In Whitman's Hand

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About this Item

Title: Amos T. Akerman to John Taffe, 20 December 1871

Date: December 20, 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.03567

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, John Schwaninger, Anthony Dreesen, and Melanie Krupa



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Dec. 20, 1871.

Hon. John Taffe,

Chairman Comm. on Territories,

H. of R.

Sir:

I send you copies of letters from the District Attorney of Utah to the Marshal of that District, and from the Marshal to me, in relation to funds for carrying on the Territorial Court.

The case is simply this; the Court has decided that the District Attorney and Marshal of the United States in those Territories are the officers to prosecute and execute in criminal cases under the Territorial law. The Territorial Legislature, being dissatisfied with this decision, has refused to appropriate funds for carrying on courts.

The practice hitherto has been for the Territory to pay the expenses of prosecutions under Territorial law, and for the United States to pay for prosecutions under the U.S. law. And I learn that the accounting officers of the Treasury do not feel at liberty to give the Marshal credit for any moneys which he may expend in relation to prosecutions under the Territorial law. The indictments against Young and others are under the Territorial law.

If it be the judgment of Congress that the District Attorney and Marshal should act in such cases in Utah I suggest the prompt passage of a statute or joint resolution authorizing credits to the Marshal of Utah for moneys paid in the execution of the penal laws of that Territory. This will relieve the case of all difficulty, and by its application to Utah alone will not be very expensive to the United States.

The real interest of the matter is in this; that the friends of the accused parties, Brigham Young and others, believe that they would fare much better at the hands of the officers of the Territory than at the hands of the officers of the United States.

Very respectfully, &c.

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.


Utah Court matters, &c.


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