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Amos T. Akerman to W. P. Kellogg, 12 January 1871

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January 12, 1871. Hon. W. P. Kellogg, U. S. Senate. Sir: Before receiving yours of yesterday on the subject of the compensation of the U. S. Attorney in Louisiana, I sent to the Judiciary Committee of the Senate a letter expressing the opinion that the proposed legislation would be unwise. That opinion was the result of general views, and not resting upon any minute knowledge of the amount of compensation received under the existing law. The letters of Mr. Beckwith to you show that the actual compensation is much less than I had supposed it to be. On account of the frequent changes in that office, the emolument returns have not been so full and regular as to show what the receipts have generally been. I think that the Government should always have in that office a lawyer of sufficient ability, to compete with the best professional minds that will be arrayed against it in that District—and that his compensation should be adequate. It is one of the most important points in the country, and I confess I am somewhat puzzled by the reported smallness of compensation, in comparison with that which seems to be received in other Districts of less apparent importance. Yet I think that the compensation of these officers should be fixed by general, rather than by special laws; and I hope that some legislation will soon be had, raising the compensation everywhere to a respectable amount—and that then Mr. Beckwith will find it for his interest to continue in the office. Very respectfully, &c. A. T. Akerman, Attorney General.
Compensation Dist Atty U. S. Louisiana—&U. S. Atty's generally
see p. 563 ante.
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