Richmond Dispatch, 11/5/1862

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From the Richmond Dispatch, 11/5/1862, p. 1, c. 4

Extensive Forgery on the State Treasury – Arrest of the Suspected Forger. – Arrest of the Suspected Forger—On or about the 6th of October, the day of the adjournment of the called session of the Virginia Legislature, a large number of blank warrants were abstracted from the office of the First Auditor of the State. Many of these warrants had the signature of the Auditor upon their face, that officer not unfrequently affixing his name to warrants to facilitate the business of the office, and with a view to the convenience of parties having claims against the State Government, who might present those claims for approval in his absence. On the day above stated many of these warrants upon the Treasury had been signed for the pay of the members of the Legislature, and the officers of the two Houses, and those were attested by the chief clerk of the office in the proper form. The blank checks which were stolen, although signed by the Auditor, still required the signature of Maj. Calvert, the State Treasurer, and the attestation of the clerk of the Auditor's officers. These signatures were forged, and upon these checks it has already been ascertained that over $14,000 were drawn from the different banks of the city — the heaviest amount being from the Exchange Bank, though no inconsiderable sum was extorted from the Farmers' Bank and the Bank of Virginia.

The forged signatures to these warrants were not detected until a few days since, when they were returned from the Banks to the State Treasurer's Office for cancellation. It was at once suspected that the abstraction of the warrants and the forgery of the signatures were perpetrated by some one having access to the Auditor's Office, and inquiry was at once instituted as to who the guilty party might be. From circumstances connected with one of the warrants, which was made payable to W. D. Hartwell, and which received, in a batch of genuine claims of members of the Legislature, the signature of Maj. Cavort, the Treasurer, and from certain habits of surviving which he was known to indulge, suspicion was immediately fixed upon H. Hunter Taliaferro, who holds the position of First Doorkeeper of the State Senate. At the time of the discovery of the forgeries, young Taliaferro was absent from the city, at his home in Stafford county. An officer was dispatched to that county, and yesterday afternoon a dispatch was received from Fredericksburg conveying the intelligence of Taliaferro's arrest. We understand that he will be brought to the city at once.

 

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