War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0954 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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the opportunity of a lawful trial. If we are proved law abiding, loyal citizens shall we-that is, our whole innocent family-suffer like condemned criminals? My husband is a poor man and his printing establishment is his only means of procuring bread for his dependents. But if he is poor he is conscientious and believes in peace as the preserver of the Union. Has he not the God-given right to say so? Has not his wife the same right? I believe in "Peace on earth, good will toward men. " I believe in the Prince of Peace, and shall we like the Apostle Paul and Silas be imprisoned for publishing our convictions? Will Mr. Seward's secretary pt this letter into the Secretary of State's own hands that he may know our guilt if there be any? My husband and I will take the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States at any time it may be offered. Should an American citizen be required to do more? Please, sir, do let me hear kindly from you as soon as possible after the receipt of this.

Most respectfully and hopefully, yours,

Mrs. F. D. FLANDERS.

MALONE, N. Y., December 14, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

SIR: I wrote you just one week ago and this will be be the third letter penned by myself for your inspection, and if I receive no answer to this I shall probably write you till I do for I must be heard. I was born a free citizen of a free country, and until I have transgressed the laws of my country, or until my country is no more except in name, while I tread its sacred soil I have as good a right to my "inalienable rights" and to my pursuit of happiness as yourself, even though your position is far exalted above me.

Sir, I am a weak woman-weak in body, but your God is my God and knoweth my wrongs received from the hands of enemies. You cannot be an enemy to those of whom you of yourself know nothing, and should you however harassed you must be by your mountain of cares punish an American citizen without first a trial by court? No martial law has been proclaimed in this State and I do not believe that you hold to a despotic government. Why then, sir, cannot the paper now under my charge have the privileges of mail transportation? It advocates charity and love as being the generators of peace and prosperity among brethren. Is there crime in such advocacy? If so please direct me where to find it in the statutes. If the Franklin Gazette is of but little consequence and influence why fear its weakness? If it be of any influence we want to use it against England in case she threatens us too loudly. My husband writes me? "If there is to be war with England I want to be out of my prison so as to give her one blow myself, for you know how I hate everything English. " Sir, I choose England above all other kingly governments, but I love my country and my whole country next to my God. At least I think I do though she has so deeply wronged me. True it is no way to make reasoning beings love aught by its scourges inflicted on you and yours, but my country, "with all thy faults I love thee still," and if necessary will fight with all the power given me by Heaven for you.

Will Mr. William H. Seward's secretary put this into Mr. Seward's hands?

Yours, respectfully,

MRS. F. D. FLANDERS.