DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 23, 1861.
SETH C. HAWLEY, Esq., New York.
SIR: I inclose herewith the papers in the case of George Miles, a prisoner confined at Fort Lafayette. Will you please proceed to take proofs in his case, giving notice to John A. Kennedy, esq., and other parties, and report the result of your examination to me. I am, dear sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 25, 1861.
Honorable SETH C. HAWLEY, New York.
SIR: On the 23rd instant this Department transmitted the papers to you for examination and opinion in the case of George Miles, a prisoner confined at Fort Lafayette, and herewith I inclose a l person to the Secretary of War and by him referred to this Department which you will please examine and return with the other papers.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. W. SEWARD,
FORT LAFAYETTE, October 1, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
DEAR SIR: It is now six weeks since I have been imprisoned. I have made two appeals to you to be released. My business at home is going to the dogs. I have a wife, children and two sisters dependent upon me for support and you are well aware that provisions and clothing are scarce and very dear. I left them with a small amount of money not expecting to meet with this cruel treatment. I am unable to hear from or to get a letter to them and for their sakes I will cheerfully make any sacrifice.
You have taken from me a considerate amount of money. This money I cannot afford to lose but I will make no claim to it. If I have broken any law in the collection of this money let the loss of it be a sufficient punishment. I am willing to take the oath of allegiance and to execute bonds for the faithful performance of the same, and I again state to you that I have never aided the rebellion of the Southern States either directly or indirectly. I have never meddled in politics and have been the loser by this rebellion in the prostration of my business, and ask my release as a loyal citizen of the whole Union.
If you have any other charge than that of collecting money what is it, and how am I to prove my innocence if I am to be deprived of a personal examination? I have no outside influence to bring to bear upon my case for I am a poor man. I am not able to employ counsel nor do I know of any being employed in my case. Therefore I humbly submit my case to your judgment and ask a release for the sake of my family. If this is denied me then I ask that you will allow me to forward through Washington a letter to my family.
* See Miles to Cameron, August 31; also September 17.