DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 29, 1861.
MADISON C. JOHNSON, Esq., Lexington, Ky.
SIR: Herewith I transmit to you a copy of a communication* received at this Department in reference to the case of William Grubbs who was arrested in Kentucky and is now a prisoner at one of the military posts of the United States. Will you please examine the case and report to me whether in your judgment there is sufficient reason for detaining him as a treasonable or dangerous person?
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
VERNON, IND., November 1, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
DEAR SIR: Feeling a deep and abiding interest in the perpetuity of our glorious Union and wishing and trusting that justice may be meted out and the full penalty of the law be enforced upon its enemies,some cases persons have been arrested and conveyed to Fort Lafayette without intentionally having done anything to the detriment of the Union cause. And I write you at this time in reference to one such person. I refer to Mr. William E. Kearny who is at present confined at Fort Lafayette. He with seventeen others was arrested near Lexington, Ky., the last of September and conveyed to Louisville and tried (or an examination had) and all released save him, and from all I can learn he would have been released had it not been for the testimony of one Curtis Knight, who has ever been a bitter enemy to him and his family. And as a large family are dependent upon him for their support, and believing most sincerely that if an opportunity were given him he would take the oath of allegiance and faithfully abide by it and return home to fulfill his duties to his family in providing for their comfort [sic]. His father-in-law, Francis Emerson, is one of the staunchest Union men in Clark County, Ky., as are all of Mr. Kearny's brothers. Being a brother-in-law of his I speak that which I know to be correct.
In conclusion, believing that if you will give this case an examination the dictates of humanity will prompt his discharge upon his taking the oath, I would most respectfully urge upon behalf of his family (as well as my own) that he may be offered his discharge. Will you be so kind as to give this matter your early attention and inform me of the result as soon as convenient, as his family most anxiously desire to learn something in reference to his case?
I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. H. NEWCOMB.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., November 4, 1861.
Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.
DEAR SIR: In passing through Louisville, Ky., I conferred with a number of prominent Union men as to the propriety of discharging all or any of the prisoners recently confined in Fort LaFayette, and I found their convictions very decided and earnest against such a step. The arrest of these traitors has done immense good in Kentucky and has given the Government a prestige for determination and power which
*Omitted; see Clay to Seward, October 22.