Title: Amos T. Akerman to Caleb Cushing, 10 November 1870
Date: November 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.01472
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar
November 10, 1870.
Hon. Caleb Cushing,
Washington, D. C.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the first instant, on the subject of the suit now pending in Maryland between William H. Kimberly and Edward Kimberly, plaintiffs, and Benjamin F. Butler, defendant.
It appears from the correspondence to which you have referred me, that Attorney General Evarts, in a letter to you of the date of November 26, 1868, recognized this as a suit within the purpose and provisions of the Act of Congress under which a party is entitled to notify the Attorney General of the United States to appear and defend the same—and that such notice was then given to Mr. Evarts.—It further appears from a letter of Mr. Evarts to Mr. Butler, dated Feb. 25, 1869, that Mr. Schley and yourself were employed to conduct the defence in the interest of the United States.
You inform me that the plaintiffs in the suit are now willing to discontinue, on the condition that costs shall not be exacted by the United States; and you express the opinion that it would be advantageous to the Government to enter into the proposed arrangement, and thus save the expenses of another trial.
You add that the previous trials have tended to show the innocence of Gen. Butler, and the groundlessness of the claim—and therefore that it is proper, in the event of the termination of the suit, by the proposed arrangement, that the entry made should be such as to preclude, as far as possible, all further impeachment of the integrity of Gen. Butler; and that you incline to think that the entry of non-suit would accomplish this object. You desire such instructions in the premises as in my judgment shall best comport with the interests of the United States, and be, at the same time, just towards Gen. Butler.
Having no familiarity with the facts, and only a very general knowledge of the history of the case, I cannot do better than to adopt the judgment of yourself and Mr. Schley, to whom the interests of the Government in the matter were confided by my predecessor, Mr. Evarts; and therefore I consent that the proposed terms be accepted, and that the entry of non-suit be made, as you suggest.
Your obd't serv't,
A. T. Akerman,
suit of Kimberleys vs. B. F. Butler (non-suit agreed to)