Born in Charleston in 1827, I removed thence with my parents in 1831, returned there on the death of my father in 1843 and remained there till July 1, 1845. Since that date I have visited the city twice- once in June, 1853, for a few days on my return from the West Indies, and recently when I remained there from Saturday, June 15, to Tuesday, June 18, 1861. It is not easy therefore to conceive what crime committed in Charleston can be laid to my charge or how I can have rendered myslef in any way a suspicious character in that city. I have abundant evidence from persons officially connected with the Confederate Government to show that my whole course since my native State seceded has been one of friendship to and sympathy with her, and I have challenged the severest scrutiny.
I have made this statement because I cannot thinkit right that in any country at any time a citizen traveling on his lawful occasions and willing to render an account of himself to any proper authority should submit in silence to the tretement which has been inflicted upon me.
I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
WILLIAM HENRY HURLBERT.
RICHMOND, July 23, 1861.
WILLIAM H. HURLBERT, Esq., City Jail.
DEAR SIR: You ask of me a brief statement of my interview with Mr. Toombs. I do not feel that I am at liberty to decline it. After securing a short note from Mr. Benjamin (who was kind and courteous, to whom I had explained the position of your case and decision of Judge Meredith, viz, that he had no jurisdiction) to Governor Letcher I sent it under inclosure to the governor with all the documentary evidence which had been secured for your hearing before Judge M. Governor L. very promptly returned substantially that "he had committed you only at the instance of the President and Mr. Toombs, and that if they would say (in writing) that they had no charge against you he would order your release".
Mr. Benjamin (as I think very justly) declined to go further, and I begged of him Governor Letcher's note, and accompanied casually by my friend Dr. T. H. Fisher, of Fraquier, I called on Mr. Toombs at the office of the Secretary of State. Mr. Toombs received me kindly, and I proceeded to state the object of my call and handed him Governor L. 's note. (I left the note with him.) He read it and then in a free manner spoke of your case and at considerable length. He disclaimed having had anything to do with your commitment except going at the President's request with Mr. Bassford to the governor and carrying the papers which Bassford brought. He declaimed strongly against the law under which you were committed; said he saw nothing in the papers forwarded to require (or justify) your imprisonment, and generally stated that the Confederate Government had nothing to do with your arrest or confinement and knew no reason for its continuance.
I give only the purport of his remarks. I could not undertake to report with verbal accuracy a conversation chiefly on his part lasting perhaps twenty minutes. I replied to him: "Be gooust to say in writting one-tenth of what you have assured me of and it is all I desire". He replied that he left it due as an to courtesy to the President to see him first, he would endeavor to do so as early as possible. On Monday (this was on Saturday) in reply to a note from me