Charles Frederick Holder.

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could slide aside, at the magic touch of
one of Smuggler Whaley ' s accompl ices,
and reveal choice lots of Lie Yuen.
But they use this place no more.
Smuggler Whaley, whose name is
linked with that of the famous yacht
Halcyon, was formerly a custom house
employee, and hence knew all the
" ropes " in the workings of the force,
but this very knowledge has made him
fight shy of San Francisco and seek
other fields for his gigantic deals in
contraband opium. The "ring" is
still at work, however, but the large
shipments are few and far between,
for so many have been seized of late
years by vigilant customs inspectors,
that it has become a losing business.

Some months ago over $11,000
w T orth was seized from one of the coast
steamers. Only recently, on December
27th, 1S92, fully $10,000 worth was



:ized on board the steamer Oceanic of
le China line, through the efforts of

inspector McGinnis. The speculators
ho. shipped the drug, had selected a

tiding place well fitted for the pur-
>se. Under the steerage storeroom,
the extreme end of the forward hold,
re two water tanks, placed about ten
iches apart, which rest on the ribs of
leship, close to the keel. Underneath
lese tanks is a space about ten inches
;h, which is accessible only from the
►p of the narrow crack between the
'o tanks. To add to the difficulties

>f the search, the space above and
round the tanks was piled full of ioo
mnd rice mats. Between the lower

leek timbers and this pile of rice mats

;as just room enough for a man to
-awl, and into this space Inspector
[cGinnis made his way, foot by foot,
probing through the rice mats, he
iscovered the narrow space between
le two tanks, and with great labor
ie heavy bags were moved aside, until
le rays of the lantern could be thrown
ito the dark hole. Nothing could be
>en at the bottom, but by bending his
-on probe into a sort of shepherd's
rook, the inspector discovered the

larrow space under the tanks, and

;ith the hook succeeded in bringing

a tin of the deadly drug. Tin after

in was thus brought up, until 1,080

/ere found, worth over $10,000.

Petty smugglers of opium give great

moyanee, and engineers and " stok-

011 the steamers are inveterate

nugglers of this class. Every nook

id corner of the incoming steamer is

:amined by the searchers. Places

mere fresh paint has been put are

irefully sounded, while suspicious

lils or bolts are pulled out in the

>areh for secret hiding places by

learner employees. With their long

rods the searchers go over the entire

irgo, even probing and turning over

ie coal in the bunkers* The steam

>lliers, coming from the North, are

ften subject to the closest inspection,

id their entire cargoes are overhauled

there is a suspicion that all is not

•ight aboard.

Not long ago one of the inspectors,
who had formerly worked in a local
iron foundry, took it into his head to
take off a plate from the boiler or,
of the steamers being searched. Ik-
asked the engineer for a wrench with
which to do this. The latter laughed
at him, telling him it would be imp
ible to turn the rivets, as they had not
been moved since the steamer iras built.
Nothing daunted, the inspector went
at the work. Rivet after rivet was

found immovable, but soon thi


found that turned readily, and when
these were loosened the entire plate
came off, revealing the hiding pi
of a quantity of opium. The others
were merely bolt-heads welded on to
the iron to baffle zealous searchers who
might try to turn them.

One amusing instance of the dis-
comfiture of the petty smu
related by the Surveyor's deputies.
A dignified and fairly well dn
man, wearing a high silk hat.
seen to come down the gang plank of
one of the North Coast steamers.
he neared the wharf end, he spied a
woman eagerly awaiting his arrival,
when politeness got the better of dis-
cretion, for as he raised his hat to

5 8o


greet his female friend, two five-
tael boxes of opium fell from it.

Some time ago a deputy had
an exciting fight with a man
who was apparently a cripple,
when first grappled with. A
hunchback was seen to go aboard
one of the steamers being searched
for opium. Something in his man-
net attracted a deputy's notice, and
when he came off the deputy ap-
proached for the purpose of .search-
ing him. No sooner had he done this
than the man sprang upon him and a
tussle began. In the melee the
11 hump" disappeared from the smug-
gler's back, when some three hundred
dollars' worth of prepared opium fell to
the ground. The man escaped up the
dock, and though several arrests were
made, so altered was the man's
appearance without his "hump,"
that no conviction could be secured.

A customs boat is nearly always
stationed under the wharf during the
stay of a China steamer, and from time
to time the officers see planks, pieces
of scantling, and tins — with floats
attached — thrown overboard for some
waiting boatman to pick up. When
seized, they nearly always prove de-
vices for smuggling in the costly
opium. The planks and scantlings
have long auger holes bored in them ;
these are filled with the drug and then
carefully plugged up. Innocent look-
ing boards are taken from a steamer
and laid carelessly to one side on the


wharf; They are not there long, for
presently some watchful eye has dis-
covered them and they are quickly
"sneaked off." These are likewise
full of opium. In the Surveyor's office
is a trophy in the shape of a large
"dummy" plank, four inches thick
by fourteen wide. This is made of
very thin redwood strips, and
so cleverly that it could hold several
hundred dollars' worth of the drug.
Another instance of smuggling inge-
nuity came to the eyes of the customs
men fibout a year ago, when a man
wearing a Paul Boynton rubber suit
was discovered making his way
around the bay, close to a China
steamer. A large package of opium
had just been passed out through the
vessel's dead-light, and the inventive
smuggler was about to take it in tow
when captured.

An exciting incident in the lives of
the San Francisco Customs Officers
occurred some time back, when a
"tramp" steamer came into port.
Some one was seen to throw over-
board a huge package, to which a line
and a float was attached. For several
days and nights a boat-load of officers
watched under the Pacific Mail Dock,
to see if any boats would visit the



spot. After waiting in vain for several
nights, they had about decided to give
up the vigil, when late one night two
boats were seen to pull toward the
scene from around the bay. They
cruised about for some time, when one
was seen to begin hauling on the line
attached to the float. The officers
managed to pull quite near before
they were discovered, but on reaching
hearing distance, the smugglers
dropped the work and took to their
oars. Then came an exciting chase.
The smugglers headed for the other
side of the bay, and in the dull, dark
light of an over-clouded moon, they
could be seen making for Oakland
Creek. The Custom House boatmen
fairly bent their oars double in the
vain attempt to overhaul the fleeing
smugglers. Bullet after bullet was
sent with a warning to stop ; but the
men who were ahead knew better than
to do this, disappearing up the Creek,
and in the blackness of the night they
escaped capture. Few such exciting
chases occur in the routine of the local
officials, and their usual task is to
devise measures to check-mate the
cunning of crafty law evaders.

Opium is, naturally, the chief ar-
ticle "run in " by the smugglers, but
by no means the only one. Chinese
women nearly always wear in several
suits of silk underwear, besides pack-
ing their baggage full, and invariably

hon. t. <;. mi 1 pb.


they wrap their legs about with
many silk handkerchiefs, scarfs and
the like, as will permit locomotion.

Recently, when one of the large
steamers was at the dock for pep
preparatory to taking her from tin-
China route and putting her in the
Panama trade, numbers of mattn
were thrown on the wharf with the
apparent intent of letting them
air. One of the Surveyor's force,
though everything seemed quite right,
took the precaution to rip open one of
the mattresses. Instead of the custom-
ary filling, he found it stuffed with
some of the finest silks that have come
into the port. They were principally
silk nightgowns, and beautifully
wrought. The other mattresses \
similarly filled, and the " find "
amounted to an immense sum.

In connection with the smuggling
of silk goods, perhaps the most gi;
tic frauds ever peq>etrated in this
country were recently unearthed by
the San Francisco Customs Officers.
One of the wealthiest importing firms
of the city had for years been bringing
into the port the costliest of silks,
while paying only a nominal duty on
them, to the discomfiture of its
rivals in trade. By a system of whole-
sale bribery, this firm had the silks in-
voiced and shipped to them as "crash
toweling,' ' on which the duty is slight,
and when selections of cases were made



for the inspection of the Appraiser,
those that carried a secret mark were
selected by the bribed customs man,
and contained, of course, the character
of goods specified in the consular in-
voice. This work had been going on
for a long time, but Inspector Eager,
an alert official on the Surveyor's staff,
opened one of the other cases in a ship-
ment, disclosing silk goods instead of
the toweling specified, and thus one
of the largest government swindling
schemes extant was stopped. Over a

quarter of a million dollars was, per-
haps, saved by this firm in the past,
but no evidence was to be had except
on the consignment seized, and on
payment of $70,000, the duty on the
shipment, the perpetrators of the
swindle were released. The former
Deputy Collector, who is alleged to
have connived at the steal, is now
wintering in Canada, safe from the
law's demands, for the Dominion Go-
vernment has refused to acknowledge
the requisition papers issued for him.



IT seems quite difficult, if not im-
possible, for Europeans to compre-
hend our system of government, or
to pass impartial judgment upon its
practical workings. Having been or-
ganized on a theory and with a ma-
chinery for which there were no
precedents, and when the whole world
was monarchical, it was but natural
that at first its success should have
been doubted, and that it should have
appeared Utopian to those who be-
lieved there could be no stability ex-
cept in the maintenance of the principle
of heredity. It is surprising, however,
that after a century of successful ex-
perience, our system and methods
should be misconceived and disparaged
by Englishmen who profess confidence
in the good results of popular control,
which they claim is the underlying
principle of the British constitution.
The explanation probably is that hav-
ing been reared under institutions
which combine recognition of heredity
with popular rights, the}- form Judg-

ment from their own surroundings,
and are unable to distinguish between

their own and a government that re-
cognizes the single dominating power
of the people.

That continental Europeans should
misconceive and err is not so
surprising, for generally they are
acquainted only with institutions
founded upon monarchy, aristocracy,
or class distinctions, or all of them
combined. On the other side of the
Atlantic, public affairs are managed by
a few individuals, even where popular
rights are most enlarged, while in this
country the great body of the people
participate actively in politics, and are
recognized as the masters of public
officials. In Great Britain, where popu-
lar domination through the House of
Commons is presumed to exist, public
affairs are managed by designated
leaders, and consequently there is not,
and cannot be, that individual inde-
pendence and freedom of thought
which prevail in this country. Really

lished right to leadership. Nominees
for office are, in a sense, leaders for a
campaign, and there are always a few
men of extensive influence, on account
of their abilities or meritorious public
service. In Great Britain, the Prime
Minister and the leader of the opposi-
tion are party dictators, and partisans
yield them obedience almost as im-
plicitly as subjects do a crowned head.
Andrew Jackson, in the zenith of his
power over his party, was not as poten-
tial as is a party leader in Great
Britain, whether in the government or
opposition. It is apparent that the
most intelligent foreigner is liable to
misunderstand us, because our institu-
tions and methods are so unlike any-
thing the world has ever known, and
it requires the most thorough observa-
tion and study, and the exercise of im-
partial judgment to comprehend and
them justice.

Mr. James Bryce is a late European
Liithor of an elaborate work upon the
institution, laws, and political me-
Lods of this country, which bears the
[tie of the American Commonwealth,
[is work represents a good deal of
►Search, and his knowledge concern -
ig the machinery of our institutions
extensive, but he manifests an in-
ifferent knowledge of its practical
workings. From his standpoint, the
rant of leadership is a radical defect.
[e finds the President independent of
mgress, which is also independent of
lim, that the two branches of Congress
re independent of each other ; and the
lembers of the Cabinet are above all
control, except that of the Chief Ex-
ecutive. It is a puzzle to him that we
get along at all with all this independ-
lce, and without some one to domi-
ite over all branches of the govern-
:nt. As a fiction, the British king
the supreme power, who graciously
lies according to the popular wishes
:pressed in the House of Commons.
v he king is a nominal perpetuity and
the Commons is his weathercock. We
have no such fiction. The President
and Congress are chosen for prescribed
Vol. IV— 38



terms, and to carry out the views of the
people as expressed at the time of their
election, until they are regularly suc-
ceeded. In this there is a stead-
that does not exist in Great Brit
for there, though the king emir.
Parliament is liable to be dissolved, or
the ministry changed at any moment,
and even for a trivial reason. Leader-
ship in that country by no 111
assures stability, for its placidit
frequently disturbed by leadership

Mr. Bryce presumes that in con-
sequence of the independence and
co-ordination of the several bran
of government, there cannot well
be harmonious and co-operative
action. The fact is, as a rule, in no
government on earth do the
branches act in better accord than in
the United States. Even where there
have been wide and positive politics]
differences, or differences upon meas-
ures not partisan, but of highest im-
portance, in matters of general admin-
istration, there have been no conflicts
of serious detriment to the public, and
ordinary legislation takes place as a
matter of course, uninfluenced by
party affiliations. Mr. Bryce is greatly
mistaken on the subject of official int
course and co-operation b e tween the
president, the cabinet, senators and rep-
resentatives. Under most circum-
stances, intercoufse and consultations
are free and frequent. Bills relating to
subjects within the jurisdiction oi
department are referred for investiga-
tion and opinion, and often bills
are drawn in the department by
request of a committee and sent to
Congress for enactment. Concerning
the public business, one branch of
government never withholds informa-
tion from another ; no secrets are kept
which relate to the public inter*
except where their disclosure would
be detrimental.

Another feature which this author
criticises, is that there are two ifl
pendent committees in the lower house
of Congress, one having control of the
raising of revenue and the other of its



expenditure. He cites the fact as a
curiosity, that in a late Congress the
chairman of ways and means was a
free trader, and the chairman of
appropriations was a protectionist.
It is not necessary that these chair-
men should be in accord as to the
principle on which revenue should be
raised. All parties agree that there
should be money enough to supply the
reasonable wants of the Government.
Every Congress, as a basis of action,
takes the reports of the fiscal depart-
ment, showing the estimated revenues,
and the sum necessary to carry on the
Government, and before any change is
made in the revenue laws, the com-
mittee and the secretary of the treas-
ury make a careful calculation of the
effect upon the receipts. The expend
ing committee is careful not to go
beyond the revenues.

Some of the largest appropri-
ation bills are withheld till near
the close of the session, that
action may be intelligent and in
accord with changes that may have
taken place during the session.
That appropriations are sometimes
deficient is not a danger or a source of
grievous inconvenience, though it is a
practice that Mr. Bryce is disposed to
criticise. It is true that the deficiency
has become one of the regular appro-
priation bills, but it should be remem-
bered that Congress is In session ineaeh
six months of the fiscal year, and that
appropriations rarely, if ever, run short
the fir&t six months. There are rea-
sons for making short appropriations,
one of which is to encourage economy
on the part of the officials, and an-
other, which is hardly worth y, is for
political effect, that the party in power
may make profert of the record as
proof of its economy before an elec-
tion, well knowing that the deficiency
will be provided for at the next
session. It is a practice, however,
that the country has come to under-
stand, and as a political makeshift it
has become impotent. No political
party has the temerity to block the
wheels of government by withholding

adequate revenue, or by refusing suffi-
cient appropriations.

In Great Britain, the budget
is a party proposition, and includes
both the raising and the ap-
plication of revenue ; and it is
carried through under the whip and
spur of the party leaders. Here the
financial requirements are plainly
stated, not as party measures, but for
the information of Congress and the
country. No member of Congress
feels bound to support recommenda-
tions of the administration for parti-
san reasons, though occasionally the
thumb-screw of the administration is
applied to secure the adoption of its
recommendations, but its pressure is
as often successfully resisted as sub-
mitted to. Here the desires of the
people are regarded more than the
wishes of the executive. Thus far,
and especially since the war of the
rebellion, the financial affairs of the
Government have been managed with
the greatest success, notwithstanding
the disjointed methods, as Mr. Bryce
regards them, that have prevailed.
Though at times there is strong
party antagonism, the restraint of
public opinion is greater than in any
other country , and it compels general
harmony of action, especially so far as
to secure proper care of the public
interests. The very nature of our
institutions forbids leadership of the
character existing in Great Britain.
Leaders are not selected by Congress
or committees, but by the people.

The States being so largely inde-
pendent of the general government,
end having policies so entirely their
own, it seems logical to Mr. Bryce
that iii every State parties should be
formed on local questions ; but to his
surprise he finds that the national
parties carry on State campaigns the
same as they do those which are
national. The State .governments
have nothing to do with economic and
international questions, or with inter-
state or international commerce.
The great subjects with which the
general government deals, are ever



existent in some phase or other, while
State questions are as a rule, speedily
and finally disposed of. Work in the
one is unending and in the other com-
paratively ephemeral. Parties formed
on a present State issue, would be
forced to disband when it is disposed
of, and others would have to be
formed upon something new. For
more than a hundred years there
has been a controversy over revenue
and financial questions, and as to the
limitations of power between the fed-
eral and State governments, and it
seems that there is not likely to be an
agreement upon lines of policy which
will put an end to differences of opin-
ion on these subjects. The election
of State legislators has a direct
influence upon national policies. The
national parties can act upon State
issues as well as parties formed espe-
cially for that purpose. They do
declare themselves, and it not 1111 fre-
quently happens that one party carries
the State ticket, and the other secures
.he presidential electors. This oc-
curred in 1888 in New York, and came
near happening in 1884. The iron
rule of party does not prevail in this
country as it does in Great Britain,
md hence the voters feel more at
liberty to follow their convictions than
they do in that country, and intelli-
gence being more general, there are
tore men in this country who have
"onvictions. Notwithstanding their
business activities and engrossment,
the American voters give more study
to public questions than their British
cousins, though a most grievous evil
is that our business men are not
vigilant enough in regard to public

While Mr. Bryce feels that it is a
weakness of our institutions that we
tre destitute of leadership, he pictures
is as being subject to the dominion of
mini pre sen tbossism. That we suffer
for the want of leaders, and also be-
cause we have bosses would seem to
paradoxical. Leader may be a
word of more dignity than boss, but
in common understanding the two

words have substantially the same
meaning. We have had bosslstn and
sometimes it has l>een grievous, but it
can only exist where part] ./.»

tion is iron bound. Bossism Ik.
with Aaron Burr, who first taught
the lockstep of party discipline, and it
was continued under Van Buren and

his associates and successors in the
Albany Regency. There have b

so called leaders in all the States BlUCC

the beginning of the Government,
but few of them have possessed

the dictatorial powers of a
boss. There has been more boSSisUl
in New York than in all the other
States combined, and it may be ac-
counted for on the ground that the

great monetary and commercial me-
tropolis of the nation is in that S:
It is true that in New York City 1..
ism has continued, with occasional
intervals, since the days of Aaron
Burr. It is this fact which is seized
upon to give character to the whole
country. The character of a commun-
ity often suffers from the conduit of a
single individual, and the nation in
the minds of foreigners, has b
brought into disrepute by the pi
tices in that city, for they take that
as a sample of the whole. In all other
places bossism has been ephemeral,
and it is growing more and more »
time advances. In the last few J
the boss has been squelched BS SOOU as
he has made his appearance, and
nothing will sooner bring defeat t«» a
party, outside of New York City, than
the domination of a boss or ring in
nominating conventions.

It is true that all parties have
National. State. Congressional I
trict, County. Municipal and Town-
ship Committees for purposes of
organization. disseminating infor-
mation, and conducting campai
but they rarely attempt tO
dictate nominations or party policy.
This is all done by convention
which the i>eople are directly ri-
sen ted. Mr. Gladstone and hard -
isburv are as emphatically bosses in
British politics as any men have ever

5 86


been in American politics. An able
advocate of a principle or measure
often has great influence in this coun-
try, but he is never clothed with the
powers of a boss. In Congress parties
are not held together by " whips," as
in the British Commons, but by inter-
change of views through caucusses
and individual intercourse, and by
concessions and compromises. It is
often that they split upon particular

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 77 of 120)