Title: Amos T. Akerman to William Lawrence, 27 May 1871
Date: May 27, 1871
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.01990
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Joshua Ware, Kevin McMullen, and John Schwaninger
May 27, 1871.
Hon. Wm. Lawrence,
On the 25th instant, I acknowledged the receipt of your letter of the 16th instant, and promised a fuller answer.
After inquiry into the subject, I do not feel at liberty to accede to your request for the use of the name of The United States in the suit which your clients desire to bring. I understand that it is the object of the proposal suit to test the legality of what certain Departments of this Government have done, with a view to the maintenance of certain claims of private parties. Certain citizens assert that what the Government has done is valid; others assert that it is invalid. It seems to me that the Government should not appear in court as a litigant against the validity of its own acts.
Any consideration which you may choose to submit in favor of a different action will be most respectfully weighed. But as at present advised, my mind is very clear that the above ground is correctly taken.
A. T. Akerman,
certain application declined