a jury of my peers, try me by the laws of the land if there are any remaining. I will abide the result. Or with frank dignity acknowledge your error in my arrest and open the iron doors of your prison to a man whose devotion to the Union and the Constitution is at the very least equal to that of the most valiant champion of your peculiar views. The cause of our unhappy country will be better served by fair dealing tending to allay unnecessary and dangerous excitement rather than by heaping up wrongs calculated to arouse bitter personal hostilities.
I have written in great haste as I have received word from Colonel Burke that my answer is desired at once; hence have neither time nor opportunity to review or digest this communication. My God bless our distracted country, preserve our Constitution, perpetuate our great Union and imbue all public officers and private citizens with a generous love of liberty and strict obedience to the laws.
ELLIS B. SCHNABEL.
P. S. -It would be well to examine carefully the oath tendered me, as you have made interlineations with a pen in the printed form and erased part of the original the import of which now you may not have sufficiently considered:
I do solemnly swear that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any State convention or legislature to the contrary notwithstanding; and further that I do this with a full determination, pledge and purpose without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever; and further that I will not by speaking or correspondence interfere with the measures of the Government for suppressing the existing insurrection. So help me God.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, September 10, 1861.
Colonel MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton:
You will now retain Ellis B. Schnabel a prisoner, and not again tender him the oath which he refused.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
JERSEY CITY, September 12, 1861.
DEAR SIR: It has been reported that a man by the name of Schnabel, now confined at Fort Lafayette, was tendered his liberty yesterday if he would take the oath of allegiance which he refused to take. My object in writing to you is to put you in a way of gaining information regarding this man. I refer you to R. Van Valkingburgh, who can inquire of Mr. Weldon (who you know by reputation), who can give you information by which it can be proven that Schnabel was in Richmond last spring. I have had near 100 arguments with him myself up to within one week of his arrest and upon all occasions he was loud in his denunciations of the present Administration. He is a bad man who with his power of declamation can do great harm. He is well known in Jersey City and all affirm that the Government would do well by keeping him confined until the war is over.
Very respectfully, yours,
uperintendent Folding Department, U. S. Senate.