United States. Congress.

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

. (page 128 of 172)
Online LibraryUnited States. CongressCongressional record : proceedings and debates of the ... Congress → online text (page 128 of 172)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Mr. EDMUNDS. I should like to ask the witness, or request coun-
sel to ask the witness — the reporter can take it down — whether there
was anything in his treatment of that letter out of the ordinary
course of business.

Mr. CARPENTER. That is what I meant by the question I put.

The Witness. I treated that letter precisely as I treated every
other letter which is found in that package.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. The Senatoi^ question is not being an-
swered. Let it be read to the witness.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The reporter will read the ques-

The question of Mr. Edmunds was read by the reporter, as fol-

O. Was there anything in your treatment of that letter oat of the ordinary conrse
of bosinessf

A. I think not, certainly not at the beginning nor during the whole
period when it was there m the package, which was about four years.
It remained perfectly undisturbed during that time along with the
rest of the file of these personal letters. Subsequently I testitied here
that I went and looked at that letter once about the time of General
Belknap's resignation. My recollection is not clear whether I gave
that letter to him singly or with the package. I have been disputed
so much with by others with whom I have consulted about my recol-
lection that I do not like to be positive about that. One of the gen-
tlemen in the office thinks I gave it with the package, that I put It
back in the package

Mr. Manager LAPHAM. We object to that.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. That other person can be examined
when he comes.

The Witness. I recollect nothing out of the ordinary course with it.

By Mr. Carpenter.

Q. Yon say it remained on file there for four years. Did it remain on
file after the information contained in that book of records had been
sent to the House of Representatives f

A. It was there at that time.

Q. And the report which was sent to the House of Representatives
showed what the letter requested, that the appointment was sent
through Marsh, did it notf

A. Yes, sir.

Q. That Marsh had requested it 1

A. Yes, sir. All the information was on the public files, in other

Q. What is your best present recollection whether you passed that
letter over to Belknap distinct from the others, or with them in the
package f

A. It is very difficult for me to remember that distinctly.

Q. When did you pass over this package of letters f

A. I think it was a very short time, winiin a day or two, after his
resignation. It may have been the same day ; the next day, or the
day after. It was very near then. My recollection is not very dis-

Q. Who had charge of those letters all that time f

A. After I ceased to be General Belknap's clerk in the same room
with him, that record ceased also, and the letters that were remain-
ing in the pigeon-holes I put together in a package and placed in the
next room m the bottom of a large closet there.

Q. Was there any direction from General Belknap what to do with
those letters officially!

A. I do not think he knew where they were.

Cross-examined by Mr. Manager McMahon:

Q. This book that you have produced to-day is not one of the books
that you had here the other day t

A. No, sir.

Q. This is a book which is produced for the first time to-day, is it

A. The first time.

Q. This is what yon call the official book?

A. That is the official record of the Adjutant-General's Office.

Q. That you have brought in f

A. Yes, sir.

Q. The book that you had the other day that we looked at was a
book that you had kept, not as an official book but as a sort of pri-
vate book t

A. No, sir ; it was a sort of official book ; it was a memorandnm
reference book. All commissions of officers are entered at largo.

Digitized by




These appointments were not in the Adjatant-Oeneral's Office, but
were entered in that form. Copies of records of all commissions, ap-
pointments of that sort are regularly kept. This was a memorandum
book in the Secretary's office, so that we should not have to be
sending up and down stairs continually.

Q. The letter of October 8, 1870, requesting the appointment to
be made out in the name of Evans is not found iu the Adjutant-Gen-
eral's book ; there is no reference to it there, is there f

A. No, sir.

Q. None whatever f

A. I believe not ; I do not know.

Q. Was there any reference to it in the book you had here the other
day which you kept in the War Department f

A. No.

Q. Where was there any reference to this letter to be found f

A. In the personal books which I kept of the Secretary of War.

Q. You have said that this letter was on the file. When you say
''file,'' do yon not mean that it was among the letters that were kept
in the Secretary of War's office, among what you called his private,
semi-official papers t

A. That letter was always where I have stated it to have been ; al-
ways in the Secretary's office.

Q. But was it not among papers that were open only to you as his
chief clerk or his private secretary f

A. I cannot say that: they were in open pigeon-holes.

Q. But did anybody have the right to go in there and call for that
oorrespondBuce and investigate itT

A. I do not think they had.

Mr. CABP£NT£B. That is matter of opinion, what you are op-
posed to.

Bir. Manager McMAHON. No ; this is routine of the office.

Mr. CARraNTER. His opinion about routine.

Q. (By Mr. Manager McMahon.) When yon say this letter was on
the public files, do you not mean

The Witness. I did not say that it was on the public files.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. You may not have meant to say it; but
you did say it.

The Witness. I beg your pardon, I did not say it.

Q. There is no reference to this letter on any book now except on
this private, semi-official letter-book of yours f

A. That is all.

Q. How are you able, after the la^se of six years, to call to mind
anything about what you did with this particular letter f What fixes
it in your miudf

A. There are two or three things that fix that in my mind.

Q. Let us have them all.

A. One is the index-book, which I kept myself. The next is the
fact of finding it among the files.

Q. Go on.

A. And the production of it. That is all.

Q. Now what does that bring to your mind f

A. In what respect t

Q. Have you any recollection whatever of the receipt of this letter
independently of seeing these memoranda on the book, any indepeud-
ent recollection.

A. Certainly I cannot undertake to remember the receipt of that

Q. Have yon any recollection of ever having seen it except that
you saw some marks on the back of it in your handwriting?

A. I had forgotten it entirely, if it were not that I found it on the
files again.

Q. Now that you have found it upon the files, what do you remem-
ber about its receipt t What distinct recollection have you now about
anything that oocnned at the time you received it t

A. I have not any verv distinct recollection.

Q. Do you know whether you handed it to (General Belknap or not f

A. I do not know whether I handed it to him.

Q. Would you, as his chief clerk, have taken the responsibility of
miudnff out the appointment to Mr. Evans without consulting him
upon tnat letter f

A. Certainly not. I took his directions about all appointments.

Q. Then you must have shown that letter to him.

Mr. CARPENTER. We concede that he did, and that Belknap saw
it ; that he put it away where such letters belonged, and that it re-
mained there for four years, and that it was found there when it was

Q. (By Mr. Manager McMahon.) You have no recollection as to
whether you received this letter or not f

A. Yes, sir.

Q. All you know is that it passed through your hands from the in-
dorsements on the backf

A. I recognize my handwriting on it.

Q. Did you not testify the other day that whether letters went upon
official files or semi-official files would depend on the opinion of the
man who received the letter, and the instruction that he would give
you at the time he delivered it to you f

A. Generally speakiuff, I should say that.

Q. Have you any recollection of this letter distinct from that f

A. I have not.

Q. Then, if you put this letter on the semi-official files, must it not
have been from the direction of General Belknapf

A. No ; it might have been from my own judgment.

Q. I do not want what it might have been. You have no recol-
lection about it T

A. I have no distinct recollection whether it was by his order or my
own judgment.

Q. It was a matter that purely concerned the public business, did
it not, tho making out of an api>ointraent for post-trader f

Mr. CARPENTER. That is matter of opinion again.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. This is simply the basts of a proper

Mr. CARPENTER. You cannot put an improper question as the
basis of another.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I have the right to cross-examine him
in this way. (To the witness.) Was not this an official letter I

A. I never regarded it so.

Q. (By Mr. Manager McMahon.) Why not?

A. Because it was of a personal character to (General Belknap.

Q. Was it not a request to General Belknap to make out an appoint-
ment for a post-trader in the name of John S. Evans f Do you call
that a personal letter f

A. I say so of it.

Q. Was it personal, then, because of the relations existing be-
tween Mr. Marsh, Mr. Evans, and the Secretary of War!

A. I do not know of those relations you speak of.

Q. Then this letter you treated just as you would treat any ordi-
nary letter of that character, you think, unless directed by the Sec-
retary of War to do otherwise T

A. I have no recollection of that at the time, as I told you ; but it
must have happened that that came in such shape to me by its en-
velope, &C, — it looks like a note — ^that I regarded it as a private note.

Q. How are you able to say that the Secretary of War may not
have ordered you to put it on the semi-official filef

A. I told you that I could not say that.

Q. You do not say it f

A. I do not say it. .

Q. Have you any recollection about it at all f

A. I have not.

Q. Is it not all mere guess-work f

A. I have not been guessing at anything.

Re-examined by Mr. Carpenter :

Q. Look at the letter and then look at the official book, and say what
solid information thero is in the letter that is not on that book.

A. I cannot discover any.

Q. Then, so far as you can judge about it, everything that there is
important in that letter was put upon the official book t

Mr. ^ianager LAPIIAM. I object to that.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. I want all there is about John S. Evans

The Witness. The entries are : Fort Sill, Indian Territory ; name,
John S. Evans ; date of appointment, October 10, 1870 ; Secretary of
War, or by whom appointed, W. W. Belknap : when and where sent,
October 11, 1870, care C. P. Marsh, esq., 51 West Thirty-fifth street,
New York City ; acknowledged November 10, 1870 ; letter sent to
commanding-officer, October 11, 1870.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Read all the rest that is there. We
want the whole entry under that heading.

A. I do not understand these entries very well.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Never mind, give us what they say, and
we will try to make them out.

A. Then under the column "remarks" is " see 434, A. C. P. Com-
plaints about exorbitant prices. Revoked March 6, 1876." These are
not in order. " Evans can remain until his successor is ready to fur-
nish supplies, and in the mean time to sell at prices to be established
by the council of administration." This was subsequent to the
opening of this trial.

Mr. Manager McMAHON. Just read the entries.

Mr. CARPENTER. Continue them right through.

The Witness. "Letter to commanding officer at Fort Sill, April
5, 1875, stating Secretary of War desires post council to recommend
another man.

" Post council recommends Messrs. Rice & Byers, of Saint Louis, 2407
A. P. C, '76, to Secretary of War, May 11, 187a"

By Mr. Manager McMahon:

Q. Is that all about Evanst

A. Yes sir.

Q. When you were on the stand the other day I asked you to give
us the fact as to whether General Belknap was in Washington City
from July 15 to the Ist of September, 1870, and, if so, how long a
period of that time.

A. I can only tell this from looking at the books.

Q. Let us have the statement.

A. A memorandum I have taken in pencil here shows that the letters
of tho Secretary of War were signed by General Belknap as Secre-
tary all through July until the 27th. From that time to the 2d of
August his signature does not appear. There is a telegram of July
28 to him at Watervliet arsenal. From the 2d of August until the
12th of August, inclusive, he api>ears to have been in Washington by
his signature to letters. '

Q. Now, go on.

Digitized by




A. From that time until about the middle of September, I thiuk,
but certainly the first week, he was not in Washington apparently
by the books.

Q. He was not in Washington, then, from the 12th day of August
until some time in September f

A. No, sir. He was not here on September 7.

Q. He had not still returned ontJie 7th of September?

A. No, sir.

By Mr. Cabpentbr :

Q. Were not several poet-traders appointed under the new law be-
fore Evans was appointed; and, if so, how many? Have you ex-
amined the book to find out f

A. There were about twenty-four.

Q. Twenty-four before Evans.

A. Twenty-four appointed October 6 or thereabouts.

By Mr. Bfanager McMahon :
Q. But none of them were appointed before the 6th of October
A. No, sir.

By Mr. Carpenter :

Q. What caused the delay in the appointments after the new law
was passed?

A. I said once before that we had to call for reports from depart-
ment commanders as to the number of the posts and the names of
those who were then occupying the positions. Some of those reports
came in pretty late. Here is one that came in August 27 from Gene-
ral Pope. Oeneral Belknap was away, as I testified until about the
middle of September, and there was not time to mak'out these things
in due form.

By Mr. Manager MoBiAHON :

Q. He was absent from the 12th of August to about the middle of

A. Tes. He being absent, there was not much opportunity to carry
this law into effect until we got the list and perfected the books in
some way and made our arrangements to open the books.

Mi^or-General Winfield S. Hancock sworn and examined.

Mr. CARPENTER. I will state to the managers that we detained
General Hancock here several days to prove by him several matters
which we have proved already by Mr. Evans and other witnesses, so
that I will simply ask him in repird to character.

Question. (To the witness.) How long have you known General

Answer. I knew General Belknap first about 1850, but I did not
600 him again until subsequent to the time of his becoming Secretary
of War.

Q. (By Mr. Carpenter.) You are a West Point graduate?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have been in the Anny ever since ?

A. Ye& sir.

Q. Holding different positions from cadet up to major-general ?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. In your official intercourse with General Belknap while he was
Secretary of War and from all your knowledge of his management of
that Department, what was it, good or bad?

A. I have never known anyuung to his discredit from any personal
knowledge of mine.

Q. What was his reputation as Secretary of War aside from this
thing on trial here ?

A. I know nothing against his reputation.

No cross-examination.

Bir. CARPENTER, (to the manaeers.) This is our case, gentlemen.

Mr. Manager McMjLHON. We cloee. We have nothing to offer in

Mr. EDMUNDS. I move that the court adjourn.

Mr. CARPENTER. Will not the Senator withdraw the motion a
moment for the purpose of having some understanding about sum-
ming up the case ?

Mr. iSOMUNDS. With pleasure.

Mr. CARPENTER. How much time the Senate will give us and
what order we are to speak in ought to be determined before the court
adjourns to-day in order that we proceed to make our preparations.
On the part of the defense, the three counsel for the defense desire to
be heard in the argument.

Mr. EDMUNDS. I ask that the twenty-first rule be read, Mr. Pres-

The PRESIDENTiw lempare. The Secretary will read the twenty-
first rule.

The Chief Clerk read as follows :

and closed on the pan of the House of Representatives.

Mr. CARPENTER. We apply, Mr. President, under that rule for
permission to have three counsel for the defendant heard. On the
part of the prosecution there has already been one argument and they
propose, I understand, two more.

Mr. Mana^rer LORD. What one argument ?

Mr. CARPENTER. By Mr. Ltode.

Mr. Manager LORD. A mere opening. It had nothing to do with
the final argument.

Mr. CARPENTER. It had a good deal to do with the final argu-
ment if it was a pretty good opening, and it was.

Mr. Manager LORD. In that view we concede it. Mr. President,
we do not oppose the application of the other side if the Senate see
fit to grant it ; but it seems to me proper to suggest that the time
might be limited.

Mr. CARPENTER. Upon that subject I think the thermometer is
a sufficient limitation.

Mr. Manager LORD. Perhaps so.

Mr. CONKLING. Mr. President, may I inquire how many of the
managers wish to be heard?

Mr. Manager LORD. I will answer the Senator. Only two desire
to be heard on the question of fact. If, however, the question is to
be argued here as to the effect of the two-thirds vote, then another
manager desires to be heard ; but on the question of fact on the final
submission of the case under this rule only two of the managers desii-e
to be heard.

Mr. CARPENTER. That leaves us all at sea as to the manner and
arrangement of our argument. The managers should let us know how
man V of them wish to speak in the final summing up of this case. I
think they may safely assume that we shall argue all there is in the
case, and I think that one of the biggest points in it.

Mr. Manager LORD. Mr. President, I understood that the other
day, while Mr. Manager Lynde was proceeding to arsue the question
as to the effect of the two-thirds vote, he was called to order, or at
least stopped by one of the Senators, on the ground that that question
had been decided. If there is to be a distinct argument on that point,
one of the managers especially prepared himself in that direction,
and therefore that would involve being heard by three managers ;
but, under this Rule 21, 1 repeat we only desire to be heard by two

Mr. CONKLING. Mr. President, I suggest to the managers and to
the counsel, assuming that three on a side are to address the Senate,
that they arrange among themselves their order, which probably they
can do in a moment, and not call on the Senate to make an order on
that subject unless they disagree.

Mr. Manager LAPHAM. Mr. President, I supposed we had already
agreed on that question.

Mr. Manager LORD. Not in consideration of three managers speak-
ing ; only in regard to two.

Mr. BLAIR. Mr. President, Senators will recollect that we did not
avail ourselves of our right to make a statement of the case, which
is substantially always an argument upon the assumed evidence that
is to be given, as the managers did on their nart, expecting that all
of us would join in summing up. They availed themselves of their
right to open and made a very able speech, and they propose to sub-
iom two more upon the facts and perhaps a third upon the law. Now
it seems to me that under these circumstances it is not asking any-
thing too much of the patience of the Senate to aUow all the def enu-
ant's counsel be heard.

Mr. EDMUNDS. Mr. President, if it is in order, at the suggestion
of a Senator behind me, although he does not suggest the time, I
move that three on each side be allowed six hours lor the summing
up, to be arranged between them, if they are able to arrange it, as is

<LOn iftAli.lllA-

Mr. CARPENTER. Six hours for all ?

Mr. EDMUNDS. Six hours to each side : twelve hours altogether.

Mr. CONKLING. I do not understand that the rule fixes any limit
of time. Let it be read.

The PRESIDENT j»ro tempore. The rule does not prescribe the
time. The rule will be read.

The Chief Clerk read Rule 21, as follows :

81. The ease, on each side, shall be opened by one person. The final argnmenfc
on the merits may be made oy two persons on each slao, (unless otherwise ordered
by the Senate, upon application for toat purpose,) and the aixument shall be opened
and dosed on the part of the House of KepresentaUves.

Mr. CARPENTER. I submit that six hours is too short a time.
The Senate may safely assume that in the present state of the atmos-
phere we are not going to talk here to waste the time of the Senate.
This case is an important one ; it involves a great many important
questions, and one certainly important constitutional question which
has neither been argued nor decided ; that is, what is the effect of a
mere minority vote m regard to the question of Jurisdiction, and we
shall desire to be heard upon that and heard upon the other questions
of law involved in the case and also on the facts, and I submit that
six hours is altogether too short a time.

Mr. CONKLING. May I inquire now whether the managers and
counsel have agreed on the order in which they will address the Sen-

Mr. Manager LORD. I understand that we have.

Mr. CONKLING. Then the only question they make is as to per-
mission for three in place of two persons on each side to conclude the

Sir. CARPENTER. And the time, which under the rule is unlim-
ited, as I understand.

Mr. CONKLING. So I understand. Now, Mr. President, I should

Digitized by




like to inqaire is there any motion or order before the Senate touch-
ing the number of counsel who may be heard f

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. There is not.

Mr. CONKLING. Then I offer an order which I will reduce to
writing, that three managers and three counsel may be heard at their
option in the order they have agreed upon.

Mr. EDMUNDS. I believe I have a motion pending.

The PRESI DENT pro tempore. The Senator from Vermont has sub-
mitted a proposition.

Mr. CONKLING. Then I will offer mine ns a substitute for that.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. That can be done. The Secretary
will report the proposition.

The Chief Clerk read the proposition of Mr. Conkling, as follows :

Ordered, That three maoagera and three connBcl for the respondent may be
hoard in the oondnding argument, in the order in wliich they state to the Senate
they have agreed.

Mr. EDMUNDS. Now I should like to hear the original proposition.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The proposition of the Senator from
Vermont will be read.
The Chief Clerk read as follows :

Ordered, That three persons on ecM^h side be allowed six hoars for the summing np,
to bo arranged between them.

Mr. EDMUNDS. We can get at it in a shorter way. I move to
amend the amendment of my friend from New York by adding there-
to ''and that the argument be limited to six hours on each side."

The PRESIDENT pio tempore. The Senator from Vermont with-
draws his original proposition and moves to amend the proposition of
the Senator from Now York.

Mr. EDMUNDS. The Chair is mistaken ; I do not withdraw it. I
move to amend the amendment of my friend from New York by add-
ing thereto ** and that the argument be limited to six hours on each

Mr. CONKLING. I rise to a question of order. I submit to the
Chair whether a Senator can offer an original proposition and when
an amendment is offered to that, then offer the onginal proposition
again as an amendment to the amendment f

Mr. EDMUNDS. It is not the original proposition.

Mr. CONKLING. I beg the Senator's pa^on. It is the original
proposition in substance. I object to it.

Mr. INGALLS. Is the question divisable on the amendment ?

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. It is. The Secretary will reduce the
amendment to writing and the Chair will nile on it. The Secretary
will report the first proposition offered by the Senator from Vermont.

The Chief Clerk read as follows :

Ordered, That thrtw persons on each side be allowed six hoars for summing up,
to be arranged between them.

The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Tlie Secretary will now report the
substitute by the Senator from New York.
The Chief Clerk read as follows :

Ordered, That three managers and three ooonsel for the respondent may be lieard
hi the concluding argument, in the order which they state to the Senate they have

Online LibraryUnited States. CongressCongressional record : proceedings and debates of the ... Congress → online text (page 128 of 172)