BALTIMORE, October 29, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
DEAR SIR: As one of many deeply interested in the welfare of Mr. Wallis now confined at Fort Lafayette and desirous that an opportunity may be speedily furnished him of learning the character of the charges the Government may prefer against him I would most respectfully join my voice with those of his other warm personal friends who request of the Government an investigation.
It does not of course become strangers to the Government's information to assume any particular character of charge. But as one who has known Mr. Wallis for many years and being aware of his often expressed views on the right of the Legislature to carry the State out of the Union which he has always denied; knowing too his character for uprightness, probity and consistency I cannot place any faith in the rumored charges of his participation in an alleged ordinance of secession to have been passed at the September meeting of the Legislature.
But as before said what the specific charges are I have no right to assume and only join with loyal citizens in praying a speedy examination into the ground of the arrest.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
REVERDY JOHNSON, JR.
PRIVATE.] PHILADELPHIA, October 30, 1861.
Colonel T. A. SCOTT.
DEAR SIR: I write you in behalf of J. J. Heckart who is now confined at Fort Lafayette. He is a Pennsylvania by birth and was a member of the Maryland Senate. I have known Mr. Heckart for many years and believe at heart he is a fair man.
I have no doubt that he was influenced by the bad company he fell into when a member of the senate and perhaps he was imprudent in his expressions but I cannot believe he would do anything to imperil the country or to favor traitors. I think he has learned a sad lesson by the experience he has had thus far and he well be very careful for the future how he does anything either by word or deed to militate against the Government that has protected him and his all his life and to which he owes the most solemn allegiance. He is suffering in health, being afflicted with the heart disease which he inherits from his father. His family at Port Deposit are also in great trouble.
If his release could be sent to me I think I could use it in such a way as to make Heckart a good and loyal citizen for the future and to redound to the good of the Government. At any rate I would not be instrumental in procuring or giving him his release did I not feel confident it would be a safe and judicious thing for the Government.
Please think this over and if there is not testimony against him that proves positively that he is a traitor (which I cannot think is the case) do what you can to obtain his release if your judgment on mature reflection approves the measure.
S. M. FELTON.