Imágenes de páginas


WASHINGTON, May 8, 1884. ADDISON J. BROWN sworn and examined.

By the CHAIRMAN: Question. Please state your age, residence, and occupation. —Answer I am thirty eight years of age; I reside at East Moravia, Pa.; I am a farmer.

Q. State whether you were at any time a deputy marshal in the western district of Pennsylvania.-A. I was.

Q. During what time -A. I was appointed in 1880.

Q. How long did you serve ?-A. I served until 1882, but I had acted in the capacity of a deputy marshal for nearly three years prior to that.

Q. During the three years prior to that, in what way did you serve as a deputy ?-A. I was serving writs for the Roberts Torpedo Company, and was recognized by the office as a deputy—a special.

Q. Who appointed you to perform that service?-A. I cannot tell you whether I was appointed or not, but I was employed by a man named Thomas, who was an agent for the Roberts Torpedo Company.

Q: Did you serve the processes of the courts ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. From whom did you receive the writs ?-A. I received them from Mr. Thomas. At that time I was not acquainted with Mr. Hall at all.

Q. Who is Mr. Thomas ?-A. Mr. Thomas is an agent for the Roberts Torpedo Company and attends to that part of the business; he is in their employ.

Q. Did he have any official Government position ?-A. No, sir; not at all that I know of.

Q. What kind of writs did you serve?-A. Chancery subpenas, preliminary injunctions, and injunctions and subpanas for witnesses. During that time I also collected some executions.

Q. In what manner did you sign the papers 1--A. I signed as a deputy, “ John Hall, U. S. marshal, per A. J. Brown, deputy."

Q. Do you say that you had no authority from Marshal Hall ?-A. I never had met the gentleman at that time to my knowledge; I knew him by sight.

Q. Had he given you any written or verbal authority to act for him ? A. None whatever.

Q. What was the extent of the business that you performed there as a deputy 1-A. In 1878 the business was quite large. I cannot tell you the exact number of suits or writs, but I was quite busily employed.

Q. In what way did those writs and papers come into your hands A. They were given to me by Mr. Thomas, and in one or two instances by Mr. Roberts himself, and sometimes, if I recollect right, they came to me directly from the marshal's office.

II. Mis. 38, vol. 2— 1*

Q. Who forwarded them ?-A. The marshal or his clerk; they came from the office; I don't know who sent them.

Q. Who paid your fees ?-A. Mr. Thomas.

Q. Did you get any fees for serving court process ?-A. Yes, sir; those are the ones that I am speaking of. He paid me $2 a writ, and I paid my own expenses.

Q. Did you make any charges on the papers for expenses ?-A. No, sir; I simply made my return, showing that the papers were served on the proper person, either by leaving them at the residence, or by per: sonal service.

Q. Did you render any account for those services ?-A. I always ren. dered it to Mr. Thomas.

Q. That was the account for $2 for each writ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you render any other account 1-A. No, sir.

Q. Did Mr. Hall pay you anything ?-A. At that time nothing. I had no business with Mr. Hall until 1882.

Q. How were you employed after that 1-A. After that I worked directly for Marshal Hall, and served the same papers. Then I got twothirds of the legal fees, which I found to be much more profitable.

By Mr. VAN ALSTYNE: Q. To whom did you send those subpænas and writs while you were working for Mr. Thomas ?-A. I turned the papers over to him, and he paid me the money.

Q. What be did with them you don't know ?-A. I do not know what he did with them. I suppose he sent them to court.

By the CHAIRMAN: Q. What was the nature of the court proceedings against the parties that you served :-A. They were sued for infringement of patents and the usual chancery subpæna was issued first. Sometimes that was ac"companied with a motion for a preliminary injunction; frequently the preliminary injunction was granted and then a perpetual injunction; then a master's notice, and frequently subpenas for witnesses.

Q. Can you explain how the court processes were issued—whether the names were inserted in them or whether they were issued in blank.A. Oh, they were issued directly to the parties. The Roberts people would lodge the information and the clerk of the court would make out a regular chancery subpæna.

Q. In the case of an injunction, were any of the names of persons to be served left blank ?-A. No, sir. There were many subpænas for witnesses that were issued by Mr. Gamble that were issued in blank; that is, the seal of the court was put on and his signature, but no term aud no number—just bis name and the seal of the court. But those were subpænas for witnesses.

Q. Who was Mr. Gamble?-A, Mr. Gamble was the clerk of the court.

By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Were those subpænas issued by him as clerk, or as a United States commissioner ?-A. As clerk.

Q. You had blank subpænas, then, issued by the clerk, leaving you to insert the names of the parties when you found them !- A. Yes, sir. But those, you understand, were subpenas for witnesses; the parties were not principals in the cases at all.

Q. In the injunction proceedings and in the summonses for defendants you found the names inserted in the papers when they came to you? A. Oh, yes; always. They were always correct and issued properly.

Q. Do you know whether they were inserted by the agent of the torpedo company or whether the papers came from the court in that way?A. I think they came directly from the court.

Q. Do you remember how many cases there were that you served as agent of the torpedo company -A. I cannot say exactly. There were a great many more services than there were suits, but in 1878 I was very busy the whole year; I did nothing else than just travel from one district to another.

Q. Do you know how many cases there were ?-A. No; I do not.

Q. About how many 1-A. I presume that I made 500 services in 1878, but that would be only an estimate; I do not know exactly

Q. Were you entitled to $2 for each 1-A. Yes, sir; $2 for each.

Q. Did anyone pay you for the services ?-A. Mr. Tbomas always paid me.

Q. Did he pay you in full ?-A. Yes, sir; with one exception. My contract was that I was to receive $2 for each paper that I served. A question arose about one lot of papers which he issued, in which there were a master's notice and a motion for a preliminary injunction served with the chancery subpoena. Mr. Thomas claimed that they all being served at the same time I was not entitled to pay for that. I claimed that I was, and that was the way that I got acquainted with Marshal Hall.

Q. What was the difference between the amount of your claim upon the torpedo company and the amount which they allowed you l-A. They paid me $850. That was all they had refused to pay. I went to Marshal Hall and asked him if he knew anything about it, and he said he did not; that he had not employed me; that I was employed by the company, and that his contract with them did not admit of any third party; that is, he gave thein the papers to serve, and he had some arrangement with them, and they were to get the papers served.

Q. What arrangement did he say he had with them I-A. He did not say. I knew nothing whatever about that. But when he found that I was deterinined to get the money, he telegraphed for them, and they came down and paid me $850, and then Marshal Hall gave me an ap. pointment as deputy.

Q. What was the basis of your suit against the company?-A. That was for services rendered three years before that-in 1874.

Q. Were you actiug at that time as a deputy marshal?-A. No, sir; I was acting as an informer, or a detective, or a spy, or whatever you choose to call it.

Q. For whom I-A. For the Roberts Torpedo Company.

Q. Did you bring the cases to the notice of the United States authorities I-A. I furnished the information to the agents of the company.

Q. Were suits commenced and brought to trial?-A. Some were, but many of them were not; from the fact that Mr. Roberts surrendered his patent at that time in order to have it reissued, and that cut out many of the suits.

Q. How much did you claim at that time?-A. I think the difference between Mr. Roberts and me was something like $21,000.

Q. How long a period did that claim cover I-A. I worked just two mouths, October and September, 1874.

Q. And in that time did your fees amount to that sum !-A. Yes, sir; according to our contract.

Q. What was the contract ?-A. I have a copy of it with me here. The witness produced and read the paper as follows: Memorandum of agreement made this second day of August, 1874, between Roberts Torpedo Company and A. J. Brown, to wit: The Roberts Torpedo Company agree to pay to said A. J. Brown $10 for the report of each party buying, selling, handling, or using torpedoes in oil wells other than the Roberts patterns; said Brown to receive one-half of the amount at the time of making the report, the balance when proven, or any of the parties may settle for the same. The Roberts Torpedo Company further agree to pay A. J. Brown $10 for each torpedo proven after the first one and $20 for each torpedo put in after the parties have been enjoined. By order of E. A. L. Roberts.


Agent. Q. Were there proceedings pending in the United States court during this time in regard to the cases that you were then making service in I-A. Many of them had not been settled. There were a great many of the cases that suits were brought in immediately at the time the reports were made, but there were some that they never brought any suits in, for some reason that I do not know; but I was told it was on account of the surrender of the patent and the reissue, which had cut them out.

Q. How many cases do you say you discovered and worked up in those two months 1-A. I forget the exact number, but at $10 and $20 each they amounted to about $21,000.

Q. What did you do with the parties against whom proceedings were instituted ?-A. I did nothing whatever. My work was done after I made my reports.

Q. What was the nature of the reports !-A. I discovered that those men had been using torpedoes different from the Roberts patent. You observe that the coutract says any man buying or selling," so that if a man bought a torpedo, and if I reported it, that settled the business so far as I was concerned, except that I had to prove the case when the suit was brought to trial.

Q. How many cases were instituted in pursuance of the reports you made?-A. That I could not tell you without referring to the record.

Q. What is your estimate of the number?-A. I presume tbat suits were brought in about one-half the cases.

Q. Were there compromises in those cases |--A. That I do not know. In fact, the Roberts Company were very particular that I should not get at those facts.

Q. For what reason ?-A. For the reason that they did not want to pay me.

Q. Have they paid you l-A. They have now.

Q. How much did they pay you?-A. They paid me $2,500 three years ago, and I think at the time I made the reports they paid me about $1,200, making about $3,700 altogether.

Q. Is that all that you received under your contract 1-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were not the company responsible?—A. They were, and I brought a suit, but I found that the statute of limitations had nearly or quite cut me out, and it was a question whether it had or had not done so, and I thought it was better to take that amount of money than to stand a fight.

Q. Do you know bow many cases were instituted, or could have been instituted, from the information you furnished !-A. No, sir; I could not tell you that exactly; but if I was at home I could tell you the exact number, as it is in my bill of particulars. The reason I can not tell you now is that there were many of the parties that had ten or fif

[ocr errors]

teen torpedoes, so that that would limit the number of parties—would reduce the number materially. I should judge that there were in the neighborhood of two hundred and fifty or three hundred of them.

Q. What was the nature of the proceedings instituted in the United States Court in those cases ?-A. Simply a suit in equity, and most of the Roberts cases were allowed to drop after the chancery subpona was issued.

Q. What was done in the war of compromising those suits by the Roberts Compavy!-A. That I cannot tell you; from the fact that there were but very few entries made on the docket at Pittsburgh.

Q. How many I-A. Possibly 15 or 20, or perhaps more; but there were many of the parties wlio settled to my knowledge that the records at Pittsburgh did not show anything about.

Q. State what you know with regard to the returns maile to the court of costs that should have accrued in those cases, and should have been collected by the marshal for serving the court process.-A. Do I understand you to want me to state what the marshal's returns were ?

Q. What his returns were and what the facts were ?-A. Of course I cannot tell you exactly what the facts in the cases were, but I know that if you go back over the term of marshals holding that office nine and a half years, according to his returns the gross earnings of the office were only $70,000; the office was not self-sustaining except in the year 1878; in that year he turned over to the Government $143.70. That was all the money that he paid to the Government during that pine and a half years, according to his own sworn statements.

Q. Where were those sworn statements made? Do you mean his emolument returns!-A. Yes, sir; his emolument returns, which I ex amined in the Treasury Department two years ago.

Q. What should have been returned from that office during that period, according to your knowledge of the business ?-A. Well, I have a very poor idea of what there should have been. Of course I have a pretty good idea of what his earnings would have been in the Roberts torpedo cases, and I considered that the actual costs in the Roberts business alone would have been more than $70,000.

Q. Upon what do you base that opinion ?-A. I think so from the simple reason that of all the records in the marshal's office that I have erer examined I have failed to find the first one that was correct.

Q. What were the discrepancies that you discovered? Please state at length what you know about that matter.-A. Well, for instance, there was one suit that was brought in 1876 that went through the full process of the court and the execution was issued and collected. The marshal's costs, as figured up on the execution-I served it myself and I collected it-amounted to $142; and then for collecting the execution there was $53. The marshal's docket shows that his costs in that case were something like $63. I was very much surprised on looking over bis emolument sbeets to find that the first return of the Roberts to. pedo business that I could discover was in the year 1881; it was ignored prior to that time. The names of none of the deputies who served those processes were mentioned in the returns, although I believe the marshal is required by law to swear to how much money has been earned by the different deputies and special deputies. Giving the names of all the deputies that ever worked for Mr. Hall, his emolument sheets show only eleren, and they show that he paid those deputies $17,000. Now, his owu son was one of those deputies, who received over $12,000, leaving the remaining $5,000 for the other ten deputies. The only return that he has ever made in regard to Mr. R. K. Campbell, one of

« AnteriorContinuar »