many of the slaves of witness had left his plantation, and witness then had a conversation with Weed who stated that he was trying to make bargains with numbers of the planters below the city; that he would not make with others the same bargain as he had made with Zunts; that he could not undertake to restore to each planter the identical. Is slaves that he had lost but that he would furnish a number sufficient to take off the crop and share the proceeds with the owner; that if a sufficient number of planters would make this agreement he would station guards above and below the plantations so as to prevention escape of the negroes. The witness told weed that his mind was made up to hold on to his own property unless it was taken from him by force; that he would not share his property with the enemies of his country, but that if the Federal authority thought proper to place guards of soldiers to keep the negroes in order witness was willing to pay his share of the expense of so doing. During the conversation Weed said that the negroes would be forced to come down and work the plantations by guards of U. S. soldiers in all cases where the bargain was made with him. When Zunts' negroes were returned to his plantation under guard, as he understood me negroes of Mr. Baylie, a neighboring planter, mixed with them. Baylie's negroes escaped from Zunts' plantation and went back to their owner. Witness was present in the office of Mr. Judson, a broker in New Orleans, when the written contract between Zunts and Colonel Butler was read in presence of witness. The contract had been drawn up by Isaac E. Morse, esq., as attorney for Zunts, and witness heard the contract read and remembers it well. Witness understood that the Saint Anne and the Concession Plantations, in the parish of Plaquemine, were to be worked in the manner above mentioned, in partnership with Weed and his associates, and that a portion of the negroes had been carried back to the Concession place. Weed was in treaty with Mr. E. Lawrence for the same purpose with respect to his plantation, but witness does not know whether Lawrence accepted the offer. Zunts told witness that he, Zunts, had been formerly in partnership with Colonel Butler as negro traders.
Signed in my presence. The erasures* were made on a second reading of the statement, witness requiring the modifications to be made as more accurate.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of State.
DECEMBER 26, 1862.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Raleigh, December 24, 1862.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS.
DEAR SIR: In accordance with the request of the General Assembly of this State I have the honor to send you herewith by the hands of A. C. Cowles, esq., a joint resolution of that body in relation to the seizure of one R. J. Graves, a citizen of North Carolina, and his transportation beyond the limits of the State. An answer to the demand therein contained at your earliest convenience will oblige,
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. B. VANCE.
*In the original on file.