Saturday, 10 June 1865
Washington, D.C., Monday, June 5, 1865
To the Editor of the New-York Times:
After three weeks' imprisonment in the Old Capitol Prison in this city, I have been unconditionally and honorably released from confinement by direction of the Honorable Secretary of War, there being no evidence whatever to connect me with the yellow fever or assassination plot with which some of the Northern journals charged me of having some knowledge.
My arrest appears to have grown out of a statement made in a low licentious sheet published in New-York to the effect that the Dr. Blackburn, who has figured so unenviably in the hellish yellow fever plot, was no other person than myself. In reply to this absurd statement, I would most respectfully say to an ever-generous public that I do not even know this fiend in human form named Dr. Blackburn, nor have I ever seen him in my life. For the truth of this assertion I can bring hundreds of distinguished persons throughout the United States to vouch for my integrity, and, if necessary, can produce certificates from an innumerable number of gentlemen occupying high official positions.
While in imprisonment I noticed in some of the New-York and other Northern papers, a paragraph setting forth that the villain Herrold, who now stands charged with being one of the leading conspirators in the assassination plot, was at one time in my employ. This, too, is false in every particular, and I am at a loss to see how it originated, or to trace it to its origin. For the past five years I have had but one man in my employment, and he is yet with me, his character being beyond reproach. I never saw Herrold, to my knowledge, and I have no desire to see him.
Another paper has gone so far as to inform the public that I was an intimate acquaintance of Booth's; but this, too, is news to me, as I never spoke to Booth in my life, or any of his family.
I do hope that the papers which so industriously circulated these reports connecting me with these damnable deeds, to the very great injury of my name and position, will do me the justice to publish my release, and the fact of my having been entirely exonerated by the authorities here, who, after a diligent investigation, could obtain no evidence that would in the least tarnish my fair reputation.
I feel it but due to the authorities here to state that, while in the Old Capitol, I was treated with the utmost kindness and consideration, and was placed in the same quarters assigned to Gov. Brown, Gov. Vance, Hon. Mr. Lamar, and others of note.
With these few remarks in justice to myself, I will close by submitting them to the public. Respectfully,