(1869). Two letters, a total of 8 pp., and approx. 550 words, one on letterhead stationery from the office of the Attorney General, Washington [D.C.], dated August 10 and September 1, 1869, respectively. The letters from W.A. Field, as Assistant Attorney General are both directed to the Attorney General E.A. Hoar. Apparently Hoar was away, as Field was in attendance at two cabinet meetings held by President Grant: "At the cabinet meeting today all the members were present but you and Secy. Boutwell, nothing really important was done." Field goes on to report on the meetings anyway. In the August letter, Field says that the District Attorney for Northern Mississippi, Stewart, has been suspended and that the D.A. for Southern Mississippi is about to be. The President desires to know who Hoar thinks should replace them, as well as who could be called upon if he suspends the Marshall of California. Field also mentions the Dave Ross murder case from the Cherokee country. Sentenced to be hung in September, the President commuted his sentence to five years. The second letter reports that “your opinion in re test oath in Va. was read and the Pres. ordered Secy. of War to send copy to Genl. Canby and order him to act accordingly. This is of course kept secret. On Cuba it was agreed to notify Spain that the negotiations cannot be kept open indefinitely and that unless something was concluded the offer of “good offices” would be withdrawn in thirty days viz by Oct. 1st next." Another murder case is mentioned, and another appointment discussed. Field feels that the President acted in some haste with his appointment of Walter Gresham to the post of judge of the District Court of Indiana. Gresham, he understands, is a good man, but “whether it is worth while to be in such a hurry to appoint even good men to office without consulting the Department which is in some sense responsible for the appointment is a question on which I really have an opinion." Item #60232
Walbridge A. Field was a lawyer from Massachusetts, appointed to serve as assistant attorney general in the Grant administration in April 1869. He resigned in August 1870, returning to Boston to practice law, his term roughly coinciding with his boss Ebenezer Hoar. Hoar served as one of Grant's principle advisors on legal matters during the Reconstruction era, for just over one year. One of his recommendations involved Virginia's post-war constitution, which needed to be approved by Congress. Hoar felt that once the constitution was approved, Virginia would once again be a state in the Union, and the test oath would not be required.