and habitually uses such ability and influence as he may possess in behalf of the Southern rebellion and in opposition to the Government of which you are at the head. The person to whom I allude is Mr. John Wethered, of the house of Wethered Bros., of Baltimore.
I should be glad if there were any doubt the facts, for Mr. Wethered and myself have hitherto been upon the most friendly terms. He was here last winter, and before returning home then it was plainly to be seen that his sympathies lay in that direction. After a short absence he returned again to this city in the character above stated, and there is not the slightest doubt that his conduct ever since has been as I have already represented. By reason of our former friendly relations I should desire that if possible my name should not be revealed as the author of this communication, but if necessary I feel that my duty to the true cause is paramount to all private friendship. If you deem the fact of any importance it can readily substantiated from other sources here. It certainly galls your loyal friends here to know that a man who is doubtless filing his pockets with Government money is at the same time able course to that Government, and it seems also proper that you should be advised of the fact in order that you may ascertain whether the direct parties to the contract mentioned are also guilty of the same bad faith or whether they have been misled in the character of the agent they have sent here.
It is proper that addressing you as a stranger I should furnish you with some reference concerning myself. When I left Washington three years ago to spend some time in Europe in literary pursuits I was on intimate terms with (among others) Mrs. Henry R. School craft and Lieutenant Gilliss, of the Observatory either of whom I think would be willing to vouch for my social position and my loyalty. I might refer more directly to Honorable E. Joy Morris, U. S. minister at Constantinople, and may also add that I am not unknown to Honorable Simon Cameron through his friend Henry C. Hickok, esq. I beg to add that I hope I am rendering my country and its Government some service here both privately and through the press, and that I should be most happy if you could in any way make my abilities and disposition more directly available. I should be ready at a moment's warning to go anywhere and do anything in obedience to your instructions. That the true cause needs all the help it can muster here is too true, for the loyal Americans in England are few while the Southern refugees are numerous, unscrupulous and untiring in their efforts to influence the public sentiment, nor are they without evident success. I should also add that I may refer generally to our legation in this city.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH L. CHESTER.
February 5, 1862.
Respectfully returned to the Secretary of State.
I know nothing of Wethered Bros. or of Mr. Wethered here referred to. I have written to the quartermaster at Philadelphia to inquire whether he has connections with the house named and will communicate any information he may be able to obtain.
Vere respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,