panying your letter, as also several depositions subsequently taken, all of which will be transmitted to you. The propriety of the arrest of Mr. Elliot is I think unquestionable. From the evidence contained in the papers whichhave been laid before me, to say nothing ofmany facts which have come to my knowledge fromother sources, his treasonable practices and designs ae in my judgment fully established; and it was of the highest interest to the Government that the movement which he organized should be checked at the earliest moment. The most salutary results have followed the prompt and wise action of the Government in this regard.
I do not perceive, however, that the public good requires his further detention at Fort Lafayette. A large majority of the company which he aided in raising for disloyal purposes have taken the oath of allegiance and express regret that they should have permitted themselves to be led from the path of duty and patriotism, and some of them I learn have recently enlisted in the military service of the United States. Robert Elliot himself writes me thatt he fallacy of the opinion which he entertained not long since that peace could be secured without bloodshed is now fully apparent to him. Under these circumstances and considering that he will be subject to indictment and trial hereafter should a prosecution for his offense against the Government be deemed advisable I would respectfully recommend his discharge from imprisonment upon his taking the oath of allegiance.
It is due to the Honorable E. K. Smart that I should say that from the facts which have been made known to me I am satisfied that the charges of improper conduct made in the paperse presented to you by HIram Elliot and D. B. Preller are without foundation, nor should I omit to add that in my opinion Colonel Smart by his faithful and vigorous action in this matter has rendered a most important service to the Government.
I have the honor to be, your obedi WASHBURN, JR.,
SOUTH MONTVILLE, ME., October 31, 1861.
Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.:
DEAR SIR: I had a long conversation yesterday with Governor Washburn as to the release of Robert Elliot. He showed me your letter to him and his reply which he had prepared to send to you. I said to him as I now wish to say to you it is not time for Elliot to be released. I live a neighbor to himand I have been well acquainted with public sentiment in our Congressional district since I had the honor to represent it in Congress four years ago. I was in the village where Elliot's family live but three days ago and I know that our best men there as well as through our county, even those who are his personal friends, think it would not be safe to have him released. His arrest and removal did us more good than anything that has taken place since the commencement of the war. His release now would I feel sure fan anew the fires of secession which have been held in check by his removal and confinement. Although he may take the oath of allegiance I am quite certain he will as heretofore do everything he dares to against the war and the Government.
Governor Washburn showed me the letters and petitions he had received from our leading men asking for Elliot's release. They are all good men but I beg to say that they all live in our cities where they