Mr. Seward to Sir F. Bruce

My Dear Sir Frederick: I enclose a copy of a despatch of the 6th instant from Mr. Thurston, our consul at Toronto, and of the letter addressed to me by [Page 182] Robert B. Lynch, of the same date, which accompanied it. I should he glad if you could obtain for it favorable consideration. Very faithfully yours,


Hon. Sir Frederick W. A. Bruce, &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Thurston to Mr. Seward,

No. 152.]

Sir:. I have the honor to transmit the enclosed letter, at the request of Colonel Lynch. I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

D. THURSTON, United States Consul.

Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Lynch to Mr. Seward

Sir: I had the honor and pleasure of being introduced to you many years ago by an old and attached friend of yours, the late Richard Murphy, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who, if I recollect right, lived with you at Auburn. Little did I then expect that I would be now addressing you from a condemned felon’s cell, in Canada. But my case has been laid before you, and the Rev. Mr. McMahon and myself are under a deep debt of gratitude to you and to our government for your prompt interference in our behalf. I went to Canada as a peaceable American citizen, a non-combatant, to report the incidents, &c, &c, of the Fenian campaign, not expecting to be at all interfered with, having violated no law. Mr. McMahon was similarly situated; he was there as a minister, attending to the wounded and dying, and administering the rites of his church, without distinction. By your direction a new trial has been applied for, which the judges have denied, though we could prove beyond all doubt that we had no military connection with the Fenian organization. The matter now rests with the governor-general, who it is supposed will commute the sentence to a term in the provincial penitentiary. But we implore you to urge our free pardon, and not allow us to be sent as common felons to the penitentiary. We are innocent of having done any wrong, and could prove it if we were permitted. To men of our age and condition in life it would be worse than death.

You have always been the friend of our race and religion, an in the name of humanity save us from this humiliation. We are satisfied you would be willing to do anything in your power for the prisoners, and we make this appeal to you in the hope you will procure us a free pardon; and we take this occasion to state that the United States consul, Mr. Thurston, has been unremitting in his kindness and attention to the interest of the prisoners, and deserves our warmest gratitude.

Trusting you will forgive the liberty I have taken in addressing you, and once more begging your kind offices in our behalf,

I have the honor to be, sir, your very obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., &c.