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you were to remain longer at Bowdoin ?-A. No, sir; I returned to the office at Boston as often as once a month while I was away, and I saw Mr. Cheney at the office during that month. Before he went away he had received from Mr. Bangs, either by letter or verbally, permission for me to have leave of absence for the first month without having a substitute, and for the remainder of the time by furnishing a substitute.
Q. Is there any writing that you know of in which that arrangement or understanding is embodied ?-A. I do not know.
Q. Do you know whether or not it was put in writing ?-A. As I recollect it, Mr. Cheney wrote a personal letter to Mr. Bangs in respect to it, and afterward he talked the matter over with him.
Q. Did you ever see a copy of a letter from Mr. Cheney to Mr. Bangs ?-A. No, sir ; I do not think that Mr. Cheney was in the habit of having his letters copied.
Q. Do you know of any writing anywhere from Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bangs, or any one else, in which anything was said in reference to the additional absence from the 20th of March to the 20th of June !-A. There is a letter in Mr. Cheney's office from Mr. Bangs in answer to a letter of Mr. Cheney's, or to his verbal request, stating that I could have the permission, or something to that effect, and that the arrangement for the runs on the road could be made during the time I was away. I saw such a letter in Mr. Cheney's office.
Q. How long after that letter was written did you see it?-A. I do not know about that.
Q. Was uot Mr. Cheney in the habit of preserving correspondence of that sort ? Was it not official correspondence ?-A. I suppose it was. I think Mr. Cheney bas such a letter in his possession,
By Mr. MOXEY: Q. Is there any letter giving you your last leave of absence in September?-A. No, sir.
Q. There is no letter as regards that ?-A. There is no letter to be found. I have looked over the correspondence in the office for such a letter and could not find it.
Q. I understand, from your testimony, that you made a proposition to Mr. Blount to do your work, and that you would pay bim for it during your last month's absence ! A. No, sir. There was some proposition made in regard to my paying him a certain sum of money-$50.
Q. For what?-A. For bis performing service in my place as chief clerk.
I think the arrangement was talked over in the middle or latter part of August.
Q. Of course it was not for pay while you were present doing your own duty ?-A. No, sir.
Q. But for pay for work done in your absence !-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was that business to be through the month of September, or for any time that you were to leave the office l-A. It was for the month of September, and on my part it was talked of as much for the service which he had rendered previously.
Q. But it was not prospective also, was it ?-A. It was prospective for September.
2. When did you make that proposition to him ?-A. I did not make it; that is, I cannot tell whether I made it or wbether he made it. It would have been more natural for him to make it than for me to make it.
Q. I suppose that he knew you were going to be absent ?-A. Yes; he knew what the plans were.
Q. If he made the proposition, do you recollect how he made it 1-A. It was in this way: It rather depended on my obtaining leave of absence for the month of September.
By Mr. EASTMAN : Q. Was this conversation in reference to compensation before or after you received your leave of absence 1-A. I think it was before. The matter had been talked over between us in the office. I know that it was sometime before I received the leave of absence, for if I received the leave of absence from the department, I did not consider that I was called upon to pay Mr. Blount anything.
By Mr. MONEY : Q. You are satisfied that there was a regular leave of absence granted by Mr. Bangs for the month of September 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Is it customary to give employés in the Post-Office Department two leaves of absence inside of eight months for a month each ?-A. No, sir; it is not customary.
Q. Is it pot unusual 1-A. It is.
Q. Especially in view of the fact that you were absent for three months with a substitute: --A. Yes, sir; it was unusual. Mr. Cheney in his letter stated some reasons why the leave should be given. I had been in the service ten years and never bad had leave of absence with pay before that year.
By Mr. CANXON : Q. You spoke of riding upon passes back and forth, after your resignation, one or more times from Leominster to Boston ; was that fare charged against the government?-A. No, sir; they were gratuitous passes issued by the railroad company.
By Mr. FREEMAN : Q. Is it customary to bave leave of absence in the Post-Office Department during the year ?-A. I think it is generally understood that a man is to have thirty days' leave of absence in the year.
Q. And I uuderstand you to say that during your ten years' service you had had Done!-A, I never had any.
9. Therefore during your whole ten years you got ninety days' leave!-A. That is all-ninety days without furnishing a substitute.
Q. If you had bad thirty days each year, you would bave had three hundred days! A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. Were you not on service on the Albany route where you laid off every week 1-A. Yes; I was considered on duty all the time. Q. But you served only alternate weeks 1-A. That is the customary way.
By Mr. EASTMAN : Q. During the off weeks, state whether or not you were obliged to hold yourself ready for duty.-A. Yes, sir; I was.
Q. Could you go away from home?-A. Not without letting the superintendent know my address.
Q. State whether you had duties to perform during off weeks.-A. I had no duties to perform unless I was specially called upon.
Q. Were you specially called upou at any time!-A. I do not recollect that I was except to fill other meu's runs wben they were sick. Q. Were you called upon for that purpose ?-A. I was at times.
By Mr. MONEY : Q. Whenever you took anybody else's run was it not always repaid in kind !-A. It was customary for the men to return it. Sometimes I was unable to run, and other men wonld take niy place.
By Mr. TOWNSEND: Q. Wbat was the time of your running on the road! Was it day or night?-A. I was running on the Boston and New York road from August, 1868, to the middle of 1872, and about balf of the time I was running on a day-train, and the latter half of the time on a night-train.
By Mr. CANNON : Q. The usual custom is to be on duty one week and off duty another week !-A. Yes, sir; when the runs are heavy.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. You say that you belong now to the Boston post-office ?-A. Yes. 4. You do not belong to the railway mail service ?-A. I do; I do writing for Mr Holmes.
2. In connection with the railway mail service -A. Yes. Q. Bnt you belong to the Boston post-office proper 1-A. Yes. Q: Do you draw pay from both ?-A. No, sir. The postmaster at Boston pays me as a clerk in the post-office. I do not understand that any of my compensation comes through the railway-mail-service fund. Mr. Holmes is chief clerk in the railway mail service as well as superintendent of mails in Boston, and I wrote for him in both capacities.
By Mr. FREEMAN : Q: Do you know what the position occupied by you pays in Chicago and New York 1-A. No, sir; I do not know what it pays.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. What proportion of the work that you do belongs to the post-office proper and what to the railway mail service ?-A. Most of it belongs to the railway mail service. Q. Bat you get your pay from the Boston post-office -A. Yes, sir.
Q. How many clerks are detailed under Mr. Cheney in that office ?-A. There are three clerks proper detailed in Mr. Cheney's office.
Q. How many clerks are there in his office ?-A. There are three chief clerks who have desks in År. Cheney's office.
Q. How many others are there ?-A. There are these three clerks and the three clerks whom I spoke of as being detailed to work in his office. That is six,
Q. Do you inclnde Mr. Holmes in that number 1-A. No, sir; I do not consider Mr. Holmes as a clerk.
Q. What is Mr. Holmes ?-A. He is superintendent of mails in the Boston post-office and chief clerk in the railway mail service.
Q. Does he work in Mr. Cheney's room 1-A. No, sir; pot at all. The chief head clerks are not in Mr. Cheney's office all the time.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Has tbe force in tbat office been reduced much within the last two months 1--A. The working force in the office proper, I believe, bas not been reduced at all. I believe that tbree has been the usual number—two or three. I have not been at work in Mr. Cheney's office at all, and have not been in it except to go there occasionally for papers, or something of tbat sort.
Q. During the last eighteen months, were there not a good many employés in the office who had been sent off on their duties and the force of the office reduced in that way?-A. The location of Mr. Jefferds, chief head clerk on the eastern lines, has been changed to Portland ; but beyond that, I believe, there has been no change. I do not recollect any other change. At tiines there have been a good many employed in the office as mail-weighers. For two or three months there were a great number of them.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 1, 1878. GEORGE S. BLUNT recalled.
The WITNESS. I merely want to take the stand to explain a matter in Mr. Stahl's testimony which somewhat reflects upon my former testimony. Mr. Stahl came to me personally and asked me if I would perform his work for the following month of September, for compensation, and stating the sum to be $50. I bad been there all tbat time doing it, and knowing that I had got to do it, I acceded to his offer. He made the proposition himself, and he did not fulfill it.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. You say that the proposition came from Mr. Stabl?—A. I do; and it related entirely to the following month. Nothing was spoken of as to work that had been performed by me previous to that tiine." It was for the following month. Mr. Stahl says he does not recollect from whom the proposition came, but I recollect it distinctly.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. Was his proposition to compensate you contingent on bis failure to get leave of absence?-A. There was no leave of absence spoken of; and I did not know that any had been applied for; I did not see any that was granted.
By Mr. EASTMAN:
Q. You did not see any, either at that time or at the beginning of his absence 1-A. I never saw any letter granting him leave of absence, and never put one on file.
Mr. EASTMAN. Look at this paper [handing to witness the copy of a letter).-A. [The witness having examined it.] I do not recollect having seen any such letter as this.
Q. You are sure that you have never seen it?-A. Yes, sir; I am quite sure.
Q. [Handing to witness another paper.] Is this the original letter?-A. [After examining it.] I do not know; I do not recollect having seen it.
Q. Do you feel sure that you never did see it!-A. I feel quite sure. Q. Look at the indorsement.-A. [After examining indorsements.] Yes, sir; I filed it.
Q: And you say you never saw it before ?-A. I filed it. This is my writing on the back.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Do you read all the letters that you file ?-A. Yes, sir; I file them and indorso the subject on them.
Mr. EASTMAN. This paper is indorsed “E. S. Bangs, relative to Mr. Stabl's leave of absence."
By the CHAIRMAN: 9. Are you in the habit of reading all the papers which you indorse and file ?–A. I usually do it so as to put on their back a memorandum as to their contents. I did not
recollect having seen that letter. I cannot recollect now. Of course I filed it, but I do not now recollect the fact of either reading it or filing it.
By Mr. FREEMAN : Q. Is your memory, on which you have made your general statements, of the same character as your memory in regard to this letter :-A. I consider my memory good.
Q. You think it better upon all the rest of your testimony ?-A. Mỹ memory is good, but I do not recollect having filed that letter.
By Mr. MOXEY: Q. Did you state a while ago that you did not see the letter granting the first leave of absence 1-3. I was asked whether I recollected seeing any letter of absence, and I said I did not recollect it.
Mr. FREEMAN. You stated distinctly that you did not see any letter, and then you stated afterward that you did not recollect it.-A. I think I stated that I did not recollect seeing any. I could not swear that I never saw any letter, because there are lots of letters there which I cannot recollect.
By Mr. EASTMAN: Q: You stated that Mr. Cheney was in the babit of putting letters into his pocket; explain what you mean by that statement.-A. I said that in all probability if Mr. Cheney received any letter he may have put it in his pocket and not put it on file, or something to that effect. Mr. Chenoy is in the habit of putting the mail in his pocket. He has come into the office many times with considerable mail in his pocket relating to official matters and to matters pertaining to the office.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. Were you doing work in Mr. Cheney's office at the time that Mr. Stahl went off ?A. Yes, sir. Q. You filed this particular letter granting his first leave of absence ?-A. Yes, sir. Q. If there had been any letter received allowing any additional leave of absence, would you have filed that likewise ?-A. Yes, sir; I should have filed it.
Q. In the same place where you filed this particular letter 1-A. It would have gone in another month's file.
Q. But it would have gone in the same pigeon-hole or box !-A. Yes, sir. The chairman stated that the next charge, being the one about the inkstand, was abandoned, and that the next one, being the charge about the testimonial, was also abandoned ; and that the next charge was in regard to Mr. Cheney's absence coutinsously from the duties of his office.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 1, 1878. JOHN L. LEWIS sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN: Question. Where do you live?-Answer. I live in Boston. Q. What is your occupation ?-A. I am clerk in the post-office. Q. Do you know Mr. Cheney, superintendent of the railway mail service ?--A. Yes,
Q. The charge made here is in reference to the absence of Mr. Cheney continuously from duty; state to the committee what knowledge you have on that snbject.-A. Since Mr. Cheney has held the office of superintendent of that division, he has had his room in the office, and I should say that he has been absent three-fourths of the time since he has been appointed.
Q. How long a time together has he been in the habit of staying in his office; or does he jast visit it occasionally and go off again ?-A. Lately, within the past year, I have seen him there more than he had been previously.
2. During the previous time, how much time was he in the office ?-A. Frequently I had occasion to go up to his room to see him on the business of the office, and I could not find him there. I would go up there, perhaps, day after day, and perhaps I would not see him for a week. Perhaps on a Monday I might see him for a little while, and I would not see him again for perhaps a week. Then he might come back and perhaps might stay a day or two.
Q. Do you know what business he was engaged in during his absence; have you any knowledge on that subject ?–A. No, sir; not that I can swear to.
Q. Are you acquainted with the character of the duties of Mr. Cheney's position ?A. Yes, sir.
& Were they of such a character as to require his presence continually ?-A. If I had held the same position which he held, I should consider it to be my duty to be there every day:
Q. How long have you been in the Boston post-office?-A. Thirty-two years.
Q. What were the habits of Mr. Cheney's predecessor in that position 1-A. His predecessor was there all the time, unless he was out on some road on business.
Q. Do you know whether Mr. Chevey was much out on the road attending to this same kind of business ?-A. Only by repute.
Q. Do you know anything about Mr. Cheney's compensation for his services -A. He gets $1,600 a year, and is allowed $5 a day for traveling expenses every day in the year excepting Sundays.
Q. Do you know whether he draws that per diem of $5?-A. I cannot swear to it, because I never saw him receive it, but the record of the department will show that.
By Mr. MONEY :
By the CHAIRMAN:
Q. What duties does he perform, and what salary does he draw !-A. I cannot tell you of my own knowledge, as I have never seen him sign the pay-roll. I have never seen a pay-roll with his name on it. It belongs to the cashier's department.
Q. Have yon any knowledge as to whether Mr. Holmes draws more than one salary or not?-A. He draws only one salary now.
Q. Has he ever drawn more than one salary!--A. Yes, sir; be bas drawn one salary from the railway mail service rolls, and another from the post-office rolls.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. Can that be done without the knowledge of the Post-Office Department!-A. It might be overlooked. In examining the railway mail service rolls, bis name might be seen there, and his name might be also on the accounts of the Post-Office Department, and it might be supposed that they were two different Holmeses.
Q. You do not think it could be done with the knowledge of the department 1-A. Yes; it could be done with the knowledge of the department, because the department might order it.
Q. Did Mr. Cheney have anything to do with those pay-rolls -A. It was his duty to report to Mr. Adams, the cashier, when a man was appointed on the railway mail service, the fact of the appointment, and to have the name put upon the pay-roll, and it would be for Mr. Adams, the cashier, to pay him.
Q. The cashier was necessarily informed of the fact if a man was drawing pay on two pay-rolls ?-A. Yes, sir; Mr. Adams would know that, as the man would bave to sign the two pay.rolls.
Q. Did Mr. Cheney necessarily know that Mr. Holmes was drawing both salaries A. It would not be necessary for him to know it.
Q. It could be done without his knowledge 1-A. It could be done without his knowledge.
By the CHAIRMAN :
Q. Have you any knowledge of any facts going to show that these charges are just or unjust ? Do you know anything that would exculpate Mr. Cheney from them, or prove his guilt, if it be guilt ?
The WITNESS. That is rather a general question. The CHAIRMAN. It is a very general question. The committee would like to know what knowledge you have on the subject of these charges against Mr. Cheney.
The WITNESS. I am to infer from that that the committee would like to know whether the service would be benefited by Mr. Cheney's removal, or by having a more competent man put in his place.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee does not want your judgment as to whether that would be better for the service, but whether you have any knowledge tending to establish or to disprove the charges against Mr. Cheney.-A. I should say that the railway mail service, and the office of superintendent of railway mail service in the first division, has been rather negligently administered for the past few years.
Q. You say that you are an expert of thirty years' experience in the department:A. Yes, sir.
Q. You say that you have been in the post-office service thirty-two years !-A. Yes, sir.
Q. What different positions have you occupied in the service ?-A. When I first went in the office, in 1845, I took what was considered the lowest position in the office; I held it under Mr. Green, while he was postmaster, for two years. At the end of two years he promoted me to a better situation. I held that situation under Mr. Hayden,