In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to George S. Boutwell, 31 October 1870

Date: October 31, 1870

Whitman Archive ID: nar.01449

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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October 31, 1870.

Hon. Geo. S. Boutwell,

Secretary of the Treasury.


On the 18th of January last, I received from the Secretary of War a communication informing me that on the 6th day of May last Thomas Kearney, Esq., Collector of Customs a Corpus Christi, Texas, has been robbed of more than Twelve thousand dollars in gold, public moneys of the United States in his charge, by certain persons belonging to the Army of the United States, who had afterward escaped into Mexico;— also that the State Department was about to apply to the Mexican Government for the extradition of the criminals, under the treaty of December 11, 1861. The Secretary of War, in that communication, also informed me that an agent, or agents, of the United States should be sent into Mexico, to proceed judicially against the fugitives, befor the tribunals of the place where they might be found—and that such agent or agents should be provided with such proof as would warrant the arrest of the offenders under the Mexican law, if their crime had been committed on Mexican territory.

Finding no authority in the Act to establish the Department of Justice, or in any other law, for the Attorney General to send an agent out of the country, I was unable to provide such an agent, but immediately directed the District Attorney of the United States for the Eastern District of Texas to procure the evidence properly authenticated. I have just received from the District Attorney the affidavits of Thomas Kearney and John W. Fogg, which I herewith transmit to you, having been informed that the Treasury Department is conducting the proceedings against the offenders.

Very respectfully,

your obedient servant,

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.


Robbery of U. S. Collector Kearney in Texas


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