left for For Lafayette where we arrived last night. For of the passengers, owners of the cargo, remained in Philadelphia I believe.
Hoping, sir, that you will listen to our petition and do something to[ward] our liberation or a hearing before proper authority, we sign ourselves, respectfully, your obedient servants,
Master of M. S. Perry.
W. J. BROWNING,
HUNTER x SEMPLE,
FORT LAFAYETTE, November 20, 1861.
Honorable W. H. SEWARD.
SIR: I was born in the city of Hoboken, State of New Jersey, and resided in the city of New York until the last six years when on account of bad health I removed to Havana, Island Of Cuba, where I have resided since. On the 3rd of October I engaged as engineer on board of the steamer Salvor, and on the 12th of the same month I signed articles granted by the English consul at Havana Nassau and return. I had no knowledge of the intention of the captain or owners until my capture by the U. S. steamer Keystone State, when I was informed by the prize officer in charge that we were taken for running the blockade. I gave the prize engineer all assistance in my power by standing watch and working the engine until it broke down.
I have not been in any of the Southern States for the last seven years, and the only time then was when I was second engineer of the steamer Empire City, in the employ of M. O. Roberts, of New York City, carrying the U. S. mail from New York, Havana and New Orleans. My assistant, Mr. George McNagg, is similarly situated, having resided in Havana the last three years. He also was born in the State of New Jersey and resided in Paterson until his removal to Havana.
And now, sir, having stated our situation, we respectfully petition our release from this place so as to enable us to return to Havana to work at our trade as engineers for the support of our families as they are depending on our labor for their daily bread, having no other means of living. That we are both Northern men and of good Union principles Consul Savage, of Havana, would wouch for us.
Honored sir, I would respectfully ask permission ofr my little daughter (Camilla Browning, eleven years old, accompanied by her grandmother, Ann Clark) residing Numbers 62 Bedford street, New York City, to visit me while I remain here. Ihave not seen her but once in the last three years.