Title: Amos T. Akerman to Edwards Pierrepont, 17 November 1871
Date: November 17, 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.02600
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Anthony Dreesen, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar
Nov. 17, 1871.
Hon. Edwards Pierrepont,
The Solicitor General, to whom your letter of the 11th instant, marked "personal and confidential" was addressed, not feeling at liberty to have any confidences withheld from the head of the Department to which he belongs, in relation to the official business of that Department, has handed the letter to me.
You seem to suggest a possible implication of persons standing high in the community, in the frauds of Hodge. This furnishes an urgent reason for pressing the matter through a legal investigation. If such persons have been concerned in robbing the Government, either directly, or as aiders and abetters of another criminal, it is due to the public that there should be a disclosure, and that every form of redress known to the law civil or criminal, should be resorted to by the Government.
Personally, I should be grievously shocked and mortified to learn that your suggestion is well founded. All the presumptions from a high character for integrity and for financial honor, are against the slightest suspicion of such guilt, in such parties. But all these presumptions must yield to proof; and proof in such cases must not be suppressed out of tenderness to those who may be affected by it.
If there is a probable case against Polhaimus and Jackson, the District Attorney must carry the matter into court, and prosecute it there. Such an investigation will not hurt them unless they have so conducted themselves that they ought to be hurt. And if the investigation should implicate any other person, that person must be proceeded against in the same way. Unless this is done, the law department of the Government will be faithless to the country.
Very respectfully, &c.
A. T. Akerman,
Hodge's fraud (persons implicated)