WASHINGTON, January 24, 1862.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c.
SIR: On the 31st of last month I had the honor to bring to your notice the case of William Reed, a British seaman taken on board the British schooner M. S. Perry and imprisoned in Fort Lafayette. You were so good as to inform me by a note dated the 10th instant that orders had been given for the release of this man unless his testimony should be deemed indispensable to the administration of justice.
I received the day before yesterday an application from a man of the name of Hunter Semple who appears to have been captured at the same time and on board the same vessel. He states that he is a British subject and that he has been in close confinement in Fort Lafayette since the 12th of October last.
I beg to recomend the case to your attention and have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient humble servant.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 29, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.
SIR: Let Hunter Semple, a prisoner confined in Fort Lafayette, be released, unless his testimony in the case of the M. S. Perry should be deemed important, upon his stipulating that he will neither enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the United States Government nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those States without permission from the Secretary of State, and also that he will not do anything hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. I transmit this order to Robert Murray, esq., U. S. marshal, who has been instructed by this Department to cause a police examination to be made in some cases of the persons and baggage of prisoners discharged from custody to the end that no correspondence or other improper papers be conveyed by them to persons outside the fort.
I am, sir, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
F. W. SEWARD,
FORT HAMILTON, February 1, 1862.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: I have the honor to inform you that I have this day in accordance with your instructions received by the hands of Marshal Robert Murray turned over to his custody the following-named prisoners recently in Fort Lafayette: Francisco Menendez, Peter Fernandez, Frederick Louis, Hunter Semple.
I have the honor of remaining, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel Third Artillery.