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Letters Received by the Attorney General, is the story of an adolescent nation_s struggle. Through letters received by the attorney general from U.S. attorneys and marshals, the federal courts and other federal officials, state government officials, and private citizens, scholars can put themselves at the helm. There, conflicting loyalties, shifting allegiances, ill-defined duties, and personal convictions often clouded vision. How the 19th-century lawman made sense of this confusion is also the tale of a nation finding its identity. Federal Government Correspondence, 1809-1870 covers many subjects and issues including claims against the U.S., public land disputes, banks, customs law violations, freedmen issues, law enforcement, enforcement of sedition and trade acts, lawsuits brought against military personnel by private citizens, boundary conflicts, questionable financial activities of federal officials and military personnel, piracy cases, demands made by citizens to remove a U.S. marshal or judge, and vigilance committees.

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