I write you this letter at the instance of the wife of Collins, my sense of public duty as a citizen and my opinion as counsel concurring in the application. She has three small children, poor and a refugee from her humble home. She is now with her mother in this city, who is also a poor woman.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
ROBT. R. COLLIER,
Senator of Virginia.
Answer that an examination of the political prisoners at Salisbury has been made to a great extent and it was supposed that all had been examined who had been arrested so long ago as July. Directions will be given for the examination of Collins.
J. A. S.
Statements of Messrs. Mulford, Florence, Giffin (December 23) and Borland (December 26.)
James H. Mulford, a citizen of New Orleans, having been required by the undersigned, Secretary of State, to make a statement of the facts connected with the gathering of the corps from the plantations in Lower Louisiana by the U. S. forces, declares the following facts to be within his knowledge: Andrew J. Butler, the brother of the commanding general, bought from Mr. Zunts, a planter below the city, his sugar crop as it stood in the field for the sum of $25,000 and informed this witness that he had gotten back his money in the first twelve days of grinding the cane; that he, Butler, took off the crop; that the plantation yielded a crop of about 1,200 hogsheads of sugar; that Butler said he had bought and was taking off the crops from several other plantations. Witness also saw the agent of the commercial house of Brown, Johnstone & Co. ; the name of the agent is Tucker, and he was accompanied by 120 white laborers. The said Tucker was then on his way, as he informed witness, to take off the Frank Webb, on joint account with the Yankees. This was done after the plantation of Mr. Webb had been stripped of everything, even to his wife's wardrobe and jewels, and the negroes driven offer stood in New Orleans that no planter was allowed to take off his crop for himself. If he did his sugar was seized by order of General Butler as fast as it reached New Orleans.
JAMES H. MULFORD.
Signed in my presence.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of State.
DECEMBER 23, 1862.
Henry Florence, a citizen of New Orleans, states that it is to his knowledge that all the slaves were taken away from the plantation of Mr. Zunts, a planter below New Orleans, who being thus left without means to gather his growing crop was applied to by Colonel Andrew J. Butler, who offered to buy his crop as it stood for $25,000. The crop under ordinary circumstances is one of the largest in the State, worth perhaps five times that amount if taken off. The witness left New