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that direction ?-A. It was formerly. It has not been since I have been connected with it.
Q: It has not been used in that direction ?--A. Not in packing cau. cuses or managing conventions.
Q. Your officials, then, act upon their own individual direction ?-A. I presume so; not upon any dictation of inine.
EDWARD W. VAILL sworn and examined.
By Mr. PLATT:
Q. What is your occupation ?-A. I am a manufacturer of folding chairs.
Q. To what extent did you employ help in the fall of 18781-A. My belp varied, I should say, from forty to sixty persons.
Q. Were you at a meeting, called a meeting of manufacturers, which was held at Worcester and convened at the request of Mr. Wash. burne, a short time before the election ?-A. I was at a meeting, but I do not know tbat it was called under that head. Mr. Washburne said to me, in the street, “Come up to my office at such a time.” I did not know for what it was convened. I supposed it was for the general interests of the Republican party. Nothing was said to une about what it was for.
Q. At that meeting what was avowed as the object for which the meet. ing was called ? State, in general terms, what was said there.—A. I could not tell you wbat was said; and as to that I can only say this, that I supposed the meeting was called to benefit and help the Republican party during the election, and to devise the best means perhaps to that end.
Q. Was there any proposition that those persons who met there, and who were employers of help, should put any pressure upon their help to hare them vote against Bitler ?-A. I heard nothing of the kind.
Q. Was any sentiment expressed there like this, that you must keep within the law and not threaten discharge, but tell the help or the em. ployed that if Butler is elected it will affect the business, and may lead to a suspension of the business ?-A. I never heard anything of the kind.
Q. So far as you were concerned, was any act done by you, or by any one under you, with your knowledge, to coerce, intimidate, or unduly influence the vote of any man in your establishment ?-A. I know of
Q. It has been said that some person was discharged by you. You are familiar with the case. Please to explain.-A. I can give you all the circumstances. The man was a colored man by the name of Thomas Robertson. He was formerly a servant in my family, or used to work in my house, and was a man in whom I had a great deal of confidence. I took him into my factory. It was customary, during the hours of twelve and one, to leave some one on each flight, and I had so much confidence in him that I left him for one, to look after a particular flight. Upon my return from dinner one day, one of the females in the department underneath said that there was something running through the floor. I looked at it and found it to be alcohol. I went up and found upstairs a quantity of alcohol spilled, and that it had been partly wiped up with
tow. I inquired into the matter. The colorerl man came along, and be did not know anything about it. I said to my foreman, “You just look this matter up and see if you can find who it was wbo did it." Several hours later he came to me and told me that he had found a two-gallon pail containing a quantity of alcohol, and that it belonged to this colored man; that it was found in his wardrobe. I took the pail out from where it was found, having removed from it some clothing that had been thrown over it, and asked the colored man, “Is this yours?" He replied, “It is." I asked, “How came the alcohol in it?" He answered, “Out of your store-room." I asked, “Why didn't you ask me for it ?" He replied, “I thought if I did you wouldn't let me have it." I asked, “Why did yon steal it ?" From that he dropped to his knees, asked my forgive. ness; said he would never do so again, and so forth. I said to him, . “Now, Thomas, you have been with me a long time, have always been a faitbful man. I will give you a week's time to get a situation.” I thought that I would keep him, and had concluded to do so, when some of the help came to me and said, "Mr. Vaill, the people are saying around the store that, if that had been an Irishman, you would have kicked him out of the factory." I went to the man and told him, “On the whole, I guess you had better leave." I supposed that he was a Republican at the time I discharged him. I did not know that he was a Butler man. A few days afterwards one of the men told me that this colored man was a Butler man. That was the first that I knew of that.
Q. You did not know, then, at the time you discharged him, that he was going to vote for Butler ?—A. I did not, though I knew he was a Republican.
By thé CHAIRMAN : Q. When was this ?-A. It was in the last of September or the first of October, 1878, or somewhere along there.
Q. Were you at the manufacturers' meeting ?-A, I was. I did not know it to be that, or that it was called such.
Q. A number of manufacturers were there?-A. Some who were there were not mannfacturers.
Q. Mr. Thayer and Mr. Washburne were there !-A. They were. Our judge of probate was.
Q. You are a Republican l-A. I am.
Q. You were not called upon for any inoney at that time ?-A. Not a dollar.
Q. The purpose was to have you exert your influence 1-A. Exactly.
Q. Did it arouse you ?--A. Not particularly. I was not more aroused tban before. I did not have any feeling. I had never been mixed in politics before this last fall election.
Q. You did not go out and take part 1-A. No.
Q. Were you at the polls in 1877 ?-A. I was, but took no part. This was the only meeting or caucus of any kind that I attended during the whole canvass.
Q. Then you are not an active politician ?-A. I am not.
Q. But you were moved and waked up at that time?-A. I was. I thought that to have Mr. Butler elected would be the greatest calamity that could happen.
Q. You brought that feeling to bear?-A. I went through and can. vassed my shop.
Q. You saw wbo was going to vote for Butler and who was not ! A. Yes.
Q. You advised them all to vote for Talbot !-A. I don't thiuk I did, because a majority of them, a very large majority, did vote for Talbot, so that I had no occasion to do that.
Q. Did you ever before canvass your shop I-. That was the first time.
Q. What was it that stirred you up 1-A. I was stirred up long before this meeting ever occurred.
Q. Did you canvass the shop before the meeting ?-A. Yes; ten days before the meeting, at least; it was not after the meeting at all.
Q. What did you say to your employés ? You expressed your friend. ship for Talbot and undoubtedly your hostility to Butler I-A. I pre. sime so.
Q. There were how many voters among them !-A. I presume twenty. five to tbirty.
Q. How many Democrats among them ?-A. Among those in my employ, I suppose there were very few. I had in my rooin seven men wbo probably were Democrats. I didn't know their names. The names of all the men there were not upon my books. A number of the men in my factory were in a room that I let out to a party, and he hired the men. I do not know what the names of the men were.
Q. Do you know how many of the men in your employ voted the Democratic ticket !-A. I do not.
Q. Of what nationality were they ?-A. A very few Irish and some Swedes.
Q. Give the total number of them.-A. It varied according to the season. When busy we employ as many sometimes as sixty.
Q. About how many had you at that time ?-A. From forty to fifty, I should judge.
Q. Of the voters you had there how many were Irishmen?-A. The larger portion of the Irishmen were not in my employ; they were in the employ of another man.
Q. You did not speak of them among those of whom you spoke first !-A. I speak only of those who were in my employ.
Q. Had you Irish men there i- . Seren or eight.
Q. How many had you in your employ !-A. I cannot tell how many there were in my employ.
Q. Were there any whom you knew to be Democrats before last fall ?-A. No, there were not, that is, in my employ. There were some Irishmen there who were in the employ of another man.
Q. You think there were none in your employ who voted the Butler ticket S-A. I don't know of any.
Q. What then were you canvassing your shop for 1-A. To ascertain how many votes I could count that Talbot would obtain.
By Mr. Platt: Q. You thought the election of 1878 a specially important election A. Yes; I thought so. I had never taken any part in any election before for years. This one I thought was very important.
SAMUEL UTLEY sworn and examined.
By Mr. PLATT: Question. Where do you reside - Answer. At Worcester. Q. What position did you hold last year?-A. I was last year one of tbe registrars of voters in the city of Worcester. I am one of the judges of the district court there.
Q. A witness (Mr. Plimpton, I think it was) testified that he knew of two hundred cases in which men could not be got on the registry by the Democratic committee, who were registered at once upon their applying through the Republican headquarters. Have you knowledge of any discrimination having been made in the registration of voters as against Democrats ! -A. No, sir.
Q. Of whom did the board of registration consist ?--A. The board of registration consisted by statute of the city clerk, the secretary or the clerk of the assessors, and one person elected by the city council. That was myself, I being elected for that special purpose. The other two held their positions by virtue of their other offices. • Q. State how the registration was performed.-A. My duties were such that I did not have as much to do, during last year up to the time that the preliminary lists were posted, as had Mr. Towne who is here. I was in there every day more or less, but did not take so active a part as he. Under the laws of Massachusetts the assessors returu their books to us for the purpose of enabling us to make the voting list. They furnish 118 with information; that is to say, we copy from the books so far as there is anything in them that gives us information as to the voters. We have a clerk who is bired from year to year. The books of the assessors show, in separate columns, where the man lived on the first of May of this year, for instance, with his age, occupation, and where he resided last year on the first of May. One person takes the voting list of last year, another a copy of the assessors' books (in some instances the original when we cannot get time to copy), and then the names are read through. If a name appears to be correct it is allowed to stand. If there is such a change in a name that we cannot identify the person whom it purports to represent we make inquiries for information. Many persons applied to us to be left off because of a change of residence from one ward to another during the year. If a man changed bis ward during the year and his name appeared upon the report of the assessor for that ward into which he had moved we put his name on; if he was not known to the assessor we left his name off. Substantially, unless the assessors gave us information in a case of a change of ward we had no means of knowing that a new man was the same who had been upon the list.
Q. Your duty is to make up a list of those persons who you find to be qualified to vote and pove others ?-A. Yes. We ascertain that the man paid a tax in the preceding year. That information we get from the treasurer's book. Those who have paid the tax are qualified, so far as that is concerned, and those who have uot are taken off the list. The tax for the present year, for instance, would not be paid at the time of the doing of our work, and therefore we rely upon the preceding year's tax payments. Having done tbat, the lists are prepared and made ready to be posted, the law requiring us to make and post the lists a certain number of days, I think it is 24 days, before the election. We posted them in every word in the city, and also published the full list with a notice requiring the people who were upon it and yet qualified to vote to come in, bring their papers, and establish their qualifications before the close of the registration, and also such other matters as were required by the statute. We published a notice in two papers published at the time, and continuedi tbe publication up to the close of the registration. In addition to posting the full list in every ward, we posted it in the City Hall, in the ball-way which runs through from one end to the other. I do not know of any trouble of any consequence that occurred during the registration. Once in a while a man gets a little out of sorts, but I do not recollect a case in which we failed to satisfy the man himself that we bad treated bim fairly. We asked every man who came there to find any fault to give us a statement of any case in which parties had been left off, as we do not claim and have not claimed that we might not have left off a man unknowingly. Only one case was formally called to our attention, and we satisfied the party by turning to our books and showing to his satisfaction why the name bad been left off. If anybody will come here and give the name of a man who was left off, we will try to satisfy the committee that there was a good excuse for it, or that it was one of a small number which might have been left off through oversight.
Q. Mr. Plympton testified that the registrars of voters, who were all Republicans, struck from the list 500 names of Democratic voters, and put every obstacle in the way of bringing out the vote of the Democratic 'party. I will ask you the question, whether there was any discriinipation made, on account of politics, in striking off the paines of persons that you could not ascertain to be those of voters -A. No, sir. We cared nothing whatever about their politics.
Q. Mr. Plympton also stated in substance that be believed the board acted, in the restoration of names, upon one rule when Republicans were presented for registration, and upou another rule when Democrats were presented for registration. Is that truel-A. We did not act upon any different rule. We had one rule to apply to all. We started upon this theory, that when a man seemed to be of full age and of common sense, all doubtful questions of law were to be construed in his favor. In order not to cut him ofl' from the right to vote, that is, when bis right to vote was apparent, we construed all questions in bis favor. We did not have but one case, as far as I know, in which there was really any serious question as to the right of the party to be registered. In one or two cases, a man would say that he pad voted in such a town on his father's naturalization papers and that the papers were lost. I bad one or two cases from the town of Milford, I think. I asked the party, " Do you kuow anybody down there?" He replied, “ Yes, I know such and such a man, who is a Democrat.” I told bim “ Very well, you give me a letter from him and it will be satisfactory." If he procured a letter from the party, or ran across another Milford lawyer who was also a Democrat and got a letter from him, we put his name op. That was our system.
Q. Did the same rule apply to all, without regard to the political party to wbich they belonged !-A. To all. We did not know, in a large majority of cases, what the politics of the applicant for registration were.
Q. I think it was Mr. Plympton who stated that he tried at one time to get the name of a person registered and that you gave him some curt answer, that you would take care of the business of registration, or something of that kind. Do you remember anything of that kind ?-A. No, sir.
Q. Were persons heard before you in bebalf of applicants for regis. tration ?-A. They were, if such persons chose to come. They did come in a very limited number of cases. The statute required us to be there for a limited number of days, but we bave the office opened there for so many hours every day, and some one was there to attend to them if they came, or if they brought their friends.
Q. Did you refuse to hear anybody who came in a respectful manner 1-A. We did not.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. You required men who were naturalized citizens to produce before you their naturalization papers in all cases ?-A. Yes, sir.