War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0704 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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FORT WARREN, BOSTON HARBOR, November 10, 1861.

Honorable W. H. SEWARD.

SIR: After some reflection I came to the conclusion to address you a few lines. I am a prisoner at this fort and have been at this and Fort Lafayette for eight weeks. I was arrested as a member of the Maryland Legislature and have understood that those arrests were made as a precautionary measure to prevent what seemed anticipated, viz, the passage of a secession ordinance. Now I pledge my honor as a man that if there were any such measure contemplated I know northing of it nor would I have countenanced such a measure. And as I am now by virtue of the late election a private citizen and will do nothing against the Government I hope youw ill be kind enough to release me.

Yours, truly,

ANDREW KESSLER.

WASHINGTON, November 12, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

SIR: All the Maryland political prisoners but Messrs. Heckart and Lynch, of the Legislature, were at the time of their arrest members of the house of delegates of the State and their term of service has expired. A call of the Legislature now by the Governor would only include the members of both branches who have just been elected and the senators whose term of service has not expired. Messrs. Heckart and Lynch are such senators. But being from districts which have given a large Union majority I think it probable if that was exacted that they would as Mr. McKaig did resign. The mayor of the city, Mr. Brown, and the three commissioners of police, Messrs. Howard, Gatchell and Davis, would probably also agree to resign or not to assume to exercise their several functions.

As Maryland now stands (and such is the opinion of all the leading Union men of the State I have consulted and I have consulted many including the governor) I think whilst it would do no possible harm it would have a happy effect to discharge all the prisoners unconditionally except the mayor and commissioners of police. I except them only because their claims if made to their offices might lead to trouble. But if any special security is thought necessary a parole of honor substantially in the following terms would seem to me sufficiently to answer that object, viz:

I hereby give my parole of honor that I will in good faith support the Constitution of the United States and in no way assist the present rebellion against its authority or give aid or comfort to those who are or may be engaged in it.

With regard, your obedient servant,

REVERDY JOHNSON.

EXECUTIVE CHAMBER, Annapolis, November 12, 1861.

Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: Having heard last evening whilst in Baltimore that you had an idea of releasing their confinement at Fort Warren, &c., such members of our former distinguished Legislature as have been