In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar to Person & French, 11 October 1869

Date: October 11, 1869

Whitman Archive ID: nar.01022

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, Vanessa Steinroetter, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar

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October 11, 1869.

Messrs. Person & French,

Wilmington, N. C.


I suppose you are employed by some one, (probably the Collector of the Port of Wilmington,) to represent the United States in the proceedings against the "Hornet" and her officers. It is upon that supposition that I have communicated with you on the subject; though I have made every effort to have communication with the District Attorney—but so far without success. He does not answer my letter directed to him at Salem, and I do not know where he is to be found. If he appears, I wish you at once to apply to him, and have him take the responsible charge of the case, and to act afterward only in concert with him.

I send you herewith the copy of an affidavit by Gordon—of course only for your own information and use—and which you will please return to this Office when you have done with it.—We have made arrangements to have him and one other witness taken from New York to Wilmington, to reach there on Friday, as you suggest in your telegram—and have no doubt they will be there. He can probably tell you which of the crew it will be best to summon and use as witnesses. We do not care about punishing any but the officers—and so you may assure any of the crew whom you may use as witnesses, of exemption from liability.

It is important to get the persons complained of bound over, because before the Court we can compel the attendance of witnesses from other Districts, which I do not see that we can before the Commissioner. The other witnesses in New York are adverse.

I shall send all the evidence in my power, if any more is found. I hope you have a good Commissioner.

The vessel will not be allowed to leave Wilmington—and if the crew do not disperse and depart, we must try to bind over for trial all whom the evidence will hold.

Respectfully yours,

E. R. Hoar,

Attorney General.

Case of the "Hornet" at Wilmington, N. C.


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