War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0978 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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whereas three-fourths by the example and conduct of those highest in authority were in open, active histility to the United States Government.

Captain McKay, stripped of his large property, crushed in spirit, but as he assures me loyal in heart to the Union, certainly deserves to have his case speedily disposed of, and I am sure it will be your pleasure to deal as leniently with him as with others who have experienced your clemency. He is illy able to bear the expense of delay in Washington and I earnestly hope you will give him a prompt hearing. I am known to Honorable C. G. Smith, William McKee Dunn, E. P. Walton and George D. Prentice, esq., who will vouch for my loyalty.

With high regard, your admirer and friend,


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, February 14, 1862.


U. S. District Attorney Philadelphia.

SIR: Will you have the kindness to transmit to this Department the papers in the case of the prize vessel the M. S. Perry, or Salvor, which was captured near Key West and sent to Philadelphia for condemnation?

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Secretary.


Philadelphia, February 18, 1862.

F. W. SEWARD, Esq., Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 14th instant requesting me to transmit to your department the papers in the case of the steamer Salvor, otherwise called the M. S. Perry, which is under adjudication in this district. It is beyond my power to send the original documents found on board of the vessel at the time of her capture for they are in judicial custody and cannot of course leave the possession of the court. The case is still pending in the prize court. The vessel has been sold under an interlocutory decree as perishable by reason of chargeableness and deterioration resulting from her detention. A final decree of condemnation has not yet been entered.

In view of the difficulty of removing the docrected to be prepared a careful summary of the papers and letters which were found in the vessel when she was captured. This in connection with a copy of the special report of the prize commissioner upon these documents may serve you in lieu of the original papers. The papers of a captured ship become part of the record of the case in the court of prize as soon as they pass into judicial custody. They constitute as you are aware the most important and delicate part of the testimony in the case upon which the vessel is either to be cndemned or acquitted, and even after final decree it is doubtful whether the court would permit such papers to pass beyond its control. If such a summary as I speak of together with a copy of the report of the commissioner, which is very full and clear, will be of service I will send them to the Department with pleasure. Perhaps also I may aid you in the examination of