« PreviousContinue »
Q. During the time you were in his office, what was your duty before you became chief head clerk !-A. Mr. Holmes was there as chief head clerk for Mr. Cheney at that time. He has been out of that position since.
Q. The remainder of the time you were chief head clerk of the line ?-A. Yes, sir. Q. And your place for performing your duty was in Mr. Cheney's office !-A. Yes, sir. Q. You speak of Mr. Cheney's absence for six montbs each year, on an average. What months was he absent? What time during the first year that he was there?-A. I am not prepared to answer the question.
Q. How do you arrive at the faci that he was absent a month ?-A. It ran through my mind in that way. Sometimes he would be absent and I would not see him for a month, and sometimes I would not see him for five or six weeks.
Q. When was the first time you did not see him for a month !--A. I cannot remember. I have been out of that office over two years.
Q. I want to know what you recollect about it-bow you arrive at the fact that he was absent six months each year, on an average ?-A. You cannot bring me down to that answer, because I cannot tell you what week or month or day he was gone.
Q. How, then, do you recollect that he was absent as much as six months in a year, as you say?-A. Because it occurred to me that some months he was not there but a week at a time, and I do not know that I ever knew him to be in bis office six days in any one week.
Q. When did you first make a calculation that he was absent six months each year ? -À. This is the first time it has ever come to me.
Q. Then you gnessed at it without recollection that he was absent that amount of time -A. I say that that is my impression.
Q. Then you have no recollection about it?—A. Yes, sir; I have a recollection about it. I have a recollection of his absence from the office.
Q. You have a recollection of the fact that he was absent !-A. Of the fact that he was absent; I know that.
Q. Do you recollect the number of times that he was absent !-A. No, sir; I do not, because Mr. Cheney would come down to the office and go away again, and I had no way of putting down dates, of course, and of knowing what days he was there.
Q. Where did he go that first year? Let us confine ourselves to the first year.-A. I do not know where he went.
Q. When was the fast mail established to Chicago ?-A. The 16th of September, 1875, it started from New York.
Q. Were you in his office at that time 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Where was Mr. Cheney at that time?-A. Mr. Cheney came to Boston the evening of the 15th of September. I remember the circumstance perfectly well, because he came, I should think, the 7th, or 8th, or 9th, or 10th of September, and came down to the office, and next morning be sent word down to us that he was sick at the Quincy House. Mr. Blair was there that morning, and Mr. Holmes and I went down to the Quincy House and found him there sick. He was put into a carriage and sent to the station, and, if I remember correctly, be took the 12 o'clock train for home. I cannot tell whether that was the 10th, the 8th, or the 5th, but it was thereabouts. I remember about it, because the fast mail impressed itself upon my mind. That was something we all took an interest in.
Q. Did he go to Chicago about the time of the establishment of the fast mail train ?-A. He started on the night of the 15th, on the nine o'clock train, and went to Albany, and there connected with the fast mail train leaving New York at foar o'clock in the morning.
Q. Was he vot gone about ten days at that time to assist iu establishing that fast mail train ?-A. He went to Dixon, III., and visited his relatives there, and staid the rest of that month.
Q. From whom did you understand that ?-A. From him.
A. He went on the fast mail, and, as I understand, he went to Dixon, Ill. I did not see him until after the 16th of September. He did not come back, as I remember, until after the 1st of October.
Q. Can you say whether he was absent performing duty in connection with his office, or whether he was absent visiting at that time?
--A. I suppose he was visiting. We were all deeply interested in the establishment of the fast mail, and I know that he went on it to see the workings of it, but he had nothing to do with its establishment, and only made connection with it at Albany.
Q. Then it was not necessary for him to have gone farther west ?—A. Yes; I suppose it was necessary. The fast mail made connection there and he wanted to go with that train.
Q. That was only one absence, and he was then absent legitimately !-A. I allow for his absence there.
Q. Do you know whether he was at Washington about that time for a number of dars!-A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know whether he was at Washington during the three years Iyou were with him ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Ou business.-A. I do not think he would start that distance unless it was on business.
Q. What length of time was be at Wasbington in connection with departmental basiness during those three years !-A. I do not think his stops in Washington were very long, if I remember right.
Q. Then you allow for those absences, too!-A. Perhaps he would be gone four or five days at a time. I do not think he averaged going to Washington more than two or three times a year.
Q. These absences that you speak of to Chicago and Washington — A. I am speaking of absences when he was not at Chicago and Washington, but in New Hampshire, as far as my kuowledge goes.
Q. Do you mean that he was absent six months in each year on his farm in New Hampshire ?-A. In my opinion he was not on duty during tbat time.
Q. What knowledge bave you to base your opinion upon ?-A. Because I was in the office, and had a chance to koow what interest he took in his business, and what he did, &c.
Q. Did you report these matters to the department?-A. No, sir; because I had no autbority to. I was a subordinate of his, and it would not become me to write a letter to the department.
Q. When did you first make any complaint about this matter ?-A. I have never made any complaint.
Q. Whom did you first tell that you had knowledge of this matter 1-A. It is general talk through New England and through the United States.
Q: Whoin did you tirst talk to about it?–A. I do not know. I suppose I told some of the clerks.
Q. Whom did you tell so that it became public, I mean ?-A. It was not necessary for me to tell it in order to make it public. Everybody knew it.
Q. Whom did you first tell ?-À. I do not know that I told anybody.
Q. Then you have never opened your mouth ?-A. Yes, sir; I have casually. It has been talked of by others. There will be other witnesses here who will testify that it has been general talk.
Q. You thought it proper to talk about this matter to a great many people, but did pot tbink it proper to bring the matter to the knowledge of tlie department that had anthority to act?-A. No, sir; because I had no right to write to the department, and had nothing to do with it at all.
Q. How do you distinguish between the right to make complaint to the proper department to correct an abuse which you think exists, and the right to go around and talk about it to people not connectưd with the service at all?-A. Suppose a man shonld come up to me and speak about it. I should naturally talk to him I don't want the committee to understand that I alone bave talked about Mr. Cheney's negligence of duty, or his dereliction in the performance of it. I do not want an impression to be given in that way. It is not go any more with me than with others.
Q. I will ask you when you were appointed to your present position ?-A. I was appoioted superintendent of Boston letter-carriers December 1, 1875, on the recommendation of Mr. Cheney, for one.
Q. Did you ever have any formal leave of absence ?--A. When I was in the postoftice the carriers were granted ten days' leave of absence. In 1866, having come out of the military service, I bad ten days' leave in that year.
Q. You have had no formal leaves since that time 1-A. As I said before, there is no leave of absence in Mr. Cheney's office allowed by the department in any form, for such clerks.
Q. I understand you to say that you had not any leave of absence wbile you were with Mr. Cheney?-A. No regular leave of absence. I said that when I had spoken to Mr. Cheney of going away he bad given his approval, consent, or acknowledgment, that it was satisfactory to bim.
Q. These small leaves of absence are freqnent for clerks who have not any formal leaves, are they not?--A. I do not think they are particularly frequent.
Q. Your case was exceptional, then ?-A. No; I do not think it was exceptional as to being frequent, because it was not frequent.
Q. It was occasionally, then, that a clerk would have a leave of absence for a day or two or three or four days ?-A. As I say, if the chief head clerk wanted a leave, he would take it.
Q. Did that apply generally to the clerks ?-A. Yes, sir; to the clerks in Mr. CheDey's division; but whether it applied to other divisions, I do not know. I doubt whether it does in Mr. Jackson's division. But that is the way Mr. Cheney's office has been rup. Mr. Cheney has never censured me for one day's leave of absence since I have been with bim, and never questioned any leave that I took. Thirty days will more than cover all the time that I was gone in 1875.
By the CHAIRMAN :
Q. I noderstood you to say yesterday that you were not an applicant for Mr. Che. uey's position, and would not have the position if it was offered to you !-A. I would not. I would not take it to-day if it was offered to me. I do not want to be misunderstood on that matter, Mr. Chairman. I am not an applicant for the position, as I stated, but I have been; and my papers are dated a year ago next month, and they have been lying in one drawer of my desk in Boston for the last six or eight months, and have not been out of it. Therefore I don't think I have been a very aspiring applicant for his position, although those papers were circulated by myself, and signed by some of the men now in this city, and others.
By Mr. GIDDINGS: Q. I understand you to say that some official has been receiving $600 in addition to his salary for doing part of Mr. Cheney's work ?-A. Yes; he does most of the work pertaining to Mr. Cheney's office now. That can be explained by a letter in Mr. Tobey's possession, in which is given the proviso under which that $600 was obtained from the department, and why Mr. Tobey got $4,000 out of this $6,000 that was appropriated for granting this $600 to Holmes.
Q. Is there any deduction from Mr. Cheney's salary on account of this $600 being paid to another official !--A. No, sir.
Q. From whom does Cheney draw his pay ?--A. He makes out vouchers for the same and bas a draft sent to him from the department.
Q. Who certifies to tbose pay-rolls ?
Q. Does not someone certify that the service bas been performed by each one of these employés ?--A. No, sir; none that I ever saw.
Q. Is there no certificate tiled in the department by the party drawing his pay that the actual service specified has been performed !-A. No, sir. Evory railway line has a book at both termini of the road, and when a postal clerk arrives at one end or the other he registers the time of his arrival and his departure.
Q. Wbat I want to get at is, whether or not the department had knowledge that the service had not been perforwed.-A. There was, I think, a general understanding with Mr. Adams, the cashier of the Boston post-office, that if any man was not eligible to draw pay, the cashier should be informed. I remember distinctly of Mr. Adams coming into our office very frequently, at the end of the month, and asking if any man was ineligible to draw his pay.
Q. Do you know whether Mr. Adams was notified that Mr. Cheney had not performed bis service 1-A. He does not draw his pay from Mr. Adams.
Q. Does Mr. Adams pay both rolls !-A. Mr. Holmes signs oue roll for the whole $3,000, and Mr. Adams pays him the $3,000 salary.
Q. Does Mr. Adams know that that $600 is for part of Mr. Cheney's work !-A. He was informed of it by a letter which can be produced from the department. I was told of this letter by the Boston postmaster; that letter is in the department, to my knowledge, although I have not seen it. I understand the case thoroughly.
By Mr. MONEY: Q. You said you were not distinct in your impression as to the length of Mr. Cheney's absences, but upon the whole you thought six months in the year P-A. I said my impression would be that he was absept as much as that.
Q. Is your impression in regard to his presence more distinct than it is in regard to his absence ?-A. My impression of his presence in the office is that it would not exceed six months in the year.
Q. That impression is about as distinst as the other?--A. Yes; and I think I have stated it largely tben.
Q. In your examination by Mr. Cannon, you stated that Mr. Cheney was absent one month, I think, in the West, when the fast mail-train was established !-A. He was absent one month only ; when the fast mail was started from New York there was a great furor about it.
Q. You said it was his duty to go to some point.-A. No; it was not his duty. The fast mail would bave got to Chicago without bim.
Q. How long did it take to establish that fust mail, supposing it to bave been his duty to go?-X. The most of the work of that line was done in the other division, no part of the line touching the first division. Connections had to be made with the fast line at Albany, and mails which were going to connect from diverging points in Maine, New Hampebire, and Vermont had to connect with the fast mail over the New York Central at Albany. That was the business which pertained to Mr. Cheney's doty-to see that the connections were made from different points in New England.
Q. Do yon understand that he had any duties to perform iu Ohio ?-A. I do not think he had any duties ont in Ohio. There is another superintendent there.
By the CHAIRMAN:
Q. Is le practicing medicine also 1-A. Yes, sir; I think so. In fact I know he is, if our directory gives bim correctly; it gives him as a physician at 422 Columbus avenue. He bas circulated his cards among oar clerks. I never saw any sign of his, and he derer prescribed for me, but I have seen his cards among the clerks. He is, also, still in tbe postal service.
Q. Is be in the same place he had before !-A. No, sir; he was taken back on a proviso which Mr. Tobey can sbow by letter. It is generally understood that his business was not giving bim a living in Leominster, or wherever he might have been located after leaving Leominster, and he was to be put back in the service again. It was arranged by Mr. Cheney, I suppose.
(Mr. Eastman, counsel for Mr. Cheney, desired the witness to be instructed not to state bis supposition.)
Tbe WITNESS. I ain sworn to tell the whole truth, and the truth, and I shall tell it as near as I can.
By the CHAIRMAN:
The CHAIRMAN. Tbat is hearsay.
The CHAIRMAX. You do not know they, really, of your own knowledge, whether he is in service !-A. O, yes; he is in the service.
4. I asked you in what capacity.-A. He is secretary to D. A. Holmes, superintendent of mails, and chief clerk to Mr. Cheney. Q. The man getting two salaries ?-A. He gets $3,000. Mr. Stahl is drawing $1,400.
By Mr. CALDWELL: Q. Mr. Cheney states in his answer to the charges that about July, 1875, Mr. Stahl returned and resumed the duties of his desk. I understood you to say yesterday that he came back and staid about a week ?-A. Yes, sir; I have thought that over since yesterday.
Q. If you wish to modify your statement of yesterday I now give you an opportunity to do so.-A. A question was pat to me about dates which I could not remember. The record will show, if there is any, that I said it was my impression that he staid about a week. I suppose Mr. Cheney's paper is correct in that respect, for aught I know. I do not question it at all.
By Mr. EASTMAN (counsel for Mr. Cheney): Q. When did you leave your position under Mr. Cheney ?-A. My resignation was dated December 1, 1875.
Q. Wben was your resignation placed in his hands ?-A. I do not remember exactly. Q. Wbat is your impression in regard to it?—A. I cannot say. I guess, perhaps, it was in November, within two weeks of the 1st December.
Q. Did you bave any vacation at that time 1-A. I took from the 16th or 17th of November until the 1st of December. Q. Was it not from the 12th of November 1-A. No, sir; it was not. Q. Are you sure about that ?-A. Yes, sir; I am quite sure. Q. You cannot be mistaken ?-A. No. It was not what you may term a vacation. I came to Washington at the suggestion of General Burt, stopping on my way at New York and Philadelphia, in order to derive what knowledge I could in regard to the carrier-service, and if General Burt were here he would testify to that effect.
Q. Were you in Burt's employ at that time ?-A. No, sir; but I was to go in his emplog on the 1st of December.
Q. So tbat you ceased to perform your duties at the time you were following out this suggestion of General Burt's ?-A. Yes, sir; about the middle of November. I was absent on business.
Q. On the business of the office you were employed in ?-A. No, sir; business pertaining to the carriers' service.
Q. It was the business of the office you proposed to assume ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was any proposition made for making any testimonial to you from the clerks at the time of your leaving 1-A. No, sir.
Q. You did not hear that any such was in contemplation ?-A. No, sir. I will swear to it, that I did not hear of it until it had gone on for some time.
Q. Did you hear of it after it had gone on for some time ?-A. I did.
Q. Did you make any suggestions or complaints to Mr. Cheney in regard to the stopping of this testimonial ?-A. After I bad resigned, and just before I took the position of superintendent of carriers, I talked with Mr. Cheney about it.
Q. What complaint did you make to him about it!-A. I will tell exactly wbat complaint I made. I said to Mr. Cheney, “A year ago, or thereabouts, the clerks of the Boston and Albany line updertook to give me a testimonial, and I stopped it.” I remember distinctly that at the time I told him this we were going from dinner to the office. Mr. Cheney said I had done exactly right; that the department did not allow such things; that it did not look well, and he disapproved of any such thing. He cited a case where there was an officer of the Interior Department to whom it was proposed in one case to give a testimonial, and it was given to him, and the officer was removed. I told Mr. Cheney that I did not approve of it; that when I was about to resign tbis railway mail service, which is an entirely different service from the one I am in now, I believed that the clerks had gone along with the testimonial for some time for me without any consultation with Mr. Cheney wbatever. After I spoke to him about it he wrote a letter to me, which appeared in tbe Boston Herald, stating, as nearly as I can recollect, that be disapproved of the matter, and that George would, too. I had no knowledge that George would disapprove of it or anything of the kind He took the responsibility upon himself to write that letter, and put me in it in that way. It was after I had hadded in my letter to him that I spoke to Mr. Cheney about this, and asked him by wbat authority he wrote such a letter. Mr. Cheney, of course, made bis reply. What tbe words were I do not know. I suppose he said that he had authority or that he had done wbat was right. I told him that in my opinion he had not done wbat was right. Then I cited the case where the year before I had stopped a testimonial myself. He knew that I was leaving the service, and I did not think he had any right to do it. I cared nothing for the chain that this letter speaks about. Ans. body that knows me knows I do not want the chain. The substantial gift was nothing. It was the feeling of the men toward me, having been over them for some time, and which prompted the gift, that I approved of, and relished, and liked. A letter signed by those men would have been far more acceptable to me than the cbain. In the carrier service, since I have been in it, they have undertaken two or three times to give me a present, but I have stopped the matter right on the nail-head, and said, “No; this matter cannot go on.” So far as I am concerned, tbat 18 the whole business.
Q. What complaints did you make to Mr. Chepey?-A. That is all the complaint I made. I said to Mr. Cheney that I did not think he had done right. Mr. Cheney did not like the way I spoke, I suppose.
Q. Did he make any objection to the way you talked !-A. Yes, sir; he talked very strong in regard to the matter.
Q. What did you say to him ?-A. I told him that I thought he had no business to do it.
Q. That is all you can recollect about it 1-A. Yes, sir.
Q. You do not entertain any animosity toward Mr. Cheney ?-A. I do, in a certain measure, some feeling.
Q. Was Mr. Cheney at any time, during the three years that you were in his office, at Saint Albans ?-A. I stated that I tbink he went through to Saint Albans on the night of the starting of the new service on the night line, which I had put on myself with very little assistance from Mr. Cheney. That is what I wanted to say about that at the time, that tbis work of establishing a new lide on the route between Boston and Saint Albaus was, the most of it for fifty miles, performed by me, and the writing is in my hand, and the copy-books of the Boston office for the last five years, if broughi here to-day, would show the correspondence which has been transmitted by the chief head clerk and Mr. Cheney; and it will show where I have left off signing the letters, and another man has taken it up, and also the number of letters that have been written.
Q. What was that line establisbed between Saint Albans and Boston ?-A. It was a night line, established between Boston and Saint Albans, leaving Boston at six. That train had never had a postal car on it before, going through Saint Albans.
Q. What time did it arrive at Saint Albans !-A. I cannot remeinber just wbat time, two years and a half ago, trains left and arrived at Saint Albans. I have left that service, and am in an entirely different service now. I presume that that is not a fair question to ask me-what time a railway train got into Saint Albans two years and a half ago, and what time a corresponding train left Saint Albans and ran to Boston, passing somewhere near Lebanon, N. H., or White River Junction. The mail was established, and letters were written to every postmaster along the line, passing down through Georgia, Vt., and Lebanon, and Merediths, and Lowell, and all the large places, to make exchanges with this postal car.
Q. Your claim is that the merit of establishing that line belongs to you !-A. I do claim it, and the copy-books will show it.