War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0942 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Please telegraph A. Van Allen, of First National Bank here, a request to cash a draft on you for $125, that I may leave here this evening. Will reach Washington on Monday.


He afterward arrived in Washington, bringing with him two females calling themselves Sarah Douglass and Mary Knapp, whose depositions were taken at the Bureau of Military Justice on the 6th of February, 1866. A few days afterward Conover brought to this Bureau the witness W. H. Carter, the man in quest of whom he had gone to Canada. This person, under the name mentioned, gave his deposition on the 9th of February, 1866. Yet later Farnum B. Wright and Conover came to Washington, bringing with them a man calling himself John H. Patten, who under that name gave his deposition at this Bureau on the 24th of February, 1866. There was nothing in the previous history of Sanford Conover, as known to me, to excite any distrust, either in his integrity, in his truthfulness, or in the sincerity with which he had made his propositions to the Government, that led to his being employed as an agent for the colection of the testimony which was supposed to exist in reference to the assassination of the President. On the contrary, there was mcuh in his intelligence which was marked and striking, and in his apparent frankness and his known connection with important sources of information, to inspire faith in his professions and promises. There was much also to inspire this faith in his correspondence with me, as already exhibited, while apparently engaged in the performance of the difficult and responsible duty imposed upon him. That correspondence was characterized by unusual intelligence, by great variety of detail, and by a naturalness which seemed to protect it from criticism; and my confidence in the testimony was strengthened by my knowledge that it was in accord with, and seemed to be in a large degree a natural sequence from, other facts which had been testified to as having occurred in Canada by witnesses known to the Government, and whose reputation has not been and cannot, it is believed, be sucessfully assailed.

Under the passage of the resolution of the House of Representatives, appointing a committee to investigate and ascertain what testimony existed in regard to the complicity of Davis in the assassination of the President, I appeared before this committee in obedience to its summons and gave my testimony and produced before it the depositions to which I have referred, together with the reports which I made, and which reports, with the opinions therein expressed upon the question involved, were based upon these depositions and upon the other proofs therein presented and commented on--upon which proofs these depositions were but comulative, though strongly so. Decided, however, as was my confidence in the truthfulness of these depositions, I was not willing that the committee should accept my estimate of them or base any action of their own solely on that estimate. Hence, I urged--certainly the chairman, and, I think, another member of the committee--that I should be directed or requested to bring before them the more important of these witnesses produced by Conover, who were believed to be within the reach of the Government, in order that by their cross-examination, their bearing while testifying, and by such other tests as they might be subjected to, the committee should be enabled to determine for themselves what degree of credit their evidence was entitled to. In consequence of this suggestion of mine, and of its having been repeated and urged, I received the direction of the Honorable Mr. Wilson, chairman of the committee, to send for these witnesses, or the