In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to William S. Bates, 8 August 1871

Date: August 8, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.02401

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, Anthony Dreesen, John Schwaninger, and Nima Najafi Kianfar

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Aug. 8, 1871.

Mr. Wm. S. Bates,

Houston, Texas.


I have received your letter of the 29th ultimo.

It is not usual for this office to give opinions on legal questions, except at the call of the President, or the Head of a Department. I will depart from that usage, however, so far as to say, in reference to the questions which you present, that I deem it unsafe for any person who held office before the late war, and took an official oath to support the Constitution of the United States, to take office now, unless relieved by a two-thirds vote of Congress, if he served in the Confederate forces, unless his service was clearly compulsory, and he adhered, as far as was practicable, to the Government of the United States during the rebellion, and was all the time in heart a supporter and well-wisher to the Government in that struggle.

Very respectfully,

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

I 20
Eligibility to office south.


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