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that I suggested to him was that he might employ some bright young attorney at a salary, who should have general charge of these suits and at the same time confide the more important niatters of the preparation of the pleadings and various things of that character to some connsel whom he should select in Washington or elsewhere, and that in that way the matter might be done without any considerable expense. I learned that the Attorney-General received on the 25th of October the detailed statements to which I have referred.
Q. Were they laid before you ?-A. They were not laid before me. The question of what should be done with the civil suits and who should have charge of them was kept in abeyance by Mr. Brewster. He talked at one time of sending them to Mr. Valentine, the district attorney in Philadelphia, who had shown himself very competent in some of these matters, and after a time I thought I saw a way to get jurisdiction of a civil suit against Mr. Dorsey in a forum where I thought there would be no question of fair treatment. I then made personal application to Mr. Brewster, saying that I did not want to be bulging into the cases, but that there was such a condition of things that I wished he would let me have the papers in that case, that I did not care to continue in it, and that all questions of compensation might be left in abeyance for his subsequent consideration. He then did send me statements of all the routes which were embraced in the Dorsey indictment. It turned vut, however, that the Postmaster-General had made those statements out in the ordinary skeleton form, referring to the evidence upon the trial as applicable to them. When I came to look at those statements in connection with the subcontract law, I found that that law came in my way. It did not appear how much of the money had been paid to or on the orders of Dorsey himself, and I wrote to Mr. Brewster that fact, and said that I thought it would be necessary to make an examination in Washington ou that point. Subsequently I came here and made an ex. amination and got the details.
Q. What did you find !-A. As against Stephen W. Dorsey I found betweeu $100,000 and $200,000 that I thought the Government could recover froin him. That was between $100,000 and $200,000 which lad been paid either to bim upon these nineteen routes, or upon orders given to him or drafts indorsed by him. That left out the subcontractors. Accompanying those were sent me also the papers against Peck, Miner, Vail, and John W. Dorsey. I wrote to the Attorney-General, saying that Peck was dead, leaving substantially no estate, that John W. Dorsey and Miner were irresponsible, and that it seemed to me pot wise to be seuding good money after bad by suing irresponsible men; that as to Vail, he was rich and was out in Missouri. I saill that I did not suppose the Attorney-General desired to send me the case, if he did to let me know, but that what I was looking after was the case against Stephen W. Dorsey. The arrangement I had made to get jurisdiction of Dorsey was this. It would have been an action in rem, and it failed in consequence of the sudden death of a gentlemap.
Q. Mr. Bosleri-A. Mr. Bosler. He, as president of the company, had purchased Dorsey's ranch, and under other circumstances had in his possession property of Mr. Dorsey, and when Bosler came to New York I proposed to attach it. But Mr. Bosler suddenly died the very day, I think, he was leaving for New York. Therefore, subsequent to that I wrote to the Attorney General saying that my efforts to secure this attachment as against Dorsey had failed; that I had retained the papers, because I understood that Dorsey was in Washington, and my information was that he was likely to come to New York, so that per: sonal service might be had there. However, I learned that he would not come to New York and was going to start for New Mexico early in the following week. My letter was written, I think, on Thursday, and it suggested that in going there he would pass through Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, in either one of which States Judge Gresham had assured me the Government would have fair treatment, and as either one of those was nearer the place where witnesses would have to be brought from than any place in the East, it seemed to me that the proceedings should be taken to get personal service upon Dorsey there. The Attorney-General wrote me saying that he had received my letter and had referred it to the Postmaster-General, and that is all I know about it.
Q. You have had no further answer!-A. No further answer. I understand, though, that no suit has been commenced. I understand, from something that has been told me since I came here by one of these omniscient press gentlemen, that while the gentleman who was expected to travel with Mr. Dorsey left by the ordinary train, Mr. Dorsey went by a little different and somewhat circuitous route, and this gentleman said he supposed that my plan of securing personal service might have reached Dorsey, and that he tried thus to avoid it by going that way. I have no knowledge, however, on that subject beyond what has been told me.
Q. It has been suggested, Mr. Bliss, that in order to retaliate upon Dorsey for eluding you you have interfered with a suit affecting him in the Territory of New Mexico, and have secured there some action un. favorable to him.-A. Nothing of the kind is true.
Q. You are not acquainted with the proceeding 1-A. No, sir. Now that you speak of it, I did see it in the papers that he had got into a row with Bosler's company, but I had nothing to do with it in any way.
Q. State whether these i efendants were responsible for the sums that the Government might reasonably claim from them.-A. Except Stephen W. Dorsey, they were not. I suppose him to be so. As to the Salisburys and the Parkers, I understand that they are responsible.
Q. They are still contractors, are they not?-A. I do not know. I understand them to be still responsible. There is a difficulty, however, which was one of the things that was to be avoided by the arbitration. Luke Voorhees, for instance, is the contractor. Now, Voorhees makes a subcontract with 0. J. Salisbury, and the increase and everything of that sort which is alleged to be fraudulent is done while Voorhees is the contractor and before there is any subcontract on file. Now, you can trace the money probably to Salisbury, but there comes in the question, which is a matter of evidence very largely, as to whether you can prove the connection between Salisbury and Voorhees. It is the same with Kerns and Griffith and various other cases of that kind. The Salis. burys did a great deal of business in that way by putting forward dummies.
Q. Did you see the statement that the Postmaster-General had prepared of the amounts claimed to be due from these star-route contract. ors 1-A. I never have seen it in possession of the Department of Justice. Since you have summoned me here, when I went to the PostOffice Department for the purpose of getting some facts about this Phænix and Prescott route, the present Second Assistant PostmasterGeneral showed me a thick paper that had been prepared, but I did not feel that I had any right to go over it, and I did not go over it except as to the Phenix and Prescott route. Technically, my relations with
the Government had ceased, and as I saw that that was a paper that this committee had called for, and there had been some question as to whether it should be published, I thought I must regard myself as an outsider, and therefore I did not go over it.
Q. You do not know the aggregate amount !-A. I do not; I don't know whether it stated the aggregate; it was quite a thick paper, and I looked over only three or four pages.
Q. So far as you know no civil suits have been brought against any of those contractors -A. I am very confident no civil suits have been brought. Now, if I may state what I understand to be the facts I will do so. I understand that within a few days the papers in the civil suits hare been referred to a gentleman bearing the same name that I do, and yet no earthly relation to me, Mr. William H. Bliss, United States attorney at Saint Louis, who is, by education and experience, I think, as competent a man as can be found in the country to take charge of such cases. He labors, however, under the difficulty of having no knowledge of the interior arrangement of the business of the Post Office Department, and without considerable special education you cannot appreciate, in ny opinion, the force of the cases. If suits are to be brought and prosecuted, Mr. Bliss's experience and the results of his action show that he is as competent a man as can be found anywhere. I understand that he is now in the city engaged in the examination of these cases.
Q. In regard to the employment of detectives, I see in Executive Document No. 40 (matter called for by the Senate), beginning on page 37, a number of accounts of detectives for expenses and services in cases connected with the star-route frauds -A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who employed these detectives 1-A. Well, sir, that was done in this way. We were about to go to trial in the first Dorsey case. As I have already testified, we considered the wisdom of applying to have the jury kept confined during the trial, but we ascertained that Judge Wylie was of the opinion that it could not be done in such a case, and moreover that if it could be done, it was not a wise thing to do. We did not agree with him in relation to that, but it was pretty clear before we got through that in one phase of the case he was right. I think that if the jury had been shut up during that entire summer we certainly would have had a mistrial. Under that condition of things people brought us various stories of this juryman and that juryman, that he was doing queer things and meeting with queer people, and in consultation with the other counsel it was decided to recommend that detectives be employed to watch certain jurymen. Of course there were certain jurymen that were of such high standing in the community that we did not think they could be approached. The Attorney-Gen. eral was communicated with, and he authorized the employment of the detectives, and Mr. Ker sent to Philadelphia for Capt. Lyndon, who was in charge of Pinkerton's service in Philadelphia, and he came here and bronght his operatives, and they were employed in that way. I never saw thein or had anything to do with them. I think I did once see Lyndon, but that whole business was more in charge of Mr. Ker and Mr. Merrick than of myself.
Q. What were the duties of those detectives?--A. Either of the gentlemen I hare named can tell you that better than I can. I can simply state in a general way what we learned which led to their employment. For instance, that a juryman was in the habit of meeting at a particular place such a man, who was kuown to be in the employment of the other side, and he was " shadowed." That was the general idea. Ther were
shadowing the jury, with instructions under no circumstances to ever say a word to any juryman. They also made reports which I Dever saw,
Q. Did they continue to be employed during the whole of the first trial ?-A. I think not. I think we became satisfied that while we got an enormous amount of suspicious matter it would not lead to anything practical, and therefore I think their employment was stopped before the close of the trial.
Q. Did you examine the reports of those detectives to know what they had been doing ?-A. I never saw their reports.
Q. How did you know, then, that they were giving suspicious information ?-A. I never saw the reports.
Q. Who approved the reports ?-A. It is possible that my name appears upon some of them, though I think the bulk of them were approved, not by me, but by Mr. Ker and Mr. Merrick. I think so, but I cannot say so with any certainty. This statement (in Ex. Doc. 40) does not show. Here is one that I approved. That reminds me. In New York I sent for the Pinkerton people there, and made an arrangement with them by which their charge should be $2 a day, which was less than they charged to ordinary private parties. I communicated that fact to the Attorney-General, and it was approved. The amount that they were to be paid per diem was arranged in that way beforehand.
Q. You say that the information that these detectives obtained was not furnished to the counsel in the case !--A. Oh, yes, sir; it was furnished to Mr. Merrick and Mr. Ker; but in the Dorsey case we put 3,600 exhibits, and all of those involved an iufinitude of detail, and all of that was in my charge, and so were the witnesses, and I had as much as I could do, or as any man would want to do, and for that reason this other business was thrown onto these other gentlemen.
Q. Then you never received any reports from the detectives -A I never received any from them. I saw at Mr. Merrick's office certain reports, and I may have fingered over one, and it is possible that some particular one may have been taken up and my attention called to it or to some passage in it.
Q. Was your attention called to that passage which contains a charge for "expense with Mahone and two Congressmen seeking informatiou, 45 cts.”?-A. (Laughter.) No, sir; I think my attention was not called to any of those items of expense.
Q. From the accounts the principal occupation of these detectives seems to have been to take drinks and ride on the street cars I-A. Well, that was for the benefit of two influential classes in the Washing. ton community.
Q. I did not know whether the detectives were useful in the trial or not.-A. If you ask my opinion about that, my opinion always was that that business diul not pay expenses. I thought it was a wise thing to undertake it, but as it turned out it did not pay expenses, and therefore we did not repeat the experimeut on the second trial. I think it was abandoned even on the first trial before we got through with the trial. I feel quite certain that if the detectives were not all discharged the number employed was very much reduced.
Q. Among your personal expense accounts I see tbat your bills were generally for board at the Arlington ; is that the place where you usually stopped 1-A. Yes, sir. I see there is some criticism hr Mr. Cook as to certain items in my expense accounts. I paid $10 a day for the simple reason, as I have told the committee, that it was neces. sary for me to spend my entire evenings and very far into the night in seeing witnesses, and therefore it was absolutely necessary that I should have a room in wbich to do it.
Q. Did you stay at the Arlington all the time ?-A. No, sir. Last winter I made an arrangement and took rooms at the Arlington, undertaking to pay a certain sum per day; I have forgotten just what it was. Subsequent to that Mr. Secretary Folger was desirous of keeping house, but his family were not here, and Mr. Sperry, his prirate secretary, took a house. I lived with him, and the Secretary of the Treasury lived with him, and I paid my share of the expenses, stipulating that is, not stipulating but arranging—that the amount presented for expenses charged to the Government should be less than the amount which would bave been paid under the arrangement I had made at the Arlington and had subsequently broken up. That arrangement continued, but I never got those expenses, or at least I got but a small portion of tbem, because about that time the Comptroller changed his ruling as to expenses. I did, I think, get expenses for a month or so.
Q. You paid those expenses, then, to Mr. Sperry!-A. Yes, sir; to Mr. Sperry.
Q. How much did you pay Mr. Sperry for your expenses?-A. I can't tell you. There are some vouchers on file which will show.
Q. I find in Ex. Doc. No. 40, page 87, two bills of Mr. Sperry, one dated February 1, 1883, for board from January 1, $183.36, and the other for the month of February, $161.73; do you remember those ?-A. Those I paid.
Q. You say that about that time the Comptroller reversed his ruling in relation to expenses, and you were not allowed anything for expenses -A. Yes, sir; I think those expenses have never been paid ; yes, I guess they have been paid, but after that I was not paid for expenses.
Q. All the rest of the time you were at the Arlington 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you pay their usual prices ?-A. I usually made a bargain, and did not pay more, but usually less. I know, for instance, that the rooms I paid $10 a day for had been rented to my predecessor at $20 a day.
Q. They were accessible rooms ?-A. Yes, sir; quite accessible. Now that you have got on to those accounts, let me say that somebody has made some criticisin upon au item there. Mr. Cook's virtuous soul, I believe, was shocked at the item of washing which he found in one of those bills. I suppose he confounded it with the washing of dirty linen in public that he was then engaged in. The fact is that that item of washing should not have been there. If you will go to my original vouchers, you will find a number of things in the hotel bill that I struck my pen through, and although this item would be within my strictest legal rights, as I was to have my expenses paid while I was away from home, I intended to strike it out, and I did strike out everything else of that kind, so far as I know.
Q. Were any of your expense accounts disallowed at the Department? -d. Oh, I think there were some little itens disallowed, a few dollars at a time. Now, as to these items, when you talk about expenses, let me call your attention to Mr. Cook's ownı bill, which I find in this same executive document, as he has gone into a criticism of mine. It ap. pears here tbat Mr. Cook presents a bill: Expenses, two trips to New York, $30; hotel expenses, New York, $60; incidental expenses, New York, $30; expenses, trip to Philadelphia, $25; clerical services, pro.