« AnteriorContinuar »
Q. This route of yours is one of the most important in the United States ?-A. It is. It is the trunk line of the Hartford, Springfield and New Haven Road. It feeds the New Eagland division proper, and you may say of the whole New England States. It, therefore, is probably one of the most important routes in the country.
Q. And during all this time that you were running on that route under Mr. Cheney's superintendency you have never seen him on the line in the discharge of his duties? A. Never once. I did see him on the road once or twice in going to Washington.
By Mr. TOWNSEND : Q. These trains from Boston to New York, were they not usually pretty long trains 1-A. Yes, sir; trains of about eight cars.
Q. And your business was in the postal car?--A. Yes, sir.
Q. Mr. Cheney might have been on the train without your knowing it ?-A. He might have been, but it is custoinary with nearly all post-office employés to ride in the mail car, with the exception, perhaps, of special agents when on service.
Q. His duties as superintendent of the railway mail service would not necessarily take him into your postal car, would it?-A. No, sir.
Q. He could gain a general knowledge of the service along the line without being in that car ?--A. He might do so.
By Mr. FREEMAX: Q. You say tbat you have been continuously at Mr. Cheney's office in Boston, and that he was not there!-A. I said that I went there frequently.
Q. Wbat time did you leave Boston in the morning ?--A. 8.30.
Q. Then you had only the time between five o'clock in the evening to 8.30 the next morning to call at Mr. Cheney's office ?-A. That was all.
Q. And when you did call between these hours you did not find him there I-A. Very seldom.
4. You had your own duties to attend to on the mail car?-A. Yes, sir. . Q. And Mr. Cheney might be traveling every day on other lines without your knowing anything about it!-A. That is very true.
By Mr. MONEY:
By the CHAIRMAN :
Q. Did you find bim at his office l-A. I may have found him there once or twice, but very seldom. I generally found Mr. Holmes there.
Q. So that there were times when you had opportunities to call there besides from five o'clock in the evening until half past eigbt the next morning 1-A. Certainly, in my off weeks.
Q. And during those times you found Mr. Cheney at bis office very rarely 1-A. Very rarely. I found Mr. Stahl and Mr. Holmes there, and they usually stated to me that Mr. Cheney was at bis bome in Asbland.
By Mr. FREEMAN : Q. When you were off duty wbere did yon stay!-A. In New Haven. . And not in Boston ?-A. Not upless I went there to see Mr. Cheney. . Then you did not call at his office very often -A. I did not call very often. Q. And when you did call you found him sometimes 1-A. I found him once in a while, but very rarely.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Have you any knowledge as to whether the department has been informed of the complaints, and of tbe condition of the service in New England 1-A. Yes, sir; I bave.
Q. State it.-A. On tbe appointment of Governor Jewell as Postmaster-General, he eitber telegraphed or wrote to me, shortly after his appointment, to come to Washington; I did so, and I stated this whole matter, in substance, to Governor Jewell; that , the conduct both of Holmes and Stahl, and their treatment of the mail agents. I came out of the office where Governor Jewell was, and I met Mr. Cheney. Mr. Cheney requested me that I should not prosecute the matter farther, and said that if Mr. Holmes were removed from that office, he, Mr. Cheney, would bave a great many difficulties to contend with, for he felt as tbough he was not competent to run it. But he said that if I would wait he would have Mr. Holmes transferred as chief clerk of the fast line. I then went back to Governor Jewell and told him not to act in the matter of the removal of Mr. Holmes. That was at Mr. Cheney's solicitation. Holmes would have probably been removed for cause, had it not been that Mr. Cheney requested me that morning not to press the matter, and I did not press it. Perhaps I had better give the general feeling of the clerks in the division, about the matter. (Mr. Freeman objected.)
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Were you about to state your impression as to what other persons thought about Mr. Cheney?-A. No, sir; I was about to state my own knowledge, and the conversations which I have had with different clerks who would come to me and make complaints.
Q. Are you acquainted with the general reputation of Mr. Cheney within the limits of his jurisdiction, as an efficient public officer!-A. I am.
Q. What is his general reputation for efficiency I-A. It was bad, from the fact that he did not attend to his duties, but left them on the shoulders of others.
By Mr. GIDDINGS: Q. Was the fact known to the department in Washington, that bis reputation was bad ?-A. I do not know. I never made complaint, and I cannot say what others did.
Q. Do you know whether the department was aware that he had failed to discharge bis duties 7-A. Not personally.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Who gave the information which you say was given to Governor Jewelli-A. I gave it myself. I did not give any information with regard to Mr. Cheney. The charge which I made was against the clerks whom he permitted to act as chief clerks.
Q. When was that?-A. About ten days after the appointment of Governor Jewell as Postmaster-General.
Q. And you went back and requested Governor Jewell not to act upon it 1-A. I did, at the request of Mr. Cheney in the corridor of the Post Office building
Q. On the continuance of that condition of affairs, did you bring it again to the notice of Mr. Jewell, or to the notice of any of his successors 1-A. No, sir; because, shortly after that time, I resigned my position as head clerk, and bad but very little to do with the office.
Q. Do you know whether it has ever been brought to the attention of any of the successors of Mr. Jewell!--A. Personally I do not.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. I understand you to say that you told Mr. Jewell of tbe conduct of these clerks, Holmes and Stahl, who were discbarging Mr. Cheney's duties in his absence !--A. I did tell him so, and he said that it would be acted upon ; then I went back to him at the solicitation of Mr. Cheney, who told me that he would transfer Holmes to the clerkship of the fast line. That satisfied me and my friends, and I went back to Governor Jewell and told him not to act in the matter.
By Mr. FREEMAN: Q. Then do you not feel tbat the influence which you brought to bear on Governor Jewell was the cause why he did not act in the matter -A. I think he would have removed Holmes but for that.
Q. And since then nobody has called the attention of the department to the matter?-A. I cannot say; I know that I did not.
By Mr. TOWNSEND : Q. Your objection to Mr. Holmes in that position was not because he was ineffi. cient?-A. No, sir; he was a good clerk.
Q. But it was because he was not in pleasant relations with the rest of the clerks IA. Yes, sir; a more injudicious man I have never met.
By Mr. FREEMAN : Q. Do you know who appointed him !-A. I think he was appointed as a postal clerk under the administration of Mr. Creswell.
Q. Who appointed him to that particular position !-A. I am under the impression that Mr. Bangs did.
Q. Not Postmaster-General Jewell I-A. I think not.
Q. It appears that Mr. Cheney was not in any way responsible, because you had sufficient influence upon Postmaster-General Jewell to have obtained the removal of Holmes, if you had not interceded for his being retained. In other words, Mr. Cheney could not have kept him in unless you had interceded to keep him in I-A. I think that is true.
Q. Therefore Mr. Cheney was not responsible for keeping him in l-A. I think he was, becanse he requested me to do this.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Yon spoke a while ago of a rebellious feeling among the clerks against Holmes. State whether the condition of the service there was or is demoralized or harmonious.-A. It is demoralized.
Q. Do you state of your own knowledge that the condition of the service there was very much demoralized 1-A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. FREEMAN :
By Mr. EASTMAN : Q. When was the service demoralized ?-A. The demoralization in the first division commenced from the time when Mr. Holmes and Mr. Stahl were placed in the office to ran it in the absence of Mr. Cheney, and when the power was given tbem, either by the general superintendent or by Mr. Cheney, to detail clerks. I cannot give the date.
Q. Do you think that an answer to my question ?-A. You asked me the time when it commenced. It commenced about four or five years ago.
Q. Then you are speaking of what occurred four or five years ago!-A. Yes, sir, The chairman read and put in evidence the communication from the Post-Office Department in reply to a question concerning the duties of superintendents of the railway mail service. The chairman also put in evidence the statement furnished by the Post-Office Department of the payments made to Mr. Cheney as superintendent. These papers are as follows:
Washington, D. C., March 1, 1878. SIR: In reply to your telegram inquiring as to the duties of a superintendent of railwar mail service, I would respectfully state as follows:
The United States is divided into nine subdivisions, to each of which an assistant superintendent of railway mail service is assigned as súperintendent of railway mail service. Their duties are defined in the accompanying circular order of August 8.
It will be observed that his supervision extends over all post-offices, so far as the distribution and dispatch of mails is concerned, over all the mails carried or distributed on railroad or steamboat routes, and all the employés of this department on such routes. He is required to keep an office at some point in his division, designated by the Post-Office Department, convenient and central, for the purpose of keeping his records, and where such clerks and assistants as may be assigned to him are also required to be located. In order that the duties of a superintendent may be satisfactorily performed, it is necessary that he be absent from his office a very considerable portion of his time, but is expected to keep in communication with the same. A superintendent who is constantly at his office is as remiss in his duties as one who is continually absent. The greatest latitude must necessarily be allowed superintendents, as they are supposed, from being on the ground, to be the best judges of the exigencies and requirements of the service, and wbether their presence is required at their offices, at headquarters, or in other portions of their divisions.
The following list will show the salaries paid to superintendents of mails at the larger post-offices :
Salary. New York post-office......
.... $4, 000 00 Boston post-office ......
3, 000 00 Chicago post-office .....
3,000 00 Saint Louis post-office ..
3, 000 00 Cincinnati post-office...
2, 200 00 Cleveland post-office .....
1,733 36 I am, sir, very respectfully,
D. M. KEY,
Postmaster-General. Ilon. A. M. WADDELL,
Chairman Committee on the Post-Office and Post-Roads.
Washington, D. C., August 8, 1877. Ordered: That the general supervision of the distribution and dispatch of mails at post-offices, and of the service and employés of this department on railroad and steamboat routes, be vested in officers acting under instructions from this department, designated and assigned as follows :
OFFICE OF GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT OF RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Theo. N. Vail, general superintendent.
John Jameson, assistant superintendent.
Thomas P. Cheney, superintendent, Boston, Mass. Second division-Comprising New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the eastern shore of Maryland.
R. C. Jackson, superintendent, New York, N. Y. Third division--Comprising Maryland (excluding the eastern shore), Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
M. V. Bailey, superintendent, Washington, D. C.
L. M. Terrell, superintendent, Atlanta, Ga.
C. Jay French, superintendent, Cincinnati, Ohio. Sixth division-Comprising Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and upper peninsula of Michigan, and the Territories of Dakota and Wyoming.
James E. White, superintendent, Chicago, Ill. Seventh division-Comprising Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, and the Territories of Indian and New Mexico.
W. L. Hunt, superintendent, Saint Louis, Mo. Eighth division-Comprising California, Nevada, Oregon, and the Territories of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Washington.
H. J. McKusick, superintendent, San Francisco, Cal. Ninth division-Comprising the through mails via Buffalo, Suspension Bridge, Toledo,
and Detroit; the lines of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, and the lower peninsula of Michigan. William B. Thompson, superintendent, Toledo, Ohio.
D. M. KEY, Postmaster-General.
Washington, D. C., August 8, 1877. Ordered: That in all matters pertaining to the distribution and dispatch of mails for points beyond the delivery of an office, postmasters will be governed entirely by orders from or through the office of the general superintendent of railway mail service, or of the superintendent of railway mail service for the division in which their offices may be situated.
No change in distribution or dispatch must be made without first obtaining such an order, except in cases of emergency, and in all such cases an immediate report, giving tbe reasons for such change, must be made to the superintendent of railway mail seryice for the division in which the office may be situated.
D. M. KEY, Postmaster-General.