« ZurückWeiter »
FEB. 7, 1831.)
(SENATE. Augustus, I should rejoice, at least, that the temple of that his senior partner has acquired an entire ascendency Janus was to be shut.
over him; and by this means I account for many things Sir, when this resolution was offered, I was reading the which I now see and hear, so entirely inconsistent with important news which I had just received of the revolu- that gentleman's former political course. Our separation tion in Poland, and was exulting in the glorious event. In must be perpetual; and I can only now look back with a half reverie, my mind was ruminating on the vicissitudes pride and pleasure at what he once was, while I contemwhich that gallant people had experienced; the barbarous plate with pain and grief what he now is. and despotic partition, when the unfortunate Stanislaus Before I proceed to answer the arguments of gentlewas compelled by the Cazarina, Maria Theresa, and Fre- men, the Senate will indulge me in presenting to them a derick, to surrender the best part of his dominions. I true account of the fiscal operations of the Post Office then glanced on more modern times, when another parti- Department, so far as may be necessary to a right undertion had completed the catastrophe.' I thought, too, of a standing of the conduct of its present presiding officer. Kosciusko, a Pulaski, and a Poniatowski. In this state of the charge against him is, that in the last fiscal year, endmind, I heard read a resolution from a republican Senator, ing the 1st July, 1830, he has expended one hundred and going to establish a principle that a subordinate executive fifty thousand dollars more than has been expended in the officer was not to answer an inquiry into his official con- same time at any former period. This is a fact; and its duct. The contrast was so impressive, that, I confess, a existence is eagerly seized, and presented as evidence of chill struck me to the heart. When all Europe is alive to a profligate waste of the public money. If the fact stood popular rights, and the people are every where demand-alone, and unaccompanied by any explanation, it might be ing a surrender or restriction of Executive power, that entitled to some consideration; but when it shall be seen not only we the people, and we the representatives of the that this expenditure has been produced by contracts not people, but we the Senate of the United States, “most made by the present incumbent, but by his predecessor-potent, grave, and reverend seignors,” are to go in a body contracts not improvidently made, but made advantageand surrender our liberties, and those of our constituents, ously and beneficially for the country--when it shall apnot merely at the foot of the throne, but at the feet of a pear that portions of this money have been expended in petty subdelegate!
increasing mail facilities, in changing horse to stage routes, Mr. President, it is in vain to expect a full exposition in accelerating the mails from twice and three times a of the affairs of this department--and I now forewarn my week to daily mails, through the great arteries of the friend, the chairman, that his honest zeal will be disap- country, and extending it to every newly created seat of pointed. I have seen enough already to convince me that justice in the Union; and when it shall also appear that a full and fair report is not to be had. If the Postmasterlihis increased expenditure has been accompanied by a General asks for limits to the investigation, his friends on corresponding revenue to the department, it would seem the committee will indulge hin, and eventually he will to me that a sense of justice should induce the gentlemen succeed where he wishes in shutting out inquiry. In this, on the other side to suspend, at least, a portion of their I cast no imputation upon any of the committee or the censure. Senate--the effect which I predict may perhaps arise from The report which the committee expect from the dean honest, though, I fear, a premature confidence in the partment will show the original contracts, and the inintelligence and fidelity of that officer. I repeat, a full creased labor imposed on the contractors, and the addiand fair report of the entire management of this depart-tional sums agreed to be given by the department for the ment is not to be expected this session, if ever. With additional duties required: and it is a fact highly creditout the inquiry into the causes of removal, it is impossi- able to the Postmaster General, that a far less sum, in the ble.
aggregate, is now allowed, than the law warranted him Sir, I have done. In times when some New England in giving. States indicated a wish to nullify the acts of the General I will now proceed to show to the Senate a history of the Government, the Senator from 'Tennessee (Mr. Grunpy] expenditure complained of. For the year ending 1st July, and inyself took sweet counsel together, and reprobated such infatuation. Now, when Georgia and South Carolina from Maine, which makes it to consist of James Madison, are still more infatuated, he abandons the old ground. Felix Grundy, his Satanic Majesty, and John Holmes. Would that this were all. But it seems to me he has come “I was honored too much when my name was inserted to this absurdity--Independent States beyond federal con in the title of the firm. I never had, nor bave I now, trol, and a federal Executive above responsibility! “Oh capital or capacity for business sufficient to entitle me to world, thy slippery iurns!”
such distinction; and, therefore, in the new arrangement Mr. GRUNDY again rose. The Senator from Maine, about to be made, my name will not be inserted, either in said Mr. G., his thought proper, in his concluding re- the title of the firm, or upon the sign-board. Mr. Madi. marks, to remind me of ou ancient association, and of son has become old and rich; for an honest and well-earned that period when we struggled together in behalf of our fame is a politician's wealth. He has retired from busicountry. It is true, s'r, there was a time when that Sena-ness, and Andrew Jackson has taken his place; the busitor and myself licked full political communion together, ness will, hereafter, be conducted under the name and and stood side by siile against those whom we considered style of Andrew Jackson and Company. of this firm I hostile to the interests of our country. But these times will be an hurable and unpamed partner. The gentleman have passed by. Men and things have changed; and, from Maine will not assist in conducting the business of perhaps, no two men now stand more apart and further this firm, and the third person named has a violent antipaseparated from each other. This was announced at the thy to it. Therefore, the best thing that can be done, is last session, when, in the presence of this Senate, a solemn to dissolve the partnership, and let the two characters last dissolution and severance of our political connexion touk named establish a new firm, under the name and style of place." I then apprchcndel, and I now see with sorrow, (meaning the Devil and Jolin Holmes.] In making
this division, great reliance is placed on the many excel. * This has allusion to the following extract from Mr. lent qualities and superlative virtues of the gentleman Grundy's speech on Mr. Foot's resolution, at the last ses from Maine, which will enable him to keep the senior sion:
member of the firm in order, should be prove refractory. ** The Senate will excuse me for saying a few words in To this dissolution of the ohl firm, and the establishment relation to the partnerslıip made up by the Boston parson, of the two new ones, I call all these Sena'ors to bear tesduring the last war, and now added to by the gentleman mony."
[FEB. 7, 1891. 1828, the expenditures exceeded the receipts $25,015 85. transportation, equal to 812,871 miles a year, beyond the For the year ending 1st July, 1829, the expenditures ex- amount of any former period." ceeded the receipts $74,714 15. And this is alleged as The annual transportation of the mail on the 1st of July cause of accusation against the Postmaster General. Let last, was about 9,531,577 miles in stages; and the whole it be recollected, that the present Postmaster General yearly transportation in coaches, stcamboats, sulkies, and came into office on the 6th day of April, 1829, and bad on horseback, amounted at that period to about 14,500,000 made no contracts, payments for which could have fallen miles. due on the 1st July, 1829, every contract having been The existing contracts for transporting the mail in the made by his predecessor. He was merely fulfilling prior Southern division, embracing the States of Virgina, North engageinents, and is entitled neither to censure nor praise Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the Territory of for the effects of contracts made before he came into office. Florida, will expire with the current year. In the renewal The excess of expenditure for the year ending on 1st July, of these contracis, provision has been made for extending 1830, was $82,124 85. For the first half of this year, the stage accommodations over 1502 miles of post roads, on whole transportation of the mail was under contracts made which the mail has hitherto been carried on horses only, by Judge McLean; and for the last half of the year, three or in sulkies, and on which the annual transportation in fourths of the prececling contracts continued, the western stages will, from the 1st of January next, amount to contracts only having terminated. It should be noticed 278,656 miles. The frequency of trips will also be in. that the expenditures for the second half year of 1829 creased on 894 miles of existing stage routes, to the annual were $948,366 74; and the receipts in the same period increase 138,358 miles; making, together, an increase $892,827 60; producing an excess of expenditures for of stage transportation of the mail, from the 1st of January that half year of $55,559 14. The expenditures for the next, of 417,014 miles a year. first half year of 1830 were $984,341 21; the receipts for Provision is also made for the more frequent transportathe same period $957,755 59; leaving an excess for the tion of the mail on different routes, as follows: last half year of $26,585 71; and it appears from the re- Increase of trips on horse routes, 31,824 miles a year; port at the commencement of the present session, that the increase of trips on existing routes, changed from horse to excess of this last half year was actually but $17,019 16; stage routes, 118,456 miles a year; increase of trips on a portion of the current expenditures that were made in stage routes, 138,358 miles a year; making, together, a the preceding year having been entered in the accounts total increase of 288,628 miles of transportation of mails of the first half of the year 1830—apparently increasing in a year, beyond the amount of present transportation the excess of this half year to $26,585 71. Thus it ap- in that division, besides the improvement of substituting pears, that in the first half year, after the contracts of the stages for horse transportation." present Postmaster General began to operate, there was Among these improvements are included a line of stages a great saving to the Government. I do not urge this as from Edenton to Washington, North Carolina; from New. cause of censure against the predecessor of the present bern to Wilmington, North Carolina; a steamboat line from incumbent. Ile was an able and upright officer; he made Wilmington to Smithville; and a line of stages from Smithvaluable improvements in the department; and it is no ville, North Carolina, to Georgetown, South Carolina; all of reflection upon him to say, that his improvements have which are to run twice a week each way. These arbeen improved upon, and that others have originated with rangements will complete the regular communication, by the present head of that department, calculated to pro- steamboats and stages, between Baltimore, Maryland, and duce much public benefit. As an evidence that the con- Charleston, South Carolina; along the seaboard, by way dition of the department has improved since he came into of Norfolk, Virginia, Elizabeth City, Edenton, Washingoffice, I will merely state the fact, that the whole amount ton, Newbern, Wilmington, and Smithville, North Caroof postages from the 1st July, 1828, to the 1st July, 1829, lina, and Georgetown, South Carolina; an accommodawas $1,707,418 42; and the amount postages from the tion desired alike by the public and the department. 1st July, 1829, to the 1st July, 1830, is $1,850,583 10, Provision is also made for expediting the mail on many giving an increase in the first year of $143,164. 68. This important routes; among which is the whole route be. is an unprecedented increase of revenue in the history of tween this place and Fort Mitchell, via Richmond, Vir. this dep:ırtment.
ginia, Raleigh, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, Notwithstanding these facts are known and exhibited to and Milledgeville, Georgia; which line will be traversed public view, and to the inspection of gentlemen on the in two days less time than at present; so that the mail will other side, still they say this Executive Department is go- run from this city to New Orleans in thirteen days after ing to ruin. Facts appear to have no effect on their minds; the 1st of January next. arithmetical demonstration produces no conviction, so de. Allowing the average expense of transportation, by termined do they seem on effecting the destruction of this horse or sulky, to be five cents per mile, and by stages to officer. This investigation has produced a very different be thirteen cents per mile, which is about the mean rate impression on my mind. I viewed the present Postmaster paid in the Southern division, the value of these improreGeneral chiefly as a man of general talents, an able and ments, exclusive of the value of increased expedition, will eloquent advocate; but I now perceive him to be the be as follows: practical man--the able man of business--capable of Annual amount of transportation changed grasping, with ease, the vast system, and comprehending from horses to stages, 278,656 miles, at 8 the intricate machinery of this department, and of direct- cents per mile, (the mean difference,). 22,292 48 ing its energies to the greatest benefit of the country: To be added for increased number of trips
There is now of available funds at the disposal of the on the same, amounting, annually, to department, the sum of $143,724 22. As a further evi. 118,456 miles, at 5 cents per mile,
5,922 80 dence of the increasing prosperity of this department, 1 Increased number of trips on former stage will read from the report accompanying the President's routes, amounting, annually, to 138,358 message, so much as will show some of the improvements miles, at 13 cents per mile,
17,985 54 which have been made by the present Postmaster Gene- Increased number of irips on horse and sulky ral:
routes, amounting, annually, to 31,824 “ Between the 1st of July, 1829, and the 1st of July, miles, at 5 cents per mile,
1,591 20 1830, the transportation of the mail was increased, in stages, equal to 755,767 miles a year; on horseback and in sul- Making the total annual value of the im. kies, 67,104 miles a year; making an annual increase of provements,
FEB. 7, 1831.)
Post Office Investigation.
The contracts have been made for the ensuing four to give new bonds when required-being engaged in puryears from the first of January next, including all these suits of a disqualifying character; such as will cause long improvements, at a sum less than the amount now paid for periods of absence from the office-having too consideratransporting the mails in that division, by 25,047 87 ble a correspondence for the postage to be withdrawn from To this sum add the estimated value of the
the revenue--being concerned in a mail contract-the inimprovements, as before stated,
47,793 02 convenient location of the office--all these render remov
als proper; and yet the present Postmaster General canAnd the actual saving to the department in
not act upon such cases as these without hearing the polithe renewing ofthe contracts, will amount,
tical clamor of “proscription!” And men should, in some anpaally, to
72,840 89 instances, be removed to obtain the services of those bet. Besides the very considerable amount gained in the in- ter qualified to discharge the duties of the appointment. creased expedition of the mails on many routes of great It has happened under every administration; it has hapinterest to the community, the value of which cannot be pened under this, and will occur under every succeeding well estimated.
one, that from misrepresentation some improper removals In this saving in the expense of the contracts, and the and appointments will take place. Taking into view all additional revenue which may be anticipated from the im- these causes which I have enumerated, is it not rather matprorements they secure, together with the general increase ter of wonder, that, in the course of nearly two years, but of postages, which is still progressive, will be seen a foun- a few more than five hundred out of eight thousand five dation for the belief which has been expressed, that the hundred have been removed, My apprehension is, that current revenue of the department for the succeeding year even yet there remain among the subordinate agents of will be sufficient for its disbursements.
this department some men unworthy of their places. I I have thus shown to the Senate the condition of the fis- confidently hope that the present Postmaster General will cal concerns of this department, and the improvements go on, until none shall be continued in the employment of which have been made in the transportation of the mail. the department, but men of worth and integrity, and that
I now approach a subject more intimately connected he will not be deterred from his duty by the cry of “prowith the inquiry before the Senate. The removals of post- scription." masters, called by the gentleman from Maine “proscrip- The power of appointing his deputies, is given by law tion,” a word which, from long habit and frequent use, to the Postmaster General solely.' What right of superhe pronounces better than any man in this nation. There vision has the Senate over his discretion in these matters? are about eight thousand five hundred postmasters in the If they have any, it must result from the claim that the United States; and, since this administration came into functions of the Executive are to be performed in suborpower, which has been near two years, about five hundred dination to this body. This is neither in accordance with have been removed. Let us now see whether there be the theory, the practice, nor the principles of the constinot unquestionable causes of removal, which may properly tution of this Government. bare produced as great a result as this. If a postmaster I will now show to the Senate scme of the effects of this should commit any depredation on ihe mail,' he surely “proscription,” which, in the poetical language of the ought to be removed, although the gentleman from Maino gentleman from Maine, “makes the land turn pale.” It should exclaim “proscription.". Should a postmaster will be recollected that, on the 1st May, 1829, the postviolate the secrecy of correspondence, which some men master in this city was removed, and Dr. Jones--who is have done, the Postmaster General ought not to be deter- no Midas, at whose touch every thing turns to gold-was red from removing him by the cry of “proscription." appointed his successor. According to the report on my The same fate should await all delinquents in paying their table, the nett proceeds of the office, immediately preceddues; likewise those who fail to render their accounts, or ing this change, for one year, was $2,803 25, and in the who abuse the franking privilege; and if, for any of these first year under Dr. Jones's management, the nett proceeds causes, removals take place, the gentleman from Maine amounted to $7,943 11 producing a clear gain in one year entertains the Senate with his “ proscription.” Fraudu- of $5,139 86. Yes, sir; this single post office, under the lent exactions of postage-concealing or detaining letters, present administration, without the aid of additional comnewspapers, or pamphlets--constitute just causes of re- merce, or any unusual assemblage of citizens, has producmoval; and if they are made, we hear the gentleman from ed a profit in one year to the Government, of the sum Maine cry out "proscription!" . Habits of intemperance which I have quoted, and this is "proscription.” I call disqualify a man for the office of postmaster; and, although it reform--call it by what name you may, it has produced temperance societies have done much in removing this results beneficial to the country; and the profits, since the destroyer of the human race from our land, I would still year which I have mentioned, have shown that the increase ask, if there be no drunkards in Maine? And should I be is not of a temporary character. answered, that these worthy societies have entirely suc- Another effect produced by what the gentleman calls ceeded in the East, we are not quite so fortunate in the “proscription,” may be exhibited. There are not half West, although they have made promising and successful so many new cascs of delinquent postmasters as at former progress. Still this vice in some degree prevails; and periods; there is a reduction of the number of delinquenshould a postmaster be seen staggering and reeling to his cies since the first of January, 1825, of more than one-half; office, so blind that he could not see a letter, and he should and this reduction has been sensibly experienced within be removed, the gentleman from Maine, unconsciously and the last year. This must be owing to some adequate cause. from habit, would cry out “proscription.” Insulting or I know of no other to which it can be ascribed, but the unaccommodating deportment to persons having business terror of “proscription,” which teaches, that for failures
། at the office-habitual carelessness and inattention to the in the discharge of their duty, they will be removed from duties of the station, constitute just cause of removal; in- office. When I see such effects produced, I shall not be competency--refusing to comply with the standing regula- dismayed by the term “ proscription;" for my country protions of the department--employing assistants of bad charac- fits, though the incumbent lose his place. We shall hear ter--the commission of crimes--a dissolute course of life- no more of such losses as $10,000 in a single post office, such conduct as is calculated to destroy public confidence as in the case of Fowler. in the office, these are just causes of removal; and if a A charge has been exhibited in the committee against postmaster be removed for any of these, another victim is the Postmaster General of indebtedness to the Governadded to the gentleman's “proscription. The remote ment; and Abraham Bradley, the dismissed assistant Postresidence of the postmaster from the office--the refusal master General, has been examined to support this charge.
Post Office Investigatim.
(FEB. 7, 1831.
Although his testimony does not tend to establish the fact an individual of high legal attainments, whose interest in for which the witness was introduced, it develops some the subject, if he had any, was only to collect the debt due facts of a highly interesting character to the community. to his department. Upon the facts thus stated, who can I have the minutes of his deposition before me, subject to pronounce the present Postmaster General a debtor to the the inspection of every member, and I beg the attention of Government? the Senate while I relate the substance of it upon this point. I am aware of the legal dotrine which may be urged
He states that, many years ago, John Fowler, of Lexing- on the other side; which is, that if one individual be ton, Kentucky, was appointed postmaster at that place; indebted to another upon two bonds, and payments be that he gave bond, with James Morrison and others as bis made by the debtor to the creditor, without any direction sureties; that, he became a delinquent to a very large on the part of the debtor, to which bond the payment amount, and then gave a new bond, with W.T. Barry and should be applied, the creditor may elect to which he will five others as his sureties; that after the execution of the give the credit. This is admitted to be the law, where no new bond, he paid up regularly, or nearly so, what fell other individuals are interested than the debtor and credi. due at the end of each quarter, amounting in the whole to tor; but I should very much doubt whether a court and all that was due from the time the new bond was execut- jury could be found in this country, when the question ed, until he was removed from office. I will here remark, was between different sets of sureties, who would permit that I am authorized to say, by a respectable man now in the delinquency which had accrued during the liability of the city, that Mr. Fowler, long before the surrender of one to be thrown upon others subsequently given, when the old bond, of which I shall presently speak, and before no kind of delinquency had occurred during the last oblithe department had applied the payments to either bond, gation. In the case of public officers, this would be pardirected the Postmaster General, Mr. Meigs, to apply all ticularly unjust; the legal effect of the condition of the last the payments made after the execution of the new bond, bond was, that Fowler should pay punctually, at the end to the new account of his receipts.
of every quarter, the public money received by him in the Mr. Bradley further states, in his deposition, that there preceding quarter: this he had done, and the condition was no credit given on the old bond--that there was no was complied with. Can it be believed that, in this state application of the payments made to either bond, in any of things, a court would be warranted in giving judgment of the books of the department--that there was nothing against the new sureties for the delinquency which accrubut a general account current between Mr. Fowler and ed prior to the execution of the new bond; more especially the department, in the books of the office--that the old as it can be shown that Fowler directed the application bond was delivered up to James Morrison, after a sufficient of the payments to the new bond, and this long before the sum had been paid, subsequent to the execution of the department had applied the money to either? I had new bond, to satisfy the amount due under the old one, thouglit
, sir, the judiciary of the country to be the proper and this was done without the knowledge of the sureties tribunal before which to try a question of indebtedness. in the new bond.
Mr. Bradley does not expressly state The Government has sought to render Major Barry liable whether the then Postmaster General directed the surren- before that tribunal, and the suit failed. From the facts der of the old bond or not; but it is due to the memory of now disclosed, it always must fail. Although the GovernMr. Meigs to state that he was a correct and honest man, ment, by its acquiescence, seems to have abandoned the and that there are letters of his still in existence, in which claim, and this long before the present administration came he stated that he had no knowledge of the manner in which into power, yet, for party purposes, and to gratify the the bond was abstracted from the office. It does not con- feelings of a dismissed officer, Mr. Barry is to be denounccern the present question to decide by whom this bonded as a defaulter, and unworthy of public confidence. was surrendered. The great and important fact is esta- Whenever it shall be shown that Major Barry, the present blished, that the bond was surrendered by the department Postmaster General, or either of the Assistants, Colonel to one of the sureties in it. Such are the acts which make Gardner or Major Hobbie, shall have surrendered the of a “land turn pale.” Here is an official bond-not secur- ficial bonds of postmasters, I will not stand here as their ing alone to the Government what might be due upon it, defender. No, sir; the clerk of a court who should surbut also the good behavior, for the time of service, of the render an insolvent marshal's or sheriff's bond, for the postmaster, and constituting the security to which any purpose of favoring and releasing the sureties, would stand party, injured by his misconduct in office, was to look for in a light equally favorable with me. Such conduct, pracindemnity--surrendered up. And this has been done con- tised by whom it may be, is a high misdemeanor, and me. trary to law, and the uniform usage of the office. But rits espulsion from office. one case besides this bad occurred during the thirty years' Mr. President: When men set out resolved to find fault, continuance of the witness in that office. Why was the they seldom permit themselves to be disappointed. If surrender of this bond applied for by Major Morrison facts fail, imagination supplies their place. I cannot, in Certainly because he was afraid of his legal liability under any other way, account for the censure thrown by the genit. Why was it surrendered? It must be because the ulemen from Delaware and Maine on the Postmaster person surrendering it was willing to release Major Mor- General, for not having answered the interrogatories transrison, with a view of throwing the delinquency which had mitted by the committee to the department in December occurred prior to the execution of the new bond, upon its last. The Senate will recollect what was said by those sureties. The effect produced by the surrender of the gentlemen on that subject; but did any Senator suppose old bond, we can all see. The department has lost ten from what they said, that at that moment they had in their thousand dollars. Major Morrison lived and died a weal- posscssion a letter from the Postmaster General, which thy man, able to discharge all his pecuniary responsibili- gives the most satisfactory reasons for the delay, and which ties. Many years since, Major Barry and others were sued letter had been in the possession of the chairman for seveon this bond; the court decided that the bond had no legal ral days? I will take the liberty of reading that letter to obligatory force; a new trial was granted, and the suit was the Senate, that they may judge whether the Postmaster dismissed. This, it is admitted, constitutes no legal bar General be culpable, or the complaint of the gentlemen be to the commencement of a new action; but the fact that without cause. the late Postmaster General did not commence suit during Mr. GRUNDY here read as follows: his continuance in office, which was several years after the dismissal of the first suit, furnishes a strong argument
“Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT, Jan. 31, 1831. against the validity of the claim, from the opinion of the “Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt department itself, when it was under the management of of your letters of the 18th and of the 27thi instant.
FFB. 7, 1831.]
Post Office Investigation.
“ The preparation of the statements neeessary to a re- that contract was made. He, as was his duty, handed over ply to the interrogatories formerly submitted by the com- that letter to the committee. The witnesses were named mittee, was immediately commenced, and has been unin- in the letter, and a suggestion also that their affidavits had terruptedly prosecuted by the department. It has re- been taken. A proposition was made to send for the witquired not only the application of all the disposable force nesses; this was not refused; but it was suggested, and of the department, delaying some of its important current concurred in by a majority of the committee, that before business, but has employed unremittingly several addi-that step was taken, 'application should be made at the tional clerks. When the work is completed, it will be department for the purpose of seeing whether the affidaforthwith submitted to the committee.
vits of the witnesses were not there, and such other in“I am, sir, respectfully, &c.
formation as might be satisfactory; or at least enable the “ W. T. BARRY.
committee to act more understandingly in making the in** Hon Mr. Claytox, Chairman, &c.”
vestigation. The chairman and myself were directed to
call at the office and make the examination. I took care This letter tells the gentlemen why the interrogatories to mention to him that I would attend him at any time he sent by the committee have not been answered, and still should name, when the Senate was not in session. He they urge that this officer has not, in this particular, done has not found it convenient to this day to call on me for his duty. He has also been censured for not making his re- the purpose of discharging this duty. I have called at the port in obedience to the call made by the gentleman from office: I have seen the papers, and they contain a most Ohio, (Mr. BURNET.) On this morning we have received ample vindication of the department. After the contract that report, containing upwards of 6,000 pages; and surely, was made, the whole subject was laid before the President after gentlemen have heard the reasons assigned by the of the United States at the instance of those who were Postmaster General for the delay, their lips will be sealed dissatisfied. The affidavits of the witnesses named in the upon this subject.
letter referred to were taken; and, after a patient and full The gentleman from Maine has expressed a hope that investigation, the President decided that the Postmaster the objection involved in this resolution did not come from General had acted correctly. If the gentlemen on the the Postmaster General; but admonishes us that the pub- other side were anxious to obtain full and correct informalic will say that it came from that quarter. I cannot tell tion in relation to the transactions of this department, why what the people in Maine may be taught to say on this have they not pursued the course I have so often pressed subject. I shall say to the people of Tennessee, that I upon them, that the committee should go to the depart. made this objection upon my own judgment and responsi- ment and examine into all its transactions and doings? I bility; and to prevent him from falling into an error, I will have assured them that I was authorized by the Postmaster now state, that although the Postmaster General and my. General to say that, should such a course be deemed adself have been in company, both before and since this visable, every thing should be thrown open to the inspecquestion has been agitated, I have never heard him ex- tion of the committee; that he, his assistants, and clerks, press or intimate a wish, or opinion, on the subject. It would afford every facility and give every assistance in is argued on the other side, that as the committee have sent their power to the committee. By proceeding in this inquiries to the Postmaster General, asking him to assign way we could acquire a correct knowledge of the condition the general causes of removal, that therefore the indivi. of the department, and how it is conducted. This course duals removed ought in justice to be heard. The com- of proceeding is declined, perhaps wisely, as thereby every mittee have not inquired of the Postmaster General why pretext of complaint might be removed, and the gentleany particular officer has been removed; but if this were man from Maine would be so fastened down by facts, that even so, is it an argument that should be brought to bear even his fruitful imagination could not furnish materials against my friend from New Hampshire and myself? We for accusation. objected to that course, and were overruled; and now a The gentleman from Maine has stated that in his own Frong committed by the gentlemen themselves is insisted county there are thirty.one postmasters; that eight of them on as a justification of a still greater error. It is said that were friendly to the election of Mr. Adams; and of these the contingent expenses of the department have been in- seven have been proscribed; and this, with him, consticreased. This may be true, and the gentlemen themselves tutes just ground of complaint. The people from that cannot be ignorant of the causes which have produced it. quarter differ from him in opinion. Since these occurThere are not clerks in the department sufficient to per rences took place, the people of that congressional disforra the ordinary and current business: and these large trict, with a full knowledge of all the circumstances, have calls for information upon the department create a neces elected a representative favorable to this administration; sity of employing other clerks to perform the additional and in his own county and town, the votes have been cast labor. The very report laid on your table this morning in favor of a senator and representative to the State Legismust have cost several thousand dollars, and the calls made lature of the same description. If, therefore, the gentleby the committee will cost several thousand dollars more. man's complaints are to be tried by the voice of his neighThese form a portion of the contingent expenses of the bors, the verdict is against him. The Senator from Maine department. I cannot believe it fair for gentlemen them- has said that this voracious Postmaster General has, in the selves to occasion the expenditure of money, and then State of New Hampshire, devoured six full blowded Yanraise a complaint that it is spent. Although I am perfectly kees at a single meal. (Mr. Holmes here interrupted Mr. willing to see the public money expended for beneficial Grundy, and said he did not say six, but twenty-five: Mr. purposes, and especially for the dissemination of useful Grunde proceeded.] This shows most strikingly the information among the people, I cannot discern any valu- difference between a man of imagination and one who able purpose that is to be answered by the copies of the deals in sober realities and facts. I had been lashing up 1,400 bonds, under the call of the gentleman from Ohio, my poor imagination in pursuit of the gentleman from this morning received by the Senate from that depart. Maine, and could scarcely arrive at six, when he with ease, ment; none of them will ever be read, either by the Sena- (such is the power of his fancy,) can reach twenty-five. tor, or any other man in the community:
Twenty-five full blooded Yankees have then been devoured As to the suggestion that the committee have refused by the Postmaster General at a single meal. If this is to be to send to Virginia for witnesses to testify in relation to taken literally, all I can say is, that he is a man of bad the great southern contract, these are the facts: A citizen taste and strong stomach, for methinks I sometimes see of Virginia addressed a letter to a Senator from that State, one, the very sight of whom is enough for me. If this complaining of the department for the manner in which expression is to be taken figuratively, and the gentleman