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[241] is not air enough for health or comfort; allowed, for exercise, to promenade half an hour each day on a narrow pathway surrounding their prison; and especially exposed to disease, by the fact, that some of their companions, who are grievously sick, are not removed to hospitals, but are left to share the same privations, and breathe the same foul air, with those whose physical vigor is not yet broken.

In contrast, allow me to state, that the prisoners at Fort Warren are allowed certainly equal fare with the garrison, which consists of five companies of loyal Massachusetts troops, and are permitted all liberties consistent with retaining them upon the island; and that traitors, like Mr. Mason, of Virginia, and Mr. Slidell, of Louisiana, whose hands are red with the best blood of Massachusetts, are treated with certainly equal consideration (as to quarters, fare, and attendance, and all privileges consistent with retaining them in custody) with the officers of that loyal battalion. These facts and this contrast, sir, are sickening to many of our people, and are especially painful to those who are closely related, by friendship or blood, to our prisoners in the hands, and at the mercy, of the rebels. I submit to you, with the utmost respect, whether it is just or decent, that the contrast should continue. I urge no inhumanity towards even traitors. If we are at war with cannibals, that is no reason why we should eat human flesh ourselves; but it is a reason why we should spare no effort to rescue our brothers from the hands of such savages, lest they become their victims.

We now turn from these unpleasant subjects to others of a more agreeable character, which close the general correspondence of the Executive for the year 1861.

On the twenty-sixth day of December, the Governor received a letter from the Executive Committee of the Soldiers' Relief Society of San Francisco, Cal., dated Nov. 30, enclosing a draft for two thousand dollars upon Messrs. Duncan, Sherman, & Co., New York, the proceeds of which were to be distributed ‘among the wives, the children, the sisters and brothers, of the patriotic citizen-soldiers of Massachusetts.’ In acknowledgment of which, the Governor wrote a grateful and patriotic answer, which concludes by saying, that ‘the Hon. Francis B. Fay, the present Mayor of Chelsea, and George W. Bond, Esq., an eminent merchant of this city,—both gentlemen of the highest integrity, large experience, and humane sympathies,—will co-operate with me in the proper ’

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