War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0624 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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New York, September 28, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: In relation to Mr. Ellis B. Schnabel and the propriety of his being speedily released from arrest it is proper that I should say to you that he had attracted my attention before he went to Connecticut to make peace speeches. An agent of Mr. Samuel Colt came down to New York in search of Schnabel in the early part of August, and failing to find him called on the police for assistance. Schnabel was found and an interview was had, but the proceedings were conducted in such a manner as to excite my suspicion that some improper proceeding was contemplated between Colt and Schnabel. I inferred from disconnected remarks of the parties that Schnabel had a commission to purchase arms, which Colt having ascertained had sent his agent to New York to secure the customer, having been long ago convinced that Colt was ready to sell his wares to whoever paid most.

On the strength of his, instead of writing I sent the officer who had assisted in searching up Schnabel to Hartford to report the whole affair to Governor Buckingham and put him on his guard against Colt and Schnabel. His acknowledgment to me of the service is dated August 14, which fixes the time of S. going to Connecticut on the invitation of Colt. and shows that although I was in error in supposing Colt wanted him to buy arms he had other occupation for him, for he immediately opened his peace campaign after reaching Hartford. He had no sooner begun his traitorous harangues than Daniel S. Dickinson fired up and sent me by the hands of his attorney in New York a complaint against Schnabel for having obtained from him under false pretenses his signature to an instrument of writing (a note of hand of $500) in December of 1856. My officer was after Schnabel, and was only an hour or so behind the U. S. marshal of Connecticthe arrest. These papers have since been returned to Mr. Dickinson, he only being influenced by the design of arresting his treason by arresting Schnabel himself.

I know of no good reason for letting him out and keeping others in confinement. He is a very plausible man and had the sagacity with S. J. Anderson to treat Stanley kindly while the others regarded him with suspicion. It would probably be well to institute an inquiry somewhere and ascertain who paid his expenses and was to continue paying them during his sojourn in Connecticut. He had but little money when arrested, and the landlord where he had been stopping in Jersey City has a lien on his baggage of $138. I examined the baggage but found nothing wrong in it.

Very truly, yours,



FORT LAFAYETTE, October 16, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I wrote to you on the 8th of September last in reference to a certain oath and reprimand tendered to me. I took exceptions to the oath on account of an interpolation which under certain circumstances would have made me swear away all my rights and interests in my country and her institutions. I felt the reprimand an insult because a reprimand is a penalty imposed as the consequence of a conviction for