To Frederick F. Low
August 17, 2013 Leave a comment
San Francisco, Cal. August 17. 1863
There seems to be considerable misunderstanding about the recent movement to take possession of the New-Almedan mine. It had no reference to any other mines or miners. In regard to mines and miners generaly, no change of policy by the government has been decided on, or even thought of, so far as I know. The New-Almedan mine was peculiar in this, that its occupants claimed to be the legal owners of it, on a Mexican grant, and went into court on the claim. The case found it’s way into the Supreme Court of the United States; and last term, in and by that court, the claim of the occupants was decided to be utterly fraudulent. Thereupon it was considered the duty of the government, by the Secretary of the Interior, the Attorney General, and myself, to take possession of the premises; and the Attorney General carefully made out the Writ, and I signed it. It was not obtained surreptitiously, although I suppose Gen. Halleck thought it had been, when he telegraphed, simply because he thought possession was about being taken by a Military order—while he knew no such order had passed through his hands, as General-in-Chief.
The Writ was suspended, upon urgent representations from California, simply to keep the peace. It never had any direct or indirect reference to any mine, place, or person, except the New-Almedan mine, and the persons connected with it.