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afirm, by personal observation, that since he has held his position he has not averaged two days in a week of active service, his time due to the government having been taken up in attending to politics in New Hampshire and business on his farm at Ashland, N. H.
JOHN SMITH, JR. SUFFOLK, 88:
Theu personally appeared before me on this day, February 22, 1878, and swore that the above statement is true in every particular.
CHAS. H. MORGAN,
Justice of the Peace. Bostox, February 22, 1878.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 8, 1878. S. W. ROLLINS sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN: Question. State your residence and occupation.-Answer. I reside at Meredith Village, N. H.; I am a lawyer by profession.
Q. You have heard part of the examination in reference to Mr. Cheney 1-A. I have heard some of it.
Q. State whether you have any knowledge of any facts bearing upon the investigation which would be of use to the committee.-A. I wish to state that I am counsel for Mr. Smith; at least, I am doing business for him as attorney, and am counsel for bis wife in prosecuting a case. I, of course, wish to be excused from testifying as to anything communicated to me as such counsel.
By Mr. CANNON:
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. Were you spoken to by Mr. Smith to collect from Mr. McLean, who was at one time postmaster of Meredith Village, the sum of $2501-A. I was once requested by Mr. Smith to speak to Mr. McLean about the claim which he had against him, but whether or not I had the note in my possession at the time I do not remember.
Q. Did you make any effort to collect the $250 ?—A. The amount I do not recollect. I have the impression ibat it was not that amount which was due on the note; but I am not now confident. I have spoken to Mr. McLean about it, and advised him to pay the note.
Q. What amount do you think the note was for ?–A. My impression is that there was about $150 due on the note; but I ain not clear on that point.
Q. What did Mr. McLean say 'as to paying ?-A. I am unable to recollect all that he said. It has passed out of my mind long ago. I did not succeed in obtaining the money; but my recollection is that he acknowledged the note and acknowledged that be owed Mr. Sruith. I advised him as a friend to pay it. I am not able now to state whether he acknowledged the nature of the indebtedness, or what the note was given for. I think I knew nothing about the transaction at the time the note was given. If I bad known it I should never have permitted it.
Q. At what time was a subpæna served upon you to come before this committee ? A. On Thursday afternoon of last week.
Q. Do you know anything in regard to this transaction, an agreement to pay $250 to the campaign fund in consideration of Mr. McLean's appointment as postmaster of Meredith Village ? -A. I do not. I have no knowledge of the matter except hearsay.
The CHAIRMAN. The testimony is that Mr. Smith put a pote in your hands for col. lection, and that you made a demand against Mr. McLean for the money, and that Mr. McLean refused to pay it.
The WITNESS. My impression is that Mr. Smith did not put the note in my bands; but he asked me to call on Mr. McLean and I did so, and Mr. McLean pleaded his poverty.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. What was the consideration mentioned in the note ?- A. I do not recollect distinetly that I had the note; but, if I had, I should say it was written in the usual form, " for valne received."
Q. Do you know what the consideration was –A. I am unable to state positively, for I cannot recollect all the conversation that took place; but at that time I had heard what the consideration of the note was, and there was no occasion for me to say anything about it. Still, perhaps I did, and perhaps I did not.
Q. If you did not ask what the consideration was it was because you understood what it was ?-A. I think I understood then what it was, and I presume that Mr. McLean did.
Q. Give the committee the benefit of any information that you have from any source.-A. All the information that I have is hearsay. I understand that the circaw. stances in regard to the note have been stated here.
Q. Did not your client tell you what the note was for, when he put the collection of it in your hands -A. I hope the committee will not insist upon my answering the question.
Q. Did you know or understand what the consideration for that note was when you made the demand on McLean for its payment ?-A. Yes, sir. I had heard.
Q. What was the consideration, as you knew and understood ?-A. As I had beard, the note was given by Mr. McLean for money borrowed, which he turned into the townfund.
Mr. MONEY. A political fund !
The WITNESS. Å political fund. That is wbat I had heard in regard to the matter. I knew nothing about it at the time of the transaction. I was active in securing the appointment of Mr. McLean, and I had not any doubt at all but that he would be appointed under the circumstances. I had been active in securing the appointment of his predecessor, a soldier. Mr. McLean was clerk in the office, and I saw no obstacle in the way of his appointment. He was a young man of good habits, with a widowed mother and invalid sister dependent upon him; and I bad no doubt but that he would be appointed. It was desired also that the office should be kept where it was. There was not the sligbtest occasion for any arrangement of that kind, if there was such an arrangement, for there was no doubt that Mr. McLean would be appointed.
By. Mr. WILLIAMS: Q. Do you think that he would have been appointed without the payment of any money ?-A. I had no doubt about it. He was recommended by the principal meu of the place.
By Mr. CANNON: Q. At the time the note was given, did you know anything about the transaction !A. I think not.
Q. When you heard of it, the whole transaction was over ?-A. I think so. I am upable now, of course, to state just when I first heard of it.
Q. Had you a knowledge of an attempt, or alleged attempt to sell the office !-A. I had no knowledge of it at the time.
Q. You were friendly to Mr. McLean and wanted him appointed !-A. Yes, sir; and I had no doubt that he would be appointed. He was clerk in the office at the time, and was well recommended.
Q. Do you know whether Mr. Cheney had any connection with that matter 1-A. I do not. Q. Was Mr. Cheney present at the time of this conversation ?-A. No, sir.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. Was McLean a man of any property 1-A. He had no property. He had a widowed mother and invalid sister dependent apon. bim for support.
Q. He was not a man who was likely to make a present of $250 to a campaign fund iA. He certainly was not able to do so. For the support of his family, he drew from the money belonging to the government, and his bondsmen had to refund it.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Can you recollect anything that McLean said in reference to the note -A. I canpot recollect anything that was said. I only remember this, that he acknowledged the indebtedness. I cannot say that he did not acknowledge what the note was given for. I do not know that I would be likely to ask him; but still, perhaps he did acknowledge it. I cannot recollect.
Q. You do not recollect whether be stated at the time what the consideration was! A. I cannot now state positively.
Q. But it was understood between you and him what the consideration was ?-A. I think so. I would like to state further, in reference to Mr. Cheney, that I had a conversation with him at some time about the appointment of postmaster. He made some other inquiry of me in relation to the matter, and told me, I think, that Mr. Smith or some party had been to see him in regard to others, and had tried to secure his influence in making the appointment. He gave me to understand that he was an official, and that he was not at liberty to take any active part in the matter, but simply to make inquiries and to give the best information in his power to the department in relation to the wants of the people. Under the information which I got from him I did not feel at liberty to say anything more to him than to give him a general account of the matter, and a statement of the desires of the people in relation to the office. I mean that I did not attempt to secure his influence.
By Mr. Caxxox: Q. When did you have this conversation with Mr. Cheney ?-A. I think it was not in connection with this matter of McLean’s, but in connection with some other change in the post-office.
Q. Before or after that?-A. I am unable to say, but I have the impression that it was after that; perhaps it was before. I only speak of the understanding which Mr. Cheney gave to me.
Q. Did you go to Mr. Cheney, then, asking bis influence to bave somebody appointed postmaster!-A. No, sir. I met him on the train and I think he made some inquiries about our post-office. There was some effort being made then to secure a change, and I think he made inquiries then in regard to it.
Q. It was not in reference to this McLean change ?-A. No, sir. Q. What did Mr. Cheney say to you !--A. He said, in substance, that he was an officer of tbe government, and it was not for him to take any active pirt in the matter, but simply to gather the information and to report it to the department.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Now give your conversation with McLean about this note.-A. I will give the impression.
Q. The same as you gave in reference to the Cheney conversation.-A. My impression and recollection, as far as I have any, is that McLean acknowledged that the money was had for the purpose wbich bas been stated here—that be made the contribution. That is my recollection.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. For securing that appointment ?-A. That he agreed to contribute so much to the town fund.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Provided he was appointed postmaster ?-A. I do not know that that condition was put in; bat my recollection is that he acknowledged that he had agreed to pay that sum of money for securing that appointment—that he agreed to contribute so much to the town fund.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. What was the date of this conversation with Mr. Cheney to which you have referred !-A. I am unable to state; it was at some time that I met him on the train.
Q. Was it before or after the appointment of McLean ?-A. My impression would be that it was before. It was at some time that there was a contest about a change of postmasters. Mr. Cheney gave me to understand that, being an official, it would not be right or proper for him to take an active part in securing the appointment of any particular individual.
Q. Were you not speaking then in behalf of McLean ?-A. I should think not. I always considered that it would not be proper for me to approach Mr. Cheney; but if be thought fit to ask for information from me I was at liberty to give it. I never felt at liberty to attempt to secure bis personal influence.
Q. But you did try to get the appointment for McLean ?-A. Yes, sir; I strongly advised his appointment.
Q. Were other parties applying for the position at the same time?-A. If there was any person making any active effort to secure it at that time, I am unable to recollect it now. I have an impression that no strong effort was made against McLean. He was a man of good habits, was clerk in the office, was well liked, and had a mother and invalid sister dependent upon him.
Q. Were pot some parties desiring to have the office removed to another part of the town !-A. We had a contest before that in reference to the location of the office, and me bad secured it where we desired. There had been two postmasters before, who had kept it in the same place. Afterward Mr. McLean removed the office down to the former location, saying that be found he could not afford to keep it where it was, and to pay the rent.
Q. Was it anywhere in the neighborhood of Mr. Smith's property !-A. It was in the building adjoining Mr. Smith's property.
Q. And McLeap subsequently removed it to another part of the village ! - A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. EASTMAN : Q. At the time the conversation took place between you and Mr. Cheney, of which you have testified, bad not Mr. McLeau been out of office?-A. I am unable to state. I do not think that the conversation had any reference to his matter.
Q. Was it not in direct reference to the appointment of John Smith, jr., who has been a witness here, as postmaster ?-A. I am unable to say definitely.
Q. You have not any distinct impression in regard to it?-A. I have an impression now (from your suggestion) that it was at the time that John Smith was an applicant for the office.
Q. What now is your impression in regard to the time when this conversation took place !-A. I am unable to fix the time. It was about two years ago, or a little more. If it was in connection with Mr. Smith's appointment, it was since Mr. McLean's appointment.
By Mr. GIDDINGS: Q. You stated in regard to this conversation with Mr. Cheney, that he said that other parties had been to him in reference to the appointment, and that he was making inquiries and investigation for the purpose of reporting to the department ?-A. That is my impression.
Q. And you also stated, that among them Mr. Smith had been to him ?-A. No, sir; I do not mean to be so understood. I do not recollect now wbo be said had been to bin. I only speak of the matter to show the position which Mr. Chepey took in reference to such matters.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 8, 1878. JOHN DEVEREAUX sworn and examined.
By Mr. CALDWELL:
Wbat position does Mr. Field occupy ?-A. Special agent of the Post-Office Department, in New England.
Q. State whetber you were present at any conversation in this city recently between Mr. Field and Mr. Temple, in which the matter of the Providence post-office was the subject of conversation 1-A. I was.
Q. Where did the conversation take place ?-A. At the Riggs House.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Are you from Providence l-A. I am from Boston; I formerly resided in Provi. dence.
(The testimony of Mr. Field, in relation to the conversation, was here read.)
Q. State whether you were present at the conversation at the Riggs House at the time mentioned by Mr. Field.-A. I was. At that time there was talk of an investigation of the Providence post-office. Mr. Temple spoke to Mr. Field, stating that Mr. Brayton, the postmaster at Providence, was a very nice fellow. Field said that he was quite well aware of that. Temple asked him what the investigation was about. Field stated that the papers were in Boston, and that he was not aware that he was to investigate the matter until that day, when he learned it at the office here. Temple said, “Brayton is a good fellow.” Field said, "I know it; you need not bother yourself about it; things are going easy; I will make everything favorable for him."
Q. Was that all the conversation ?-A. Just at that time I saw a gentleman from Providence in the hall, and I turned around to speak to him, and Mr. Field soon afterward left.
Q. You stated that Mr. Field said that Mr. Temple need not give himself any uneasiness about the Providence postipaster 1-A. He said, “You need not botber yourself; we shall make a favorable report." He said that Mr. Bigelow (a gentleman whom I know) was going with him.
By Mr. CANNON:
Q. What was your business before you were out of employment l-A. I was in the railroad service.
Q. Where 1-A. Between Providence and Worcester,
Q. How long bave you been out of employment ?-A. Since the 1st of January. I have been in various businesses during that time.
Q. What are the various businesses you have been in 1-A. Clerking.
Q. Since the 1st of January last ?-A. No, sir; I have done nothing since the 1st of January last.
Q. Why did you come here?-A. I came here seeking business.
Q. When !-A. Last September, I think. I knew of him, but I had not made his acquaintance up to tbat time.
Q. Have yoo been quite intimate with him since then ?-A. No, sir.
How did you happen to meet him at the Riggs House ?—A. It was a casual meet ing. Q. When did you meet him the next time ?-A. During that week I should think. Q. Have you anything to do with this investigation --A. No, sir; not a thing. Q. When were you subpæpaed to appear here?-A. On the 6th. Q. Where were you when you were subpænaed 1-A. I was sent for to my house, where I am stopping.
Q Where is that?-A. On F street, in this city. Q. You have been here in attendance since that time!-A. Yes, sir. Q. Did you ever see Mr. Cheney before 1-A. Yes, sir; I saw him at his office in Boston.
Q. Who else was present at this conversation you speak of!-A. Mr. Temple and Mr. Field.
Q. Whereabouts in the Riggs House did it take place ?--A. Standing in the office, right by the door.
Q. Right by what door 1-A. Where the gentleman who has charge of the carriages site.
Q. What door is that?-A. The door on the avenue.
Q. And you looked at the clock, did you l-A. Yes, sir. It was twenty minutes to eight when I was introduced to Mr. Field, and I staid there ten minutes.
Q. And you talked ten minutes with him ?-A. The conversation took about ten miputes.
Q. It commenced exactly at twenty minutes to eight and ceased at ten minutes to eight by the clock at the Riggs House 1-A. It commenced at twenty minutes to eight; I will not say whether it left off at eleven, ten, or nine minutes to eight. I faced the clock part of the time.
Q. And you now have a clear, definito recollection that it was just twenty minutes to eight o'clock when the conversation took place ?-A. When I was talking to Mr. Field I looked at the clock, and it was twenty minutes to eight. Mr. Temple was talking to Mr. Field when I came up.
Q. And you bave a clear, definito recollection that it was just twenty minutes to eight !-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was it a little before or a little after?-A. It was twenty minutes to eight; the bands on that clock are good large-sized hands.
Q. It was just twenty minutes to eight by the clock ?--A. Yes, sir. You may think it strange that I recollect so well.
Mr. Cannon. I am not thinking about it; I want to know what the fact is.-A. That is the fact.
It was just twenty minntes to eight; nothing more, nothing less ?-A. Just. Q. And you charged your inind with the fact ?-A. I did not then, but I do now. Q. How long bad you been talking before the matter about the Providence postoffice came up!-A. The conversation was going on when I was introduced.
Q How long after it commenced was it that Mr. Field told Mr. Temple that he would make the matter all right for the Providence postmaster?-A. I cannot say the exact minute, but I should judge five or six minutes.
Q. You did not look at the clock for that 1-A. No, sir; I do not know but that I should if I had known that I was to be subpænaed.
Q. You did not look at the clock again ?-A. I looked at the clock when I left, and it was ten minutes to eigbt.
Q. Have you given the exact words tbat Mr. Field used !-A. He said, “Temple, you need not worry; we shall make a favorable report.”