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The WITNESS. To whom do you mean ?
Mr. EASTMAN. To any member of Congress or other person likely to have influence in the matter.
A. I made this remark, that if there was to be a change, it seemed to me that the man whom I nominated, and who had experience in the service, was as desirable a man as any one I knew of to fill the place.
Q. Who was that person whom you recommended ?-A. His name is Vassar.
Q. Have you had any communication with Mr. Vassar in relation to the matter :A. After being summoned to come here, I wrote to him inquiring whother he knew what was going on, as I had no knowledge of what was going on, but I received no answer from him. I have since heard that he was sick.
Q. Have you ever talked with him about it before that!-A. Yes, sir; Mr. Vassar canie to my place a few weeks ago and asked me to go with him and introduce him to Mr. Dawes, which I did. I heard some conversation then with reference to this thing, when it was supposed that there was about to be a vacancy.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. Are there any personal matters between you and Mr. Cheney !-A. None at all.
Q. By wbat sort of consideration were you influenced in the matter; was it by personal motives ?-A. Not the least. I was summoned here without my knowledge and without any intimation of it. I said that I could not conceive what I should have been summoned for, or what I knew in the matter, except the simple fact that I failed to find Mr. Cheney when I went to his office in Boston to see him.
By Mr. FREEMAN : Q. Will you state what the conversation between Mr. Vassar and Mr. Dawes in your presence was ?-A. It was to the effect that Mr. Cheney's commission was about to ex. pire, and asking the influence of Mr. Dawes for Vassar's appointment.
Q: Was that all 1-A. That was not all the conversation. That was the purport of it.
Q. I would like to hear it all.-A. I do not think I could repeat it. It is not in my power to do so.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 2, 1878. JAMES L. WILSON sworn and examined.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Question. State your residence and occapation.--Answer. I reside in Ashland, N. H. I am a practising lawyer,
Q. Are you acquainted with Thomas P. Cheney ?-A. I am.
Q. How long have you known him ?-A. I have known him for almost nineteen years.
Q. Has your attention ever been drawn to the manner in which Mr. Cheney has discharged his duties as superintendent of the railway mail service ?-A. I hardly know how to answer that question.
Q. Have you any opinion on the subject !-A. Recently there has been some talk in our community, and my attention has been called to it by some articles in the newspapers.
Q. Do you reside where Mr. Cheney resides ?-A. Yes.
Q. Have you seen him at Ashland very frequently during the last eight or ten years 1-A. Yes, sir; quite frequently.
Q. What proportion of his time has he spent at Ashland since he has held the office of superintendent in the postal service 1-À. I should think about one-half.
Q. Has he had any office at Ashland ?-A. I never knew of his having any office there until recently, and that is only by report. I never heard of it until recently.
Q. Did you hear of it until this talk about an investigation of his official conduct was rife ?-A. I never beard of it until last Saturday.
Q. Does Mr. Cheney live on a farm or in town ?-A. He has got a gmall farm of some twenty acres—the homestead where he resides.
Q. Is he a sickly man l-A. I never knew that he was a man in feeble health.
Q. Have you ever known of his being confined to his house any length of time by sickness 1-A. No, sir.
Q. How does he seem to spend his time when at Ashland ?-A. He spends quite a portion of his time at Mr. Hodgden's store, where I bave my office. He spends some time at the post-office and at various places in the village ; more particularly, perhaps, at those two places.
Q. Does Mr. Cheney spend more or less of bis time at home just about the time that elections are pending in the State of New Hampshire ?-A. Before elections he spends a considerable part of his time at our place, perhaps three or four weeks.
Q. Is he a pretty active politician ?--A. He is so regarded.
Q. He hardly ever fails to be on hand just before election ?-A. I never knew him to fail.
Q. How far is the telegraph-office and the post offize from Mr. Cheney's home?-A. About three-quarters of a mile, I should judge.
Q. Is there any delivery at Ashland ?-A. No, sir. There is a telegraph-office at the railroad depot, about three-quarters of a mile from the town. The operator carries the dispatches to the individuals in the community.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. Yon say that Mr. Money spent about half his time at Ashland since he has bad his office at Boston ?-A. I should judge so. Q. Do you know where he spent the other half of his time !-A. No, sir.
By Mr. EASTMAN : Q. How far does Mr. Cheney live from the depot I-A. About three-quarters of a mile, I should judge.
Q. How far does he live from where you would call the center of the village ?-A. From the hotel, I should think his place is about 100 rods.
Q. How is the village situated with reference to his house and the railroad depot A. The village lies between his house and the depot.
Q. State whether or not the depot is in the village or on one side of it?-A. It is on one side of it, and Mr. Cheney resides on the other side, nearly opposite.
Q. How far does Mr. Cheney live from the churches, and school-house, and town hall ?-A. He resides about 75 rods from the Episcopal church, and perhaps 100 rods from the Baptist, and perhaps 65 rods from the town ball.
8. You say that Mr. Cheney has been very active in politics. How long do you think he has been present in Ashland, immediately before the election, to stay there continuously !-A. I should judge three or four wheks previous to election since the incorporation of our town. "I do not mean to say that he would stay there continuously, but nearly so. He may have been absent a day or so occasionally out of that time.
Q. Are you active in politics, too!-A. Perhaps I should not be a competent judge.
Q. What is your impression about it?-A. I have never a:tended a caucus or political convention for the last eight years. Q. What are your politics ?-A. I am a Democrat. Q. Have you been at Mr. Cheney's house at any time ?-A. No, sir; I never was in it. Q. You do not know whether he has an office in his house or not?-A. No, sir.
Q. If telegrams came to Mr. Cheney at any time during the day, would they not be immediately delivered to him by the operator or by some messenger ?-A. I cannot tell you.
Q. What is the common practice there in regard to delivering telegraphic messages ?
Q. Does the operator send for you to go for the message ?- A. He sometimes sends the
message to my house and sometimes to my office. Q. How pear to the post-office does Mr. Cheney live?-A. I should think he lives about 120 rods from the post-office.
Q. Have you been in the habit of going to the post-office immediately after the arri. val of the mails?-A. Usually I make that my practice.
Q. When Mr. Cheney has been in town have you seen him at the office frequently ?A. I think, generally, he is not there when the mails are distributed.
Q. Is be there soon afterwards ?-A. I occasionally see him at the post-office, but not so much as I see him at Mr. Hodgden's store. & How far is that store from the post-office ?-A. Perhaps twenty-five rods.
Q. In your estimate of the time that Mr. Cheney has spent in Ashland, do you include Sunday: 1-A. Yes, sir,
Q. You mean to say that, including Sundays, you think he has been there half bis time -A. Yes, sir,
Q. Have you not seen Mr. Cheney in Ashland more frequently on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays iban any other days of the week?--A. I have rarely seen him on Sunday. Q. Have you seen him on Saturdays and Mondays more freqnently than on other days !-A. Yes, bir; I lbiok so-mostly on Saturdays and Mondays. I am quite certain to see him, one of those days.
l. Do you not know that it is a habit of Mr. Cheney's to be at home on Sundays ?— 4. I do not know anything about it.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. How far is Ashland from Boston ?-A. One hundred and twenty-one miles. Q. What is the nearest large town or city to Ashland ?-A. Concord is the largest city near to Ashland.
Q. How far is Concord from Asbland ?-A. Forty-five miles. The next largest town between Concord and Ashland is Lacopia. That is 15 miles off.
Q. What is the population of Asbland !--A. About 900, I tbink.
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 2, 1878. WILLIAM CONN sworn and examined. Question. Where do you reside ?-Answer. Portsmouth, N. H. Q. Are you acquainted with Thomas P. Cheney 1-A, I am. Q. How long have you known him ?-A. About ten years, I should think.
Q. Has your attention ever been drawn to the manner in which he bas discharged his duties as superintendent of the first division of the railway mail service l-A. I bave seen something of it, being in the service myself.
Q. What branch of the service are you in -A. I am not in the service now. I was mail-agent from Concord to Portsmouth.
Q. How long were you mail-agent?-A. About ten years.
Q. Did Mr. Cheney turn you out ?-X. Yes, sir; that is, I suppose it was through his recommendation.
Q. You do not know it 1-A. I do not know it.
Q. While you were on duty as mail-agent from Concord to Portsmouth, did you see much of Mr. Cheney ?-A. I saw more or less of him at Concord.
Q. Did you ever see him out on your line --A, I think I have seen him on the train.
Q. Did you see bim often at Concord ?—A. I have seen him very often at Concord at times.
Q. What business was he attending to there ?-A. I have oftener seen him in Febraary than at any other time. Q. Wbat was he doing there in February ?-A. He was in a committee-room.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. Was the legislature in session !--A. No, sir. Whon I arrived in Concord and registered my name and got my supper I would naturally go out sometimes, and would go about that time of year to the Republican committee-rooms. Q. Are you a Republican ?-A. I am a Republican.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. Would you go there to see Mr. Cheney!--A. No, sir; only to see who was there and to get some information.
Q. Did you see Mr. Cheney there often 1-A. Three years ago, I ink, I saw him there most.
Q. Do you recollect seeing him there two years ago ?-A. Yes; I see him there more or less every year.
Q. You say that he is generally about Concord in the month of February ?--A. Yes, sir.
Q. The month of February is the month just preceding the election in that State, is it?-A. Yes, sir; the election comes off on the second Tuesday in March.
Q. You have annual elections in New Hampshire, have you?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. What was your compensation as route-agent !-A. My compensation was $960. Last June, I think, on Mr. Cheney's recommendation (I think I am right in saying that Mr. Cheney did it), my salary was cut down $140 and my route was cut off 18 miles.
Q. Eighteen miles was taken off your route, and $140 off your compensation 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. What bad been the entire length of your route ?-A. My old route was 59 miles long, making 118 miles a day.
Q.' Was not the reduction of pay on account of the reduction of the length of route?-A. I presume it was. I considered at the time that the part cut off was the most important part of my route.
Q. Was it the most laborious part of your route ?-A. It was, in coming down.
d. Did he take your old route as it was before it was reduced in length ?-A. No; he took it the same as I left it
Q. Did he take the reduced pay or not?-A. I have nothing official to say about that; I understand that he has the old pay.
Q. Did you ever hear him say so?-A. No, sir. Q. Did you ever try to get Mr. Cheney to go over your road to see about getting a new car?-A. I went to Boston to see Mr. Cheney, but he was not at his office, and I told bis clerk that if he would come up to the New Market Junction and ride over the road and see what I bad to do, and see the convenience which I had to do it with, I would pay his expense at the upper end of the road that night. Q. Did Mr. Cheney ever go!-A. No, sir.
By Mr, MONEY:
Q. On that route was any relief allowed to the mail-agent:-A. He was allowed one week in three.
Q. Did you ever apply for such relief and fail to get it?-A. Yes. Q. When !-A. It was at the time I spoke of-when I found Mr. Cheney in Concord 80 mach-in February. Q. Did you apply to Mr. Cheney for the relief 1-A. I did. Q. You did not get it?-A. No, sir. Q. Was any reason assigned for your not getting it ?–A. Mr. Cheney said that Mr. Wright, a brother-in-law of his, was obliged to be at home, on account of looking after his town.
Q. Has he got charge of the town ?-A. No; but in respect to electioneering. Q. You mean looking after the election ?-A. Yes; and Mr. Cheney said that my relief which I usually had had got to run for Mr. Wright, and for that reason I was on the road all the time during that month. Mr. Moxey. I do not understand you exactly. The WITNESS. The man that used to run as my relief had been taken off the route he was running and had relieved Mr. Wright.
Q. For what reason ?-A. For the reason that Mr. Wright had got to stay at home. Q. Who gave that reason ?-A. Mr. Cheney told me that Mr. Wright had got to be at home.
Q. On wbat route was Mr. Wright employed ?-A. From Plymouth to Concord.
Q. Is it usual to give relief on that route, too!-A. It never has been, only at certain times.
Q. What certain times ?-A. In February, more or less.
Q. Then it is not usual to give relief to the agents on Mr. Wright's route ?-A. He never has had any stationary relief that I ever heard of, and I should think I should know if he had.
Q. What did Mr. Cheney say to you when you applied for that relief! You said that at Concord he gave you as a reason why you would not get it that Mr. Wright must be relieved to attend to election, and that the other man must take Wright's place; was that it 1-A. That was pretty near it.
Q. Did he have anything else to say about it?-A, I asked him about this matter of relief, and he said he did not want to hear anything about the mail service until after election.
Q. How long was Mr. Cheney at that time at Concord ?—A. This was about two
Q. How long was Mr. Wright off duty at that time when he was attending to this election business ?-A. My memory does not serve me very clearly about that. I am willing to give Mr. Cheney the benefit of the doubt, and I would say a fortnight.
Q. Is that longer than the usual leave of absence ?-A. He never had any regular leave.
Q. Was it longer than you ever got ?--A. I never had any but one week in three.
9. I suppose that Mr. Wright drew pay for all that time?-A. I do not know any more than by bearsay.
Q. Where did the agents on these different routes draw their pay ?-A. From the Concord postmaster.
8. He knows all about whether Wright got pay for the whole time or not I-A. Yes, his pay-roll will tell.
Q. Do you know that Mr. Williard, the postmaster, refused to pay Mr. Wright for that time ?-A. Oply by hearsay. Q. The question was brought up the other day ahout five superfluous routes in New Hampshire, the routes from Hillsboro' to Contoocook, from Hookset to Pittsfield, from Concord to Plymouth, from Concord to Claremont, and from Concord to Portsmouth. How many months in the year does a mail agent run on the route from Contoocook to Hillsboro' l-A. All the time.
Q. From Pittsfield to Hookset, how is it?-A. That runs all the time.
Q. When his time for running on that route expires, wbat becomes of him ?-A. He is floating about. He runs for Mr. Wright sometimes. He ran some for me and some for Mr. Holmes.
Q. While he was running for you, what were you doing?-A. That was my week off. I had one week off in three.
Q. I understood that Mr. Wright was not entitled to any relief on his route 1-A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. But you say that Mr. Tappan relieved him ?--A. Occasionally. Q. Through the balance of the seven or eight months ?-A. Yes, sir. 2. Does Mr. Tappan draw pay for the whole twelve months ?-A. Yes, sir; at least I have seen him sign the pay-roll at different times in the year.
Q. He puts in bis seven months of each year running as relief on routes where no relief is allowed !-A. I think there is no relief allowed on Mr. Wright's route.
Q. How much of his seven months does he put in in this way?-A. I do not know, perhaps one-fourth or one-balf of the time.
Q. Mr. Wright draws bis pay, I suppose, for the whole year?-A. Yes.
Q. And all the agents draw for the whole year, whether they are relieved or not?A. Yes, sir.
Q. And Mr. Tappan draws his pay for the whole year, although he is only five months in regular service?-A. That is the way I understand it. Q. Who pays tbese men ?-A. The postmaster at Concord.
By Mr. FREEMAN: Q. About this February business, you say that you were refused leave of absence, and that leave was given to Mr. Wright?-A. Yes. Q. And that you were at work all through the month of February ?-A. Yes. Q. What time did you start out on the road ?-A. At balf-past seven in the morning.
Q. What time did your train get back to Concord !-A. At a quarter before nine o'clock in the evening of the same day.
Q. Then you spend the time between nine o'clock in the evening and seven o'clock in the morning in Concord ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Therefore, the time that you saw Mr. Cheney there was between these hours ! A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. EASTMAN : Q. In what year was it that Mr. Cheney refused you leave of absence ?-A. Three years ago, about this time of year,
Q. In 1875 ?-A. I am not positive, but I think so. Q. Did you continue to meet Mr. Cheney in Concord ?-A. I think I met him every night for a long time.
Q. During the whole month of February ?-A. I would not say the whole month of February, because when I spoke to him about this matter of relief it was about two weeks before the election.
Q. Then it was the latter part of February ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And after that you continued to meet him steadily !-A. My impression pow is that I met him every night.
Q. Right straight along until the election ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. How was it in otber years ?--A. It was more or less the same. I do not recollect 80 much as about that year, because I was rather anxious to get off for a week.
Q. How was it in other years about meeting him at the State committee rooms ? A. I met him there more or less.
Q. Of course you had no means of knowing when he came to Concord ?-A. I had considerable conversation with him.
Q. Did be speak about being there the whole day?-A. I probably never spoke to him about it.
Q. Then you had no means of knowing when he came there ?-A. I could not know unless I asked him.
Q. And you did not ask him ?--A. No, sir.
Q. How many trains a day are there between Concord and Boston, and at what bours do they leave Bostou and Concord ?--A. I cannot give the hours of the trains leaving. I know that there is a train which leaves Concord for Boston at balf past seven o'clock in the morning.