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Annual report of the Attorney General to the Legislature of the state of ... online

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the policy originally proclaimed by tbe president to restore our flig wherever
it had b*'en taken down, and to hold snd occupy each and every place that
belongefl to these United States within our limits and borders.

Treason, it is fashionable for many people to consider as rather a venial
class of offense ; but presented to me, to,my mind and education, it is tbe
highest. graveMt and most terrible in its con^quences, of any crime that tbe^
human imagination, perverted by sin, can device.

The man that attempts a robbery Is infinitely more respectable in my eyes
than the man who wilfully and deliberately attempts the life of a nation, and
undertakers with bis bands to roll bick ib»' very tide and course of time, and
to cut off tbe glorious prophecies of tbe future, and to make barren and void
all tbe suffering of the past— for such m^n and for such women 1 Jiave but
little toleration. For those who have eit'ier deliberately themttelves gone
into this war, or who have endeavored by more cowardly malice still to
remain safely at bome, while they forced others into the battle fields. I have
no sympathy at all. [Applause.] For the misfruided men, who. led away
by a wrong doctrine, or by belief in the sovereignty and supremacy of a
State, instilled^ into them by the example of those into whose h mdn they had
committed their faculties, and stimulated by the various elements of society
< that hive combined for that purpose— for such [ have abundant toleration
and great hopes. I look. for the final breaking down of this rebellion, when
these men in tbe South, who causelessly, and without any provocation, have
been induced by other and designing men to go into it, shall discover their



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error, and shall throw off the incnbns that, like the old man of the sea, was
riding them to the devil. These men will return ; the laboring men will
com« back and ocenpy their appropriate posiMon ; they will come back to
the flxg nnder which tliey never suffered a wrong, and they wiil come back'
gladly, becatise they have tested the two. [Gr^ applause.] Let us hope
tli«*n, g**ntiemen, on this day for better things. Let us hope that ont of toe
ashes beyond the fl^ime of this great conflagration, reconstructed Southern
society may rise as dtd the Phoenix of old, ftom its ashes, beautiful, young,
strong, vigorous, hopefiil. [Applau8«>.]

Then we in the Northwest who claim this noble river that mns by yoor
dty— we, from whostf mountam side and wild prairies comes the water that
runs here, have fulloiiired it to Its mouth ; for we own the water and follow it
where it goes (cheers), when a general feeling of nationality is establifllied,
tiien the recognition of the supreme power of the government of the Union
mnv he a household word and tradition in all Ikmilies and around all
baartbt.

iuirt nation, tried by this fire, purified by this war, made strong by the
sen e or sacrifice — and nothing strengthens nations or men so mich— will be
ready to confront here, upon its legitimate dominion, whatever of the old
world's sin or shape may un«1ertake to break it up. [Applause.] It may be
hereafter — it may not be so far from this very time, that, under one common
banner, these who have fought antaeonisticaliy through this war will unite
for ihe one common purpose of vindicating freedom throughout this entire
continent [Great applause.] For this work, foe this purpose, we are all
ft*i low laborers, each in his place, like sentinels posted to preserve free and
inviolate the great principles of human liVerty declared in the American
eonf^titution. We are here to vindicate, wherever the fl.ig floats, the sure and
certain truth that none but fh*emen can live beneath its folds. [Applause.]
We are here f«»r that object Tills severe process of war is but the very
knife of the surgeon, to extirpate the cancer that was endeavoring to eat
Into the bowels of our body politic. We are here, all of us. to endeavor,
with Hfich ability and earnestness as we may devise, to carry out to the full-
est and largest extent, the great principle of human freedom. [Applause.]
When this is done, when that event shall have been accomplished, then, as
one people, from the remote piney regions of Maine — from where the cease-
Ipm surf beats upon Ilatteras, around by the Gulf, across to tb^ far West,
where California throws open her gates of gofd to the setting snn,the anthem
will go up firiim all this people, **God save the American nation, the vindi-
cator of human fireedoro.'* [Prolonged applause.]

The benediction was then pronounced by the Rev. Dr. Newman, and the
aeremonies terminated.



TuBSDAT, March 7, 1666.

The House met, pursuant to adjournment ,

Mr. Foley presented the petition of Salvador Billaud, a veteran of 1814.
asking for a pension.

The resolution was referred to the Committee on Militia.

Mr. CHASiBERLAiN^Mr. Speaker : I wish to present a resolution setting
apart Wednesday of each week for the consideration of bills on third reading,
in order that we may accomplish some work. We can, under this bill,
devote four days of the week to the consideration of bills on second reading



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and deyote one daj to the clearing off of bills on third reading, wbidi I think
is little enough.

The reflolution was read and adopted.

Hr. PsBiMorr— I wi-h« If r. Speaker, to present a resolntion, bj which a
eommittee of three maj be appointed to investigate oerteln reo^t transio-
tioos in the State treasurer's oiBcn, with power to send for books and papen.
A few days ago there were eighteen thousand dollars in the treasury, which
of course should haye been appropriated to the payment of warrants of
officers, members and employ^ of this House, but I understand that a single
broker got eighteen thousand dollar*, to the great detriment of the members
of this House, some of whom were — I, at least was — treated with 'tiscoorteey.
These speculators have been paying from twelve to twenty per cent diK
connt on State warrants, and I think they can afford to wait some time.
Whatever my suspicions may be, I prefer to call for a committee of investi-
gation before expressing them at length.

The resolution was adooted.

Mr. PBB800TT— I now wish, Mr. Speaker, to offer a resolution instructing
the sergeant-atarms to procure copies of all tiie laws of the United States,
enacted since 1859, and deposit the same in the State library lor the use of
the members of this House.

There are many bills which must came before this House, when it will be
absolutely necessary to consult these worlcs in regard to them, and gentlesMB
liave, or 1 have, at least, found much difficulty in obtaining access to tbem.

The resolution was adopted.

Mr. Chamberlain gave notice of his intention to introduce a bill to submit
the question of negro suffrage to the people at the next general election.

The joint resolution appropriating ten thousaiid dollars to the Charitj
Hospital, was adopted, when the rules were suspended and It was adopted
on the second and third reading, with title.

Mr. Christie in the chair.

The rules were suspended and the House went into Committee of the
Whole, on the act for the relief of J. C. Prendei^ast, whereupon that gentle-
man, having been duly sworn, testified as follows :

Mr. Bovbk— I would like to have the gentleman explain the nature of his
claim.

A. The matter is so fully set forth in my petition, that every gentleman is
conversant with It

Mr. Prbscott— How much did you receive under the appropriation bill of
1856, for seven thousand dollars!

i4. I believe three thousand nine hundred and tliirty-seven dollars.

Q. Where did yon receive that money ?

A, In New Orleans, I believe. I did not receive it ; my book-keeper
was the party.



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401 >

Q. Too bad a legally aathorfzed agent?
A, Tea, dr.

Q. Did he not lign a receipt for that money T

A, I was not aware, notil lately, that a receipt waa giren ; bat the &ot of
its being paid inppoeea that

Q. Did jon or not giro a receipt for that money, or did yoor agent do so ^
JL Igayenone.

Q. Ton receiyed, in 1857, a sobseqaent appropriation of three thounnd
fire hondred dollars. Did yon giro any receipt whateYer, or antiioriae your
legal agent to t
A, I soppoae my agent receipted in both instances.

Q. We don't want suppositions.

A, My agent receipted in the first place, and I did myself, in the second
place, I believe, bat not In full.

Q. Was that a receipt infuU!

A, No, sir.

Q. Did you f^ply to the Legislature of 1857 in person?

A, I can't recollect

Q. Did y^u spend any money in procuring any recognition of your claim?

A. No, sir.

Mb. Folbt— Do you recollect of publishing, in 1855, the list of delinquent
tax payers?

A, Tes, dr.

Q. How many squares ?

A. 1114.

Q. How much did you charge fbr the first insertion ?

A. GoTemment rates at that day-Hi dollar for first insertion, and fifty
oeiits afterwards.

Q. Were those the usual charges?

A. Tes, sir.

Q. Yuu solemnly swear that you had the work executed ?

A. I do.

Q. And that you hare not reoeived payment in lull therefbr?

A. Undoubtedly.

Q. And that your claim before this House is Just ?

A. I do.

Mb. Lewis— Are yon an enemy of the Confederate Stales t

Thb Chaibman— I decide the question out of order.

Mb. Ghambbbuuk— Have you taken tiie oath of allegiance ?

A. Tes, sir.

Mb. Dbjban— Whan did this claim originale ?

A. In 1855.

Q. Have you reeeiyed any paymen ?



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402

A. Yet, ttr.

Q. When did 70a reoeiye the first t

A. In 1856, 1 belieFe.

Q And the second?

A III the year fallowing, I believe.

Q What mvs the first adnoiint yon received ?

A. Three thousand nine hundred and odd dollars.

Mb. GuvitBflAULiH— Did you everretom to the Auditor ft detdled state-
ment of tht* State's indebtedness to you?

A. I presume my agent did.

Q. D. 1 y >:i draw these maneys from the treasury as a full remuneratibit

A. Ctiriaiuly not I received them on account of the claim.

Q. How did you draw it?

A, My agent went and drew the money.

Q U aw did your agent malce his claim?

A. I donH Iioow.

Q. You never made any specific claim for fifteen thousand dollars?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You have those documents ?

A, They are in the hands of gentlemen Connected wiUi Uie press.

Ma. PftKioOTT—DidnH the Legislature of- 1856 appoint a committee of
printers to investigate your claim?

A. I don't Icnow. DidaH attend at Baton Rouge.

Q. Who is your agent?

A, Mr. O'Brien, my book-lceeper.

Q. Have you any proof tbat you actttally perHormed this work?

A, They are in the hands of witnesses here.

Mei. BaeoKifiNRiDaB. — What objection had the members of tbe Legislators
of 1856 and 1857 to your claim ?

A, I never heard of any. .

Mr. RtQQd.— Was a detailed account of this work given to the State?

A, Yes, sir.

T. S. Moore having been duly sworn, testified as follows:

Mb. Cha.mbs9La.in— How long have you been a resident 6f tliis city?

A Twenty-Uiree years.

Q. Do you know Mr. Pendergast?

A, Yes, sir. Have for the last twenty-one years.

Q. What is his business?

A A practical printer/ editor and publisher of newspapers.

Q. He was publishing a newspaper between 1850 and 1860 ?

A. He was publishing the » Orieaolan^ from 1855 to 1861.

Q. Do you know personally that be published the list of delinquent tax
payers, in the year 1855?



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40^

uL Ye8,«lr.

Q. How mao/ iqiuurMT

A. 1114.

Q. How man J timM w^re tiio^e eqnnres pnbltsked!

A. I doQH know — was not working in the ofltee.

Q. Tell me what it is worth to publish it once.

A* It has always been a dollar a suit on alt papers I bsT^ worked ott in
New Orleans, for the first insertion and fiftj cents for erery sube^ettt Inser'^
tion.

Q Ton know It was published more than once ?

A. I couldn't swear that tt was published more than what Is in this paper,
but have no doubt it was published the requisite nnmber of times, from whil
I know of the gentleman.

Q. Tonknow how long H was usual io publish these tax lists.

A. Thirty days— thirty times I Uiink was the taw.

Q. Tou know Uiat Mr. Prendergast reeefved any r e a w m et a tion for pab-
ll^hhig these squares?

A. Notiiing more than what was on the printed afBdarit.

Q. Tou don't know of your own podttte knowledge whether he was paid
or not?

A. I couldn't swear to that

Q. Tou know his character well?

Jl I know him to be a man who is unimpeachable.

^ Then you would believe him under oath or upon affirmation ?

A. I would.

Q. And believe that what he has stated in his affidavit is true ?

A. I do, sir.

Ifa. Bboocs— What is the diiferenoe between a " suit " and a ** square T^

A. Some suits only make two lines, and a square eight or ten lines.

Mb. PoLBT—Then a ** snit^ is less than a " square? ^

A It may be less or more.

Mb. BmecnzmiDOK— Do yon believe that the sum claimed hj Ut. Prender-
gast was due to him?

A I believe It is.

q. Was it due at that time?

il. If he says so, it was.

Q. Do you believe this claim is due now?

uL I do. .

Mr. J. 0. Prendergast was recalled and examined as follows :

Ma. PMsooTT—Have you reodvad jwvpro rato firom the appropriatlens
#r 185«, oa thebiU paned for yovr relief, and hare jom ever Mnoe thai time
liM ymur olaim before the Btrte Auditor ?



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404

^. I am not Aware tiiat f^plicatioQ waa made to ik& Auditor. I wu not
the party that acted in it

Mr. Pbescott.— I want to know whether jou made application youvelt or
through yoar legally anthorised ageot^ to the Auditor of State T

A, I preeume my agent did. I made none mysdf.

D. D. O'Brien, being duly sworn, testified as follows :

Me. Pbbsooit.— Since the last appropriaUon act of 1867, for the reUef of J.
G. Prendergast, did yon, as the legal agent of Mr. Prendeigaet, eyer Uy »
statement of this claim before the Auditor of State?

A, Never.

Me. Haeiun.— Is it usual to present bills to the Auditor previous to pre-
senting them to the Legislature?

A. I never knew that it was necessary to do it

Mb. Chambbeulim— How long have you done businesB in this city T

A. I suppose fifteen or sixteen years.

Q. Are you acquainted with Mr. Prendeigast ?

A, Tee, sir ; since 1848, 1 think. I was his book-keeper for eight or ten
years ; from 1848 to 18&7, 1 think.

Q. Tou know then the amount of his businesa—wbat business he was
transacting?

A, I do, sir ^ better than himselt

Q. Do you know that he published in 1865 a list of the tax-payers for the
Third District?

A I do.

Q> How many?

A. There were more suits published than Mr. Prendergast charged for.

Q. As his book-keeper, it was your duty to make out bills against individ-
uals?

A. Yea, sir.

Q. What was the amount of the bill you made out against the State ?

A. The bill is here.

Q. The total amount of this bill is $15,039. You swear that you presented
this bill to the treasury department during 1856 and 1857, and received May
22, 1857, on account, the sum of $3,937, and June 22, 1857, $3,005 ?

A. The bill is correct

Q. Leaving a balance of $8,097 due?

A, Yes sir.

Q. You presented this bill and the money was paid on account?

A. It was embodied in the petition originally presented to the Legislature,
in IsSo, and the payments were made on it.
Mb. LAii(nBB - Did you present the claim ?

A. I was sworn before the committee to whom the matter waarsfierred. 1
cannot say whether I was present at the discu«ion» I did not know tlM fbnB



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405

of the appropriation nntil I came before the treasurer, (Col. Harks.) when he
told me it was necessary for me to sign a receipt He remarked, the appro-
priation was made in AiU. I said I had no power to sign a receipt in full for
Mr. Prendergast. I told If r. Feral to that Col. Marks said it would not militate
against Mr. Preodergast's claim hereafter. On their assurance that it would
not prerent him from pursuing his just claim, I signed the receipt

Q. Was the receipt in full?

A. I could not telL I refused to sign It, and Col. Marks and Mr. Peralto
assured me it would not militote against the claim of Mr. Prendergast

Mb. Psabson— Did you ^gn for the amount received, or in full for the
daSm?

A. I signed for $3009.

Mb. Bbecxenrid&b— Did you present the bill to the Legislature of 1861 or
1862, at Baton Rouge?

A. No, sir.

Q. Was the claim presented?

A, I could not tell.

Mb. Bbooks— -Was application made to the Legislature for the payment of
that bill after the year 1857, at any other time?

A. I left the employment of Mr. Prendergast about that time, and hare no
knowledge. •

Mr. J. C. Prendergast was recalled.

Mb. Brooks — I wish to know if any application has been made to any
Legislature of the Stote of Louisiana, for the payment of that claim, sinca^
1857? •

A Tes, sir. Mr. Leefe, I beliete, presented It in 1858.

^ Any time since then?

A I do not know. I believe it was presented to the last Legislature.

Mb. Eoav— Did you present it hi 1860 or 1861 ?

A, Certoinly not?

Mb. Folxt— I more tiie committee now rise and report progress.

Mb. Chambbblaim— I move that the committee rise and report favorably on
the claim of Mr. Prendergast

The motion to report fovorably was carried— yeas 35, nays 26.

The committee then rose and the chairman reported fkydrably on the claim
of Mr. Prendeigast

Mb. Chaubbblum— I more that tha bill be made the order of the day lor
Best Tharsday.

Carried.

On motioBy the House a^jonmed ^n^l 12 il, Wednesday, March &



Wbdnisdat, March 8, 1866.
The House met, punoant to a^jonmment



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400

Purroant to reaolntioa oflfered and adopted, tbo Hoqm adjourned notil the
10th instant, aa a token of ree^e^t to the Hon.^Franci0 tfenratty, deceased on
the 7th instant.



Friday, March 10, 1865.

The House met, pnrsnant to acyonrnnient, at 12 x.

The mioutes were read and approved.

Mr. Laster offered a resolutioa relative to inqniring into the aheence of
Mr. Decker, which was adopted.

Mr. Qhamberlain offered a resolution to paj the per diem of the late Mr*
Henratty, during the balance of the session, to his family, they being lef| in
a destitute condition.

Ma. LisTBB—I think notice shonld be given to the governor, so that a new
election may be ordered. His successor will then receive his salary, and it
cap not be paid twice.

Mr Chamberlain — ^The session is so near its close, that I hope there will
ba no necessity for a new election. If there is an election ordered, It wil^
take twenty days, and before thai time the session will be closed. It is oar
dnty to provide for the member's family, which has been left in a destitute
oonditlon, as the resolution states.

Mr. Lewis — I ,would change the resolution so that the per ^^em may be
paid until a new member is elected.

Mr. Folet— The resolution is unconstitutional. Our constitution provides
that members cannot receive their salary unless tbey are in attendance on the
House. The auditor will not and dare not pay it. If gentlemen wish to do
this family a service, let them subscribe for the purpose. ) am willing to
pay my portion, but I cannot vote for the resolution. I move to lay it on
the table.

Carried.

Mr. Lewis offered a resolution to postpone action on bills of a private
nature, until all public bills on the calendar are disposed of. Adopted.

Mr. Bovee'S resolution relative to the House meeting at 10 a. m. instead of
at 12 M., was lost — yeas 26, nays 28.

Mr. MBEKa— I move that the House meet at 11 o'clock.

Qarried-^yeas 43, nayi 19.

A resolution by Mr. Prescott, appointing a committee of three to (nveaU-
gate the affairs of the New Orleans Dninage Company, was adopted.

A report of the Committee on State Library, was adopted, and- on motioQ
of Mr. Christie, 150 copies ordered to be printed.

The following members gave notice of their intention to infrodnce bills :

Mr. Prescott : <* An act relative to notes, bonds, mortgages and other obli-
gations given fbr slard property.''



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407

Mr. Breckenridge : "* A joint reBolotioa requestiog the gOTemor to rem^Te
immediately all those who are now holdiog more than one office.''

Mr. Bollll : '' An act to provide for the reviaioi^ of the statutes of the State
of a general character," also, ** An act relative to jurors in the parish of
Orleans."

Mr. Bofill— I move a BU9pea<^ion of the rnles to take np the bill to pro-
vide for the revision of the statutes of the State of a general diaracten

Carried.

The bill, was adopted on its first and second readings, and referred to the
Committee on Judiciary.

Mr. Bofill— I move a suspension of the rules to take np a bill relative to
jnrori.

Carried.

Mr. Folbt— I understand the only change that has been made, is increasing
the pay of jurord from one dollar and fifty cents to two dollars per day. leay
neither sum is sufficient. I know from my own knowledge that a jury has
been locked up since yesterday morning, and miy be until to morrow, and
certainly two dollars a day is not enough. They are kept away from their
business, and there are very few men, however unskillful, who cannot make
three dollars. I therefore move to insert three dollars instead of two dollaii)

Mr. Bohll— The act ol March 14th, 1855, gives jurcrs throughout the
' State, the parish of Orleans excepted, two dollars per day; In the second;
week of our session we passed an act giving laborers upon our public works
two dollars per day, and I think it is no more than right that when one of
these men is called to serve on a jury, he should receive what be is allowed
on his regular work. We have a jury locked up ^ow in the Fin»t District
court, and I have the key in my pocket, and they have been in uiy custody
since yesterday morning at 11 o^clock, and I do not think two dollars a daj
is too much for such services.

Mr. BovEii — I am in favor of the amendment, and I believe $3 is none too
much. It is a great inconvenience for many to serve, and in some ca^es they
are liable to lose their sUualioRB. They are often obliged to remain in the
jury room for a long time, and $3 a day is little enough compensation.

Mr. Qarnan— I think the bill should be referred to a commiitee, and let
them report to the House.

Mr. Folet— I do not see the neoessity of referring the matter to a ctm-
mittee, for the only change that is made is increasing the pay of jurors, and
the report of a committee could throw no light on the subject.

Mr. Boudrkagx — I will support the bill, if it Is made to extend through-
oat the State.

Mr. Folkt— There is no objection to tlmt

Mr. Bofill— I have no objection. to making it uoilbrm throughout the
SUte.



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408

Me. Listb&— I move to laj the amendment of Mr. Foley on the table.

The motion to table waa lost, and tbe amendment adopted.

Mb. Folet— I more to insert <' throughout the State,'' Instead of ** parish
of Orleans."

Adopted.

The bill was passed as amended, and, bj a suspension of rules, adopted on
its final readinf^.

Me. Tdllt— I rise to a question of privilege. As chairman of the Com-
ndttee on Public Lands and LoTeee, I have received a communication from
Governor Wells, relating to the land office, with the request that It be read
bj the secretarj of the House.

The communication above referred to was read bj the clerk.

Mb. Folbt— I move to refer it to the Committee on Public Lands and
Levees.

Mb. BoFnx—I move to refer it to a special committee of five.

Mb. Bovkb— There is no need of referring it— it is addressed to the com-
mittee.

Mb. CHBisTfE— I think an investigation should be made bj the committee
and a report made to this House, and I wish tbe committee to be specially
eharged with this duty.

Mb. Pbescott-I believe there is a necessity for an immediate investigation
into the ailkirs of the land office. I am convinced the most stupendous frauds
have been perpetrated there, and I have no doubt that vast quantities of land
have been sold at $1 26 per acre, for which the State has only received 26
cents. I think, in justice to ourselves, tiie matter should be investigated.

Mb. Bofill— I withdraw my motion to refer to a special committee.

The motion to refer to the Committee on Public Lands and Levees, pre-
railed.

Mb. Tcllt— I move that Mr. Presoott be added to the committee.

Carried.

The order of the day was caUed for.

Mb. Folbt— The order of the day is the bQl for the relief of Mr. Prender-



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