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To the proposition to announce ex-Senator Thomas C.
Piatt as the Secretary of the Treasury, which the Re-
pubHcan National Committee, with Senator Quay as its
chairman, was demanding and Mr. Piatt was claiming
had been promised to him at Chicago, the independent
or Mugwump press and Editor Holliday at Indianapolis
would not assent. Editor Joseph Medill came down from
Chicago, "on the repeated invitation of the President-elect,"
as he informed the young newspaper men, and told Gen-
eral Harrison it would not do to make Mr. Piatt Secre-
tary of the Treasury. "Old Joe" Medill was a great man
among the boys. To a "cub" reporter who came to inter-
view him, he said: "Mr. Driggs, don't you think it pretty
cheeky for a young newspaper man like you to interview
an old newspaper man like me?" And then he gave the
young man what he wanted. And as stated in the last
chapter, Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado came and
threatened to defeat Mr. Piatt's confirmation.

Instead of taking "a man from the curb," as Benjamin
H. Bristow described William H. Windom, who was made
Secretary of the Treasury, General Harrison might have
fared better had he made Piatt Secretary of the Treasury,
if Teller had not defeated his confirmation. For the "Easy
Boss ' ' would have run the ' ' Street ' ' as easily as he did the
National Convention, and would no doubt have prevented
Senator Teller from passing the Sherman Silver Act.

Never after the suggestion to make Mr. Blaine Secretary
of State did Editor Holliday and his Indianapolis News
criticize Judge Gresham.

December 9, Judge Woods adjourned the Grand Jury for
one week because he said he must go to Fort Wayne to hold
court. The newspaper men reported that the next day he
held court just one hour and forty minutes at Fort Wayne.

December 12, Emory Sellers, the United States District
Attorney, resigned. At once he was confronted with the
charge that he was deserting his post, that he did not resign


when Judge Woods drew the indictment in the Coy case.
From the penitentiary Coy sent out the interview that Sel-
lers was in the conspiracy to prosecute Democrats and pro-
tect Republicans. Sellers answered that he had determined
to resign before the election, before the Dudley exposure.

When Judge Woods adjourned the Grand Jury on the
9th, Assistant District Attorney L. O. Bailey had forty
Republican county chairmen under subpoena, and most of
them had then been before the Grand Jury. Mr. Sellers
recommended Judge Sullivan, an excellent lawyer on the
civil side but without experience in criminal law, as his suc-
cessor. Instead, President Cleveland sent to the Senate
Bailey's name, and reappointed Judge Solomon Claypool as
special counsel to assist in prosecuting the election cases.

The night of December 17, Senator Quay arrived at
Indianapolis. The next morning John C. New accompanied
the Senator to General Harrison's residence, where the Sen-
ator and the President-elect had a two hours' conference all
alone. That afternoon the Senator returned to Washington.
Immediately following Senator Quay's visit there began
conferences between Judge Woods and General Harrison's
law partner, W. H. H. Miller, and John B. Elam, in which
General Harrison participated.

On the 20th, the Indianapolis Journal had a scoop from
Washington that Bailey would not be confirmed as district
attorney. The possibility of an indictment for conspiracy,
drawn after the model of the Coy indictment, to affect the
vote of Indiana, was suggested on the morning of the 21st
by the Democratic organ, the Sentinel, as to why Bailey
would not be confirmed by a Republican Senate. There was
no question about Bailey's legal ability and qualifications.

Then on the 21st, the Grand Jury came into court and
asked for further instructions. Without giving any reasons,
Judge Woods refused, but said privately: "If they indict
Dudley, they can do so on their own responsibility. Their
shoulders are broader than mine."


On December 24, when the Grand Jury adjourned for the
holidays, Judge Woods caused it to stand adjourned to
January 14, because he would hold court at Evansville the
first week in January. Thereupon the Indianapolis Jour-
nal, Mr. New's paper, said the prosecutions had failed and
that Dudley would not be indicted. The next day the new
district attorney, Bailey, in an interview in the Sentinel,
said he would be very busy during the intervening time
drafting indictments that had been voted and would be
signed when the Grand Jury reassembled.

January 4, Bailey asked that his name be withdrawn
from the Senate because Judge Woods had informed him
that an indictment, to be valid, must be signed by a district
attorney who had not only been appointed but also con-

Under the Federal statutes, to provide for such a con-
tingency as Judge Woods had suggested about there being
no district attorney to sign indictments, the justices of the
Supreme Court were authorized to appoint district attor-
neys ad interim. Promptly on the withdrawal of Bailey's
name, ex-Senator McDonald called on Justice Harlan, the
circuit justice, and requested him to appoint Bailey district
attorney ad interim. This Justice Harlan refused to do,
but was finally prevailed on to appoint Judge Claypool
ad interim, and then Mr. Cleveland immediately sent Judge
Claypool's name to the Senate, while Bailey continued as
the assistant.

Again Dudley renewed his threats. Among the prac-
tical politicians in Indiana he had powerful friends. He
had narrowly escaped being nominated for governor by the
Republicans of Indiana in 1884. These men, in person
and by their attorneys, visited the President-elect and the
Attorney-General-to-be, WiUiam H. H. Miller. Some im-
portuned, others threatened.

One of the latter class was Nathaniel V. Hill, a recipient
of one of Dudley's letters, the chairman of the County

THE "blocks of FIVE" CASE 613

Committee of Monroe County. Afterwards he was elect-
ed Treasurer of Indiana. He was known as "Nat" Hill.
Right under the shadow of the Indiana State University at
Bloomington in Monroe County had the electorate been
corrupted. When rumors were rife that Dudley was to be
indicted, if "Nat" is to be believed, he called on General
Harrison and after saying, "We can't repudiate Dudley
now," continued, "If these prosecutions go on, I will go
to the penitentiary at Jefifersonville, and you, instead of
going to Washington March 4, will be on your wa}^ to the
Michigan City penitentiary."

January 14, Arthur E. Bateman, Dudley's financial part-
ner, was closeted two hours with President-elect Harrison.

The Grand Jury was about to make a report, having
assembled on the i6th of January, pursuant to adjourn-
ment, when it was called before Judge Woods, who then
without any request from the jury for enlightenment as to
the Dudley scheme, but after elaborating it at length, on
coming to the gist of the matter said:

The mere sending by one to another of a letter or a document
containing advice to bribe a voter, or setting forth a scheme for
such bribery, however bold and reprehensible, is not indictable.

Colonel Dudley was not indicted, but indictments were
returned against two hundred others, all Republicans.
Among them were some of the workers in Monroe County,
but "Nat" Hill escaped.

The next morning, the Indianapolis Sentinel, the Demo-
cratic organ, in an editorial, said in part:

The spectacle of a judge deliberately and unblushingly
prostituting his office to the service of a notorious scoundrel
in jeopardy of the law, is a painful and shocking one under
any form of government and in any stage of civilization. But
it is more painful and more shocking in this Republic, perhaps,
than in any other country on earth; because in our scheme
of government the judiciary occupies a higher position, fills


a larger field, is clothed with greater authority, and is re-
garded by the people with more respect and reverence than
under any other branch of the government.

Then, after stating that the indictment of Dudley would
have led to revelations that could not but leave a cloud
on the title of the President-elect, the editorial proceeded:

As the probability of his indictment developed into a prac-
tical certainty, the pressure was redoubled, and finally, all other
expedients having failed. Judge Woods was induced to call the
jury before him and tell them that he had misstated the law to
them, and that they had no right to indict Dudley unless certain
things not susceptible of proof could be established. The Sentinel
is informed and believes that this action was taken after con-
sultation with and upon the importunities of men as close to
Benjamin Harrison as his recent law partner.

The occasion is one that calls for the plainest of plain speaking.
If the bench fails us, an honest and fearless public press must
supply the deficiency, so far as it is in our power. Weighing our
words carefully, and fully prepared to accept all the consequences,
we pronounce the course of Judge Woods in this matter a mon-
strous abuse of his judicial opportunities, and a flagrant, scandal-
ous, dishonorable, and utterly unprecedented perversion of the
machinery of justice to the purposes of knavery.

Solomon Claypool, the district attorney, said the second
instructions were wrong and the first right, under the rul-
ings of the Supreme Court in the Coy case. Ex-Senator
McDonald and John M. Butler, an eminent Republican
lawyer, said the first instructions were correct. Partisan
Democrats were loud in denouncing the second instructions.

Judge Woods defended himself by saying he had con-
sulted Justice Harlan, who had consented, though reluc-
tantly, to the second instructions. Then the Sentinel at-
tacked Justice Harlan for being partisan. In a case where
there was such manifest probable cause in view of Justice
Harlan's course in the Coy case, the editor said that the
course of Justice Harlan and Judge Woods would, if


THE "blocks of FIVE CASE 615

pursued, certainly lessen that confidence in the judiciary
which was essential to its existence.

Early in March, Judge Claypool resigned as district at-
torney, giving as a reason the manifest opposition of Judge
Woods to prosecuting the men indicted, while in the Coy
prosecutions he had been so zealous against the defend-
ants. Democrats, that he (Claypool) was forced at times
privately to request the Judge to restrain his activities
against them. Judge Claypool's resignation was promptly
accepted. Smiley N. Chambers was made his successor
and John B. Cockrum his assistant, William H. H. Miller
having become Attorney-General.

Mr. Chambers, instead of prosecuting, became an apol-
ogist for General Dudley. He said the Dudley letters had
nothing in them of a criminal character, and when so con-
strued in the light of election practices in Indiana, were
honorable and indicated simply a patriotic interest in the
elections. And then Judge Woods began quashing the in-
dictments. There was no pretense that the indictments
did not charge that a Congressman had been voted for.
Again Judge Woods was greeted with a storm of criticism.
Then followed this correspondence with Judge Gresham:

Dear Judge- Indianapolis, March 31, 1889

I desire to make some suggestions and ask you, in your dis-
cretion, to take some action in respect to pending criminal cases
in my court here. You doubtless know something of the news-
paper assaults which for some months have been made upon me
in respect to my Grand Jury charges ; and now that I have quashed
the indictments in certain cases, there is a renewal of the attack,
with such a spirit of malignity and evidently persistent purposes
of misrepresentation and abuse of the court, as to justify appre-
hension that fair trials of the cases remaining to be tried, some
of which I suppose to be quite important, can not be had. It is
hardly possib'e that jurors, of whatever political bias or faith,
can remain unaffected, one way or the other, by these publica-
tions. The ruling of the court, which is made the present occasion


of criticism — if it can be called criticism — is in exact accord with
the ruling of Judges Brewer and Thayer in United States vs.
Morrisse^^ 32 Fed. Rep., and I believe, with your ruling, made
about the same time, in the Orange County cases, as they were
called — a ruling which was in no manner touched, I think, by
the decisions of Justice Harlan and that of the Supreme Court
in the Coy and Bernhamer cases. Now if I am mistaken, I ought
to be set right before my ruling is applied to other cases, and
while it may be connected in the cases where made; and to this
end I suggest that you come and pass upon the questions in the
Circuit Court, to which some of the cases can be transferred
(by agreement at once), or if you think better, send Judge Allen
of Springfield to sit with me (or alone) both in hearing the motions
to quash and in trying some of the cases (for bribery) in which
I have upheld some of the counts of the indictments. The trials
are to begin next Wednesday, and it is therefore important that
prompt action, whichever way taken, shall be taken by that time
if practicable.

I would not have you understand that I doubt the correctness
of my own action, or shrink from its consequences, so far as they
may be personal to me, but to the end that wicked clamor may
be hushed and the doing of justice in these cases may remain
possible, I have concluded to ask your intervention and accord-
ingly beg your early response.

Hon. W. Q. Gresham, Truly yours.

Circuit Court. ^^ ^ Woods.

Hon. William A. Woods,

U. S. District Judge, Chicago, April i, 1889.

Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dear Sir: —

I am jUSt in receipt of your letter of yesterday, informing
me that you have quashed a number of indictments for violation
of the Federal election laws. You say that your action has
provoked severe criticism and abuse, as evidence of which you
inclose cHppings from some of the Indianapolis newspapers. You
further say, ' ' I would not have you understand that I doubt

THE "blocks of FIVE CASE 617

the correctness of my own action," and ask that I come to Indi-
anapolis and pass upon the same questions in the Circuit Court,
to which some of the cases can be transferred by agreement, or
that I send Judge Allen to sit with you, or alone, in the hearing
of other motions to quash.

The statutes of the United States authorize the district courts
to transfer indictments pending therein to the circuit courts, when
in the opinion of the district courts such indictments raise "diffi-
cult and important questions of law." But, in your opinion, these
indictments raise no such questions. It appears that some of the
cases are assigned for trial before you on Wednesday of this week,
and should you transfer any of them to the Circuit Court it would
not be possible for me to be at Indianapolis so soon; and in
justice to cases before Judge Allen, I could not now order him
away from Springfield. Moreover, the cases are regularly in your
court; you have already practically commenced trying them, and
as you have no doubt of the correctness of your rulings, I see no
reason why you should not proceed in the ordinary way in the
discharge of your duty. If a judge is satisfied in his own mind
and conscience that he is right, he should not be disturbed by
anything said or done by others.

Yours truly,

W. Q. Gresham.

Hon. W. Q. Gresham,

U. S. Circuit Judge, Indianapolis, April 2, i88g.

Chicago, III.
Dear Sir: — «•

Accepting your letter of the ist inst. as a final declination of
the proposition made in mine of the 31st, I beg to add a word of
explanation, as my meaning seems to have been misapprehended.
Under Sees. 1037 and 1038, I supposed the responsibility of trans-
ferring an indictment from the District Court to the Circuit Court
rested upon the district judge, but as the transfer by the terms
of the statute remits the case to the next term of the Circuit
Court, it was proposed, with your consent and that of attorneys,
that a hearing should be had in that court at once. You mis-
take my letter when you say: "But, in your opinion, these indict-
ments raise no such questions," that is, "difficult and important


questions." I do not "doubt the correctness of my action." It is
correct action, I suppose, for a judge to decide according to his
best behef and judgment, however difficult to reach and however
important his conclusion may be. But I will say, " I do not doubt
my conclusion," and still it does not follow that in my own mind
as well as in fact, the questions are not "difficult and important."
There are only a few of the cases in which any ruling has
been made, if that is what you mean by saying I have "already
practically commenced trying them," but as it is not convenient
for you to come or send another to my assistance, I agree that
there is no reason why I should not proceed in the ordinary way,
and being assured of my "own mind and conscience," shall en-
deavor not to be too much "disturbed by anything said or done
by others."


W. A. Woods.

Judge Woods went ahead, and not a man was convicted.
The revelations as to Dudley and the threats as to the dis-
closures he would make if the prosecutions against him were
pressed, had discredited General Harrison's administra-
tion before it began. The judiciary was in politics. It was
attacked in the next Indiana State Democratic platform.
The people approved. And at the special session of Con-
gress, called in August, 1893, to repeal the silver bill, the
Democrats repealed all the legislation providing for United
States marshals and inspectors at the polls and every sec-
tion of the Enforcement Acts but two which somehow es-
caped their notice.







1\ /TARCH 22, 1889, Justice Stanley Matthews of the Su-
^^■^ preme Court died. In many forms the question arose
— as put by an old fellow in Kansas, who subsequently
became a Populist— "Will President Harrison put in Mat-
thews's place the judge who knocked the scaffolding from
under Brewer in the Wabash case?" David J. Brewer had
been on the Circuit Court of Kansas and was a member of
the Supreme Court of that State when he was appointed
United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit.

There were many requests made to President Harrison
to name Judge Gresham as Justice Matthews's successor.
But uniformly and positively Judge Gresham requested
that all efforts on this line be abstained from. He asked
Joseph Medill to stop a demand he had started in his paper
for Gresham's appointment, and Mr. Medill respected his
wishes. To General Benjamin H. Bristow's written request
as to whether he should call on President Harrison and
request Gresham's appointment to the existing vacancy,
Gresham promptly answered, "Most certainly not." Then
Bristow replied: "Notwithstanding your wishes, in order



that the President can not say that no one ever asked him
to appoint you, I am going to Washington and make the
request." Subsequently he wrote that he had done so.
Men Hke Judge Cooley and lawyers from all over the land
wrote that they had written the President suggesting the
appointment of Judge Gresham to the Supreme Bench.
Newspapers advocated it, according to press notices. But
my husband's attitude toward the Dudley prosecutions
make it plain that he was not "trimming his sails" for the
Supreme Court. Albert J. Beveridge was one of the men
opposed to Walter Q. Gresham's accepting the appoint-
ment, if tendered. By refusing to make the appointment
President Harrison did not displease everybody.

Already the nebulae of the "PopuHst" party — many of
whose tenets, revolutionary at the time, have since been
written into the organic law of the land — had appeared
in the Western horizon. In November, 1888, the "Union
Labor" party of Cowley County, Kansas, had elected
the sheriff of that county. Men were recurring to the
protest of the June before of B. F. Osborne, chairman of
the Kansas delegation, against making a railroad attorney
the temporary chairman of the party of "freedom and

Senator John Sherman's Anti-Trust Bill, to carry out
the anti-trust plank of the RepubHcan platform of the
June before, introduced into Congress December 9, 1888,^
met with a cold reception, and this, too, notwithstanding
the discussions both public and private that followed the
explosion of dynamite on December 10, 1888, in the Shu-
feldt Distillery at Larrabee Street and Chicago Avenue in
the city of Chicago.^

The owners of this establishment, H. H. Shufeldt and
Thomas Lynch, under the firm name of H. H. Shufeldt &
Co., had rejected all the efforts of the "trust" to buy them
out. Their attorney, Edwin Walker, and Mrs. Walker were
among our intimate friends. Edwin Walker was one of the

1 See page 584. 2 See page 632. 3 See page 639.


eminent lawyers of his time. He afterwards steered the
World's Columbian Exposition Company, the corporation
that so successfully conducted the "World's Fair." In this
Walter Q. Gresham was one of his confidential advisers.
Mr. Walker helped prosecute Debs. He was a Republican
in politics and a strong protectionist, but he voted for
Grover Cleveland in 1892. Mrs. Walker was from an old
Democratic family and clung to her father's views. Ac-
complished, and one of the best housekeepers I ever knew,
Mrs. Walker possessed a knowledge of economics, business,
and politics, that surpassed that of many of the politicians
or statesmen of her day.

Efforts had been made and continued to be made to
minimize the force of the Wabash judgment and weaken
and discredit the judge who made it. The Wabash opin-
ion stood only for honest management of corporate prop-
erty. There were railroad attorneys who wanted to be for
Gresham in 1888. Church Howe was one of them.

December 9, 1889, President Harrison sent to the Senate
the name of David J. Brewer as the successor of Justice
Stanley Matthews, and thirty days later the appointment
was confirmed. Able and learned, with his social side well
developed, popular with bench and bar, Judge Brewer's
appointment was looked on, especially west of the Missis-
sippi, whence he came, as part of the plan to preserve,
through the judiciary, the undue influence the special in-
terests exerted in the government, as well as rebuke a judge
who stood for "the equal enforcement of the law." View
it as we may, the fact is that some of Judge Brewer's first
judicial opinions confirmed this impression.

We must recur to the receiverships on the Illinois
Midland Railroad.^ Judge Harlan handled that case
while Judge Gresham was running the receivership on
the "Narrow Gauge." The decree in appeals which went
to the Supreme Court from Justice Harlan's decree in the
Circuit Court in the Illinois Midland case — especially in

1 See pages 507-8.


all that applied to paying the "Tin Bucket Brigade,"
where there was a greater displacement of "vested under-
lying liens" than in any case that had up to this time been
passed on by the Supreme Court — was affirmed, while the
decrees in the appeals in the "Narrow Gauge" case were
reversed. The questions were the same but the decisions
were different.

As we have seen, the appeals in the Midland case were
advanced, submitted on brief January 12, 1886, and decided
April 15, 1886. The appeals in the Narrow Gauge case
went to the Supreme Court contemporaneously with those
in the Illinois Midland case, but they took the regular
order. They were not decided until the Spring of 1890.
The Narrow Gauge case was in part heard by Circuit
Judge Jackson of the Sixth Circuit, Circuit Judge Gresham
of the Seventh, and District Judge Sage of Cincinnati.

March 17, 1890, the Supreme Court in Railroad Com-
pany vs. Hamilton (134 U. S. 296), the first of the Narrow

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