I have been anxious to arrive at correct conclusions in this matter before writing to youbject I visited Franklin County and I feel confident that no evidence exists that can connect these gentlemen with any traitorous organization, or that will show that any such organization exists in Franklin County. I have procured a full file of the Gazette, and while I disapprove and condemn much of the sentiment therein published and expressed and do not pretend to justify the same yet I think that the articles written and published will not of themselves alone form a basis which you or the Government will be willing to occupy as a complete justification for the continuance of their imprisonment without any judicial examination.
I wish, sir, that you will inform me fully in the premises as to what can be done or what is right and proper to be done. I believe that the gentlemen to whom I refer will willingly express the same to you in writing if necessary, and that any amount of influence in the way of petitions can be obtained to support what is right and just in the premises. I have throught it better that I should write and give you such suggestions as I have and await such information as you may be pleased to give me before taking any other course. J. R. Flanders is a brother-in-law of mine and an intimate friend from my boyhood. He is a man of high social character and distinguished as a lawyer of great ability. Socially and professionally I believe he holds the respect and friendship of all who know him. His nearest and best friends are warm and energetic defenders and supporters of the Government and his separation from his family at this time is peculiary distressing and severe. So likewise with F. D. Flanders. He has a brother-in-law who is a surgeon in one of our New York regiments. I met him in Franklin County on the same mission as myself to sympathize [with] and comfort his sister and to ascertain the facts in the case.
With the desire of making no unnecessary trouble to the Government nor any needless noise the friends of the Government who are likewise the social friends of these gentlemen wish to restore themto their families if that can be property and safely done. Neither do we wish to trouble you with distressing details for we feel that you will do or cause to be done all that you can and still perform your duty to the country.
I remain, sir, yours, truly,
J. C. SPENCER.
P. S. - Although I hardly think it necessary I inclose some papers* which testify to my political position. I also inclose the letter of the U. S. attorney referring me to your Department.
Letters found among the correspondence of the Messrs. Flanders seized after their arrest.
LOUISVILLE, KY., December 31, 1860.
Judge J. R. FLANDERS, Malone, N. Y.
DEAR JUDGE: Your favor of the 26th instant is received, and first to business. I think it was Hagan & Broadwell, attorneys, who recom-
* Not found.
60 R R - SERIES II, VOL II