Title: Amos T. Akerman to S. P. Harlow, 4 December 1871
Date: December 4, 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.02220
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Melanie Krupa, and John Schwaninger
Dec. 4, 1871,
S. P. Harlow, Esq.
Brooklyn, N. Y.
In answer to your letter of the 1st instant, on the subject of the injury done to a lad by a ball, shot by the Deputy U.S. Marshal in the alleged course of his duty—and of a compromise of the matter—I have to say that I have no power or disposition to authorize any compromise in the case.
The act of the Deputy Marshal was lawful or unlawful. If lawful, he ought not to suffer; and it is to be presumed that the courts will exonerate him. If unlawful, he ought to suffer; and I am aware of no liability on the part of the Government to make good his defaults. Moreover, I know of no fund out of which the compromise could be paid.
Should a suit be commenced, and should I be satisfied that it is for an act done in the line of duty, the proper officer will be directed to appear in defence.
A. T. Akerman,
Dep. Marshal's Case.
see p. 11, ante
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