In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar to George S. Boutwell, 2 June 1869

Date: June 2, 1869

Whitman Archive ID: nar.01889

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

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June 2, 1869.

Hon. Geo. S. Boutwell,

Secretary of the Treasury.


I have rec'd your letter of May 28th, ult., with papers enclosed, relating to a proposed compromise of the case of Wm. P. Jowers. The terms of the proposed compromise are that Jowers shall pay as tax $460,— as specific penalty, $2000—in all $2460. The offence charged is the distillation of spirits in Georgia, in violation of law. I am unable to determine with certainty from the papers enclosed with your letter, the number and nature of the suits or proceedings in court that have been commenced ag't Jowers or his property. These suits should be an information of forfeiture of property, and one or more indictments.— It appears that Jowers fled from justice, and could not be arrested on the warrant issued on the complaint originally made. I infer that he has now returned to the State of Georgia—but that does not distinctly appear from the papers; nor does it distinctly appear that he has been arrested on any warrant, and held to answer on any criminal charge. There is no Report from the Dist. Attorney upon the case; but a letter from the present Dist. Attorney, dated April 28, 1869, is enclosed, in which he says that he "will make every effort to be informed of the facts, and report accordingly as promptly as possible."

The case seems to be one of a wilful and fraudulent violation of law, and the offer of compromise appears to have been made by the Attorney of Jowers while Jowers was a fugitive from justice.

I have great reluctance to consent to a compromise of any criminal suit with any person who has fled to avoid arrest—and from what I infer the facts are in this case, I am unwilling now to recommend the compromise. If, hereafter, a fuller statement of the facts is received from the District Attorney, or any other person, and you should think fit to submit the case again to me, I will then reconsider it.

The papers enclosed with your letter are returned herewith.

Very Resp. your obd't serv't,

E. R. Hoar,

Attorney General.


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