DEPARTMENT OF STATEcember 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 gentlemen from the U. S. attorney there, and to remark that as the Mr. Alvey refrred 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,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 10, 1861.
Major General 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 suggestion as you may have to make?
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. W. SEWARD,
ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S OFFICE, December 11, 1861.
Honorable SECRETARY OF STATE.
SIR: In consequence of a conversation (last Friday I think) at council about the imprisonement 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,
OFFICE OF U. S. ATTORNEY,
Baltimore, December 9, 1861.
Honorable 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
* Not found.
+ See preceding correspondence.