three persons and placed them fro safe-keeping in the upper story of one of my station-houses, not only apart from all others under arrest but in a place unusual and where meddling friends would not be likely to interfere with their peaceable possession. After receiving the men I took possession of their baggage but found fothing that would implicate them in any treasonable transacton. They, however, had had abundant opportunity to dispose of everything that could involve them as well while on board ship as since their arrival here. At least two of their fellow-passengers sympathized with them and were disposed to render them any aid they might require. Had the order for the taking of messrs. Gwin and company been received in time I would have detained Captain Healey and ex-Senator Nesmith, whose names were not published in the San Frnacisco list of passengers on the Orizaba, but they left the city early yesterrday morning for Albany and the north, which I suppose means Canada.
The only paper found which I think of sufficient importance to send you is inclosed. It is a letter from Doctor Gwin to C. Benham and expresses the feelings he entertained in February last. I have stopped writing to receive your two dispatches of to-day, and have to say I have not yet received the reply you sent, "Keep them in custody, &c. " I remained in my office until after 12 o'clock last night waiting for it. I have only to repeat that so far as Benham and Brent are concerned if not Doctor Gwin it is much the safest to keep them n confinement until their cases are disposed of.
Very truly, yours,
JOHN A. KENNEDY,
WASHINGTON CITY, February 8, 1861.
C. BENHAM, Esq.
FRIEND BENHAM: You must have been born under an unlucky star, for just when I for the first tiem have no influence in the War Department and do not speak to the head of War Department you need my utmost influence, which would be given so freely and with such good will. I am doing my best through Ringgold, but I have such a horror of Holt I cannot hope for his doing what he ought. In the last resort I intended to appeal to Black and Horton to see that you are porperlyn paid for your services, past and prospective.
The cotton States are out forever. The border States will follow; it is only a questin of time. If no collission takes place reconstruction is barely possible. The chances are there will be two republics, North and Sough, with amicable relations. Time will probably turn it into three.
Very truly, yours,
W. M. GWIN.
NEW YORK, November 17, 1861.
W. H. SEWARD:
I still retain in custody the three men. They are in an upper room in a station-house, comfortably provided for but excluded from communication with their friends. They are willing to renew their parole, but it is better not to take [it]. Healey and Nesmith, their associates, have disappeared already.
JOHN A. KENNEDY.