Title: William M. Evarts to Winer Bethel, 25 November 1868
Date: November 25, 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.00710
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, John Schwaninger, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Kevin McMullen
November 25, 1868.
Winer Bethel, Esq.
Key West, Florida.
I have been informed, from papers in the office of the Solicitor of the Treasury, that the filing of a petition for the commencement of a proceeding in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, having for its purpose the litigation of the title of the United States to the steamer "Wren," or her proceeds, supposed to be in the registry of that court, was entrusted to you in the absence of Mr. Plantz, then District Attorney, who has since resigned.
I am unable to understand under what precise authority you acted, or were expected to act, in representing the United States in this matter, as I never have been advised that you had received any appointment from the District Judge, to act as District Attorney. My purpose at present is, to request that you will send me, if you still have connection with this matter, a report of its present condition, including a copy of the petition and of any process that may have been issued upon the same. I have further to direct that no steps or proceedings of any kind on behalf of the U. S. shall be taken in the matter, without communicating with me, and receiving my instructions.
You will please, therefore, take no default, and enter no order in the case, until you shall be so directed from this office.
Very Respectfully, &c.
Wm. M. Evarts,