Title: J. Hubley Ashton to Watterson & Crawford, 24 October 1866
Date: October 24, 1866
Source: Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: National Archives and Records Administration
Whitman Archive ID: nar.00147
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kevin McMullen, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar
October 24, 1866.
Messrs. Watterson & Crawford,
Attorneys at Law,
217 F. st. Washington.
In the U. S. Circuit Court, sitting in Louisiana, a number of adjudications were had upon libels in rem against steamboats & other river craft in which it is said there was some inconsistency in the rulings of the Court,—& in your communication of the 18th inst., on behalf of the claimants respectively of the steamers "Texas" & "T. D. Hine," you enclose documents to show that in nine other cases, involving the same material issues, decrees of restitution were granted by the Judge, who, as you suppose, would have granted like restitution in the cases of the "Texas" and the "T. D. Hine," had they not, by adverse judgment, & by pending appeal by the claimants, passed beyond his jurisdiction before the time he was convinced of previous error in his decisions. Under these circumstances, you are understood to ask such an interposition as shall practically assimilate the cases of the "Texas" & the "T. D. Hine" to the nine others referred to, as toward claimants.
I have to say that in six of the nine cases, appeals from the judgment of restitution below have been taken, & will be prosecuted in the Supreme Court on behalf of the United States.
As your clients have also appealed, if their cases & these are really similar, you will observe that the very principle in hand is before the Judiciary. Therefore at this stage of the matter, no interposition would seem to be proper.
Very respectfully, &c.
J. Hubley Ashton,
Asst. Att'y. Gen'l.