destitution (to the degree of trying to pawn their watches, &c., for support, as corroborated by a relative of the family who saw them at New Orleans) rather than enter the army. They could not come northward without money. The one to look (in vain, alas) for his funds in Boston and the other at a later day to bring hither a bill of exchange on Liverpool for pound 120 which James Maury, hearing of the rise of cotton at Liverpool, thought he might venture to draw but which was wholly unsalable there and proved to be equally so here.
They had borrowed until they could borrow no more, and with little prospect but of enlistment before them were utterly at a loss what to do when it was discovered that sufficient money for traveling expenses could be got by carrying letters and so their expected resources in the North might be reached. I regarded their visit as the consequence of dire necessity - a sort of second edition of that of Joseph's brethren to Egypt. Under these circumstances I do not think you could have expected me to inform against them for carrying as I supposed mere commercial and family letters.
Allow me to digress and say that the facts of the case were very striking to me as confirming my previous opinions that the inevitable and extreme destitution of the great mass in the South must force nearly all the able into the army for a support and compel most others to regard a return into the Union as desirable even under the old Constitution. And further the more of them that could come here without damage to the North and return, reporting the evidences of trade, prosperity, &c., which they saw in the North the sooner would there be a reunion.
Considering the situantion of their brothers and of Rutson's and James' wives and families I was sorry for the arrests; but as respects the arrested themselves I was not altogether sorry, as I have often said, for they were violating the law. Rutson, Jr., was here on business in spring; went South in March and remained there until October. Neither of them carried any letters written by me nor any received by us from Europe nor did they bring any letters for us either for ourselves or for Europe except the advice of the bill for pound 120. I do not know of any letters received here and awaiting their arrival. I neither knew nor know anything of the contents of letters addressed to my nephews to our care received while they were here. I had reason to suppose they were not treasonable but I have since heard it said that there were about 250 letters seized in their possession and all of the most treasonable character, including a plan of breaking the blockade, orders for fire-arms, &c., proofs that double-bottomed trunks passed regularly between the South and Europe. I know nothing of any such trunks. I never saw any trunk of any kind in our office while either of the two young men were here. I did not suppose that either of them were coming here until each of them actually arrived. I warned them most earnestly of the folly and impropriety of carrying anything that could be considered treasonable and I understood they would not carry such things or such letters. If 250 or any smaller number of treasonable letters were found upon them either my confidence was abused by them or theirs perhaps by others.
I have forgotten to name that about the time of their departure and just as I was going up to my dinner I received a note from the district attorney asking me to call at his office, and I did call once or twice without finding him until the afternoon of the next day. He said he had heard that my house was in the regular business of receiving and forwarding letters to and from the South and read me an extract of a letter from Boston to that effect. Hence it was that I wished to know