singly for the purpose of nursing your prisoner, and for no other purpose whatsoever.
,--Yours of the 26th was received by me yesterday, and at my earliest leisure I respectfully reply to it, that I will forward the letter for John Brown
, a prisoner under our laws, arraigned at the Circuit Court for the county of Jefferson
, at Charlestown, Va.
, for the crimes of murder, robbery, and treason, which you ask me to transmit to him. I will comply with your request in the only way which seems to me proper, by inclosing it to the Commonwealth
's attorney, with the request that he will ask the permission of the court to hand it to the prisoner.
, the prisoner, is now in the hands of the judiciary, not of the executive, of this Commonwealth.
You ask me, further, to allow you to perform the miss-ion “of mother or sister, to dress his wounds, and speak soothingly to him.”
By this, of course, you mean to be allowed to visit him in his cell, and to minister to him in the offices of humanity.
Why should you not be so allowed, Madam
are involved in no civil war, and the Constitution
which unites them in one confederacy guaranties to you the privileges and immunities of a citizen of the United States
in the State of Virginia
That Constitution I am sworn to support, and am, therefore, bound to protect your privileges and immunities as a citizen of Massachusetts
coming into Virginia
for any lawful and peaceful purpose.