War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0717 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

Search Civil War Official Records

of the insurgents and of having given them aid by supplying them with revolvers. His treasonable practices took place in part at least in the State of Kentucky where order has not been restored and whitehr if released he would probably return. Under these circumstances it is not deemed advisable yet to discharge him.

Permit me, however, to inquire what proof you have other than his own assertion that Brain is a British subject? Upon this point a doubt has been raised.

I am, my dear Lord Lyons, very truly, yours,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

UNOFFICIAL.] WASHINGTON, February 4, 1862.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c.

MY DEAR SIR: On the receipt of the unofficial letter which you were so kind as to write to me on the 13th of last month I requested Her Majesty's consul at Boston to make the inquiries necessaryto enable me to give you further information relativeto the claim of John C. Brain, a prisoner in Fort Warren, to British protection. The consul has sent me in reply a letter from Brain himself.

In that letter Brain states that he was born at Ball's Pond, Islington, London, in the year 1840, on the 30th of May; that his birth is registered at Saint Mary's Church, Islington, in whichchurch his father and mother were married and he himself was christened; that in the month of May, 1849 or 1850, his father and mother brought him to America in the ship Ivanhoe, a Black Star line packet; that to the best of his knowledge his ftaher never claimed or exercised any rights of citizenship in the Unit he himself has certainlydone nothing to throw off his allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain.

Brain empahtically denies hving enlisted in the military service of the enemy of the United State; having supplied the enemy with revolvers; having committed any act of hostility to the United States, or having been guilty of any offense against the laws. He declares his perfect willingness to stand his trial on any charge of the kind.

He affirms that his imprisonment which has already lated five months is telling fearfully on his health, and he says that in order to obtain his release he is willing to swear (saving his allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain and his rights as a British subject) that he will not enter any of the seceding States or do anything hostile to the Government of the United States during the present difficulties.

Believe me to be, my dear sir, very faithfully, yours,

LYONS.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, February 5, 1862.

Right Honorable Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: Adverting to your unofficial letter of yesterday relative to the case of John C. Brain and to the extract furnsihed me by your lordship from a letter of the 30th ultimo addressed to you by Mr. Matthew F. Maury, I now have the honor to acquaint you that the officer having command of the fort in which they are held has been directed to discharge those persons upon their complying with certain conditions deemed necessary for the public safety.

I have the honor to be, with high consideration, you lordship's obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.