War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0994 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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whether he would contract those obligations or not. I should not have thought myself justified in interfering to prevent his doing so unless I had had reason to hope that I could procure his discharge on other terms.

I have, &c.,


WASHINGTON, April 26, 1862.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c.

SIR: With reference to the correspondence which passed between yourself and me in the months of November and December last respecting the imprisonment of Mr. John G. Shaver I have the honor to inform you that Her Majesty's Government have had under their consideration an application from that gentleman for their assistance to obtain from the Government of the United States compensation on account of his arrest and imprisonment and of the losses in business to which he was thereby subjected.

According to Mr. Shaver's statement although he was in the service of the Grand Trung Railway of Canada his headquarters were at Louisville in Kentucky. It would appear, however, from the letter of Mr. Benjamin, a member of the Canadian house of assembly, of which I had the honor to send you a copy on the 14th of last November, that Mr. Shaver's proper residence is at Belleville in Canada. Her Majesty's Government assume therefore that although his employment frequently required his presence in the United States he was not when arrested in the month of October last domiciled in the United States but in Canada.

Her Majesty's Government must further assume although this does not expressly appear from the papers before them that no ordinary legal remedy is practically open to Mr. Shaver. It seems that Mr. Shaver was arrested on arriving from Canada at Detroit in the State of Michigan, on the northern frontier of the United States, a place far removed from the seat either of war or of any internatl disturbance and at which the ordinary course of law and criminal jurisdiction was not interrupted or suspended. Mr. Shaver was perfectly w was arrested as he affirms by orders from you apparently conveyed by telegraph. No charge, however, was made against him nor was any reason assigned for his arrest, but he was searched and thereupon confined as he states first "in a dungeon among negroes and malefactors of the vilest kind" and afterward in a dark and unventilated room with forty-eight other prisoners in Fort Lafayette. Mr. Shaver affirms that on arriving at New York he was taken before Mr. Kennedy of the police department who on going into his case said that "his arrest was an error" and that there was "no charge against him. " He was then transferred to Fort Warren where he was confined until the 6th of January last and he was then released only on taking an oath that he would not enter any of the so-called Confederate States or hold any correspondence with persons residing therein without permission of the United States Secretary of State and that he would not do anything hostile to the United States during the present insurrection, saving his allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain.

Her Majesty's Government observe that in the letter which you did me the honor to address to me on the 14th of November last you stated that at the time of the arrest you believed that Mr. Shaver was a citizen of the United States. In the same note you stated also that you had at first directed Mr. Shaver's release upon his taking the oath of