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"he cannot have meant it as seriously as you take it." "Yes,” said be, "he did mean it. Now, look here; just think of the Salisbury cases, and think of this matter of Walsh's, and these other cases, and then look at the Kellogg matter, and put them all together. I tell you it is my conviction that he wants to let Dorsey go." I told Mr. Merrick that he ought not to think that way, that probably Colonel Bliss did not mean any harm, or did not mean anything wrong by the suggestions; but Mr. Merrick was very firm in his conviction that Colonel Bliss did mean something wrong. He said to me, “I will tell you what he wanted me to do. He wanted me to go to the Attorney-General and tell him that three were too many in the case, and that the Attorney-General had better dismiss you and let him and myself (meaning Colonel Bliss and Mr. Merrick run the case.” I told Mr. Merrick to go to the AttorneyGeneral and tell him; that probably Colonel Bliss was actuated by a proper motive; that I had no doubt that he was; that I saw nothing in his conduct to indicate otherwise; that he probably wanted to save the Government expenses, and I was very willing to go at any time, and, in point of fact, that I would like to go. Mr. Merrick said, “No;" that if I went out of the case he would go, too; that he wanted me to remain in the case and help him to watch Bliss. I told him that was a very unpleasant thing to do. “Well,” said he, “we are going right ahead, and you must keep watch and see that everything goes on all right."
Q. Did you tell the Attorney-General of the facts which you have now stated 1-A. Mr. Springer, you always anticipate me. No, sir; I did not tell him. The Attorney-General said to me not long ago, when I had to give an explanation of these matters, that my not telling him before was a dereliction of duty on my part; but I did not think it was, and I would not have told it to him then, nor would I tell it to you gentlemen now, only that it is absolutely necessary in order to explain some matters that followed. What Colonel Bliss said was not said to me, it was said to Mr. Merrick; and if it was the duty of anybody to tell the Attorney-General of it, it was Mr. Merrick's duty. At the time I did not put any faith in the thing. I did not think that Colonel Bliss was acting improperly; I had no such idea.
Q. Do you know when the Attorney-General first learned of Mr. Bliss's conduct in that respect?-A. The Attorney-General first learned of that during the month of April of this year.
Q. Did he not learn of it from some newspaper publication at the timel-A. No; he learned of it from me, and when he did he got up and walked the floor and accused me of a want of friendship and a dereliction of duty, and all that sort of thing. I have very great respect for the Attorney-General, but I would not have told him of that if I had not been compelled to do so.
Q. Was there not a publication in the New York Herald about that time of a purported interview with Mr. Bliss, in which he expressed doubt as to the strength of the case against Dorsey ?-A. I do not know. I could not undertake to keep the run of Colonel Bliss's interviews, un. less they came within the scope of the case.
Well, the trial went on during the summer, and we arranged the order of speaking in the summing up. I was to speak first, as I had a complete list of the papers. I ought to have said that the mode which we marked out for conducting the business in court was that Colonel Bliss was to offer the papers to the jury and to examine the Government witnesses; Mr. Merrick was to argue the points of law and to cross-examine the witnesses, and I was to do whatever I was directed to do,
H. Mis. 38, pt. 2— 35*
especially to see that the papers all went into the case—that there was no mistake made about that. Colonel Bliss bad the papers, and he put in what he thought were necessary. At that time Mr. Merrick, of course, did not fully understand the case. It would have been utterly impossible for him to have understood it fully, and he learned it in de. tail only as the trial progressed. By saying that he learned it only in that way, I mean that there were some portions of it that he only became familiar with in that way. Of course he had a general knowledge of the case, because he had gone over the papers very patiently and elaborately, but as the case progressed there was more or less development of matters that none of us had anticipated. In the final argu. ment, I opened the case and Colonel Bliss followed. Then the defendants' counsel followed Colonel Bliss, and it was arranged that the Attorney-General was to close the case, but between Mr. Merrick and the Attorney-General there were to be a couple of speeches by Colonel Ingersoll and Mr. Jeremiah Wilson. After I had spoken and after Colonel Bliss had spoken, he went to New York, and while he was there he was interviewed. The interview appeared in the New York Herald of Friday, August 12, 1882. Here is an extract from that interview, which is dated at Clayton, N. Y., August 24:
Dropping politics, the conversation glided to the star-route trials, and Colonel Bliss was asked what he thought of Colonel Bob Ingersoll's claim that the Government had no case.
"Mr. Ingersoll, I think,” he replied, “ will find out before the trials are over that the cases contained a good deal of meat for the Government. The one against Mr. Dorsey, defended by the brilliant colonel, is admitted to be the weakest of the lot, but in all the others a verdict for the prosecution is confidently looked for, and even that may be decided in the same way."
This interview was the subject of an editorial in the New York Her. ald of August 26, 1882, which is as follows:
MR. MERRICK'S ARGUMENT.
Mr. Merrick evidently does not share the views expressed by his colleague, Mr. Bliss, in yesterday's Herald, that the case against ex-Senator Dorsey is “the weakest of the lot.” Mr. Bliss apparently proceeded on this theory in his argument before the jury, which is noticeable for the lack of stress laid upon Dorsey's connection with the conspiracy. Mr. Merrick, on the other hand, finds in both the law and the evidence abundant materials for making an arraignment of Dorsey, which is as masterly as it is fearless. He declares that while Brady was the central figure, ex-Senator Dorsey was the life of the conspiracy; that it was Dorsey “who led them all, who stood in the van like Satan among his fallen hosts," and that the evidence shows "enough illgotten gains in Dorsey's pockets to weigh him down before any honest jury in any honest country.” Mr. Merrick's sincerity in reaching these conclusions is as manifest as his ability in maintaining them. When the case is given to the jury, no more earuest and effective argument than his will have been made on either side. As to the question of ex-Senator Dorsey's guilt, the public will wait with keen interest to see whether, in closing the case for the Government, Attorney-General Brewster will take the view of Mr. Merrick or that of Mr. Bliss.
Mr. STEWART. Mr. Chairman, I object to either of those extracts going into our record.
The CHAIRMAN. I think you will find that the publication of this interview and this editorial entered into the case materially before the end came.
Mr. STEWART. It is no evidence against Mr. Bliss, what some news. paper reporter attributed to him, and certainly the comments of a news. paper are not evidence of anything which this committee ought to consider.
The CHAIRMAN. I think you will find that the appearance of these articles in the newspapers affected materially the subsequent course of the Government counsel, and is admissible as evidence bearing upon the good faith of Mr. Bliss in the prosecution.
Mr. STEWART. But I do not think that, upon any principle of law, what somebody says Mr. Bliss said in an interview is evidence either as against Mr. Bliss or the prosecution generally, or anybody else. It is a mere piece of gossip. Then, as to this editorial, the comment of a newspaper is, of course, of no particular consequence any way, so far as we are concerned; but beyond that, this particular comment is based upon some supposed state of facts which is not proved.
The CHAIRMAN. I think the next paper to be offered, a letter signed by Mr. Bliss himself, which was published in the New York Herald, refers to this very article.
The WITNESS. I was going to state that.
The CHAIRMAN (to Mr. Stewart). Let the witness make his statement, and we will see afterwards what effect it will have.
Mr. STEWART. Very well; let the testimony stand for the present, subject to objection.
The CHAIRMAN (to the witness). Proceed.
The WITNESS. That was followed by a telegram from Mr. Bliss to the Herald, dated Alexandria Bay, New York, August 26, 1882, and reading as follows: To the Editor of the Herald :
I have not at hand the Herald containing the interview with me, but your edi. torial of to-day indicates either that yon misapprehend its purport or your reporter has failed to report me accurately. I have never by word or thought questioned exSenator Dorsey's prominence in the route conspiracy. I have only said that, owing to the exclusion of testimony by the court, the case proved was not as strong against Dorsey as against others.
The Attorney-General was very angry about the publication in the Herald, and gave directions that there should be all the greater effort made to show that Mr. Dorsey was connected with the star-route cases. It seems that in Colonel Bliss's speech he had hardly mentioned Dorsey's name, and the Attorney-General himself, or Mr. Merrick, can tell you what conversation they had about it, but I know that the Attorney. General was very much exercised in mind about this interview with Mr. Bliss, more especially as during the argument of the case Mr. McSweeney, a gentleman from Ohio, who was employed as one of the counsel for the defendants, pulled out of his pocket a little book, which proved to be the bill of fare of the complimentary dinner that had been given by Dorsey (or ostensibly given to him, though it was said that he paid for it himself), at which Mr. Arthur, who is now President, and Colonel Bliss had attended ; the dinner being given right after the close of the Presidential campaign. This bill of fare was exhibited by Mr. McSweeney to show that the President and prominent men had favored Dorsey in the days of his influence. Of course Mr. McSweeney was not permitted to get the book into the case, but he made the attempt. It turned out that the book bad been given to him by Mr. Bliss.
By Mr. VAN 'ALSTYNE: Q. Was Mr. McSweeney counsel for one of the defendants -A. He was one of the counsel for Dorsey, and he pulled this book, which belonged to Colonel Bliss, out of his pocket to show the jury that Colonel Bliss and these other gentlemen had attended this dinner that had been given to Dorsey.
By the CHAIRMAN:
By Mr. STEWART:
Q. Did he allude to it in his argument -A. Yes. He was talking as rapidly as he could about Dorsey and about this dinner, and he just pulled out the book and showed it.
Q. That was entirely irregular, of course 1-A. Yes, of course it was irregular, but he was simply practicing what is often seen at the bar, where a lawyer can sometimes shove in a dozen words or more before he can be stopped. The matter was published in the papers, especially in the Critic here, and I understand that copies of the paper were served at the houses of the jurors, so they all knew what Mr. McSweeney pro. duced the book for.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. The point here, as I understand it, is that Mr. McSweeney, representing Dorsey, attempted to bring to the attention of the jury a matter which was not in evidence at all, for the purpose of showing Dorsey's good character and standing before these proceedings were begun, and that this book, which he produced for this purpose, was furnished to him by Colonel Bliss, one of the counsel for the Government.-A. No; I think that is stating it too broadly.
Q. Well, state, then, what was done.-Á. The effect that Mr. McSweeney wanted to produce, or the idea that he wanted to convey to the minds of the jury, was—and being a red-hot Democrat he could do it in that case a good deal better than a Republican could—the idea he wanted to convey was that the higher powers did not want Dorsey convicted.
Q. And Colonel Bliss had furnished that book to Mr. McSweeney A. Well, it had Mr. Bliss's name on it,
By Mr. STEWART: .. · Q. What do you say about that! Don't avoid the question. Did Colonel Bliss furnish the book, or not? If he did, say so.-A. I did not see him do that. I cannot say that he did, but the book had his name on it. He asked for it afterwards, but somebody had stolen it.
By Mr. HEMPHILL: Q. Who asked for it?-A. Colonel Bliss. I did not see him give it to Mr. McSweeney. I know, however, that he spoke about it afterwards. That was one of the little things that occurred at that stage of the case. I don't want to dwell upon it, but I mention it to show one among a number of incidents that occurred at that time which led to a different arrangement of the work in the case.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. State what was the course of the counsel for the Government in the subsequent proceedings, in order to bring out clearly Dorsey's con: nection with the case.-A. Mr. McSweeney had made use of this book as I have stated, and when Mr. Wilson got up to address the jury he proceeded with great rapidity to read to the jury Colonel Bliss's interview, which I have quoted here; and also the editorial in the Herald. Of course the Attorney-General jumped up at once and protested against that being read to the jury. Mr. Wilson argued the point to the court. Of course that is another thing which yon gentlemen very well understand, that when the court stops a lawyer who is offering
something that ought not to go to the jury, the lawyer can argue the matter with the court, and tell the court what it was that he was going to tell the jury, so that the jury will get the benefit of it just as much as if he were talking to them. In this case Mr. Wilson said in a very innocent way, "I only wanted to show that Colonel Bliss, one of the Govern. ment counsel, does not believe that Mr. Dorsey is guilty, and for that purpose I was reading from this interview with him in the New York Herald." That made the Attorney-General object, and he protested against either the reading of the interview or any argument or statement about it, and the court decided that Mr. Wilson could not be allowed to argue that question before the jury. The Attorney-General had at that time prepared a lot of material showing how Mr. Dorsey's name occurred in connection with the star-route business. As he was preparing himself to make the closing argument, he sent for me, and got me to verify his facts, and I think he modified his speech considerably from what occurred, because he resolved to drop most of the outside points, and to devote his whole time and attention to Dorsey. He found in his investigation of the papers that the name of Stephen W. Dorsey occurred ninety-six times in the transactions con. nected with the nineteen routes included in the case, and he devoted the best portion of his time to impressing that fact upon the jury in order to show that Stephen W. Dorsey was the head and front of the whole thing.
Q. Did these transactions to which you refer appear in evidence in that case?-A. Yes, sir; in the evidence in that first case, Dorsey's name appeared ninety-six times; but if it had not been for the Attorney-General having the last speech, I don't know where we would have been with the case. We would have had the statement going to the jury uncon. tradicted that Dorsey did not appear in the transactions at all. We had never dreamt that there was to be any such tactics as that-any attempt to show that Dorsey had nothing to do with the case-because he was the head and front of the whole affair.
By Mr. STEWART: Q. What had you been doing in your presentation of the case When you opened the case, did you not bring out the fact that Dorsey was connected with it?-A. Oh, yes.
Q. Then what do you mean by saying that but for the Attorney-General having the closing speech Dorsey's connection would not have been brought out before the jury ?--A. It was brought out before, but the attention of the jury was not called to it particularly. You may state a fact, but unless you direct particular attention to it, it simply appears along with the rest of the evidence and receives no special notice. In presenting the case, I said to the jury, “Here is a paper," and went on to explain what the paper was, but I did not particularize Dorsey more than any of the others.
By Mr. VAN ALSTYNE: Q. You made a statement of what you expected to prove, and when Mr. Bliss came to sum up he forgot all about it so far as Dorsey was concerned. Is that it?-A. Colonel Bliss opened the case in the beginning, but I made the opening speech in the closing arguments, and I did not particularize Stephen W. Dorsey more than any of the other defendants.
By Mr. STEWART: Q. Did you not call the attention of the jury to the fact that be tas one