Title: Orville Hickman Browning to William Henry Trescott, 10 June 1868
Date: June 10, 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.00564
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Kevin McMullen, and John Schwaninger
June 10, 1868.
Hon. Wm. Henry Trescott,
Charleston, S. C.
I have received your letter of the 1st instant, in which you mention, and commend for such relief as may be consistent and practicable, the case of Mr. Gourdin, the surviving and responsible surety of Col. Hamilton, formerly Marshal for the District of South Carolina, against whom, and his sureties, a claim for a balance on his accounts has been prosecuted to judgment by the United States. You state that certain items of account were allowed by the jury in favor of the defendant, against whom their verdict was for the sum of $2000, a less sum than would have been assessed by them in favor of the United States, had they rejected said items. Under these circumstances, the District Attorney, as you are understood, contemplates taking an appeal, and the defendants are desirous to escape the anxiety and expense of further litigation, believing the existing judgment to be fair and just to all parties.
In reply, I have to say that the immediate supervision of all proceedings for the collection of debts, dues and demands for the United States, is vested by law in the Solicitor of the Treasury. The supervision by this Office is general, and becomes special by way of exception, usually at the instance of some other branch of the government, or that of the District Attorney or Marshal, or when a suit regularly reaches the Supreme Court.
The supervision of the Secretary of the Interior in relation to Marshals, extends to their accounts, but not to the control of proceedings which may grow out of them. If the proposed appeal is directly to the Supreme Court, the Attorney General may exercise his discretion whether to dismiss it or not when it comes into that Court. But at present the case does not seem to be such as to make the occasion a proper one for my interference.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Attorney General adinterim