United States. Congress.

Congressional record : proceedings and debates of the ... Congress online

. (page 127 of 172)
Online LibraryUnited States. CongressCongressional record : proceedings and debates of the ... Congress → online text (page 127 of 172)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


day before.

A. I have no recollection that he did ; I do not remember about it.

Q. Did you employ Mr. Rice as your attorney to go and lay your
case before the Secretary of War f

Mr. CARPENTER. That we object to. He has already said that
he does not know that Rice ever saw Belknap or that Belknap over
saw Rice : he never saw them together ; he knows nothing about it
except what either Rice or Belknap told him, and he says Belknap
never told him anything. If they want to know anything about Itlr.
Rice call Mr. Rice.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. He said he does not know.

The PRE^DENT pro tempore. The Chair sustains the objection.

Recross-examined by Mr. Carpenter:

Q. Mr. Evans, after you went back to Fort Sill with your appoint-
ment would you have reduced your prices but for the contract made
with Marsh f

Mr. Manager McMAHON. We object to that. The question is,
Would you have done so but for something f

Mr. CARPENTER. Yes: but for this contract with Marsh.

Mr. ManM[er McMAHON. We object.

Mr. CARPENTER. Why, Mr. President, they asked this man if he
could have sold for less if he had not paid money to Marsh. It hardly
required a witness to prove that. He could nave given away his
goods. The question is whether he would have done so ; in other
words, the question is whether his trade with the officers and soldiers
was at all influenced by the contract he had with Marsh. They asked
him, ** Could you have sold for less if you had paid less and made the
same?" That is mathematics. Now, the question is whether he
would have done so. Mathematics will not settle that ; this witness
can. After they have proved the mathematics of the question I offer
to prove the fact.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. The question can be submitted to the
Senate.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Shall this interrogatory be admit-
ted?

The question was decided in the negative.

Mr. CARPENTER. That is all. Now, Mr. President, following the
example of the managers. I offer here in partial corroboration of this
witness his examination Wore the committee of the House, in which
he swore distinctly that he would not have made the change of a
shilling and that he never would have put prices down until he was
compelled by the commission of officers that had jurisdiction.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. This matter is considered to be ruled
out under the decision already made, I take it. If the Senate will
not let him swear to it here in open court, they certainly will not al-
low yon to corroborate him in that way.

Mr. CARPENTER. That is not the point at all. They have called
the witness. This case is a great deal stronger than it was four days



ago. They called a witness, Mr. Marsh, examined hiin, and then
offered the evidence he had given before the committee in corrobora-
tion of his statement here. That struck me as being peculiar ; but
the Senate admitted it. The prosecution has now called another
witness and examined him, and I propose to introduce his testimony
before the same committee. I could introduce it for the purpose of
contradicting him—that would be proper enough — ^but I want to fol-
low the shade of the managers. I do not consent in any case
which I try that the opposite counsel shall be more irregular than I
am, and following precisely in their wake I offer this testimony to
corroborate the testimony of the witness on the stand.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Mr. President, as to the opposite coun-
sel in any case being more irregular than the gentleman, he can always
rest easy and assured in his position upon that question. I know
nobody who can ever compete with him in that particular regard.
But now to the point : I do not know whether to say that I am sur-
prised at the position of the honorable gentleman in undertaking to
claim that there is a parallel between tne conduct of the managers
in offering Mr. Marsh's testimony and his present offer in regard to
this particular matter. I scarcely am able to think that the honor-
able gentleman is really in earnest about the proposition, for I have
too high a regard for his intelligence as a lawyer and his respect for
the intelligent men before whom he is trying this case. We offered
Mr. Marsh% t-estimony simply for the purpose of drawing a conclusion
from the action of the Secretary of War when it was read to him.
That was all ; not to corroborate Marsh, not to contradict Marsh, and
it was expressly ruled in by the Senate upon that ground.

Mr. CARPENTER. The manager forgets his own statement.

Mr. Manager JENKS. Here it is, on page 190 of the Record.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I need not waste any time on a question
like that before a Senate composed, a majority of them, of lawyers ;
but the point now on which I desire the honorable gentleman's at-
tention because he amazes me. He is not permitted to prove by this
witness that he won Id not have decreased bis prices but for this con-
tract. The Senate by a unanimous vote says he shall not put that
question. Then, for the purpose of corroborating the witness as he
says, he offers to put in evidence a statement to the same effect that
he wanted to prove now and which the Senate would not allow him
to prove. Never before in all the extended practice that I may have
had in a western town did I hear of corroborating your own witness.
If you claim anything from him, I have heard of impeaching him by
showing that he made a different statement; but I never heard of cor-
roborating him by showing that he made the same statement on a
different occasion : because, if he has made the same statement, what
is the use of corroborating him by his oath on another occasion f He
is in the court. We have not impeached him. There is no question
of impeaching or of corroboration. I must say, with all due defer-
ence to the gentleman, that I think he has lost his bearings in the
books of evidence on this question.

Mr. CARPENTER. I should not wonder if I had, for I have been
reading the arguments of the managers too much. When the ques-
tion was put to the manager why he claimed to put in that testimony
given in another forum, where there was no cross-examination or any-
thing of the kind, and whether it was to corroborate the witness or
not, the manager answered in this way :

Mr. Manager McMahon. Mr. President, the qaeetion pnt to tbe managers is as
follows : ** Is it the object of the present inqairy to corroborate or discredit the tes-



tratbf Illness of it.

So far it was designed to corroborate Mr. Marsh. The precise ex-
tent of corroboration that we shall get out of this evidence I do not
pretend to state, because it is for the court to weigh the evidence and
only for me to offer it. But the manager says he offered that other
statement in corroboration so far; that is, so far as it could corrob-
orate. I ask nothing more for this. I offer it in good faith as within
the ruling of this court in partial corroboration of the testimony of
the witness.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. The Senate may decide. We have no
anHwer to make.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is, Shall this evidence
be admitted f

The question was decided in the negative.

Mr. WRIGHT. I wish to put aquestion to the witness Evans :

When you left the Secretary of War, after you met him at his house,
and just before you made the contract with Marsh, it was understood
that Marsh had been promised or had received the appoinment. Then
you say you arranged with Marsh that you were to receive the ap-
pointment. Now, was it understood between you and Marsh that he
was to advise the Secretary of the change T If not, how was the Sec-
retary of War advised of this change, and did you have anything to
do with letting him know of such change f

The Witness. It was my understanding that no appointment had
been made out, but that the appointment had been promised or made
verbally but had not been made out formally, and that the appoint-
ment would be made to me originally.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. The Secretary had better read the ques-
tion to him.

Mr. WRIGHT. Lot the question be read.



Digitized by



Google



282



TRIAL OF WILLIAM W. BELKNAP.



The reporter read the question of Mr. Wright.

The WITNESS. 1 had no intercourse with the Secretary of War
regarding this matter at all, after I met him that night. My recol-
lection, as I stated, was that he told me that he had either promised
Mr. Marsh or given him the appointment.

Mr. Manager LAPHAM. The question was, how the Secretary was
informed that you were to be appointed instead of Marsh.

The Witness. I say that I know nothing about it at all.

By Mr. Carpenter :

Q. When you left the Secretary of War you were talking about
either selling your property there to Marsh or mdking a partnership
with him, were you not f

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you ever see the letter that Mr. Marsh wrote to Mr. Belknap
asking him to give the appointment to you, as it would be more con-
venient to have it managed in your name f

A. I never saw it.

Mr. WINDOM. Mr. President, I ask that the trial be suspended at
some time most convenient to the court that I may make a report from
the committee of conference on the sundry civil bill.

The PRESIDENT ^gro tempore. If there be no objection proceed-
ings will be suspended for tnat purpose.

After some time spent in legislative session, the Senate resumed
the trial of the impeachment of William W. Belknap.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senate will resume its session
for the trial of the impeachment of William W. Belknap.

John S*. Eyans recalled and examined.
By Mr. Carpenter:

Question. I understood from you in the Hall a few minutes ago that
there was one particular thing in which yon thought your testimony
was misapprehended. You can make any explanation about it you
please without objection, I presume f

Answer. Mv impression on thinking the matter over as to the com-
munication about the liquor business is that I received a telegraphic
dispatch from my forwarding agent at the end of the railroad. In-
stead of waiting for the letter which was subsequently forwarded,
I received a telegram from the agent.

Q. Upon that cud yon see the Secretary of War f

A. Yes, sir.

By Mr. Manager McMahon :
Q. How was your recollection refreshed on this question f
A. On thinking the matter over myself.

H. T. Crosby recalled and examined.
By Mr. Carpenter :

Question. Do you recollect a call made by the House of Represent-
atives on any of it« committees for a list of post-traders, &c. f

Answer. Yes, sir.

Q. About what time was itf

A. It was some time in February, the latter part of February, I
think.

Q. February of this yearf

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was such a report made by the War Department?

A. It was.

Q. Have yon with you or can you produce the list that was sent
in obedience to that calif

A. No, sir ; I cannot.

Q. Can you produce the lett.ers that were sent with the list f

2!ir. Manager McMAHON. Letters to whom f

Mr. CAR^NTER. To the committee or to the Speaker, aa the case
may be.

The Witness. [Producing a paper. 1 This is the call of the House.

Mr. CARPENTER. Hand it to the Secretary, and let it be read.
• The Chief Clerk read as follows :

Forty-foarth Congress, first session.

Congress op the United States,
In the House of Befresektatives, February 16, 187&

On motion of Mr. Cltuer,

Rewlntd, That the Secretary of War be requested to inform this House of the
names, iwidenoe. and date oi appointment of the several post-traders of the sev-
eral trading establishments ancl the place at x^hlch each one la trading ; and also
what changes, if any, in the price oi goods, wares, and merchandise, or supplies
of any sort and description whatever, as fixed by the post or other council of
administration, has been made, and by what authority.

Attest:

6E0BGE M. ADAMS, Cflerk.

Q. (By Mr. Carpbnter.) Produce any letters yon have, office let-
ters or copies, to the committee or the House in obedience to that
call.

A. [Producini^ paper.] Here is a press copy of the reply of the Sec-
retary of War, signed by General Belknap, dated February 23.

Mr. CARPENTER. Pass it to the Clerk and let it be read.

The Chief Clerk read as follows :

The Secretary of War has the honor to transmit to the House of Representatives,
in compliance with the resolntion of the House dated the ICth instant, the names
of the several iMwt-traders, residence, datoof appointment, and place at which each
one is trading.



In reply to that portion of the resolution calling for information as to " what
chan fifes, if any, in tho price of goods, wares, and merchandise, or supplies of any
sort and description whatever, as fixed by the post or other council or administra-
tion, lias beeu made, and by what authority," the Secretary of "War has the honor
to report that councils of administration were authorized to establish the rates and
prices at which post-traders' goods should be sold, by paragraph 1 of circular
irom this Department dated March 25, lb7'2, as follows :

[Circular.]

"Wab Depabtuent,
Woiliington Oity, March 25, 1872.

I. The council of administration at a post where there is a post-trader will from
time to time examine the post- trader's goods and invoices or bills of sale ; and will,
subj<*ct to the approval of the po.st-commander, establish the rates and prices (which
should be fair and reasonable) at which the goods shall be sold. A copy of the list
thus established will be kept posted in the trader's store. Should the post-trader
feel himself aggrieved by the action of the council of administration, he may appeal
therefrom through the post-commander to tho War Department.

II. In determining the rate of profit to be allowed, the council will consider not
only the prime cost, freight, and other charg:es, but also the fact that while the
tmuer pays no tax or contribution of any lund to the iiostrfnud for his exclusive
privileges, he baa no li'iu on the soldier's pay, and is without the securi^ in this
respect once enjoyed by the sutlers of the Army.

III. Post-traders will actually carry on the business themselves, and will habitu-
ally reside at the station to which they are appointed. They will not fum out^
sublet, ti ansfer. or sell or assign the business to others.

IV. In case there shall be at this time any postrtrader who is a non-resident of
the post to which he has been appointed, he will be allowed ninety days from the
receipt hereof at his station to comply with this circular or vacate liis appointment.

V. Tost-commonders are hereby directed to report to the War Department any
failure on the part of traders to fulfill the requirements of this ciitsular.

VI. The provisions of the circular from the A(\1utant-Creneral's OOice of June 7,
1871, will contiuue in force except as herein modified.

By order of the Secretary of War :

E. D. TOWNSEND,
AdjutaiU- General.

This x>aragraph was republished in paragraph 6 of circular from this Depart-
ment, dated June 7, 1875.

A council of administration was appointed October 30, 1874, to audit the accounts
of the post-treasurer at Fort Randall, Dakota Territory, and to tnuisact such other
busiuess as may l>e properly brought before it. In their report dated Kovranber
1, 1874, the council submitted a list of the prices at which the goods of the post-
tnuler should be sold. On tho 33d of December, 1874, the post-cummander re-as-
sembletl the council of adminLstration " for the purpose of receiving any commu-
nication the post-trader mav desire to present in relation to the tariff on his goods
agreed upon by said council."

Mr. CARPENTER. The rest of the letter need not to be read. It
is immaterial to this case. We only present it to show that a response
was made.

The Witness. Here is another letter from Mr. Clymeb, dated Feb-
ruary 14, 1876.
Mr. CARPENTER. I^t that be read.
Tho Chief Clerk read aa follows :

House op RsPRESENTAnvEs,
Wanhinffton, February 18, 1876.

To tho SWRETARY OF WaiI :

DRA.U 8m: I am diroctetl by tho Committee on Expenditures in the War Depart-
ment to make inquiry of you whether during your tenn of ofllco any letters, state-
ments, or any comnu'inications have been received by the Department or yourself
as its head, from any peroon or persons, or any officer or officers of the Army, urg-
ing, suggesting, or advising the abolishment of sutlcrships in tho Army, or ailvLsing
or protesting against the subletting of post-traderships in the same, and if so, to fur-
nish the committee with copies of all the correspondence relatine to the foregoing
topica. I am also directed to request you to furnish the committee with a uist of
tho names and residence of aU persons who at any time have received from you
Ucenso as post-traders and tho name of the several posts for which they may havo
received license to trade, with the date thereof. By complying with the several
requests ot the committee you will greatly oblige, yours, ^!|ry tndy,

HlESTER CL7MER.

Mr. CARPENTER. Now give us the reply to it.

The Witness. I have a press copy which I will submit.

The Chief Clerk read as follows :

Fbbhuaby 28, 1876.
Sir: Referring to my letter of the 19th instant in reply to yours of the 18th In*



stant, on the subjectof post- traders, &o,, I now have the honor to inclose copy of re-

* • * ': ■ ^ ■ ' edf ~- ■ "^

it of sutlerships an

, lapers accompanying the r ,

mittcd, also a list of the names of all persons who at any time have received ap*



port of the Adjutant-General, dated the 26th instant, in reply to your inquiry as to
the abolishment of sutlerships and the subletting of post-tradersnips.
The papers accompanying the report of the Adjutant-General are nerewith trans-



pointmcnt from me as post-traders, names of the posts to which appointed, and
where and through whom the appointments wore sent.

The regulations issued by me from time to time (circulars dated June 7, 1871 ;
March 25, 1872; and June 7, 1875,) for the government of this matter are also in-
closed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. W. BELK:ifAP,
Secretary qf War.

Hon. HiRSTBR Cltmer,

Chairman of CommUteeon Expenditwree qf War Department^

Houte q/XepreiientaUves,

Q. (By Mr. CarpenterJ Can you state what that list in reply to
this showed in regard to Fort Sill f

A. It showed what this book of records shows. [Producing a book.]

Q. Is that a book of records kept in the Office f

A. A book of records in the Adjutant-General's Office.

Q. Turn to it and read what it shows about Fort Sill f

A. [Examining.] The heading is "Fort Sill, Indian Territory,"
and then the entries in the several columns are, name, John S. Evans ;
date of appointment, October 10, 1870 : Secretary of War. or by whom
appointed, W. W. Belknap ; when and where sent, Octooer, 11, 1870,
care of C. P. Marsh, esq., 51 West Thirty-fifth street. New York City ;
acknowledjred November 10, 1870 , letter to commanding officer, Oc-
tober 11, 1870.

Q. Those are the entries upon the book of records, from which tho
statement made to the House was made out I



Digitized by



Google



TRIAL OF WILLIAM W. BELKNAP.



2a3



A. The report of the Adjutant-General was made up from that.

Q. Is that an official L>ook of the War Department f

A. This is the regular book of records of post-traderships in the
War Department.

Q. Kept in what Office 1

A. Kept in the Adjutant-General's Office, of appointments of post-
traders.

Q. You spoke the other day of a letter which was sent from C. P.
Marsh to Mr. Belknap requesting that the appointment at Fort Sill
be made out in the name of Evans f

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do yon recollect that letter f If so, what did yon do with it
and why did yon do what you did with it I

A. I received that letter, as I receive many others on the subject of
post-traders, and I commimicated when the appointment was made
out. The information that was desired was this^ or the directions on
it were these : that Mr. Marsh desired the appointment of trader at
Fort Sill to be made in the name of John S. Evans and sent to him
at a certain address at New York. When the appointment was made
out — I think I made it out myself — I entered that address on the ap-
pointment, from which it was copied into that book.

Q. Copied in the book which you have just presented here t

A. Yes, sir J which I have just read from.

Q. What did you do with the letter f

A. The letter I placed amons the ordinary letters which I consid-
ered of a private or personal character, and there it staid nntil the
resignation of General Belknap. It was undisturbed there until that
time.

Q. Did Mr. Belknap give any direction to yon where to put that
letter T

A. I think he gave no special direction about it ; I have no recol-
lection of any.

Q. How long was it before Belknap knew where yon had put it, if
yon know?

A. I do not know that he knew it was there at all.

Q. Who got up that system of keeping indexes and letters there f

A. I kept that book myself, because I wanted to facilitate my mem-
ory in recollecting the matters I was to do for him.

Q. Was there anything about that letter which yon discovered, or
which yon discovered from the manner of direction of Mr. Belknap,
that required anv secrecy whatever?

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Never mind that. We have had enough
of your opinions about that, Mr. Crosby.

Mr. CARPENTER. Is the question objected to I

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Yes, sir ; the letter speaks for itself.

Mr. CARPENTER. I was not asking about what the letter said.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. We do not want his opinion on the
matter.

Q. (By Mr. Carpenter.) Did you think there was anything about
that letter which required it to be smuggled f

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I object to the question. I do not care
what he thought about it. We want to know what he did about it,
and then we can Jud^e what be thought about it. The fact is he did
smuggle it, and that is enough.

Mr. CARPENTER. The fact is he did not smuggle it.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The manager objects to the ques-
tion.

Q. (By Mr. Carpenter.) Was there anything in the disposition
of that letter pecnliar on your part I

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I object to that question.

Mr. CARPENTER. I insist on it. If he smuggled it as you say he
did, let us prove it.

Bir. Manager McMAHON. Mr. President and Senates, I think we
have had enough so far as this witness is concerned of an attempt to
exculpate the defendant by his opinions. How far his testimony in
regard to acts may tend to exculpate the defendant is a question
which we shall probably consider in the proper progress of this case ;
but what this witness may think is not admissible. Whether there
was anything peculiar in it is a question of simply this witness's opin-
ion, and I think that there is nothing expert in regard to his testi-
mony, nothing difficult for him to lay open before the Senate diiTerent
from what Senators are able themselves upon an investigation of the
facts to determine for themselves as members of the court and mem-
bers of the jury that are to try the defendant. The question '^ Was
there anythm|; peculiar that you did with this letter f " is not a proper
question. It is^ what did you do with the letter ; where did yon put
it; by whose direction did you put it there: with whose knowledge
or consent did you put it there t That is alL If there was anything
peculiar in that matter, that is a question for this court to determine,
and not for the witness to undertake to swear to for the purpose of
exculpating the defendant.

Mr. CARPENTER. Mr. President, the manager asserts here that
this letter was smuggled by this witness. I now ask him the ques-
tion, was there anything peculiar in your disposition of that letter f

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Why did I say that it was smuggled f
Because upon the day of his resignation

Mr. CARPENTER. Never mind arguing it.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. You asked me the question and I wanted
to answer.

Mr. CARPENTER. No, I did not ask you anything.



Mr. Manager McMAHON. I will ask to state it. On the day of
the resignation this letter is by this man Crosby, the witness, taken
out and delivered, as he testiiiod on one occasion, separately to the
Secretary of War at the time the charges were made in reLation to
this particular matter. I call that smuggling.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The reporter will read the ques-
tion and the Chair will submit it to the Senate.

The question was read by the reporter, as follows :

Q. Was there anything peculiar in your disposition of that letter t

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Shall tho interrogatory be ad-
mitted f

The question was decided in the negative.



Online LibraryUnited States. CongressCongressional record : proceedings and debates of the ... Congress → online text (page 127 of 172)