NILE, AT HALIFAX, October 28, 1861.
Right Honorable Lord LYONS, K. C. B., &c.
MY LORD: I deem it right to forward to your excellency the accompanying original papers relative to the capture of the British schooner Louisa Agnes, of Luneburg, which have been forwarded to me by the owner of her cargo, Mr. Morgan, a merchant of this city. I do so, however, not with any view to your excellency's entering into the question of her capture which I presume is now before the U. S. prize courts, but of pointing out how contrary it is to the usages of war to resort to coercion upon the unresisting crews of neutral vessels detained for breach of blockade, &c., and further that I cannot but think as a naval officer that if these statements are true not only had the seamen who were put in irons strong grounds of complaint but the master had a right to look for more considerate treatment to himself personally than he appears to have received on board the U. S. ships Cambridge and Susquehanna.
It will be for your excellency to decide as to what steps if any should be taken thereon or whether any immediate representation should be made to the United States Government to prevent a recurrence of such harsh treatment to masters and crews of English vessels detained by U. S. ships of war, but whatever course may be deemed most in accordance with your excellency's views I may be permitted to refer to the very emphatic language used in regard to an analogous case by Sir W. Scott, in his judgment on the case of the San Juan Baptista (Robert, Adm. Reports, p. 33), wherein referring to putting the crew of a prize in irons that eminent jurist says if proved to have existed and to the extent alleged and without necessity must be pronounced disgraceful to the character of the country (Great Britain), since no one who hears me will deny that to apply even to enemies modes of restrain that are unnecessary and at the time convey personal indignity and personal suffering is highly dishonorable.
I have, &c.,
CHICAGO, November 7, 1861. LLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: * * * A man by the name of Jewett, a son-in-law of Commodore Garrison, came to this city in the month of May last. He is Southern by birth and a strong secessionist in feeling, but says very little. He stated to a friend of his, a reliable Union man, that he was introduced to President and Mrs. Lincoln by Breckinridge last winter; that he has been in correspondence with both the President and his wife; that Mrs. Lincoln has written him several replies. several of his recent letters to Mrs. Lincoln, copies of which he read to my informant, were substantially intende to induce her to caution the President against the Secretary of State. Whether the object of this man President or to obtain information my means of such replies as may be written or whether he is a mere adventurer I am at a loss to determine. I will endeavor to procure copies of his letters and forward them. I inform you of these facts, thinking that perhaps some light may be thrown upon the matter at Washington.
JOHN C. MILLER.