In order to place before your committee more fully the objects of our organization and to offer our co-operation with you for the purposeses above indicated a committee was appointed at the last meeting of the association to visit Albany to confer with your committee. This committee is composed of Messrs. Jacob H. V. Cockroft, S. J. Anderson, whom by this letter we beg leave to introduce to you.
By order of the association:
R. G. HORTON,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 11, 1861.
Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.
GENERAL: The letter written by Samuel J. Anderson, a political prisoner at Fort Lafayette, to the President has been referred to me. Having examined the case I am satisfied that a discharge of the prisoner from custody would not be compatible with the public safety.
I have the honor to be, general, your very obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
FORT LAFAYETTE, September 30, 1861.
C. WENDELL, Esq., Washington, D. C.
DEAR SIR: An old friend is in durance vile. If he does not get out in fifteen days he is ruined in more ways than one. There is no charge against him. This you can easily ascertain.
S. J. ANDERSON.
BUFFALO, October 4, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
MY DEAR SIR: I write you on behalf of Mr. Anderson (inclosing papers), now a prisoner in Fort Lafayette, whose wife is a cousin of my wife. I know not on what evidence the Government has arrested and imprisoned him. I do not believe, however, from my many conversations with Anderson he has been playing in any respect the part of a spy or aiding the Southern Confederacy in any way. If he has he must of course suffer the consequences of his own conduct, and I would not attempt to procure his release. As a Southern man he doubtless does to some extent sympathize with his friends of the South. My real opinion in reference to him is that he thinks the South has been too fast and that it would have been much better for them to have quietly submitted to the election of Mr. Lincoln than to have inaugurated a civil war with all its horrors, I am sure as he has often said, taking into consideration his marriage with a Northern lady, his business interests being here, his residence also here, he had a firm purpose to remain neutral and in no manner render himself obnoxious to the censure of the Governemnt. His wife is much distressed at his imprisonment, because he is quite subject to rheumatism and the confinement in so damp a place tends to aggravate his illness. I do not mean that he is sick but that he suffers from rheumatic pains in his limbs considerably. Now I well known you are not deaf to the humanities of life, and if you can consistently with the public safety and your duty as a public servant, I trust you will release Mr. Anderson.
Yours, very respectfully,
JNO C. STRONG.