U.S. Supreme Court
Nutt v. United States, 125 U.S. 650 (1888)
Nutt v. United States
Submitted April 2, 1888
Decided April 18, 1888
125 U.S. 650
Congress enacted August 7, 1882, 22 Stat. 734,
"that the Quartermaster General of the United States is hereby authorized to examine and adjust the claims of Julia A. Nutt, widow and executrix of Haller Nutt, deceased, late of Natchez, in the State of Mississippi, growing out of the occupation and use by the United States Army during the late rebellion of the property of said Haller Nutt during his lifetime, or of his estate after his decease, including livestock, goods, and moneys, taken and used by the United States or the armies thereof, and he may consider the evidence heretofore taken on said claim, as far as applicable, before the Commissioners of Claims, and such other evidence as may be adduced before him on behalf of the legal representatives of Haller Nutt or on behalf of the United States, and shall report the facts to Congress to be considered with other claims reported by the Quartermaster General."
The Quartermaster General made the examination and reported to Congress chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
the aggregate value of the property taken. Held that this reference of the claim did not constitute a submission to arbitration on the part of Congress, and that the finding of the Quartermaster General was neither an award nor the equivalent of an account stated between private individuals.
Sometime after this report of the Quartermaster General, Congress appropriated sundry amounts to various persons named in the bill as
"an allowance of certain claims reported by the accounting officers of the United States Treasury Department, . . . the same being in full for, and the receipt for the same to be taken and accepted in each case as a full and final discharge of the several claims examined and allowed."
Among these amounts was an appropriation to Mrs. Nutt of an amount much less than that reported by the Quartermaster General, which reduced amount she accepted. Held that this did not amount to an adoption by Congress of the report of the Quartermaster General, and that there was no inference that the appropriation actually made was intended to be a recognition of a larger amount as due.
The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.