War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0690 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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and he were loyal to the Union at the time when they were combining in arms against it cannot be accepted at least in his behalf since it appears that he is too intelligent to misunderstand the legitimate tendencies of his criminal acts. He cannot be released. On the contrary your vigilance in ferreting out the conspiracy and in arresting it by denouncing it to the Government and the country is deemed worthy of especial commendation.

If any of the other offenders asre still persisting in this treasonable course you will not fail I am sure to give information to this Department.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 7, 1861.

His Excellency ISRAEL WASHBURN, Jr., Augusta, Me.

GOVERNOR: I transmit for your examination certain papers* this day submitted to me, and also others which were before me when I sent the letter to you on the 4th day of October, which has been published. The Government feels confident that it can safely rely upon yoru judgment, discretion and patriotism in regard to the merits of the case of Mr. Elliot, and for this reason I respectfully ask for your opinion thereon. You will please remit all the papers to me when you shall have examined them.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

WASHINGTON, October 7, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

HONORABLE SIR: Your dispatch to Governor Washburn convinces me that you have strong evidence against Robert Elliot which was not obtained in a spirit of patriotism but to avenge vindictive personal feelings. I know he never conceived the purpose of treason nor got up an unlawful armed force to act [against] the United States Government. Could I know the nature and substance of the evidence am well satisfied I could rebut it to your satisfaction convinced as I am that your views are too exalted to wish to retain in innocent man. ONe favor please-grant me an interview with him. He is charman of the board of town officers. Some lawsuits aren ow pending in which the town is highly interested. It is very necessary to consult him about them. Another thing, his poor wife is about distracted and could I say to her I had seen him and he was comfortable it would be a great consolation to her.

Hoping you will grant me a pass, I remain, yhours, very respectfully,

H. F. ELLIOT.

STATE OF MAINE, AUGUSTA, October 30, 1861

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have received your letter of the 7th instant in which you ask my opinion in regard to the merits of the case of Robert Elliot, now imprisoned at Fort Lafayette. I have examined the papers accom-

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*None of the papers referred to found.

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