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was a new thing to the postmasters. It was another division of the department being allowed to step inside a post-office and to control to a certain extent the business of the office. There was some feeling about it in some cases. The postmasters shrugged their shoulders and thought it was an unnecessary thing. They thought that they ought to be allowed to manage and control their own offices in regard to the matter of the distribution of the mails as well as all other matters, without any outside interference, so to speak, and the feeling arose in some instances on that account, although I believe that as a rule it was nothing very serious.
Q. Does anything else occur to you as proper to be mentioned to the committee 1A. You must know, gentlemen, that I cannot be expected to make statements unless as I am asked questions. My condition of health and of mind is not the best, but I will try to answer any questions.
By Mr. WILLIAMS: Q. When you were in New York, had you anything to do with Mr. Jackson there in reference to the business of your department 1-A. Yes, sir. I have been sometimes ordered to Washington, and at one time I was ordered to go to Mr. Jackson's office. I have frequently had occasion to go to New York and consult with Mr. Jackson, and with the postmaster and others, in connection with the railway mail service.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Is not Mr. Jackson a No. 1 superintendent of railway mail service?-A. There is no doubt about it.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. Do not the railway companies sometimes require you to go there!-A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. WILLIAMS : Q. Did you have anytbing to do with tbe establishment of the railway mail service on the Delaware and Raritan Canal Company's line in 1875 1-A. Yes, sir; I went there 'by special order of the department.
Q. That line has a direct communication with New England, has it noti-A. Yes, sir; but the principal mails on that route are for New York.
Q. There are connections at Rouse's Point and Ticonderoga?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Would that account for absences of yours in the fall of 1875 1-A. I was up there the better part of a week in January, 1876.
Q. Did not matters of that kind require your absence from Boston a good many times -A. Frequently. I made report of my action there to the department, and also to Mr. Jackson. Q. That was in Mr. Jackson's departmenti-A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. CALDWELL:
o. At what time did your health get bad 1-A. I have stated that the first severe sickness I had was in January and February, 1872, and I think a part of March.
Q. And your health has not been first rate at any time since ?-A. It has not been as good as it was.
Q. Have your absences from your office been generally owing to bad health 1-A. I bave been absent from my office in Boston on other occasions than when I have been unwell.
Q. How much of your time do you suppose you spent in Boston 1--A. That is a very difficult question to answer.
Q. Do you think that Mr. Stahl was right in putting it at from one-third to twothirds of your time ?-A. I have no doubt but that that was his judgment.
Q. Do you think he was nearly right in it 1-A. Very likely he may have been right.
Q. You bad a conversation with Mr. Bangs in the fall of 1874, in reference to leave of absence to Stahl!-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you tell Mr. Bangs in that conversation that Mr. Stahl wanted to study medi. cine -A. I did.
Q. In the early part of the year 1875 you addressed a communication to Mr. Bangs, did you not, at that time, that Mr. Stahl wanted to be absent for several months at Bowdoin College ?–A. I did.
Q. What was your object and purpose in addressing a letter to Mr. Bangs stating that Mr. Stahl wanted to be absent one month 1-A. We had agreed on it that I should ask for one month's leave of absence absolutely.
Q. It was agreed then, by Mr. Bangs, that you were to ask for one month absolutely 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. You state in your letter of January 29, "He has been very faithful, and has been for several years without leave of absence, and now he wishes to be gone one month from February next."-A. Yes.
Q. You wrote that, knowing in point of fact that he wanted to be gone four months !-A. I did.
Q. And you state tbat Mr. Bangs knew that, although in your written communication you only stated one month, Mr. Stahl wanted to be gone four months 1-A. Ho did know it.
Q. Is that the ordinary way of doing business in your department ?-A. It is not. Q. Was it a proper way of doing business 1-A. It was done in that way by agreement with Mr. Bangs. I do not say that it is a proper way to do business.
Q. Do you think that it was a proper arrangement for you and Mr. Bangs to make for the benetit of Mr. Stabl or any other employé in the government service 1-A. I was very warmly attached to Mr. Stahl. I knew who he was and what he had done. I felt very kindly toward him, and I felt as if I wanted to do all that I could for him. I presame that this committee and the world will say that I leaned too far in the direction of kindness, and say it was a very unusual thing to do.
Q. Mr. Bangs, under date of February 2, replies to your communication by telegram that you are authorized to make the arrangement for leave of absence for Mr. Stahl as suggested in your letter of the 29th ultimo"-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Your letter of the 29th asked leave for a month 1-A. Yes; and called his attention to tbe fact of the conversation which we had had in the fall. It was intended in case be should have forgotten the arrangement that this would bring the whole thing again before his mind.
Q. Did you understand from Mr. Bangs's letter of February 2 in which he says "you are authorized to make the arrangement for leave of absence for Mr. Stahl as stated in your letter of the 29tb altimo," that that autborized you to make an arrangement as stated in that conversation in the fall 1-A. I understood that it covered the wbole ground. Tbat is to say, I understood tbat it was sent to me according to the original arrangement, and that when that leave of absence without a substitute should expire, I was anthorized to go on and carry out the original arrangement.
Q. You therefore conceived yourself at liberty to proceed according to the conversation, and not according to the official correspondence between yourself and Mr. Bangst-A. I considered that I had his authority by letter and by the conversation as well. Of course I acted on both. If there had been no conversation, I should not bave proceeded as I did on the letter. Q. At the end of the eighth month did you write to Mr. Stabl1-A. No, sir.
4. How was it that Mr. Stahl continued at Bowdoin and did not report at the end of the first month 1-A. Ho understood when he went there that he was to stay.
8. Was there any record evidence kept at your office or anywhere of this leave of absence 1-A. I am not aware.
9. Did you give bim any written leave 1-A. I am not aware that I did. Q. Did Mr. Bangs 1-A. I do not know thas he did. Q. So that he was remaining at Bowdoin by that kind of verbal understanding between you and Mr. Bangs in the fall of 18747-A. He was remaining there by the permission which I received from Mr. Bangs. I gave him permission in the same way as I got it.
Q. Did you regard Mr. Harrington as being in the strict sense of the word a substitote for Mr. Stabl!-A. At the time it was satisfactory to me.
9. But was he a substitute properly? Was he discharging Mr. Stabl's duties 1-A. By the detail of men wbich had been made I regarded him as a substitute.
Q. Did that show that you had more force in your office than was absolutely necessary when you could dispense with a fourteen-hundred-dollar clerk for four months and take a fifty-dollar man in his place to run the office -A. I did not regard it so. It was my intention (and I carried vat that intention) to give the desk of Mr. Stahl to Mr. Blunt. Mr. Backup, a head clerk, was already in the office doing 'work. I took Mr. Fitch from the Boston and Albany line and put him in there with Mr. Backup, so that the uumber of men in the office was the same and the salaries paid were the same, to far as the government was concerned, and it was understood that in case Mr. Blunt Teeded any assistance, Mr. Backup and Mr. Fitch should help him. And my belief is (in fact I know 80) that Mr. Fitch did do a part of the work which would naturally have fallen to Mr. Blant. The chief clerk up to that time had been expected to for. ward supplies, to answer orders for supplies, &c., and I am quite positive that during the time Mr. Blunt was there Mr. Fitch did tbat work.
Q. When Mr. Stahl came back on the 20th of June, did Harrington stay in the service !-A. He did not.
& la reference to the second leave of absence. It appears that on August 26 Mr. Stahl forwarded his resignation to the department, and accompanying that resignation is a letter from yonrself to Mr. Bangs of the same date, in which you state that Mr. Stahl bas been in the service now ten years, and that for the past three years he has been detailed for duty as chief clerk in your office, and tbat during all that time he Dever has bad leave of absence except thirty days without having a substitute.-A. Yes; that referred to the time that he was at Bowdoin College.
Q. Yon state that Mr. Bangs knew that Stahl was in Bowdoin College during these four months, and on the 26th of August you asked him for leave of absence for September. Was not that in order that Stahl might go to Leominster to practice medicipe !-A. I understood that he was about to go there to establish himself in practice.
Q. You say in the letter, “I therefore respectfully request that the resignation be accepted, to take effect on the 1st of October, and that you allow leave of absence for September. Shall I be authorized to give him such leave of absence ?" And now you state that there may be somewhere in your office a copy of the letter from Mr. Bangs in reply to that?-X. I did not state so. I stated this, that there was such a letter, but tbat there is no such letter that I can find now.
Q. You stated that Mr. Bangs did write such a letter I-A. Yes, I think the letter was written by Mr. Bangs himself.
Q. Giving şiabl leave of absence for the month of September 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you not think that that was a very remarkable piece of favoritism to show, under the circumstances, even to a faithful public servant !-A. I do not think I can say that I regard it as a remarkable piece of favoritism. I think it was a very kind act on my part and on the part of the department. I think, however, that under the circumstances it was due Mr. Stahl.
Q. You think, then, that five months' leave of absence in the course of that year was due to Mr. Stahl -A. I think that in consideration of all the service that he had done, the one month's leave of absence from February to March without a substitute, and the leave of absence for the month of September, were due to Mr. Stabl. I did think, at the time he went to Bowdoin College, that I was doing nothing improper, under all the circumstances, in asking Mr. Bangs to grant me that leave.
Q. Was it pot a very bad precedent to set in the service ?-A. I do not think it a safe role to follow.
Q. Was that the reason that neither you nor Mr. Bangs made it a matter of record IA. That was the understanding; yes, sir.
Q. That was the reason why you did not make it a matter of record 1-A. It was the only reason why that I know of.
Q. For fear of the demoralizing tendency of the example 1-A. It would not be a safe rule to follow. It was quite an unusual thing. I do not know of anything of the kind before.
Q. Have you had anything of the sort in the office either before or since 1-A. Not to that extent.
Q. A question has been put as to the attention which you paid to political affairs. You bave stated that you acted as a member of the Republican State committee.-A. I was on the State committee of 1875 for three or four years.
Q. I understood you to state, in reference to the affair which Mr. Smith testified about, that your recollection was not very clear or distinct about it.-A It is clear and distinct in regard to my ever having known anything about that $300 for any committee, or for the village of Meredith.
Mr. CALDWELL. It was $250, I think.
The Witness. I believe he stated $300; but I know not bing of that or any other sum.
Q. Did you not summon Judge Rollins here as a witness, or have him summoped 1 A. I did.
Q. Did you not summon Mr. Smith here as a witness ?--A. Yes; it was dove at my instance.
Q. Are these gentlemen here now 1-A. I suppose they are.
Q. In your experience and management of the office of superintendent of railway mail service, have you ever, at any time, levied any contributions I-A. Never
Q. Have you allowed Mr. Holmes to remove and suspend subordinates without con. sulting you ?-A. After having a run of office along for six or eight or ten months alone without any clerk, I detailed Mr. Holmes to my office. (I am speaking now of when I first came into the office.) He was there as chief clerk up to some time in 1872; I should say perhaps later, then he came to Washington and was in Mr. Bangs's office. Mr. Stahl then came into my office and staid three years, until he left the serv. ice. Then I had a man in the office, as chief clerk, by the name of Merrill, and he staid there about a year, and then Mr. Holmes, who was at that time superintendent of mails in Boston, was also detailed as chief clerk in my office. This was during the time that I was quite unwell. The department knew about it. I was not at the office so much at that time as I had been before. During this last year that Mr. Holmes Las been there, I have delegated more power to him than I ever did before to him or to apybody else. That is true. There is no doubt about it. I have felt a necessity for doing so. My friends and physicians have frequently cautioned me about work.
Bs the CHAIRMAN: Q. Has Mr. Holmes abused that power 1-A. I have been very loath to believe that he has. He is efficient, and yet deficient. He is remarkably efficient in some respects, and in some other equally important respects he is deficient.
Q. Is not his conduct towards subordinates and other officials such as to demoralize the service -A. He is not a pleasant man to meet and part with
Q. Is pot his conduct towards other officers-route-agents, clerks, &c.—such as to demoralize the service and to create general dissatisfaction ?-A. I cannot say that it is such as to demoralize the service. I will say that men are not as much pleased with receiving orders through and from Mr. Holmes as they would be in receiving orders from myself directly. That I believe to be the case.
Q. Yon mean simply to say that he has got an unfortunate manner?-A. He has got an unfortunate mapper. That is one thing. And he has not got so much of the milk of haman kindness as some men have. He is unfortunately made up in that respect. There is no doubt about that. I cautioned bim about it myself more than once.
Q. Do you think it for the good of the service that Mr. Holmes should remain there !-A. I think that if my health were firm, so that I could be there with him more than I have been, it would be an improvement.
Q. Do you not thiok that you can get a man as efficient as he is, and who can get along better with the men in the service 1-A. So far as the fine details of the work in New England are concerned, I consider Mr. Holmes the best man I can get, although I do not think by any means that he is indispensable to the railway mail service in New England.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. Where were you when Mr. Harper was removed 1-A. I cannot state. Q. Do you know wby Mr. Harper was reinstated at a reduction of salary -A. It was done at my request. I think it was done as a punishment to him. He had been removed for being drunk.
Q. Was he in the habit of getting drunk I-A. No, sir; he had been in the habit of drinking some, and I had cautioned him about it before.
Q. You do not know positively that it was on that ground that he was removed A. I know positively that it was on the ground of his being in a condition of intoxication wben reporting at the Boston office that he was removed. I think that that was done while Mr. Holmes was there.
By Mr. WILLIAMS: Q. Was not that, in your judgment, a good cause for his dismissal 1-A. I should certainly think so.
By Mrr. CALDWELL: Q. Do you kuow Manley, a route-agent l-A. No, sir; I do not recollect the name
Q. Why did Manley receive $1,150 a year when Harper, who was running over a trunk lipe, received only $960 !-A. Harper was reinstated at that salary of $960. His salary to-day I think is $900. I have met Mr. Harper two or three times at Boston, and have talked with him about the matter; and I have personally, at the department here, tried to have bis salary made better.
Q. Why did you want to have his salary made better I-A. He runs on the through line from Boston to New York.
8. What do the route-agents on that route receive 1-A. On that run they receive $1,150. Q. And Harper gets only $960 ?–A. I believe so.
By Mr. FREEMAN: Q. He was put back at that salary as a punishment! -A. I think so. I have attenipted to get his salary raised. I think I talked with Mr. Vail about that case.
By Mr. GIDDINGS: & How many persons were employed in the railway mail service when you were first appointed ?-A. The force has been probably increased about one-third since I went into the service.
Q. The work that is now being done in your department was then done, to a large extent, by postmasters at terminal post-ofices 1-A. Yes, sir; a good deal of the finer distribution of tbe mails is now done in the cars.
Has there been a corresponding decrease of the force in the different post-offices as compared with the increase of force in the railway mail service, or has there been an increase in both 1-A. There has been a large increase of work in New England during the past eight years. I cannot say that the force in the post-offices is smaller today than it was eight years ago. I do not think that it is.
Q. Is not a good deal of the work which was formerly done in the post-offices done bow by route-agents 1-A. Yes, sir; postmasters are required to send their mails to us in a very different manner from that in which they used to send them when I went
there originally. That is to say, their mails are distributed finer. They are put up by States and routes, whereas formerly a good deal of the mail used to come on us in bulk. Now the postmasters are positively required to make a finer distribution of the mails in the office.
Q. Is not the effect of the railway mail service rather to increase than to diminish the force of employés 1-A. I should say that to a certain extent that would be true. Of course it takes more men to do a piece of work well than it does to do it ill.
By Mr. EASTMAN: Q. Do you know of any money baving ever been paid for the appointment of a post master in New Hampshire or elsewhere !-A. I never heard of it until I heard of it here.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. I understood you to state in your examination-in-chief that by the reassignment of duties in your office, and by putting Mr. Harrington in a subordinate place, the work went on with the usual efficiency and dispatch, and tbat there was no change in the character of the work.-A. The work went along in the office.
Q. Just as well as when Mr. Stahl was present?-A. It went along reasonably well. I do not say just as well.
Q. You managed to get along for three months 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And could get along for twelve months just as well --A. So far as that is concerned, we probably could have done it nine months longer.
Q. And you could carry it along for nine years longer-A. It could be done ; but it would be quite a hardship, I should think, to require Mr. Blunt, Mr. Fitch, and these men to do the work for all that time.
Q. Is it not customary for special agents to keep diaries of the work which they do each day 1-A. Special agents on depredations I think do so.
Q. Not special agents on other branches 1-A. That was my custom for a year or so, bat it was broken up.
Q. Do you know Mr. John A. Lang, of Meredith -A. I know the name very well. I do not know whether I would recognize the man if I met him.
Q. Do you know Mr. McLean -Ă. I do not recollect that I ever have met Mr. McLean.
Q. Have you made an effort to have those men here ?-A. No, sir.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 8, 1878. Mr. Eastman offered in evidence a note referred to in the testimony of Mr. Temple: and subsequently presented by him, with the affidavit contained in it.
Objection to its being received in evidence was made by Mr. Money.
The chairman decided to admit the note (with the exception of the last two paragraphs) and the affidavit.
Mr. Giddings appealed from the decision of the chair, and the decision was sustained: yeas 4, nays 3.
Mr. Cannon moved that the two last paragraphs of the note (excluded by the chair. man) be admitted in evidence.
The motion was rejected-yeas 3, nays 4.
Boston, February 22, 1878. FRIEND TEMPLE-DEAR SIR: Received your letter and am glad to hear you are getting abead so fast on Cheney “the fiend."
Inclosed I send you an affidavit on Cheney from John Smith, jr., who knows him root and branch. Smith was a resident of Asbland and Meredith Village for fifteen years, being a merchant. Was representative to the New Hampshire legislatnre from Meredith Village, N. H., in 1868. Was postmaster at Meredith Village in 1868. He is a solid Democrat, and there is no doubt but what he is all O K, and will buck hard against Cheney.
CHAS. H. MORGAN.
Boston, Mass., February 22, 1878. To the COMMITTEE ON POST-OFFICES:
I have been personally acquainted with Thomas P. Cheney, of Ashland, N. H. (railway mail superintendent for New Englana), for more than twenty years, and I do