In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to John F. Lewis, 13 December 1871

Date: December 13, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.03525

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 Melanie Krupa

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Dec. 13, 1871.

Hon. John F. Lewis,

U.S. Senate.


In answer to yours of the 11th instant, I have the honor to say that if the office of Commissioner in Chancery was an office in the sense of the Constitutional Amendment, Article 14, and if the holder of it took an official oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and afterwards engaged in rebellion, he is disqualified by that Amendment from holding office, until relieved by Congress.

There is a question as to what species of public employments are to be denominated officers in the sense of that Amendment; and the question is, as yet, undetermined by the Courts. I think it will be the duty of the law officers of the Government to contend that it includes such officers as I suppose the Commissioner in Chancery to be.

Very respectfully, &c.

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

question of what is an "officer," &c.


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