War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0986 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

It appears to me proper that some explanation should be given of the cause of the detention at the State Department of the letters addressed by Mr. Shaver to me. If the prisoner was entitled to claim my protection such hindrance should not have been opposed to his freely communicating with me. I submit, however, to your lordship's judgment the expediency of asking for any such explanation. * * *


British Consul.

MONTREAL, November 12, 1861.


Respectable men here regard Shave as a spy dealing with secessionists and desire to have him retained. I have no doubt whatever of his guilt, but to obtain the proof would require judicial power and much labor.


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 13, 1861.

Right Honorable Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: I have institued an inquiry into the case of John G. Shaver, or Shaffer, as the same person is sometimes called, and I learn upon satisfactory and even conclusive evidence that he has been engaged in carrying revolvers and other articles contraband of war to the insurgents and at the same time acting as a spy in their behalf. At present therefore he cannot be released. * * *


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 13, 1861.

JOHN G. MILLER, Esq., Chicago, Ill.

SIR: * * * Will you please transmit to this Department as soon as you conveniently can any evidence you may have in the case of John G. Shaver?

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 14, 1861.

Right Honorable Lord LYONS, &c.

MY LORD: I have your lordship's note of November 12 concerning the case of John G. Shaver. Undr the belief that Mr. Shave was a citizen of the United States I at one time directed that he should be released on taking an oath of allegiance to the United States for the reason that the police authorities who had induced his arrest had not then shown any sufficient causaver declined to take the oath, but before this fact became known to me information had been received of the grounds of his arrest, upon considering which I decided that his release at present would not be conpatible with the public safety.

Insomuch as Mr. Archibald thinks that the delay of Mr. Shaver's letter to him in this Department requires explanation I regret that I am unable to give anyother than the simple one that the delay resulted so far as I know from a pressure of business in this Department. I regret that the delay was unavoidable.