U. S. MARSHAL'S OFFICE, New York, August 31, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.
SIR: I have this day mailed for your perusal several copies* of the Republican Watchman, published at Greenport, Long Island, and await your opinion as to whether the editor shall be confined at Fort Lafayette or not.
WASHINGTON, September 2, 1861.
ROBERT MURRAY, U. S. Marshal:
Arrest the editor of the Greenport Republican Watchman and send him to Fort Lafayette and deliver him into the custody of Colonel Martin Burke. If he has left home for Syracuse arrest him anywhere on the road where he can be found.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
UNION OFFICE, Riverhead, Long Island, September 3, 1861.
DEAR GOVERNOR SEWARD: Pardon me for trespassing upon your time for a moment. It is night ime that the arm of the Government was stretched out down this way. The traitor press and traitors' mouths ought to be hermetically sealed. We have in Greenport a peper called the Republican Watchman which according to its small ability is doing what mischief it can and weekly teaches secession. Already the proprietor has notified the sheriff of our county of his expectation of a cleaning out by the loyal people of the place in order of course to secure damages; but it would be well for the Government to step in before the people do and suppress it lawfully. It is a most pestilent sheet, supported mainly by Ben Wood as I understand, and ought to be stopped. According to its power it is equally as bad as the New York News, Journal of Commerce or Day Book. If you do not interpose the people will and for one I deprecate their taking the law into their own hands.
There are many individuals among us who ought to be arrested. In every way, by words at least and by act if they could, they malign and damn the Government and make themselves so obnoxious to the wrath of our well-disposed people that I have wondered these sympathizers with Southern traitors have not already been tarred and feathered. It is a state of things we cannot long submit to and I fear the word will soon be given that will produce lawless but deserved deeds. A few detectives or a marshal down here to gather names and facts would do something perhaps to allay the feeling, but the suppression of the Watchman would strike terror to their cowardly hearts and keep them silent. I sincerely trust that something will be done. We have murderers enough in front without being obliged to look after assassins at our backs. One of the fiercest has a son, postmaster, who pretends to be a Republican, both no doubt playing into each other's hands as they have done heretofore. We are getting to be weary of these things and we beg you to help us.
I am, dear sir, with highest esteem and regard, faithfully yours, and my country's,
W. VAN ZANDT.