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Tilden's adopted son, though I do not think with any correctness. But he is a protégé of Mr. Tilden's. Mr. Tilden made him park commissioner in New York, and put bim in various positions of honor and emolument. He is a gentleman and a lawyer, if both of those things can be combined. Mr. McLean came on to Washington to make some in. quiry.
By Mr. FYAN: Q. How do you know that?—A. I will give you my authority for the statement. Mr. FYAN. Mr. Chairman, if this is mere hearsay
The WITNESS. What I am going to say is not going to affect Mr. Tilden. Mr. Fyan. I am not afraid of that.
The WITNESS. "Mr. Tilden sent Mr. McLean on to Washington to make inquiry about it. Mr. McLean came on and made inquiries, and went back and reported the investigation as being properly managed, stating that the star-route frauds already existed and that the evidence was being obtained properly.
Mr. McLean was a law partner of Henry E. Knox. Henry E. Knox was the college classmate, and I think the chum, of James A. Garfield. Mr. Tilden was obtaining this information in this way. Now, I am going to state an inference. In the opinion of those familiar with the matter, Mr. Tilden was obtaining this star-route information for the purpose, in the event of his nomination by the Democratic party for the office of President, of making his campaign for the Presidency on that issue, just as he made his campaign for the governorship of New York on the canal frauds; and I am inclined to think he would have done so as successfully as he did in that case. It would have taken two or three electoral commissions to beat him. But Mr. Tilden was not nominated, and he did not give the information to Mr. Hancock, who ran merely on “local issue.” After Mr. Garfield was elected, Mr. Knox, having had some knowledge of these facts, and having gathered the information that Mr. Dorsey was concerned in this business, and ascertaining that Mr. Dorsey was on relations with Mr. Garfield of confidence and of influence, late in February he got permission to have these facts, as to Mr. Dorsey's connection with the star-route frauds, communicated to Mr. Garfield. They were communicated to him after Mr. Garfield got here, early in March. I think that is the explanation of the fact, which is undoubtedly a fact, that while Mr. Dorsey had had great influence with Mr. Garfield up to that time, that from that time on, al. though their relations did not cease; though General Garfield still saw him from that time on, yet every one knows his advice was not taken and his Cabinet was not made up as Mr. Dorsey wanted it.
Let me say a word right here about my feelings towards Mr. Dorsey.. It has been stated in evidence here that my prosecution of Mr. Dorsey was influenced by personal feelings. Now, I wish to say, instead of that being true, that, on the contrary, all the relations I had with Mr. Dorsey were pleasant. I never knew him particularly. I had seen him in the Senate, but I never knew him much until after the Presidential election. After the election, I found out that he and I wanted the same gentleman appointed to a Cabinet position, and that fact appearing, he and I were thrown together somewhat. I was pulling my humble wire in the same direction that he was pulling his wire. Our relations were always pleasant. Mr. Dorsey did not have a very high opinion of my political intelligence, but our relations were always pleasant. I at.
tended the famous Dorsey dinner. My political affiliations ran with Mr. Dorsey's.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. What member of the Cabinet were you both urging the appoint. · ment of-A. A gentleman who was not put into the Cabinet by Mr. Garfield. I have no hesitation in mentioning who it was ; it was Charles J. Folger. I wanted him to go into Mr. Garfield's Cabinet, as the Secre. tary of the Treasury. Mr. Garfield offered him the Attorney-Generalship, but he declined it.
Q. You spoke about Mr. Tilden 1-A. Yes, sir, I spoke about Mr. Tilden; let me follow right along and state some facts as bearing out my statement as to how Mr. Gibson has served him since he went out of the Government employ, and has done his best to make the cases a failure. Suppose two years to have intervened, as the play writers say. The Government is anxious to discover Mr. J. A. Walsh. Mr. Gibson is very indignant because we did not try a certain case, and we cannot try it without him. We set to work in an elaborate inquiry to find out where Walsh is. He is a gentleman who has no home. He gets his letters through his lawyers, and his lawyers have the ability to conceal everything; they are faithful to their client. We cannot find him. We find letters for Mr. Walsh are accumulating in the New York postoffice. We established a watch to see who calls for the letters. Shortly a person with an order from Mr. Walsh calls and gets the letters. That gentleman is followed by persons who are in ignorance of who he is ; followed to the Ebbitt House, and sure enough it is ascertained that that gentleman is Mr. A. M. Gibson. Fifteen days later another gentleman presents an order from Mr. Walsh for the letters, and receives a batch. He is required to state who he is. After some hesitation, he reveals who he is. His name is given as Charles F. McLean. He is followed to his office, and then to his home at the New York Hotel. A week or ten days more, the same thing is repeated by Mr. McLean. I am informed Mr. McLean sat near Mr. Gibson when he was testifying here.
Q. You are desirous now of obtaining the presence of Mr. Walsh A. Yes, sir; I have devoted a great deal of time to an endeavor to find Mr. Walsh, but have not succeeded, and for which service, it is understood, by the way, I can get 10 pay.
Q. Before you leave this subject, let me ask if you can explain the statement you made yesterday with regard to the papers in the PostOffice Department being very meager as to the Salisbury matter?-A. I stated I bad no evidence on the subject. My impression is simply gained from this fact, that when you find a route of the Dorseys, a route 150 miles long with perhaps ten or a dozen post offices on it, extending over four vears, you will find a pile of papers very frequently 6 or 8 inches thick, and you will find a vast mass of papers which, if you could take up Mr. Woodward's analysis in the cases, you will see how these little things that are on file there dovetail in with affidavits and information with regard to the routes, and which go very far to make up it complete case. When we came to the Salisbury route, we found nothing there but the merest formal papers. There was not anything that inculpated anybody, except there was a big order of expedition. While it is of course possible that the Salisbury combination did their business in a different way, and they did not put on file such things, yet it is hardly probable, because a great many of those papers, for instance, would not come from the contractors; they would be complaints
from people along the routes, stating the mail was not carried, and all that sort of thing, which would go on file with the papers of the route to which they related. We did not find anything of that kind in the Salisbury cases. The difference was very marked. Mr. Woodward discovered it and said nothing about it, because really I was so very busy that Mr. Woodward and I had very little time to confer except with regard to the more inportant matters. But when we did get an opportunity to talk over the matter I found the same thing, and yet there was no evidence that anybody had taken any papers at all. :
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Who had had access to the papers to which you refer!-A. I can. not tell who had access to them. They were under the charge of a clerk. Of course an outsider could not get access, except with the knowledge and permission of the clerk in charge. Any one of the counsel could have gone there and taken possession of them, and done anything with them. At one time, quite early-I do not know but always—there was a system by which one or the other parties concerned for the Government would go up or send up and ask for all the papers on a given route, and down they would go, and sometimes there was not even a receipt giveu for them; at other times there would be a receipt given for papers on such a route. Of course, with the concurrence of the clerk, anybody might be allowed to see the papers. Nobody could be permitted to handle them, and have them in his possession, except some one of the counsel, or some one of the post office inspectors detailed for investigation, I presume. I do not know, of my own knowledge, what the rules of the Post Office Department were as to access to those papers.
Q. Will you explain to the committee what evidence you had during the progress of either of the trials, that the defendants were in the pos. session of any part of the briefs, or information, that was supposed to be exclusively in the possession of the Government counsel 1-A. I remem ber there were various questions asked, from time to time. For instance, there was a particular witness to a period in whose life the post-office inspectors' report referred, as not being very creditable to him, &c. It had turned out that the inspectors' report was, in that respect, erroneous; that as to the particular theme which it was claimed was not to his credit, the inspector had been erroneously informed about. When that witness came on the stand, the counsel asked questions with reference to that particular matter which had been erroneously charged by the post-office inspector, and which question showed very clearly that they had had access to that statement of the Post-Office inspector.
Q. What trial was that!-A. The second trial. There were other things of that sort that I cannot recall at this moment. I know as between Mr. Woodward and myself it was not infrequently the case, as we went out of court at the end of the day one or the other would say, “Those questions they asked show they have had access to our papers."
Q. From whom could they have obtained access to your papers ?A. With reference to that I can only say this to you: Mr. Woodward was making up these statements, which were very elaborate, of a very detailed character, and, although in his presence, I must say very able abstract of the cases, an abstract which any lawyer could use, and a very thorough brief, combining the advantage of having been prepared by a man thoroughly familiar with post office matters and to which any lawyer might apply the legal rules of evidence. Sometimes Mr. Woodward made mistakes in the bearing of evidence, but those reports used to be written out by him, and certain of them I know copies
were made of and sent to Mr. Cook. There was another copy made which was kept in the office, or the original, I do not know which. Mr. WOODWARD. The original was kept in the office.
The WITNESS. Very frequently Mr. Woodward would be using his copy, and I would want another, and I did not have it. I do not know of my own knowledge that any of those copies were sent to Mr. Cook ; but the record shows that certain of the reports from time to time as made up were sent to Mr. Cook.
On the 7th of March, 1882–1 think it was about the time Mr. Cook resigned-and I think, perhaps, actually after he had resigned; the first letter was certainly written before I knew of his resignation. On the 7th of March, 1882, I called upon Mr. Cook for the return of some of those reports.
He replied by letter, wbich I do not know whether I have or not. On the 17th of March, however, I wrote a reply to him, which is as follows:
WASHINGTON, March 17, 1882.' Col. W. A. Cook:
Sir: I judge that I failed yesterday to inake myself understooil as to the papers that I wanted. Mr. Woodward prepared abstracts of statements appearing on the files, and of the information ubtained from other sources as to each of the routes specified in the inclosed list. These abstracts were copied and one copy was, he informs me, furnished to you. I remember to have seen some of them in your possession, and you referred to others. It is these papers that I wanted independently of your retirement from the cases, but now that you have decided to retire you cannot have any use for them. Your obedient servant,
He replied that he bad not any such papers. Subsequently to that, I stated the matter to the Attorney General, and there was some correspondence between the Attorney-General and myself. He, I think, transmitted my letters, or a copy of them, to Mr. Cook. I thought I had a reference to one of those letters. Colonel Cook replied in the same way, and expressed bimself as considerably insulted at my insisting upon it that he had any papers. I do not know at what time some papers were returned by him to the Attorney-General's office. I am informed that he produced a receipt here. I know that at one time, considerably subsequent to this correspondence in the Attorney-General's office, the clerk showed me, in a drawer, some papers which he said had been received within a short time from Colonel Cook. I do not know when that was, and I cannot tell. I am confident that amongst those papers were some of Woodward's reports. I make no concealment of my own belief that when those reports were called for they could not be immediately returned, because it was desired to have copies made of them, and that after copies had been made they came back.
Now, there was a Mrs. Gregg, who we had here as a witness, who was employed by Colonel Cook, and who made copies, as she states, of a large number of papers. She describes them generally, as to what they were. I do not know whether her description corresponds with Wood. Ward's reports or not, but they were papers relating to star-route contracts, affidavits, number of horses, carriers, &c. She was employed by Colonel Cook to copy them, and was told not to let Mr. Wood ward or the other counsel know anything about it. She was employed for many days in making these copies. Mrs. Gregg is living at Saint Louis. Her address can be secured if the committee desire to examine her.
By Mr. STEWART : Q. By whom was she employed ?-A. By Colonel Cook. She lived at
that time at Alton, Ill. Her father is quite an old man-Mr. Fisher. He had been a well-known mail contractor. He is very infirm. I saw the daughter at the time she was here. I have not seen her since.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Was that lady employed by any other counsel for the purpose of making copies of papers I-A. She was summoned here as a witness. Mr. Cook summoned her here, and she was paid witness fees by the Gov. ernment. In fact, she was kept here so long that the witness fees did not pay the expenses, and I had to make some arrangement by: which she got something in addition to witness fees, and my recollection is that it resulted in my paying her some siim of money out of my own pocket, which I did not mean to do.
Q. Was she put upon the stand as a witness 1-A. No, sir; she was not to be a witness in that case. I do not remember, at this moment, in what case she was intended to be a witness. I think she was used as a witness before the grand jury; that is my impression. She was brought here by Mr. Hinds. He was a former post-office inspector, who acted very largely with Mr. Cook. I have nothing to say against Mr. Hinds, and I want that distinctly understood.
Q. State whether there could have been any necessity, with a view to the efficient prosecution of these cases, for the copies of these papers to have been made by this lady.-A. If I knew what the papers were I could answer that question more definitely. If they were Mr. Wood. ward's reports, I say, decidedly, no. Not only could there have been no use in it, in that case, but, on the contrary, considerable impropriety in multiplying copies. If they were papers that consisted of our evi. dence—and Mrs. Gregg's statement seems to show that they were affidavits, or something of that kind-I do not see why any copies at all should have been made.
Q. Was any bill presented by her to the Government for the making of such copies ?-A. I think not.
By Mr. MILLIKEN: Q. Were the copies made before Mr. Cook's services to the Government terminated ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. While he was in the employ of the Government?-A. Yes, sir; that must have been so. Let me say that when the combination of the safe was changed, I then had a careful list of all the papers made; I tried to get things into some kind of systematic shape, and I had a record of everything made up.
Q. How long had that combination been changed before Mr. Gibson's service for the Government. expired ?-A. That combination must have been changed about the 7th of January. Mr. Woodward thinks it was earlier, but my impression is it was about that time. I know on the 7th of January I wrote a letter to the effect that if Colonel Cook had any of the original papers I wished he would return them. The discovery of the Black Cañon report was made at the end of December, I think, and that really precipitated this thing. Mr. Gibson's employment ceased in February, I think.
As to that, Mr. Gibson says that I did rot want him in the cases. He states that I said I did not want him out of the cases, and yet I did want him out. My relation to that matter is substantially this: The Attorney-General consulted me as to the propriety of dismissing Mr. Gibson. He was very much disposed to dismiss him. I said that that would probably create a scandal. I remarked to him that Mr. Gibson would