In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar to Hamilton Fish, 27 May 1869

Date: May 27, 1869

Whitman Archive ID: nar.00945

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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May 27, 1869.

Hon. Hamilton Fish,

Secretary of State.


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 26th inst. relative to the supposed murder of Capt. Geo. Parker, a retired officer in the British Navy, in Arkansas. I have considered this general subject and concluded to address the U. S. Att'y for Arkansas a letter, of which the enclosed is a copy. You make the request that the Dist. Attorney be instructed to examine Lieut. Crofton as to whether Capt. Parker was killed by his order or command. You are aware that this investigation, so far as conducted by the officers of the National Government, is purely of a voluntary character, and not at all of a judicial nature. The only object which my predecessor could have had in referring the subject to the U. S. Attorney, was, to promote, through his investigations, or judicial inquiry before the proper State authorities, with a view to the prosecution and conviction of the offender. The U. S. officers have no power to summon the person referred to, and require him to testify on the point stated in your communication. They can only obtain such information as may be acquired through the voluntary statements of persons cognizant of the facts of the transactions in question. It seems to me that the safer course to pursue is to leave the matter, in its present stage, in the hands of the Dist. Attorney, and to give that officer the instructions contained in my letter to him.

I remain, with great respect, &c.

E. R. Hoar,

Attorney General

[copy enc.]

☞ May 26, 1869. For Letter to Hon. R. B. Hayes, Gov. Ohio, see p. 522 seq.


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