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Kendall v. United States

A Carriage And A Pair Of Horses

Stockton and Stokes claimed that the department owed them money. Kendall found no evidence of any legitimate debt. Stockton and Stokes made the mistake of offering Kendall's wife a carriage and a pair of horses if he allowed the claim. Kendall was incensed. Stockton and Stokes then appealed to Congress. Here the trouble began.

Congress, which is responsible for the appropriation of funds, might have ruled on the claim, but they did not. Instead, they passed an act directing the solicitor of the treasury to decide the matter. The treasury, of course, was an entirely different department from the post office. Moreover, Kendall was head of his department, whereas the solicitor of the treasury was only a junior official in the treasury. Kendall was insulted once again.

Kendall also did not like the fact that the solicitor, Virgil Maxcy, was a good friend of the firm in question. Without even asking Kendall, Maxcy not only allowed the original claim, he called for Kendall's department to pay another $40,000. Kendall made his objections known, but he did pay the original claim. He refused, however, to pay the $40,000.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1833 to 1882Kendall v. United States - Significance, A Carriage And A Pair Of Horses, The President Fails To Intervene, The Separation Of Powers