Title: Henry Stanbery to Ulysses S. Grant, 12 February 1868
Date: February 12, 1868
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.00435
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Kevin McMullen, and John Schwaninger
February 12, 1868.
General U. S. Grant,
A motion has been made, in the Supreme Court, by Mr. Black, to file an original Bill in that Court in favor of the State of Georgia, against yourself, General Meade, General Ruger, and Captain Rockwell. It charges all of you with unauthorized violations of the rights of the State of Georgia, in taking possession of certain real estate, railroad conveyances and moneys, belonging to the State, and seeks to enjoin you from further interference with the State authorities, and to compel you to surrender the property so taken.
The motion for leave to file this Bill will be made on Friday next, and should be resisted. The rules of Court require that you should receive notice of this application, which, I presume, has been given you, and been sent to the other defendants by the counsel for the State of Georgia.
As the Bill is apparently brought against you and the other defendants in your individual capacity, I feel somewhat embarrassed in appearing in opposition to this motion without knowing your wishes on the subject. In the cases at the last term, brought against the Secretary of War and yourself, I was advised by Mr. Stanton that he, as well as yourself, wished me to appear in my official capacity to argue the motions made. Upon the present motion, I feel no sort of embarrassment in resisting it in consequence of my known opinions as to the constitutionality of the Reconstruction acts, as that question is not necessarily involved in this motion. But as, in the further progress of the case, if the Bill should be filed, that question may arise, it is very proper that you should be represented by special counsel of your own selection who may not feel the same embarrassment which I do in reference to it;— and I beg therefore to suggest to you the propriety of requesting the Secretary of War to retain such counsel.
It may also be proper, especially on behalf of the other defendants, to ask a postponement of the hearing of the motion, to allow them the opportunity of being heard by counsel of their own selection. I beg you to advise me in the premises at your earliest convenience, that I may understand what course you wish to be pursued.
I have the honor to be,