upon it by such investigations as it may suit your honor to direct in the premises. I would fain hope that the result of such investigation will be the acquittal of the gentleman in whose behalf I venture to address these lines to you.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. A. LOW.
NEW YORK, August --, 1861.
A. A. LOW, Esq.
DEAR SIR: Your kind condideration is asked to the following statement of facts relating to Mr. John Garnett Guthrey, of Petersburg, Va., now confined at Fort Lafayette by order of the honorable Secretary of State at Washington. The writer has known Mr. Guthrey many years and regards him as he is regarded by all who know him best as a most peaceable, quiet, orderly citizen and modest, dignified, high-toned gentleman and Christian. In politics he has been a Henry Clay Whig though never a partisan, and not many days ago told the writer he had not been to a political meeting in several (the writer thinks thirteen) years.
His late mission to this city was a purely unselfish one-most positively undertaken on his part for the sole benefit of-the church in Petersburg, of which he has long been a vestryman and liberal supporter. The facts fully are these: About a year ago the congregation of the above church determined and took steps to erect a new and larger place of worship. Mr. Guthrey, though a man of moderate means, headed the subscription list with a donation of $500. About $5,000 are yet to be raised to complete this church, and recently when a party of gentleman sought Mr. Guthrey as a suitable person to come here and buy for them as an investment some stocks of the Southern States the conditions he named and to which they assented were that these gentlemen should pay to him only his actual expenses of the trip and donate $500 to Grace Church.
In furtherance of this agreement Mr. Guthrey came to this city bringing with him over $55,000 furnished by the gentleman in question. Other funds were sent on to him, making over $60,000, with which he bought $118,000 in Southern State bonds. It is certain that neither Mr. Guthrey nor those whom he represents are directly or indirectly agents of the Confederate Government for the leaders in this movement are known to be hostile to the investment of Southern funds in this way.
The needles and cotton found on Mr. Guthrey which cost about $15 were not for sale but for family use - for the wives of the gentlemen who sent him on and for the wife of his pastor, all of whom own sewing machines made in the Northern States and bought here or of Southern agents. The needles were all sewing-machine needles, bought chiefly as was the cotton of a sewing-machine establishment that made all the machines but one owned by these ladies. Mr. Guthrey did not suppose he was violating the spirit or intent of any law by carrying these supplies.
Some sealed letters directed to sundry persons in the Southern States were in Mr. Guthrey's possession when arrested but up to the time there had been no prohibition of letter writing to the South. Mr. Guthrey, however, was totally ignorant of the contents of these letters, and his invatiable reply to parties who asked him to take such was in substance, "Yes I will take them and put them in my trunk; but if I