Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
January 19, 1848

The Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads, to whom was refered the petition of Messrs Saltmarsh & Fuller, report:

That, as proved to their satisfaction, the mail routes from Milledgeville to Athens, and from Warrenton to Decatur, in the StatePage  443 of Georgia, (numbered 2366 and 2380) were let to Reeside & Avery, at $1300 per annum for the former and $1500 for the latter, for the term of four years to commence on the 1st day of January 1835. That previous to the time for commencing the service, Re[e]side sold his interest therein to Avery. [2] That on the 11th. of May 1835, Avery sold the whole to these petitioners, Saltmarsh & Fuller, to take effect from the beginning---Jany. 1- 1835. That at this time, the Assistant Post master General, being called on for that purpose, consented to the transfer of the contracts from Re[e]side & Avery to these petitioners, and promised, to have proper entries of the transfer made on the books of the Department, which, however, was neglected to be done. That the petitioners, supposing all was right, in good faith commenced the transportation of the mail on these routes, and, after difficulty arose, still trusting that all would be made right, continued the service till Decr. 1-1837. That they performed the service to the entire satisfaction of the Department, and have never been paid any thing for it, except. [3] That the difficulty occurred as follows: Mr. Barry [4] was Post master General at the times of making the contracts and the attempted transfer of them. Mr. Kendall [5] succeeded Mr. Barry, and finding Reeside apparently in debt to the Department, and these contracts still standing in the names of Reeside & Avery, refused to pay for the service under them, otherwise than by credits to Re[e]side; afterwards, however, he divided the compensation, still crediting one half to Reeside, and directing the other to be paid to the order of Avery, who, disclaimed all right to it. After discontinuing the service, these petitioners, supposing they might have legal redress against Avery, brought suit against him, in New-Orleans; in which suit they failed, on the ground that Avery had complied with his contract, having done so much towards the transfer, as they had accepted, and been satisfied with. Still later, the Department sued Reeside on his supposed indebtedness, and by a verdict of the jury it was determined, that the Department was indebted to him, in a sum much beyond all the credits given him on the account above stated. Under these circumstances [the] committee consider the petitioners clearly entitled to relief; and they report a bill accordingly; lest, however, there should be some mistake as to the amount which they have already received, we so frame it as that, by adjustment at the Department they may be paid so much as remains unpaid for service actually perf

Page  44411th. 1835; but the evidence on this point being very vague, they forbear to report in favour of allowing it.