Mr. O’Connell to Mr. Seward.
Honored Sir: I most respectfully beg leave to state for your information that my son, Captain Charles Underwood O’Connell, a citizen of the United States, and who voted for Mr. Lincoln, was arrested in September, 1665, tried at Cork the following December, and convicted by a packed jury for having on his person some Fenian papers, and then sentenced [Page 56] to ten. years’ penal servitude, the galling and heartrending horrors of which he is now undergoing as a political prisoner at Portland, England, in the quarries, in company with murderers.
Honored sir, at the time of his arrest on board the City of New York, in the harbor of Queenstown, Cork, his military clothes, arms, private family papers, as also his commission as captain, signed by the American Secretary of War, were all taken by the police and never since given up. He is the only military officer who was convicted, and is still detained, suffering most acutely all sorts of privations and persecution. I further beg to state that Mr. Orth, at the request of a highly respectable and influential supporter of his, says he in July last, as also in September, laid the case of my son before you, and never received any reply. As a firm supporter of the President’s judicious policy I have apprehensions about this. The great affliction I am suffering in consequence of the death of my poor wife, and the continued incarceration of my son, will, I confidently trust, plead an excuse for my trespassing on your important and valuable time. Confidently trusting in your great and ail-powerful influence to secure the release of my son,
I have the honor to be. honored sir, with the greatest respect, your very humble servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State,