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ANNUAL REPORT of the attorney General.

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Lansing, Dec. 31st, 1861. To His Excellency, Austin BLAIR,

Governor of the State of Michigan: SIR-I have the honor to submit to you my official report for the year 1861:

The case of Wm. Tyler, mentioned in the last report of my predecessor, as having been taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, by a writ of error, has since, by stipulation, been dismissed, and said writ has ceased to be further prosecuted.

The case of the State against the Phenix Bank, also referred to by my predecessor, in his said last report, as having been appealed to the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, is still pending in said Court, awaiting a hearing, in its order, but when it will be reached I am unable at present to determine.

At the January term, 1861, of the Supreme Court of this State, I appeared for the State, and argued the care of McDonald, Pl'ff in Error, vs. The People, in which the judgment of the Court below was affirmed. I also appeared on behalf of the Auditor General, in opposition to an application of the county of Houghton against that officer, for a mandamus, requiring him to issue his warrant for a certain sum claimed to be due said county, under the provisions of act No. 54, laws of 1853, page 76, and section 7 of article 19 of the constitution; which application for a mandamus was granted.

On the 9th of February last I caused two prosecutions to be commenced against the late State Treasurer, John McKinney, by complaint made before F. LaRue, Esq., at the city of Lansing, one for embezzlement under the provisions of section 5771 of the Compiled Laws, the other for neglecting and refusing to de. liver over to his successor in office, the moneys, &c., belonging to the State, which had come into his hands by virtue of his said office of State Treasurer, under section 5772. After an examination of several days, he was held for trial on each of said charges,


gave bail for his appearance at the next term of the Circuit Court for the county of Ingham. At the following May term of said Court, informations were filed against him on each of said charges, and he appeared in said Court and pleaded not guilty to said informations.

Subsequently, at the November term of said Court, said McKinney was tried on the charge of embezzlement, and convicted, and thereupon his counsel drew up and tendered a bill of exceptions, under the provisions of chapter 197 of the Compiled Laws, to remove the cause to the Supreme Court, which exceptions were allowed and signed by the circuit judge, and sentence was thereupon suspended and said respondent ordered to recognize for his appearance, &c., as provided by statute, and said cause is now awaiting a hearing on said bill of exceptions in the Supreme Court at the coming January term.

The other information is still pending in the Ingham circuit.

At the April term, 1861, of the Supreme Court, I appeared on behalf the State, and argued the case of the People us. John Drennan, and also prepared briefs in the case of Washburne vs. the People, Cross vs. the People, and the case of the People vs. LeRoy & Morissey, which three last were not finally submitted at said term, the Court holding but a short session. At the last October term of said Court, I appeared and submitted on briefs, the cases of Cross vs the People, Washburne vs. the People, and Carlton vs. the People, and also argued, on behalf of the State, the case of the People vs. Thomas, and also appeared on behalf of the Board of State Auditors, and argued in opposition to an application on the part of the East Saginaw Salt Manufacturing Company for a mandamus, against the said Board to compel the allowance of a claim for bounty, under the provisions of act No. 200, laws of 1859, for salt manufactured by said Company subsequent to the passage of said law and prior to the act of 1861, amending the said act of 1859. The mandamus was granted, as prayed for.

In the case of the People vs. Thomas, the exception taken by the defendant on the trial in the Court below, was overruled, and judgment ordered to pass upon the verdict. The other cases submitted have not yet been decided.

At said October term, I also appeared on behalf of the Auditor General, in the suit of the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad Company against him in Chancery, originally commenced in the Wayne Circuit, and in which a hearing had been had in said Circuit during the past summer on pleadings and proofs, and a decree made dismissing the bill of complaint, and from which said decree said Company had appealed to the Supreme Court.

The case involved the question of the amount of specific tax which the Company, under its charter as amended, was legally

liable to pay.

It was argued and submitted at the October term and held under advisement by the Court.

During the past year I have also appeared on behalf of the Auditor General in three Chancery suits commenced against him; two of them in the county of Bay-one in favor of Daniel H. Fitzhugh, complainant, the other in favor of Wm. D. Fitz. hugh; the third was commenced in the Wayne Circuit, in favor of Edmund Hall, as complainant. Each and all of them being injunction bills, filed to prevent the sale of lands delinqnent for taxes assessed thereon, which taxes are claimed for various reasons to be illegal and void. All of them are still pending.

I have also appeared on behalf of the State in a suit in Chancery in Genesee Circuit, commenced by my predecessor against George M. Dewey, Edmund H. Hazelton, et al., for the purpose of foreclosing a certain mortgage known as the Dewey and Hazelton mortgage. The suit has so far progressed that the testimony has nearly all been taken, but the preparation of some of the evidence, in order to ascertain what lands were actually owned by the mortgagors at the time the mortgage was executed, and to determine what lands were covered by or included in the mortgage, has necessarily been attended with considerable labor and expense.

Some further proceedings have also been had in the chancery suit instituted by my predecessor, by information, in behalf of the People vs. Ebenezer Warner, in the district court of the Upper Peninsula for the county of Chippewa, and there is now a probability that the matter in dispute, respecting the wharf at the lower end of the canal at Sault St. Mary, will be amicably arranged and the impediments to the navigation of the canal, complained of, removed.

Suit has also been commenced by me in behalf of the State on the bond of the late State Treasurer, and is now pending in the Circuit Court for the county of Ingham, issue not having been yet joined therein.

The regular correspondence of this office during the past year, has been a work of no small labor; and the subject of the swamp land road laws, and the law for the relief of families of volunteers, has also been a fruitful source of inquiries by mail.

The duties of the office, in addition to my own services, have called in requisition the almost constant labors of a clerk, thus fully demonstrating the wisdom of the legislative provision for such assistance.

The reports of many of the Prosecuting Attorneys to this of


fice, have been tardily made, and in consequence I have been compelled to delay somewhat, the preparation of this report.

I herewith transmit a schedule, containing an abstract of all the reports made to me for the present year, by Prosecuting Attorneys for their respective counties. It will be seen that reports have been received from only forty-two counties—from the remaining counties the Prosecuting Attorneys have wholly failed to make report.

Very Respectfully,
Your Ob’t Serv't,

Attorney General.

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