Stovin. I went down to Fort McHenry and procured an order from the commandant to 'see Mr. Stovin in the presence of the officer of the day on guard. " He repeated the story he has always told - that he took an oath declaring it to be his intention to become a citizen of the United States and renounce his allegiance to any foreign price, &c. But as your lordship is doubtless not aware these are only preliminary steps which confer no actual or present rights and privileges, and it is not until some time afterward (two years I believe) that the individual can take the second oath and received his final papers of naturalization. In the meantime he has none of the privileges of an American citizen. This second and final act Mr. Stovin declares he never performed.
He is confined in a small guard roomwith several other persons. In the course of a conversation that I had with General Dix in regard to his case he was good enough to tell me that he had written to Mr. Seward respecting the examination held by him, namely, that the only allegations against Mr. Stovin were contained in a letter written by a gentleman (whose name he did not give me); that these charges were firmly denied by Mr. Stovin and that there was no evidence either to sustain the former or rebut Mr. Stovin's denial. This was the substance of General Dix's report to the best of my recollection.
In reply to your lordship's inquiry I beg to state that the passport issued be me to Mr. Stowin distinctly said that the bearer was a british subject who had announced his intention of becoming an American citizen but had not actually become one.
I have, &c.,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 2, 1861.
Right Honorable LORD LYONS, &c.
MY LORD: I have received your note of October 26. I give you herewith a copy of the [naturalization] oath* which was taken by John C. Stovin on the 16th of July, 1859. You will see that although it is a declaration of an intention to become a citizen of the United States it is nevertheles an absolute and permanent abjuration of his allegiance to his native sovereign. My view in communicating the fact to you was that you might probably not be so deeply impressed with a cle by a person who had voluntarily renounced the allegiance upon which your interposition was sought.
I am not disposed, however, to raise a question upon his claim to the protection of the British Government and I shall treat the same as fully conceded. Maryland occupies a paculiary important position in regard to the Federal Union. Immediately south of it an insurgent army has for a long time invited co-operation in Maryland and threatened this capital. An army has been stationed there and fortifications built by authority of the United States. The laws and courts have proved temporarily unreliable for the maintenance of the Federal Union there and it has therefore been found necessary to place some agitators of division temporarily in military custody. John C. Stovin is oneof these persons. Although he was furnished by you with a passport withmy consent it is found that he used it to disturb and endanger the public peace and safety.
He cannot be released from custody consistently with the welfare of the community in which he lives. On the other hand if he shall give
* Not found.