War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1066 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

if your information against us came from Boston. I told him it was a mistake and probably arose from my two nephews having been here from the South and having carried letters which I understood were of a purely commercial and family nature. It is notorious that such letters frequently pass between the North and South. In the last two months I have heard of several opportunities of sending but I have not availed myself of any of them though I have much wished to write two or thrce such for myself and my house.

Allow me to assure you that it is a great error to suppose that we are in any way disloyal to the Union. I and my brother (now in England) voted for Mr. Lincoln. We and my sister having had up to the time when the secession of Virginia approached great influence over our relatives in the Navy and Army used it strenuously to prevent their resignation; but as usual with Sou arguments had no more efficiency than arguments to prove the impropriety of cathing an epidemic fever. In evidence of my indisposition to embarrass the Government or to risk exposing it to ridicule or contempt I have refused several recommendations to publish the case of Maury brothers here or in Europe, and in giving some details of the detention of our letters to those whose are probably among them, although I felt in the absence of any explanation very indignant at such detention, I wrote thus:

We must request as a favor that you will not publish anything about it in your newspapers. No doubt Mr. Seward's intentions are good and patriotic, but he has made several blunders, and his spies and informers have probably misled him.

From what I have already written you will readily perceive that it could be no satisfaction to me to find my numerous friends here and in England sneering at this Government, or Gladstone and my co-Etonians in Parliament from Lord Derby downward comparing the New York post-office to that of the King of Naples.

Since beginning to write this letter I have received through the post-office sundry letters from Europe for Maury Bros. which have been detained and opened, but I still lack some from my brother and from T. & H. Littledale & Co., or their acting head, John Torr, and there may be others which I cannot conjecture. I trust in view of all circumstances that you will by this time have satisfied yourself on the subject and let us have all or detained letters or accurate copies of them, and direct that our correspondence shall for the future be unobstructed; and I beg leave most particularly to request that those letters from Europe for the South which came direct from thence to our care and which the policemen carried away from our iron safe may be returned to us. We have no account of them or of their number, but they are probably from E. Evans & Co., Liverpool, and John K. Gilliat & Co., London. They were intrusted to us direct by the parties in Europe and we informed them that they would not be forwarded until it was legal. We have not informed the parties of their seizure and we wish not to be under the necessity of doing so in order to avoid throwing unnecessary trouble upon Mr. Adams in London.

I can only add that I shall be glad to explain any particulars that you may have against me or my house and that, with much respect, I have the honor to be, your most obedient servnat,


DECEMBER 13, 1861.

P. S. - Not having been able to see Mr. Grinnell yesterday I beg leave to add that I have no more letters. You will observe that Mr. Torr to whom I have alluded refused to preside at the indignation meeting in