In Whitman's Hand

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Title: William M. Evarts to Samuel Blatchford, 24 November 1868

Date: November 24, 1868

Whitman Archive ID: nar.00693

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, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Kevin McMullen, and John Schwaninger

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November 24, 1868.

Hon. Samuel Blatchford,

United States District Judge,

New York City


I have the honor to ask your attention to certain papers which I enclose for your examination in the case of William Muller, now in prison under your sentence for contempt of court, and which were placed before the President upon an application for his pardon.

It has been held by Attorney General Gilpin that the pardoning power of the President extends to such cases—and I gather from a newspaper report of what fell from you on the subject in this case, not long since, that you entertain that opinion. Without determining whether I shall find it necessary to reconsider this question of the power of the President in such cases, I think it proper that the application for pardon, and the grounds of it, should be submitted to the court against whose sentence this relief is asked.

I beg, therefore, that you will give the subject such attention as you may think it deserves, and return the enclosed papers to me, with your opinion as to the propriety of the President's interposition in relief of the prisoner, if you should think it proper to express it. I have heretofore received a letter from Mr. Fuller, of counsel for the complainant in the suit in which the contempt occurred, requesting me to give him an opportunity to be heard in opposition, in case application should be made for a pardon. If you should think it suitable to give notice to Mr. Fuller that the matter has been referred to you for consideration, the connection of the subject with the private interests, and the private remedy which he represents in your court, would make such course unobjectionable.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

your obd't servant,

Wm. M. Evarts,

Attorney General.


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