It is but fair that I should frankly admit that I am unalterably opposed to your political principles and war policy, and that I would prefer to suffer a thousand deaths rather than raise my hand against the sovereignty or independence of any State of our once happy country. With due deference to your opinion I cannot but believe that the practice of incarcerating those who differ with you in opinion as to the necessity or policy of the present unfortunate war is really calculated to and will do you and the cause you desire to advance more harm than good. By this policy you not only make political enemies but personal ones also. You are aware, sir, that injuries produce ill will and justice friendship. Why then pursue a course which makes you foes instead of friends? If you had sent all the gentlemen to the South whom you have caused to be imprisoned they would not I am sure have the slightest influence in the final determination of the unhappy contest now raging between the two sections of the country. But be that as it may no good can come from wrong, and it is a mistaken policy for those who are at the head of public affairs to act so as to forfeit the respect and incur the resentment of those under them, however humble they may be. I repeat, sir, that those things that are wrong are unsafe and no plea of necessity can justify them. The constant practice of justice is not only the best policy, but our surest shield, most lasting and firmest support. By disregarding these sacred principles the rulers of to-day are often the victims of to-morrow, more especially in revolutions where majorities often suddenly become minorities.

The very great desire I have to see my wife and children who will soon be in a destitute and suffering condition and from whom I have been absent in the public service for over twenty-eight months has {p.602} induced me to address you this note and ask an unconditional release, as I can never consent to receive my liberty upon terms or conditions inconsistent with what I deem to be my obligations and duties as a citizen of my native State, Virginia. I hope, sir, that you will reflect upon this application, and I beg you will exercise in its consideration a spirit of justice and humanity, which are the brightest ornaments of a great statesman.

ROBERT TANSILL.

–––

Case of Samuel J. Anderson.

[Samuel J. Anderson is] a native of Georgia for several years past sojourning in New York; went to Georgia in the spring of 1861 and returned early in the summer. He was known to sympathize with the rebellion and manifested his sympathy by instituting proceedings to endeavor to procure the release of persons held in confinement by the Government for precautionary reasons. Having been informed that he was about to return to Georgia the Secretary of State caused him to be arrested on the 27th day of August, 1861, and confined in Fort Lafayette. Letters were found in Anderson’s possession showing that he maintained a treasonable correspondence with parties in the rebel States. One from W. M. Manning dated Charleston, S. C., February 19, 1861, has this passage: “I am unable to say whether there is any one in your city employed to give important information in regard to our affairs. I would be glad to hear from you often.” A. W. Redding writes from Jamestown, Ga., March 15, 1861, as follows: “You are in the midst of the enemy’s country. You are at headquarters. Just give us the dots.” A letter signed J. V. Hitchcock dated Washington, August 23, 1861, says: “On inquiry I find that passports of which you speak are not issued by the Government. The only way to get through is to go by way of Kentucky.” On the 11th day of October, 1861, the said Samuel J. Anderson was released from confinement on taking the oath of allegiance with stipulations against future misconduct.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

CENTRAL DEPARTMENT OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE New York, July 31, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD.

SIR: There is a soldier, I know not of what rank but probably a private or non-commissioned officer, named John [T.] Neil [Neale], stationed at Fort or Camp Runyon, who had been here for some days lodging in the same room with a noted secessionist who has twice been arrested by the police on suspicion of treason and who for the same reason will again be arrested to-day. Neale left yesterday to return to his post which it is said is in the neighborhood of Washington. It is supposed that Neale has communicated to Anderson, the secessionist, such information as he could obtain respecting our army. Anderson is the personal friend of Alex. H. Stephens. He proposes to leave for the South this afternoon, but he will be arrested at the time of his departure.

Very respectfully,

JAMES BOWEN.

{p.603}

–––

OFFICE SUPERINTENDENT METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, August 26, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD:

A man named Samuel J. Anderson, of Georgia, who has been holding place in the custom-house and sheriff’s office in this city for several years, and who acknowledges himself to me as devoted to the fortunes of Mr. Stephens, of Georgia, has during the summer made one visit to the South, and on his return was the person who brought the proceedings before Judge Garrison to release the Baltimore [police] commissioners.* He is about to leave again for the South, Had he not better be detained?

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

* See Volume I, this series, p. 619 et seq. for case of the Baltimore police commissioners. No record of the proceedings before Judge Garrison can be found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 26, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: I will thank you to direct Col. Martin Burke to receive Samuel J. Anderson, of Georgia, whose arrest at New York has been directed.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, August 27, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. BURKE.

SIR: By direction from the Secretary of State I send to you for safe custody Mr. Samuel J. Anderson, formerly of Georgia. Mr. Inspector Leonard who accompanies him will deliver him to you.

Very respectfully,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, August 31, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Present.

SIR: I have taken the liberty of writing to the President-being personally known to him-and have taken the further liberty of sealing the letter, being under the impression that such was the proper course, &c. If, however, I am mistaken may I request you, sir, to read the letter and forward it, &c.

Very respectfully, &c.,

S. J. ANDERSON.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, August 31, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, &c.

SIR: As Mr. Anderson requests me to send a sealed letter to His Excellency the President of the United States contrary to our regulations I have opened the letter, and seeing nothing wrong in it I respectfully forward it to you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

{p.604}

[Inclosure.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, August 31, 1861.

His Excellency A. LINCOLN, President, &c.

SIR: As you are doubtless aware I was arrested and lodged in this fortress on Tuesday last by order of General Scott. This is all I know in regard to the cause of my arrest, being unconscious of having violated any law of the United States. My private correspondence was all seized* and taken from me, including many letters from my friend Mr. Stephens running back through a period of several years. I have never destroyed any of his letters nor have I received any from him since he occupied his present position although I have written to him as usual until since mail facilities with the South have been obstructed. However, never having had any information to convey to him other than that which was conveyed through the newspapers my communicating with my friend needs no explanation.

I have never combined with any man or set of men to overthrow or embarrass the Government, nor am I aware of any such combinations in New York or elsewhere in the Northern States. In my right as an American citizen I have discussed the merits of public men and measures according to my judgment and abilities. As a political exponent of the State rights creed I could not approve some of the acts of your Administration. I have therefore commented upon them in various ways but in doing this I do not think I have exceeded the legitimate limits of fair and free discussion. However, even of this I had grown weary and had determined on the day of my arrest to return to Erie County, near Springville, to my family on the farm of Major Blasdell and there rest in quiet. My son, born in Georgia, is there at school. I had no intention at the time referred to of even going South myself. I have been a resident of New York more than twelve years and all my personal interests and affections are here. My political sympathies are with my native State and section. In my breast, therefore, the conflict must continue during the present civil war, the end of which alone can relieve my embarrassment.

I could not take any employment against the South; it is not proper or practicable for me to take an active part against the North. I would therefore wish to retire to my family, and from that sequestered spot observe the desolating conflict. The state of my health, in addition to all other considerations, constrains me to request that I be permitted to do so. I am afflicted with rheumatism and the dampness and confinement here have greatly aggravated it. With reluctance I utter the complaint. I only would wish to carry out my intention of retirement from all political excitements and discussions in the way and at the place indicated. If allowed I promise in good faith so to do. Whether I can keep my word or not I am willing to leave even my enemies to judge.

Very respectfully,

S. J. ANDERSON.

* See extracts from this correspondence immediately following this letter.

{p.605}

–––

Extracts from correspondence found in possession of Samuel J. Anderson at the time of his arrest.

[No 1.]

CRAWFORDVILLE, GA., January 26, 1860.

S. J. ANDERSON, New York.

DEAR ANDERSON: Your letter in which you indulge in a certain speculation or rather speculative conjecture as to the probable turn events may take at the Charleston convention came to the office here while I was at Savannah attending the supreme court. Since my return I have been quite busy at my little farm or plantation below this place getting ready for planting a crop or I should have replied to it sooner.

In this matter I shall deal very frankly with you as I always do even though the subject relates to myself. I therefore say in the first place that I think you are entirely mistaken as to the probability on which your conjecture is founded. There are too many men aspiring for office in this country for a draft ever having to be resorted to, and indeed I do not think any such general sentiment would ever converge toward me, as you seem to suppose. In this I do not think I am mistaken. I understand the world and mankind very well; at least I think I know enough of the public men of this country to satisfy me that your notions are not well founded. But in the second place and mainly I do not desire any such result. I have no wish for it. On the contrary I do not intend to allow my name to go before that body. I have so written to a great number of people all over the country, at least to men in several States North and South; It is true some have said that my name would be used without my consent. To this I can only say that I do not want it so used.

It is to tell the plain truth a disagreeable matter to me to see my name even thus associated. If there is anything particularly disgusting to me it is a scramble among Presidential aspirants. There are honorable men who look with ambitious longings to this high office-some of them well qualified to fill it. I do hope some of them may be gratified, but as for myself I can most truthfully and sincerely say that I would not exchange my present place and surroundings for any office in this world. My nature looks not that way for objects to gratify my outgoings of spirit. This is all I can say to you. I feel assured that you who have known me so long and intimately will feel satisfied that it is true.

With best wishes, I remain, yours, &c.,

ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.

[No. 2.]

CRAWFORDVILLE, GA., June 29, 1860.

[S. J. ANDERSON, New York.]

DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 24th instant was received last night. I do not know that I fully understand its import or object. It seems to have been written with a view to explain something that I know nothing about. You say for instance, “This is the history of the matter so far as I am concerned.” To what matter do you allude? It would seem that something had resulted from the facts detailed by you of which I am entirely unapprised.

{p.606}

A part of what you refer to I fully understand. I gave Doctor Hambleton my views of the position in which the seceders from Charleston stood toward the Baltimore adjourned convention. It was done at his instance freely and cheerfully, but certainly without any idea of what I said being used publicly or having any other influence than the bare statement of the points carried intrinsically in itself, not that I had any secrets on this subject, but I never could have given my consent for my name to have been invoked or used to give force to these points. If they did not have sufficient power to carry conviction of themselves I should have considered all extraneous aids as not only useless but decidedly injurious, and from what you state I am inclined to think probably this was the result by the course adopted; but as your letter found me all in the dark upon the matter you seem to be explaining I should like to hear more fully from you on the subject.

As to the final result at Baltimore I can only add a few words. I feel exceedingly pained and grieved at it. The consequences or effects cannot now be judged of or even conjectured. Madness and folly seemed to have ruled the hour. Why Judge Douglas’ friends should have persisted in nominating him after the secession of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, to say nothing of the other Southern States, I cannot imagine. I have heard no explanation and know nothing of what their calculations or expectations are. They must have known what the seceders intended to do; they must have known that the movement at Charleston, so far from having been checked by the popular feeling at the South, had been strengthened and augmented. This they must have known by consultation with the delegations from Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. If they did not they were very unfit representatives of their people on such an occasion. And taking it for granted that they did know it, I cannot imagine what object they had in view by the course they took except to put up their man to be beaten to say nothing of breaking up the party at the same time.

As I view the prospect from this point I see no chance for Douglas’ election. All he can possibly do will be to carry enough Northern votes to enable Mr. Breckinridge to be borne over him into the House where he may possibly be chosen; I mean Mr. Breckinridge. If Mr. Douglas’ friends are satisfied-and with their honor for him they have infinitely less regard for the noble spirit of the man and that favor and distinction which his great merits and talents deserve than I have-his position may be a very useful one to the country. We cannot see results but it can hardly be looked upon as adding to his reputation. Individually he will be but subservient-the stepping-stone of his party rival to elevation and power. By the aid of his back and shoulders Mr. Breckinridge may attain the object of his ammunition and the defeat of the Republicans may be achieved.

His I say may be a useful service to the country, but if such service were necessary under existing circumstances I should greatly have preferred to see the duty assigned to some other one-some one who would not have lost reputation by it; some one who would have even gained personal distinction as well as rendered beneficial service to his country. But I can say no more. We have fallen upon evil times. There are I fear but few of our public men nowadays who look to the country through any other medium except themselves and their own ambitious desires.

Yours, respectfully,

ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.

{p.607}

[No. 3.]

JAMESTOWN, GA., July 5, 1860.

MY DEAR SAM: ... You say you have just returned from Baltimore, whither you had gone and had advocated the claims of Douglas because in your judgment he was the only man who can break the tide of Republicanism, &c.

One thing is certain, the Democratic party have told the country time and again that conservatism was only in them; that the dissolution of the party was but another name for dissolution of the Union and that if the opposition would but support them to elect Buchanan the country would be safe and the Union preserved inviolate, &c. These delusive and unredeemed pledges and promises made fools of many a Southerner and committed them to the support of the party. I did believe for 1850-’51 that there was some hope for the country in Northern Democracy, yet I was suspicious all the time, but when the thin film was cast from my eyes (the first vote that was given in the House of Representatives when the question was direct) I have never had any difficulty in determining Northern policy and national Democracy from that day to this.

So far as my judgment is concerned-it may be bad and misguided, I only know it is honestly entertained-it is this (summing up the whole matter): The Union is inevitably dissolved unless the pocket nerve of the Northern manufacturer and merchant is sufficiently powerful to prevent it. Democracy has no more power over it now than my dog Joler, and in my judgment as a party never cared whether it was dissolved or not so that they held the loaves and fishes in their hands. As to Northern Democratic patriotism-excuse me. I know that criminations will do no good. I am sorry for it but I have no confidence in Douglas or Northern Democracy however much I do have in individuals.

I cannot think of any condition of things that would compel me to make a choice between Douglas and Lincoln. Nothing would induce me to vote for either of them. With regard to our lands. ...

Very truly, yours,

A. W. REDDING.

[No. 4]

CRAWFORDVILLE, GA., August 2, 1860.

DEAR ANDERSON: I have just got home after a two weeks’ absence. Both your letters are before me. I am obliged to you for them. I shall accept the position of elector in this State and make the best fight that can be made. Our cause is hopeless in Georgia, but the path of duty is the path of safety. I don’t know that my health will permit me to take a very active part in the canvass. I do hope that New York will prevent the election of Lincoln; that will be a great achievement If Maine should go for Douglas in September it will give him thousands of votes at the South that he would not otherwise get. I have no time to say more. The hour is at hand for closing the mail. I am still feeble, very feeble, but better than when I wrote to you last.

Yours, truly,

ALEX. H. STEPHENS.

{p.608}

[No. 5.]

CONSTITUTIONALIST OFFICE, Augusta, Ga., October 11, 1860.

S. J. ANDERSON, Esq.

MY DEAR SIR: ... I should be glad to hear ... whether you consider the vote in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana as conclusive of the triumph of Lincoln in those States next month. Your opinion on these points has weight here, and our friends would be much gratified to hear the results of your calm judgment. People here are startled, perplexed and anxious at the prospect now staring them in the face of Lincoln’s election. There is a deep-seated determination with many, and influential people too, to bring about a disruption in that event and they will be certain at least to do enough to create a great deal of commotion. This election will immensely increase the disunion sentiment of this section.

Yours,

JAMES GARDNER.

[No. 6.]

JAMESTOWN, GA., December 1, 1860.

S. J. ANDERSON, Esq.

DEAR SAM: ... You say when you wrote your last letter you was somewhat waspish and that my reply looked that way too. This I think is true of us both and all I will say in justification of myself is that whenever I am told that the conservatism of Northern Democracy is all the South has to look to for her protection I simply know that it is not so, never was and never will be. But I am like Governor [Herschell V.] Johnson, I am willing to let the dead bury their dead and let bygones be bygones. I am willing to let the old party names and lines be obliterated forever with the hope of drawing together the honest of all old parties North and South in one common cause to the rescue of the whole country. On this point I will not enlarge.

You say that you and Stephens were antagonistic on the subject of separate secession. I never differed with him. If he was all the time in favor of making resistance in the Union step by step as proposed by the Georgia platform of 1850 I was never otherwise but with him. I am for co-operation of the Southern States, and when the first Northern State (Massachusetts) passed her law repudiating the fugitive slave law I held then as I do now that Governor Brown, of Georgia, in obedience to authority given him by the Georgia legislature (which I thought to be in exact conformity with the Georgia platform) should then and there have called the legislature together to take measures of redress and pass laws of retaliation after proper negotiations had failed and been refused and unheeded, but he did not do it. He refused to do it and I placed him and his immediate counselors then where I think they will be found now-make a big smoke when there is some one who can’t help seeing it but when it is sifted there will be but little fire of the right kind found in it.

Now for Stephens’ speech at Milledgeville. I approve every word of it touching our Federal relations; believe that every measure and mode of redress suggested the very best that can be done. It is what ought to be done, and I will sustain so far as I can Stephens or any other leader in this case irrespective of party names. And like you I think it is the highest evidence of a great mind and a thoroughly qualified {p.609} politician for the occasion. I am with him and always have been before the doctrine of non-intervention by Congress on slavery in the Territories. I want no slave code nor do I think Congress ought to pass any or that our interest requires any. I am much pleased to hear you express the hope that the offending States may repeal those laws on fugitives so justly obnoxious to the South and her interest, and I am sure I have pleasure in knowing that “Little Aleck” shall be the medium through which it may be done, alike honorable to the North and the South. As he has said truly time has laid Massachusetts and South Carolina side by side in their vote upon the tariff. That in 1832 placed these two States so antagonistic; now they meet upon common ground and vote alike for a tariff. May we not hope that the present difficulty may be averted and that soon we of the South and the North may see alike upon this negro question? I verily believe it may be-nay will be so if we can keep such men as Yancey and other unconditional seceders from running away with the people. If the South secede unconditionally or make resistance in or out of the Union I am with her. Her destiny is my destiny, and in her bosom will I live and die and among her hills and valleys shall my bones rest, whether she act wisely or unwisely.

I have always understood that Aleck governed Toombs much more than Toombs did Stephens. This too I suppose should be so, as I never had any difficulty in awarding very superior ability in Stephens over Toombs, yet I am glad that Aleck is separated from Toombs. I have more confidence in his ability and his intentions to do right when I know he is freed from the influence (if any) of Robert Toombs. I cannot but think that we as a nation have not yet fulfilled our destiny, and that somehow or someway else by the blessings of the God of nations and the keeping our powder dry we should weather the storm, yet I confess it looks most dark and forbidding just now. Whenever an opportunity presents itself of disposing of our Worth lands I shall not be slow to let you know it. They are somewhat inquired for by speculators since they were advertised last year, but I have had no offer for them. I have been asked my price, and have said $2 per acre cash would buy them.

I am, truly, yours,

A. W. REDDING.

[No. 7.]

CRAWFORDVILLE, GA., January 8, 1861.

S. J. ANDERSON, New York.

DEAR ANDERSON: Your letter of the 2d instant was received last night. I also got one from you in November last, which I have not as yet or before this acknowledged. I was truly obliged to you for it, as I am for the one now before me, but was really too much occupied at the time to send an acknowledgment, especially as there was nothing in it that required special reply. I am now more at leisure, though still under pressure. In a few days I am to leave home for our convention to be absent no one knows how long. What our State will do I cannot tell. From reports it appears that the extreme men will be in a large majority in the convention. I shall, however, still hope for the best while I hold myself prepared for the worst. There would be no difficulty in this matter if our people really wanted a settlement of the question-I mean our ultra leading men-but I fear they do not,

{p.610}

What is to become of the country I do not know. My health is very feeble. What I can do to save our institutions shall be done. Let me hear from you often.

Yours, truly,

ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.

This is for yourself only.

A. H. S.

[No. 8.]

WASHINGTON. D. C. January 7, 1861.

S. J. ANDERSON, Esq., New York.

DEAR SIR: As the agent of Colonel Prevost I have taken the liberty to open your note to him of the 20th instant. ... I learn on inquiry that passports of which you speak are not issued by the Government. The only way to get through is to go by the way of Kentucky.

Very respectfully,

J. V. HITCHCOCK, Agent for Col. C. Provost.

[No. 9.]

CHARLESTON, February 7, 1861.

S. J. ANDERSON, New York.

DEAR ANDERSON: ... I must frankly say to you, however, the Democracy of the North must not rely too much upon the hope of a reconstruction of the old Union. It cannot be done. This I am satisfied is a fixed fact. An attempt at such a thing would plunge the South into a bloody conflict at home and for that reason it will be resisted at the threshold. As you say if there ever should be a reconstruction of some sort of union or confederation between the North and the South that it will take place under treaty and compact and not by compromise or amendments to the present or late Constitution. There are other questions in my opinion more vital to the cotton States than slavery that should constitute an impassable barrier to her ever entering into another union with the North.

I will explain. As long as cotton is king and the millions in Europe and Great Britain are dependent on it for employment and the civilized and uncivilized world for raiment so long will the institution of slavery exist and flourish in spite of the howlings and demented cries of the entire crew of abolitionists. For this I have no fears in or out of the Union. But as long as the Constitution contains a clause by which the South can be subject to unlimited taxation by an irresponsible majority in Congress through a tariff professedly for revenue but really to protect and build up the moneyed interest of one section at the expense of the other the cotton States will never consent to go back into the Union. I consider this question of equal if not greater importance than that of slavery. In all the compromises proposed not one word has been said to the South holding out the slightest hope of security on this point in future. But what is the fact in relation to this matter?

While the country is torn to atoms, the Union in fragments and the seat of government absolutely under the control of a military dictator, and the streets bristling with Federal bayonets, another bill of abominations is being urged through Congress. Is it strange then that we {p.611} should shrink from the reconstruction of a union that will fasten its coils around us as the loathsome reptile would around its doomed victim? Oh, no, the Union cannot be reconstructed-no, never. It then being a fixed fact that the Union cannot be reconstructed, and that henceforth the two sections must work out their own respective forms of civilization under separate governments, what should the North do? Can coercion reconstruct a Union which was a compact founded upon mutual sympathy and good will between independent confederate States? I am sure every thinking man at the North will answer no; a forced union would be a curse to both sections.

Can anything be gained by civil war? The Democracy and conservative men at the North must answer this question. The issues of such a war would be fearful indeed. It would inevitably bring the North in conflict with England and France. We have little or no shipping to care for. England and France would carry our cotton under their flags and bring us wares and merchandise in return, and while the North was waging a bootless war on land letters of marque and reprisal would be sweeping her commerce from the ocean. But let it be the privilege of the Democracy and conservative men of the North and Northwest to roll back this tide of threatened civil war. They can do it, and under a Northern confederacy strangle the Black Republican monster that has robbed them of the rich inheritance of their fathers. Let the South alone and suffer her to form her government in peace. Then such a commercial treaty and compact can be entered into by both nations as will secure the uninterrupted march of each in its onward progress. These are my views plainly and frankly expressed, and I feel satisfied that your judgment will assent to their correctness.

A word now about Fort Sumter and I will not inflict you further. We are all ready for the attack of that fortification. No movement will be made, however, until the action of the Southern Congress is known. If when it is demanded with other Southern forts by the commission from the Southern Confederacy it is not given up it will then be attacked and I can assure you it will be no child’s play. The men who had the nerve to fire into the Star of the West with an armed force on board of her with the guns of Fort Sumter frowning upon them with threatening destruction can be trusted in times of danger. Our people are quiet, cool and determined. We can bombard it simultaneously from seven different points. It cannot be re-enforced.

I trust, however, it will not come to this. When it is evident that a Southern confederacy will be formed and recognized by foreign powers I hope there will be good sense enough at least among the leaders of the Republican party if not in the rank and file to see the wisdom of withdrawing the troops and arranging the terms of separation in an amicable manner and on the principles of justice and equality. ...

I remain, as ever, yours, sincerely,

F. M. ROBERTSON.

[No. 10.]

CHARLESTON, S. C., February 15, 1861.

S. J. ANDERSON, Esq., New York.

DEAR ANDERSON: Yours with the inclosed slip was received this morning. I am inclined to think that there is not another man in the city of New York who has the moral courage to do what you did on the reception of the news of the organization of the Confederate States of America. I gave the slip to the Mercury and it will appear in the {p.612} issue to-morrow morning. Would that we had thousands of such firm and clear-headed men at the North. My letter to you was written in a plain, free and frank manner, carefully avoiding anything calculated to hide the truth or mislead any one. I feel flattered that you should have thought it worthy of publication though I am glad you have suppressed my name. I made an effort to get the paper it was published in but could not find it at either of our printing offices. If you can get a paper cut it out and send it to me. I kept no copy of my letter. I received a letter from Toombs this morning. To my question as to a feeling toward a reconstruction of the old Union he states that there is not the slightest idea of such a thing. To use his own language, “There is no difference of opinion here, and we are working day and night to put into operation as speedily as possible a permanent government forever.” If Lincoln does not open his eyes to the true condition of things when he arrives in Washington we shall certainly have war. We shall be ready for him, and I trust the Southern Congress will give the word before he can get warm in his seat. If we are to have war Fort Sumter must be ours before he can possibly re-enforce it. Keep this to yourself. Should anything of interest turn up I will write you again.

Yours, truly,

F. M. ROBERTSON.

[No. 11.]

CHARLESTON, February 19, 1861.

S. J. ANDERSON, Esq., New York.

DEAR SIR: This morning I received yours of 15th instant. I am unable to say whether any one is in your city employed to give important information in relation to our affairs, but under the system of vigilance and signals that characterize the doings in and about our harbor I greatly doubt the ability of any one much less a body of men to enter it but at great risk. The defenses are almost perfect in every respect with abundant force to work them, and although the Daniel Webster cleared for a port in Texas she may try to enter here. I would rather not be aboard if she does. In five-eighths of a mile of Fort Sumter there is an impregnable mortar and columbiad battery that will tell a tale when necessary. It is externally secured with heavy railroad iron and port holes protected by huge iron doors of great weight. A water battery filled with cotton and palmetto logs to carry four long 42-pounders will be launched to-morrow and will be ready in a few days. It will be anchored in the daytime near Fort Sumter. It is to be hoped that the fort will be surrendered when a demand from the Confederacy is made, for if it is not it will be taken at any cost. Lang before you get this you will have read President Davis’ inaugural. To my notion it is an excellent production and he means what he says. We can raise right here 5,000 men in a few hours, all well drilled, equipped and officered. I would like to hear from you often. I have two sons in Service. One left home 26th of December and was only relieved yesterday.

Very respectfully,

W. M. MARTIN.

[No. 12.]

JAMESTOWN, GA., March 15, 1861.

DEAR SAM: ... Every man of the South so far as I know or have heard I believe will maintain the present position of the Southern {p.613} Confederacy to annihilation. It is true that the course I thought it best to pursue was not acquiesced in by the majority and I yield to the will of a majority. I still think with the incredulity of the North that had all the Southern States co-operated and made a common demand for redress and grievances I dare say such demand had been insultingly refused, which would have committed the whole South and consequently all would have gone in a body out of the Union or about the same time. It may not be so great a calamity as I once thought it might be for the border States to remain outside the Confederacy as they will make so many outside rows in the political field upon which the enemies of the South may feed upon the shaded and stunted maize of our Southern farm and until we can get more cleared lands in Mexico to extend our cotton and negro influence.

The question of peace or war has been exceedingly complicated when judged of by old Abe’s foolish sayings by the wayside, or even by his inaugural or any of his subsequent acts, so far as I can see and judge. The latest accounts we have, however, indicate a disposition to yield to the South the forts now held by the old Government. There are such a multiplicity of sensational items published as emanating from Lincoln and others in authority that I cannot tell when I have seen or heard the truth. I have to wait in painful suspense for many days for its confirmation or denial. I am pretty sure of one thing, that the possession of these forts is nothing more than a question of time; each party I think is studiously avoiding the first overt act. To re-enforce these forts is equivalent to a declaration of war. That Fort Sumter will be compelled to surrender or be re-enforced soon is a military necessity that even such men as I am can foresee. I trust that the sacrifice of human life will be averted which will be required to storm it or to re-enforce it, but if the necessity is forced upon us we will take it.

Our independence we will have acknowledged and maintained. I think the idea of a reconstruction of the Federal Union is lost sight of in Georgia. There are many of us that still love the Union and would be rejoiced to see it reconstructed upon proper and equal terms, yet we are compelled to confess we are in woeful minority now. It is too true that the youth has been precipitated into a dissolution of the Union for the sake of disunion and that its leaders have no idea now of ever making any overtures or receiving any. The Government is dissolved and it is forever dissolved. Not a shadow of hope for its reconstruction remains so far as I can see.

I confess to you that while I feel it to be my duty as well as my interest to yield my assent to the powers that be in this new Confederacy and to afford all my influence in its favor, yet I am very jealous of its leaders. The cabinet of President Davis I have but little confidence in-as to Bobuel Toombs I have none. If Aleck was in his place, or was a direct member of the cabinet, I should have much more confidence in it. It appears to me a very egotistical arrangement-a one-sided affair, and until I can see a larger share of magnanimity in it than has yet been manifested I shall have fears and doubts. I know that it is no selfishness in me. I do not want and would not willingly accept any office in the gift of any Government or men, but when I see any order of men appropriate by word or deed all the honor and glory, patriotism or moral worth to themselves I know that set of men whether in church or state, socially or individually, will bear watching-they never prove themselves to be what they profess.

{p.614}

If our Government gets into trouble, and the time should come (God forbid it ever should) when it is being inquired into “Who did it?” I should not be surprised that Bonaparte’s example would be too clearly copied by some of the “great I am.” I fear there are those in the cabinet who would not scruple to play a coup d’état upon our beloved country. Nevertheless there is an immeasurable difference between our present position and that sought to put us in by our former Northern brethren. I will trust, however, that both our fears proceed more from our anxiety than otherwise. Before this reaches you I hope that things will so far have developed themselves that we shall know what is the policy of Lincoln’s (if he have any) Government. Suspense begins to be more onerous than reality in its worst anticipated shape.

Since writing the above Sunday has passed over and another mail arrived which gave us no additional information, except that dame rumor says that the talked-of withdrawal of troops from Fort Sumter is a ruse. I feel deeply mortified that the two sections should be so bitterly arrayed against each other. It is precisely like a family feud. I would treat my Northern brethren with the greatest respect and kindness if they would let me do so and at the same time enjoy my rights and immunities, but so help me God I will spill the last drop of blood in these old veins and spend the last red cent in the locker in the defense of these rights. And what is more, we intend to resist their insidious encroachments now and forever. They have boasted that we of the South cannot get along without their aid. Well, if they so believe, just leave us to our own ruin and we are content. We believe that we have all the elements of greatness as a nation and a people that ever clustered around the glory of any nation; we believe that the development of these elements has been retarded and kept back by Northern capital and Northern cupidity; we believe that that capital has been located North more by accident than otherwise; we believe that the Northern States by nature (not by law) should have been dependent upon the Southern States, and will be so when we assume our natural position-our position in obedience to our natural and physical resources.

... I shall be pleased to hear from you frequently. You are in the midst of the enemy’s country; you are at headquarters; just give us the dots. I want to know what is the spirit of the yeomanry of the country, &c.

I am, as ever, your friend, most truly,

A. W. REDDING.

[No. 13.]

NEW YORK, August 6, 1861.

DEAN RICHMOND, Esq., Chairman of Democratic State Committee.

SIR: An organization of influential citizens styled the Democratic States Rights Union Association has been formed in this city to sustain and uphold the Constitution of the United States. It is opposed to the coercion of States, hostile to the arbitrary and unconstitutional acts of the present Federal Administration and favorable to peace and a restoration of the Union. Its purpose is to assist in rallying public opinion, now temporarily perverted by misconception or restrained by terrorism, in favor of the objects above indicated, and especially to direct it to the real cause of our national difficulties, viz, the repudiation by the Republican party of the Constitution as it has been truly and justly expounded by the Supreme Court of the United States.

{p.615}

In order to place before your committee more fully the objects of our organization and to offer our co-operation with you for the purposes above indicated a committee was appointed at the last meeting of the association to visit Albany to confer with your committee. This committee is composed of Messrs. Jacob H. V. Cockroft, S. J. Anderson, whom by this letter we beg leave to introduce to you.

By order of the association:

Very respectfully,

R. G. HORTON, Secretary.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 11, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: The letter written by Samuel J. Anderson, a political prisoner at Fort Lafayette, to the President has been referred to me. Having examined the case I am satisfied that a discharge of the prisoner from custody would not be compatible with the public safety.

I have the honor to be, general, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, September 30, 1861.

C. WENDELL, Esq., Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: An old friend is in durance vile. If he does not get out in fifteen days he is ruined in more ways than one. There is no charge against him. This you can easily ascertain.

S. J. ANDERSON.

–––

BUFFALO, October 4, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

MY DEAR SIR: I write you on behalf of Mr. Anderson (inclosing papers), now a prisoner in Fort Lafayette, whose wife is a cousin of my wife. I know not on what evidence the Government has arrested and imprisoned him. I do not believe, however, from my many conversations with Anderson he has been playing in any respect the part of a spy or aiding the Southern Confederacy in any way. If he has he must of course suffer the consequences of his own conduct, and I would not attempt to procure his release. As a Southern man he doubtless does to some extent sympathize with his friends of the South. My real opinion in reference to him is that he thinks the South has been too fast and that it would have been much better for them to have quietly submitted to the election of Mr. Lincoln than to have inaugurated a civil war with all its horrors. I am sure as he has often said, taking into consideration his marriage with a Northern lady, his business interests being here, his residence also here, he had a firm purpose to remain neutral and in no manner render himself obnoxious to the censure of the Government. His wife is much distressed at his imprisonment, because he is quite subject to rheumatism and the confinement in so damp a place tends to aggravate his illness. I do not mean that he is sick but that he suffers from rheumatic pains in his limbs considerably. Now I well know you are not deaf to the humanities of life, and if you can consistently with the public safety and your duty as a public servant, I trust you will release Mr. Anderson.

Yours, very respectfully,

JNO. C. STRONG.

{p.616}

[Inclosure No. 1.]

William K. Blasdell, of [Buffalo, N. Y.], being duly sworn deposes and says that he is a farmer living on his farm near Springville in the county of Erie; that he is the father-in-law of Samuel J. Anderson now a prisoner in Fort Lafayette; that the family of said Anderson consists of his wife, the daughter of this deponent, an infant child between one and two years of age and a son by a former wife some thirteen or fourteen years of age; that the said family of Mr. Anderson has resided with this deponent for the past two or three years; that deponent has had frequent conversations with said Anderson on political subjects; that he is as deponent understands a native of the State of Georgia; that he owns as this deponent is informed and believes large tracts of land in Georgia and has many friends in the said State; that this deponent believes that he understands the political views of the said Anderson; that he supported Mr. Douglas in the last canvass because in the opinion of said Anderson he occupied middle ground between the extreme sentiments of the anti-slavery men of the North and the pro-slavery men of the South-that said Anderson went South this last spring to the State of Georgia to look after his interests, remaining South four or five weeks, and on his return spent several weeks with his family in the house of deponent; that he then returned to the city of New York where he has resided for several years past to arrange and settle up his business so he could come and spend the summer and winter on the farm of deponent with his family; that deponent knows it was his intention to come to Erie County and spend the balance of the summer and the coming winter with his family in the house of this deponent; that he had no intention of going South or of participating actively in any manner or form in the civil war now going on in the country; that while deponent knows that the sympathies of said Anderson are those of a Southern man by birth and education he also knows that said Anderson has frequently said to this deponent he regarded the South as having been hasty and too precipitate in the appeal to arms, and that it would have been better to have sought to redress political evils by political remedies; that on his return from the South said Anderson told deponent he had seen both sides of the controversy and heard the prominent men of both sides talk and that he should side with neither party but remain neutral, or words to that effect and import; that from the many and various conversations this deponent has had with Mr. Anderson he is well persuaded that the firm purpose of said Anderson was to remain neutral in this controversy. And deponent firmly believes said Anderson has done nothing inconsistent with the said position; that he desired a preservation of the union of the States. And deponent further says that said Anderson is a slim man, of slender constitution and health, and from the letters of said Anderson to his family and from what deponent knows of his health the confinement of said Anderson will be and is as deponent verily believes prejudicial to his health and very injurious to his business interests and the real welfare of his family. And further deponent saith not.

WM. K. BLASDELL.

Sworn before me this 4th day of October, 1861.

CUYLER GARRETT, Commissioner of Deeds for Buffalo.

{p.617}

[Inclosure No. 2.]

John C. Strong, of [Buffalo, N. Y.], being duly sworn says that he has known Samuel J. Anderson, spoken of in the foregoing affidavit, for three or four years last past; that he has often conversed with him on the political subjects of the day; that on his return from the South and some time in June last as deponent now remembers the time he had a conversation with said Anderson at the Wadsworth House in this city; that though this deponent cannot remember the precise words of said Anderson he remembers very distinctly that he disapproved of the hasty action of the leaders in the Southern States, and expressed the opinion that the war might have been avoided and all the evils complained of redressed by political means; that from conversations with the said Anderson deponent verily believes it was his firm purpose to attend to his private business in New York and remain neutral during the war, taking no active part with the one party or the other; that while said Anderson had the sympathies and feelings of a Southern man and expressed them deponent believes it was the firm purpose of said Anderson to refrain from all or any active participation in the controversy and attend to his own private business. And further deponent saith not.

JNO. C. STRONG.

Sworn before me this 4th day of September [October], 1861.

CUYLER GARRETT, Commissioner of Deeds for Buffalo.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

I am well acquainted with Mr. Blasdell and Mr. Strong who have made the foregoing statements. They are respectable citizens and are entitled to full confidence. I commend them to your favorable consideration. You will probably recollect John C. Strong who formerly resided at Geneva and practiced law in the Seventh district. He will write you personally on this subject.

E. G. SPAULDING.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 9, 1861.

Hon. E. G. SPAULDING, Buffalo, N. Y.

SIR: Lieut. Col. Martin Burke, commanding at Fort Lafayette, New York Harbor, has been this day directed to release Mr. Samuel J. Anderson upon his taking the oath of allegiance and engaging not to enter or communicate with any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the Government of the United States during the present hostilities without permission from the Secretary of State.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, October 11, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Inclosed please find oath of allegiance and parole of Samuel J. Anderson whom I have this day released by your order. ...

Very respectfully your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

{p.618}

[Inclosure No. 1.]

FORT HAMILTON, N. Y., October 11, 1861.

I, Samuel J. Anderson, do hereby give my word of honor that I will neither enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the Government of the United States nor hold any correspondence or communication whatever with them during the present hostilities without permission of the Secretary of State.

S. J. ANDERSON.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

STATE OF NEW YORK, County of Kings, ss:

I, Samuel J. Anderson, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any State convention or legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; and further that I do this with a full determination, pledge and purpose without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever; and further that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties which may be required of me by law. So help me God.

S. J. ANDERSON.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 11th day of October, 1861.

CHARLES W. CHURCH, Justice of the Peace.

–––

79 SPRING STREET, NEW YORK, October 12, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Washington, D. C.

SIR: After thanking you for the promptness of your attention to my case I beg leave to say that I shall do myself the honor of calling on you within a few days. I have a letter from John A. Kennedy, esq., to you which I shall retain until I reach Washington. I have taken an obligation which is binding upon me and which I have no inclination to qualify or evade. This obligation was imposed upon me as the condition of my release from a distressing and ruinous imprisonment. I have taken it and will keep it. I shall ask, sir, to be permitted to bring to your official notice certain facts in relation to individuals now incarcerated in Fort Lafayette which from my recent association with them I am enabled to do with accuracy.*

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. J. ANDERSON.

* See p. 688 et seq. for case of Robert Elliot.

–––

KIRKWOOD HOUSE, Washington, October 16, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

DEAR SIR: I arrived here this morning. I inclose a letter from John A. Kennedy, esq. May I ask you to indicate an hour when I may expect the honor of an interview?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. J. ANDERSON.

{p.619}

[Inclosure.]

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, October 12, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD.

SIR: The bearer of this is Mr. S. J. Anderson, lately confined at Lafayette. He desires an opportunity to communicate with you personally. I therefore take the liberty to introduce him. He is a man of education and capacity and may prove of value at this time, as he feels himself entirely severed from his former friends by recent events.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY.

–––

ASTOR HOUSE, New York, November 1, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have just returned from Erie County after an absence of some ten days. I can perceive no prospect of obtaining suitable employment for my mental and physical energies hereabouts. My political course and predilections have separated me from my former political friends here, and the conditions of my parole sever me from my friends in the South. Those conditions, however, are subject to remission by the Secretary of State. I have agreed not to go to a seceded State or write to any one therein without permission of the Secretary of State. I am therefore invited indirectly to apply for that permission. Political friends of yours, sir, somewhat interested in my affairs, have kindly tendered their good offices to obtain a passport from you releasing me from my parole. I have concluded, however, to select the more direct method of addressing you personally. I therefore ask you, sir, to grant me a remission of my parole, which I have no inclination to violate. Situated as I now am I am useless to myself and to others. As an humble individual I would appeal to the magnanimity of a powerful Government which could receive no perceptible detriment at my hands even if I were its bitterest foe. But I respectfully submit that I cannot be so considered while I firmly adhere to the motto, “Union and liberty, one and inseparable, now and forever.”

I have the honor to be, respectfully and truly, your petitioner,

S. J. ANDERSON.

–––

NEW YORK, July 22,1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I address this to you for obvious reasons. You are familiar with my case. The present Secretary of War was not in office when I was released from Fort Lafayette on parole. That parole was dictated by you as Secretary of State. From the best information in my power to obtain I was arrested by order of General Scott. When I addressed President Lincoln inquiring as to the charges against me he replied to me in prison through the Adjutant-General. When I was released on parole, however, my release came through your office. I have since had the honor of addressing you on the subject of remitting my parole. It now appears from the public prints that Generals Hill and Dix are to {p.620} meet for the purpose of agreeing upon a permanent basis of exchange of prisoners, &c., and that lists of all prisoners confined and on parole are to be furnished. I have to request that my name may not be omitted from the list of prisoners on parole.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. J. ANDERSON.

–––

Case of Ellis B. Schnabel.

This person was arrested in Connecticut by the U. S. marshal of that State and committed to Fort Lafayette August 29, 1861, by order of the Secretary of State. He was charged with disloyalty; with making treasonable harangues at peace meetings in Connecticut and with publicly denouncing the Government. An order was issued from the Department of State dated September 5, 1861, directing Colonel Burke, commanding at Fort Lafayette, to release Schnabel on his taking the oath of allegiance. Schnabel declined to take the oath and his release at this time, but subsequently expressed a desire to be released on taking the oath and an order was issued from said Department October 22, 1861, again directing Colonel Burke to release Schnabel on his taking the oath. He was accordingly released October 24, 1861.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

OFFICE OF THE U. S. ATTORNEY, Newark, August 30, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: The U. S. marshal of this State has to-day seized two trunks belonging to Ellis B. Schnabel, yesterday arrested in Connecticut and now in Fort Lafayette. He wishes me to direct him what to do with them, and I therefore refer to you for instructions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. Q. KEASBEY, U. S. Attorney.

–––

OFFICE OF THE U. S. ATTORNEY, Newark, September 2, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: The trunks of Ellis B. Schnabel seized by the marshal of this State were examined to-day and nothing of a suspicious or doubtful character found. The papers consisted chiefly of old correspondence and notes for Douglas speeches. No recent correspondence appeared.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. Q. KEASBEY, U. S. Attorney for New Jersey.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 5, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: Ellis B. Schnabel, confined in Fort Lafayette, may be discharged upon the condition of swearing before a competent magistrate {p.621} to the oath* of allegiance in the form herewith transmitted. The discharge should also, however, be accompanied by a proper admonition to the prisoner.

I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found, bat see Schnabel to Seward, p. 623.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, September 8, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States, Washington City.

SIR: Ellis B. Schnabel is still a prisoner, he having refused or declined to take the oath of allegiance forwarded to me from your Department on the 5th instant.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, New York Harbor, September 10, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States.

SIR: I herewith inclose a letter from one of the prisoners. I do not feel myself at liberty to withhold it although it not being in my opinion respectful.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

FORT LAFAYETTE, N. Y., September 8, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: The officer in command of this fort where I am detained as a prisoner at your instance has tendered me an oath as a condition of my release, the phraseology of which is so extraordinary that in my humble opinion no true lover of freedom, no honest supporter of the Constitution and laws can take without incurring the risk of being compelled either to violate his oath or become an auxiliary in the sacrifice of the Constitution in case the Government should adopt measures involving an infraction of that instrument. I can not and will not take an oath which may under certain contingencies oblige me to support a party or sectional organization. I will follow the lead of the Constitution and laws-nothing more, nothing less. Nor will I voluntarily part with my rights (as required by the terms of your oath) to express my opinion on all measures adopted by the Administration for the suppression of the existing war. There is wisdom in a multiplicity of counsel. Besides I have yet to learn that this or any other Administration is, was or will be immaculate. The concluding part of this oath requires me to surrender my constitutional rights. Sir, I will surrender them only with my life. My ancestors shed their blood on the fields of the Revolution to secure these rights for me. I will maintain and transmit them if possible by a like sacrifice.

I am not an advocate for the atrocious doctrine that “amidst arms laws are silent,” although I will consent to take an oath to the following {p.622} effect, drawn up and worded by myself, for until you are proclaimed dictator I shall dispute your right to dictate any oath unknown to and unsanctioned by the Constitution and laws: That I will support and defend the Constitution and obey all the laws of the United States while they are alive upon the statute book, but whilst I will obey a bad law I will at the same time claim the right to advocate its repeal as speedily as possible, else I am a slave. Further in protecting and defending the Constitution I will maintain the undeniable fact that the Union is the greatest blessing to our country (excepting the principles of civil and religious liberty) that a kind Providence has permitted us to enjoy, and that the free States are mainly indebted to that Union for their unparalleled prosperity and can only perpetuate and increase their triumphs beneath that grand Federal arch. But I will take no oath of any description which contains some hidden purpose covering an intended future policy, or is thrust upon me merely to provide a pretext for my release from this Administration jail. If I am guiltless (which you well know whether I am or not) discharge me from that fact; it alone is sufficient.

You, sir, have acted under evil and impolitic advisement in my arrest. I am void of offense. I have not solicited my liberation at your hands and never shall nor has any person to my knowledge; nor have I importuned any one to solicit my release. Sir, I will neither give nor take anything which is not comprised within the laws of my country. The tribunal therein established I seek and demand as the right of an American citizen. When the laws cease to protect the remedy of the outraged citizen then becomes plain and imperative. I await my trial, sir, although I will unhesitatingly make oath to the effect above mentioned for the following reasons:

First. Because I am already bound by a similar oath as a member of the legal profession together with my hereditary obligation and because my sense of duty, my conscience and judgment approve. Up to this moment my whole life attests the faithful fulfillment and observance of these sacred and solemn responsibilities.

Second. Because in case I did not renew this oath the bare fact that an oath was tendered and refused would afford a pretext for the partisan press to charge me with treasonable purposes, otherwise it would be proclaimed I could not reasonably hesitate to take the oath. That press has already abused the public mind by falsehood in relation to the meeting I addressed in Litchfield County, Conn.

I will therefore take the oath described by myself to do my duty (which has been done heretofore and would be equally well done without the additional affirmation) as one mode of self-defense. At the same time I cannot reconcile my mind to the opinion that the mere offer of an oath to a man free from all charge of error is not a sinister mode of casting an imputation upon his conduct, especially as your letter ordering the oath to be tendered directs that 1 be discharged with a rebuke or reprimand. Sir, until I am proved guilty of some offense, if you or Colonel Burke or President Lincoln himself attempts a reprimand I shall resent on the spot the indignity offered as a gratuitous insult. If I am guilty of treason, hang me; but if my true record shows that I have denounced treason, privation of rights and violation of law do me the justice to which I am entitled uncoupled with unmanly circumstances. I know my rights and yours, as well as the inflexible limits which the people will fix to the exercise of delegated power; hence it is useless at a time like this to approach me in an oblique manner. Prefer your charges, confront me with my accusers, summon {p.623} a jury of my peers, try me by the laws of the land if there are any remaining. I will abide the result. Or with frank dignity acknowledge your error in my arrest and open the iron doors of your prison to a man whose devotion to the Union and the Constitution is at the very least equal to that of the most valiant champion of your peculiar views. The cause of our unhappy country will be better served by fair dealing tending to allay unnecessary and dangerous excitement rather than by heaping up wrongs calculated to arouse bitter personal hostilities.

I have written in great haste as I have received word from Colonel Burke that my answer is desired at once; hence have neither time nor opportunity to review or digest this communication. May God bless our distracted country, preserve our Constitution, perpetuate our great Union and imbue all public officers and private citizens with a generous love of liberty and strict obedience to the laws.

Respectfully,

ELLIS B. SCHNABEL.

P. S.-It would be well to examine carefully the oath tendered me, as you have made interlineations with a pen in the printed form and erased part of the original the import of which now you may not have sufficiently considered:

I do solemnly swear that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any State convention or legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; and further that I do this with a full determination, pledge and purpose, without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever; and further that I will not by speaking or correspondence interfere with the measures of the Government for suppressing the existing insurrection. So help me God.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, September 10, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton:

You will now retain Ellis B. Schnabel a prisoner, and not again tender him the oath which he refused.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

–––

JERSEY CITY, September 12, 1861.

Mr. WEBSTER.

DEAR SIR: It has been reported that a man by the name of Schnabel, now confined at Fort Lafayette, was tendered his liberty yesterday if he would take the oath of allegiance which he refused to take. My object in writing to you is to put you in a way of gaining information regarding this man. I refer you to R. Van Valkingburgh, who can inquire of Mr. Weldon (who you know by reputation), who can give you information by which it can be proven that Schnabel was in Richmond last spring. I have had near 100 arguments with him myself up to within one week of his arrest and upon all occasions he was loud in his denunciations of the present Administration. He is a bad man who with his power of declamation can do great harm. He is well known in Jersey City and all affirm that the Government would do well by keeping him confined until the war is over.

Very respectfully, yours,

B. VAN RIPER, Superintendent Folding Department, U. S. Senate

{p.624}

–––

SUPERINTENDENT OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, September 28, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: In relation to Mr. Ellis B. Schnabel and the propriety of his being speedily released from arrest it is proper that I should say to you that he had attracted my attention before he went to Connecticut to make peace speeches. An agent of Mr. Samuel Colt came down to New York in search of Schnabel in the early part of August, and failing to find him called on the police for assistance. Schnabel was found and an interview was had, but the proceedings were conducted in such a manner as to excite my suspicion that some improper proceeding was contemplated between Colt and Schnabel. I inferred from disconnected remarks of the parties that Schnabel had a commission to purchase arms, which Colt having ascertained had sent his agent to New York to secure the customer, having been long ago convinced that Colt was ready to sell his wares to whoever paid most.

On the strength of this, instead of writing I sent the officer who had assisted in searching up Schnabel to Hartford to report the whole affair to Governor Buckingham and put him on his guard against Colt and Schnabel. His acknowledgment to me of the service is dated August 14, which fixes the time of S. going to Connecticut on the invitation of Colt, and shows that although I was in error in supposing Colt wanted him to buy arms he had other occupation for him, for he immediately opened his peace campaign after reaching Hartford. He had no sooner begun his traitorous harangues than Daniel S. Dickinson fired up and sent me by the hands of his attorney in New York a complaint against Schnabel for having obtained from him under false pretenses his signature to an instrument of writing (a note of hand for $500) in December of 1856. My officer was after Schnabel, and was only an hour or so behind the U. S. marshal of Connecticut when he made the arrest. These papers have since been returned to Mr. Dickinson, he only being influenced by the design of arresting his treason by arresting Schnabel himself.

I know of no good reason for letting him out and keeping others in confinement. He is a very plausible man and had the sagacity with S. J. Anderson to treat Stanley kindly while the others regarded him with suspicion. It would probably be well to institute an inquiry somewhere and ascertain who paid his expenses and was to continue paying them during his sojourn in Connecticut. He had but little money when arrested, and the landlord where he had been stopping in Jersey City has a lien on his baggage of $138. I examined the baggage but found nothing wrong in it.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, October 16, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I wrote to you on the 8th of September last in reference to a certain oath and reprimand tendered to me. I took exceptions to the oath on account of an interpolation which under certain circumstances would have made me swear away all my rights and interests in my country and her institutions. I felt the reprimand an insult because a reprimand is a penalty imposed as the consequence of a conviction for {p.625} some offense. I had committed no offense and according to the best information I could get was charged with none and certainly was not tried or convicted of any. You did not answer my letter wherein I offered to take a proper oath embodying everything that comprised true loyalty and unlimited defense of the Constitution.

I waited until I obtained a copy of the usual oath presented to prisoners here, which is a month since. I immediately informed the commanding officer (Lieutenant Wood) that I would take that oath and he promised to inform you to that effect. After a week elapsed upon inquiry I learned that he had not done so. This was extraordinary. I resolved to address Secretary Cameron, between whom and myself friendly relations have existed without interruption from my boyhood. He immediately proclaimed himself my enemy, asserting through the columns of a public print that I had no character and that he returned my communication* unopened. I addressed him because you did not answer my first letter and I inferred that the order to reprimand emanated from you. I endeavored last week to discover who framed the oath and ordered the reprimand. Colonel Burke referred me to the War Department for answers to my interrogatories. This seems to indicate that Secretary Cameron forwarded the oath and ordered the reprimand. If such is the case I would feel relieved to be enabled to qualify my first communication. If it is not inconsistent with your relations with the Secretary of War to inform me I should be very much obliged. In my letter to Secretary Cameron I went into a full account of all the circumstances of my arrest and imprisonment, also informing him that [was ready at all times to take the usual oath of allegiance. I further (as in my letter to you) demanded a trial, stating that he should summon the abolitionists of Litchfield County, Conn., who were at the meeting I addressed in large numbers; that I would be willing to be tried by them alone. I would not call a solitary witness; neither Democrat, peace man nor Republican should be summoned in my behalf. None but those supposed to be my worst enemies should testify and I pledged myself not even to cross-examine them, so conscious am I of being free from all offense, even remotely. Had you been present at the meeting you would have promptly countermanded the order for arrest. I believed then that the order for arrest was on the principle of prevention, for it was after me before I had opened my lips. Thinking that a speedy satisfaction would be accorded me-for you should have informed yourself immediately of the true state of the facts when such extraordinary process is resorted to as the imprisoning of a citizen without warrant or accusation-I went to Connecticut on law business and was invited to address a meeting. I found a bad state of the public mind. I determined to allay the excitement and did perhaps more toward that end than any effort yet made by the Administration. Your Republican friends and even the officer who arrested me (Mr. Peck, of Litchfield) declaring after hearing me that “I had effectually stopped the months of all seceders” and will tell you so now. These men you should have consulted before permitting a Northern citizen devoted through his whole life to the Constitution, Union and prosperity of his country to remain thus long in confinement.

This note is simply to remind you again of that which has been before the Government for a month-that I am ready (as I have always been) to take the oath of allegiance presented to others. This an honor-

* Not found. {p.626} able man can faithfully and safely observe. The very day I had the other oath presented me I notified your agents here to the same effect. If the above meets with your views you will please immediately inform me as one of the reasons for haste is the sad afflictions falling upon those nearest and dearest to me on earth. I have received through the hands of Colonel Burke a solemn summons to scenes of sorrow and approaching death, hence I cannot fail to ask a reply without delay for thus only can I discharge dutifully the sacred obligations now suddenly cast upon me.

Very respectfully,

ELLIS B. SCHNABEL.

P. S.-In addition, sir, I would wish in case any immediate action is taken in my case which humanity demands to be informed whether any charge has been brought against me so that I can acquit myself of all censure cast upon me by newspaper misrepresentations, or if it is more agreeable after I attend to the duties that sorrow and distress has imposed unexpectedly upon me signify whether I shall come to Washington to correct the record if any exists.

E. B. S.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, October 21, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: One week since I wrote you a second time in reference to my imprisonment. No notice is taken of my communications to you, and yet you have kept me in prison for two months without assigning cause, without notice of charges, without hope of the writ of habeas corpus, without trial and all defense denied although all these have been demanded by me six weeks ago. These things satisfy me that I am held without any known cause but political vindictiveness. Who the primary persecutors are I am totally ignorant of. Your protracted silence I consider as a refusal to afford the opportunity to an outraged citizen to redress an atrocious grievance.

I have within a short time had the propitious occasion to put in the hands of my friends outside this prison all the documents, letters, correspondence and facts connected with my imprisonment. I retained only a copy of my last letter to you, and herewith send you again a copy asking that it be put on file in the State Department for future reference. With this note and the accompanying copy my intercourse with your Department ceases, from the conviction that I am struggling in vain to obtain justice or even a hearing. About all the injury, loss and suffering that can be put upon me I have already endured. Hence since the innocent are to have no redress but must continue to suffer the wrong I am constrained to abide that period of justification which I trust the future will soon afford. We will both await in our respective positions coming events-you in a position self-chosen; I in one forced in violation of all law and right-denied even the knowledge of any charge against me. I believe there is none, as none can be made with truth where myself or sentiments are known. I now rest with this further demand that you immediately upon receipt of this letter forward to the Hon. Charles O’Conor, of New York City, a pass to visit me forthwith as counsel. This I am entitled to by all the constitutions and laws of my country. I have addressed him to-day upon the subject and consequently insist upon seeing him for the purposes of consultation, defense and redress.

Very respectfully,

ELLIS B. SCHNABEL.

{p.627}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 22, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

COLONEL: You will release Mr. Ellis B. Schnabel on his taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

–––

STATE OF NEW YORK, County of Kings, ss:

I, Ellis B. Schnabel, do solemnly affirm that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any State convention or legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; and further that I do this with a full determination, pledge and purpose, without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever; and further that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties which may be required of me by law. So help me God.

ELLIS B. SCHNABEL.

Affirmed to and subscribed before me this 24th day of October, 1861.

CHARLES W. CHURCH, Justice of the Peace.

–––

Case of William Patrick and J. C. Rahming.

This person [William Patrick] was arrested in New York by order of the Secretary of War August 28, 1861, and committed to Fort Lafayette. He was charged with having corresponded and transacted business of a commercial character with persons residing in the insurrectionary States in violation of the President’s proclamation of August 16, 1861. An order was issued by the Secretary of State September 11, 1861, directing Lieutenant-Colonel Burke, commanding at Fort Lafayette, to release Patrick. The said William Patrick was accordingly released September 13, 1861, unconditionally, claiming to be a British subject.

John C. Rahming was arrested by order of John A. Kennedy, superintendent of police at New York City, September 2, 1861, and by order of the Secretary of State committed to Fort Lafayette. He was charged with attempting to induce the owner’s of the schooner Arctic to take cannon from Nassau to Wilmington, N. C., for the use of the rebels. An order was issued from the Department of State dated September 14, 1861, directing Colonel Burke, commanding at Fort Lafayette, to tender Rahming his release on his giving a bond with a penalty of $2,500 with sureties, &c., that during his abode in this country he will do nothing hostile to the Government of the United States. He was accordingly released September 18, 1861.– From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

{p.628}

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 3, 1861.

THURLOW WEED, R. M. BLATCHFORD, and ROBERT MURRAY, Esqs.

GENTLEMEN: Your letter* relating to the case of ... William Patrick has been received. ... Smith & Patrick are agents of an illegal and treasonable European correspondence. Smith is in Europe and Patrick is enlightened by many intercepted letters in possession of the Department. He cannot be released.

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found.

–––

OFFICE OF SUPT. OF METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, September 3, 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton.

SIR: By order of the Secretary of State I send you in charge of Mr. Inspector Carpenter Mr. J. C. Rahming, of 36 South street, New York, to be detained at Fort Lafayette. You will please remit by Mr. Carpenter a receipt for his body.

Very respectfully,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 5, 1861.

Right Hon. Lord LYONS, &c.:

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to Lord Lyons and with reference to his unofficial note of this date* has the honor to inform him that directions have been given in the proper quarter to extend to William Patrick any indulgence which his health may require and which is not incompatible with his safe-keeping.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 5, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.:

The British minister represents that the health of William Patrick is endangered by the manner in which he is confined at night. Should this be so give him any indulgence which you can compatibly with his safety.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September [11], 1861.

Right Hon. Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: I have read the communication* of Mr. Archibald to you concerning the case of William Patrick. Intercepted correspondence, letters to Smith, of the house of Smith & Patrick, and similar letters addressed to the care of that firm show that the house has been made a channel for communication between insurgent citizens of the United States at home and their correspondents and agents who are in Europe engaged in procuring munitions of war for the overthrow of this Government.

{p.629}

The Government has been prepared by the favorable reports it has heard of Mr. Patrick since his arrest to believe what Mr. Archibald states-that he has not willingly consented to be implicated in this treasonable correspondence in which his partner Smith is so deeply compromitted. I have therefore by authority of the President directed that he shall be released from confinement. This is the more cheerfully done because the publicity of what has happened will probably be sufficient to prevent further attempts to employ the firm of Smith & Patrick as a medium of treasonable communication. I return the communication of Mr. Archibald as proposed.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 11, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: You will be pleased to discharge William Patrick, who has for some time past been confined as a political prisoner at Fort Lafayette.

I am, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 12, 1861.

Right Hon. Lord LYONS, &c.:

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to Lord Lyons and acknowledges the receipt under cover from his lordship of a report* from Mr. Archibald, the British consul at New York, relative to the case of Mr. Rahming, a British subject detained at Fort Lafayette. That report is under consideration with other papers appertaining to the case.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 14, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: You may inform Mr. Rahming, confined at Fort Lafayette, that he may be released upon giving a bond with a penalty to the amount of $2,500 and with sureties to the satisfaction of the U. S. attorney that during his abode in this country he will do nothing hostile to the Government of the United States.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

WASHINGTON, October 14, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c.

SIR: Her Majesty’s Government were much concerned to find that two British subjects, Mr. Patrick and Mr. Rahming, had been subjected to arbitrary arrest, and although they had learned from a telegraphic dispatch from me that Mr. Patrick had been released they could not but regard the matter as one requiring their very serious consideration. Her Majesty’s Government perceive that when British subjects as well as American citizens are arrested they are immediately transferred to a military prison and that the military authorities refuse to pay obedience {p.630} to a writ of habeas corpus. Her Majesty’s Government conceive that this practice is directly opposed to the maxim of the Constitution of the United States that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Her Majesty’s Government are willing, however, to make every allowance for the hard necessities of a time of internal trouble, and they would not have been surprised if the ordinary securities of personal liberty had been temporarily suspended nor would they have complained if British subjects falling under suspicion had suffered from the consequences of that suspension. But it does not appear that Congress has sanctioned in this respect any departure from the due course of law, and it is in these circumstances that the law officers of the Crown have advised Her Majesty’s Government that the arbitrary arrests of British subjects are illegal.

So far as it appears to Her Majesty’s Government the Secretary of State of the United States exercises upon the reports of spies and informers the power of depriving British subjects of their liberty, of retaining them in prison or liberating them by his own will and pleasure. Her Majesty’s Government cannot but regard this despotic and arbitrary power as inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States; as at variance with the treaties of amity subsisting between the two nations and as tending to prevent the resort of British subjects to the United States for purposes of trade and industry.

Her Majesty’s Government have therefore felt bound to instruct me to remonstrate against such irregular proceedings and to say that in their opinion the authority of Congress is necessary in order to justify the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of British subjects.

I have the honor to be, sir, with the highest consideration, your most obedient, humble servant,

LYONS.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 14, 1861.

Right Hon. Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: I have the honor to acknowledge your lordship’s note of the present date. In that paper you inform me that the British Government is much concerned to find that two British subjects, Mr. Patrick and Mr. Rahming, have been brought under arbitrary arrest, and that although Her Majesty’s ministers have been advised by you of the release of Mr. Patrick yet they cannot but regard the matters as requiring the very serious consideration of their Government You further inform me that Her Majesty’s Government perceive that when British subjects as well as American citizens are arrested they are transferred to a military prison and that the military authorities refuse to pay obedience to a writ of habeas corpus. You add that Her Majesty’s Government conceive that this practice is directly opposed to the maxim of the Constitution of the United States that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. You then observe that Her Majesty’s Government are nevertheless willing to make every allowance for the hard necessities of a time of internal trouble, and they would not have been surprised if the ordinary securities of personal liberty had been temporarily suspended nor would they have complained if British subjects falling under suspicion had suffered from the consequences of that suspension. But that it does not appear that Congress has sanctioned in this respect {p.631} any departure from the due course of law, and it is in these circumstances that the law officers of the Crown have advised Her Majesty’s Government that the arrests of British subjects are illegal.

You remark further that so far as appears to Her Majesty’s Government the Secretary of State of the United States exercises upon the reports of spies and assumes the power of depriving British subjects of their liberty or liberating them by his own will and pleasure, and you inform me that Her Majesty’s Government cannot but regard this despotic and arbitrary power as inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, as at variance with the treaties of amity subsisting between the two nations and as tending to prevent the resort of British subjects to the United States for purposes of trade and industry. You conclude with informing me that upon these grounds Her Majesty’s Government have felt bound to instruct you to remonstrate against such irregular proceedings and to say that in their opinion the authority of Congress is necessary in order to justify the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of British subjects.

The facts in regard to the two persons named in your note are as follows: Communications from the regular police of the country to the Executive at Washington showed that disloyal persons in the State of Alabama were conducting treasonable correspondence with Confederates, British subjects and American citizens in Europe, aimed at the overthrow of the Federal Union by armed forces actually in the field and besieging the capital of the United States. A portion of this correspondence which was intercepted was addressed to the firm of Smith & Patrick, brokers, long established and doing business in the city of New York. It appeared that this firm had a branch at Mobile; that the partner, Smith, is a disloyal citizen of the United States and that he was in Europe when the treasonable papers were sent from Mobile, addressed through the house of Smith & Patrick in New York. On receiving this information William Patrick was arrested and committed into military custody at Fort Lafayette by order of the Secretary of War of the United States addressed to the police of the city of New York. These proceedings took place on the 28th of August last. Representations were thereupon made to the Secretary of State by friends of Mr. Patrick to the effect that notwithstanding his associations he was personally loyal to this Government, and that he was ignorant of the treasonable nature of the correspondence which was being carried on through the mercantile house of which he was a member. Directions were thereupon given by the Secretary of State to a proper agent to inquire into the correctness of the facts thus presented and this inquiry resulted in the establishment of their truth. Mr. William Patrick was thereupon promptly released from custody by direction of the Secretary of State. This release occurred on the 13th day of September last.

On the 2d day of September the superintendent of police in the city of New York informed the Secretary of State by telegraph that he had under arrest J. C. Rahming, who had just arrived from Nassau where he had attempted to induce the owners of the schooner Arctic to take cannon to Wilmington, in North Carolina, for the use of the rebels, and inquired what should he do with the prisoner. J. C. Rahming was thereupon committed into military custody at Fort Lafayette under a mandate from the Secretary of State. This commitment was made on the 2d day of September. On the 17th day of that month this prisoner alter due inquiry was released from custody on his executing a bond in {p.632} the penalty of $2,500, with a condition that he should thereafter bear true allegiance to the United States and do no act hostile or injurious to them while remaining under their protection.

I have to regret that after so long an official intercourse between the Governments of the United States and Great Britain it should be necessary now to inform Her Majesty’s ministers that all executive proceedings whether of the Secretary of War or of the Secretary of State are unless disavowed or revoked by the President proceedings of the President of the United States. Certainly it is not necessary to announce to the British Government now that an insurrection attended by civil and even social war was existing in the United States when the proceedings which I have thus related took place. But it does seem necessary to state for the information of that Government that Congress is by the Constitution invested with no executive power or responsibility whatever, and on the contrary that the President of the United States is by the Constitution and laws invested with the whole executive power of the Government, and charged with the supreme direction of all municipal or ministerial civil agents as well as of the whole land and naval forces of the Union, and that invested with those ample powers he is charged by the Constitution and laws with the absolute duty of suppressing insurrection as well as of preventing and repelling invasion and that for these purposes he constitutionally exercises the right of suspending the writ of habeas corpus whenever and wheresoever and in whatsoever extent the public safety endangered by treason or invasion in arms in his judgment requires.

The proceedings of which the British Government complain were taken upon information conveyed to the President by legal police authorities of the country, and they were not instituted until after he had suspended the great writ of freedom in just the extent that in view of the perils of the State he deemed necessary. For the exercise of that discretion he as well as his advisers-among whom are the Secretary of War and the Secretary of State-is responsible by law before the highest judicial tribunal of the Republic and amenable also to the judgment of his countrymen and the enlightened opinion of the civilized world.

A candid admission contained in your letter relieves me of any necessity for showing that the two persons named therein were neither known nor supposed to be British subjects when the proceedings occurred and that in every case subjects of Her Majesty residing in the United States and under their protection are treated during the present troubles in the same manner and with no greater or less rigor than American citizens. The military prison which was used for the temporary detention of the suspected parties is a fort constructed and garrisoned for the public defense. The military officer charged with their custody has declined to pay obedience to the writ of habeas corpus, but the refusal was made in obedience to an express direction of the President in the exercise of his functions as Commander-in-Chief of all the land and naval forces of the United States. Although it is not very important it certainly is not entirely irrelevant to add that so far as I am informed no writ of habeas corpus was attempted to be served or was even sent out or applied for in behalf of either of the persons named, although in a case not dissimilar the writ of habeas corpus was issued out in favor of another British subject and was disobeyed by the direction of the President.

The British Government have candidly conceded in the remonstrance before me that even in this country so remarkable for so long an enjoyment {p.633} by its people of the highest immunities of personal freedom war and especially civil war cannot be conducted exclusively in the forms and with the dilatory remedies provided by municipal laws which are adequate to the preservation of public order in a time of peace. Treason always operates if possible by surprise, and prudence and humanity equally require that violence concocted in secret shall be prevented if practicable by unusual and vigorous precaution. I am fully aware of the inconveniences which result from the practice of such precautions, embarrassing communities in social life and affecting perhaps trade and intercourse with foreign nations. But the American people after having tried in every way to avert civil war have accepted it at last as a stern necessity. Their chief interest while it lasts is not the enjoyments of society or the profits of trade but the saving of the national life. That life saved all the other blessings which attach to it will speedily return with greater assurance of continuance than ever before. The safety of the whole people has become in the present emergency the supreme law and so long as the danger shall exist all classes of society, equally the denizen and the citizen, cheerfully acquiesce in the measures which that law prescribes.

This Government does not question the learning of the legal advisers of the British Crown or the justice of the deference which Her Majesty’s Government pays to them. Nevertheless the British Government will hardly expect that the President will accept their explanations of the Constitution which thus expounded would leave upon him the sole executive responsibility of suppressing the existing insurrection while it would transfer to Congress the most material and indispensable power to be employed for that purpose. Moreover those explanations find no support in the letter much less in the spirit of the Constitution itself. He must be allowed therefore to prefer and be governed by the view of our organic national law which while it will enable him to execute his great trust with complete success receives the sanction of the highest authorities of our own country, and is sustained by the general consent of the people for whom alone that Constitution was established.

I avail myself of this opportunity to offer to your lordship a renewed assurance of my very high consideration.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FOREIGN OFFICE, November 22, 1861.

Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: Some misapprehension appears to have prevailed in respect to the note which your lordship addressed to Mr. Seward regarding the two British subjects, Messrs. Patrick and Rahming. Your lordship very properly according to the instructions I had given stated to Mr. Seward that in the opinion of the law officers the arrest of British subjects and the refusal of the writ of habeas corpus was illegal.

It seems to have been inferred, and Mr. Seward himself countenances this mistake, that the British Government pretended to set up their reading of the American Constitution as of greater authority than the authority of the President of the United States. Such was obviously not your lordship’s meaning or mine. It is necessary in every case where a British subject complains to consult the law of the country in which the complaint arises. Thus when a British subject complained last year of detention in a Prussian prison Her Majesty’s Government took pains to ascertain the provisions of the Prussian law on the subject. Thus a few days ago I directed Her Majesty’s minister at Madrid {p.634} to complain of the treatment of a British vessel and her commander on the ground that the Spanish law had been violated by that treatment. It is obvious that so long as the British or any other Government complains of the violation of right it is necessary to ascertain the nature of the laws of which the violation is alleged, otherwise the complaint can only be directed against harshness of administration and excess of rigor.

That Her Majesty’s Government were not singular in believing that the writ of habeas corpus can only be suspended by authority of Congress has since the date of your note been abundantly shown. A judge issues a writ of habeas corpus to bring up the body of a minor enlisted and detained in the ranks of the U. S. Army. Not only is the writ disobeyed but a sentinel is placed at the door of the judge. The circuit court of which he is a member having the matter before them decide that they do not doubt their power to regard the return made by the deputy marshal as insufficient in law and to proceed against the officer who had made it and that if they do not proceed further it is because they have no physical power. If this view required confirmation it may be said that very able lawyers have written in support of this doctrine.

To recur, however, to the remonstrance which I directed your lordship to address to Mr. Seward I have to observe that Her Majesty’s Government never had it in contemplation to controvert an authoritative declaration of the law of the United States in respect to the liberty of persons residing therein. What Her Majesty’s Government doubted was the authority of the President to set aside the law and privilege of habeas corpus by his sole will and pleasure. That doubt has been shared by the circuit court of Washington and by many of the most eminent lawyers of a country fertile in men of legal attainments and judicial fame.

In the particular case of Mr. Patrick it appears that that gentleman was a partner in a firm with another gentleman who has taken part with the South and that the correspondence of enemies to the Government was supposed to be conveyed by means of their firm. When it is considered that a year ago two members of a firm who belonged one to the Northern and the other to the Southern States were considered equally loyal citizens; that a commercial firm cannot be dissolved in a day; that letters sent through a firm are not usually submitted to the principal partners of that firm; that no pains were taken to ascertain the character and political sentiments of Mr. Patrick before he was subjected to the indignity and pain of an arrest, this case unavoidably suggests the reflection that the possession of arbitrary power in whatever hands it may be placed is sure to lead to abuse. Among the necessities of civil war this wanton and capricious arrest of Mr. Patrick cannot be reckoned, and the remonstrance of Her Majesty’s Government must remain on record.

You may give a copy of this dispatch to Mr. Seward. I have, &c.,

RUSSELL.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 13, 1862.

Right Hon. Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: You have kindly left with me a copy of an instruction which you had received from Earl Russell, dated on the 22d of November last.

{p.635}

I have great pleasure in stating to you for the information of his lordship that the President frankly and unhesitatingly accepts the explanations given by Earl Russell of what was the meaning of the British Government in the views which at their instance you had heretofore submitted to me concerning the right of the President to suspend the habeas corpus in time of insurrection without waiting for direct authority from Congress.

I have to regret, however, that while the misapprehension which has existed upon this one point is thus generously removed by Earl Russell he deems it necessary to persist in the opinion that the President’s proceedings under a suspension of the habeas corpus in the case of William Patrick was wanton and capricious and that it had not been rendered necessary by the exigencies of the civil war.

As Government must proceed always upon information and often with great promptness and energy it could hardly be possible to avoid the commission of occasional errors in the exercise of precautionary power to repress insurrection manifesting itself more or less formidably in every State of the American Union. I cannot but think that a prompt correction of the error in such a case-such a correction as was made in the case of Mr. Patrick-is all that could reasonably be required by persons willing to deliberate carefully and anxious to interpret the action of the Government with candor and impartiality as I am sure Earl Russell is.

I cheerfully consent to leave Earl Russell’s protest on the record where it will lie side by side with the decisions of this Government which show that during a civil war now of nine months’ duration no complaint of any kind has been denied a hearing; not one person has been pressed into the land or naval service; not one disloyal citizen or resident, however guilty of treason or conspiring, has forfeited his life except in battle; not one has been detained a day in confinement who could and would give reliable pledges of his forbearance from evil designs, nor indeed has one person who could or would give no such pledges been detained a day beyond the period when the danger which he was engaged in producing had safely passed away.

Happily it is not the judgments of even great and good men like Earl Russell, pronounced in the excitement of the hour and possibly subject to the influences of disturbing events, which determine the character of States. From such judgments we carefully appeal to that of history, confident that it records no instance in which any Government or people has practiced moderation in civil war equal to that which thus far has distinguished this Government and the American people.

I avail myself of this opportunity to review to your lordship the assurance of my high consideration.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

Case of Benjamin F. Grove.

Benjamin F. Grove, a native of Virginia but a resident of Brooklyn, N. Y., was arrested August 3], 1861, by U. S. Marshal Robert Murray and delivered into the custody of Lieut. Col. Martin Burke at Fort Lafayette by order of the Secretary of State dated August 31, 1861. He was charged with disloyalty and with holding treasonable correspondence* with active secessionists in Virginia. The charges were {p.636} supported by the contents of letters of Grove intercepted at Pittsburg. One addressed to Hon. William Smith, attorney, &c., Warrenton, Va., says: “I am informed that General McClellan says the war is now to be fought [with] artillery and especially heavy guns. I hope you will meet him with as long and as large guns as he brings against you. ... If employment could be had but few would go against the South.” An order was issued from the Department of State dated September 30, 1861, directing Lieutenant-Colonel Burke commanding at Fort Lafayette, &c., to release Grove on his taking the oath of allegiance and giving his parole of honor to do no act hostile to the United States. He was released October 8, 1861.-From Record Book. State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

* See reference to Grove in Kennedy to Seward, September 5, 1861, p. 682, case of Algernon S. Sullivan.

–––

NEW YORK, August 15, 1861.

Mr. JAMES A. GROVE, Stevensburg, Va.

MY DEAR BROTHER: Your welcome favor of July 27 was received this morning. It is postmarked Franklin, Ky. Write soon again and often and forward as before. ... The habeas corpus case before Judge Garrison, of Brooklyn, Long Island, shows how completely the military is overriding the civil power in the North under a Northern political abolition administration of the Federal Government. Counsel in this case, Messrs. Algernon R. Wood, formerly of Frederick County, Va., and I. C. Vanloon. Mr. Wood intends to apply for a writ in the case of Austin E. Smith, esq.,* son of ex-Governor Smith, of Warrenton, Va. Mr. Smith is confined in Fort Lafayette, and I suppose ex-Minister Charles James Faulkner,** who has just been arrested in Washington will be taken there also. Fort Lafayette stands in New York Bay about eight miles below the city and in the immediate vicinity of Fort Hamilton, Kings County, Long Island. Col. Martin Burke, formerly of Virginia, is in command, as you will see from the papers. He acts according to orders from Washington. I have been down to the fort but no one can see or communicate with any of the prisoners. The sheriff of Kings County can lawfully collect a force sufficient to compel obedience to the decision of Judge Garrison but it is a matter of doubt whether it will be done. We will see. Have written to ex-Governor Smith.

The great battle of Manassas was a terrible one indeed. The loss was dreadful on both sides but the triumph of the South was complete and overwhelming. No such victory has been gained during the present century. General Scott’s army was 55,000 strong, thoroughly armed and equipped for the contest, but it was utterly wrecked and ruined at Manassas. There is now a great deal of crimination and recrimination among the officers and men. The officers charge the defeat upon the men and the men in turn charge the defeat upon the officers. Many regiments are charged with cowardice. The Fire Zouaves, the Fourteenth and Eighth Regiments of this State and the Fourth Regiment of Pennsylvania came in for a large portion of severe condemnation. The officers of the Fourteenth Regiment of Brooklyn upon their return a few days ago had a terrible fight among themselves.

Recruiting or re-enlisting is now uphill work. Bounties of from $30 to $50 are offered and but few are willing to go. None would go if employment could be had. This abolition war has ruined the country and men must go to war or starve. All the soldiers that have returned are loud in complaints of severe treatment and have great difficulty of {p.637} getting their pay. Old “Sennacharib” and his “piratical abolitionists” are almost bankrupt, and Secretary Chase came on here a few days ago and told the banks that unless they furnished money very liberally the Lincoln Government would at once go down. I have heard returned soldiers say that the Government at Washington was in the hands of an infernal pack of abolition speculators who were enriching themselves by ruining the whole country. All of the leaders at Washington are abolitionists of the Helper book, Greeley and Beecher school.

Mr. W. A. Ladden, brother of the Rev. A. P. Ladden, had a son, W. A. Ladden, jr., in the Fourteenth Regiment of this State. He was wounded. The Federal loss in killed, wounded and missing cannot be far short of 5,000. The rush from Bull Run by the whole army and the abolition spectators, Senators, Congressmen and all over the dead and the dying must have been dreadful in the extreme. In achieving such an important triumph the South lost many brave and gallant men. Peace to their ashes. Heaven bless and protect their families. To all those who are yet able to defend the right I can only say courage and energy and a final and glorious triumph will soon be secured. We have now more than 100 of the best newspapers in the North against an unjust and unholy war. Ministers, ruined business men, mechanics and all classes and conditions are beginning to condemn this abolition war. The Federal prisoners that have returned say that the Confederate officers are perfect gentlemen and that Southern people treated them with the utmost kindness.

Try and send this letter to brother George Addison with the slips for him to read. When you write give me all the news about our friends, and once more I say remember myself and family affectionately to all of our dear relatives you may chance to see.

With best wishes for your health and happiness, I remain, your affectionate brother,

BENJAMIN F. GROVE.

Show Captain Long the slips and the letter too if you think proper. The slip in regard to the writ of habeas corpus and others are worth publishing when you are done with them. Remember myself and family to the folks at Oak Grove. General Ben McCulloch has given the abolitionists a tremendous defeat in Missouri, so says the late news.

* See case of Smith, p. 424 et seq.

** See case of Faulkner, p. 463 et seq.

–––

WASHINGTON, August 31, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette.

Receive and detain Benjamin F. Grove, who will be brought to you by the marshal of New York.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

U. S. MARSHAL’S OFFICE, New York, September 2, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: Inclosed you will please find a package of letters and papers found in possession of Benjamin F. Grove, who was delivered into the custody of Col. Martin Burke at Fort Lafayette by your order of August 31, 1861.

Yours, respectfully,

ROBERT MURRAY, U. S. Marshal.

{p.638}

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, September 3, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: As a prisoner at this fort my case is in your hands and I feel constrained to address you. As I have not committed an overt act nor verbally said anything offensive to the Government or contrary to the Constitution or laws of my country I am led to suppose that the charges against me are founded upon certain letters written to Virginia. One I addressed to Hon. William Smith* and the other to my brother.** In those two letters I inclosed slips from various papers. The letters I sent by express, but forgetting to put the stamps on them I afterward sent them by mail to Mr. McGoodwin. I had no authority to send letters to Mr. McGoodwin but supposed he would attend to the matter as the law allowed. Since the date of those two letters I have not put a pen to paper except on matters of business. I determined immediately after the date of the two letters in question not to write any more to any one on political matters. It has been some time since the letters in question were written and I cannot remember their contents. They grew out of the excitement of the times and criminations and recriminations of the public press, and when in consequence of the ruin of trade and commerce and consequent want and distress in my own family my frenzied brain was almost distracted with anxiety and care. I can say in truth that much of the harshness in them did great injustice to my head and heart. Much of what I said was caught up from the columns of the newspapers circulating in New York. I did not solicit information from any one, and the harsh expressions and condemnations improperly used were betrayed into my feverish and excited brain by reading newspaper articles.

For my errors of omission or commission I know I must atone to the offended laws. To err is human and natural; to forgive is divine. What I have to ask for is mercy and not justice. I ask therefore for a merciful consideration of my case for myself, my precious wife and four helpless children now crushed with most poignant anguish. The pressure of the tunes and my situation here reduces us all to utter helplessness and want. If then it is consistent with justice and mercy to spare my family and restore me to the precious ones do favor us with this unspeakable blessing. Whatever reparation I can make I will faithfully do and in after life I will endeavor to evince that your favor and mercy were not unmerited, and I will for the future earnestly do my duty to the Government, the Constitution and the laws. Owing to the depressed state of business affairs and through excited feelings and mistaken views I did at one time since the war troubles began contemplate a return South, but reflection satisfied me that I now owed my allegiance to this section and ought to remain here. Indeed for the last few months I have been so much troubled in regard to various matters that I have hardly comprehended what to say or do, and no doubt have done a great deal that I ought not to have done and utterly neglected important matters that really claimed my attention. My painful and terrible situation and the deep anguish that rends the hearts of my precious household render it the solemn, bounden duty of my existence to appeal to you for mercy.

Hoping for a favorable response, and promising faithfully to observe all that you require at my hands for my further fidelity, I remain, yours, truly,

B. F. GROVE.

* Letter to Smith not found.

** See B. F. Grove to James A. Grove, August 15, ante.

{p.639}

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE. September 16, 1861.

Hon. JOSEPH S. WILSON, General Land Office, Washington City.

MY DEAR SIR: I once more take the liberty of writing to you. A short time since I inclosed to your address a communication which I asked you to do me the favor to hand to the Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State. In connection with my application or appeal to the Secretary of State I now inclose a letter* from my wife. I suppose it was written on the 13th instant. It is from a truthful and affectionate wife and mother. My wife has been in delicate health for a long time but now she is prostrated and suffering the most poignant distress. Our four children are young and helpless and all of us reduced to want. I am restrained of my liberty and unable to minister to my precious household. For myself and family I have therefore appealed to the Secretary of State for a merciful consideration of my case. Whatever reparation or atonement I can make for errors of head or heart against the laws of my country or for offenses of omission or commission against the constituted authorities it is the solemn, bounden duty of my existence to accomplish. If I were alone in the world I could abide my time and without complaining endure such punishment as the public good requires, but the appeal from my devoted wife and precious little ones is heartrending in the extreme, and they at least stand in innocency and through trials and privations unnumbered and innumerable and in tones of the deepest anguish plead for a merciful consideration of my case at the hands of the Secretary of State My poor heart is too much troubled on my own account as well as on the account of my stricken and distressed family to write even what I desire to say. My heart is too full of painful and anxious cares to speak itself. Should the Secretary of State find it consistent with the public good and the administration of justice to give my case a favorable response I will earnestly endeavor for the future to discharge faithfully all the duties devolving upon me as a good and loyal citizen, and will strive to evince that mercy in my case was not altogether unmerited. I have not asked the privilege of writing to you in regard to this matter but may I not hope that you will do me the great favor I ask?

Regretting from my heart to be compelled to trouble you, and hoping you will find it consistent to serve me, I remain, yours, respectfully,

BENJAMIN F. GROVE.

* Omitted.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 21, 1861.

Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette.

SIR: You may permit the wife of Mr. B. F. Grove to visit him in the presence of a proper officer. Please send information of this order to Mrs. Grove.

Very truly, yours,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

BURLINGTON, [N. J.,] October 3, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD.

MY DEAR SIR: Permit me to call your attention to the case of Mr. Grove now confined at Fort Lafayette. During my confinement there I had ample opportunity to learn the character of the man and I can {p.640} assure you he has neither the intellect nor the influence to harm the Government even if so disposed. He has a wife and four children dependent upon his daily exertions for their support and they are at this moment in most indigent circumstances. His wife is in very delicate health and the misfortune that has now fallen upon her has aggravated her disease to such a degree that she cannot last long. For the sake of a common humanity, by the mercy that you hope for from the Great Searcher of Hearts in the final day of accounts, do give immediate attention to this poor man’s case. If he has been imprudent, and that is the extent of his offenses as far as I can learn, he has suffered enough. By a word you can open his prison doors and let him go free and the blessings of those who are ready to perish will reward you.

Yours, respectfully,

JAMES W. WALL.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 4: 1861.

Lieut. Col. MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: Let B. F. Grove, a prisoner held in custody in Fort Lafayette, be discharged on taking the oath of allegiance stipulating that he will do no act hostile or injurious to the Government of the United States; that he will not hold any correspondence or communication whatever with anybody in the seceded States during the present insurrection without permission of the Secretary of State.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, October 4, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: I feel constrained to make this communication and I entertain a good hope that justice and the public safety will admit of a favorable response. More than a month has elapsed since I was conveyed to this fortress. I was taken from my usual calling and my family left in destitute circumstances in a strange city and among strangers. My wife had been in delicate health for some time past and now in consequence of the sudden and severe trials and privations pressing upon her mind and heart so heavily she is completely prostrated and for most of the time is confined to her bed and without assistance, except the relief occasionally afforded by kind-hearted neighbors. I think I can say for her that she is one of the best women that ever was made and that her life is one of innocency. Tenderly devoted to her family she deserves all the kindness and lenity that can be manifested toward her and her household. We have four small children utterly helpless and entirely dependent upon their mother and she in the painful situation I have represented, and even if my wife had the physical strength for needlework or something of the kind she could not now get anything to do. I have not got a dollar in money to depend upon or to relieve the present wants of my family. The approaching winter must necessarily bring greatly increased privations and disasters to myself and my precious ones. I am restrained of my liberty and of course cannot render my family the least aid in any way. I can only comprehend their alarm and distress but cannot alleviate their painful circumstances. Just now it is a difficult matter to earn a support in any branch of {p.641} business but untiring industry can always accomplish something, and to be in a position to take advantage of the first return of commercial prosperity is of the greatest importance to any young tradesman.

Earnestly appealing for a merciful consideration of my case I beg to be informed whether there is anything in my power that I can do to obtain my release and once more join my family. If it has been my misfortune or fault, or both, to do any public or private wrong or private injury to those in authority I can but regret it and am truly sorry for it and I beg to be forgiven. For any errors of omission or commission as a good citizen I am willing to make any atonement in my power. All that justice and the public good requires I am willing to do to enable me to join my family and once more give them the care and protection it is the solemn, bounden duty of my existence to afford. I ask therefore for a lenient and merciful consideration of my case on my own account and also and more especially on account of my stricken and suffering household. All that justice and the public safety can command and the National Administration approve I am willing to do as far as in my power lies, and for my fidelity to any engagement you may deem proper I can give satisfactory assurances or bonds to almost any amount.

Hoping for a favorable response, respectfully,

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN GROVE.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 7, 1861.

JAMES W. WALL, Esq., Burlington, N. J.

SIR: Your letter of the 3d instant has been received and in reply I have to inform you that Lieut. Col. Martin Burke has been directed by this Department to release the prisoner Grove on his complying with certain conditions.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

FORT HAMILTON, N. Y., October 8, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. O.

SIR: Inclosed please find oath of allegiance and stipulation of Benjamin F. Grove, released this day according to your order of October 4, 1861.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

STATE OF NEW YORK, County of Kings, ss:

I, Benjamin F. Grove, do solemnly swear that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any State convention or legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; {p.642} and further that I do this with a full determination, pledge and purpose without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever; and further that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties which may be required of me by law. So help me God.

BENJAMIN F. GROVE.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 8th day of October, 1861.

CHARLES W. CHURCH, Justice of the Peace.

[Inclosure No. 2]

FORT HAMILTON, N. Y., October 8, 1861.

I, Benjamin F. Grove, do hereby give my word of honor that I will do no act hostile or injurious to the Government of the United States; that I will not enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the Federal Government, and that I will not hold any correspondence or communication whatever with anybody in those States during the present insurrection without the permission of the Secretary of State.

BENJAMIN F. GROVE.

Witness:

CHARLES W. CHURCH.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 9, 1861.

Mrs. B. F. GROVE, Brooklyn, N. Y.

MADAM: Your application to the President for permission to visit your husband at Fort Lafayette has been referred to this Department and in reply I have to inform you that directions for his release on certain conditions were issued to Colonel Burke on the 4th instant which I presume have been complied with before now.

I am, madam, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

No. 250 ADELPHI STREET, BROOKLYN, October 14, 1861.

Hon. F. W. SEWARD, State Department, Washington.

SIR: I am informed that some letters and papers belonging to me and of consequence to me only were forwarded to the Department of State. If so I will be greatly obliged to you if you will be kind enough to have them sent back to me. Allow me to say that your favor of the 9th instant to Mrs. Grove was duly received and places both myself and my wife under weighty obligations to you. Thanks, thanks for your kind attention. I am now with my precious and devoted household through an especial favor, and I cannot forbear to express the deep sense of gratitude I will always cherish in remembrance of the favorable and merciful consideration that it pleased the Department of State to take touching my appeal for release from Fort Lafayette. To merit such consideration will be my solemn, bounden duty.

Once more I tender my earnest acknowledgments and remain, yours, respectfully,

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN GROVE.

{p.643}

–––

BROOKLYN, November 18, 1861.

Hon. F. W. SEWARD, Department of State, Washington.

SIR: Since writing to you in regard to the matter I have again called upon the Hon. R. Murray, U. S. marshal, but have not as yet obtained the papers about which I addressed a note to the Department of State a short time since. These papers were placed in the hands of the marshal’s officer and if found as I represented to be handed to G. R. Walton, esq., of this city. Among them as important only to me are two notes of hand of $750 each, two receipts for money in favor of a Mr. Platt, of Massachusetts, and a few letters from Pennsylvania in regard to private business affairs. The marshal informs me that they were sent to your office. If anything can be said or done to enable me to get them I will esteem it as a great favor.

Regretting to trouble you because I know your engagements are numerous and pressing, I remain, yours, truly,

BENJAMIN F. GROVE.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 21, 1861.

B. F. GROVE, Esq., 250 Adelphi Street, Brooklyn, N. Y.

SIR: Your letter of the 18th instant has been received. I have to-day sent a package of letters with the two notes for $750 each belonging to you to Robert Murray, esq., U. S. marshal for the southern district of New York. The receipts referred to by you do not appear to have been received at this Department.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 22, 1861.

ROBERT MURRAY, Esq., U. S. Marshal, New York.

SIR: I inclose herewith a package of letters* taken from the person of B. F. Grove, lately confined in Fort Lafayette. You will please return these papers to Mr. Grove if there be within your knowledge no objection to such disposition of them. In one of the letters you will find two notes of $750 each which are particularly asked for by Mr. Grove.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary.

* Not found.

–––

Case of Robert Mure.

Robert Mure, of Charleston, S. C., a naturalized citizen of Scottish birth, was arrested in New York on the 14th day of August, 1861, by order of the State Department transmitted to the superintendent of police the preceding day. This order was issued upon information communicated to the Department in substantially the following form:

Robert Mure, an Englishman by birth but resident of Charleston, S. C., for the last thirty years, is to take the steamer at New York Wednesday for Europe. He has highly important dispatches from Confederate Congress very carefully concealed. Intercept dispatches and the Confederates will be in your power.

{p.644}

Mure was found to have letters of appointment and instructions as bearer of dispatches from the British consul at Charleston to the British secretary of state for foreign affairs; also a canvas bag alluded to in his instructions as containing his dispatches sealed with a consular seal. He had also a large number of letters to a great number of parties in Europe. No dispatches from the Confederate Congress nor other papers or documents except those mentioned above were found in his possession. Allegations were made that Mure was a colonel in the militia of South Carolina and served in that capacity at the attack on Fort Sumter. On the 17th day of October, 1861, Mure was released on giving his parole not to enter any of the insurrectionary States nor hold any correspondence with persons residing therein, nor do any act of hostility or injury to the United States during the insurrection.-From Record Book, State Department, “Arrests for Disloyalty.”

–––

OFFICE OF THE SUPT. OF METROPOLITAN POLICE, New York, June 20, 1861.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD.

SIR: ... In connection with this matter I may as well mention that the British consul at Charleston, Mr. Bunch, is a notorious secessionist, and that he has used his position in every way he could since the troubles began in aiding the secession movement. To say nothing of furnishing Trappman, a native of the United States, with a passport and making him bearer of dispatches for Lord Lyons I have several other cases where he has furnished passports to citizens of the United States. I think I can procure one of the passports given to a young man who is now here and I learn is about to be an officer in Sickles’ brigade. He had been in the secession service before Fort Sumter.

What I was about to refer to was the use he has made of his office for facilitating the transmission of treasonable correspondence between Charleston and other places. A Belgian by the name of Du Clos, formerly a merchant here-one of the most outspoken of Southern sympathizers-for several weeks before he left for Europe, as is supposed on the business of the Confederate States of America, was in the habit of receiving letters from Charleston at the office of Mr. Archibald, the British consul, which were inclosed under the consulate seal of Mr. Bunch, the consul, in one of which he said he received $500 and on which he entered on his travels. On inquiring at Mr. Archibald’s office into this practice the vice-consul avowed that up to the stoppage of the mails South they were in the constant receipt of packages of letters from Mr. Bunch for strange persons of whom they had no knowledge which they delivered to whoever asked for them, the office of the consul being thus made a convenience for all operations with Confederates here that the ordinary securities of the mail were regarded too insecure to furnish.

I mention this now in view of the connection Mr. Bunch’s name has with Trappman, but not with the thought of involving Mr. Archibald who was used as the convenient instrument of others. I may be able to procure for you a photograph of Captain Trappman in full uniform in a few days.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

{p.645}

–––

[CINCINNATI, August 12, 1861.]

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.:

Robert Mure, an Englishman by birth but resident of Charleston, S. C., for the last thirty years, is to take the steamer at New York Wednesday for Europe. He has highly important dispatches from Confederate Congress very carefully concealed. Intercept dispatches and the Confederates will be in your power. Mr. Mure is cousin to British consul at New Orleans.

B. T. HENRY.

–––

NEW YORK, August 14, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:

I have Mr. Robert Mure with a bag addressed to Lord John Russell in custody. Mr. Bunch’s instructions request the bag to be forwarded to the British minister in Washington in case of the detention of Mr. Mure by authority of the United States. What shall I do with him and the papers?

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent of Police.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 14, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent of Police, New York:

Send the bag mentioned to this Department by special messenger. Deliver Mure to Col. Martin Burke, Fort Lafayette. Write immediately the particulars of Mure’s instructions-by whom given, from whom the papers came, what they relate to, whether political or private; full details.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

OFFICE SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, August 14, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Your telegram of 13th was received last night, and this morning a short time before the departure of the steamer Africa Mr. Robert Mure, of Charleston, to whom you referred went on board with his baggage, whereupon the officers to whom I had intrusted the business took him in custody and brought him and his baggage to my office. He immediately presented me with his credentials as bearer of dispatches from Mr. Robert Bunch, consul of Her Britannic Majesty at Charleston, S. C., and an open letter of instructions from Mr. Bunch dated Charleston, August 7, 1861, the originals of both of which are herewith inclosed. On examining his baggage the canvas bag alluded to in the instructions addressed to “Lord John Russell” was found and apparently sealed with a genuine consular seal. No other papers or documents were found in his possession except a large number of what appears to be private letters from persons in the South to others in England, but which I have not yet had an opportunity to examine carefully. A portion of these letters are unsealed and the rest are sealed, by which I believe he renders himself subject to treatment under the postal laws.

{p.646}

The bag addressed to “Lord John Russell” I intrust to the charge of Detective Robert King to deliver with this note to you in Washington, pursuant to the instructions received in your telegram of to-day. On counting the letters I find there are four unsealed and sixty-six sealed. Several of them are bulky and appear to contain a number in each of the envelopes. I respectfully request instructions from you as to the manner in which I shall dispose of these letters.

Very truly, yours, &c.,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent.

I inclose one of several pamphlets* found among his things which appears to have been printed for foreign circulation.

* Not found.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

HER BRITANNIC MAJESTY’S CONSULATE, NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA.-NO. 121.

We, Robert Bunch, esq., Her Britannic Majesty’s consul for the States of North and South Carolina, &c., do hereby certify that the bearer, Mr. Robert Mure, is a British merchant residing in Charleston and that lie proceeds hence to New York and Liverpool charged with dispatches on Her Majesty’s service from us to Lord John Russell, Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs. We therefore request that he may be permitted to pass freely and that he may receive all proper protection and assistance in virtue of his employment by us.

Given under our hand and seal of office at the city of Charleston the 7th day of August, 1861.

ROBERT BUNCH, Her Majesty’s Consul.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

BRITISH CONSULATE, Charleston, August 7, 1861.

ROBERT MURE, Esq., Bearer of Dispatches.

SIR: You will receive herewith a bag of dispatches addressed to Lord John Russell, Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, which I beg you to convey with all convenient speed to Liverpool. Should you upon reaching that port not proceed immediately to London you will be so good as to deliver the bag to Her Majesty’s postmaster at Liverpool with the request that he will forward it at once to the foreign office. I beg to impress upon you that these dispatches are of the greatest importance and I would suggest that you should keep them by you as much as possible, not allowing them to go into your luggage. In the improbable event of your being detained on your road to New York by any authority of the United States I have no objection to the bag being delivered to an officer of rank upon his giving a receipt for it and promising to have it delivered to Her Majesty’s minister at Washington. But I can scarcely suppose the possibility of your detention. Should you unfortunately be detained in New York by illness or otherwise the bag may be delivered to Her Majesty’s consul with the request that he will forward it. But I prefer that it should go with you.

Wishing you a safe and pleasant journey, I am, sir, your faithful servant,

ROBERT BUNCH.

{p.647}

–––

OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE, New York, August 15, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: This morning I conveyed Robert Mure to Fort Hamilton and delivered him into the custody of Lieut. Col. Martin Burke, who immediately transferred him to Fort Lafayette.

On my return to town I found among my letters an anonymous one which is represented to be from an intimate acquaintance of Mure. He says Mure is a Scotchman, not an Englishman; that his relatives reside in the vicinity of Kirkcudbright, Scotland; that he has resided in Charleston about thirty years; that before the breaking out of this rebellion he held a commission in a Charleston militia company; that during the last spring he was acting as a field officer of a Charleston regiment; that he was in such service during the attack on Fort Sumter and that he is a citizen of the United States, having been naturalized many years ago. But he declines to make himself known on account of previous intimacy.

From my conversation with Mure I had concluded he was a Scotchman who had resided a long time in this country. He professed to have been perfectly neutral on the rebellion question; that he deplored the existence of war of such a kind; that it had ruined his business of cotton merchant; that he was in the habit of visiting Europe annually and always took with him the dispatch bag of the British consul as an accommodation for himself; that as soon as it became known that he was about to leave for Europe letters were left at his house by everybody; that he intended putting them in the New York post-office on arrival here but was prevented by want of time; that he don’t know who any letter in particular is from and supposes they are all on private affairs, as the disarrangement of the mails has nearly destroyed private correspondence between persons in the South and those in Europe, &c. I have examined the letters found on him and none but one addressed to William H. Trappman are apparently for any known secessionist abroad.

Very truly, yours,

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 16, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police, New York.

SIR: The bearer, Mr. Robert King, has delivered to me a letter addressed to Mure and inclosed in an envelope directed to me; also a bag addressed to Lord John Russell and a pamphlet, thus fully executing the trust reposed in him. You will please send me all other papers and documents found in the prisoner’s possession, allowing him to retain none, and thus enable me to understand and properly decide upon the case.

Very truly, yours,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

BROOKLYN, August 16, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I take the liberty of introducing Mr. Stanton Blake, banker, who visits Washington for an interview with you on behalf of the {p.648} friends of Mr. Robert Mure, of Charleston, recently arrested and now confined in Fort Lafayette.

I am not acquainted with Mr. Blake but give the letter on application of Messrs. James and Samuel McLean, members of two extensive and respectable mercantile firms of New York with whom I have been long and intimately acquainted and in whom I have the most entire confidence. They are originally from the same town in Scotland, and their boyhood intimacy with Mr. Mure has been kept up by correspondence and visiting in this country for the past twenty years.

They spent the whole of the evening prior to his arrest in unreserved conversation with Mr. Mure in the public room of the Brevoort Hotel and are fully persuaded that his intended visit to England was on his own private business, and that he is entirely innocent of the charge on which he is alleged to be held, viz, bearing dispatches from the Confederate Government, and is guiltless of any connection with such so-called Government or any of its members.

I am, sir, yours, truly,

EDWARD W. FISKE.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 17, 1861.

ALEXANDER H. SCHULTZ, Esq., New York.

SIR: With the dispatches herewith intrusted to you you will proceed to London by the Cunard steamer which will start from Boston on Wednesday next. On arriving at London you will deliver the dispatches for Mr. Adams to him and as soon as convenient you will proceed to Paris and deliver to Mr. Dayton those addressed to him also. You will remain in Paris for any dispatches which Mr. Dayton may have to send by you and you will return by the way of London for any which Mr. Adams may have. You will exercise all practicable diligence in the discharge of this duty for which you will be allowed a compensation at the rate of $6 a day and your necessary traveling expenses of which you will keep an account, to be supported by vouchers in every instance where they can be obtained. The sum of $400 is now advanced to you on account of your expenses.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 17, 1861.

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., &c.

SIR: Alexander Schultz, a special messenger, will deliver to you this dispatch together with a bag containing papers addressed to Lord John Russell.

On the 13th instant I was advised by a telegram from Cincinnati that Robert Mure, of Charleston, was on his way to New York to embark at that port for England and that he was a bearer of dispatches from the usurping insurrectionary authorities at Richmond to Earl Russell. Other information bore that he was a bearer of dispatches from the same authorities to their agents in London. Information from various sources agreed in the fact that he was traveling under a passport from the British consul at Charleston.

Upon this information I directed the police at New York by telegraph to detain Mr. Mure and any papers which might be found in his possession until I should give further directions. He was so detained and he {p.649} is now in custody at Fort Lafayette awaiting full disclosures. In his possession were found seventy letters, four of which were unsealed and sixty-six sealed. There was also found in his possession a sealed bag marked “Foreign office 3,” with two labels as follows:

On Her Brit. Maj.’s service-The Right Honorable the Lord John Russell, M. P., &c. Dispatches in charge of Robert Mure, esq.

ROBERT BUNCH.

On Her Brit. Maj.’s service-The Right Honorable the Lord John Russell, M. P., H. B. M.’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, foreign office, London.

R. BUNCH.

The bag bears two impressions of the seal of office of the British consul at Charleston and seems to contain voluminous papers.

There were also found upon Mr. Mure’s person in an open envelope what pretends to be a passport in the following words.* Also a letter of instructions which is as follows.*

There were also found several unsealed copies of a printed pamphlet entitled, “A narrative of the battles of Bull Run and Manassas Junction, July 18 and 21, accounts of the advance of both armies, the battles and rout of the enemy, compiled chiefly from the detailed reports of the Virginia and South Carolina press, Charleston steam-power press of Evans & Cogswell, Nos. 3 Broad and 103 East Bay streets, 1861.”

This pamphlet is manifestly an argument for the disunion of the United States. Several copies of it were found in envelopes addressed to persons in England.

The marks and outward appearance of the bag indicate that its contents are exclusively legitimate communications from the British consul at Charleston to Her Britannic Majesty’s Government. Nevertheless I have what seems to me good reasons for supposing that they may be treasonable papers designed and gotten up to aid parties engaged in arms for the overthrow of this Government and the dissolution of the Union. These reasons are:

First. That I can hardly conceive that there can be any occasion for such very voluminous communications of a legitimate nature being made by the consul at Charleston to his Government at the present time. This circumstance, however, is admitted to be very inconclusive.

Second. Consuls have no authority to issue passports, the granting of them being as I understand not a consular but a diplomatic function. Passports, however, have in other times been habitually granted by foreign consuls residing in the United States. But soon after the insurrection broke out in the Southern States a regulation was made by this Department which I have excellent means of knowing was communicated to the British consul at Charleston to the effect that until further orders no diplomatic or consular passport would be recognized by this Government so far as to permit the bearer to pass through the lines of the national forces or out of the country unless it should be countersigned by the Secretary of State and the commanding general of the Army of the United States. Mr. Mure had passed the lines of the army and was in the act of leaving the United States in open violation of this regulation. Moreover the bearer of the papers, Robert Mure, is a naturalized citizen of the United States, has resided here thirty years and is a colonel in the insurgent military forces in South Carolina.

Third. If the papers contained in the bag are not illegal in their nature or purpose it is not seen why their safe transmission was not Secured as it might have been by exposing them in some way to Lord

{p.650}

Lyons, the British minister residing at this capital, whose voucher for their propriety would as Mr. Bunch must well know exempt them from all scrutiny or suspicion.

Fourth. The consul’s letter to the bearer of dispatches attaches unusual importance to the papers in question while it expresses great impatience for their immediate conveyance to their destination and an undue anxiety lest they might by some accident come under the notice of this Government.

Fifth. The bearer is proved to be disloyal to the United States by the pamphlet and the letters found in his possession. I have examined many of the letters found upon the person of Mr. Mure and I find them full of treasonable information and clearly written for treasonable purposes.

These I think will be deemed sufficient grounds for desiring the scrutiny of the papers and surveillance of the bearer on my part.

Comity toward the British Government together with a perfect confidence in its justice and honor as well as its friendship toward the United States, to say nothing of a sense of propriety which I could not dismiss, have prevented me from entertaining for a moment the idea of breaking the seals which I have so much reason to believe were put upon the consular bag to save it from my inspection while the bearer himself might remove them on his arrival in London after which he might convey the papers if treasonable to the agents of the insurgents now understood to be residing in several of the capitals in Europe.

I will not say that I have established the fact that the papers in question are treasonable in their nature and are made with purposes hostile and dangerous to this country, but I confess that I fear they are so, and I apprehend either that they are guilty dispatches to the agents of disunion or else that if they are really addressed to the British Government they are papers prepared by traitors in the insurrectionary states with a view to apply to the British Government for some advantage and assistance or countenance from that Government injurious to the United States and subversive of their sovereignty. Of course I need hardly say that I disclaim any thought that Earl Russell has any knowledge of the papers or of their being sent, or that I have any belief or fear that the British Government would in any way receive the papers if they are illegal in their character or dangerous or injurious to the United States. It is important, however, to this Government that whatever mischief if any may be lurking in the transaction be counteracted and prevented.

I have therefore upon due consideration of the case concluded to send the bag by a special messenger who will deliver it into your care and to instruct you to see that it is delivered according to its address exactly in the condition in which you receive it.

You will also make known to the Earl Russell the causes and circumstances of the arrest and detention of Mr. Mure and his papers, adding the assurance that this Government deeply regrets that it has become necessary and that it will be very desirous to excuse the brief interruption of the correspondence of the British consul if it is indeed innocent, and will endeavor in that case to render any further satisfaction which may be justly required.

On the other hand you will in such terms as you shall find most suitable and proper intimate that if the papers in question shall prove to be treasonable against the United States I expect that they will be delivered up to you for the use of this Government, and that Her {p.651} Britannic Majesty’s consul at Charleston will in that case be promptly made to feel the severe displeasure of the Government which employs him, since there can be no greater crime against society than a perversion by the agent of one Government of the hospitality afforded to him by another to design against its safety, dignity and honor.

I think it proper to say that I have apprised Lord Lyons of this transaction and of the general character of this letter, while he is not in any way compromised by any assent given to my proceedings or by any opinions expressed by him or asked from him.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Omitted here; see ante.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 17, 1861.

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, &c.

SIR: Among the letters found on the person of Robert Mure mentioned in my dispatch of this date there are many which more or less directly implicate Mr. Robert Bunch, the British consul at Charleston, as a conspirator against the Government of the United States. The following is an extract from one of them:

Mr. Bunch on oath of secrecy communicated to me also that the first step to recognition was taken. He and Mr. Belligny together sent Mr. Trescot to Richmond yesterday to ask Jeff. Davis, President, to - the treaty of - to - the neutral flag covering neutral goods to be respected. This is the first step of direct treating with our Government. So prepare for active business by January 1.

You will submit this information to the British Government and request that Mr. Bunch may be removed from his office, saying that this Government will grant an exequatur to any person who may be appointed to fill it who will not pervert his functions to hostilities against the United States.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 23, 1861.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy.

SIR: Presuming that they will be of interest to your Department I inclose herewith transcripts* of certain letters found upon the person of Mr. Mure, recently arrested under suspicious circumstances at New York.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

* Not found.

–––

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 27, 1861.

CHARLES C. NOTT, Esq., No. 69 Wall Street, New York.

SIR: Your letter of the 24th instant* is received. In reply I have to inform you that it is not deemed compatible with the public interest to permit visitors to hold intercourse at present with Robert Mure.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary.

{p.652}

–––

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, London, September 3, 1861.

Right Hon. Earl RUSSELL, &c.

MY LORD: I have the honor to inform your lordship that I have received by the hands of a special messenger of the Government just arrived in the steamer Europe from the United States a sealed bag marked “Foreign office 3,” with two labels as follows:

On Her Brit. Maj.’s service-The Right Honorable the Lord John Russell, M. P., &c. Dispatches in charge of Robert Mure, esq.

ROBERT BUNCH.

On Her Brit. Maj.’s service.-The Right Honorable the Lord John Russell, M. P., H. B. M.’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, foreign office, London.

R. BUNCH.

Agreeably to instructions communicated by my Government to me to see that this bag is delivered according to its address in exactly the condition in which I received it, I have the honor to transmit the same by the hands of my assistant secretary, Mr. Benjamin Moran, who is directed to deliver it into your own hands if present, or if absent into those of one of the undersecretaries of state for foreign affairs.

It now becomes my duty to explain the circumstances under which this bag has found its way from the possession of the person to whom it was originally intrusted into that of the authorities of the United States. It appears that the Secretary of State of the United States on the 15th of August last received information deemed worthy of confidence that Mr. Robert Mure, the bearer of this bag, was at the same time acting as a bearer of dispatches from the insurrectionary authorities of Richmond to your lordship. Other information came that he was a bearer of dispatches from the same authorities to their agents in London, and still other information from various sources agreed in affirming that he was traveling under a passport issued by Her Majesty’s consul at Charleston. Upon this information instructions were sent forthwith to the police of New York to detain Mr. Mure and any papers which might be found in his possession. He was accordingly detained and is now in custody at Fort Lafayette awaiting full disclosure. A large number of papers were found upon him, an examination of which was found fully to sustain some portions of the information which had been furnished, and to prove that Mr. Mure was acting as the bearer of a treasonable correspondence between persons acting in open arms against the Government of the United States and their friends and emissaries in Great Britain. He had also with him several copies of a printed pamphlet purporting to be a narrative of the events of the 21st of July at Manassas Junction addressed to persons in England and evidently intended to further the purpose of the conspirators in South Carolina. Robert Mure, the bearer of these papers, is represented to be a naturalized citizen of the United States where he has resided for thirty years and as actually holding a commission of colonel in the insurgent forces of South Carolina.

It turned out to be true that in the hands of this gentleman were found in an open envelope a paper purporting to be a passport, a copy of which I have the honor to append to this note,* and a letter of instructions signed by Robert Bunch, Her Majesty’s consul for the United States residing at Charleston, a copy of which is likewise appended.* In the absence of all other evidence against Mr. Bunch to prove his departure from the line of his legitimate duty it is quite enough to call the attention of your lordship to the fact that in issuing {p.653} such a paper as this passport he has acted in direct contravention of a regulation issued by the proper Department of the United States, of which he had received notice, which forbids all recognition of any diplomatic or consular passport so far as to permit the bearer to pass through the lines of the national forces or out of the country unless it should be countersigned by the Secretary of State and the commanding general of the Army of the United States. Mr. Mure attempted to do both with a paper bearing no such signatures.

There is, however, other and still more serious cause of complaint against Mr. Bunch as disclosed by the papers of Mr. Mure, the exposition of which I am compelled to reserve for a separate communication. The present purpose is confined to an explanation of the reasons which have actuated the Government of the United States in taking the extraordinary step which has had for one of its consequences the effect of diverting, be it but for a moment, a part of the official correspondence of Her Majesty’s Government from the channel in which it was originally placed. I am directed to express the regret the Government feels that such a measure had become imperative, and to assure your lordship of its earnest desire to make any suitable amends which may justly be required. If in the process there may have happened a slight interruption of the correspondence of the British consul it is their desire that the pressing nature of the emergency may induce your lordship to excuse it.

It is needless to say that the bag passes into the hands of your lordship in precisely the same condition in which it came from those of Mr. Mure. Comity toward the Government of a friendly nation together with a full confidence in its justice and honor to say nothing of a sense of propriety would deter the Government which I have the honor to represent from entertaining the idea of breaking the seals which protect it even were there ten times more reason than there is to presume an intention under so sacred a sanction to perpetrate a wrong certainly on one and perhaps on both Governments.

Still less is it the intention of the American Government to intimate the smallest suspicion of any privity whatever on the part of the authorities in Great Britain in aiding, assisting or countenancing a supposed design injurious to the United States and subversive of their sovereignty. Much ground as there is for presuming that it never was the intention of those who prepared the package to forward it to its nominal address but that it was rather the design after bringing bad matter under this sacred sanction safely through the dangers of hostile scrutiny to open the bag themselves and to disseminate the contents far and wide among the evil-disposed emissaries to be found scattered all over Europe, this consideration has never weighed a single moment to change their views of this trust when put in the balance with the strong reliance placed upon the good faith of Her Majesty’s constitutional advisers. Least of all has it been in the thought of any one that your lordship would consent in any way to receive the papers if they are really illegal in their character or dangerous or injurious to the United States.

Should it, however, prove on inspection that any abuse has been attempted in America of the confidence to which Her Majesty’s Government is in every way entitled I am directed to express to your lordship the hope that any papers of a treasonable character against the United States may be delivered up to me for the use of my Government and that Her Majesty’s consul at Charleston if shown to be privy to the transmission of them under such a form may be made promptly {p.654} to feel the severe displeasure of the Government whose good faith he has sought to dishonor; for there can be no difference of opinion as to the nature of an offense which involves the perversion by the agent of one Government of the hospitality afforded to him by another to conspire against its safety, dignity and honor.

I pray your lordship to accept the assurance of the highest consideration with which I have the honor to be your lordship’s most obedient servant,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.

* Omitted here. See inclosures Kennedy to Seward, August 14, p 646.

–––

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, London, September 3, 1861.

Right Hon. Earl RUSSELL, &c.

MY LORD: The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States, deeply regrets the painful necessity that compels him to make a representation to the Right Hon. Lord Russell, Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, touching the conduct of Mr. Robert Bunch, Her Majesty’s consul for the port of Charleston in the United States. It appears from the contents of one of the many letters found in the possession of Mr. Robert Mure, bearer of dispatches from Mr. Bunch to the Government of Great Britain but detained as an agent of the enemies of the United States, that the following statement is made of the action of Mr. Bunch in Charleston:

Mr. B. on oath of secrecy communicated to me also that the first step to recognition was taken. He and Mr. Belligny together sent Mr. Trescot to Richmond yesterday to ask Jeff. Davis, President, to the treaty of to the neutral flag covering neutral goods to be respected. This is the first step of direct treating with our Government. So prepare for active business by 1st of January.

The undersigned is instructed to submit this information to Her Majesty’s Government with a request that if it be found to be correct Mr. Bunch may be at once removed from his office. The undersigned is further instructed to add that the President will cheerfully accord an exequatur to any person who may be appointed to succeed him who will faithfully perform his functions without injury to the rights and the interests of the United States.

The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to renew to Lord Russell the assurances of his highest consideration.

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.

–––

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, London, September 9, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reception at the hands of your messenger, Captain Schultz, of a bag purporting to contain public dispatches from Mr. Robert Bunch, the consul at Charleston, to Lord Russell, the head of the foreign office in London.

In conformity with the instructions contained in your No. 63 dated the 17th of August I immediately addressed a note to Lord Russell explanatory of the reasons why such a bag was received through this channel, a copy of which is herewith transmitted. In it you will perceive that I have endeavored to adhere as closely as possible to the {p.655} language of your communication to me. At the same time in obedience to the directions contained in your No. 64, dated the 17th of August, I addressed another note to his lordship stating the grounds of dissatisfaction felt by the President with the conduct of Mr. Bunch and requesting his removal. A copy of this note is likewise appended to the present dispatch. These two notes together with the bag in exactly the same condition in which I received it from Captain Schultz I directed my assistant secretary, Mr. Benjamin Moran, to take with him to the foreign office and there to deliver into the hands of his lordship if present, or if absent from town into those of one of Her Majesty’s under secretaries of state for foreign affairs.

Accordingly on the afternoon of Tuesday the 4th instant at about quarter past 3 o’clock, as Mr. Moran reports to me, he went to the foreign office and finding Lord Russell to be absent from town he delivered the bag and the notes into the hands of Mr. Layard, one of the undersecretaries. Since that time I have had no reply from his lordship although I received on Saturday last two notes from him on matters of minor consequence. I had hoped to send something by Captain Schultz who returns in the Great Eastern and I shall yet do so if it should come before the bag closes. I have consented to the departure of Captain Schultz mainly because Mr. Dayton has expressed a great desire that he should take charge of his dispatches as soon as possible.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.

–––

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, London, September 14, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I now have the honor to transmit copies of two notes received yesterday from Lord Russell in answer to my notes of the 3d of September transmitting to him the bag of Mr. Bunch.

It appears from one of them that Mr. Bunch has been acting under secret instructions which are only now acknowledged because they have come to light, and that his granting a safe conduct to an emissary of secession charged with treasonable papers is no objection to his neutral character in the eyes of his employers.

With regard to the question presented in the other note it is satisfactory to me at least in so far as it devolves all responsibility for the further treatment of the question into more capable hands. I transmit also a copy of my reply.

I shall not dwell further on the difficulties this question may occasion but proceed rather to another subject not altogether foreign from it which will not fail to require speedy attention.

...

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

FOREIGN OFFICE, September 9, 1861.

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., &c.

SIR: I received with some surprise from Lord Lyons an intimation that a sealed bag directed by one of Her Majesty’s consuls to Her {p.656} Majesty’s secretary of state had been seized and detained by order of the Secretary of State of the United States. It seems to have been suspected that Her Majesty’s consul had inserted in his official bag and covered with his official seal the correspondence of the enemies of the Government of the United States now engaged in open hostilities against them.

Had Her Majesty’s consul so acted he would have no doubt been guilty of a grave breach of his duty both toward his own Government and that of the United States. But I am happy to say there does not appear on opening the bag at the foreign office to be any ground for such a suspicion.

Her Majesty’s Government were advised that the suspension of the conveyance by post of letters from British subjects between the Northern and the Southern States was a contravention of the treaty on this subject contracted by the two Governments. Her Majesty’s Government have been unwilling to press this view on the United States. But this stoppage of the post has occasioned great inconvenience to individuals and I inclose a copy of a note from Mr. Bunch to the undersecretary of foreign affairs showing the mode in which he has endeavored to palliate the evil by inclosing private letters in his consular bag.

I shall address any further communication I may have to make on this subject to Lord Lyons.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient humble servant,

RUSSELL.

[Sub-inclosure.]

CHARLESTON, August 5, 1861.

HER MAJESTY’S UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

Mr. Bunch presents his compliments to Her Majesty’s undersecretary of state for foreign affairs and takes leave to inclose to him herewith certain letters which are intended for the post.

They are principally letters of servants, governesses, &c. (British subjects), which owing to the discontinuance of the post they are unable to send in any other way. Some also contain dividends, the property of British subjects, which they could scarcely receive without Mr. Bunch’s intervention.

Mr. Bunch hopes that there is no irregularity in this proceeding. No expense of postage is incurred by the foreign office as the bag in which the letters are contained goes by a private hand to Liverpool.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

FOREIGN OFFICE, September 9, 1861.

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS., &c.

SIR: The undersigned, Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, has received a communication from Mr. Adams, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States at this court, dated the 3d instant giving some information regarding the conduct of Mr. Bunch, Her Majesty’s consul at Charleston in the United States, and requesting on the part of the Government of the United States that Mr. Bunch may at once be removed from his office.

The undersigned will without hesitation state to Mr. Adams that in pursuance of an agreement between the British and French Governments Mr. Bunch was instructed to communicate to the persons exercising {p.657} authority in the so-called Confederate States the desire of those Governments that the second, third and fourth articles of the declaration of Paris should be observed by those States in the prosecution of the hostilities in which they were engaged. Mr. Adams will observe that the commerce of Great Britain and France is deeply interested in the maintenance of the articles providing that the flag covers the goods and that the goods of a neutral taken on board a belligerent ship are not liable to condemnation. Mr. Bunch therefore in what he has done in this matter has acted in obedience to the instructions of his Government who accept the responsibility of his proceedings so far as they are known to the foreign department and who cannot remove him from his office for having obeyed his instructions.

But when it is stated in a letter from some person not named that the first step to the recognition of the Southern States by Great Britain has been taken the undersigned begs to decline all responsibility for such statement. Her Majesty’s Government have already recognized the belligerent character of the Southern States and they will continue to consider them as belligerents. But Her Majesty’s Government have not recognized and are not prepared to recognize the so-called Confederate States as a separate and independent State.

The undersigned requests Mr. Adams to accept the assurance of his highest consideration.

RUSSELL.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, London, September 13, 1861.

Right Hon. Earl RUSSELL, &c.

MY LORD: The undersigned envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States has the honor to acknowledge the reception this day of two notes from the Right Hon. Earl Russell, Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, both dated the 9th of September and both in reply to notes addressed to his lordship by the undersigned on the 3d instant touching the case of Mr. Bunch, Her Majesty’s consul at Charleston, and the mode of transmission of his dispatches. The undersigned has the honor to inform his lordship that copies of these notes will be transmitted by the next steamer for the consideration of the Government of the United States.

The undersigned requests Earl Russell to accept the assurance of his highest consideration.

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.

–––

NEW YORK, September 20, 1861.

Hon. F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: Mr. Mott, who was associated with us for Mr. Mure, of Charleston, now in Fort Lafayette, having left for Saint Louis the further care of the matter has devolved upon us. May we ask the favor of you to inform us by letter as soon as the Department is in receipt of the expected information bearing upon the case that we may apply for a personal interview with the Secretary of State, and oblige,

Yours, very truly,

FOSTER & THOMSON.

{p.658}

–––

WASHINGTON, September 28, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Mr. Robert Mure, of Charleston, S. C., now confined in Fort Lafayette expresses his ignorance of the contents of the letters in his possession when he was arrested and states himself to be innocent of any complicity with treason to the United States Government. In his behalf I would respectfully request an opportunity for him to give his deposition under oath upon the subject, to be added to such other evidence as may be obtained bearing upon his case, to be made the basis of an application to your Department for his release from imprisonment. To obtain the deposition of Mr. Mure I would respectfully ask either that a pass may be given to myself accompanied by some person competent to administer an oath or that some Government officer or other person may be appointed by the Department to examine Mr. Mure and reduce his deposition to writing.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES THOMSON, 69 Wall Street, New York.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, October 2, 1861.

MY DEAR SIR: The receipt of your note of 27th ultimo conveying a letter from Mr. Middleton was truly cheering and most gratefully appreciated by me. Poor fellow, he knows how innocent I am of any treason. I am glad you read his letter for it speaks for itself. Hearing Mr. Thomson has returned from Washington without reaching any satisfaction in my case is disappointing, but I have reconciled myself to whatever Mr. Seward has in store for me, satisfied of my own innocence and that the Government is acting oppressively and wrongfully with me. I inwardly feel this which nerves me to stand up against my present trials, hopeful that brighter and happier days will soon be restored to the country. I can never repay you for the untiring interest you have taken in my misfortune. I hope to see the end of all this and prove to you and others my innocence of the course the Government is pursuing with me.

They require me to take an oath before I can get out of here, without guaranteeing my personal security in South Carolina, or the safety of my property there. Now as matters stand I hope soon to have protection worth having for I intend to return to my own dear native land where I can secure myself by returning to my first allegiance, the home of my birth.

I have a letter from my son Robert. Poor lad, he is distressed about me but hopes I will soon be in Scotland. I observe the Liverpool cotton market is advancing. As I have no late letters, I do not know how my interest there stands but presume my friends have sold out some time ago which may be unfortunate, but I wait advices. When does your father return homey I suppose he is only on a business trip and may soon be home again. There have been 136 prisoners in this fort, but are now reduced to 106. We are too crowded for comfort, but I rejoice to say the most of the inmates are gentlemen and-deserve another fate than mere confinement on suspicion. The President says no one is in here but on satisfactory evidence of treason. Alas, I fee this is not so, but we must all yield to the powers that be, be they for good or evil

{p.659}

It is really wonderful my friends in Charleston could so well keep Mrs. Mure in ignorance of my arrest. I question if such a course is prudent. It in the end may be more severe upon her. I trust not, however. I have really nothing to write you from here.

Yours, faithfully,

ROBT. MURE.

P. S.-This must not be published.

–––

FORT LAFAYETTE, October -, 1861.

Messrs. FOSTER & THOMSON, New York.

GENTLEMEN: I wrote you a note on the 4th stating I had just then received your favor of 20th instant* setting forth the result of your (Mr. Thomson’s) interview with Mr. Seward at Washington. The more I reflect on your letter the more I feel Mr. Bunch is too honorable to have complicated me in using his consular seal to cover treasonable matter to his Government. If the evidence of such be established then Mr. Bunch’s exequatur should be promptly taken from him-in fact his Government should recall him and hold me harmless for his acts when I merely conveyed a sealed bag without the least knowledge of its contents. I insist that my deposition be taken and if you have not power to get this done other counsel be called to your aid and I would suggest the name of the Hon. Edwin M. Stanton at Washington date Attorney-General). Mr. Seward takes such grounds as are not likely to be sustained i