War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0991 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

Search Civil War Official Records

with the conditions upon which his release from Fort Warren is offered to him. I inclose also a copy of a note in which I have asked Mr. Seward to let me know exactly what those conditions are.

I have, &c.,

LYONS.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

FORT WARREN, December 17, 1861.

Right Honorable Lord LYONS, &c., Washington, D. C.

MY LORD: I received your lordship's of the 5th instant and on the following Sunday had an interview with the British consul at Boston, with whom I had a conversation; since when I have received no communication on the subject of my business. Yesterday I was called to the office of Colonel Dimick, the commander of this place, when I was shown a paper, a copy of which I was refused and the general contents of which therefore I can only recount.

This paper recapitulated a number of charges against me most of them indefinite and all of which I solemnly declare to be untrue. By this paper I was offered my release upon taking an oath which imposed restrictions upon my acts inconsistent with my rights as a freeman and incompatible with my duty as a British subject, and adding insult to injuries already sustained requiring me to get the guarantee of some responsible person that I would keep the oath thus attempted to be imposed, and as must be evident to your lordship this requisition is not only insulting in itself but impracticable in the condition of duress under which I am place. It was also doubtful to me whether taking this oath might not be construed as a bar to the claim against the United States for damages for the illegal imprisonment and loss which I have sustained.

I have therefore been compelled to decline taking this oath although my health is impaired by imprisonment and anxiety, knowing my family to be now suffering at home for the want of my exertiouns upon which it depends for support. I submit the ematter to your lordship and respectfully request positive assurances as to the course I had better pursue. If your lordship direct me to take this oath to be released from an imprisonment which has become so distressing I may do so. If, however (as I believe your lordship will do), [you] advise me to refuse to take it, I must again urge your lordship to take such steps that my case may speedily be brought to the notice of Her Majesty which I can rely for that protection which British princes have extended to British subjects in every age and in every clime. Will your lordship do me the favor to reply?

I am, &c.,

J. G. SHAVER.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

WASHINGTON, December 20, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c.

SIR: In your note of the 12th instant you were so god as to inform me that orders had been given for the release of Mr. J. G. Shaver from Fort Warren upon his complying with conditions deemed indispensable under the circumstances. I have to-day received under a cover from the State Department a letter from Mr. Shaver, in which he states that as a condition on which his liberation was to be granted he was tendered an oath which (in his opinion) imposed restrictions upon his acts incon-