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Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar to Hiram Knowles, 26 March 1870

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March 26, 1870. Hon. Hiram Knowles, Asso. Justice, Montana Territory, Deer Lodge, Montana T. Sir: Your very long letter of the 6th inst. has been received. You will of course not expect me to reply to it in detail. The only passage in it which I was sorry to read was this: "In conclusion, permit me to say that to a man of any sensitiveness it is extremely annoying to know that a man with so poor a reputation as Mr. Phelps, can go to Washington and secretly file charges in one of the highest Departments of the Government, affecting his reputation as an officer and his honor as a man, and he not entitled to any notice of them." I must beg to observe upon this,— supposing of course, it is my Department to which you refer—nothing can be more unfounded than such a statement. It is my rule to give notice to the officer concerned of any charges affecting his reputation as a man, or his official conduct, on which I am called to act—and you might perhaps have more safely drawn the conclusion, when you learn that charges have been filed, that they did not, in my opinion, require any communication to you, or any reply on your part, and not that your official position would be affected by them without notice. I was much interested in your letter, and should be very glad, if I had time, to say a good deal in reply to it; but unless you hear further from me on the subject, you need not be concerned with the supposition that I am retrying your cases at Washington. Very respectfully, E. R. Hoar, Attorney General.
Personal explanations, &c.
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