War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0850 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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William GIlchrist which were received at this Departmetn from U. S . Marshal Millward have been sent to J. Hubley Ashton, esq., assistatn U. S. district attorny for the eastern district of Pennsylvania.

I a, sir, veryrespectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Secretary.

BOSTON, January 9, 1861.

Honorable CHARLES SUMNER, Washington.

DEAR SIR: My faith in your justice and humianity impels me to ask your attention to the case of my friend Mr. F. Wyatt, of Philadelphia, now imprisoned at Fort Warren by order of the Secretary of State. The inclosed extract of a recent letter received by me from mr. Wyatt will make you familiar with the particulars thereof. I ma aware that the prisoners at Fort Warren have been informed that any effort to effect their release through the influence of outside parties would be fruitless and prjudicial, and that they were directed to apply directly to the State Dpeartment. Mr. Wyatt complied with this order by twice addressing Mr. Seward and writing once to the President* without reply in either case, although his communications contained a detailed statement of his case, including the time and manner of his arrest as set forth in the inclosed extract. I have no doubt whatever of the accuracy of my friend's statements, and I have no hesitation in denouncing his imprisonment as an arbitrary and outrageous exercise of power unworthy a Christian nation. I doubt often that we are a Christian people. If we are we deserve the chastisement of God.

I shoudl be gratified (and grateful too) if you would present Mr. Wyatt's case to the notice of Mr. Seward. He is in feeble health and moreover unless he can personally attend to his private affairs they will be involved in iretrieveable ruin. If Mr. Seward refuse to release Mr. Wyatt unconditionally he may be willing to release him for thirty or sixty days on parole during which time he will if allowed visit Washington to attend to his causeays he is opportunity of conversing with him. You will, however, pardon my application to you. I know of no one else to hope aid fromf or my oppressed and suffering friend. God forbid that I should regard myself as a citizen of any nation in which for no sfficient reason- upon mere suspicion only- my fellow man can be deprived of his lberty without trial, without appeal, without hope itself, to the sacrifice of his health and all his material, domestic and personal interests.

]With great regard, dear sir, your constituent,


P. S. - I had some correspondence with you directly after youy delivered your Worcester speech. Mr. Wyatt is perfectly willing to take the oath of allegiance.


On the 20th day of September, 1861, I was arrested in Philadelphia by the U. S . marshal upon an order from the Secretary of State. When asked for the cahrges against me the only reply was that I was arrested on suspicion of olding correspondence with persons in the seceded States, to which cahrge up to the 1st of May I plead guilty as I wrote


*See Wyatt to the President, October 20, 1861, p. 844; Wyatt to Seward, September 30, p. 832.