head of that house, John Torr; nor have I any of our letters per Canada, which ought to be dated 14th, 15th or 16th of November, as the two detained from the Asia ought to be dated 7th, 8th or 9th.
I cannot possibly imagine anything treasonable in the two letters in question, and even if there were any treasonable propositions in them I maintain that they are as safe from doing any harm in my custody as in any other. Torr or Littledate's letter may possibly reply to mine of 22d, in which I urged for the twentieth or thirteeth time that opinion in England must turn more and more in favor of the power and resources of the North at the expense of South, &c. And my brother's letter will probably contain the reications which he intended to make personally to our friends in London to send us orders to buy 7. 30 per cent. Treasury notes. It may also contain remarks upon our two nephews who had arrived from the South and whom you now have in confinement. We must say we are utterly at a loss to divine any rational cause for this suspicion of us. We repeat again that we have not written a letter to the South that we know of nor have we forwarded any European letters to the South since it was made illegal through we have heard of opportunities almost weekly.
With much respect, your most obedient servant,
NEW YORK, December 11, 1861.
Honorable WILLLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, &c., Washington.
SIR: On Saturday afternoon, 7th instant, Mr. Grinnell read to me your letter of 5th to him. I am greatly surprised at your report that "the correspondence addressed to the (Maury Bros.) and through their care to others and intercepted and now in the State Department conclusively shows that this house has been and is yet expected to be engaged in violating the blockade. " As I am utterly unconscious of any disloyalty to the Union unless it can be deemed disloyal to have failed to inform the authorities that my nephews were here, having brought letters from the South in October and contemplating carrying letters (purely commercial and family letters as I understood) back to the South, I have no doubt that I can satisfactority explain matters if I am only told fully and precisely what I am to explain. In the first place I am at a loss to know whether "blockade" means marine blockade or the land blockade of letters, &c., and whether "has been" refers to "expected" or to "engaged. " If marine is intended I deny any knowledge whatever of having violated it or having been or being expected to violate it, and if "has been" refers to "expected" I cannot be responsible for the expectations of others. I certainly have no suspicion who the expecters are and I should be glad to know.
It would appet the suspicion of my house so far as I am concerned arises entirely from my captured nephews. I have nothing to alter in the explanation of the letter carrying which I wrote to you some days before, 22nd ultimo, but I may add some things in further explanation. I have already said that I had four nephews in the South. I gave here to one of them $200 to be divided in certain proportions, having said that none was to go to such as might have entered the army and I gave it because I knew the two left in the South to be destitute and to have regarded our wish that none of them should enter the army. Three of them at least being of a temperament to render it probably that they would go into the army I felt the more favorably toward them because they regarded our wishes and suffered extreme