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Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar to Caleb Cushing, 21 October 1869

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October 21, 1869. Hon. Caleb Cushing, Washington, D. C. Sir: I have considered the letters of Mr. Louis Janin and another person whose name I am unable to read, dated September 14, 1869, handed to me by you, as well as previous letters on the same subject, all relating to certain documents in Florida, among which is a manuscript book of one hundred and nineteen pages, entitled "Concessiones terras en las Floridas," said to have been sent by the Department of State to Florida for the District Court there. Mr. Janin has requested that the District Attorney in Florida be directed by me to make search for these documents and, if found, send them to the proper Department of the Government, that they may be there examined by Mr. Janin for the purpose of investigating the title to certain lands in which his clients have an interest—and two letters have been sent to the District Attorney there, and a reply been received that the necessary search would involve considerable expense, and the District Attorney asks who will compensate him, if he incurs this expense. On a reëxamination of the papers, I am unable to see that this Office has any duty to perform in the matter. The documents called for, so far as they are not records of a Court, seem to be archives of the Government, or papers under the control of the Department of State, and have never been by that Department sent to or through the Attorney General's Office to Florida. If they were sent to Florida to be used in the District Court, the clerk of that court and not the District Attorney has probably the actual custody of them. Whether these documents sent from the Department of State shall remain in Florida, or be returned to that Department, and if so returned, by whom and in what manner they shall be returned, and who shall pay the necessary expenses incurred, and whether they shall be submitted to Mr. Janin and yourself for inspection, seem to me to be questions to be determined exclusively by the Department of State. I accordingly feel constrained to suggest that your application should be made to that Department. Very respectfully, Your obd't serv't, E. R. Hoar, Attorney General
Documents in Flordia.
see p 47 ante.
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