In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to Columbus Delano, 5 September 1871

Date: September 5, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.03312

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, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Anthony Dreesen

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Sept. 5, 1871.

Hon. Columbus Delano,

Secretary of the Interior.


The letter of Mr. Nichols to you, under date of August 25, 1871 asking for a re-hearing upon the application of the Central Branch Union Pacific Railroad Company, for leave to file its map, and to be recognized as entitled to lands, &c., shows him to be entirely mistaken as to the amount of attention which the subject received in this Office, during the preparation of the Opinion which was sent to you on the 3d day of June last. In support of the application I heard Mr. Nichols two hours on one day, Judge Hoar one hour on another day, and another hour on a third day. I also read and carefully weighed the following papers:

1. Printed affidavit of R. M. Poemeroy.

2. Printed affidavit of Effingham H. Nichols.

3. Letter of Hon. James Harlan.

4. Letter of Hon. Wm. A. Wheeler.

5. Statement of Messrs. William Claplin and others.

6. Opinion of Hon. Benjn. R. Curtis.

7. Opinion of Hon. E. R. Hoar.

8. Argument of Mr. Nichols before Secretary Delano.

9. Argument of Hon. Wm. M. Evarts before Secretary Cox.

10. Letter from Mr. Nichols to Secretary Delano.

11. Letter from Mr. Evarts to Secretary Delano.

12. Another letter from Mr. Nichols to Secretary Delano.

13. Extracts from speeches of Senators, and letters from Senators and Representatives.

14. Affidavits of Messrs. Nichols, Wetmore and others.

15. Letter of Mr. Nichols to myself.

The statutes bearing on the subject were of course thoroughly examined.

Though I entered upon the investigation with strong personal sympathies in favor of the Company, I was unable to advise that its application was well found in law.

The company is dissatisfied with my opinion, and asks a rehearing. About two months ago, I expressed a willingness to hear further argument on any material facts not considered in the former examination of the subject. I still have that willingness. But owing to the near approach of the season when other business will press heavily on this Department, I desire to make an early disposition of the subject; and I now say to you that I am willing to hear counsel for the company on such facts, at any time this week; and if it will be more convenient for the counsel to make the argument in New York, I will hear it there, upon sufficient notice of the time by mail or telegraph.

I will hear them for six hours, if they desire to speak so long, provided that the whole argument can be made at one audience.

Very respectfully,

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

re-hearing case of Central Branch Union Pacific RR. case
see pp. 140 222 ante
p 204


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