FORT LAFAYETTE, September 16, 1861.
Honorable JOSEPH S. WILSON,
General Land Office, Washington City.
MY DEAR SIR: I once more take the liberty of writing to you. A short time since I inclosed to your address a communication which I asked you to do me the favor to hand to the Honorable William H. Seward, Secretary of State. In connection with my application or appeal to the Secretary of State I now inclose a letter* from my wife. I suppose it was written on the 13th instant. It is from a truthful and affectionate wife and mother. My wife has been in delicate health for a long time but nowshe is prostrated and suffering the most poignant distress. Our four children are young and helpless and all of us reduced to want. I am restrained of my liberty and unable to minister to my precious household. For myself and family I have therefore appealed to the Secretary of State for a merciful consideration of my case. Whatever reparation or atonement I can make forerrors of head or heart against the laws of my country or for offenses of omission or commission against the constituted authorities it is the solemn, bounde duty of my existence to accomplish. If I were alone in the world I could abide my time and without complaining endure such punishment as the public good requires, but the appeal from my devoted wife and precious little ones is heartrending in the extreme, and they at least stand in innocency and through trials and privations unnumbered and innumerable and in tones of the deepest anguish plead for a merciful consideration of my case at the hands of the Secretary of State. My poor heart is too much troubled on my own account as well as on the account of my stricken and distressed family to write even what I desire to say. My heart is too full of painful and anxious cares to speak itself. Should the Secretary of State find it consistent with the public good and the administration of justice go vie my case a favorable response I will earnor the future to discharge faithfully all the duties devolving upon me as a good and loyal citizen, and will strive to evince that mercy in my case was not altogether unmerited. I have not asked the privilege of writing to you in regard to this matter but may I not hope that you will do me the great favor I ask?
Regretting from my heart to be compelled to trouble you, and hoping you will find it consistent to serve me, I remain, yours, respectfully,
BENJAMIN F. GROVE.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 21, 1861.
Colonel MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette.
SIR: You may permit the wife of Mr. B. F. Grove to visit him in the presence of a proper officer. Please send information of this order to Mrs. Grove.
Very truly, yours,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
BURLINGTON, [N. J.,] October 3, 1861.
Honorable W. H. SEWARD.
MY DEAR SIR: Permit me to call your attention to the case of Mr. Grove now confined at Fort Lafayette. During my confinement there I had ample opportunity to learn the character of the man and I can