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Matthew F. Pleasants to T. Sweeney, 9 April 1868

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April 9, 1868. T. Sweeney, Esq. Wheeling, West Va. Sir: I am directed by the Attorney General, ad interim to say, that, as at present advised, he cannot consent to the dismissal of the case of the steamboat Frolic. This is one of a large number of cases in the Supreme Court under the Act of August 6, 1861. Several of them have been argued and submitted to the Court. It was hoped that the Court would lay down some principle for the guidance of this office,—but finding the cases of some difficulty, they were continued by the Court to the next term.—If the Frolic is dismissed, the same disposition would be made of the other cases—and this the Attorney General is not willing to recommend. In respect to the interest of Captain Goodwin, no difficulty is perceived. The trouble is in regard to the interest of the other coöwner, who, according to the testimony, in January, 1862, while New Orleans was in rebel occupation, deliberately left a loyal state, returned to New Orleans, and employed his boat in the rebel service. It is not perceived that Captain Goodwin is to blame for this, but it is equally difficult to see how the other owner can be acquitted of blame. If you have any thing to submit further, the present determination does not preclude its submission to this office. Very respectfully yours, M. F. Pleasants, Chief Clerk.
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