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William M. Evarts to Joshua F. Bailey, 29 February 1869

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February 29, 1869. Joshua Bailey, Esq. Collector of Internal Revenue, 4th District, New York. Sir: I had the honor to receive in due course your two letters of the 27th of January last, and 5th of February inst, in which you unfold to me at length the history of the prosecution ag't George B. Davis, now pending in the Southern Dist. of New York, & exhibit your relations to the complaint ag't him & your natural & proper interest that the regular prosecution of that case should make public the wickedness of the malicious accusations ag't you, which Davis was a party to, or made an instrument in. The considerations presented in your letters would have been both pertinent & important if I had occasion to dispose of the case of Davis as presented for my interposition, by passing judgment upon the substance of the charges upon which he was indicted. I have however, as I have heretofore stated to you in a personal interview which you sought with me on the subject, regarded the single point before me as not involving nor even permitting any judgment except upon the simple one whether the prisoner should be remitted to an opportunity of returning to Canada, from whence he had been invited to aid the investigations of the government into alleged frauds upon the Internal Revenue of the city of New York. I have come to a conclusion upon this point which I have communicated to Dist. Attorney Courtney, & although I have not thought myself at liberty to be influenced in this conclusion by any personal relations or feelings, yet I have no hesitation in saying that I regret that the conclusion to which I have come, may disappoint what is a very just desire on your part, that the trial of Davis should exhibit in its true light the falsity & malice of the imputations which he had cast upon you. By a perusal of my letter to Mr. Courtney, which he is quite at liberty to show you, you will understand the disposition I have made of the subject, and the grounds of it. I have the honor to be, &c &c Wm. M. Evarts, Attorney General. Feb. 27, 1869.
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