In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to William Lawrence, 27 May 1871

Date: May 27, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.01990

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, Kevin McMullen, and John Schwaninger

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May 27, 1871.

Hon. Wm. Lawrence,

Belfontaine, Ohio.


On the 25th instant, I acknowledged the receipt of your letter of the 16th instant, and promised a fuller answer.

After inquiry into the subject, I do not feel at liberty to accede to your request for the use of the name of The United States in the suit which your clients desire to bring. I understand that it is the object of the proposal suit to test the legality of what certain Departments of this Government have done, with a view to the maintenance of certain claims of private parties. Certain citizens assert that what the Government has done is valid; others assert that it is invalid. It seems to me that the Government should not appear in court as a litigant against the validity of its own acts.

Any consideration which you may choose to submit in favor of a different action will be most respectfully weighed. But as at present advised, my mind is very clear that the above ground is correctly taken.

Very respectfully,

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

certain application declined


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