War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0857 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

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memorandum relative to the case of Gilchrist was referred, has since carefully investigated the subject and has reached the conclusion that the prisoner must inevitably have been convicted of the crime with which he has been charged. In view, however, of the probability that a repetition of the offense may not under existing circumstances be expected and of his lordship's interest in Gilchrist a nolle prosequi in the case has been ordered and the prisoner will be discharged.


GEORGE A. COFFEY, Esq., U. S. Attorney, Philadelphia.

SIR: Urgent application has been made to me for the discharge of William Gilchrist, a British subject, who stands indicted in the U. S. circuit court for the eastern district of Pennsylvania and whose case was reported to me by Mr. Ashton in his letter* of the 3rd of March. Lord Lyons, the British minister, takes a lively interest in the case of the accused and desires his discharge, and Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, sustains his lordship's request upon grounds of national comity and wise policy. I yield to the force of these suggestions partly because the accused has already suffered a considerable punishment, but chiefly because the occasion enables us to show a graceful courtesy to the minister of a great nation and a politic generosity toward the prisoner. Therefore, sir, I request that you will cause a nolle prosequi to be entered upon the indictment against the said William Gilchrist to the end that he may be freely discharged.

I remain, most respectfully, your obedient servant,




Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to send inclosed a copy of a letter this morning received+ from the attorney of the United States at Philadelphia for the information of yourself and Lord Lyons. You will see that William Gilchrist has been released from custody, a nolle prosequi having been entered in accordance with my directions.

I remain, your obedient servant,



Cases of Messrs. Harbin, Watkinses, Jones, Dents and Others.

George F. Harbin was arrested in Washington, September 23, 1861, by E. J. Allen acting under orders from Brigadier-General Porter, provost-marshal. Harbin was charged with having written letters denouncing the Federal Government and invoking the success of the rebel arms, and in earnest sympathy with the success of the insurrectionists. Applications having been made for his release stating that he was willing and anxious to take the oath of allegiance an order was issued by the Secretary of State January 9, 1862, for the release of Harbin and others. January 11, 1862, Brigadier-General Porter, provost-marshal


*Not found.

+Omitted; substance herein stated.