Garfielde v. United States
APPEAL from the Court of Claims.
In addition to the facts set forth in the opinion of the court, the court below found that the appellant's proposal was as follows:--
'The undersigned, Selucius Garfielde, whose post-office address is Port Townsend, County of Jefferson, Territory of Washington, proposes to convey the mails of the United States from July 1, 1874, to June 30, 1878, on route No. 43,132, between Port Townsend, and Sitka, Alaska, under the advertisement of the Postmaster-General, dated Oct. 1, 1873, in safe and suitable steamboats, 'with celerity, certainty, and security' (law of June 8, 1872), for the annual sum of $26,000.
'This proposal is made with full knowledge of the distance of the route, the weight of the mail to be carried, and all other particulars in reference to the route and service; and also after careful examination of the laws and instructions attached to advertisement of mail service.
'Dated, Port Townsend, W. T., Jan. 8, 1874.
'SELUCIUS GARFIELDE, Bidder.'
He made no proposal under the first part of the advertisement for carrying the mail between Portland, Oregon, by Port Townsend, W. T., and San Juan to Sitka, Alaska.
In March, 1874, the following notice of acceptance was sent to said Garfielde:--
'U.S. POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
'OFFICE OF THE SECOND ASSISTANT POSTMASTER-GENERAL,
'WASHINGTON, D. C., March 2, 1874.
'SIR,-The Postmaster-General has accepted your proposal, under advertisement of Oct. 1, 1873, for conveying the United States mail, from July 1, 1874, to June 30, 1878, on (Washington Territory) route No. 43,132, between Port Townsend and Sitka, Alaska, at $26,000 a year, 'with celerity, certainty, and security.'
'Contracts will be sent in due time to the postmaster at your place of residence, which you must execute and return to the department by the first day of June; otherwise you will be considered a failing bidder, and the service will be relet at your expense.
'You will request the postmaster at the beginning and end of the route to inform this office when you make the first trip.
J. L. ROUTT,
'Second Assistant Postmaster-General.
'MR. SELUCIUS GARFIELDE,
'PORT TOWNSEND, JEFFERSON CO., W. T.
'Recorded and sent March __, 1874.'
And on the eighteenth day of April, 1874, Garfield was informed by telegram that his 'proposal' was suspended; and on the 30th of May, 1874, a contract was entered into between the Post-Office Department and one Otis for carrying the mails from Portland by Port Townsend and San Juan, to Sitka and back, at $34,800 per annum.
The Court of Claims dismissed the petition, whereupon Garfielde appealed here.
Mr. Ebon C. Ingersoll and Mr. B. F. Rice for the appellant.
Mr. Assistant Attorney-General Smith, contra.
MR. JUSTICE HUNT delivered the opinion of the court.