As I cannot for a moment suppose that the Confederate Government wishes to infict inquistorial injustice upon any man I can conceive of no reason why I should not most fearlessly advance and the Government most readily grant this claim of a citizen who has already suffered the extermity of "illegal and disgraceful" oppression. I borrow the language of your predecessor in relation to my case addressed to a conspicuous citizen of South Carolina.
And I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
WM. HENRY HURLBERT.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Richmond, September 5, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM M. BROWNE, Acting Secretary of State.
SIR: I have received your letter dated yesterday inclosing for my examination certain papers relatting to W. H. Hurlbert, now in confinement at the instance of Honorable Robert Toombs, late Secretary of State. The papers having been persued by me are herewith returned. In a note addressed to the honorable Mr. Benjamin I stated the manner in which I became connected with this case, and stated what would be my future action respecting Mr. Hurlbert. If Mr. Hunter, the Secretary of State, will inform me that he is satisfied of Hurlbert's innocence and will request his discharge in writting he will be released at once. Until this is done him imprisonment will continue.
I am, truly,
LABURNUM, September 27, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN.
DEAR SIR: I have received this morning the inclosed letter* from Mr. Hurlbert. Will you have the kindness to say whether I am to examine him or not, and may I ask the favor of you to return me the copies of Mines' letter+ to me and my reply to it and to say whether it meets your approbation that I should send that or any other reply to it. The originals are no file in the War Department, having been sent to the honorable Secretary of War for his examination because I did not feel at liberty or willing to send any reply without the authority and approval of the Department of War.
With great respect, I am, very truly, yours,
Report of the Confederate Commissioner on the case of William Henry Hurlbert.
[RICHMOND,] November 1, 1861.
This case has caused me much trouble and solicitude and I have considered it very carafully. Hurbut is a young man about thirty-five years of age; well educated; of consideration liberary attainments and polished manners. He is native of Charleston, S. C., where he still has relations, but was educated at the North and has passed most of his time at the North and in England. In 1865 he wrote an article in the Edinburgh Review against slavery which fully justified the Southern people in regarding him as their enemy. Subsequently he became co-editor of the New York Times and is said to be the writer of the famous "Elbows
* Not found.
+ See case of Mines, p. 1508, et seq.