In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Matthew F. Pleasants to Orville Hickman Browning, 16 March 1868

Date: March 16, 1868

Whitman Archive ID: nar.00467

Source: National Archives and Records Administration. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, Kevin McMullen, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar

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March 16, 1868

Hon. O. H. Browning,

Attorney General, ad int.


I desire to call your attention to the fact that the "Act making appropriations for the legislative, executive and judicial expenses of the government for the year ending the thirtieth of June, Eighteen hundred and sixty‑nine," provides "for salaries of the Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, Law Clerk, and Chief Clerk, two clerks of class four, two clerks of class three, one clerk of class one, and one messenger."

By the Act of March 3, 1865, this office was allowed the force above named, "besides such temporary clerks as may from time to time be needed—provided, however, that the allowance to such temporary clerks shall in no one year exceed one thousand dollars."

The appropriation acts for the years ending June 30, 1866, and June 30, 1867, and June 30, 1868, provided for two additional temporary clerks of class one, one of which places was occupied till August, 1867, and the other is still required by the exigencies of the office.

The clerical force allowed for the next financial year is sufficient for the ordinary routine work of the Department; but would be insufficient should any calls be made upon it similar to the calls for Pardon Reports by Congress during the present year.

Some provision should be made for such a contingency.

The necessities of the office in the way of additional professional help are well known to the Assistant Attorney General, to whom you are respectfully referred for information relating thereto.

It is proper to remind you that the Appropriation Act has passed the House and is now before the Senate.

The sum allowed for contingent expenses, namely for fuel, labor, furniture, stationery, and miscellaneous items, Five thousand dollars, may suffice, with the most rigid economy. A deficiency in that, however, can be supplied, hereafter, while provision for additional clerical help must be made now, if at all.

Very respectfully yours,

M. F. Pleasants,

Chief Clerk.


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