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the ballots. And it is from what he has said, that is, he has said it to others; of course, he never said it to me. He tells who shall be elected and who sball not be elected, but I suppose he does it by votes. If it was testimony, I should like to repeat what his associate on the board told me that Chase had told him.
By Mr. PLATT: • Q. Who was he?-A. Charles A. Searles. He is living in Millbury,
The CHAIRMAN. That is, perhaps, not admissible.
The WITNESS. I did not suppose it was competent, and that is the reason I did not put it in without your leave.
By Mr. MCDONALD : Q. Mr. Chase is the autocrat of the elections in Mauchaug ?-A. I think, sir, perhaps that may describe it.
Q. Do you say that that describes him pretty well ?-A. I think it would. Q. You understand and know him to be that ?-A. Yes.
By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Is the business of the town controlled by the corporation !-A. I think so. They intend tbat--no doubt of it.
Q. Do you know Terrapce Kennedy ?-A. I know bim by sight and by name.
Q. Do you know him to have been living in Manchaug Village -A. Yes, sir.
He made the same statements to me that he has made to you, before he made them to you.
Q. He is a peaceable, quiet, orderly citizen ?-A. I never heard any. thing to the contrary.
Q. Do you know where he was living at and just before the election last fall –A. I do not.
Q. How far do you live from the village of Manchaug ?-A. I live at about the center of the town, four or five miles from the village. I used to be there very often, in the town office which I used to bold. Affairs have changed there a good deal; and I go there very seldom.
Q. You say that the corporation means to control the town. What do you mean by that? Who are the principal officers of the town ?-A. The selectmen and assessors. 1 mean by that that they mean to assess their own taxes on their property.
Q. Who are the assessors 4-A. Mr. Chase is “the” assessor. He has two associates. He is the company's bookkeeper and their principal man really.
Q. Do you vote for Mr. Chase for assessor ?-A. I think I voted for him once. I guess it was the first time when he came there. I bare not voted for him since.
Q. You are friendly with bim !-A. Mr. Chase and I are good friends, so far as I know. I bave acted with bim in a matter of a town history that we have been getting up this year.
By Mr. McDONALD : Q. You and Mr. Chase do not exactly agree on the matter of temperance ?-A. I do not know personally of Mr. Chase's views.
Q. What do you know, from what Mr. Cbase has told you, in regard to the taxing of the property of the corporation !-A. I know nothing from what he told me about it.
By Mr. PLATT: Q. Have you a feeling that the property of that corporation is not sufficiently taxed under the present managernent ?-A. I have that feeling.
Q. Does it not occur to you that that feeling creates a little prejudice in your mind against the corporation !-A. I do not think it amounts to that. I mean to deal fairly. I have always said that I meant that Manchaug should have her full share of the offices and emoluments.
Q. There is really, then, a kind of feeling in the town that, in local affairs, the Manchaug corporation is unduly controlling things I-A. There is a strong feeling to that effect in other portions of the town.
Q. And especially about getting their property in as it ought to be taxed ?-A. Yes, sir; there is a good deal of that. The town does not really think that Mr. Chase ought to be an assessor.
By Mr. BLAIR: Q. Do you think that this case is an exception? Do you know of any other such case ?-A. I think it is an exception. I do not know what they do in other towns.
Q. (After discussion upon the exact purport of the last answer.) I will ask you again. Do you know of any case such as this one in the State of Massachusetts I–A. I do not.
Q. Do you mean to be understood as saying that elections are as free and fair in Massachusetts as they are anywbere else!--A. I think they are, and perhaps more so.
Q. You have been as far as Washington ?-A. I did go to Washing. ton once.
By Mr. PLATT: - Q. About wbat amount in value (I do not suppose you can get at it except approximately) has the corporation invested up there? How extensive are their works there?-A. I think their property was ap. praised at the time tbey were involved and had some difficulty in set. tlement at over a million.
Q. It is a large establishment?-A. Yes, sir, very large; they pay taxes, I think, on orer $400,000. I would not give these as exact figures.
Q. I did not suppose that you could. Do you know what the rate list of the town is !--A. I do not.
Q. Or the rate of taxation up there !-A. The rate of taxation last fall was, I think, a little less than uine mills on the dollar.
Q. How long has the corporation, that is, the present company, been tbere?-A. From three to five years, I think.
Q. Are there other large corporations in the town !-A. There is another cottou company owned by the Slaters; it is in the east part of the town directly opposite.
Q. Is it a large establishment ?-A. It is not near so large as this one.
Q. When was that put there ?-A. It was put there before I came to the town, I think; that is, it has been growing up.
By Mr. McDONALD: Q. The Manchaug Company elected as the assessor of that town their bookkeeper, while their manager is the selectman of the town; they manage things there pretty inuch as they feel like doing, do they not? -A. That is the general inpression.
Q. And the complaint, as far as local matters are concerne:1, is that by electing an assessor of their own they assess their property as they please for taxation l-A. That is one of the principal complaints.
Q. When this property was valued at a million dollars, you say it was when the corporation had some embarrassinents ?-A. That was before the present owners bought it in; it was placed before an auditor, I think, or some officer wbo was sworn to make a correct appraisement.
Q. The value was placed at $400,000; tbat would be very cheap if the property was worth a million ?-A. Yes; if worth a million, I think it would be. Q. (By Mr. PLATT.) What is your occupation ?-A. I am a farmer.
By Mr. BLAIR: Q. What proportion of the taxes of the town does this corporation pay?-A. I think their tax is now somewhere about $4,000; they pay a heavy tax, proportionately ; I think it has been stated that they pay one-third or nearly one-third of the taxes of the town.
Q. The other corporation also pays a heavy tax?--A. A pretty large one.
Q. How long have you been in the town !-A. Nearly fifty-eight years.
Q. You have always lived there -A. I always voted there; I have lived out of it quite a little time.
ANDREW J. WATERS sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN:
Q. Where is Webster?-A. Sixteen miles from Worcester, in Wor. cester County.
Q. There are corporations there?-A. Yes, sir; the Slater corporation.
Q. What is the name of the town in which the corporation is situated ?-A. Webster.
Q. What is the name of the corporation ?--A. Slater & Sons, I think. They own other property in other towns, I think.
Q. What is the character of the factory there!-A. They have a woolen factory and a cotton factory.
Q. About how many hands do they employ in that establishment ? A. I cannot say; they have several factories; they employ several bundred, anyhow.
Q. Do you know how many voters they have in all their mills there? -A. I could not answer positively, but the number is quite large. The mills, of which there are several, are quite extensive.
Q. What is the nationality of the operatives who are voters !-A. Irish and French. There are more Irish voters in Webster thau there are of French.
Q. Where does the town of Webster vote?-A. In the center of the town.
Q. How far from that point is the woolen factory ?-A. About half a mile.
Q. How far distant is the cotton factory I-A. About a mile.
Q. Who is the agent or controlling man of the woolen corporation A. Mr. Asher P. Moore, I think.
Q. What official position does he hold with reference to the town of Webster?-A. Last year he was one of the selectmen of the town.
Q. Have the selectmen, as such, anything to do with the ballot-box
A. Yes, sir. He had control of it a portion of the election day, at the time when these men that is, the mill hands—were coming in to vote. They voted at noontime generally.
Q. Between what bours ?-A. Between 12 and 2 o'clock.
Q. Was Mr. Moore, the selectman, there in charge of the ballot box before they came there?-A. No, sir; Mr. Shumway, one of the other selectmen, was there.
Q. Was be there after the hands were done voting ?-A. He was there from 12 to 2 o'clock.
Q. What town meeting was this ?-A. The town meeting day in the fall of 1878.
Q. By towy meeting we understand to be meant the general election day at which candidates for governor and Congress are voted for?-A. That is correct.
Q. How were the men brought there ?-A. They were brought there in teams; that is, the greater portion of them, not all. A great many of their voters were brought to the polls in two aud four horse teams, and some in single teams.
Q. When the teams arrived with the men from these mills, were any of the agents of the corporation there ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who?-A. Mr. Fletcher was one. He is the agent of the cotton mill, in the North Village, or North Webster, as some call it. Mr. Lavaree was another. He was about, I think, with teams, and was at the polls, coming in with the men who were brought in the teams.
Q. When the men came to the polls in these teams, wbat did these gentlemen, Lararee and Fletcher dol-A. They wouid say, “Hurry and get up to vote,” or something to that effect. I do not know that those were the exact words, but they were something like, “Go right aloug and vote.” The tickets were in their bands.
Q. Do you know that the men who came there had their tickets when they got out of the wagons ?-A. Some of them had them when they got out of the wagons; some of them were badded tickets after they got ont.
Q. By whom were tickets handed to them !-A. By these agents, Fletcber and the other.
Q. Do you kuow what these tickets were l-A. They were Republican tickets.
Q. Could you see them ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was there any attempt to interfere with these men who had tickets, or to change their tickets !--A. No; they all had Republican tickets or bad the right ticket, I suppose; and they did not want to interfere with them.
Q. Do you know about the politics of these operatives in the mills ?A. The greater portion are Democrats, or Democrats and “ Butler men," as they were called last year.
Q. Did they vote the Democratic ticket ?-A. No, sir; ? great many of them wbo said they were Butler men went back and voted the Republican ticket.
Q. Prior to the election day, had you any conversation with these men who voted, as to what their political preference was 1-A. With some of them, with quite a number of them, I had; vot with all of them.
Q. Those men said they were going to vote how ?-A. Some said
they were going to vote for Butler and some of them joined onr club, the Butler club, that we had there.
Q. Were any of tlose wen who joined the club and said they were going to vote for Butler in this crowd that was joined at the polls by Fletcher and Lararee !-A. Yes, sir; I think some of them were.
Q. How did they vote 1-A. They voted the Republican ticket.
Q. What was the reason ?-A. Afterwards I talked with some of them and they said to me, " l had to vote so," I could not get much of an answer out of them. They felt ashamed of it. As they talked with me before they expressed themselves that they were going to vote for Butler. The told me afterwards they had to rote the other way, and that was about all they said about it.
Q. Did they express their sentiments freely at any time before the election ?-A. No, sir; but a good many of them said they had to keep quiet. There were not many of them who expressed their sentiments about roting in my room.
Q. What reason was given for that ?--A. They said they had to keep quiet, that they might lose a job.
Q. How many votes were cast in the town of Webster at the last fall election ?-A. Upwards of eight hundred. Tbere are from seven hun. dred to nine hundred probably in the town, and at least over seven hun. dred were cast last fall.
Q. About how many voters are employed in these corporations I-A. A good many, but it would be almost impossible for me to tell how many. Those of the Slaters are the only factories in the town of Web. ster. They have several wills, cotton and woolen, and manufacture cambrics.
Q. Were the men brought to the polls between the hours of 12 and 2? -A. Yes, sir; the most of them.
Q. Were they taken back in the wagons in which they had been brought there?-A. Many of them were.
Q. Were they distributed about the polls or were they taken in a body?- A. All went up together as a rule. There might have been some back, but as a rule they went up in a body.
By Mr. McDONALD : Q. You say that Asher T. Moore was one of the selectmen ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. That is to say, he was one of the persons elected in the town. And a part of his duty as a selectman was to bare charge of the polls on the day of the election ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was the voting done in an open or a closed box !-A. The box is sbut, but they open it when a man comes up to vote. The clerk takes his name and then the box is opened, the vote put in, and the box shut. It has a slide for shutting.
Q. They have a cover to the bat” in wbich they received rotes there ?-A. Yes; I think that is the way, a handle to the box. I think it is kept shut.
Q. When a roter is about to put bis vote in the box the lid or cover is removed ?-A. Yes, sir. The selectmen are up on a platform and we have to reach up a little to get our votes in.
Q. Were most of the votes that were cast there last fall in open bal. lots or envelopes ?—A. The larger portion were in open ballots, but tbere was quite a number of the others.
Q. When open, were they distinguishable, so that you could tell what kind of a ticket a man voted I-A. Sometimes a man would come up with it doubled up, and the selectman would say, “ Open that ballot."