I am aware that Mr. Seward for some reason satisfactory to himself was disposed to hold him in confinement indefinitely. Not being advised of the ground upon which his purposes were formed I am of course unable to say how just this protracted confinement may be. If he is to be prosecuted for any overt act it is fair that he should know wherein he has offended and have accorded to him the privileges of a fair trial. I do not suppose from what I learn of the man that such a proceeding is really contemplated and I am satisfied that he may be safely discharged.
My own opinions in regard to the mode of proceeding which has been adopted in this and some other cases in the loyal States you know already, but they are of no importance to those in power. I think, however, the time will come when their soundness will be felt and acknowledged. If your can consistently call the attention of Secretary Stanton to this case I wish you would do so at an early
day. I have a high respect for his ability and purity of purpose, and trust he will do that in the premises which he thinks is just to the Government and the prisoner. As you know I have no acquaintance with Mr. Wyatt and have formed my estimate of him from Mrs. Cowles' representations, and I know her to be an estimable lady.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, March 3, 1862.
Honorable JAMES DIXON, Senate Chamber.
SIR: I have had the honor to receive your note of the 24th ultimo and its inclosure asking if Mr. F. Wyatt can be released under the recent order of this Department. In reply I have the honor to inform you that it is understood that Mr. Wyatt has been indicted by the U. S. grand jury in the district court of the eastern district of Pennsylvania on a charge of conspiring to levy war against the Government of the United States. It is deemed inexpedient therefore to interpose in his behalf. *
I have the honor to be, &c.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S OFFICE, April 2, 1862.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: I had the honor to receive your note of March 31 inclosing a memorandum left with you by Lord Lyons+ relative to the case of one Mr. Gilchrist, who it seems is imprisoned at Philadelphia under indictment for statutory offenses against the United States. The memorandum consists of brief extracts of a letter from the British consul at Philadelphia to Lord Lyons, and stating only the character of the indictment suggests the granting of a pardon but does not state the facts of the case nor those mitigating circumstances (if such exist) which ought to induce the President to interpose the clemency of the Government between the law and the prisoner. Certainly it would give me pleasure to gratify Lord Lyons in anything consistent with the
*No papers can be found in the War Department showing any further action in the case of Wyatt.