Stephen Pleasonton to MVB, 28 February 1828
S[tephen] Pleasonton to MVB, 28 February 1828
Fifth Auditor’s Office
February 29, 1828.
I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 23rd instant with one to you, enclosed, from G. A. Worth Esqr one of the sureties of the late General Edmonds. On recurring to the records and letters on file in this office I perceive that Mr. <Hafford>, another surety of General Edmonds, after obtaining a reduction of the balance against General Edmonds to about the sum of five thousand dollars proposed in February 1825 <illegible> a note of the late Vice President Tompkins, then in the hands of a Mr. <illegible> to the United States for collection, and if collected, to apply the proceeds, or as much as seems necessary to payment of General Edmonds’s debt. Supposing our right of priority to attach in the case, I instructed the District Attorney to receive an assignment of the notes <illegible> to <illegible> <let> it, and, in the mean time to stay proceedings against the sureties of General Edmonds. By a letter from the late District Attorney of the 30th January last in relation to this case, he states that the holders of the note of the Vice President were not disposed to, and did not, transfer it, as they contested their liability as sureties on the <bond> of Mr. Edmonds. The Attorney further states that had the note been transferred there is no probability that we should <recover>, as it was not a debt belonging to United States at the time of the Vice President’s transfer to assignees, and of course our priority would not attach. There would be no advantage therefore in receiving an assignment of the note at this time. From General Edmonds too, nothing can be expected, as he died utterly insolvent. Altho’ Mr. Worth may be unable to pay any part of the debt of General Edmonds and it may therefore be unavailing to prosecute him, yet as there are several other sureties who may be able to pay, but who contest our right to exact it of them, it will be indispensably necessary for me to proceed to a trial of the case, and in doing so to include Mr. Worth in the prosecution. This question of responsibility must be determined by the Courts of justice, as I have no authority to decide the point should judgement be rendered against them a question may arise how far it may be proper to indulge them in deciding which, I shall be guided by the same spirit of liberality which I have always exercised towards unfortunate debtors and particularly towards sureties.
I am <&c>
signed S. Pleasonton
Agent of the Treasury