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Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar to John H. Howe, 6 January 1870

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January 6, 1870. Hon. J. H. Howe, Chief Justice of Wyoming Territory Kewanee, Ill. Sir: Your letter of Dec. 29, 1869, is received. It is impossible for me to determine whether the nature of the business for which you propose to visit Washington is so far important to the people of Wyoming Territory, and so peculiarly requiring your attention as to make it proper that you should receive leave of absence for the purpose of attending to it. The people of each Territory are represented at Washington by a Delegate chosen by them for that purpose, and it has not seemed to me as a general rule, that it is desirable that the Judicial officers of the Territories should come to Washington for the purpose of attending to business before Congress, or the Executive Departments. Instances of the kind heretofore occurring have sometimes led to unfavorable comments, and I am reluctant to give any official countenance to the practice. At the same time I can imagine a case in which it might be important for a Judge to communicate personally to a Committee of Congress, or to the Executive, the results of his experience in relation to matters within the range of his official duties; and with the suggestion I have made in the case of a gentleman of whose character I have received so favorable an impression, I am disposed to leave the matter to your own discretion. If there are matters of public interest, legal and not political in their nature, which you think so important as to require the Chief Justice of a Territory to leave his official post of duty to attend to them at Washington, I shall give my consent to your absence. I beg you to be assured that, in what I have expressed, there is nothing inconsistent with the highest respect for yourself personally and officially. But similar applications are made by other judges, and I only desire to state the general principles which, as it seems to me, should govern them. Very respectfully, E. R. Hoar, Attorney General.
Conditional Leave of absence.
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