U. S. MARSHAL'S OFFICE, Lockport, September 2, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: At the late term of the U. S. district cur of this district held at Auburn one Jerome Barber was indicted for treason. The Attorney-General of the United States was adivised by telegram of the case, in answer to which the district attorney for this district received your telegram as follows:
WASHINGTON, August 22, 1861.
WILLIAM A. DART:
Your telegram to Attorney-General received. Deliver Jerome Barber to the marshal or deputy, who will cary him to Fort Lafayette, in custody of Colonel Martin Burke, who is instructed to receive him.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
Previous to receipt of this telegram the prisoner had been arrested upon capias issued out of said district court returnable at same term, brought into court, arraigned upon the indictment and plead thereto. The capias had been returned to cleark with marshal's return indorsed thereton. Judge Pratt appeared in prisoner's behalf and moved the court to admit prisoner to bail. Judge Hall postponed argument of the motion and further consideration of the subject to Thursday, the 29th instant. At this stage of the case your telegram was received and placed in the hands of two my deputies, who immediately departed with the prisoner to Fort Lafayette, and he was delivered at the fort on the 24th instant as directed in said telegram, and I have the receipt of the officer in command at the fort therefor. To prevent all attempt at rescue on the part of the friends of Barber at Syracuse he was by advice of the district attorney taken by way of Cannadaigua, Elmira and New York and Erie Railroad to Fort Lafayette. It was feared that the telegram would not in such case be sufficient authority to hold him thought we should have assumed that it was and have held him at any risk. As such cases may occur again I would like to receive the instructions and views of the Government, and if proper to have a formal written order follow the telegram.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant.
EDWARD J. CHASE,
U. S. Marshal.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 5, 1861.
EDWARD J. CHASE, Esq.,
U. S. Marshal for the Northern Dist. of New York, Lockport.
SIR: Your letter of the 2nd instant relative to the case of Jerome Barber has been received. Your course in regard to that person is entirely approved. It is conceived that under existing circumstances the public safety requires in similar cases a suspension of ordinary judicial proceedings. If therefore any arrests should hereafter be made by you or any of your deputies for such causes you will at once apprise this Department by telegram and directions will be given through the same medium to place the prisoners in the custody of the military authorities of the United States.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.