Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward

No. 1522.]

Sir: On Saturday evening, the 18th instant, I received a telegram from Mr. Eastman, the consul at Queenstown, announcing the fact that Mr. G. F. Train, a passenger in the steamer Scotia from New York, had been arrested on the tug-boat whilst going up the harbor, and was still detained, on suspicion of intentions hostile to the government.

I wrote at once to Mr. Eastman, giving him instructions to learn the facts of the case, and if it should turn out as I fully expected, that there were no just grounds for his detention, to apply for his release. If, on the other hand, there was a continued detention for reasons assigned, I directed him to report them at once to me.

I called at the foreign office yesterday, and spoke incidentally of this case, expressing my own confidence that whatever Mr. Train might have said in America, there was no ground for believing him disposed to do any act here that would compromise him with the authorities; hence I hoped that no further measures would be taken to detain him. My own impression was that he had had no intention to remain in Ireland at all.

His lordship said that he knew nothing of the case from any source but the public journals. Mr. Train was well known here already. His first impressions rather coincided with my notions of his doings. But he should be obliged to inform himself of the grounds upon which the detention had been made before being in a position to give any official opinion on the matter.

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The public journals generally contain extracts from Mr. Train’s speech in Boston, taken from the Pilot, and are disposed to make merry with it. But I cannot help thinking the act of the arrest extremely injudicious, and hope that the government will see it in that light whilst there is time to correct the error.

A few hours after writing the above I received a telegram from Mr. Eastman at Queenstown, announcing that Mr. Train had been released. Still later in the evening I got a private note from Lord Stanley to the effect that he had communicated with Lord Mayo, who had informed him that the arrest had been made by the magistrates at Queenstown without communication with Dublin. Directions for the release of Mr. Train had been given from the latter place. I have now reason to believe that the whole affair originated with a fellow passenger in the steamer by the name of Gee, who informed the magistrates of conversations of Mr. Train on shipboard, which he did not himself hear, and failed on being called upon to substantiate.

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


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