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Q. Wbat bas been your experience as to meeling Mr. Cheney, in the discharge of your duties, since you have held your present position 1-A. Since I have held my present position as special agent of the post-office department, I have had frequently to pass through Boston on my way to Vermont or to some portions of New Hampshire and I have almost always made it a point to drop into Mr. Cheney's office. I called to see Mr. Field frequently, and as Mr. Cheney's room was on the same floor, I always made it a point to drop in and see Mr. Cheney.
Q. What has been your experience as to finding him there?-A. I have frequently, found him there, and sometimes I bave found him absent.
Q. State whether or not you are familiar with the railway mail service in New England ?-A. I am quite familiar with the railway mail service in the three States which I bave mentioned, and somewhat throughout New England.
Q. Wbat is its condition at the present time as to efficiency ?-A. I have regarded it as more efficient now than ever before. I think there are fewer complaints from nostmasters, route-agents, and postal clerks, in those three States than I have ever known before.
Q. State what is the discipline among the postal clerks?-A. I think it good.
Q. State whether or not the service of those States is demoralized in any way iA. I do not know in what way; I have always regarded it as very good.
Q. State whether or not you are familiar with Mr. Cheney's reputation as superintendent of the railway mail service in those States !-A. I am familiar with it in those three States.
Q. What is his reputation in those three States ?--A. It is excellent; I bave never heard any complaint against Mr. Cheney in the four years that I have been connected with tbe service, from any postmaster, or (with one exception) from any route-agent or postal clerk.
Q. Have you ever been at Asbland ?-A. I have been, on one occasion some two years ago.
Q. State whether or not you visited Mr. Chenes at his house there 1-A. I did.
Q. How was it as to having an office in his house 1-A. I found him on my arrival there in his office, and be told me at that time that be bad fitted it up. He had postal maps hung there, similar to those in this room, and he had an office desk, and some railway mail service pictures, especially of the fast mail line. He bad quite a library connected with the mail service in his room.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. Do you know wbether or not Mr. Cheney was authorized by the department or by law, to bave an office at his house in New Hampshire?-A. I do not.
Q. Where do you think was the proper place for his office to be 1-A. I do not know that I can give an intelligent answer to that question. His office is understood to be in Boston.
Q. You do not understand that a superintendent of the railway mail service is authorized to bave an office anywbere that he pleases throughout his division ?-A. I have not supposed so.
Q. You say that he had an office at his house in Ashland ?-A. Yes, sir; be had an office there.
Q. Do you know how muc' of his time he spent at Ashland ?-1. I do not.
Q. How many times have you seen him there 1-A. I never was at his house but once, and that was about two years ago last fall. · Q. Have you been in the habit of visiting Boston ?-A. Yes, sir; I have been there more or less since the fall of 1871.
Q. What point do you make your headquarters ?-A. My headquarters are a good deal in the field, but my communications are addressed to Augusta, Me.
Q. Have these special agents any official relations with Mr. Cheney 1-A. I think that our instructions give us somewhat of a connection.
Q. You are not subordinates of the superintendent of the railway mail service -A. No, sir; we are simply directed by our instructions to give what aid we can to the railway mail service in various ways. If we see any irregularities in that service, we report it. I have frequently found our mail-bags in the Canadian territory, and a good many, I think, are used there now. As the railway mail service runs through direct from Bangor to Saint John, some of the postal cars run through, and the pouches are not removed. I found, going through to Halifax at one time, that the Canadian antborities were using our sacks and our pouches to quite an extent, in doing their local business. I reported that fact to Mr. Cheney, and also called the attention of the department to it, and there was an effort made by the department, through his office (as I was afterward informed) to remedy it.
Q. What is the average of the number of visits that you have made to Boston every year 1-A. It is quite difficult for me to tell; but I should think that they must have averaged two a month. Some months I would be there a good many times more than tbat, and occasionally a month would pass without my going at all.
Q. Your language, I believe, was that you had frequently seen Mr. Cheney at his office !-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And that sometimes he was away I-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you know where he was when he was away 1-A. No, sir; I may have been told at the time, but I do not remember any particular instance. Yes, sir, I recollect once, within a short time, that they told me he was in Washington.
Q. When you found him away from his office, who was attending to his duties ?--A. Recently, Mr. Holmes, and prior to him, Mr. Merrell, was chief clerk.
Q. You said that you recollected seeing Mr. Cheney twice on the line from Boston to Bangor, and from Bangor to Portland ?-A. I think I saw him a good many more times than twice. That was when I was a postal clerk. My lines were only between Boston and Bangor, and I had not occasion to go anywhere else.
Q. When was thati-A. That was in 1872 and 1873.
Q. Do you not know that great dissatisfaction exists in the service on account of mismanagement and maladministration on the part of Mr. Cbeney 1-A. I do not think there is any in those three States.
Q. Have you never heard of dissatisfaction at Boston 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Have you heard complaints of Mr. Cheney's protracted absences -A. I have heard that articles have appeared in a Sunday paper about that, but I have never read any of them.
Q. Do you not know that his absences from his post of duty have been the subject of comment and conversation, and the fact of his leaving his duties to be discharged by subordinates! Have you not heard that matter talked about and criticised by men engaged in the service?-A. No, sir; I do not think I have.
Q. Do you state, then, that the railway mail service, in the New Euglanıl States, is in good condition ?-A. I sboald judge it to be so all over New England, but especially in the three States with which I am most familiar. I have heard no criticism of it, with one exception.
Q. Do you know Mr. Sperry, the postmaster at New Haveu 1-A. Yes, sir; I am somewhat acqnainted with him; I have seen him only twice, however.
Q. Do you think he would be a judge as to whether the service was demoralized or noti-A. He has the reputation of being a very good postmaster.
Q. Did you never hear any complaint of the service from bim -A. I never did.
Q. I suppose Mr. Cheney bad you summoned here !-A. I cannot say as to that; I was sommoned by the Sergeant-at-Arms. Q. Have you talked with Mr. Cheney since you have been in this city ?-A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. When yon went to Ashland, what did you go for 1-A, I had been at Saint Johnsbury and in the eastern portion of Vermont, and the trains would not allow me to get farther than Plymouth on Saturday night, wbich is five miles above Ashland. As I had to lie over either at Asbland or Plymouth, and as I found a freight train going down beyond Ashland, and as it was still qnite early in the evening and I was somewhat acquainted with Mr. Cheney, I thought I would come down to Ashland and go and see him on Sunday. I did so, and I spent a pleasant day there, which otherwise I might have spent quite lonely. That was all my reason.
Q. You felt quite sure that you would find Mr. Cheney at Ashland ?-A. I was in hopes that I would.
Q. You would hardly have gone five miles upon a freight train unless you felt pretty certain of finding him there 1-A. I could just as well stay over at Ashland as at Plymouth, I would put in a dull Sunday anywhere, unless I could find some person to chat with. I can hardly recollect whether I did feel that way or not.
By Mr. GIDDINGS: Q. Do special agents pay regular railroad fare when they are traveling in the discharge of their daties?-A. Most railroads now do not charge us fare; some of them, bowever, do so, and when they do so we take a voucher for the amount of the fare, and turn it in to the department. Q. Then your traveling expenses are not included in the $5 per diem ?-A. No, sir.
Q. And in case you bave to pay railroad fare you make an extra charge for that? A. Yes, sir; the Boston and Albany line, and I think some of the other lines, charged us antil quite recently regular fare as they do any one else. The railroads in New England do not charge us fare now.
Q. Have you been off at any portion of your time !--A. I have been off a few days, I think, in the four years.
Q. How many days have you been off at one time?--A. I think only a day or two at a time.
4. Do you charge the $5 per diem during the days that you are off duty ?-A. No, sir; I recollect two instances in which I was attending to my business, and when I certified to the department for that month I certified simply for the time that I had been employed in the public service.
Q. You did not make a certificate covering the entire time, but only the time when you were on duty 1-A. Yes, sir; I think, as Mr. Field remarked, that the kind of employment we are engaged in every day, and just what we are doing, and on what cases we are at work, is on file at the department, and we make up our pay-rolls from that.
Q. Do you know whether Mr. Cheney has been on duty all the time 1-A. I cannot tell you.
Q. Do you not know that he has not been on duty the whole time 1-A. I only know in reference to bis sickness in the fall of 1876. I was frequently in Boston, and inquired for Mr. Cheney, and I was told that he was sick at home.
Q. You do not know whether he certified that he was on duty and whetber he (Irew pay for the time or not 1-A. I do not.
By Mr. FREEMAN: Q. You are sworn, wben you enter on the service, to perform your duty faithfully lA. Yes, sir.
Q. And you consider, of course, that that oath binds you to make honest vouchers ; the making of vouchers being a part of your duty is under that oath 1-A. It is, and we certify to them ou our honor. I may say, in regard to making these vouchers, that for incidental expenses we get receipts from the parties with whom we deal, and in making up our vouchers we forward these receipts and we certify to the number of days that we have been employed,
By Mr. GIDDINGS:
By Mr. CANNON: Q. How many hours do you count a day's work ?-A. In our service we have to put in sometimes the twenty-four hours for a day's work.
Q. Suppose you put in only six hours in the day, do you make a voucher for a full day?-A. Certainly. I should call that a day's work. If I left home with the intention to do a certain job, and only spent six hours at it in one day, I would certainly call myself on duty the wbole day.
Q. Sappose that you were at bome on a Sunday and did three hours' work on that day, would you split it up and call it only a part of a day?--A. No, sir; I would say that I was employed that day.
Q. In otber words, you do not take account of fractions of a day I-A. No, sir. We calculate that if we should count the time that we sit up at night, and the time that we are on extra duty, it would make up for those fractions of days.
By Mr. GIDDINGS : Q. If you are away from your office for a month, or for two months, or three months at a time, performing no duty whatever, would you call that being on duty, and would you certify to it, so as to receive $5 per diem ?-A. I do not think I should.
By Mr. TOWNSEND: Q. Your duties are of tbat peculiar character that it is difficult to fis a day's work?A. Quite so.
Q. You are all the time baving your eyes open to notice what you can see, and you are frequently looking after a thing for a week or two!-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And to fix definitely your working hours would be quite difficult?-A. Quite difficult.
By Mr. GIDDINGS: Q. How far is Mr. Cheney's house from the post-office at Ashland ?-A. I was never there but once, but my impression is that he lives from one third to a half of a mile from the Asbland post-office.
Q. How large a place is Asbland 1-A. It is quite a little manufacturing place; it is a railroad and telegraph station, &c.
By Mr. EASTMAN : Q. State whether or not you received any assistance from Mr. Cheney in the discharge of your official duties, and, if so, what.-A. I have. He has aided me very materially in my work of looking up depredation cases. I recollect that in the case of Phelan, on the Boston and Bangor line, which was worked up between Mr. Fields and myself, Mr. Cheney was very instrumental in giving us material aid. He frequently aided me by getting what we call decoy letters on trains, passing them back and forth. He worked with me a good many times in that respect.
Q. Have you ever had occasion to visit Mr. Cheney's office at night!-A. I have een there quite late in the evening; I never went in the night.
Q. Did you find hin there -A. I have known him to be in his office until 10 o'clock at night.
Q. What was he doing?-A. Writing correspondence, answering letters, &c.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 5, 1878. CHARLES FIELD recalled.
By Mr. MONEY: Question. Are yon not now detailed to investigate the Providence postmaster, in conjunction with some otber special agents ?--Answer. Yes, sir.
Q. When you have investigated cases do you report the facts and then make a recommendation ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Is that the order in this case ?-A. I have not seen the order, but I have been told that it has been forwarded to me.
Q. You have not gone into the case ?-A, No, sir.
Q. Do you know anything about the case ?-A. I know that there was a good deal of controversy about it, and I had heard a good deal of it.
Q. Did you say to any one, that when you went to investigate that case you were going to make it all right for the postmaster 1-A. No, sir; I bave not seen anybody to say any such thing to
Q. You have not stated to any one that you would make it all right for the postmaster at Providence that you would report favorably 1--A. No, sir.
Q. Did you not tell Mr. Temple, in this city, at the Riggs House the other night, when he spoke to you about the Providence postmaster, that the postmaster was a nice mao, and that he need not be uneasy, as you would set it all right?--A. No, sir; I think Dot. I may have said that I knew him to be a very nice gentleman, but I do not think I could bave said any such thing as that, because I do not know anything about the case.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 5, 1878. J. E. LARKIN sworn and examined.
To Mr. EASTMAN: I reside in Concord, N. H. I am postmaster at Concord. I was first appointed in 1869, and held the office for four years, and was reappointed in 1876. I am acquainted with Mr. Cheney.
Question. State whether or not you are acquainted with the railway mail service in your section of the country.-Answer. As far as it relates to my office I am. Q. What is its condition as to efficiency 1-A. I consider it good-excellent.
Q. How is the discipline of the persons composing the service ?-A. It is excellent, I judge.
Q. State whether or not you are acqnainted with the reputation of Mr. Cheney as superiotendent of the railway mail service.-A. I am; I have heard Mr. Cheney spoken of very highly. I have never heard him spoken of except in terms of praise, with one exception.
Q. Are you acquainted with the mail route from Contoocook to Hillsboro' 1-A. I am; I have been over it.
Q. State what the nature of that service is, and what the need of establishing a ronte agency on that route was.-A. The route froin Contoocook to Hillsboro' runs to West Henniker and West Hopkinton. At Hillsboro' there are three stage-routes, I think. Two daily stages leave Hillsboro'. Mr. Richardson is the agent on that route, and is a very good agent, I believe.
Q. What was the occasion for putting a mail-agent on that route 1-A. The same that applies to any route with a similar number of villages and towns. It gives them mail facilities, and of course saves a great many closed bags.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. You say that the general reputation of Mr. Cheney, as superintendent of the railway mail service, is good in tbat part of the country, for efficiency?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Have you beard any complaints against him, for neglect of duty ?-A. Nothing more than some squibs in the papers.
Q. Have you heard no person speak of it ?-A. Yes, sir; I heard Mr. Coll speak of it after he was discharged.
Q. Is he the only person that you have heard speak of it?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Has he any other business, that you know of, except that of superintendent of the railway mail service !--A. Not that I am aware of.
Q. Do you know whether he travels on any of the various railroads in the discharge of his duty as superintendent?-A. I do not. I have never bad occasion myself to travel, and have not met him, except, I think, on the Concord Railroad, between Coocord and Boston.
Q. Have you met him on that road in the discharge of his duty 1-A. I have met him on that road, and I presume he was in the discharge of his duty. Q. Do you go to Boston often 1-A. No, sir; I do not.
Yon do not know how much of his time he spends in Boston ?-A. No, sir ; I never visited his office but twice, and I found him there each time.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. How long ago was that?-A. The first time I called upon him was before the Boston fire; the next time was soon after he moved to his quarters in the new postoffice. The Boston fire was, I think, in 1873.
.By the CHAIRMAN : Q. How far is Ashland from Concord -A. I think about thirty miles. Q. Have you been in Ashland often 1-A. No, sir; I never was in Asbland.
Q. Did Mr. Cheney come to your office in Concord often in the discharge of his duties ?-A. He has been in my office several times.
By Mr. GIDDINGS: Q. Is Mr. Cheney a leading Republican in New Hampshire ?-A. We consider him a good Republican.
Q. Does he have anything to do with meetings and conventions ?-A. I have met him at conventions.
Q. Does be generally attend the meetings of the legislature when it is in session ?A. I do not know that I ever met him at the legislature.
Q. He is a valuable man to the committee, is he not l-A. We consider him a good Republican.
Q. Do you know anything about his raising funds for campaign purposes -A. I do not.
Q. Were any levies or assessments made upon you for that purpose 1-A. I have made contributions for political purposes.
Q. Were those contributions required of all the employés of the department?-A. I do not know that they were required of anybody; they never were required of me.
Q. What per cent. or amount of contributions have you made ?-A. Sometimes more and sometimes less, just as I felt disposed; no contribution was ever levied on me.
Q. Did Mr. Cheney ever call upon you, or upon any one in the department, to your knowledge, for a contribution ?-A. He never did.
Q. Do you know of his ever calling upon any one to come down with a certain amount, before he could get an appointment to a certain position in the department? -A. I never did.
By Mr. MONEY : Q. You say you were postmaster of Concord from 1869 to 1873; who succeeded you in 18731-A. Dr. Willard.
Q. And you succeeded him when you went back in 1876 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Wby was Dr. Willard removed, and why did you get bis appointinent; do you know 1-A. I do not.
Q. You do not know through what agency it was done ?-A. It was done by the Postmaster-General I suppose.
Q. Did you have any influence or favor from Mr. Cheney in that matter?-A. Not that I am aware of, any more than any friend might have from another.
Q. Were you required to make a contribution to the campaign fund in order to get your office !-A. No, sir.
Q. You have seen Mr. Chevey at Concord frequently 1-A. I presume I have seen him there half a dozen times.
Q. Do you know whetber be made a stay of any length of time at Concord at any one time?-A. No, sir; I have never known him to stay. there for any length of time.
Q. Do you know whether or not he was there more just preceding the elections tban at other times ?-A. I presume I may have seen him there oftener at such times, but not very often then.
Q. Was not Mr. Cheney considered a political manager there, in local as well as State electious 7-A. He was considered a man of influence there.
Q. Did he not generally direct the management and the conduct of the political campaign? Was he not considered rather as a political manager 1--A. I presume that he gave counsel in political matters. We consider him a man of pretty good judgment- a pretty level-headed fellow.
Q. So much so that his services are in demand just before elections !--A. I do not know that it was to that extent.
Q. You do not know whether he was there on that business or not1-A. No, sir; I cannot say. He may have been there on post-office business.
Q. About this short route from Contoocook to Hillsboro'; you say that there are two or three towns, or villages, between the two points 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Could they not have their mails sent just as well in pouches 1-A. Not just as well. Of course mail can be sent over any of those routes in pouches, but to the detriment of the service.
Q. On a short route, where there are only two or three towns between the two termini, do you consider it necessary to have a mail-messenger 1-A. Perhaps not actually necessary, but it is very convenient for those living on the line.