Title: Benjamin Helm Bristow to Zachariah Wheat, 8 December 1871
Date: December 8, 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.02658
Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, John Schwaninger, Melanie Krupa, and Nima Najafi Kianfar
Dec. 8, 1871.
Hon. Z. Wheat,
Your letter of the 21st ultimo addressed to the President, and requesting him to issue a pardon to Simeon Cook, charged with making an assault on Gibson, the U.S. Mail Agent, has been referred to this Department.
It is not the practice of the Department to respond to letters of this character otherwise than by advising the President upon the question presented. But in view of your known high character, and the earnestness with which you make the request, I deem it proper to say that I could not under any circumstances advise the President to extend Executive clemency to a party who had not submitted to a process of arrest. I am not aware of any case in which the Government has granted pardon to a party who was evading process of arrest; and I think upon reflection your own good sense will suggest the propriety of such a course.
B. H. Bristow, Solicitor General,
& Acting Attorney General.
question of Simeon Cook's pardon