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I may owe an apology for replying even thus briefly to charges which I understand the committee to dismiss as trivial and unimportant, and only the fact of their general publication leads me to notice them.
The fourth charge is absence from duty and attention to private affairs at the expense of the government.
I reply that I have constantly and continuously, only excepting the indulgences I have received by reason of disease contracted in the service, since my appointment, devoted my whole time to the duties of my office. As required by those duties, I have been freqnently absent from Boston. I could not otherwise have done my duty. New England is covered with a net-work of railroads, crossing each other in every direction. To secure ari efficient service I have traveled over the whole of it by day and by night. I have labored faithfully when in my office, and frequently to a late honr, and many times during the entire night, and including Sundays when driven by the necessities of the service. As the result of my labors I have brought upon myself a severe nenralgia and danger of organic disease, as shown by the certificates of my medical advisers hereto annexed. When at home I have continued my duties, having an office there also. My home is connected with Boston by three daily trains and by telegraph. I have never neglected my duties except when incapacitated by illness, and frequently not even then.
This denial is general becanse the charge is vague and indefinite. If more specific details are given I shall be glad to meet them. My “farm” consists of a homestead of 20 acres, of which perhaps six or eight are grass-land, and not over two acres have at any time been cultivated, and at no time bave I raised anything for sale. I have 120 acres in another town, which I bave not seen for six months, and which produces about ten tons of hay annually, and which I have long held for sale. I bave never at any time done any work on my land or given any time to its care that took me from my official duties, employing one man by the year who has charge of all the work about my house and land.
The condition of my health already spoken of bas been known to my superior officers, and they bave very kindly allowed me the opportunity of recovering it if possible in the service in which I have lost it.
The fifth charge is a general one of incompetency. I can answer this only by an appeal to the testimony of my superior officers and my associates in the railway mail service.
To the sixth charge I would say that the routes named as unnecessary are essential to the proper discharge of the service and were earnestly demanded by the public before they were established, and that the whole cost of the three specified does not exceed $2,000 per annum. There are only two persons connected to me by ties of blood or marriage in the service, one of whom is my brother-in-law, who is route-agent at a salary of $900 per annum, and the other is a cousin's son who is a postal clerk, and whose father was in the employ of the department before my appointinent, and whose death was the result of disease contracted while in the discharge of his duty.
I have never recommended the establishment of aby route except where I believed that it was demanded by the public good.
In conclusion, I wish to say that these charges are preferred by a person formerly in the service in my division and discharged for canses well known to the department, and whose animus may be inferred from a postal card in my possessiou written by him, a copy of which is hereto annexed.
THOS. P. CHENEY.
Boston, January 29, 1875. Sir: You will remember of my speaking to you last fall about my giving Mr. A. T. Stahl, head clerk, and detailed in this office as chief clerk, a leave of absence. He has been very faitbful for several years, without any leave of absence, and now wishes to be gone one month from February 20 next. I propose to fill his place by taking Mr. George S. Blunt into the office as chief clerk, and filling his place by taking some head clerk on the Boston and Albany railway post-office for chief clerk of that line. Sball I be authorized to give him such leave of absence 1 I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. P. CHENEY, Assistant Superintendent Railway Mail Service, First Division. Hon. GEO, S. Baxos,
General Superintendent Railway Mail Service.
Washington, D. C., February 2, 1875. SIR: You are authorized to make arrangements for a leave of absence for Mr. A. T. Stahl, as suggested in your letter of the 29th ultimo, provided no additional expense to the department is incurred thereby. The runs of the railway post-office clerks can easily be arranged to do this. Very respectfully,
GEO. S. BANGS,
General Superintendent. Thos. P. CHENEY, Esq.,
Superintendent Railway Mail Service, First Dirision, Boston, Mass.
Boston, Mass., August 2611, 1875. Hop. MARSHALL JEWELL,
Postmaster-General U. S., Washington, D. C.
Very respectfully, your obed't servant,
ALBERT T. STAHL,
H'd Clk B. f. N. Y. R. P. 0. I certify that the above is an exact copy of the letter on file in this department in the case of A. F. Stahl, resigned.
JAMES H. MARR,
OFFICE SUPT. RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE, 1st DivisioX,
Boston, Auguet 26th, 1875. Col. GEORGE S. BANGS,
Genl. Supt. R. M. S. : SIR: Enclosed I hand you letter of resignation of Mr. A. T. Stahl, head clerk Boston and New York R. P. O.
It will be observed that he asks that his resignation shall take effect on the first day of October next. Mr. Stabl has been in the service now ten years, and for the past three years bas been detailed for duty as chief clerk in my office. During all this time he has never had a leave of absence, except for thirty days, without furnishing a substitute.
I therefore respectfully request that his resignation be accepted to take effect from
I am, very respectfully, your obed't serv't, (Signed)
THOS. P. CHENEY,
Sup't R. M. S.
I certify that the foregoing is an exact copy of the letter on file in this department in the case of A. F. Stahl, resigned.
JAMES H. MARR,
Mass. September 9th, 1875. Head clerk R. P. O. New York, N. Y., to Boston, Mass. $1,400. A. F. Stahl resigned, to take effect on and after October 1st, 1875. By Gen'l Sup't G. 8. Bangs.
Ordered : Accept the resignation of A. F. Stahl as head clerk in the railway postoffice between New York, N. Y. and Boston, Mass., to take effect on and after October 1, 1875.
JAMES H. MARR,
Acting First Assistant Postmaster-Generai. I certify that the above is an exact copy of the order on file in this department.
JAMES H. MARR,
For First Assistant Postmaster-General. FEBRUARY 28, 1878.
Washington, D. C., Sept. 9th, 1875. Sir: The Postmaster-General bas accepted your resignation as head clerk in the railway post office between New York, N. Y., and Boston, Mass., to take effect on and after October 1st, 1875.
Acting for First A881. P. M. Gen'l. A. F. STAHL, Esq.,,
JAMES H. MARR,
For First Assistant Postmaster-General. FEBRUARY 28, 1878.
To whom it may concern :
This certifies that I have been the physician of Thomas P. Cheney for the last thirtyfive years, and his family physician ever since his marriage. That he has inherited from his father a morbidly sensitive nervous temperament, and has been subject to frequent and severe attacks of neuralgia in various parts of the body, but more commonly in the head, having what is generally termed sick headache, which often disables him completely. I have feared it would result in a permanent organic disease. I have often advised him to rest from his labors, and it was absolutely necessary for a long time, within a few years. I believe most of the severe attacks of late years have been the result of overwork in the arduous duties of his calling. He has been in better health, as the result of more rest, for a few months.
JOHN A. DANA, M. D. ASILAND, N. H., February 23, 1878.
ASHLAND, N. H., February 23, 1878. GRAFTON, 88 :
Personally appeared above-named John A. Dana., M. D., and made oath to the above statement before me.
Justice of the Peace.
This certifies that I have been acquainted with Thomas P. Cheney for about four years. Two years ago he consulted me professionally with reference to a severe nouralgia involving the eyes and back of the hoad. This condition, in my opinion, was caused by irregular habits in eating and sleeping, which irregularities, he informed me, the duties of his office required, obliging him to ride nights and eat at irregular hours. I advised entire rest, mental and physical, and following such advice he is considerably improved.
A. C. WHIPPLE, M. D. ASHLAND, February 23, 1878.
ASILAND, N. H., February 23, 1878. GRAFTON, 88 :
Personally appeared the above-named A. C. Whipple, M. D., and made oath to the above before me.
Justice of Peace.
WASHINGTOX, D. C., February 27, 1878. GEORGE S. BLUNT sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAX: Question. State what your official position is, if you have any.-Answer. I am superintendent of the Boston letter-carriers, central division.
Q. How long have you been in that position ?--A. I have been in the postal service nearly twelve years. I have been in the railway service about seven years, and in the Boston office, before or since, over four years.
Q. You are acquainted with Mr. Thomas P. Cheney 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. You bave heard read the charges that have been made against öfr. Cheney by Mr TempleI-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. Stahl ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. State to the coinmittee all you know about those charges.-A. As near as I can remember, on or about the 22d of March, 1875, Mr. Stahl left Boston and proceeded to Brunswick, Me., where the Bowdoin College is located, with the understanding that he was going there to study medicine and graduate and obtain a diploma. Stahl staid at Brunswick, continuing his studies, except when he came to Boston, which was, I suppose, about orce a month. It is stated in the affidavit that he remained there four months, but I think that is an error.
Q. The charge is that Mr. Cheney procured for Mr. Stahl a leave of absence with pay for the term of four months, more or less, with full knowledge that Stahl would employ bis time during his leave of absence in the study of medicine -A. It is my impression that he did not return in four months; that he returned on or about the 20th of August; I think that would make it about five months. His first leave of absence to go to college and study embraced about five months.
Q. During his absence on that leave was any substitute furnished ?-A. Yes, sir. He returned on or about the 20th of August, and as near as I can remember he staid about the office a week, doing a little duty preparatory to his going away again the following month. He left the office again somewhere about the 1st of September. He graduated before he came home, about the 20th of August, as I understand. During his leave of absence in September I was in Mr. Cheney's office doing routine work on this desk, which had been conducted by Stabl, and my owu desk in the room. Stahl went away on or about the 1st of September, and staid a full month. In regard to the charge about the month of October, my memory does not serve me well enough to state. I know that Stahl left on the 1st of September, and we did not see him in the office again to do any more duty after that. I think he is charged in the papers with baring a month's legal leave of absence for October. I do not known about that. I bave no reason to know. Mr. Cheney got his letters and took care of them. I never saw any letter authorizing Stahl's absence from the first time of his leave in March until this day. No doubt if Mr. Cheney has such a paper ke will show it.
Q. Daring his absence, the allegation is, that a man named Harrington was put in his place.-A. The facts are these in regard to Harrington: Harrington was a man that had never seen any postal service. He was an outsider. Stabl was to furnish a substitute in his place, I understood. The routine work, regarding which perhaps you gentlemen do not understand, is a menial duty in the office of Mr. Cheney, and consists in the handing of slips of brown paper for covering packages of mail-matter. Mr. Cheney needed men to assist him in assorting these brown-paper slips. Mr. Cheney took from the Boston and Albany road a man named Fitch, and put him into his office to perform tbis work or to assist others in performing it. Mr. Stahl's substitute, Harragton, never came into the office to do any work. He filled Fitch's place on the Bostou and Albany Railroad as third man ($1,000 clerk). Fitch was a inan that had been in the service, I should say, eighteen months; I cannot remember the time exactly. Fitch never was in tiie post-office work, to my knowledge. I do not know that I was erer ordered by Mr. Cheney to perform the work that had been performed by Stabl. The affidavit reads, that under fear of dismissal I was ordered to perform his work. I had my work to do. I was a clerk in the service, and I suppose obliged to do all the work there was put before me. I was then chief head clerk of the Boston and Albany railway service, running on that road, and my clerks numbered about 28, if I remember right. That was the position I had been placed in, and the duties I was ex
pected to do were to take care of that line. I have been made superintendent of le tter-carriers since then, two years ago. Then, when Mr. Stahl went away, I performed the duties of his desk; that is, I took the work to perform. I do not remember that Mr. Cheney ever ordered me to perform it. Certainly I was never designated or ordered by Mr. Cheney to do this duty. And as for “fear of dismissal," as it reads in the affidavit, Mr. Cheney never threatened to dismiss me for not doing it, although I suppose if I had refused to do it
Mr. CANNON. I do not think it is fair for the witness to give his supposition.
By the CHAIRMAX: Q. Did be ever order you to do it ?-A. I do not reme.nber that he did, but somehow or other I was the clerk to do it, and I did do it to the best of my ability.
Q. Did you get any additional compensation for that!-A. No, sir.
Q. How long were you at it ?-A. I performed the work of Stahl besides my duties there, from the time Stahl went away in March until the 15th day of November the same year. I resigned my place in the railway mail-service, which is another branch entirely of the postal service from the position I am in now, and took that. Q. Was Stabl on the road all that time tbat you were in the office ?-A. I suppose
It might be supposed perhaps that Mr. Harrington was furnished as a substitute and placed on the roll of the Boston post-office for $50, but that is not so. Stahl drew his full pay, at $1,400 a year. This matter of furnishing a substitute and paying bim $50 I do not know anything about. That was a matter between them, and if Stahl paid bim $50, Stabl knows it; and nobody else knows it but those two. That is the idea that the clerks got in the office, that Stahl paid Harrington $50 a month.
By Mr. MONEY:
By the CHAIRMAX: Q. Harrington was doing service on the Boston and Albany Railroad ?-A. Yes, sir ; he was placed there as a substitute for Stahl. Fitch was doing menial work in the office with me.
By Mr. CALDWELL : Q. Wbat compensation was Fitch getting ?--A. Fitch was a $1,000 railway clerk. Mr. Cheney bas a right to designate clerks from the railroad to do duty in his office if it is required.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. After Stahl went off to this Bowdoin College, and returned at the expiration of the four or five months that you speak of, and when he went on this other month's leave of absence, do you know wbat he was doing then ?-A. He graduated. He placed bimself in Leominster, and located himself as a physician. I judge so froin seeing the implements that he bought as a physician and surgeon, and bronght into the office, which we inspected. He made all preparations and stated that the physician be succeeded, I think, bad died, and stated what the general outlook was for him thereafter, and what he expected to do.
Q. Have you any personal knowledge as to whether he went to Leominster to locate as a physician 1-A. Only from his own information. The story tbat he told to us was, of course, in detail, we being clerks there with him. He stated his prospects.
Q. Harrington staid only the one month when he took his place on the railroad under that private arrangement ?-A. Harrington staid five months, as I understand it, on the railway mail service line for Stahl.
Q. You said that he was doing the service of a $1,000 clerk ?-A. Yes, Harrington was, for $50.
By Mr. WILLIAMS: Q. Was Mr. Fitch competent to discharge the duties that Mr. Stahl was discharge ing? -A. No, sir; in my opinion be could not have discharged them.
Q. The service be perforined enabled some one else in the office to discharge Stahl's duties ?-A. No, sir; and nobody else did. He had nothing to do with the railway line from Boston to Albany, and he bad nothing to do with Mr. Stabl's desk, and had no access to it.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. You said a moment ago that you did not recollect whether Cheney ordered yon on this duty or not. I hold in my hand what purports to be a letter froin Mr. Cheney addressed to George S. Bangs, in which he states that he did so.-A. He no doubt intended to do so, but I bad no order to tbat effect.
Q. You wonld not have gone in there voluntarily, would you?-A. Of course he laid out that work for me to do.