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Benjamin Helm Bristow to Thomas J. Durant, 3 January 1871

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January 3, 1871. Hon. T. J. Durant, Washington, D. C. Sir: Since the receipt of your letter of December 22d, ultimo, I have not been able, until this moment, to obtain a copy of the letter of the Secretary of War, referring the claims of Jesse D. Bright, and Messrs. Hutchings and Harris, to the Court of Claims, for adjudication—and was therefore unprepared to give a definite answer to your question. I am now advised by Mr. Talbot, who has special charge of the business of the United States in the Court of Claims, that the petition of Jesse D. Bright was filed in the said Court, on the 16th of April, 1870, and was subsequently placed on the February trial list of said Court. The letter of the Secretary of War to the Court of Claims refers the claims of Hutchings and Harris, as well as that of Mr. Bright. So far as I am advised, Messrs. Hutchings and Harris have filed no petition. In the present status of the case, all that can be done by the representatives of The United States is to resist the claim of Mr. Bright. I suppose the rules of the Court of Claims admit of your client's joining in the proceedings by interpleader. But of the propriety of such action you are better prepared to decide than I am, and it must rest with you to determine what shall be done in the premises. Very respectfully, &c B. H. Bristow, Solicitor General and acting Attorney General.
claims of Jesse D. Bright, & of Hutchings and Harris (War Dep't case.)
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