On June 22, 1870, Grant signed a bill into law passed by Congress that created the Department of Justice and to aid the Attorney General, the Office of Solicitor General . Grant appointed Amos T. Akerman as Attorney General and Benjamin H. Bristow as America's first Solicitor General. Both Akerman and Bristow used the Department of Justice to vigorously prosecute Ku Klux Klan members in the early 1870s. In the first few years of Grant's first term in office there were 1000 indictments against Klan members with over 550 convictions from the Department of Justice. By 1871, there were 3000 indictments and 600 convictions with most only serving brief sentences while the ringleaders were imprisoned for up to five years in the federal penitentiary in Albany, New York . The result was a dramatic decrease in violence in the South. Akerman gave credit to Grant and told a friend that no one was "better" or "stronger" then Grant when it came to prosecuting terrorists.  Akerman's successor, George H. Williams , in December 1871, continued to prosecute the Klan throughout 1872 until the Spring of 1873 during Grant's second term in office.  William's clemency and moratorium on Klan prosecutions was due in part that the Justice Department, having been inundated by Klan outrage cases, did not have the effective manpower to continue the prosecutions. 
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