In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to Ulysses S. Grant, 26 December 1871

Date: December 26, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.03587

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. 26, 1871.

The President.


On the first instant, you referred to me, for investigation, a memorial, endorsed by Governor Caldwell, from certain citizens of North Carolina, complaining that one Allen Bettis had been arrested by U.S. Soldiers and imprisoned at Yorkville, S. C. The memorialists state that Bettis is ready and willing to be tried by his peers in his own State, and claims the right to be tried there.

I have made an investigation, and learn that Bettis was arrested upon overwhelming proof of his connection with the Ku Klux Klan in York County, S. C., though his residence is in North Carolina, just over the State line. On the 24th of November, he was turned over to the U.S. Marshal, and by the Marshal taken before a Commissioner, who released him upon his giving bail to appear before the U.S. Circuit Court of South Carolina to answer to any indictment that might be preferred against him for violation of Enforcement Acts of Congress.

As I am advised, there has been no violation of law or justice in the proceedings to which Mr. Bettis has been subjected. His claim to be tried in his own State is utterly inadmissible under the Constitution and laws, the accusation being of an offence perpetrated in another State.

I have reported the result of these investigations to Governor Caldwell.

Very respectfully,

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

case of Bettis, N. C. (S. C.)
see Let. B'k I, 201.


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