LOUISVILLE, September 24, 1861.
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
MY DEAR SIR: On Friday night last ex- Governor Charles S. Morehead, Reuben T. Durrett and M. W. Barr were arrested in and near this city, and I understand they have been taken to FOrt Lafayette. I telegraphed you this morning in conjunctin with ttwo or three other gentlemen in relation to Mr. Durett. Mr. Durrett has been and I presume still is a bitter personal enemy of mine but I am extremely anxious for hs release. He is a seessionist, but he has never done any harm in our community. He couldn't do any harm if he would. He is not without talent, but he has no influence, and his discharge could not be productive of the least possible injury to the Union cause. But the strongest reason why I wish his release is that his wife, a most estimable woman, is on the very verge of delirium on his account. I do believe in my heart that if he be kept fom her many days she will go utterly and hopelessly mad.
Governor Morehead has been one of the dearest of my personal friends for nearly thirty years. I do not believe theat his arrest was necessary or expedient. His feelings lately have been with the South, but I have heard him say twenty times and with great vehemence that he would give all he has in the world, life included, to restore the Union to what it was before the Southern States seceded. He has uniformly condemned secession, but has contnded warmly for peace on the ground that war could never restore the Union, and unquestionable his feelings have become a good deal excited against the Government. He has strongly condemned in two or three speeches, and probably in a pamphlet he is said to have been preparing, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and one or two other acts of the Government, but I have no idea that he had a thought of transcending the legitimate privileges of a citizen. I am sure that his detention in prison can do no good; I think his release may do some. I am assured by his family and friends that if released he would go immediately to the South, and certainly he would not take up arms, and he is very far fondition to aid the rebels with money. I pray you relase him unless you have proofs before you of his treason. I beseech you to release him if you can without the violation of a great duty. His imprisonment for any lewngth of time in the present embarrassed condition of his affairs would be the ruin of his amiable and excellent family. Strongly as I am opposed to his recent course, I would rather give a portion of the brief remnant of my life that have his confinement protracted.
And I cannot think it worth while to detain Mr. Barr in prison. He has a very lovely wife dependent upon him. He is a poor man, long a telegraphic operator here and during the last three or four months he has been employed by the company in New Orleans as their telegraphic agent in this city. He has of course telegraphed what he thought would be most agreeable to his employers. It would have been very easy to make him desist from that work without confining him as a state prisoner. If discharged he will be sure to do no such work again. Asking your indulgence for troubling you with this long letter and most earnestly hoping I have not written it in vain, I remain, most respectfully, yours,
GEO. D. PRENTICE.