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Henry Stanbery to Darius H. Starbuck, 10 June 1867

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June 10, 1867. D. H. Starbuck, Esq. U. S. Attorney, Raleigh, N. C. Sir: In your letter of the 7th inst. you ask, with the approbation of the Court, for authority from me to consent to continuances, which have been moved by numerous defendants, against whom suits have been instituted, under the Act of 23d February, 1865, (13 Stat. 432,) for the recovery of balances due before the war from the parties, who were Postmasters,—& who, from circumstances which you are entitled to consider, might have the benefit of this indulgence without prejudice to Justice. In reply, I have to say that it can seldom happen to be discreet & proper for the Attorney General, at the seat of government, to exercise his authority in such a case. The counsel of the Government, on the spot, is entrusted by law with adequate power, & must act in his responsible discretion, unless the novelty or the gravity of the occasion renders the case a fit exception. Your application is based upon the fact that these defendants are not able to lay grounds for continuance which are sufficient to satisfy the court that their applications ought to be granted. That being so, I do not feel at liberty to direct you to continue the cases. Respectfully yours, Henry Stanbery, Attorney General.
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