Title: Amos T. Akerman to Abraham Stow, 15 August 1871
Date: August 15, 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.02403
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Anthony Dreesen, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar
Aug. 15, 1871.
Abraham Stow, Esq.
No. 35 Park Place
Brooklyn, N. Y.
At length, I have been able to give some examination to your communications asking that the Government defend the suit of Woolhopter against yourself. As at present advised, I do not see that, under the law, I am at liberty to assume the defence. The transaction out of which the suit grows, was entirely of a private character. Your account is that you bought cotton of Woolhopter, paid for a small part of it, and then that the cotton, or its proceeds, was taken from you by U. S. officials. Woolhopter sues you for the purchase money.
You think that inasmuch as the Government got the cotton from you, it ought to assume the defence of this suit. I know of no authority for assuming such defence. But if you should be compelled to pay for the cotton which the Government took, it seems to me that the question may then come up, whether the Government should not indemnify you.
I have caused some investigation to be instituted in the Treasury Department, and if anything should be produced which changes my present views, I will communicate further with you.
A. T. Akerman,
Cotton case of Woolhopter ag't A. Stow