In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to Columbus Delano, 6 March 1871

Date: March 6, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.02942

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: Nima Najafi Kianfar, Courtney Rebecca Lawton, and Kenneth M. Price

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March 6, 1871.

Hon. Columbus Delano,

Secretary of the Interior.


I have received your letter of the 2d instant, transmitting a copy of a letter from Mr. Viall, superintendent of Indian Affairs in Montana, in which he suggests the propriety of employing assistant counsel to the U.S. Attorney of that District in the prosecution of parties for violating the laws regulating intercourse with Indian tribes

The Government having a regular professional representative in that Territory, I do not feel at liberty to incur the expense of additional counsel except in cases of emergency. On general principles, the regular representative of the Government in Courts ought to be equal to the services which are usually required of that officer. If the compensation is insufficient to command the best talent for the office, the remedy lies with Congress.

The District Attorney of Montana has resigned his office; but a successor has been nominated to the Senate. I trust that the Government will soon be furnished with a District Attorney who will be able to perform properly all the services required of that officer.

I do not think that the cases to which Mr. Viall refers, will authorize the employment of special counsel, especially in view of the limited funds under the control of this Department.

Very respectfully,

your obd't servant,

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

question of Special Counsel in Indian Cases in Montana


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