Medill, William (1802-1865)
Title: Letterpress copybook: [from the Treasury Department]
First Comptroller of the Treasury William Medill's letterbook for the month of March 1860. Letters are copied on tissue paper, the originals in various clerical hands, and those signed originally by Medill. Each has been signed by Medill, with the exception of one letter signed by Chief Clerk William Hemphill Jones. An alphabetical index of addressees is bound in to the front of the book. Addressees include: the secretaries of the U.S. Treasury and Interior; various senators and congressmen; U.S. ambassadors and consuls; U.S. marshals and district attorneys; and clerks in various federal departments. Topics include: disbursement of funds to, and gold and silver bullion accounts of, U.S. branch mints; payment of U.S. congressional, ambassadorial, postal service, and consular salaries; reimbursement of expenses for relief accorded to destitute American seamen; payment of coastal and boundary survey laborers; timely payment of jurors and witnesses; penitentiary expenses; and costs relating to courthouse construction. Of special interest: a remarkable, extensive rundown (p.211+) of fugitive slave-related cases involving federal funds (including case background, prosecution, outcome, and expense incurred), prepared for the Secretary of the Interior in response to a request from Senator Stephen R. Mallory - the future Confederate Secretary of the Navy. Also: ongoing, contentious correspondence regarding a multimillion dollar claim for service that Medill felt was unjustified.(Medill was threatened with impeachment for his pursuit of this case.) The cover and body of this book are extremely fragile.