Title: William M. Evarts to William H. Seward, 16 February 1869
Date: February 16, 1869
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.00788
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kevin McMullen, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar
Feb. 16, 1869.
Hon. W. H. Seward,
Secretary of State.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th of Dec. last, enclosing an acc't of Wm. Dorsheimer, Esq. U. S. Atty. for the Northern Dist. of New York "for services rendered in relation to the prevention of a Fenian invasion of Canada," during the years 1867 and 1868, together with a Report thereon by the Examiner of Claims in your Dept., and requesting an expression of my opinion in regard to the reasonableness of the compensation claimed by Mr. Dorsheimer for the services mentioned.
This reference presents, as I conceive, purely a question of fact for my determination, and such a question I cannot undertake to determine without more complete and minute information upon the subject‑matter of these charges of Mr. Dorsheimer, than I am possessed of.—The general rule where a Dist. Attorney renders an acc't to the government for extra official services is, that he is entitled to be paid that rate of compensation which professional gentlemen of good standing and ability would claim & receive for similar services. What that compensation would be for such services as were rendered by Mr. Dorsheimer is a question of fact, in regard to which I do not feel warranted as at present advised, in expressing a definite opinion upon such a statement of the matter as you have furnished to me.
&c. &c. &c
Wm M. Evarts