NEW YORK, February 2, 1862.
F. W. SEWARD, Assistatn Secretary of State.
SIR: The case of John F. Parr, a prisoner at Fort Lafayette (arrested at Buffalo), should I think be disposed of. When arrested there seemed to be no sufficient grounds for holding him. The correspondence found on him or furnished by his brother, who is a respectable Union man residing at Buffalo, shows on the contrary that though residing in Tennessee ha was a Union man until he came North. Why the officers picked him [up] it is difficult to imagine. After he was arrested it transpireatement) that he had purchased goods in New York, he claiming that he bought them on speculation to ship South when he could legally do so. I set on foot inquiries to find out what and where the goods were and satisfied myself that the purchase was quinine and was sent in a trunk by express to Buffalo. I asked you to ordeer the trunk sent to me so that I might take measures to identify the trunk and dParr as purhcaser. The trunk was sent to New York by express to be delivered to me, but was not delivered. By this time the officers in Buffalo got tidings of the matter and interfered and got the trunk ordered back to Buffalo by the express officers and it was sent back without my knowing it had been here. A letter from the district attorney of the northern district of New York shows me that proceedings are to be taken or have been to condemn the property as contraband. The cupidity of the officers has made them vigilant now that compensation is possible. I think the poperty cannot be condemned even if it can be identified; but if it is that would I think be punishment enough when added to the confinement in Lafayette which Mr. Parr has suffered.
The same testimony which states that Mr. Parr bought the quinine states also that he intended to take it South only when he could legally do so, i. e., after the Confederate for ces should be driven from Nashville. That result he expected to occur before this date. it would be harsh to condemn him on that part which indicated guilt and reject that part which if true established his innocence. Especially would this be harsh when the penalty is to be indefinite confinement.
As in these proceedings the public safety and not the punishment of the prisoner is the end to be subserved I have no hesitation in recommending that John F. Parr be dismissed on the usual terms, as I feel confident that he will not meddle with public affairs. It may perhaps be well to take his parole to reside in Buffalo and not to visit Tennessee until the Federal authority shall n that State. I herewith return the papers forwarded me with others procured sonce.
Very respectfully, yours,
S. C. HAWLEY.
DEPARTMENT OF STSATE, Washington, February 5, 1862.
Colonel MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.
SIR: Let John F. Parr, a prisoner confined in Fort Lafayette, be released on taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States stipulating that he will neither enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the United States Government nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those
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