« AnteriorContinuar »
were; and they bave been stopped except as adverse motions have been made on the other side and several motions in the case of Mr. Spencer.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. And the recent effort to set down the Kellogg case for trial !-A. That was an adverse motion on the other side.
By Mr. FYAN: Q. Fix the date when the Government resolved not to prosecute those Mobile cases ?-A. Well, sir, I cannot say that the Government ever resolved not to prosecute the cases.
Q. Well, to suspend their prosecution ?-A. I should think the conversation I have stated must have occurred in October last. It would seem so to me now, because I do not think I was here in the fall so as to see the Attorney-General until October.
I started at one point in my examination to say something in reference to Mr. Merrick's coming into the star-route cases. All that I have to say about that is that when Colonel Cook went out the Attorney-General spoke to me on the subject of employing Mr. Merrick. He said he had had a conversation with Senator Edmunds, of Vermont, and that he proposed to employ, or was thinking of employing, Mr, Merrick. I think the Attorney-General had a little idea that perhaps I might want to be left in charge of the cases, there seemed to be something in his manner that implied that at all events, he expressed very great gratification when I said that it would suit me entirely to have Mr. Merrick come into the cases; that I did not know Mr. Merrick, but from what I had heard of his standing at the bar I would be very glad to have him employed. The Attorney-General gave me a letter to Mr. Merrick and I went down and saw him and went over the cases with him as far as I could, and subsequently Mr. Merrick assented to being employed.
Q. The first time that you had any intimation that it was the intention of Attorney-General Brewster to suspend the prosecution of these cases was in this conversation that you have related which came up about prosecuting those Mobile cases ?-A. Yes, sir; if that was a conversation of the nature you describe an expression of an intention to
suspend the cases." The Attorney-General expressed an intention to stop right there, so as to enable him to look over the whole ground.
Q. You wanted to prosecute those cases ?-A. I wanted to have the Mobile cases prosecuted.
Q. Had the Government lost any money by those men ?-A. As to those particular Mobile cases, I cannot say whether the Government had lost or not on those bonds. Those parties were bondsmen for Boone, and be bad, on some of his contracts, become a failing contractor, and the Government bad lost some $18,000 or $20,000 by bis failure; but whether that failure related to the particular contracts upon which those men were bondsmen or not, I cannot tell you.
Q. How much did you charge for examining those cases 1-A. I don't remember that I made any specific charge for those cases. I charged for the days covering whatever service I rendered.
Q. Can you approximate the amount which the examination of those cases by you cost; did it cost as much as $5,000!-A. No, sir; not so touch as $500, or $200. Those cases were examined on days when I was here in connection with other cases, and when I should have been ebarging the Government just the same without reference to those partienlar cases. As I was here upon other business, I do not think that practically the examination of those cases added a dollar to the ex. prenses, so far as my fees were concerned. Of course, the cases did add
to the expenses, on account of bringing witnesses from Mobile, and such things.
Q. The Attorney General, then, did not allude to your charges when he spoke of the expense in connection with those cases; I mean in the conversation that he had with you on the subject ?-A. He did not. I have stated the whole conversation as I recollect it, and he did not make any such allusion, further than as I have already stated.
Q. Did the suspension of prosecutions spoken of in the conversation which you have mentioned relate to discontinuing efforts to procure indictments in other cases ?-A. No, sir; pothing was said about that.
Q. In your former examination you spoke of certain briefs of evidence that were used in the efforts to procure indictments against the Parkers and Salisburys; and I desire to call your attention to brief A, which you put in evidence, and which appears on page 173 of our printed record. That brief is as follows:
Vinita to Las Vegas. Route 32021, 725 miles. Once a week. Ten days. Virgil W.
Sept. 27th, 1878. Hayes, Tascosa, and Wheeler were added.
(On the margin:) By another order 12 miles were added, and 535.77 for Seren Oaks, though it was directly on the route.
Of these offices, Hays cannot be found, Wheeler was discontinued. Wheeler and Tascosa were directly on the line, yet they were ordered to add 85 miles to the route, and $842.38 was added for that. This was before expedition and increased service. By expedition and increased service the cost of these paper miles was greatly increased.
Dec. 1st, 1878. Two trips were added and $12,000 allowed. This order, and that adding Tascosa, etc., were modified so as to allow together $23,573,79. Nov. 16th, 1878. J. W. Parker became subcontractor at full pay.
Jan. 1st, 1879. Time was reduced to 7 days, and $31,846.31 allowed. This brought the total pay at that time up to $50,836.31.
Jan. 12th, 1879. The P. M. at Vinita wrote that the service was superfluous; that there was no intermediate office that amounted to anything, and that in over three months he had received less than 50 letters and a half dozen papers.
Feb., 1879. It appeared that the mails for Darlington and Fort Elliot, the chief intermediate offices, having been directed to be forwarded from Vinita over this route, but that for weeks none bad been delivered.
P. M. at Darlington wrote that only 2 papers and two letters had passed over the route, and that there was no road to Vinita.
P. M. at Vinita made same report.
These facts were expressly called to Mr. Brady's attention March 17th, 1879, and he directed that no change should be made.
March 8th, 1879. Chambers, P. O. inspector, wrote the Department that a movement was on foot by interested parties to secure further increases, and he believes it wrong. The ronte as let was really 638 miles long instead of 725, as advertised. This appears from distance circulars. By the addition already noted, the Department, on paper, made the distance on March 19th, 1879, 810 miles, and the time, having been by expedition put down from 10 to 7 days, was then, in consideration of the al. leged increased distance put up to 9 days.
July 6th, 1979. Service was increased to seven trips and 86,052.59 allowed. This carried total pay, which had began at $63.30, up to $136,888.90.
There were numerous petitions for this from $t. Louis and members of Congress and Army officers.
Letters from E. W. Parker, the brother to Parish, show how this was done.
April 30th, '79. P. M. at Vinita who had written against tbe route was removed at Brady's demand, though the inspector reported in his favor.
April 22nd, 1880. P. M. at Red River Springs wrote transmitting a letter from E.
Superintendent railway mail system. P. M. at Mohute or Fort Elliot, at Darlington, says route of no use.
Aug. 6th, 1879. An inspector reported to same effect.
March 19th, 1879. 69 miles were added to embrace several stations on the west end of the line, and $684.59 allowed. This was for another change from a route which they had never traveled, and which was impracticable.
In fact, with all the additions, the road is one mile less than advertised.
The fictitions distances took from the Treasury after expedition $31,973.97 a year. A serving of one day out of ten cost $94,336.39 a year.
Letters show a disposition to bribe Hunt, superintendent mail service.
Q. I desire to ask you whether the facts stated in this brief were by you brought to the attention of the grand jury at the time they ignored that bill ?-A. Yes, sir; the facts that are stated there were all in evidence from the files of the Post-Office Department, and the original papers referred to were placed before the grand jury in succession-proved as coming from the Department, and placed before the grand jury. Then there was oral evidence besides.
Q. Did you call the individuals who were cognizant of these facts to testify before the grand jury, and did they testify to these facts ?-A. All of those individuals did not. Judge Wylie having ruled incidentally, and it being our opinion that the records from the files of the Department were proof, we then undertook to supply the salient facts out. side. I have already stated that one witness whom we brought here, and whose name I do not recall, had a failure of memory; that his mem. ory when he testified here as a witness was not so good as it was in the statement that he had made to the post-office inspector out on the route. When he got here he did not come up to time; and, as I before remarked, I never was certain whether it was a real failure of memory or not. I also mentioned an important witness on that route that we had counted upon but failed to find.
By Mr. STEWART: Q. Were you present with the grand jury?-A. I went before the grand jury and put all the papers in.
Q. Was the grand jury advised that this record evidence from the Department was competent evidence ?-A. Yes, sir; and they acted upon such evidence in other cases. There was no question about that, because they acted upon the record evidence in other cases. This very grand jury found the indictments in the San Antonio and Corpus Christi case upon record evidence, with a single witness, or perhaps two, in addition.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Did you call the attention of the grand jury to the facts specifically set forth in this brief ?-A. Before the grand jury I took up each paper in its order and called the attention of the grand jury to what each paper showed. There was a package of papers, probably so thick fin. dicating about nine inches). I think Mr. Woodward brought the papers from the Post-Office Department; at any rate I had some Department officer to prove the papers, and then, having gone through them, the foreman of the grand jury said to me that he wished I would give him a little abstract of those papers for his convenience, and I did so, and that and one of those is the brief that you are now inquiring about.
Q. Did you call the attention of the grand jury to the fact that over this route, for a period of three months, when the expenses were at the rate of $50,000 a year, there bad passed less than fifty letters and half a dozen papers!-A. I do not remember that specifically; but I can say in general terms that I called the attention of the grand jury to every fact that is there stated.
Q. Was there proof of the fact that the postmaster who had written that this service was unnecessary was removed by Mr. Brady I-A. Yes; that is my recollection of it. That was in the papers.
Q. Was the letter from the postmistress at Red River Springs, say. ing that the brother of the contractor had sought to bribe her, put in evidence l-A. That was put in evidence; that I remember.
Q. Was there any dispute as to the genuineness of the letteri-A. No, sir; the letter bore the post-office stamp.
Mr. STEWART. There is no controversy as to facts before a grand jury in my part of the country.
The WITNESS. No, sir; and there was none there. That letter was from the recognized postmistress, who wrote as such, and it was quite an indignant letter.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Do you remember what was the nature of the proposition to bribe her?—A. I do not recall it definitely. I think it was an offer of $50, or something like that, for which she was to-well, there were so many of those things that I have got them somewhat mixed; but my recollection is that that related to something about the reports of the arrivals of the mails. Mr. Woodward reminds me that the case was this: To get to this post office the mail-carriers were required to diverge a little from the direct road, and if they could be allowed to pass by that postoffice without calling there at all, they would save considerable time; and as the mail was not heavy, they proposed to pay the postmistress if she would let them go by and say nothing about it.
Q. Was that fact in evidence?--A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was it in evidence that this route was being paid for as 810 miles long when in point of fact it was, with all the increased distance, one mile less than the number advertised ?
Q. You say in this brief that the route as let was really 638 miles long instead of 725 as advertised, and that with all the additions it was one mile less than advertised. That fact, you say, was presented to the grand jury 1-A. I remember that there was a question as to the distance put before the grand jury, but the precise figures I do not recall. I repeat again, however, that anything that is stated in that brief was called to the attention of the grand jury.
Q. And you considered the facts here set forth as sufficiently proven before the grand jury to warrant an indictment?-A. I did, sir; and yet, owing to the failure of this one outside witness to appear, I did not make so absolutely conclusive a case as I had expected to make. Still, I thought the grand jury ought to indict.
Q. Was there anything said about the failure to find tbe post-office by the name of " Hayes"?-A. Yes, that was in the paper.
Q. Was that post-office named for the late President?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Then it was a fraud. [Laughter.-A. Well, sir; it was about as difficult to find as it would be to find him now. They got up post-offices out there and named them after various men, but “Hayes" could not be found, and it is evident from the facts proved that several of the others might as well not have been found. Let me say at this point that those offices were all established on the recommendation of United States Senator Stephen W. Dorsey.
Q. The offices were established on the recommendation of Senator Dorsey, and they could not be found ?-A. One of them could not be found. The others that were on the road were found.
By Mr. STEWART: Q. Has there ever been a United States expedition to discover those post-offices? (Laughter. -A. Well, they sent a post-office inspector out there to look for them.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Were the petitions that are mentioned in this brief from Saint Louis, and from members of Congress, and from Army officers, put before the grand jury I-A. Yes, sir. Well, I remember that there were Saint Louis petitions and a good many petitions of one sort and another. Whatever there were, were presented to the grand jury, and I remember that they were quite numerous.
Q. Was Mr. Woodward called before the grand jury in reference to this route?-A. I don't remember. There was nothing that Mr. Woodward could testify to upon that route as of his own knowledge. He could merely have brought the papers, but whether he did bring the papers, as the officer in charge of the files, to prove that they were from the files, or whether they were brought by some other clerk, I do not now remember.
Q. Do you remember whether Mr. Woodward testified at all in the cace ?-A. My impression would be that he did not. It does not now occur to me what evidence he could have given in that case.
Q. Can you name the witnesses who did appear to testify in this case before the grand jury I-A. No, sir; I canuot.
Q. Can you state the name of any witnesses who appeared before the grand jury when this case was being considered to testify with reference to the route from Vinita to Las Vegas ?-A. I cannot. I presume the minates of the grand jury will show.
By Mr. FYAN:
Q. Do you know !-A. I do not. I can undoubtedly ascertain some of the names by the marshal's accounts showing the payment of witness fees. Those accounts would show the places the witnesses rame from That is the only way I know that I could recall the names.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. You cannot now remember the name of any witness who appeared before the grand jury to testify in regard to this route ?-A. I cannot recall any name at all.
Q. Do you know how long the grand jury were considering this case and the papers in it?- A. No, sir; I cannot tell you that. The way it was done before the grand jury was this: We took up a route-for instance, that route; the papers were proved and the witnesses were exam. ined. Sometimes the witnesses were examined before all the papers had been gone through, or when we came to a paper which related to a matter as to which there was a witness waiting in the outer room, he was called in; and we went through the route in that way. Then another ronte was taken up and dealt with in the same way, and then another ronte, and so on. I think that particular grand jury, after they had got through the evidence in all of the cases that I placed before them, took them up and considered them together; at any rate I received these notices of their action all at the same time.