War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0459 SUSPECTED AND ISLOYAL PERSONS.

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FORT LAFAYETTE, September 18, 1861.

Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: Colonel Burke informed me this morning that he had your order for my release on condition of my taking a certain oath a copy of which he handed me. As far as I have been able to ascertain no chargee made against me has been sustained and I am unable to understand why I should be compelled to take the oath required. Please inform me if you will accept my parole of hyonor not to take up arms against the United States or to engage in any trasonable practices. It is my intention to reside in the United States, and you will still have the opprtunity of watching my conduct.

By attending to this request at your earliest convenience, you will much oblige,

Yours, respectfully,


DEPPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 21, 1861.

Col MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette.

SIR: Mr. John Williams having declined to take the oath of allegiance you will retain him in custody until further instructions from this Department.

Very truly, yours,


FORT LAFAYETTE, September 26, 1861.

Colonel BURKE, Fort Hamilton.

SIR: If you still have authority to release me upon taking the oath of allegiance as directed by the Secretary of State last week please let me know as early as possible. I am induced by serious matters connected with my family to comply with the order.

Respectfully, yours,


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 4, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter containing the communication from John Williams dated September 26, 1861. Having heretofore declined to take the oath of allegiance and being induced to do so now only by 'serious matters connected with his family" he must besides taking the oath give good and sufficient bonds in the sum of $10,000 approved by the U. S. district attorney to do no act hostile or injurious to the United States, and that he will neither enter nor hold any correspondence whatever with the insurrectionary States during the present rebellion without permission from the Secretary of State.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


FORT LAFAYETTE, October 7, 1861.

Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: An order was received from the Staste Department about two weeks [ago] authorizing Colonel Burke to release me upon taking the