J. J Owen.

Testimony taken before the Board of Trustees of the California State Library in the matter of the charges preferred by Trustee J.J. Owen against Talbot H. Wallis, State Librarian : S. Solon Holl, for Prosecution, Add. C. Hinkson ... [et al.] for Defense ; Winfield J. Davis, Official Reporter online

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Online LibraryJ. J OwenTestimony taken before the Board of Trustees of the California State Library in the matter of the charges preferred by Trustee J.J. Owen against Talbot H. Wallis, State Librarian : S. Solon Holl, for Prosecution, Add. C. Hinkson ... [et al.] for Defense ; Winfield J. Davis, Official Reporter → online text (page 1 of 26)
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B 3 T5t. S73




Taken before the Board of Trustees of the California State Library.


Charges preferred by Trustee J. J. OWEN against
TALBOT H. WALLIS, State Librarian.

S. Solon Holl, . . - . for Prosecution.

Add. C. Hinkson, J. C. Ball, Grove L. Johnson, and J. S. Wallis,

for Defense.

WiNFiKLD J. Davis, Official Reporter.







The Board of Trustees of the California State Library met at the
private office of the State Librarian, in the State Capitol building,
on Monday, August 13, 1883, for the purpose of investigating certain
charges which had been preferred by Trustee J. J. Owen against
Talbot H. Wallis, State Librarian.

There were present — Trustees A. C. Freeman, Henrj' Edgerton, I.
S. Belcher, J. J. Owen, and Matt. F. Johnson.

The minutes of the meeting of the Board held on July 26, 1883,
were read by the Secretary pro tern., C. E. Gunn, corrected in certain
particulars, and approved as so corrected.

On motion of Trustee Edgerton, S. Solon Holl was permitted to
appear as counsel in the prosecution of the charges, he having
requested the Board to permit him to appear in that capacity, as
counsel for Miss M. A. Patton.

The Secretary read the charges, when Mr. Johnson, of counsel for
the defendant, asked leave to file a paper on behalf of the defend-
ant, and permission being given, the paper was read to the Board
and placed on file. *<

On motion of Mr. Edgerton, Judge Holl was given leave to pre-
pare and serve upon Mr. Wallis, or his counsel, amended charges,
within five days from this date, and Mr. Wallis was given leave to
answer the same within five days after such service, and the further
hearing of these charges was continued until Tuesday, September 4,
1883, at one o'clock p. m.

Mr. Owen moved that the Board request the attendance upon the
fourth day of September, 1883, of the following witnesses for the
prosecution : R. 0. Cravens, Hon. B. D. Murphy, S. P. Maslin, R. M.
darken, E. K. Dunlap, and Mr. Metcalf, and of such other persons
as may be invited by counsel in this matter five days before said
fourth day of September, 1883.

On motion of Mr. Edgerton, Winfield J. Davis was requested to
act as Official Reporter of the Board in all of the proceedings in con-
nection with the charges against Mr. Wallis.

On motion, the Secretary was directed to furnish counsel on both
sides with a certified copy of the charges preferred bj^ Trustee Owen,
and now on file.

The Board then adjourned until September 4, 1883.

The Board of Trustees of the California State Library again met
in the State Capitol building, on Tuesday, September 4, 1883, at one


o'clock p. m'. A.ri of tHe members of the Board were present except
Trustee Belcher, and it was agreed by counsel on both sides that the
transcript of the testimony, as furnished by the Official Reporter,
should be submitted to Judge Belcher, and that his vote should be
cast in the final determination of the questions to be passed upon by
the Board in connection with this investigation.

Mr. Owen moved to strike out the entire second subdivision of the
answer of the defendant to the amended charges, and the motion
was carried — Trustees Edgerton, Owen, and Johnson voting in the
affirmative, and Trustee Freeman voting in the negative.

The Board then proceeded to hear testimony.


To the Board of Ih-'ustees of the State Library of the State of California :

Gentlemen: I hereby charge that Talbot H. Wallis is not a fit or
proper person to hold the high and responsible position of Librarian
of the State Library, and I therefore ask that this Board remove him
from that position, for the following reasons:

First-^Said Talbot H. Wallis is so deficient iif education, a knowl-
edge of the English language, and general information, that he is
incompetent to properly discharge the duties. pertaining to his office
of Librarian.

Second — That, taking advantage of his official position, he is guilty
of grave public offenses, committed by him while holding said office
of Librarian, in this, to wit:

(a) That about the twenty-first day of January, 1883, a letter was
received through Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Express, at the library,
inclosed in an envelope, and bearing a United States postage stamp,
and the stamp of Wells, Fargo & Co., addressed to Hon. R. O.
Cravens, the former Librarian. This letter was placed into the pos-
session of said Talbot H. Wallis, and was by said Wallis willfully and
intentionally destroyed, without the knowledge or consent of said
Cravens. ,

{b) That on or about the twenty-fourth day of February, 1883, a
letter inclosed in an envelope, bearing a United States postage stamp,
and addressed to Miss M. A. Patton, one of the Deputy Librarians*
was received at the library in due course of mail. This letter came
into the hands of Talbot H. Wallis, as such Librarian, and was by
him willfully and unlawfully opened and read without the knowledge
or consent of said Miss Patton.

(c) That on or about the second day of April, 1883, a letter inclosed
in an envelope, bearing a United States postage stamp, and the
stamp of Wells, Fargo & Co., addressed to Miss M. A. Patton, one of

the deputies of the library, was received at the library. This let-
ter was delivered to Talbot PI. Wallis, the said Librarian, and by
him retained twenty-four hours, and unlawfully and willfully oi)ened
and read without the knowledge or consent of said Miss Patton.

Tliird — That said Talbot H. Wallis, as such Librarian, has encour-
aged and permitted to be used, and used himself, a portion of said
library as a general resort for dispensing and drinking intoxicating
liquor and smoking tobacco. That during the recentsession of the Leg-
islature said Wallis kept in a portion of the library large quantities
of intoxicating liquors, having for that purpose as many as three
demijohns, one of them holding three or four gallons. These demi-
johns were kei)t exposed to full view in that part of the library, and
were frequently emptied and refilled, and when refilled the larger one
was sometimes brought into the library through the main entrance.
That part of the library'' where the liquor was kept became and was
for a long time a general resort for persons who chose to drink liquor
or to smoke; and frequently, almost every hour during the day, men
were gathered around these demijohns drinking and smoking; not
infrequently as many as eight and ten at a time were there.

Fourth — That, contrary to the rules of this Board, said Talbot H.
Wallis frequently, while in said library, indulges in loud, boisterous,
and unbecoming language.

Fifth — That owing to his defective education and limited culture,
his want of proper dignitj^ his lack of information concerning
matters pertaining to the library, his deportment, and general incom-
petency, is so conspicuous that it draws upon him the severest criti-
cisms and unfavorable comments of educated strangers and others
who visit the library for amusement or information, and reflects
discredit on the State of California.

Sixth — That said Talbot H. Wallis is generally untruthful, and is
guilty of using language in the library, concerning his assistants,
which is slanderous, indecent, most reprehensible, and untrue, and
especially is this so in reference to his late assistant, Miss Patton.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Trustee of the State Library.

The within amended charges were served upon us this eighteenth
day of August, 1883.

G. L. JOHNSON, and
Attorneys for T. H. Wallis.


State of California. Before the Board of Timstees of the State Library.
In the matter of the charges preferred by Trustee J. J. Owen against
Talbot H. Wallis, State Librarian:

Now comes the defendant, the said Talbot H. Wallis, State Libra-
rian, and says:

First — That the said charges are subject to demurrer, because —

(a) This honorable Board has no official power to investigate said
charges, or any of them.

{b) Neither all nor any of said charges state facts sufficient to con-
stitute an offense against any of the rules or regulations of said
Board, or against any of the laws of the land.

(c) Said charges are ambiguous, unintelligible, and uncertain, in
this: That it cannot be told therefrom what rules of said Board of
Trustees have been violated, or what provision of law has been vio-
lated, or what code of morals has been violated; and further, that
the specifications do not give the time, or the place, or the circum-
stances of the alleged offenses charged against defendant with suffi-
cient particularity to enable the defendant properly to answer or
properl}^ to prepare for trial.

But the defendant does not desire to avail himself of any techni-
cal defense herein, and he calls attention particularly to these mat-
ters, at the same time waiving hereby any formal or technical
objection to said charges.

And for answer to the said charges and specifications, the defend-
ant —


Pleads not guilty to each and all and every one of said charges
and specifications,


[The second subdivision of this amended answer was stricken out
by the Board of Trustees. — Reporter.]

And further answering said charges and specifications, the defend-
ant avers that the said charges are not brought in good faith by said
Trustee J. J. Owen ; that said Trustee is not the real author of them;
and that he brings them to gratify his personal feelings of malice
and spite towards this defendant; and also to gratify the hatred and
malicious feelings of one Miss M. A. Patton towards this defendant.
The defendant avers that the said Miss M. A. Patton was a deputy of
this defendant, and was by him, on or about the thirty-first day of
July, 1883, removed for good cause; that the said Miss Patton owed
her original appointment as said deputy to said Trustee Owen, and
claimed to have great and almost exclusive control over the said

Owen; that the said Owen notified defendant that if he discharged
said Miss Patton from her said position as deputy under defendant,
he, said Owen, would prefer charges against defendant, and would
cause them to be published in the newspapers, and would thus polit-
ically ruin this defendant forever; that the said Owen and the said
Miss Patton entered into a conspiracy during the months of Septem-
ber and October, 1882, to oust this defendant from his position of
State Librarian, and in furtherance thereof made various attacks
upon this defendant, which attacks and conspiracy have finally cul-
minated in the presentation of these charges.
Dated Sacramento, Cal., August 23, 1883.




Attorneys for Defendant.
[Filed August 23, 1883.]

Testimony of E. K. Dunlap.

Called and sworn on behalf of the prosecution.

Mr. HoLL — What is your name? Answer — Dunlap, E. K.

Q. E. K. Dunlap? A. Yes.

Q. Where do you reside ? A. At the City of San Jose.

Q. Were you in the City of Sacramento during the time when the
Republican State Convention was held last year? A. Yes.-

Q. Were you at the State House at that time ? A._ Yes.

Q. What portion of it? A. Many portions of it, sir.

Q. Principally in what portion? A. Principally in the chamber
in which the Convention met and in the hallway outside ; prin-
cipally in the hallway.

Q. That leads from the rotunda to the Assembly Chamber? A.
Yes, if it was the Assembly Chamber in which the Convention met,
and I think it was.

Q. Yes, it was the Assembly Chamber in which the Convention
met? A. Yes.

Q. Do you know Mr. Wallis? A. Not personally.

Q. Do you know him by sight? A. Yes.

Drinking in the Library.

Q. What, if anything, did occur that attracted your attention in
the room that is next to the rotunda, where the door goes in next to
the rotunda after you start towards the Assembly Chamber on your
right hand?

Mr. Johnson objected to the question, as being irrelevant, imma-
terial, incompetent, not responsive to any of the issues in the case,
and because counsel for the prosecution has stated in the presence of
this Board that it is not included in any of the charges or specifica-


Mr. HoLL — I did not talk to this witness before I drew the charges.
There are charges as to the use of a portion of this library for a
drinking saloon, and the charges refer to the time when the last
Legislature was in session. I have ascertained that during the ses-
sion of the Republican Convention the same thing occurred and the
same room was made a drinking saloon.

Mr. Johnson — If the reporter will take down the statement that
this is the only additional charge he proposes to make, we will with-
draw the objections, if the Board desires to hear it.

Mr. HoLL — Then, Mr. Dunlap, go on ? A. I cannot give the date;
it was about a year ago.

Q. Will you please answer the question now ? A. You wish me,
as I understand you, to make a statement bearing on the matter you
have just explained?

Q. Yes; anything with reference to the place being made a drink-
ing place? A. Well, as to its being made a drinking place, I am
perhaps not qualified to say, but I can say this : that during that
Convention I would see persons enter the private office of the Libra-
rian, and I did see them drinking there.

Q. State to what extent that thing was carried on ; as to how
frequently persons would go there? A. I was there during the
entire Convention and I noticed it several times — a number of times.

Q. Give this Board some idea as to the number of persons that
went in there and the number of times persons went in there dur-
ing the two days you were in attendance? A. I could not do that.

Q. Approximate it as near as you can. Was it once or twice dur-
ing a day or frequently? A. It was several times during a day.

Q. How many times? Once, twice, thrice, or how many? A. It
was enough to attract my attention to the fact.

Q. The fact of what? A. That persons were drinking there.

Q. That that was made a place for drinking purposes?

Mr. HiNKSON — He did not state that.

A. It was sufficiently often to attract my attention to the fact that
it was done there.

Mr. HoLL — That drinking is done there? A. Yes.

Q. Give the Board some idea, because once might possibly attract
your attention ? A. No, not once ; once would not have attracted my
attention particularly.

Q. Give this Board the best opinion you can as to the extent that
that place was used during that time for drinking purposes ? A.
The best opinion I could give you would be to say, several times — a
number of times ; a sufficient number of times to attract my atten-
tion to the fact.

Q. On one day? A. On every day; I think I was here three or
four days; at least three days.

Q. What number of persons would you see go in there at a time?
A. I think they went in one at a time ; I do not think I ever saw
more than that; I think what I noticed at all the times was one
person entering wath the Librarian, with Mr. Wallis ; that some one
person would enter with the Librarian. I do not think I saw two
persons go in — or three.


Q. Through the door of his private office? A. Yes.

Q. And when they entered, what did they do? A. When they
entered there was some receptacle on the right hand side of the door-
way ; what it is I do not know, never having been in that portion of
the library. I saw Mr. Wallis take a bottle and glass ; what the
bottle contained I do not know.

Q. What did he do with it? A. He poured some liquid from the
bottle and they imbibed.

Q. You say that was done to an extent sufficient to attract your
attention? A. Yes; it did attract my attention at that time.

Q. And that was kept up during the time the Convention was in
session? A. You mean constantly? I do not know.

Q. As you have explained it? A. Yes; a number of times.


Mr. Johnson — What business were you up on — the same as the
balance of us? A. I presume, sir, I belonged to the lobb3^

Q. You were just up here attending the Convention and taking an
interest in political matters? A. Yes.

Q. Your attention was attracted to this just the same as it might
have been attracted to anything else that occurred around the State
Capitol? A. Yes; my attention would have been attracted by any-
thing that interested me in particular.

Q. You did not pay any more attention to this than anything
else? A. Yes; I did pay more attention to it than anything else,
because many things I did not pay any attention to. I paid enough
attention to it to observe it and to remember it.

Q. And to talk about it? A. No; not to talk about it.

Q. You never have spoken about it? A. I presume I must have
been indiscreet enough to have spoken of it to some person or else I
w^ould not be here.

Q. You were interested in the result of the Convention ? A. Yes;
very much.

Q. You were not here in the building all the time? A. Yes; all
the time from morning till night.

Q. With no time for meals? A. When I could get them.

Q. Sacramento is a poor place for meals? A. I lived through it.

Q. Do you know whether Mr. Wallis was interested in that Con-
vention? A. I do not; I do not think I could swear that I know he
was interested in the Convention. He probably was in some way —
in the same way that I was interested in it, I presume.

Q. You had a candidate that you wanted to see nominated? A.
Several of them.

Q. Did you treat anybody that you were talking to during that
time? A. I expect I did, sir.

Q. More than once ? A. It is quite possible.

Q. Several times? A. I expect a number of times.

Q. Enough to attract the attention of outsiders? A. I do not
know. It ^vould have done it if I had taken them into the State


Q. It would not have done so on the outside? A. No; had I
noticed it anywhere else it would not have attracted my attention.

Q. Did you go into the room ? A. No ; I never was in that room
in my life.

Q. Was the door shut any of the time? A. Yes; I saw people go
in frequently when the door was shut. What took place then I do
not pretend to say.

Q. Where did they go in ; from the hallway or the library? A. I
noticed them particularly from the hallway. I was located in the
hallway for the purpose of being found at any time when I would
be wanted. That is where I could be found, and it was understood
that I could be found there.

Q. You were there for that purpose ? A. Yes.

Q. You came up here to attend the Convention on business and
not purely on pleasure ? A. Exactly.

Q. Your point of observation and labor was in the hallway, near
the hall in which the Convention met? A. Yes; where I could be
found any time.

Q. As a matter of fact, do you not know that you and Mr. Wallis
were upon opposing sides in that Convention? A. On the contrary
I do not know it, sir. Which Mr. Wallis do you refer to?

Q. Talbot H. A. I do not know it emphatically. I understood
to the contrary. I know my friend, the Judge (J. S. Wallis), and I
were upon opposite sides in that controversy, but I do not know that
Talbot and I were. I understood exactly the contrary.

Testimony of Hattie R. Kelsey.

Called and sworn on behalf of the prosecution.

Mr. HoLL — Where do you reside? Answer — In San Francisco.

Q. Have you ever been employed in the State Library ? A. You
cannot really call it employed. Miss Patton was away and I took
her place for a couple of weeks as her friend.

Q. About what time was that? A. The first two weeks in Febru-

Q. Of what year? A. Eighteen hundred aiid eighty-three.

Q. Had you been in the library before that time? A. Yes; the
first week in January I spent, I think, four days here as Miss Patton's
guest. I then went to the country and on my return spent, I think,
four days more as her guest. She was not well and I assisted her
slightly. At the end of that time she was obliged to give up her
duties for a short time and I took her place about two weeks.

Q. And that time that you was there was in the first two weeks in
February of this year? A. Yes; I think it was not quite two weeks,
but nearly that time.

Q. You, of course, know Mr. Wallis? A. Yes; I met him the first
week in January.


Drinking and Smoking in the Library.

Q. When you first came there as the guest of Miss Patton, did you
observe that considerable quantities of liquor were consumed in the
library building?

Objected to as leading, and question withdrawn.

Q. State, Miss Kelsey, if, during the time when you were first there
as the guest of Miss Patten, you discovered anything in reference to
the use of liquor in any portion of the library? A. I saw nothing
except a bottle of fluid which I supposed to be liquor, and I saw one
or two of the State officers go in there one evening and help them-
selves. I do not remember of Mr. Wallis drinking at that time. I
know it did not attract my attention particularly, and I probably
would not have noticed it if it was not for the fact of one of the State
officers drinking, and 1 noticed that if it was strong whisky he must
have been accustomed to it to drink a glass full down with so perfect
ease. That is the way I came to remember it.

Mr. Edgerton — He was a Democrat? A. No; I am sorry to say
he was not.

Mr. HoLL — What portion of the library did you see this feat of the
State officer performed in? A. In Mr. Wallis' private office.

Q. What is that office used for; w4io else occupies it or uses it?
A. I suppose it is for the Librarian's private use. However, the
deputies have free access to it, as I understood.

Q. How was it used when you were there, at this time and after-
wards? A. At that time it was used as Mr. Wallis' private office ;
the Legislature was not in session.

Q. After that, when you come there again, how was it used then,
and by whom, and who went in there? A. It seemed to be a general
place of resort.

Q,. I mean as regards other persons in the library, and ladies?
A. We went in there whenever we chose. The washbasin was there
and my lunch basket was there, and I went in there very frequently.

Q. Where were your hats and shawls? A. In there, on the hat-

Q. And your lunch basket? A. Yes.

Q. And the washstand ? A. Yes.

Q. You went in there and made a convenience of it for that pur-
pose? A. Yes.

Q. After you took the place of Miss Patton afterwards, and re-
mained there two weeks, during that time what, if anything, did
you see by the way of the use of liquor in the library? A. The
first week of January I spoke of?

Q. What did you see there after you became employed ? A. Well,
it seemed to me that it increased during the two weeks I was there;
it seemed to be a general place

Mr. Ball — State what it was, and not what it seemed to be? A.
It seemed a great many came in there, evidently for the purpose of
drinking, during the last few days of my stay there. I saw from one
to six at a time of men from the State Legislature when Mr. Wallis
was not in the office, even come through the main entrance and go


into bis private office, and if I ever had occasion to go in there I
saw men drinking, and I rarely went in there without — well I will
say rarely during the last week — it was the exception to go into that
office and find it free; there were men in there, from one to two, and
from eight to ten, drinking.

Mr. HoLL — From one to ten ? A. From one to ten ; frequently
one, and frequently two and upwards.

Q. How frequently would men go in there during the day? A.
Very frequently. *

Q. Express it in some definite way as near as you can ? A. I
should say that once an hour during the session of the Legislature
would hardly express it; I think as frequently as every half hour,
and sometimes there was a constant string, and then again not quite so
many; it seems to me it is not over-estimating it to say there was an
average in every half hour of from one to twelve men, and perhaps
from one to twenty, that would go in there.

Q. Which way would they generally go into that place? A. I
saw a great many come in tlirough the main entrance, and I fre-
quently had occasion to go in there when I saw men there that had
not come in through the main entrance ; they must have come in
through the private way.

Q. When they were in there what did they do in the way of dis-
posing of any liquids ? A. I'hey drank it.

Online LibraryJ. J OwenTestimony taken before the Board of Trustees of the California State Library in the matter of the charges preferred by Trustee J.J. Owen against Talbot H. Wallis, State Librarian : S. Solon Holl, for Prosecution, Add. C. Hinkson ... [et al.] for Defense ; Winfield J. Davis, Official Reporter → online text (page 1 of 26)