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LEANDER PUTNAM sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN:
Q. Were you at the election last November ?-A. I do not remember whether I was or uot; I think I was not.
Q. What do you know about the employés of the Manchaug corporation being voted by the agents or superintendents or auy of them A. As to those that I know of, Mr. Chase has been there at the polls when I have been in, and has passed votes to them. He never passed ans rotes to me, nor gave me any.
Q. You saw Mr. Chase there passing votes to them !-A. Yes, sir.
Q. When did you last see this?-A. This last spring, at the last town meeting.
Q. Did you see it in November last ?-A. No, sir; I do not think I was there then.
Q. Did you see it in 1876 1-A. I do not recollect whether I did or not, because I have missed several elections, but I have seen it when I have been there at our town meeting.
Q. When you have been there have you seen Mr. Chase there doing tbis in the way you have stated 1-A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. PLATT: Q. I understand that you have missed some of the elections since 1876 ?-A. I have missed some of them,
By the CHAIRMAN:
HENRY WHITING sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN: Question. Where do you live ?-Answer. In Oxford. Q. Is that in the town of Sutton ?-A. No, sir; it adjoins the town.
Q. What do you know about elections in the town of Sutton since and including the Presidential election of 1877, as to their management and conduct with reference to the employés of the Manchaug corporation ?-A. I resided in the town of Sutton in the year 1877; went to the polls and voted in the fall at the State election. My attention was called to the peculiar way they had of managing the voters there. I stepped up to tbe little railing that they had there to go around and up to the polls, and I saw two men stationed at the entrance where the voters went in. One was a Mr. Chase, the other was a Mr. Knox. I saw that the help of the village (I was acquainted with a great portion of them) came along in a sort of rotativu. Mr. Chase was on one side and this Mr. Knox was on the other, and as each man came up they would take hold of the ticket that the man bad, and say, 6. That is right, pass on.” Another would come up, and they would say, " That is right, pass on." Anotber would come up, and they would say, “Hold on, that is not the vote you want to cast." "Why, yes, it is the vote I want to cast." * Yo, it is not." "Why, certainly, this is my vote.” “0, no ;” and he got it out of the mau's hands, tore it up and threw it on the floor. He
said, “You do not want to vote such a damned vote as that.” He then banded the voter another one. The man then remarked, “I don't want to cast this vote.” The reply was, “Go right along; that is the vote you want.” The man went right along and put it in the box. Mr. Hastings, the constable, stood right opposite, and I stood perhaps four feet from this Mr. Knox.
By Mr. PLATT : Q. Is it of Mr. Knox or Mr. Chase that you are speaking ?--A. Of Mr. Knox. Right opposite to me stood the constable, Mr. Hastings. I called his attention to this. I said, “Do you call that legal voting ?” He kind of laughed and shook his head.
By Mr. BLAIR: Q. I did not hear your last statement.-A. I say that Mr. Hastings stood opposite to me. I could bare touched him with my hand by reaching across. There was just room in the passage to pass through and go up to the ballot-box. I called the constable's attention to this way of voting-asked him if he saw this man take the mau's ballot, tear it up, and throw it on the floor; and he kind of laughed. It seemed as if he did not want to take any notice of it. Mr. Henry Stockwell stood opposite to him. I asked him, " What right or business hare you standing here in the way of voters, and dictating to them?” He replied, 6. That is none of your business ; that is a right we have, and we are going to attend to them.” Then I went over and asked Mr. Jason Waters if he thought that that was a legal way to vote in Sutton. He thought it was not. I remarked, “I am ignorant of the law, but I should like to have this thing looked up"; and I went away disgusted with the voting, and went home.
Q. Was this Mr. Hastings connecteil with the corporation in any way?-A. He was the constable in the town.
Q. Do you know whether he is employed by the Manchaug corporation ?-A. I think not. He is not employed by them. IIe was tax collector there.
Q. He is one of the officers who are elected by the town ?-A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. MCDONALD : Q. What had Mr. Stockwell to do?-A. He is one of the officials there; I think he is one of the overseers of the poor. He holds some little office in the town. Q. Is he elected by the town ?-A. Yes, sir.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Had you any conversation with Mr. Chase about this matter?-A. I had, several times during the year. He used to come to my place. I kept a hotel.
Q. What did he say about the elections ?-A. There was one time when the Republican party felt a little afraid that they could not elect some men they bad put up.
Q. (By Mr. BLAIR.) Has this reference to a local or town election ?
Tne CHAIRMAN. My question was not as to what occurred in a town election, but as to what Chase said.
Mr. BLAIR. The witness was going on to speak of some local matter, apparently.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. What I wanted to know was what Chase said in regard to the control of the elections ?
The WITNESS. Do you mean about his controlling the vote at elections?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir.
Q. Go on and state what it was.-A. He stated to me at this particu. lar time that he could bet that he would not lose six votes out of the village.
Q. How loug was that prior to the fall election of 1878?-A. It waswell, six months. It was in the spring of 1878.
Q. (By Mr. McDONALD.) At the time you saw Knox take the tickets out of the hands of these men, tear them up, and give them other tick. ets, did you say anything to Mr. Chase about that 1-A. No; I did not speak to bim ; he stood a little farther off.
Q. (By Mr. PLATT.) At what election was this !-A. It was the fall or State election of 1877.
By Mr. McDONALD : Q. In your conversations with Chase, did you say anything to bim about the peculiar manner of controlling the votes there -A. Why, certainly; in the talk there he said, “I will bring up my men to do so and so," and “I can carry it by bringing my men up to do so and so; " that was the understanding.
Q. That was the way in which he came to say he would make a bet that he would not lose six votes ?--A. Certainly; I told him he could not control them in this matterthis was a local matter.
Q. But this declaration bad reference to his general control over the ballots of his employés ? Mr. PLATT. Certainly not; it was what he could do at that election.
The WITNESS. Certainly not; this was his general declaration, that he would not lose tbat many through the year.
By Mr. McDonALD: Q. How many voters had this corporation at those elections I-A. From one hundred to one hundred and twenty-five; I am not positive as to the exact number; I know I have heard him say he was sure of one hundred votes.
By Mr. BLAIR:
Q. You have liveil in various parts of the State -A. I have lived in Oxtord, Webster, Sutton, and Douglass.
Q. You have been a hotel keeper ?-A. I bave; for the last two years.
Q. Your acquaintance is pretty general throughout the State, is it not 1-A. My business has called me through most of the towns.
Q. What was your business before you were a hotel keeper 1-A. I used to deal in meat—a butcher.
Q. You know the State of Massachusetts pretty well; that is, you Lave a pretty general acquaintance with the people of the State -A. Generally, I bave.
Q. This method of conducting the election at Sutton you thought a very peculiar one 1-A. I did. Q. You never saw anything of that kind in the State ?-A. Not car. ried to any such extent; I have seen where a few individuals would be influenced by men by the way of being afraid of being turned off by their employers.
Q. But this was really an extraordinary thing ?-A. I never before saw such a wholesale business carried on.
Q. There was nothing like it in the State, was there ?-A. Yes; in every town, more or less, but not to such an alarming extent. Oh, yes; I do not think there is a town that I know of where I have not known of cases of men being influenced ; and they have even told me that they would vote differently if they dared to, but they did not want to lose their jobs. “It is better than to starve," I heard one man say.
Q. The influence that has been thus exercised has been pretty much all by Republicans upon Democrats, has it ?-A. It has been, so far as I have any knowledge of politics.
Q. You have extensive knowledgel-A. I have had for the last twenty: five years; it has been Republican influence all that time.
Q. My question was whether this intimidation or exertion of influence in the way you speak of has been pretty much all by Republicans upon Democrats ?-A. It has been. I do not know that I ever heard from the other party a threat made.
Q. You never heard of their baving done anything wrong whatever in this regard ?--A. I do not known but that they bave done something wrong.
Q. But you never knew of it?-A. I never knew of it.
Q. In all your traveling throughout the State, the political practice of the Democratic party bas seemed to you absolutely perfect, has it not !-A. I could not say that it was.
Q. Hare you ever known anything to be done by the Democrats of this State in the way of influencing the votes of others ?-A. No, sir.
Q. Never anything of that kind ?
The WITNESS. Do you mean to have me answer like this, that I never knew a man to be influenced by the Democrats or bribed ?
Mr. BLAIR. In an improper way.
Q. Did you ever know a man to be influenced improperly in his rote through Democratic effort in this State ?-A. Only by talk.
Q. By improper talk ?-A. No. I never heard that it was by im. proper talk.
Q. Then it is not improper to influence a vote by proper talk ?A. I think not.
Q. Then I ask you again if you have ever known a single thing to be done improperly by the Democratic party of this State in influencing a vote?--A. Not a single case.
Q. Did you ever hear of any such case ?-A. I do not know. I might bave, but if I did, it was a thing that I did not take any notice of, because it would have been a merely trivial affair.
By Mr. McDONALD : Q. The Democrats, generally, are not in control of these manufacturing establishments, are they ?-A. No, sir.
Q. Those are usually controlled by Republicans ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. The intimidations, the apprehensions, and fears of being turned out, that you speak of, occurred in establishments controlled by Repub. licans. Those are what you bare heard of quite frequently ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. You do not know of any manufacturing establishment that comes so near to cominanding its entire force as does the one here spoken of ?-A. I never saw any wholesale business but in the case of that one.
EDWIN H. HUTCHINSON sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN : Question. Where do you live !-Answer. In Sutton, Mass. Q. Have you been a member of the legislature ?-A. I was, in 1871.
Q. What are your politics !-A. I am a Republican, but I always mean to vote where I can bit the liquor business the hardest. I never had occasion to vote with the Democratic party in that direction. I voted for Mr. Talbot and for Mr. Rice, but I did not vote the whole Republican ticket last fall; I voted for Talbot because I wanted to kill off Mr. Butler, because I did not want Mr. Butler for governor. I do not know that I shall do it again, however.
Q. Now we have your general surroundings. Tell us how elections are conducted in the town of Sutton, with reference to the corporations there.-A. The most that I can say, geutlemen, is to corroborate the testimony of Mr. Innan and some others. The selectmen and the town clerk, who checks the list, sit at a desk and the officers generally draw up their settee, just making a passage wide enough for a single file to pass through in detail. Here the voters pass through. The clerk sits at one end, and usually Mr. Chase stands at the entrance and sometimes assists the clerk in checking the names. Most of these operatives from Manchang are, personally and by name, unkuown to the citizens of the town; they are transient, coming and going. Mr. Chase sometimes as. sists the clerk, saying, “ This is that mau's name," and so on.
Q. Have you seen him in any way interfere with the ballots of the voters 1-A. I do not know that personally. I am not a politiciani.
Q. Was Mr. Chase, at the time you saw him do this, connected with the board having charge of the ballots in any way ?-A. No, sir. He is one of the assessors; has been ever since he came into town; he is chairman of the assessors, but has no supervision of the ballot in any way only as he is self-appointed supervisor-his understood capacity in the town.
Q. Wbat is that understood self-appointed capacity ?-. It is to stand near there and if a man wants to vote to give him a ballot.
Q. Have you seen Mr. Knox there!--A. I bave seen him around there and bave seen him quite active.
Q. Do you know the mode of bringing these voters there from the mills !-A. I know that they usually come up in their company teams, and that the men go back with the teams.
Q. By wbom were the men taken charge of at the polls !-A. I do not know tbat there was any one in particular to take charge of them.
Q. They go to the polls and Mr. Chase is there?-A. Mr. Chase usu. ally stands there ready to help them in anything they need to have done.
Q. Do you remember anything that was said by Chase in reference to the corporation or his actions toward it?-A. I have no personal kuowl. edge in regard to anything that would affect this case at all that you would care to bear. I have heard a great deal, of course, which amounts to a conviction in my mind, and would, too, in yours if you heard it.
Q. A conviction of what I-A. A conviction that he interferes with