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Mr. Pierce Secures Work In Washington

A recent trip to D.C. afforded me the opportunity to visit the National Archives II facility in College Park, MD.  I was able to find out a little more of what became of Marshal Pierce.   Please refer to previous posts for context:

Attorney General Charles DevensAfter the Hayes/Tilden election was resolved, Mr. Pierce was none too popular in Oxford Mississippi.  Charles Devens, the Attorney General sent the following note in his own hand, marked private/confidential on the top of the page.

Department of Justice
Washington, July 10th, 1874

My dear Sir,

I think it would be adviseable [sic] for you, on many accounts, some of which we have heretofore spoken of, to resign the position of Marshalship of N.D. of Miss.

I have seen your letter to Mr. Morphis1, & on conversation with Mr. McCormick (Acting Secretary of Treasury) am authorized to say, that a suitable position worth $1200 per annum, can be arranged for you there, if this is done.

Reply at once.

Yours truly,

(signed) Chas. Devens

P.S. The Acting Secretary informs me that you will have to enter as a first class clerk and without making promise, will endeavor to have you promoted as soon as possible.

To which Marshal Pierce responds with a personal note marked Private at the top:

Oxford, Miss. July 13, 1877
Hon. Charles Devens,

Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Richard C. McCormickMy Dear Sir:  I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your very kind letter of the 10th inst, and in deference to your views I have tendered my resignation to take effect July 31, inst.  I would have resigned at once; but the court being in session, which will continue the great part of the remainder of the month, my quitting before the term closed would embarrass the business of the court. And the time will enable me to close up all business of my office.

I desire to add my sincere thanks for the kindly interest which you manifested in my behalf in securing from Mr. Secty. McCormick an assurance of the position in his Department, and would thank you to have made known to him my willingness to accept the same, and that I shall repair to Washington to assume the duties immediately after the 31st.

Hoping my actions will meet with your approval,  I am very truly,

J.H. Pierce

1Joseph Lewis MorphisMr. Morphis was likely Joseph Lewis Morphis who was appointed as Pierce’s replacement by President Hayes to the United States marshal of the northern district of Mississippi and served from 1877 to 1885.


1 Commodore Perry { 05.26.11 at 10:58 am }

This story keeps getting better and better!


Martin Reply:

Thanks Craig, it’s become a bit of an obsession. 🙂


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