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Fairfield

governor, producers, clarion, county and oil

" FAIRFIELD, July 31, 1879. "To HIS EXCELLENCY HENRY M. HOYT, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Sir—On behalf of the producers of oil, whom I represent as president of their General Council, I most respectfully ask a decision at your hands, of the requisition on the Governor of the state of New York, for the surrender of the officers of the Stand ard Oil Company, indicted by the Grand Jury of Clarion County, and now believed to be within the limits of the state of New York.

The case was exhaustively argued before you, more than four weeks ago, and the great oil interest which I have the honour to represent has a right to a prompt decision on this vital question. If these parties—who for their own profit and its ruin control Pennsylvania's most valuable product, and compel its greatest carrier to undertake their warfare and to do their bidding at the sacrifice of its innocent stockholders—can, under the plea of being `aliens,' defy the law of Pennsylvania and laugh at our im potent attempts to reach them, the sooner it is known the better. It is possible that if we are denied protection within the limits of our commonwealth, we may obtain jus tice by appealing to the courts of a sister state, where at least the defendants will be obliged to admit that they are residents.

The Governor remained obdurate, nor was the request ever granted. In a message sent out in January, 1881, Governor Hoyt gave a review of the case—as he was compelled to do, so great was the popular criticism of his course in not push ing the suits and in refusing the request for extradition—in which he attributed his refusal to the negotiations begun between the railroads and the Producers' Union.

"The details of these negotiations, of course, need not, and did not, reach the office of the executive department," he said. "As a part of them, however, requests were

presented in the interest of the petitioners (the Producers' Union) to the Governor, not to issue the requisition, followed again by requests that they be allowed to go out. Finding that the highest process of the commonwealth was being used simply as lever age for and against the parties to these negotiations between contending litigants, and that, however entire and perfect might have been the good faith in which the criminal proceedings in Clarion County had been commenced, they were being regarded and treated as a mere make-weight in the stages of private diplomacy, I deemed it my duty, in the exercise of a sound discretion, to suspend action on the requisitions." The writer has examined all the private correspondence which passed at this time between the litigants, but finds no proof of Governor Hoyt's statement that the Union at one time ceased its demands for Mr. Rockefeller's extradition.

The conspiracy suit had been set for the August session of the Clarion County court. When August came the Stand ard sought a continuance, and it was granted. The delay did not in any way discourage the producers, and when Mr. Rockefeller became convinced of this he tried conciliation. "Come, let us reason together," has always been a favourite proposition of Mr. Rockefeller. He would rather persuade than coerce, rather silence than fight. He had been making peace overtures ever since the suits began. The first had been in the fall of 1878, soon after they were instituted, when he sent the following letter to Captain Vandergrift: