United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Fore.

Compilation of reports of Committee ... 1789-1901, First Congress, first session, to Fifty-sixth Congress, second session .. online

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what occurred between you and him.

By Mr. Lines:

Q. As to the object first. — A. I had had a number of interviews with
Exall previous to seeing General Slaughter, and at these interviews
.Exall had led me to believe that he had some valuable papers in his
possession— documents that were valuable to the side that Generid
Slaughter represented— and he insinuated a great deal about them,
and said be had had them a number of years. One thing I remember
he said: he had them a number of years and was about to destroy
them. My recollection is that he was boarding with Kittelle at the
time, and he was about to destroy them, and Mrs. Kittelle said : <^ You
have had them a number of years and I would not destroy them ; they
may become valuable yet," and Mr. Exall gave me to understand that
these documents were very valnable to General Slaughter, and in rela-
tion to those papers I had a number of interviews with him. I then
stated to General Slaughter about what Exall had said. General
Slaughter's idea was

Mr. Kennedy. Please say what he said rather than his idea. — A.
Well, General Slaughter then gave me instructions to get, if possible,
the facts from Exall for the purpose of fastening the perjury upon him.
General Slaughter's idea was that be had perjured himself in this investi-
gation and that he wanted the facts, and the production of these papers
would probably establish that fact, and he spoke about having him in-
dicted in the United States court in case he did.

By Mr. Lines:

Q. As the main object of his employment of youf — A. That was the
main object.

By the Chairman:

Q. Now, Mr. Fisher, I think we will get at the real fact in this case
best by your going over the several interviews you had with Elxall just
in your own way. State your best recollection of each of them, and
when they occurred, and where they occurred; you have stated already
the purposes. — A. My recollection is that I met Exall first in the ex-
change room — ^not in the stock exchange, but a kind of an outside ex-
change on Broadway where we used to meet, an exchange room, and 1
met Exall there first. I met him there a number of times; he used to
go there. I guess he operated somewhat in stocks, and there is where
the principal interviews that I had with Exall, ana it was on those oc-
casions that he, in a roundabout way, would speak about the value of
these papers he had in his possession, and I remt'mber he distinctly



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THE LA ABBA SILYEB MINING COMPANY. 881

said at one time that the papers that he oonld furnish would be worth
$25,000, 1 think it was. He says:
If they knew what I had they would not objeot to give $25,000 for them.

Well, this Ezall was a stranger to me; I did not know anything
about him, and in the course of that interview I learned that he had
been connected with Knickerbocker & Co., bankers, Kew street, and I
knew Knickerbocker & Go. very well; I went there to ascertain what I
could in relation to him.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, we ask that the witness shall be in-
structed that he shall not say what Knickerbocker & Go. said.

The Ghaibman. Oh, he is not going to say anything of that, I sup-
pose. Proceed, Mr. Fisher.

A. Well, I don't remember that there was any more than simply
meeting there and talking in relation to these documents. There never
was anything came of it, and there never were any documents produced.
I think I met him five or six times and nothing came of it, and finally
a man named Kittelle pretended to be in the interest of Exall; my rec-
ollection is that the first time I met him was in Nassau street.

By the Ghaibman:

Q. Kittelle, you mean f — A. Kittelle, and he wanted then to negoti-
ate in the interest of Exall for the purchase of these papers, and I had
very little to do with Kittelle ; I did not like the way he acted, partic-
ularly, and I had not anything to do with him and very little to say to
him. I think I met him on two different occasions — my recollection —
I may have met him three, and, I think, employed a person to find out
who Kittelle was.

Q. Who did you employ t — A. A man by the name of Weed.

Q. You set him to find out who Kittelle wasf — ^A. Yes.

By Mr. Lines : »

Q. Did you employ Mr. Weed for any other purpose, Mr. Fisher t —

A. No, sir; I did not.
Q. Did Mr. Weed make any reports to yoli about anything else except

as to who Mr. Kittelle was f — A. Now, I have no recollection that Mr.

Weed ever reported to me anything about any matter except in relation

to Kittelle, and I think that Weed had an interview with Eattelle. I

think that he met him and talked with him.
Q. Now, Mr. Fisher, if you have finished ^A. Yes, that is all.

By the Ghaibman:

Q. Let me ask you, before you go any ftirther, did you ever make any
offer to Exall of a sum of money for these papers f — ^A. I never did;
no, sir.

Q. Were you ever authorized by anybody to do so t — A. No, sir.

Q. The sum of $25,000, of which you make mention, was a sum that
Exall said the papers would be worth f — A. Yes.

Q. If the contents were known to La A'bra Gompauy f — A. He did;
and Mr. Kittelle said, from his knowledge of them, they would be cheap
at that price.

Q. Twenty-five thousand dollars f — A. Yes.

Q. Then, did you insist upon seeing the papers f — A. I said that if
they would produce the papers and show what the papers consisted of,
what they related to, and they were valuable, that the parties might
treat for them or negotiate for the purchase of the papers, but I said
unless they knew what they were there was no use talkiucr about any
price or negotiating for them.



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882 THE LA ABBA SILyEB MININa COMPANT.

Q. In all of these conversations that yon had with Kittelle and with
Exall did yon make the suggestion to Exall or to Kittelle that he could
receive money for nnswearing what he had sworn to before the commis-
sion f — A. That Exall conld f

Q. Yes. — A. No, sir } I never gave Mr. Exall to understand that he
could — well, I never gave him to understand that he could receive any
amount of money. I may have given him to understand it would have
been of advantage to him.

Q. To do what f — A. To make known the &otB in relation to this
matter.

Q. In the form of a deposition, affidavit, or how f — A. I don't know
as it ever got so far as that. I don't recollect that there was anything
said about an affidavit. My principal object was to get from Exall a
statement of the facts. The impression that I had, and the impression
that General Slaughter had given me, was that Exall had testified
falsely about this matter, and my whole object was to draw from Exall
all the facts, with the idea that he could dear the whole matter up;
that he had in his possession facts

Q. By facts do you mean now matters resting in his personal recol-
lection as well as documents f — A. Yes.

Q. Botbf — A. Yes; I was given to understand that he probably knew
as much about it as any other man did ; that he was one of the officers
of the company.

Q. And you were acting on the supposition that yon had derived
from General Slaughter that Exall had not correctly stated these i'acts
in his depositions t — A. Certainly; Gteneral Slaughter was very anx-
ious to obtain these facts for the purpose of having him indicted. Gen-
eral Slaughter had not any doubt that he had peijured himself; given
false testimony.

The Chairman. General Foster, I want to leave this examination for
a little while in charge of yourself and Mr. Wilson, if you and he
consent to it. I have got to go down to the Committee on Indian Affairs
on a very important matter, and you gentlemen can state any objections
to any questions asked by Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Lines. State tiiem on
the record and I will pass upon them when I return.

By Mr. Lines:

Q. Now, Mr. Fisher, I want to draw your attention to a distinction
between papers and documents and oral testimony, affidavits, deposi-
tions, or anything of that kind, and to ask of you whether, in any of the
interviews which you had with General Slaughter or with myself^ you
were instructed or requested to seek to obtain from Mr. Exall any oral
affidavit or deposition, or whether whatever was said to you on tliat
subject was confined to the matter of documents and papers f

Mr. Kennedy. The objection to that is it is a leading question.

Mr. Lines. Answered by yes or no, you think f

Mr. Kennedy. Yes; I think it could be answered by yes or no, sub-
stantially.

Mr. Wilson. That is not the test of a leading question.

Mr. Lines. I know; it is one test.

Mr. Kennedy. Well, it is a test that puts the desired answer to the
witness so that he can not make any mistake about it.

Mr. Lines. Well, Mr. Kennedy, did you want him to make any mis-
take about it f

Mr. Wilson. Well, just put the question. Let it go right along
with the note that objection is made to it.



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THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 883

Mr. Lines. The question will be read.
(Stenographer read the qaestion, as follows:)

Q. Now, Mr. Fisher, I want to draw your attention to a distinotion between pa-
pers and doonments and oral testimony, affidavits, depositions, or anytbing of that
kind, and to aslc of yon whether in any of the interviews which you had with General
Slangbter or with myself yon were instructed or requested to seek to obtain from
Mr. £zall any oral affidavit or deposition, or whether whatever was said to you on
that subject was confined to the matter of documents and papers.

Mr. Wilson. I will add, the qnestion was farther objected to because
the only proper form of the qnestion was to ask the witness what was
in fact the man requested to do.

By Mr. Lines :

Q. Now, I will ask you, Mr. Fisher, what yon were in fact requested
to do f — ^A. Well, I could not remember whether I was confined to any
particular course. I think the instructions were in a general way to as-
certain from him what the facts were. I have no recollection that there
was anything said on that point about getting affidavits. The first inti-
mation of documents came from Exall himself. The first that I ever
heard in relation to there being any papers or valuable documents in
existence came from Exall himself.

Q. Howl — A. In the interview with him.

Q. Well, what sort of an intimation did he make f — A. Why, he
spoke about having — ^that he had — valuable papers relating to this
matter that be had had in his possession a number of years, and that
he was about to destroy them; that is my recollection; and he was per-
suaded not to do it on tiie ground that if he kept them they would be-
come valuable, and on the strength of that he had kept them ; he had
them in his possession. That was his story to me; had them in a box.

Q. Do you remember whether there was or was not any request or
instructions to you to try and procure any affidavit or deposition from
Exall!

Mr. Wilson. The question is objected to because it is suggestive to
the witness, and especially in the light of the questions that have here-
tofore been asked.

Mr. Lines. Well, I will withdraw it if you will ask it on cross-exami-
nation.

Mr. Wilson. Well, I don't know whether we will cross-examine him
or not. You had better not trust to us to bring out your evidence.

By Mr. Lines:

Q. Did you ever receive any instructions from General Slaughter or
myself as to purchasing any papers from Exall or from any other person f

Mr. Wilson. The question is objected to, because the only proper
qnestion that can be asked the witness is to ask him what instructions
were given to him.

By Mr. Lines:

Q. Well, you can go on and answer the qnestion, Mr. Fisher. It is
objected to.

The Witness. What is the question!

Q. Well, what instructions, if any, were given youf — A. In relation
to Exall f

Q. In relation to procuring documents from Exall f — ^A. Well, it is a
pretty hard thing for me to say what instructions were given. I can
not remember that there were any instructions given me at the time,
except to ascertain from Exall what the facts were in relation to this.



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884 THE Li. ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

and find oat, if possible, what these papers and docaments that he
professed to have were — ^what they related to. I dont remember of
any particalar instructions given me at the time.

Q. Were yon authorized to offer him anything f — ^A. I never was.
Of coarse I reported and told General Slaughter what he had said and
the amount that was mentioned. That was talked over, and General
Slaughter distinctly said to me that he did not want to negotiate for a
thing, or did not want any proposition made, unless he knew just exactly
what were in his possession — find out what he had in his possession.

Q. ^' The amount mentioned." By that do you mean the $25,000 1—
A. Yes.

Q. Mentioned by Exall f — A. Mentioned by Exall and Kittelle both.

Q. Was there any formal offer on the part of Mr. Exall or Mr. Kit-
telle in relation to the sale of documents , if so, what was it f — A. Yes,
there was on the part of Exall.

Q. Please state what it was. — A. Mr. Exall proposed

Mr. Kennedy. Just say what he said.

The Witness. Well, Exall said that if there was an offer made of
$25,000 for these papers and documents that he had he would produce
them, or that was what he said in substance.

By Mr. Lines :

Q. What did you say in reply to that, Mr. Fisher! — A. Well, my
recollection is that I told him that — that I tried to get ft^om him what
they consisted of— what they were — and told him — I don't recollect
exactly what I told him. I know that was the object, but I can not re-
member at this time what I did say to him. but the object was to find
out from him what they related to, what tne value of them was, what
the nature of the documents was ; that was the object I had in view at
the time. I recollect him distinctly repeating that they were cheap if
they knew as much as he did — knew these documents as well as he
did — they would be apt to give $25,000 for them. He repeated that a
number of times.

Q. Well, now, with regard to depositions or affidavits, I want to get
your best recollection as to what, if anything, passed between you and
Exall on that subject; was there anything f — A. I don't recollect that
there was. I don't think it came to that. I think that my interview
with Exall was confined principally to these papers and documents. I
can not remember that there was anything ever said about making an
affidavit, because General Slaughter was so anxious to get to the bottom
of this matter in relation to Exall, was so firmly convinced, appeared to
be

Mr. Wilson. Don't say that — that will be ruled out.

By Mr. Foster:
Q. Well, what did he say to you on that point — ^the substance f — A.
Who; General Slaughter f

By Mr. Lines :

Q. Yes. — A. That he wanted the evidence of Exall's perjury and to
have him indicted in the United States court. That is what he wanted ;
that is what he said distinctly.

Q. What did General Slaughter say to you, if anything, as to any ex-
pectation of getting evidence out of Exall's mouth to convict him of
perjury!

Mr. Wilson. That is objected to likewise.

Mr. Foster. Well, we will have to overrule that objection.



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THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 885

The Witness. I dou't remember that General Slaughter gave any
instructions to get it in any particular way. The object was to get it. I
dou't remember whether

Q. To get evidence that would convict Exall of perjury f — ^A. Yes.

Q. Now, Mr. Fisher, in these couversations which you had with Exall
or Kittelle did yon say anything to either of them as to any protection
to be afforded to Exall from criminal prosecutiouf — A. No, sir; I don't
remember that I ever did. I dou't think I ever did.

Q. Well, are you sure about it t

Mr. Wilson. Well, do not say that. That I object to.

The Witness. No ; I have no recollection of any such thing taking
plaee. I don't remember that there was any such instructions given me,
and unless there had been I should not have given them.

Q. Was there, at nny interview with Exall and Kittelle, at which you
were present, any letter read to either of them purporting to come from
me f — A. No, sir ; I have no recollection of ever having received a hotter
from you.

Q. Do you remember ever having seen a letter from me in the hands
of Mr. Weed t — A. I never did.

Q. Did you ever know that Weed had any such letter f — A. I never
did.

Q. Was there any interview between you and Exall or Kittelle, or
both of them, at which Weed was present f — A. I don't think there ever
was.

Q. Do you know whether Weed ever had any such interview with
Exall or Kittelle f — A. I never knew that he saw Exall. I knew that
he had seen Kittelle. That is my recollection, that he had told me that
he saw Kittelle, but I have no recollection that he ever saw Exall.

Q. Now, do you remember ever having in your possession any letter
purporting to have been written by Exall t — ^A. I believe I did.

Q. State what it was, please.

Mr. Kennedy. Well, you do not mean to state the contents of the
letter!

By Mr. Lines :

Q. No ; I mean to state the circumstances under which you received
it, and the use you made of it! — A. My recollection is, the object was
to get Exall's handwriting.

Q. Get a comparison of Exall's handwriting f — ^A. Yes ^ I forget now
how it was it was got.

Q. Who gave you the letter, Mr. Fisher f — A. Well, I could not say.
I don't remember. I remember there was something about a letter, but
about the particulars of it I can not say now.

Q. Well, do you remember what you did in order to get a comparison
of Mr. Exall's handwriting f — ^A. No; I remember there was something
done, but I don't remember what it was now.

Q. Do you remember going to anybody on the subject! — A. It is
possible that that was part of the object I had in going to Perkins.

Q. What Perkins is thatf — A. Knickerbocker & Perkins, brokers.
I don't remember about that letter business. It has dropped out of my
memory somehow or another. I don't recollect. There was something
aboat a letter, but I can not recall it now. It is a good while ago since
those things happened. I recollect there was something in relation to
a letter and about his handwriting. I think Exall was written to, and
answered it — my recollection is, but I could not say about that. I for-
firet about it.



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886 THE LA ABBA SILVEB MININa COMPANY.

Q. When did thin employment or engagement of yonrs cease 1— A.
Oh, I think it transpired in 1878 and ran into 1879—1878 and '79. I
don't know exactly ; somewhere along there.

Q. Have yon paid any attention to the matter since that timet^A.
I have not. I have not paid any attention to it, at any rate, since fix-
all's death.

Q. Have yon ever seen General Slaughter or myself since that timef—
A. I never have.

Q. Had any communication with us f — A. No. I don't think I have
heard of the case since — certainly since 1880, until within the last day
or two. That is my recollection.

Q. Did you get any papers from Exall f — A. I never did.

Q. Did you get any from Eattelle f — ^A. No.

Q. Was anything said to you by Eattelle about any knowledge of his
of these papers f — A. Yes.

Q. What was it t — A. He said he knew of the papers. He said he
was as familiar with the papers as Mr. Exall was.

Q. What did he say as to his relations to Mr. Bxall in this matter!—
A. Well, my recollection is that he said that Bxall boarded with biiiL
That is my recollection. I can not be exactly positive on that poiot,
but my recollection is that Kittelle said Exall boarded with him at the
time, and that he knew about these papers, and that it was Eittelle's
wife that persuaded Exall not to destroy them ; that it was in Kittelle's
house. That is as I remember it.

Q. Do yon know how Mr. Exall was employed at that timet— A 1
don't think he was employed at all. It is my recollection lie was in
this stock exchange — this branch stock exchange — there in Broadway.
They used to have an opposition stock exchange room and I used to see
him there. I don't know whether he was regularly employed ; he may
have been.

Q. Do you know whether or not he left New York shortly after these
negotiations! — A. No, I do not ; I don't remember. He died. I think
the next I heard of Exall was he died very suddenly. That is what I
remember, at any rate.

Q. Mr. Fishei^s memory does not appear to be very good f— A I
had memoranda at the time, but I moved and destroyed things and pat
them in the store-house, and have no means of refreshing my memory.

Q. No means of refreshing your memory since ? — ^A. I have not I
have looked, and have not the scratch of a pen that I can find, or mem-
orandum of any kind. I have broken up housekeeping, and stored my
things, and probably in the papers I had at that time was something,
bnt I can not find them. A great deal that transpired is forgotten. 1
can not recall it to mind at all ; dropped out of my mind entirely.

By Mr. Kennedy :

Q. When did you first get acquainted with Mr. Lines f — A. I thiok
it was in 1877 or 1878.

Q. Where! — A. In New York, I think, at the subtreasury I first
met him.

Q. Did he say how he came to seek your acquaintance t — A. Did Mr.
Lines say f

Q. Yes. — A. No ; I don't think he did.

Q. Did not he make any explanation of why he came to see yon !—
A. He was introduced to me bv a friend at the sub-treasury.

Q. Who was that f— A. Mr. Hale.

Q. What was your business, Mr. Fisher, at that time!— A. I was



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THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 887

with Sampson, detective of the stock exchange — I think with the
stock exchange at that time ; whether he had gone back to the Treas-
aiy at that time or not I can not remember (1877), but it was either the
stock exchange or the Treasury. My impression is that he had gone
back to the Treasury at that time or about that time.

Q. Bat Sampson was a detective and you were in his employ f — A.
Tes ; I had been about fifteen years at the stock exchange.

Q. What was Mr. Weed f — ^A. Mr. Weed was a man we would employ
if we wanted anybody.

Q. A sort of a subdetectivet — ^A. Yes; he was often employed by
OS in case we wanted anybody.

Q. Had Weed any other occupation f — ^A. Well, Weed had more or
less been engaged in the real-estate business.

Q. Well, was he at that timef — A. I think he was at that time. Yes;
he has been more or less with Jerry Johnson for the last — nearly twenty
years.

By Mr. Linbs:
Q. Jerry Johnson f — A. Yes.

By Mr. Kennedy :
Q. In what capacity f — A. He assists him at his sales ; he is in that
employ now.

By Mr. Lines :
Q. Who is Jerry Johnson f — A. He is a real-estate auctioneer, doing
a large business in* suburban property.

By Mr. Kjjnnbdy :

Q. Now, can you recollect your first interview with Mr. Lines dis-
tinctly t — A. No ; I can not.

Q. Well, you remember who introduced him to you f— A. Certainly
I do.

Q. And you remember it was at the stock exchange! — A. No; I do
not. I don't know whether it was at the stock exchange or the Treas-
ury. It was either one or the other. We were between the two, and
we were just as liable to be at one as the other.

Q. Do you remember what time of the year it wasf — A. I do not.

Q. Now, can you tell us substantially what it was that Mr. Lines said
to you at that first interview ; not the very words, but the substance of
it f — ^A. Well, I remember that he spoke to me in relation to this claim,
and that an effort was to be made to set it aside or open it, and that they
wanted to have evidence on that point; secure evidence of this award
being an unjust one.

Q. Now, what did he say, if anything, about Bxallt — A. Well, my
impression is that he told me that Exall, at least, I know that he told
me that Exall bad been connected with this company as an officer or
secretary ; that he held a position in the company. I forget exactly
what it was, but that he held a position in the company and was liable
to have books and papers and documents in relation to it that would
show the exact state of affairs ; the exact amount of the loss that had
been sustained by these parties.

Q. What did he say about Exall having testified in the case before
the Mixed Commission t — A. I don't remember that, Mr. Lines; I have
not any recollection of any interview with Mr. Lines on that point.



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on ForeCompilation of reports of Committee ... 1789-1901, First Congress, first session, to Fifty-sixth Congress, second session .. → online text (page 131 of 156)