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WASHINGTON, APRIL 15, asso,
** no goes. 32.50 PER ANNUM................No
mything low as i sent to bid as I resolved on
him to make the
appealing to the President when I did so, Governor Branch was present. General Jackson confirmed what Major Eaton had said—that the ration had cost twenty-two cents; that Houston had agreed to take the contract at is cents per ration; that he had gone on to New York, and obtained wealthy security, and that he contract would be closed with him at 18 cents. I remonstrated against the contract, and urged that the ration could be furnished of six cents; the President then demanded to know whether I would take the contract atten cos replied in the negative. He then said, *Will you take it at twelve, sir? If you will,you shall have it to-morrow.” To this replied, *No, Siri I have thought upon the subject, and should not have calle
d upon you in relation to it, bad I not considered it my duty to warn you' of the consequences which i believe to be in. voyed in it. I am satisfied that, at the price which you propose, I could clear five hundred housand dollars. But, my object in bringing the subject before you, was to serve you and the government, and in doing it. I am governed by a higher consideration than money;” and with this remark I left him. Failing in this appeal, I the Eaton the following letter:
March 19, 1830. “After leaving you last evening, I examined, for the first time, your proposals for rations, From my knowledge of the prices of boof and corn in the western states, ram confident that the proposed orations ought not to cost ten cents; yet I understand Yooto say, that you *Pool to give from 18 to 20 ceno, and to the issue, at these prices, will amount to twelve thousand dollars per day. “That a contract of such made without States, where t
n wrote to Maj.
amount should be giving notice to the western he provisions must be purchased, will be a cause of attack; but when I read the advertisement, and see that it is so worded *...* to convey any idea of the speculation it affords, and colonect it with the fact, which is within my own knowledge, that it was preparoù under the special advisement of General Houston, who has gone on to New York, and has brought from there a wealthy Partner to join him in the contract, should be unfaithful to the administration, to Gen. Jackson, and to myself, if I did not bring the subject before you in such a shape as to guard against the consequences which liforese will follow any such contract as the one contemplated. "Sonocomoy enricho few who are concerned in it, but will destroy the confidence of the public, i fear, in the administration, and impair the fair fame of the President, which it is your duty and mine to guard. Willit
not be well to extend the time, so as to ena. ble the people of Missouri and Arkansas to bid? Yours, &c. To Major Eoros.” D. GREEN.” The contract was not male. I afterwards understood, from Mr. Shackford and Mr. Morrison, of St. Charles, that they had been bidders; that they had called at the Department, and could get no satisfactory answer relative to their bids or the purposes of the Department. From these and other circumstances, I was induced to believe that Major Eaton and Major Lewis were to have been parties to the contract. Major Lewis has replied, and published statements made by a Mr. Carnes, and by a late clerk of the War Department, and a letter from Gen. Houston. It will be seen, that so far from proving their innocence, these witnesses confirm the guilt of the parties. Houston says :“soon after my arrival at Washington city, last winter, I represented to Major Eaton the great injustice which was done to the indians, when rations were furnished by their agents, or under contracts made by them, as well as the fact, that the Government was swindled to a vast amount, and the evidence existed, of the agents being interested in the profits of the contracts let out by them to individuals; I proposed to the Secretary of War, either to furnish, or cause to be furnished, rations to all the emigrants who were then on the Arkansas, or might arrive othereafter, of good quality, and under
inspection of the agents, or whoever the Go.
vernment might think properto appoint for the
operation of the notice. His reply was, “I have seen General Gibson, Chief of the Commissa Department, and he has satisfied me o Indians can be furnished cheaper to the Governo. ment, through his department, and more satio factorily to them, to by contract; therefore, I will accept no bid, not will smoke any contract at this time.” it is here admitted that Housto had conWood with the secretary; that he had offergoto furnish the ration at the same price that, it had cost, deducting the expense of transpor. tation and issuing. Mr. Carmessays, that the otion cost from 15 to 25 cents; and Major Baton and Gen. Jackson both said that it had oust 22 cents; deducting the expense of transportation and issuing, from 22 cents it woul fix the price of the ration at from 18 to 20 cents. So much as to the rate of Gen. Hous. ton's bid, made before the advertisement was . issued. Next, as to the advertisement. He says, “Under the notice issued, I made no of. er, nor did I put in a bid.” why did he not put in a bid under the notice? Mr. Carnes says :
“That General Houston, after his return from Washington, (where he had been with a view to obtain a contract for providing rations for the Indians, whom the Government was about to remove beyond the Mississippi,”) informed him, &c. - -Here the object of General Houston's o to Washington, is proved to have been to obtain his contract; and Mr. Carnes says further, o “General Houston said, that, if he could obtain the contract at something over twelve cents, he might have male some money; but finding his under bid, say at eight cents, he was satisfied the parties could not furnish for that sum, and make anything.” It appears that the object of his visit to Washington was to obtain the contract. He admits that he made an offer for it before the notice was issued; and, although he admits “that the notice given was too short to reach Arkansas, where the greatest competition for the contract would exist.” He also admits, that hiou RGENCY was the main cause of so short a noice being given” [see Houston's letter in the Globe. Why, then, did he not bounder the notice? My opinion was, that he did not bid, -because he had a private understanding with Major Eaton; that the notice itself was prepared so as to give a color of fairness to the contract, and that he did not bid under the notice, because it was agreed that he should make his bid after it was ascertained how others had bidden; and what I before stated as matter of opinion, I now charge, upon the positive affidavit of Mr. Prentiss, and ask the attention of the reader to it. Mr. P.'s statement is as follows:
The U. S. Telegraph of october 27, 1830, contained a republication of an article from the Nashville Repúblican, a paper published by a connexion of Mr. Eston, so secretary of war, giving an account which it alleged “foll from [Mr. Eaton's own lips” of a transaction con
d from the
I did not Knowing that of the secre.
! was led to believe, that in the desire to serve him, myrights might be violated. Indeed, the fact of his early knowledge of the amount of my offer was full evidence of his intimate knowledge of everything connected with the bids. I therefore called at the war Department on the 23d; the secretary not being at the office, I inquired of the Chief clerk if any decision had yet been made in regard to the proposals. The Chief Clerk informed me that would find, in the public prints the period designated when the secretary intended acting on the proposals he had received. On the 24th, I addressed the Secretary the following letter. o o Washisotox City, March 24th, 1830. To the Secretary of Jor- o So I called on your chief clerk yesterday for information respecting the contract for Supplying the emigrating Indians with rations, and was informed that I would find in the public prints the period designated that you intended acting upon the proposals that you had re. ceived. - - omined the papers of this morning and find nothing on the subject, you will comfor A favor by informing me whether you have act. ed on the proposals you have received, or what course you intend pursuing. I should not be thus inquisitive had Î not handed in a proposal, and feel some anxiety respecting the result. - Yours respectfully, o WILLIAM PRENTISS.
A few days after I received the above letter, I was called upon by General van Fossen, (the
the Secretary of War had informed him that he had heard I was concerned with Luther Blake in my proposals, and added that the Secretary had stated that as Mr. Blake was a sub-agent, it would render the bid entirely illogal. As no such connection existed between Mr. Blake and myself, ... of remov. ing every objection, saddressed the following etter to the Secretary of War:
To the Hon. Soretary of soir.
Son. At an interview with General van Fossen this morning, I was informed that you were under the impression that I was concerned with Luther Blake in the proposals that I put in for furnishing the emigrating Indians with rations...I take this occasion to inform you
that, if you have received such information, it
SIR. The Secretary of War directs me to
partner of Gov. Houston,) who told me that
rectly or indirectly, be interested with him in
SIR: Your note of yesterday is received. I have no recollection of saying to General Van Fossen that you and Mr. Blake were at all concerned or connected in your bids. The bids do not show it; and I am quite sure no body ever so informed me; but, at any rate, it would make no difference to the Department who should associate themselves together in contracts to be made. Very respectfully, J. H. E.A.Tox, April 15, 1830. After the receipt of this letter, Gen. Van Fossen again repeated what he had previously stated, and re-asserted that, notwithstanding the denial of the Secretary, he had tool him
what I have mentioned above in relation to a
connection between Mr. Blake and myself.
“Gen. Van Fossen, previous to his departure from this city, showed to a number efindividu. als the copy of the different proposals that he and his different companions had offered for the contract.” - The first proposition was as follows: “Gov.S. Houston and Robert F. Rose propose to furnish, the rations to the emigrating Indians, agreeably to the advertisement of 20th February, at 13 cents per ration. “If that propositionshould not be accepted, Gov; Houston and Gen. Van Fossen will agree to take the contract at 12 cents per ration. And, if neither the above proposals should be accepted - “Gen. Van Fossen will agree to take the contract atten conts per ration.” Immediately after this last conversation with Wan Fossen, I went to the War Department,
but previously to calling on the Secretary, I called at the Commissary General’s office to inquire if it was not usual after bids had been received und examined, to see the several proposals that were offered. I was then in
tion, the proposers were hpermitted to see the
were recorded. I then called on the Secretary of War, and requested to see the bids. This he would not permit me to do, but informed me that mine was the lowest but one. I asked him if that was not the bid of a sub-agent, and an illegal bid. He answered that it was, and that after he consulted with the President, he would let me know the course he should adopt. Other remarks were made by Mr. Eaton, the
before referred to.
- Wasiusgros City, April 23, 1830. To the Hon. Secretary of War.
So Some time having elapsed since I had. the honor of an interview with you respecting the contract for supplying the emigrating Indiams with rations, and not having heard anything more from you on the subject, I hope you will not consider it trespassing too much on your time, to request that you would have the goodness to inform me of the result of your-interview with the President. - When you reflect on the importance of an arrangement that business of so much importance requires to enable an individual to put in proposals for supplying such an extensive amount of provisions, you may judge of the time and anxiety I have appropriated to this business; and as more than thirty days has elapsed since (ogreeable to usage) we should have received a decision from you, you may imagine to what extent this unusual delay is calculated to weary the patience of an individual who is well assured that he is entitled to the contract by law, equity, and usage. I have no right to expect favors at your hands, but have the right of all freemen to contend for my just due--that is all I ask, all I wish,
You will confer a favor by giving me what information you can on this business as early a may suit your convenience. Yours respect
formed that, after such reception and examina
substance of the bids in a book wherein they
substance of which is given in my publication
fully, W.M. PRENTISS And on the same day received the following reply:
who her to contractor not. If a lawlchase what other provisions might be wanting; o, oing proposals, and for the but, as the Commissary General could not conlooted to be received, an obligation|cur with you in opinion respecting that course: woulayeon imposed in favor of the per-you declined adopting it, in consequence of
ed you with ample security for the faithful per-
** obligation would o of the person offer.
any cause of complaint.” -
upon, agreeably to your advertisement of 20th
which is February, I shall be perfectly satisfied.” to attribute the manner|
On the 1st of November, laddressed to the
Washington City, Nov. 1st, 1830. Son: Since the receipt of your letter of 33d April, I have been anxiously waiting to hear what course you have adopted respecting the proposals you received previous to the 20th
dians with rations; but, owing to circumstances
ge, I have not heard from you on the subject.
I presume your inattention to this important
o to it; and business is to be attributed to the arduous duolossary se.
on- yo- o: questing information on this business. You
ties you have been under the necessity of at-
will therefore confer a favor by furnishing me
submitted to, the Commissary General to act
I am, respectfully, your o:
to issue th * to Mr. Wilbray: Pass tiss, was H. o