William Alvin Lloyd, a steamboat guidebook writer, was personally hired by President Lincoln to spy during his many research trips to the South. After Lloyd's death, his estate sued the U.S. Government for unpaid compensation. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, as Totten vs. The United States. The court ruled that it could not hear cases involving spy contracts since it could require the release of state secrets. This is termed 'state secrets privilege.'