Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

absorbed. On July 11, 1836, the Secretary of the Treasury, under Jackson, issued a circular ordering government agents to receive only gold or silver in payment of land sales. This is known as the "Specie Circular." As a result the use of bank notes diminished. The issues were presented for payment with the result of s general suspension of specie payments in May, 1837.

Specie Payments. (See Commercial Crisis; Resumption Act.)

Specific Duties. (See Customs Duties.)

Spoils System. (See Civil Service Reform.)

Squatter Sovereignty. (See Popular Sovereignty.)

Stalwarts.—This is a name by which a faction of the Eepublican party is known. The name arose about the time of the national convention of 1880, and was applied to the wing of the party that supported the claims of General Grant to a nomination for a third term; the name was due to the tenacity with which these supporters clung to him. They were led by Senator Roscoe Conkling, of New York. Opposed to them were the Half-breeds, as they were called, under the leadership of James G. Blaine. The contest between these factions was very warm during Garfield's short administration, the quarrel being on the division of the offices. Blaine was Secretary of State, and the administration was regarded as identified with the Half-breeds. The outcome of the quarrel was the resignation of Senator Conkling and his colleague, in the expectation of an immediate reelection, which would have served as a rebuke to the President. In this Conkling was disappointed. He failed of reelection. Meanwhile Garfield's death and the accession of Arthur, a Stalwart, together with the latter's judicious conduct, healed the party split, at least on the surface. Nevertheless, the enormous Democratic majority in the New York State election for Governor in 1882, caused as it was by the abstention of Republican voters, showed that the gulf had not yet been bridged. The withdrawal of Conkling from political life, however, aided in uniting the party, and these lines of division have practically disappeared.

Standard Silver Dollar. (See Coinage.)

Stanton, Edwin M., was bom in Steubenville, Ohio, December 19, 1814, and died at Washington, December 24, 1869. He was graduated at Kenyon College, and became a lawyer. He was Attorney-General under Buchanan, and had, up to the Civil War, been a Democrat. In 1862 he became Secretary of War under Lincoln, retaining the post in Johnson's Cabinet until his removal. The impeachment of Johnson was in consequence of alleged illegal acts in connection with this removal. In 1869 Stanton was nominated and confirmed as Justice of the Supreme Court, but died before he could assume the duties.

Star Chamber Sessions.—The Star Chamber was an English Court, abolished in the last year of the reign of Charles I. The court was composed of high officers of the realm; it sat in secret; its power which was very great was used to extort money by means of fines, and for the overthrow of powerful enemies of the Crown not otherwise to be reached. The name is said to have arisen from the fact that the roof of the room in which the court met was decorated with stars. In American politics the term star chamber sessions is sometimes used to characterize secret sessions of any kind, and is more particularly applied to the executive sessions of the Senate. (See Executive Sessions.)

Star Organization. (See American Knights.)

Star Route Trials.—Star Routes are those mail routes of the United States government on which, owing to lack of railroad or steamboat facilities, the mail is carried on horseback or wagons. They are called star routes because in the route books of the Post-office Department they are marked with a star (*). Early in 1881 vague rumors were in circulation of extensive fraud in this service. It was said that there was a "ring" to defraud the government. Included in it were some of the large contractors, the Second Assistant Postmaster-General, Thomas J. Brady, some subordinates in the department, Senator Stephen W. Dorsey, of Arkansas, and others. Brady resigned April 20, 1881. Proceedings in one of the principal cases were begun against the conspirators, but they were dismissed on account of irregularity in the form of the action. Early in 1882 several persons were arrested for furnishing fraudulent bonds on the bids for service, and indictments were found against Brady, Stephen W. Dorsey, John W. Dorsey, John M. Peck and John R. Miner, who had made the bids; H. M. Vaile, a sub-contractor; M. 0. Rerdell, S. W. Dorsey's secretary; Turner, a clerk in Brady's office; and against one of the principal contractors. The method by which, as charged, the government was defrauded consisted in first obtaining the contracts for the routes, and in subsequently having the payments vastly increased, in compensation for additional mail trips per week, and faster time on each trip. This latter was called "expediting" the route. The Dorsey combination, as the conspirators were popularly called, controlled one hundred and thirtyfour Star Routes, on which the original compensation was $143,169. By increasing the number of trips beyond what the locality required, and by "expediting" them, this amount had been increased to $622,808. On one route the compensation had been increased from $398 to $6,133.50; the revenue derived therefrom by the government was $240. The cases came up for trial in the District of Columbia, June 1,

1882. The government employed special counsel to aid the District Attorney, and the defendants, too, were represented by eminent lawyers. After a protracted trial, the case was submitted to the jury on September 8th; as they were not able to agree as to all of the defendants, they were kept out until September 11th, on which day, the presiding 'judge, Wylie, deeming an agreement on all the defendants unlikely, accepted the verdict. Peck and Turner were found not guilty; Miner and Rerdell, guilty; as to the Dorseys, Vaile and Brady there was a disagreement. Preparations were at once made for a new trial in the cases in which there had been a disagreement and the motions of the counsel of Miner and Rerdell for a new trial were granted. The second trial began in December, 1882. Rerdell, on this trial, pleaded guilty and turned States' evidence. On June 12, 1883, the case was given to the jury, and on the 14th, a verdict of not guilty was rendered. In April, 1883, W. P. Kellogg, ex-Senator from Louisiana, and Brady were indicted for receiving money for services in relation to a Star Route contract. The cases never resulted in a conviction. At the conclusion of the first of these trials charges of attempted bribery of the jury both on behalf of the government and of the defense, were made. The foreman of the first jury, Dickson, and another juror, claimed to have been approached on behalf of the government, and still another juror on behalf of the defense. Before the first trial had ended Dickson had made a sworn statement of the facts in his case, and it was charged that he had used it in the juryroom for the purpose of influencing the verdict. The Department of Justice investigated the cases, and declared its belief that no government officials were involved; it implied that all the attempts had been for the purposes of the defense. Dickson was subsequently indicted for attempting corruptly to influence the jury.

Stars and Bars.—A popular name for the flag of the Confederacy, which consisted of a blue union with white stars, one for every State of the Confederacy, and a field of tbree bars, the center bar of white, the other two of red. There were also battle-flags of different designs.

State Rights. (See State Sovereignty.)

States, Admission of, to the Union. (See Admission of States to the Union.)

State, Secretary of. (See State, Department of.)

State, Department of.—This is the oldest of the executive departments of the government, having been established by the Act of July 27, 1789. The Secretary of State (whose salary is $8,000) is at its head. He is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and is a member of the President's Cabinet. He is the medium of communication between the United States and any of the States or any foreign country. He has charge of the great seal of the United States, which he affixes'to all public documents requiring it, he also countersigns them. His department has charge of all ambassadors and consuls; in its custody are all the engrossed copies of the laws of the United States and all treaties. The principal subordinates are as follows:

SALARY.

Assistant Secretary $4,500

Second Assistant Secretary. 3,500

Third Assistant Secretary ,3,500

Chief Clerk .. 2.7S0

The following are the Secretaries of State from the beginning of the government:

Name.

State.

Term.

Thomas Jefferson

Edmund Randolph

Timothy Pickering

John Marshall

James Madison

Robert Smith

James Monroe

John Quincy Adams

Henry Clay

Martin Van Buren

Edward Livingston

Louis McLaine

John Forsyth

Daniel Webster

Hugh S. Legare

Abel P. Upshur

John C. Calhoun

James Buchanan

John M. Clayton

Daniel Webster

Edward Everett

William L. Marcy

Lewis Cass

Jeremiah S. Black

William H. Seward

E. B. Washburne

Hamilton Fish

William M. Evarts

James G. Blaine .

Frederick T. Frelinghuysen .

Thomas F. Bayard

James G. Blaine

Virginia

Virginia

Massachusetts

Virginia

Virginia

Maryland

Virginia

Massachusetts

Kentucky

New York

Louisiana

Delaware

Georgia

Massachusetts.
South Carolina

Virginia

South Carolina
Pennsylvania
Delaware . ...
Massachusetts
Massachusetts

New York

Michigan

Pennsylvania

New York

Illinois

New York

New York

Maine

New Jersey ...

Delaware

Maine,

[ocr errors]

Star Spangled Banner.—This national song was written during the bombardment of Fort McHenry, near

« ForrigeFortsett »