to this Department by Mr. John Develin. It is presumed that in forwarding the original to Mr. Develin Mr. Winder must have found means to elude the vigilance of the authorities at Fort Lafayette.
I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 1,1 861.
JOHN E. DEVELIN, Esq., Astor House, New York.
SIR: I have received your note without date, accompanied by one addressed to you by Mr. W. H. Winder, which is herewith returned agreeably to your request. It is not deemed advisable that you should have interviews with the persons to whom he refers, or compatible with the reputation of a good citizen which you so deservedly enjoy that you should have any professional connection with them.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
FORT LAFAYETTE, October 20, 1861.
[CHARLES H. WINDER.]
DEAR CHARLES: I received on the 15th yours of the 11th announcing your sad bereavement to which I immediately replied. I also received and replied to yours written after your return from Baltimore in which you spoke of bringing my case to the consideration of Governor Seward. To my remarks on this suggestion of yours I would add these further observations. In regard therefore to any qualification or condition to a release I inclose some hasty remarks.
I am wholly unwilling to believe that Governor Seward or General Cameron could wish me to slime myself with conditions that would place upon me a lasting mark of degradation so poisonous to my peace as to render life undesirable, and implanting in the bosom an implacable feeling which may cause unhappiness to others as well as to myself. A release to be in any manner acceptable must be on such terms and in such manner as is best calculated to restore the personal good feeling which I had ever entertained and had often manifested and which I had supposed was mutual, and to bury in oblivion the hardship and losses caused by my arrest and confinement. I am guiltless of wrong to the Constitution and the Union or to any section of the country in thought, word or deed, and upon this rock I stand and I cannot countenance anything inconsistent with it. I am now under the responsibility of the oath as much so as if I against should take it, and if I have violated it I am now amenpunishment. If guiltless why make an oath a condition of my release?
I conclude with a suggestion that I be allowed on parole to go to Washington in person to attend to the investigation of my case. I will of course in no manner avail myself of the liberty of parole to do anything inconsistent with its spirit but will confine myself strictly to its object and return promptly to this place if my liberation be not the result. Give yourself no uneasiness about me. If you can obtain your own honorable discharge I have the heart for any fate and an abiding confidence in a retributive future.
I am, ever, your most affctionate brother,
W. H. WINDER.