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Mr. EASTMAN. Yes, sir; I think it is admitted. Mr. CALDWELL. During the entire year 1 Mr. EASTMAN. Yes, sir; substantially so. Mr. MONEY. I don't want to make any point against Mr. Cheney in respect to this per diem. I understand that he has done in that matter only what all the other agents do. My questions on this point are directed more to the general management of the department.
By Mr. EASTMAN: Q. In your last examination here just now you said that Mr. Cheney had personal friends in his office and kept them there; that his office was full of personal friends and relatives, and that he had more clerks than were necessary --A. I beg leave to differ with you. I think I didn't say that he bad relatives in his office.
R. Well, personal friends, then. Did he have any relatives there to your knowledge 1--A. No, sir.
Q. Don't you know that he didn't have any there 1-A, I don't know of any of the gentlemen in the office being related to him.
Q. You stated that he had personal friends in his office. Just state how many clerks be had there, and what were their duties.-A. I don't remember exactly how many. They were differently situated around. Mr. Stahl was one personal friend, Mr. Jefferds was another, Mr. Horace Merrill was another, James Backup was another, and Fitch was another. I cannot remember them all now.
Q. Were those men all there as clerks in his office at the saioe time 1-A. I think not all at the same time. About the time I left the service there was a large pumber taken in, and then afterward there was another large number taken in that I would not be 30 apt to know about.
Q. Then what did you mean by your statement that there were more clerks than were necessary when you don't know about it.-A. I can say that that office could be run just as well with less help than is there now.
Q. How many clerks did Mr. Cheney have there at any one time, and what were their duties ?-X. Well, in the first place, he has always had a man there to do his own duty, which if he staid there and attended to it he would not have needed another man to do.
Q. Who was that man who was there attending to Mr. Cheney's duties !-A. Mr. Stahl was there at one time.
Q. Who else 1-A. Horace Merrill at another time.
Q. Now, were any of those men whom you have named on duty there at the same time, or did one succeed another -A. Mr. Blunt succeeded another gentleman. At one time they were all in the office.
Q. At one time all these men were in that office-do you mean to say that 1-A. I think all excepting Fitch.
Q. At one time Horace Merrill, Holmes, Stabl, and Blunt were all on duty together in that office 1-A. No, sir; Mr. Merrill was not. I refer now to the time when we were in the Old South Church, immediately after the big fire.
Q. How long did that time last :-A. It lasted all the time. It was not caused by the fire at all.
Q. Then Stahl, Blunt, and Holmes were all on duty in his office at that time 1-A. Yes, sir; they were all on duty at that time.
Q. Doing Mr. Cheney's work 1-A, I didn't say that.
Q. What were they doing 1-A. They were attending to their business. You asked me whether they were all there at one time.
Q. You said, if I understand you, that those five or six men whose names you have given were in the office doing Mr. Cheney's work. I asked you then if they were there at the same time or if they succeeded one another 1-A. Part of them succeeded one another. After the reinoval into the new office Blunt succeeded Stahl.
Q. Was there ever a time when any two of those men were there together doing Mr. Cheney's work!-A. I could not say that they were both doing his work at the time, but I do say that Blunt, Holmes, and Stahl were all there at one time. They were the three chief head clerks of lines; that is what they were rated as. Thoy were all there at that time and supposed to be doing
Q. Doing what I-A. Attending to that particular branch of the service which required their attendance.
Q. What particular branch! Do you know what they were doing 1-A. Holmes and Stahl, I think, were acting as Mr. Cheney's chiet clerk at that time.
Q. Both togetber 1-A. Mr. Holmes was recognized as chief clerk of the New York and Boston run at that time, and Mr. Blunt, I think, was assistant to him. I forget just how they rated it; it was some time ago.
Q. What year are you speaking of 1-A. Soon after the fire.
Q. How long ago was it-six years ago!-A. Five years ago, I guess. In speaking of these extra clerks in the office I didn't have reference particularly to the old South Church. It was after we moved into the new office that the clerks began to increase in Cheney's office.
Q. Will you fix on any one time that you are willing to stand by l-A. After we moved into the new office. I don't know the year.
Q. When did you move into the new office ?-A. I cannot tell. I don't remember.
Q. Was it a year after the fire 1-A. I think that we were up at the Old Sonth in the neighborhood of a year or a year and a half.
Q. Was it two years after the Boston fire-A. I cannot tell you exactly.
Q. I don't care about your telling me exactly, but I want you to fix one calendar year, during some portion of which yon say that these abuses occurred 1-A. In 1875, 1876, and 1877, I think, it can be shown that Mr. Cheney's office up-stairs was overstocked with help.
Q. Then I will ask you about 1875. How many did he have in his office in 1875; what were their names, and what were the duties of each ?-A. I don't know that I can tell you the names.
Q. Fix upon any one time, and if you cannot give the names of the clerks give the name of the desks which the persons filled 1--A. I don't think I could state exactly. They were making changes there all the time. I don't recollect; it is too long ago.
Q. Then take 1877 ; who were the personal friends that he had there in 1877 1-A. Mr. Horace Merrill.
Q. What were his duties 1-A. He was acting as chief clerk of the first division.
Q. Is there more than one chief clerk for New England -A. There is not supposed to be more than one at a time.
Q. Do you know of there being more than one at a timel-A. Well, they have been so badly mixed up, and there have been so many places made to get these men in there, that it is almost impossible for any man outside to state it exactly, so that the committee could understand it. There are other men in the room here who can state it better than I can.
Q. But you are the man who has just made the charge that there were more in that office than were necessary, and I want your knowledge.-A. I didn't say there were more at present. I said there had been, and that they had been taken out.
Q. When had there been more than was necessary -A. In 1875, 1876, and 1877, as near as I can recollect, and even this last year there have been crowds of them in there.
Q. State who were the clerks in that office in 1876, and what were there duties A. I cannot tell you the particular chief clerk that had charge at that time Mr. Merrill, I think, was chief clerk in 1876.
Q. How many clerks were there in his department and what were their duties in 18761-A. There were six or seven, I think, at that time. Mr. Merrill, at that time, was chief clerk. Mr. Blant was down-stairs, if I remember rightly, but I cannot tell exactly regarding that; it is so long ago, and a small matter like that I haven't impressed upon my mind. I remember distinctly Mr. Merrill being there, and Backup and Fitob.
Q. It is so long ago that you cannot remember the details about it 1-A. No, sir; I cannot.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 2, 1878. GEORGE S. BLUNT recalled and further examined.
By Mr. MONEY: Question. In your testimony the other day, you spoke of transmitting telegrams and letters to Mr. Cheney when he was absent from the Boston office - Answer. I bave repeated telegrams to him, what number I don't know, and I have sent some letters to him.
Q. To what point did you send those !--A. To Ashland, N. H.
Q. Uniformly l-A. Yes, sir; I never had any orders to send him any correspondence anywhere else than to Ashland. I guess all the chief clerks of the division sent his mails to Ashland. I think Mr. Stahl will testify to that also.
Mr. EASTMAN (to the witness). Are you asked what Mr. Stahl will testify:
The WITNESS. I guess Mr. Money has not got through with me yet. Mr. Stahl was there so much longer than I was, acting as chief clerk, that I thought he could tell more about it than I could.
Q. That letter from the department which had your memorandum in your bandwriting on the back of it, do you recollect the date when that letter was filed I-A. No, sir; not the date it was filed; but I saw the letter yestorday after the adjourgment,
and would bave liked a chance to explain that more fully. The letter was written in Washington, February 2, a year ago last month. Mr. Stahl testifies that he didn't leave the office antil February 20. Therefore, if I was chief clerk of the Boston and Albany line, I didn't see how I could have that letter come into my hands and be filed by me as a clerk, if Mr. Stahl was there doing Mr. Cheney's business. Bat the letter bears my filing and brief, and I wanted to say that I was not there at Mr. Cheney's desk receiving correspondence and reading it. I remember distinctly, after I took Mr. Stabl's desk, bliog up some accumulated matter, and this, in all probability, was among that matter, and in filing such matter I simply glanced at the date and the name, and perbaps Lade a brief of the contents hastily, and therefore I didn't remember ever having seen the document.
Q. Then this letter of date February 3, 1877, was not filed until after the 22d 1-A. It could not have been, for Mr. Stabi didn't leave until the 20th, because I had no access there and did no business at his desk.
By Mr. TOWNSEND : Q. You must have read the letter to get the contents of it.-A. I must have glanced at it to bave got the contents; but not baving received it or taken official action on it at all, I failed to remember the contents.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 2, 1878. HENRY CHICKERING sworn and examined.
By Mr. CALDWELL:
Q. What is the name of the newspaper 1-A. The Berkshire County Eagle.
6. How long have you known him.-A. Since very soon after he entered the service as superintendent of railway mail service.
Q. Have you any knowledge as to the manner in which he has discharged his duties as superintendent of the first division in the railway mail service 1-A. I hardly know how to answer that question.
Q. Have you been about his office -A. I have frequently called at his office in Boston to see bim.
Q. When you called there to see him was he generally present 1-A. I am sorry to say that it was very seldom I could find him at bis office.
Q. Did you call to see him upon business connected with his official position several times, and were you ever able to find him at his office -A. Yes, sir; I have been.
Q. You do not know anything about the length of time that he would remain at his office in Boston when he would go there at all 1-A. 'Not to my own knowledge.
Q. Do you know where his home is 1-A. I am told that he lives at Ashland, N. H.
Q. Do you know anything about the duties of his position-what character of duties devolves apon himi-A. I think that my connection with the post-office service ought to give me some knowledge of those duties.
Q. State whether it is important for a snperintendent of railroad mail service to be pretty generally in his office and ready to attend to his duties-whether his duties require his regular presence in his office.-A. I should say that they did. I should say that a portion of bis duties would require him to be off at times on the different lines of railway over which he is superintendent, seeing how the service is performed and attending to the establishment of new routes, but I should, from my knowledge of what is required, think that a large part of his business would be office business, requiring bis presence at his office.
. Do you know of bis having been out on any new route, examining it, or upon any of the routes in his division to see that they were properly attended to 1-A. My residence is 150 miles from Boston, and I should not be likely to know of that.
Q. Did you ever see him in your town or vicinity in connection with his official business! -A. No, sir; nor upon the road passing through my town.
Q. Did you ever hear of his being in that vicinity !-A. I heard of his going through there once at the time that the fast mail was established. I do not know that I ever heard of his being on the road at any other time or upon the other end of the road.
Q. Do you know anything about the character of the matters alleged against the official condact of Mr. Cheney 1-A. No, sir.
Q. If you know anything, either for or against Mr. Cheney, that would aid the committee in the investigation of this matter, you may state it.-A. I hardly know what to say to that. I understand that the committee does not desire any testimony except what is personal knowledge.
Q. Are you acquainted with the general reputation of Mr. Cheney as a public offi. cial 1-A. I cannot say that I am, except among post-office officials and postmasters.
Q. Are you acquainted with his general reputation as a public official among the postmasters and those engaged in the postal service in the section of the country in which you live -A. I think I am, on the line of road on which I live, Boston and Albany.
Q. State what it is.
Q. Do you know anything personally in relation to dereliction of duty on the part of Mr. Cheney, except that he was absent several times when you called at his office to see him ?-Á. I think that I ought to say that, in correspondence with his office the correspondence has been almost invariably with under-clerks, instead of with himself. I have been surprised at communications which I have received from his under-clerks.
Q. Have you addressed communications to Mr. Cheney himself?-A. I have, frequently.
Q. And have received replies from his subordinate officials –A. Yes, sir. I do not know that it would be expected that a superintendent of mails should answer all his correspondence; but there bave been frequent communications which I sent to him and in reply to which I expected the letters to come from him, which have come from subordinates. They were signed, however, with Mr. Cheney's name by Mr. Holmes or some one else.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. Is not that frequently done when the officer himself is present 1-A. It is not in my case ; I do not know about others.
By Mr. FREEMAN: . Q. Have you a very large correspondence!-A. My correspondence is not so large but that I can attend to most of it myself.
Q. If Mr. Cheney were out on the road, of course he would have to devolve such correspondence on clerks 1-A. I have said that I do not suppose that a person in his position would be able to answer all his letters; but I have said that some communications which I made to him I expected to have been auswered by himself.
Q. In regard to them, you do not know whether he was absent on the road when they were received ?-A. I do not. I have not been tied to his coat-tail.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. I understand, then, that you do not refer to correspondence which could be properly conducted by subordinates t-A. I said that I thought there were some communi. cations which I made to him that he should have replied to himself porsonally.
Mr. FREEMAN. But you said that if he were not present he would have to intrust the correspondence to clerks, or else have it go unanswered. A. Yes; with the last addition.
By Mr. Cannon: Q. Did you get prompt and proper answers to the letters which you wrote to Mr. Cheney -A. I should think I did, usually.
Q. You do not know whether he dictated those answers or not?-A. I do not.
Q. All that you do know is that he did not personally sign his own name to the let. ters?--A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. EASTMAN :
Q. How many times have you been in Mr. Cheney's office, on an average, during the last three years 1-A. I should think it would average eight times a year.
Q. How long have you been postmaster at Pittsfield 1-A. About seventeen years.
Q. How often do you go to Boston 1-A. I think I go there, on an average, ten or twelve times a year.
Q. Always on the business of the Post-Office Department 1-A. Not always exclu. sively on that business.
Q. How much of it is business of the Post-Office Department ?-A. I cannot tell the proportions.
Q. What is your impression in regard to that?-A. I only say that I have almost invariably made post-office business a part of my business in going to Boston.
Q. How large a part of your business 1-A. I cannot tell you the proportion. I have not measured it or weighed it.
Q. Therefore you are not able to give any impression about it?-A. Not as to the proportion.
Q. You desire the committee to understand that you cannot estimate it I-A. I cannot.
Q. What business relating to the Post-Office Department has called you to Boston ! -A. Two or three times I have been to see Mr. Cheney in regard to postal service on the Pittsfield and North Adains Road.
Q. What, in particular, was that business !--A. In one or two cases it was in reference to the want of accommodation furnished on the road for the safe conveyance of the mails under the charge of a mail-route messenger.
Q. Was your business properly attended to when you got there ?-A. I have not been able to find Mr. Cheney to confer with.
Q. Did you find any one in the office to attend to the business -A. I found underclerks.
Q. Did you state to them your business I–A. I have done so.
Q. Was it then properly attended to i-A. The matter which was the cause of complaint was not remedied. I had thought that if Mr. Cheney bad made proper application to the railroad company bimself in reference to it, it would have been done; but I thought that it was left to clerks, and was therefore neglected.
Q. Do you know wbether Mr. Cheney made application or not?-A. I do not know.
Q. You do not know whether be attempted to have the matter remedied or not?A. I do not know of my own knowledge.
Q. What other business did you have in Boston on those occasions -A. Some business of my own.
Q. How long did you stay in Boston when you went there 1-A. Usually a day; sometimes more, sometimes less; sometimes going down at night and returning the next pight.
Q. How long a time at once have you staid in Boston on any of those visits !-A. I do not know. Q. What was the longest time you have staid there !-A. I do not know. Q. Have you staid there a fortnight I-A. No, sir.
Q. A week ?-A. No; I do not think I have staid in Boston a week. After a sickDess two years ago, I went through Boston down to the cape, by the direction of my physician, for the benefit of the salt water, and I was gone from home a fortnight or a little over.
Q. Have you staid in Boston a week at any one time!-A. I do not recollect that I have. I cannot say positively. I do not think I have.
Q. Has the business of the post-office required you to remain in Boston a week at any one time 1-A. No, sir.
Q. Has any other business connected with the post-office, except the business which you had with Mr. Cheney, required your presence in Boston ?-A. I have sometimes had occasion to confer with persons engaged in the service-with persons from the Boston post-office.
Q. What other business bave you besides attending to the duties of postmaster ?A. I bave stated that I was one of a firm engaged in publishing a newspaper. Q. What newspaper 1-A. The Berkshire County Eagle. Q. Is that a weekly or a daily paper-A. A weekly
Q. What are your duties in connection with that firm 1-A. According to the articles of copartnership, I am relieved from any responsibility except consulation, and to write occasionally as I may bave time at my disposal, but my articles of copartnership release me from any active participation in the labors of the firm.
Q. What have you done in reference to the editing of that newspaper 1--A. I occasionally write for it.
Q. How often ?-A. Sometimes I write two or three weeks in succession, and at other times I do not write for a week or two. I have occasionally taken my vacation by a run down to Boston. Being somewhat troubled with dyspepsia, I found that absence of a day or two from my post has been more beneficial to me than anything else, and perhaps I have gone oftener to Boston for a day or two for that reason than I othervise should have done. I have taken my vacation usually in that way.
By Mr. MONEY : Q. Ilow long has your absence been at any one time!-A. I think that on the Occasion I spoke of, after a sickness, I was gone between two and three weeks. With that exception I do not think I have ever been absent more than a week at a time.
By Mr. EASTMAN: Q. You drew your pay all the time without any intermission ?-A. Yes, sir. I suppose that persons in the employment of the United States, as well as of others, are entitled to occasional vacations or absences. My duty has not been neglected when I was absent. All my correspondence bas been promptly forwarded to me every day and attended to
. Do you know of any candidate for Mr. Cheney's place !-A. I have heard three or four names mentioned. Q. Have you recommended any person to succeed Mr. Cheney!