Title: Amos T. Akerman to Joseph Watson, 2 September 1871
Date: September 2, 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.02444
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Anthony Dreesen, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar
Sept. 2, 1871.
Mr. Joseph Watson,
P. O. box, 466
Newport, R. I.
I have received your letter of the 22d ultimo.
If I understand your case properly, it is this: that you, as informer, had a claim to half the proceeds of thirty-one barrels of condemned spirits, and to half the proceeds of the track of land on which the Distillery was situated; that proceedings for the forfeiture were instituted against both species of property; that in the former you asserted your claim as informer, and received your moiety; that in the latter you did not assert your claim in Court, and did not therefore receive the moiety; and now you desire me to give some directions to the District Attorney to aid you in recovering the latter moiety.
I am not aware of any law which requires one to aid parties who neglect the timely assertion of their rights against the Government—and therefore, however meritorious may be your claim, I do not feel at liberty to take the action which you request. I presume you have counsel who will properly advise you in regard to the future prosecution of your claim. I return the printed book which you enclosed.
Very respectfully, &c
A. T. Akerman, Attorney General.
case of certain informer R. I.