In Whitman's Hand

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Title: Amos T. Akerman to Cornelius Cole, 29 December 1871

Date: December 29, 1871

Whitman Archive ID: nar.03595

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. 29, 1871.

Hon. Cornelius Cole,

Chairman Committee on Appropriations,

U.S. Senate.


Permit me to call your attention to the necessity of promptly supplying the deficiency in the appropriation for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1872, for defraying the expenses of the Courts of the United States, etc., commonly known as the "Judiciary Fund."

This appropriation in the Act of March 3d, 1871, "for sundry civil expenses of the Government for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1871, and for other purposes," is $2,000,000 (16 U.S. Stats. p. 489.)

The amounts expended under a similar appropriation for several years prior to the present were as follows: For the year ending June 30th, 1866, $1,362,606:06; for the year ending June 30th, 1867, $1,614,877:59; for the year ending June 30th, 1868, $1,789,177:76; for the year ending June 30th, 1869, $2,075,892:89; for the year ending June 30th, 1870, $2,215,767:84; for the year ending June 30th, 1871, $2,769,034:08.

A large part of each of these sums was derived from fines, penalties, and forfeitures, which are now withdrawn from the Judiciary fund and go directly into the Treasury.

The increase is partly accounted for by the steady growth of the Judicial business of the country. It is estimated that about $300,000 of the increase during the last year was caused by the increased compensation of jurors under the Act of July 15th, 1870, [16 U.S. Stats. p. 363.]

Certain other recent statutes have added to the draft upon this appropriation. Among them are the "Enforcement Acts" of May 31st, 1870, and April 20th, 1871, the Naturalization Act of July 14th, 1870, and, the "Amended Enforcement Act" of February 28th 1871.—These Acts largely increase the expenses for witnesses, jurors, prisoners, and the incidental charges connected with the courts—all of which are defrayed out of the fund in question.

By the effect of the Act to establish the Department of Justice this fund is now burdened with the expense of special Counsel for the Government—a burden which was previously distributed among the Departments.

It will be perceived that the amount appropriated for this year is less than has been required for the purposes of this appropriation in each of the three next preceding years.

The amount drawn from this fund from the 1st of July last to the 15th instant, is $1,393,963:07.

The present appropriation will probably be exhaused by the end of February next. The great increase in the criminal business now coming before the courts must be considered in estimating the amount necessary to complete the present fiscal year.

I am satisfied that it would not be prudent to appropriate less than $1,000,000 to supply the deficiency.

Very respectfully, &c.

A. T. Akerman,

Attorney General.

Deficiency Judiciary fund.
$1,000,000 asked for Judiciary Fund deficiency.


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