WAR DEPARTMENT, September 5, 1861.
CHARLES CLARKE, U. S. Marshal, Augusta, Me.:
Arrest Robert Elliot and Virgil D. Paris as desired by Governor Washburn. Commit them as prisoners to Fort Lafayette.
Secretary of War.
PORTLAND, September 9, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
MY DEAR SIR: Things are not quite so bad her as your last dispatch* would seem to imply. The simple truth is that our marshal having Elliot in arrest and expecting Meade along thought that by waiting a day he could take along the whole batch, and not apprehending any intereference clapped his men in jail. He was moreover under a misapprhension as to the day of sailing of the New York boat. As soon as he heard of the design to get a writ he New started his men off between trains, sending men with instructions to pay no attention to the writs unless directed to them, but they were overtaken and outwitted. Arrangements had been made to seize them again if discharged and lodge them at the fort when your order to discharge them was received.
Public feeling is all right here in relation to such people and will thoroughly sustain the Government in seizing all such people. The sorrow and disappointment at their escape was very gerat. It was an unlucky accident and would not be likely to occur again. I write this much in order that you may not find too much fault with our marshal, who is ardent, zealous and smart. His whole sould is in the serice and he feels excessively mortified and chagrined. OUr district judge (Ware) is with us heart and sould, and so are all our State judges. Clifford pretends to be right, but as you know is wholly unreliable and timid.
Our business men are embarrassed by being obliged to send to Boston for passports. As you are aware we have great intercourse with Cuba. I have been again requested to call your attention to the matter. I await your reply to my former letter before sending you a name.
W. P. FESSENDEN.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 4, 1861.
His Excellency ISRAEL WASHBURN, Jr., Augusta, Me.
SIR: Application has been made to the President for the release of Robert Elliot a political prisoner held in custody at Fort Lafayette. The evidence taken in his case shows that he had not only conceived a purpos of treasonable co-operation in the State of Maine with the insurrectionary citizens arrayed in arms in other States for the overthrow of the Government and the Union but hat he had even gone to the extreme legnth of getting up an unlawful armed force to operate in Maine against the lawful action of the State and of the Federal Government. His associates in this treasonable enterprise have since his arrest taken an oath of allegiance to the United States. This proceeding is very proper in itself, but the representations they make that they
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