January 23, Saturday. Hiram Barney, Collector at New York, called on me. Is feeling depressed. The late frauds, or lately discovered frauds, annoy him. . . .
Chase sends me a letter in relation to Pensacola and the suggestions I made to open Trans-Mississippi to trade and commerce. In each case he fails to respond to my propositions favorably. Although late, I am for means that will bring peace and kindly feeling. Commerce and intercourse will help.
The trial of Stover, a contractor, by court martial at Philadelphia has come to a close. He is found guilty on three charges and is fined $5000, and is to suffer one year’s imprisonment in such prison as the Secretary of the Navy may select. It is, in my opinion, a proper punishment for a dishonest man, but the law is in some of its features of a questionable character. Likely it will be tested, for Stover has money, obtained by fraudulent means from the government. I have deliberated over the subject and come to the conclusion to approve the proceedings, and send Stover to Fort Lafayette instead of a penitentiary. Captain Latimer writes that Stover has left Philadelphia and gone to New York. I have therefore written to Admiral Paulding to arrest and send him to Fort L. The President concurs.