In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar to George S. Boutwell, 22 June 1869

Date: June 22, 1869

Whitman Archive ID: nar.01925

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, Joshua Ware, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar

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June 22, 1869.

Hon. Geo. S. Boutwell,

Secretary of the Treasury.


I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a letter, with its enclosures, received by me to-day from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. He requests that I will instruct the Marshal of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, "to place a force at the disposal of Mr. D. P. Southworth, Supervisor, that may be used under his direction in enforcing obedience to the laws, when their assistance is required."—From the papers enclosed with the letter from the Commissioner, it appears that Internal Revenue officers in their attempts to examine premises and seize property in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pursuant to the provisions of the Internal Revenue laws, are resisted, and sometimes attacked by a mob of private persons. I am anxious that all Marshals of the United States shall perform their duties efficiently and coöperate cordially with all other officers of the United States, so far as such coöperation is within the duties of the Marshals. Their duties, so far as the Internal Revenue laws are concerned, are to serve all processes directed to the Marshal, and put in his hands for service, and to keep safely all persons and property lawfully in his custody—but he and his deputies have no more right to make seizures of property for violations of the Internal Revenue laws, without a warrant, than any private person;—and they are not officers charged with maintaining the peace in the streets of a city of one of the United States. The compensation of deputies is out of the fees and emoluments of the office of Marshal,—and I am unwilling to ask a Marshal to appoint more deputies than the performance of the duties of his office requires, to be paid out of his fees and emoluments, particularly when the persons so appointed have, by virtue of being Deputy Marshals, no greater rights and powers in the matters in respect to which their appointment is solicited, than private persons. If the Marshal and his deputies do not serve all processes put into their hands, or if they are resisted in the service of process, and do not command the necessary assistance, to perform their duty efficiently, I should be pleased to be informed of it, and will then give the requisite directions.

Very Resp. your obd't servt,

E. R. Hoar,

Attorney General.


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