War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0716 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 11, 1861.

Memorandum in reply to that of Lord Lyons of the 19th isntant in regard to political prisoners alleged to be British subjects.

* * * *

John C. Brain, imprisoned at Fort Warren, Boston, was arrested at Michigan City, Ind., and examined before a magistrate in La Porte County, Ind. The evidence showed him to be a member of the secret disunion organization known as the Knights of the Golden Circle; that he held a commission in the army of the insurgents; that he was engaged in purchasing and smuggling revolvers and minitions of war into the insurrectionary States. Mrs. Mary Fraley testified that on the 28th of July he tried to make arrangements witevolvers for him into the States of Kentucky and Tennessee; also that he exhibited to her a hand bill calling for men to enlist in the rebel army. He was committed to jail by the magistrate to await the action of the grand jury, and subsequently transferred to Fort Lafayettefor safe-keeping and afterward with other prisoners to Fort Warren.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 13, 1861.

Right Honorable Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: * * * An examination has been made in the case of John C. Brain, who is now imprisoned at Fort Warren, and it has beena scertained that he is a member of the secret treasonable association called the Knights of the Golden Circle; that he holds a commission in the insurgent service; that he has been engaged in bying arms and munitions of war for the rebels and in conveying such arms to them in violation of the rules and regulations of the Union. The public safety requires his detention for the present. * * *

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to your lordship the assurance of my high consideration.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

UNOFFICIAL.] WASHINGTON, January 11, 1862.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c.

MY DEAR SIR: Will you allow me to remind you of the case of John C. Brain, a prisoner in Fort Warren? In the note which you did me the honor to address to me on the 13th of November last you informed me that the public safety required the detention of Brain for the present. Two months have all but elapsed since that date and he had before been more than two months and a half under arrest. You may perhaps think it possible now to release him. The latters he has written to me and to Her Majesty's consuls are those of a man of so little education that I do not think he can be very dangerous.

Believe me to be, my dear sir, your very faithful, humble servant,

LYONS.

UNOFFICIAL.] DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 13, 1862.

Right Honorable Lord LYONS, &c.

MY DEAR LORD LYONS: I have received your unofficial note of the 11th instant in regard to John C. Brain. You may recollect that he was arrested on a charge of having been enlisted in the military service