In Whitman's Hand

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About this Item

Title: Amos T. Akerman to Thomas W. Price, 1 November 1871

Date: November 1, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.02554

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, Melanie Krupa, and John Schwaninger

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Nov. 1, 1871.

Thomas W. Price, Esq.

Philadelphia, Penn


Your letter of the 27th ultimo to the Solicitor General has been received.

The District Attorney of New Mexico has been instructed to defend your son, as you are aware—and I do not think that the Government should be expected to furnish any other professional help in the matter. The regular counsellor for the Government must be presumed equal to all the wants of the Government in his profession in his Territory. If incompetent for this service, he must be held incompetent for all other service, and not remain in the office. And I cannot take any official action which would assume that Judge Palin is prejudiced. Impartiality is an essential judicial quality; and if satisfied that this judge is not impartial in the case of your son, I should feel bound forthwith to recommend to the President that he be removed from office. I think that the District Attorney, if he is satisfied that your son should be released upon habeas corpus, ought to make the application without regard to any supposed prejudice in the mind of the judge.

Further, I add, that if your son should be convicted on account of prejudice of either judges or jurors, when, in fact, he was innocent, I have no doubt that the President would promptly issue a pardon, (for such case,)—and that the War Department, if satisfied that the act for which he was convicted was properly done in the line of his duty, as an office, would interest itself to bring the matter to the President's notice.

Very respectfully,

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

Case of Price
New Mex.


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