FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, February 12, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel MARTIN BURKE,
Third Artillery, Commanding Forts Hamilton and Lafayette.
COLONEL: I have the honor to inform you that in obedience to the instructions received from you I have read to Rutson Maury, Jr., a prisoner confined at this post, the communication of the honorable Secretary of State relative to the confiscation of $300 in coin belonging to the said Rutson Maury, Jr.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. O. WOOD,
First Lieutenant, Ninth Infantry, Commanding Post.
FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, February 13, 1862.
Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
SIR: I am favored with your communication of 4th instant regarding $300 in gold coin referred to in my letter to you dated 29th ultimo. Since then I have had communication from F. W. Seward, esq., Assistant Secretary of State, addressed to Colonel M. Burke, inclosing a copy of a letter from the marshal of Cleveland, Ohio, wherein Mr. F. W. Seward is informed that under the act of Congress dated August 13, 1861, my property has been confiscated, one-half of the amount being paid to the informer and one-half to the Treasury of the United States of America. I am induced to forward you a copy of a letter addressed to my brother by Mr. Earl Bill concerning this money, which letter I judge to have been written on or about the 25th of January, as the date of my brother's letter to me is 27th, and is as follows:
It is true that there is now in the hands of James A. Craw, esq., sheriff at Cleveland, $300 in gold, seized in the latter part of November last as the property of Rutson Maury, and now held by the sheriff subject to the adjudication of the district court of the United States as to whether it shall or not be confiscated under the act of Congress in that behalf. It if is believed by you or by your brother Rutson that it is proper and right that this money should be discharged from the libel filed against it by the district attorney I suggest that application be made to the proper Department of the Government and its order in that behalf obtained. Though the money is not in my possession or under my control, I can vouch that such an order will be most proptly obeyed by the officer who has the custody of it.
Now, sir, the very man who writes as above writes to the Assistant Secretary of State that the hearing of the cause came on on the 21st ultimo and on the 25th was declared by the court confiscated, one-half being paid to the informer and one-half to the Treasury of the United States under the confiscation act of August 13. What that act is I know not and should be pleased to know its nature. I wish also to know by what right any court can take my property without my being notified to appear in person or by counsel? I shall await your reply confirmatory of your communication of the 4th instant. For nearly six months I have been unable to send my wife and child money to pay their monthly expenses; in fact I am penniless in your country, and now to have my little taken from me without trial added to my imprisonment is indeed I should think enough to safisfy the revenge of those who have been instrumental in bringing me to the level of a felon.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
RUTSON MAURY, Jr.
This man R. M. N. Taylor met me in Mr. Kennedy's (chief of police(office on the morning of the 11th of November last and assured me that he would send the money to my brother, and the way he has done it is by pocketing $150.