In Whitman's Hand

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About this Item

Title: Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar to Hamilton Fish, 10 February 1870

Date: February 10, 1870

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.01202

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kevin McMullen, and John Schwaninger



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February 10, 1870.

Honorable Hamilton Fish,

Secretary of State.

Sir:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of January 26, last, transmitting a letter from the U. S. Marshal at New York City to you, and a letter of H. W. Davis to him, with bill of Allen Pinkerton for services and expenses in procuring testimony in the case of the United States, vs the steamer Hornet, alias the Cuba, and her officers, and taking charge of the witnesses for the prosecution of said case. You ask my opinion upon the correctness of these charges. I referred the bill to Benj. K Phelps, Esq. who was employed as special counsel in the case, and asked him his opinion, whether the charges were correct and reasonable in amount. His reply is, that he is advised by persons not connected with Mr. Pinkerton's agency, that these charges for services are in accordance with the customary scale of prices for similar services, and he knows no reason to doubt its accuracy and correctness. Relying on his statement and knowledge of the facts connected with the case, I think the charges are correct.

In reply to your letter of the 8th inst., submitting a letter to you from Hon. O. H. Dockeray, with a bill enclosed therewith of Messrs. Engelhard & Price for printing the proceedings at the trial of the officers of the steamer Cuba, (146 pages, 7 forms,) amounting to $495:75, I have to say that it appears by the endorsement of Mr. Phelps on the bill that three gentlemen were employed to do this printing by Judge Person, one of the counsel for the Government—that the work was done, and that it was necessary and important for the Government, under the circumstances, that it should be done—and that, so far as he knows, the bill is correct, and the bill is approved by the U. S. Commissioner. I think it was important and necessary that the proceedings and testimony should have been printed. I enclose a specimen of this printing, and I have been informed that the cost of such printing in Washington would be from $1:50 to $2 per page; but I do not know what the usual rates are at Wilmington, N. C. I presume the printing was done from day to day for the convenience of the counsel and the Court, and under such circumstances as to render it proper that the printer should be paid a higher rate than would be reasonable if all the printing had been done at once.

The question you ask me whether further detention of the witnesses is, in my judgment, necessary, I will answer in more definite information in regard to the suits, which I have already asked for from Mr. Phelps.

I return herewith the enclosures of your two letters.

Very respectfully,

your obedient servant,

E. R. Hoar,

Attorney General.


case of steamer "Hornet"
Bill for services expenses, &c
Bill for printing


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