Title: Henry Stanbery to E. C. Carrington, 29 November 1867
Date: November 29, 1867
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.00326
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Kevin McMullen, and John Schwaninger
November 29, 1867.
E. C. Carrington, Esq.
U. S. Attorney,
Dist. of Columbia.
Your attention is invited to the accompanying communication of the First Comptroller of the Treasury of the 6th inst., from which it appears that in December, 1865, a Treasury Warrant for $33,000 was issued against the appropriation for Legislative expenses of the Territory of Idaho, and placed to the credit of Horace C. Gilson, then Secretary of that Territory, with the designated depository of the United States at Oregon City; and that, subsequently, Mr. G. drew the entire sum from the depository, went to San Francisco, and thence left the U. States, without having used any portion of the money for the purpose for which it was advanced to him.
By the 11th Section of the Act of March 3, 1863 (12 Stat., 812,) the Secretary of said Territory is charged with the disbursement of the expenses of the Legislative Assembly, the printing of laws, and other incidental expenses, under the instructions of the Secretary of the Treasury; and by the 16th Section of the Act of August 6, 1846, (9 Stat. 63,) it is declared that if any officer or other person charged by that or any other act, with the safe-keeping, transfer, and disbursement of the public moneys, shall convert to his own use, in any way whatever, etc., any portion of the public moneys intrusted to him for safe-keeping, disbursement, transfer, or for any other purpose, every such act shall be deemed to be an embezzlement of so much of the said moneys as shall be thus converted, etc., which offence is made a felony, and punishable by fine and imprisonment.
Upon the facts suggested by the Comptroller, the said Gilson is without doubt amenable under the latter statute to a charge of embezzlement of the public moneys.
This office being advised by a letter purporting to be written by Morris B. Baer, (who represents himself as one of Gilson's sureties,) dated at Paris, France, September 1, 1867, that Gilson was then in that city "sporting his American buggy, fast horse," etc. which letter also contains an offer on the part of the writer to aid in his arrest, if it can be done upon a requisition from this government;— and being also advised by a communication from the Secretary of State (to whom Baer's letter was referred,) dated the 21st of same month, that if his Department is furnished with an attested copy of a warrant from a U. S. Court for the arrest of Gilson on the charge of embezzlement, etc. our Minister at Paris would be instructed to apply to the French government for his extradition, (see these papers herewith;)— you are accordingly hereby instructed to take the proper steps for procuring a warrant for the arrest of Gilson on a charge of embezzlement under the statute aforesaid, with a view to further proceedings, through the State Department for his apprehension and extradition; such charge against a public officer appearing to come within the express provisions of the 2d article of our Extradition Treaty with France of November 9, 1843.
The venue of the offence may be laid in San Francisco, Cal, whence it appears he absconded with the public funds; but a warrant for his arrest is issuable, it would seem, by any Judge or Justice of the United States, under the 33d Sec. of the Act of Sept. 24, 1789. (1 Stat. 91.)
Section 16 of the Act of Aug. 6, 1846, already referred to, further provides that "upon the trial of any indictment against any person for embezzling public money under the provisions of this Act, it shall be sufficient evidence, for the purpose of showing a balance against such person, to produce a transcript from the books and proceedings of the Treasury, as required in civil cases, under the provisions of the Act entitled "An Act to provide more effectually for the settlement of accounts between the United States, and receivers of public money," approved March 3, 1797.
I would suggest that a transcript from the books of the Treasury exhibiting the condition of Gilson's account with the Government, be procured by you, for your own information as to the facts, and also to be used as evidence before the French authorities, in connection with Baer's testimony, for the purpose of making out a probable case of embezzlement, which will doubtless be required before the extradition can be finally effected.
Upon procuring the warrant, you are requested to transmit to this office an attested copy thereof, and to return the enclosed papers therewith.
your obedient servant,
[Reports, Letters, &c. enc.]