Interception of a letter, and arrest of an old citizens of New Orleans.
We copy the subjoined from the New Orleans Bee, of the 6th inst. Mr. Dewey
is a Northerner by birth, which fact readily accounts for the impressions which he endeavored to communicate to his relative in New York.
He is a brother of Capt. Samuel W. Dewey
, who rendered himself somewhat conspicuous in Virginia
a few years ago, and was especially famous for his warm Southern proclivities:
Mr. Wm. J. Dewey
, for the last twenty-six years a resident of New Orleans, and for twenty years identified with the business community as a ship broker, wrote a letter, (of which we give a copy below,) to his cousin in New York.
The letter was intercepted by the Military Committees
of Memphis, Tennessee
, and sent back to the authorities here with the request that they should take such action as they deemed necessary for the public welfare.
Accordingly, yesterday evening, Mayor Monroe
sent Lieut. Boylan
and Special Miller
to the residence of Mr. Dewey
, with instructions to bring him down to the First District Police Office.
Those officers discharged their duty; and we now lay the letter before our readers without comment, and precisely as written:
--The present awful state of affairs in our once happy country is my excuse for addressing you at this time — my object to ask your full and candid opinion with regard to the duration of the war, and what you think will be its effect upon business with you. At present my business is completely destroyed — there is no other branch that I can engage in, and what little means I have will soon be exhausted.
My business was never so good as it had been up to April last.
I had (and have) an active partner, whose faithful service of many years I was glad to reward by giving him an interest.
Our relations everywhere were being extended; and the struggles which I had been making for twenty years with fortune, seemed about to be crowned with success — but you know the disastrous change.
My object is to ask of you if you think there is any chance of my getting a living in New York, or getting any employment suited to my capabilities.
I think I may say, without self conceit, that I am a first-rate bookkeeper, and would be a useful person in any business house as cashier or manager.
I may not have the activity which I had fifteen years ago — being now forty-nine years of age — but I think I could, in a very short time, make myself useful to any house that might require my services.
It seems to me, that in almost any event this place is fatally injured.
Even in case of a peace, by a separation of the North and South, it seems to me that we shall have a slavery despotism here that none but slave holders can live under.
Added to this, who will trust the South
when repudiation seems to be indelibly written upon its policy?
Free discussion is destroyed, and if the South
ever gains is independence, (as it is called here.) all free literature must be abolished, and that only admitted which justifies and recommends the ‘"peculiar institution"’ If this gigantic insurrection is overcome, still what becomes of the South
It suffers the same less of reputation that South Carolina
did in nullification times, and a similar stigma rests upon it, which stigma cannot be removed until another generation, who shall be loyal to the United States Government, shall come upon the stage What is to become of these thousands of restless politicians; these recreant officers, who are in arms against the Government
which gave them all the honor they ever had?
The whole South
will be the resort of discontented spirits.
There will be no security for life and property, and thousands of disappointed and discomfited soldiers and civilians will be thrown back here upon us, with their morals corrupted by associations in camp and amidst, scenes of bloodshed, and this city, which was never very orderly, will be full of riot and crime.
Whatever may be the result of this contest, it appears to me that the South
, however, has always its industry, its manufactures, its commerce Before cotton was known, the North
was thriving; and it seems to me that the North and West would have been much better off if they never had had any South--that is, if the Mississippi river
could have belonged entirely to the North, East and West, as an outlet for the products of the latter
Now, if you will have the kindness to give me your views on this subject, you will greatly oblige us. Of course no one can tell the duration of the war. The majority of the North
seems as determined as the South--There
is this difference, however, that while there appears to be a peace party at the North
, as is seen by some petitions, etc, and by proceedings in some of the State Legislatures
there is no such a thing as a peace party in the South
; and the determination appears to resist to the end — or, indeed, always to resist.
This may be persevered in, or may not — some time people get tired.
July 23--The news received to-day, of a great victory at Manassas
by the Confederates
, makes people think that the North
will now give in and consent to aspiration.
I would like to get your ideas on the subject — You will have to send your letter by Adams' Express, and will have to pay 25 to 30 cents for it. I enclose you nine cents worth of United States
postage stamps, and will have to remain your debtor for the balance, of twenty-one cents, as stamps are not to be had here.
I notice by the Northern
papers that many vessels are now arriving at and clearing from your port, and would like to know if there is that distress with you which our papers report here.
They say the North
is bankrupt, and cannot raise the money to carry on the war. Besides, that England
will force the blockade and acknowledge the independence of the Confederate States
early in the fall, etc, etc. Please give me as full a letter as you can conveniently write.
Having been brought to the office of the Chief of Police
, the Mayor
was sent for who on his arrival, stated to Mr. Dewey
why he had sent the officers for him. The letter was then read to Mr.
D. He acknowledged the writing of it; that they were written to his cousin, and he gave them for what they were worth.
That the letter couldn't do any harm, in as much as it didn't reach its destination — The Mayor
declined taking bail for his appearance, and had him locked up to await an examination this morning.
was subsequently passed to Governor Moore
by the Mayor
, and by the Governor
sent to prison, there to be confined until he can be examined.