Title: Orville Hickman Browning to John McAllister Schofield, 2 July 1868
Date: July 2, 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.00587
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Kevin McMullen, and John Schwaninger
July 2, 1868.
Hon. J. M. Schofield,
Secretary of War.
I had the honor to receive your letter of the 29th ultimo, covering a copy of a communication addressed to you under date of the 24th ultimo, by Simon Stevens, relating to a suit now on appeal in the Supreme Court from the Court of Claims.
It seems that this suit was decided in favor of the plaintiff, Stevens, and that an appeal was taken to the Supreme Court, solely at the instance of the former Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton. It was arranged that the case should be submitted at the last term, by stipulation of counsel, but circumstances which are mentioned by Mr. Stevens interfered with that purpose. Mr. Stevens now submits to the Secretary of War "that the matter be referred to Mr. Solicitor Norton, and to Mr. Trumbull, special counsel, to consider, under the circumstances, whether or not, in justice to the appellee, the appeal should not be withdrawn without delay."
You therefore say to one:
"I have the honor to request that you take the subject into consideration, and after conferring with Mr. Norton and Judge Trumbull, that you advise me whether, upon the whole case, the appeal taken by the government is well founded and can be prosecuted with any reasonable prospect of success."
In reply, I have the honor to state that under an Act of Congress which took effect yesterday, the Solicitors who have heretofore conducted the litigation of the government in the Court of Claims are disabled for official duty by the express abolition of their offices. I am unable, therefore, to make myself officially acquainted with this case except through a personal labor which more pressing duties preöccupy. Provision having been made by the law for some assistance, however, in the business of the Court of Claims, it is deemed expedient to suspend action upon this case until there shall have been time enough to appoint indispensable public officers.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Attorney General ad interim