be released once and unconditionally but I fear that you will not agreee with me. He himself regarding his arrest as a great wrong would rather die than take an oath to procure his leberty. He thinks, erronw, that however loyal he may be in heart and intention the taking of an oath under such circumstancces would dishonor and degrade him, and he is as resolute a man as I ever knew. Whether he would while in confinement give his word of honor as to his future conduct as a condition of his freedom I know not. He would certainly examine munitely every word of any promise required. Please inform me what he must promise if anything. Geve me the lnaguage-and here let me make one suggestion. Please let him make the promis if any be demanded not before his release but immediately after it. If you will send me an order for his discharge and also the form of any necessary promise I pledge you my word of honor that the order shall not be used unless I can return to you the promise signed o the day he leaves prison.
Mr. Seward, I ask as a personal favor, I ask in consideration of all the services I have tried to render to our country, and I ask in the name of justice, that you have me brother restored to liberty. I should fear no diffuculties in the case except from the peculiarities of his character, peculiarities resulting perhaps from too great sensitiveness and possibly false notions of honor, but never found in a dishonorable nature.
Messrs. Gwin and Brent were arrested with my brother. I merely suggest their case to your consideration. Pray let me hear from you without delay, for my immediate return to Louisville and to my public post is important.
Very respectfully, your friend,
GEO. D. PRENTICE.
P. S. -A disease of the hand compels me to use a pencil in writing.
G. D. P.
ASTOR HOUSE, New York, November 26, 1861.
Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
DEAR SIR: In writing to you this afternoon fresh from a conversation with my brother-in-law perhaps I said more than I should have said in regard to the character of a parole to be given by him if any should be required. Of course I understand that if a parole is deemed necessary it must be a full promise to do nothing in any way toward promoting or encouraging opposition to the Government.
Doctor Gwin and Mr. Benham before they left California, hearing that surmises against their loyalty had been expressed, sent to General Sumner to ask whether they would incur any danger of arrest in embarking on the steamer. he replied directly that they would not and surely he had or might have had a better opportunity of informing himself there as to their loyalty or disloyalty than he could have in the voyage. Deeply and even painfully anxious as I am for the immediate discharge of my brotheer I do not expect that you can favor him above the two gentlemen arrested with him. If the circumstances in regard to the three are the same I recognize the propriety of your treating them all alike. I believe that they all would make a proper promise to do nothing against our Government and that they would keep the promise when made.
Earnestly thanking you for several kindnesses and hoping to thank you for another, I remain, very truly, your friend,
GEO. D. PRENTICE.