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2d Session. I

No. 85.

GIBSON vs. SHELDON.

PAPERS

IN THE CASE OF

R. L. GIBSON vs. L. A. SHELDON,

SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA.

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 18, 1873. SIR: I hereby give you formal notice tbat I contest and claim the seat you were admitted to on the prima-facie case as Representative to the Forty-third Congress from the second congressional district of the State of Louisiana. I base this contest and claim upon the following special grounds and allegations : That you were not elected, and I was elected by a majority of the qualified voters of the second congressional district at the election of November 4, 1872, to represent them in the Forty-third Congress. That the returning, or canvassing board, that declared you to be elected, was not the lawful or canvassing board of the State of Louisiana ; that said returring or canvassing board, even bad it been the lawful returning or canvassing board of the State, did not have before it or in its possession the legal and official returns from the wards of the city of New Orleans and parishes composing the second congressional district of the State of Louisiana, and did not make the canvass or count in your favor based upon official returns, or in accordance with the laws of the State of Louisiana or of the United States; it had no returns to canvass ; it never saw one of them, and it made the returns and promulgation without respect to the votes actually cast and transmitted to the governor of the State; that the returns and promulgation made by this board declaring you elected, are false, fraudulent, illegal, and void ; that you, therefore, occupy the aforesaid seat in Congress without legal title, warrant, or authority ; that I was legally and fairly elected their Representative by a majority of the qualified voters of the second congressional district at the election of the 4th November, 1872, in accordance with the laws of the State of Louisiana, and of the United States, and am entitled to be recognized and seated, as the Representative from the second congressional district of Louisiana in the Forty-third Congress of the Uvited States, and that promulgation of said votes was made in due form; that, by the votes and ballots act. ually cast and properly returned in and from every precinct, parish, and city-ward and polling-place in the second congressional district, by the proper officers, in compliance with the laws, it is shown that I was elected by a large majority in said district over you, and this fact was fully attested. Very, respectfully,

R. L. GIBSON, Hop. L. A. SHELDON.

Received this 19th December, 1873, from R. L. Gibson, the original of bis notice to Hon. L. A. Sheldon, of contest and claim for the seat in the Forty-tbird Congress from the second congressional district of Louisiana, which notice contains the special grounds of contest.

Hon. L. A. Sheldon bas written on said paper: Service of notice of said contest accepted.

H. R. WELLS.

In the matter of Randall L. Gibson, contestant, vs. L. A. Sheldon, sitting

meinber for the second congressional district of Louisiana.

Testimony taken before Hon. E. North Cullom, judge of the fifth district court for the parish of Orleans, and the Hon. A. G. Brice, mayor of Carrollton, on the 16th day of February, 1874, at the office of Gibson & Austin, No. 5 Carondelet street, New Orleans, the sitting member represented by Hon. Don A. Pardee, and the contestant represented by himself.

I solemnly swear that I will well, truly, and correctly report the eridence in the before-named case as given by the witnesses, and that I am qualified under the laws of the United States and of this State, and of the constitutions thereof, to bold and perform the duties of the office of clerk herein.

JOHN O'LOG HLEN Sworn to and subscribed before me, the undersigned authority, this 16th day of February, A. D. 1874, in the city of New Orleans, La.

E. NORTH CULLOM,
Judge of the Fifth District Court for the Parish of Orleans.
The contestant offers the resolution of Congress authorizing contest,
marked A; also copy of notice of contest, marked B; also answer of
General Sheldon, marked (; also notice to take testimony, marked D.

Don A. Pardee offers protest, marked E; also protest, marked F.
The first witness called, Jacob Hawkins, failed to answer.
The second witness called, James Longstreet, failed to answer.
The third witness called, John Lynch, failed to answer.
The fourth witness called, H. C. Warmoth, failed to answer.
The following witnesses only, having answered, were examined :

BENJAMIN R. FORMAN, sworn by the Hon. E. North Callom, and examined for the contestant by the contestant himself :

[Mr. Don A. Pardee protests against Mr. Forman's testimony, and files his protest, which is dated the 16th of February, 1874, and marked G, with reference to certain evidence offered to be established by this witness.

Witness says: I was chosen member of the canvassing board elected by the legislature of Louisiana on the 11th of December, 1872, that sat at Lyceum Hall.

Question. Did you have before that board the legal and official election-returns for the second congressional district for the 4th of November, 1872 ?-Answer. We did.

Q. Do you recollect how the votes stood in that district between General Gibson and General Sheldon, as shown by these official electionreturns ?

To wbich question and answer thereto General Sheldon specially ob. jects, as the same is calculated to prove by parol testimony the contents of official written documents, and for further reasons recited in protest marked G.]

Q. Please state to the best of your recollection how the votes stood as shown by these official returns between General Gibson and General Sheldon ?

(Objection overruled.)

A. I recollect which one was shown to be elected by these returns very distinctly.

Q. Where are the election-returns now ?-A. The last I saw of them they were in Washington City. I have not seen them since I took them there and left them there.

Q. Do you know where they are now, or are they accessible to you ?A. I don't know where they are now.

Q. Have these returns passed out of your possession ?-A. Yes.
Q. Do you know where they are now ?-A. I do not.
Q. Is it possible for you to get at them ?-A. It is not.

Q. So far, then, as you are concerned the returns are wholly out of your reach!-A. They are certainly.

Q. Please state now what these returns show. Objected to question by Judge Pardee and objection sustained. Q. From whom did you receive these official returns ?-A. From 0. D. Bragdon, in the Saint Charles Hotel, on the night of the 11th of December, 1872.

Q. What was 0. D. Bragdon's position 1-A. He acted when he deliv. ered them to me as the secretary of what was known as the De Feriet board. He was also private secretary to the governor of Louisiana at that time.

Q. Did you or not canvass these returns ?-A. I did.
Question objected to as leading]

Q. What did you do with the returns ?-A. I canvassed them, and as canvassing officer certified to the result.

Q. To whom did you make known the result ?
(Answer objected to as irrelevant.!
A. To Governor McEnery.

Q. Were these returns kept continuously in your possession or not? A. Those election-returns were in my possession and control from 11th December, 1872, until about 30th January, 1873, when I left them in Washington.

Q. What disposition was finally made of them ?-A. I left them in Washington in the room of the Committee on Privileges and Elections. To my own knowledge, I can swear no more. There were no electionreturns from Terrebonne, which is one of the parishes in that district, and none from Saint James either.

B. R. FORMAN. ARCHIBALD MITCHELL, sworn by Hon. E. N. Cullom and examined by the contestant in his behalf:

Question. Were you a member of the returning-board ?-Answer. I was a member of the returning-board that was appointed by the legis. lature that sat at Lyceum Hall.

Q. Did you canvass the returns from the second congressional dis. trict ?-A. I did, the returns from all the State and that included them.

Q. Do you know where those returns are ? A. I do not.

Q. How long were those returns in your possession ?-A. From the night of the 11th December, 1872, until about February 7, 1873.

By Judge PARDEE: Q. Were those returns in duplicate ?-A. Yes, I think they were in duplicate, if not triplicate.

ARCHD. MITCHELL.

Adjourned at 4 o'clock p. m. to meet at 6 o'clock p. m. again.

E. NORTH CULLOM, Judge Fifth District Court, Parish of Orleans.

A. G. BRICE,

Mayor of Carrollton and Recorder. FEBRUARY 16, 1874.

5 CARONDELET STREET,

New Orleans, February 16, 1874. Met at 6 o'clock p. m. pursuant to adjournment, and notice on file marked I; and adjourned until next Saturday, February 21, at 12 o'clock m. Hon. E. North Culloun and A. G. Brice present; also Hon. Don A. Pardee, representing the sitting member, and General R. L. Gibson, representing himself. New Orleans, February 16, 1874.

E. NORTH CULLOM,
Judge Fifth District Court, Parish of Orleans.

A. G. BRICE,
Mayor of Carrollton and Recorder.

A.

FORTY-THIRD CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION.

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,

In the House of Representatives, December 18, 1873. On motion of Mr. G. W. Hazelton, Resolved, That Randall L. Gibsou, from the second congressional district of Louisiana, be permitted to serve on Lionel A. Sheldon, sitting member from said district, notice of contest within twenty days from the 9th of December, 1873; and that said sitting member be permitted to answer the same witbin twenty days after the service thereof.

Resolved, That the time for the taking of testimony in said contested election case is bereby extended for ninety days from the time tbe apswer is allowed to be filed to the notice of contest. Attest:

EWD. MCPHERSON,

Clerk.

FORTY-THIRD CONGRESS UNITED STATES, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C., December 18, 1873. SIR: I hereby give you forinal notice that I contest and claim the seat you were admitted to on the prima facie case, as representative in the Forty-third Congress from the second congressional district of the State of Louisiapa.

I base this contest and claim upon the following special grounds and allegations:

That you were not elected, and I was elected, by a majority of the qualified voters of the second congressional district at the election of November 4, 1872, to represent them in the Forty-third Congress.

That the returning or canvassing board that declared you to be elected was not the lawful returning or canvassing board of the State of Louisi. ana.

That said returning or canvassing board, even had it been the lawful returning or canvassing board of the State, did not have before it or in its possession the legal and official returns from the wards of the city of New Orleans and parishes composing second congressivnal district of the State of Louisiana, and did not make the canvass or count in your favor, based upon official returns or in accordance with the laws of the State of Louisiana or of the United States. It had no returns to canvass; it never saw one of them, and it made the returns and promul. gation without respect to the votes actually cast and transmitted to the governor of the State.

That the returns and promulgation made by this board declaring you elected are false, fraudulent, illegal, and void.

Thạt you, therefore, occupy the aforesaid seat in Congress without legal title, warrant, or authority.

That I was legally and fairly elected their Representative by a majority of the qualified voters of the second congressional district at the election of the 4th of November, 1872, in accordance with the laws of the State of Louisiana and of the United States, and am entitled to be recognized and seated as the Representative from the second congres. sional district of Louisiana in the Forty-third Congress of the United States. Yours, respectfully,

R. L. GIBSON. Hon. LIONEL A. SHELDON.

I accept notice, and service of the within notice, of contest by R. L. Gibson.

WASHINGTON, D. C., December, 1874.

That, by the votes and ballots actually cast and the returns properly made, in compliance with the laws of the State and of the United States, I received and you received

, and the promulgation of said vote was made in due form.

That, by the votes and ballots actually cast and the returns properly made, in and from every precinct, parish, city-ward, and polling-place in the second congressional district, by the proper officers, in compliance with the laws, it is shown that I was elected by a large majority in said district over you, and this fact was duly attested.

WASHINGTON, December 18, 1873. SIR: I hereby give you formal notice that I contest and claim the seat you were admitted to, on the prima facie case, as Representative in the Forty-third Congress from the second congressional district of the State of Louisiana. I base this contest and claim upon the following special grounds and allegations: That you were not elected and I was elected by a majority of the qualified voters of the second congressional district, at the election of November 4, 1873, to represent them in the Forty-third Congress; that the returning or canvassing board that

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