Letter from the Governor of Georgia to the Governor of New York.The Savannah papers publish the letter of Gov. Brown, of Georgia, to Gov. Morgan, of New York, concerning the recent seizure of arms. In stating the facts of the case, Gov. Brown says: ‘ I addressed to your Excellency, on Saturday, the 2d day of this month, by telegraph, a letter, which I was afterwards informed by the operator of the telegraph line at Albany had been delivered to your Excellency; which letter was in the following words, viz: ’
Executive Department,D. C. Hodgkins & Sons, citizens of this State, were placed on board the ship Monticello, at New York, for Savannah, and were seized by the police of that city, on or about the 22d of January last, and taken from the ship, and are now detained in the State Arsenal in the city. As Governor of Georgia, I hereby demand that the guns be immediately delivered under your order, to G. B. Lamar, of New York, who is hereby appointed my agent to receive them. I trust no similar outrage may be perpetrated in future. You will oblige by communicating your decision immediately by telegraph.
Joseph E. Brown.
To the above demand I had received no response at 9 o'clock P. M. on Tuesday, the 5th day of this month. Feeling that your Excellency had had sufficient time to inquire of your police officers as to the character of the seizure complained of, if unauthorized by you, and to direct the delivery to the Messrs. Hodgkins of their property, or to indicate your willingness to do so on the production of evidence of ownership, if you were not satisfied on that point; and feeling that the outrage upon the rights of citizens of this State was so great as to admit of no unnecessary delay on my part, at half past 9 o'clock P. M., on Tuesday, the 5th instant, I issued an order to Col. Henry R. Jackson, aid-de- camp, in the city of Savannah, instructing him to call out, through Col. Lawton, a sufficient military force, and to make reprisal by the seizure of all ships then in the harbor of Savannah belonging to citizens of the State of New York. In obedience to this order, I am informed that he has seized the following vessels, and will hold them subject to my order, to wit: ‘ Barks Adjuster and D. Colden Murray; brigs W. R. Kibby and Golden Lead, and schooner Julia A. Hallock. ’ Since the issuance of the above mentioned order, I have received a telegram signed by your Excellency, in which you acknowledge the receipt of the dispatch sent by me to you, alleging, as you are pleased to say, that certain arms had been retained in New York.--You further say, of my dispatch, that ‘"its grave character and unofficial form forbid you from taking action in regard to it without better authenticated information."’ Nevertheless, you say that you respond to enable me, ‘"if veritable,"’ to communicate my wishes by letter. I am unable to perceive what reason you had to doubt that my dispatch was veritable. It was dated at the Executive Department, and was signed here by me. You also object to it on account of its unofficial form. It is not only dated at this Department, but I expressly state that I make the demand as Governor of Georgia. I am not aware of the additional language which your Excellency would consider requisite to give to a demand of this character ‘"official form."’ A lengthy official correspondence in this case is neither invited or desired. The outrage was a public one. Citizens of this State have been robbed of their property in your State by officers under your control. That property is now detained in a public building under your control. As the Executive of Georgia I have demanded its re-delivery to its owners. My demand when met has been met evasively by raising a technical objection to its form, which has no foundation in fact, as a simple reference to the demand itself will show. The case is one, therefore, which requires action, not lengthy diplomacy. I have the honor, therefore, to notify your Excellency of the seizure of the vessels above mentioned, under my order, and that I shall hold them until justice be done the injured citizens of this State above named, by re-de-livery of the guns to them, or to G. B. Lamar, whom I have appointed my agent to receive them. If the property seized as reprisal belongs to citizens of New York who are friendly to the cause of justice and truth, and the equal rights of the people of the Southern States, I shall regret the inconvenience to which they may be exposed. I cannot forget, however, that my first duty is to protect the citizens of this State against the lawless violence of the officers or citizens of other States. If in so doing, incidental injury should be done to orderly and law-abiding citizens of such offending State, for just and full indemnity, they must look to their own Government, which has brought the injury upon them. I trust your Excellency may have no difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that this communication is ‘"official"’ and ‘"veritable."’
Joseph E. Brown.