ing to run the blockade at Charleston. Upon this ground she is held for forfeiture by law with all the property found on board, and all parties captured in the vessel must be condemned as insurgents against the Government, and so falling into the hands of the public authorities they become prisoners of war. The case of the vessel called the Colonel Long is substantially the same.
The persons on whose behalf you appeal were found among the seamen on board of those two vessels and navigating the same. Together with others they became prisoners of war and as such were conveyed to Fort Lafayette, a fortification situate in the approaches to the harbor of New York. Being seamen and brought there simultaneoulsy with privates who had been taken in battle in other vessels the officer in charge thought it prudent to put them in irons until his superior officer should direct what disposition should be made of a body of prisoners so large as to be deemed dangerous.
The British consul applied through your lordship to this Department for leave to see them. Leave was granted. In the same way it was made know to the Government that the nine persons in question though acting with insurgents against the United States claimed not only to be subjects of the Queen of Great Britain but to have gone on board the vessels not from choice but necessity to seek a return to their native country. So soon as these representatives were heard the nine men were released from imprisonment and set a large.
The President thinks that this act of national comity does not properly draw after in an obligation to make any compensation to the persons to whom the clemency of the Government was thus promptly and without inquiry extended.
I avail myself of his opportunity to offer to your lordship a renewed assurance of my high consideration.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
FORT WARREN, December 2, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: On the 21st of Auguken prisoner by the U. S. sloop of war Vandalia outside the port of Charleston, S. C., on board the chooner Henry Middleton, of which I was master, and have been detained in custody since that time under your orders as I am informed, and upon the charage of having run the blockade. There are also confined with me here William St. George, J. F. Newton, S. F. Newton and Robert Grissons, of the schooner Albion, captured on August 16 off Charleston by the U. S. gun-boat Seminole; E. Sibern, J. A. Douglass, E. Baum and E. O'Neil, of the schooner May Wood, captured off Hatteras Inlet September 9 by the Pawnee, and E. Myatt, of the schooner Colonel Long, taken by the Jamestown off the coast of Florida. We have lately seen in the newspapers an announcement of the arrival in Charleston, S. C., of sundry prisoners, being the officers and crews of vessels captured by Confederate privates. Should any exchange of the prisoners in question be comtemplated or proposed I desire to suggest on my own behalf and am requested by the persons before mentioned to suggest on theirs that our position would appear to make us suitable parties for that purpose. My own crew have all been discharged heretofore by your orders. Permit me respectfully to commend our case to your attention in the view proposed.
I remain, your obedient servant,