In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to William W. Belknap, 5 August 1871

Date: August 5, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.03251

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, John Schwaninger, Anthony Dreesen, and Nima Najafi Kianfar

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Aug. 5, 1871.

Hon. Wm. W. Belknap,

Secretary of War.


In answer to your letter of the 4th instant, submitting the correspondence in relation to the compromise of the claim of the United States against the Nashville & Chattanooga RR. Company, I have the honor to say that I advise the compromise the terms of which are set forth in your letter, to wit: payment by the company of One million dollars, five hundred thousand payable in ten years from June 1, 1871, and five hundred thousand in twenty years from the same date, with interest on the whole amount at the rate of four per cent per annum payable semi-annually on the first days of December and June in each year; payments of principal and interest to be secured by a proper decree of the court in which the suit is pending.

I give this advice because I learn that these terms are satisfactory to you, and to the special counsel who have been retained for the Government in the litigation—and because I learn that such assurances have been given to the defendant as would expose the Government to a plausible accusation of a breach of faith, if the terms should now be rejected. Not having been made minutely acquainted with the facts in the case, or with the terms of the compromise, until the parties supposed the arrangement to have been effected, I have not undertaken to form a judgment of my own, in the premises—and give this advice in order to satisfy the literal requirements of the law.

Very respectfully, &c.

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

U.S. claim ag't the Nashville & Chattanooga RR. Co.
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