« ForrigeFortsett »
the Secretary of War, made a point, as one of for want of time, be exciiided; besides, about importance io him, (Houston,) when I should as soon after reading the advertisement as our speak to the Secretary of War, or he to me, friend Colonel Sevier cair reach the department, that I would bear in mind that it was of the you will have a visit from him, and, perhaps, a highest importance to him, (Houston,) that the long talk on the subject of rights and interests time limiting ihe period within which bids of os liis people." The Secretary answered, I were to be made, under the proposals, sh uld do not think it is of much importance, for it is be t'sirty.days. He went on to state his rea- my opinion the supplies will come chiefly from sons: these were, in substance, that his circum. Ohio and Kentucky: thirty days will be long 'stances would not allow aim to remain longer enough for the proposals tu circulate through in Washington; that he was poor, and the er. that xlistrict of country: pense was too great; and that he wist.ed to re "If that is your vie!, I replied, there cer turn 10 Arkansas with all possible despatchilarly can be no difficuly. and that he could not reinain' in Washington, “lle tben said, let thirty diys be the time. It without great inconvenience, longer than thir- was done a scordingly. Holding the form I had ty Jass.
Trold him it was a subject over prepared in luis band, he went on to remark, I which I had no con'rol or influence; that it was will have it al'ered in one or two particulars." an affair wholly with the Secretary of War: Witness then proceeds to note the alterations but that I could not well see how the time which have been pointed out in the evidence could be limited to thirty days, as it was my of General Gibsn. Can any thing be more opinion the supplies would come principally conclusive, Houston applied Mr. Eaton to from Aik insas; and that if the proposals were make a privale contract. Baton, acting upon limited to thirty days, the people of Arkansas the motto that public men sh uld " not seem to would not have time to answer them.
deserve censure," issued to an advertisernent; "On the day of the date of the proposals, but had it so framed, lrat those persons who did and about 3 o'clock, and when about retiring bid were unable to m.ke fair' estimates, and from the room of the Secretary of War, after afraid to bid at a fair price; ani so limited, that finishing off the business of the clay with him, bose persons from whom the supplies were to he, the Secretary', askel nie if I have seen Hou-, be drawn could not have notice, and were ton. I told him I had, and à deil," my inter- therefore prevented from being bidders. There views with him have not been of 'thic most is one remark in Eston's note to the President agreeable surt.” Taking from his pockrt, of the 16th of February, 1830, which is very without, as I believe, making any reply to my significant; it is, “ Hle, (Houston,) is quite satisremarks, a paper, he said, “ Lhave forgotten fied with the course." The object of the adfor some days to han: you this paper. Il is a vertisement was to guard aginst anticipated paper containing proposals for rations for Ina "censura"'-lo shielil the contract which he dians, wrilten by Houston, and handed to me by contemplated making with Houston under the him: take it, and examine it, and if it is correct usual forms; yet he altered the forms, and lim. have it copied, and sign it, and let it appear in tell the time so as to prevent competition! the Telegraph of the morning.' Top-ned the D. cs not this luok like an " artifice by which paper, when he remarked, "it is late now, take he right ovitarists of the United States were. it home with you and examine it."
to be injured? and if so, docs it not come with"I said, it is incorrect, and imperfect, and on the definition to fraud? in a few words I cais explain in what particu: Thus it often happens that cunning overlars. I pointed these out. I think these pro- reaches itself; and the evidence discloses anposals enumerated the Cherokecs 15 a iribe other remarkable instance. General Gibson is with whom a treaty had been made, and for charged with furnishing the army ration. We wirom ratious would be required; and they give his testimony in full; see document, pages omitteil to designate de ots at which to deliver 21, 22, and 23. Gon. Gibson saysthe supplies. If these are not specified, i l'e " On the 5th of February, 1830, the follow." marked, those who may incline to bid will not ing order was received from the Secretary of be able to say at what price the ration can b. War: supplied."
"Sır: Our treaties require that the Indians "The Secretary said, well, take the piper going west shall be supported twelve months home with you, and prepare and bring a form by the Government.. with you in the morning. I did so, accompa. Query 13. Can your deparlment furnish "nying that for 11 with the one he had handled these supplies, and distribute thein? and at me the day before. On reacting my form, he wiat probable cost of the ration, all expenses remarked, you live not filled the blank desig of buying and distributing being considered? nating the time for receiving wids. I ansierel, 21. Would it be preferable to contract it is my object to call your attention to this with some persons to do this! and, if so, what Perhaps, i remarked, you would like to recon. price of the ration and delivery might be consider this part of the proposals. My opinion sidered far? There will be about three points is, those supplies can be furnished in Arkanses of delivery: a little west of Cantonment Gibson upon cheaper terme, and with greater readi- the first, and the other two, fifty or one bunness, iban on this side of the Mississippi." dred miles further.
"If the time be limited to thirty days, those • Respectfully, J, H. EATON. who may wish to offer froin Arkansas, must, Gen. Gibson, Subsistence Department.',
cost' The object in advertising is admitted to even seem to deserve censure;" and the House have been to guard against anticipated censure. of Representatives is called upon by the com. * But for anticipated, "censure,' Mr. Eaton mittee, upon such teslimony, to acquit both would have given Houston a private contract. Houston and Eaton of all imputation of fraud;
On the 161b, Eaton wrote to the President: that is, of trick, artifice, or deception, where
“Public men must act, not merely not to by the rights or interests of the United States deserve, but, also, not even to seem to deserve were injured!! censure. Accordingly, I have said to General But it seems that Mr. Hall, a clerk in the Se. Houston, that we cannot make a private con- cona Auditor's office, has certified to the comtract with him ; but must advertise for propo mittee that twenty cents per ration were allowsals. He is quite satisfied with the course.” ed to the late E. W. Duval, in the settlement
Why was he satisfied) Was it because it of his accounts. Why did the commillee call was understood between Eaton and him that for this certificate? Mr. Duval's accounts were Houston shoulil bave the contract at eighteen not before them. How did they know that cents? It is proved that, on the 18th of March, such an allowance had been made in their setmore than thirty days after the date of the lettlement? We cite this to show another artifice ter to the President, Eaton intended to give by wbich it was att mpted to deceive the peothe contract to Houston, at eighteen or twenty ple. Mr. Hall proves (see doć, page 75) hat cents; the precise sum whici Gen. Gibson his certificate relates to a special contract made had been cheated to report as a fair price, and by E. W. Duval, for the government, with which he intormed Mr. Eaton was much too Marston Ford; to supply, such Indians as might high," and requested, but was refused per. attend a council of Cherokees, to be convened mission to withdraw. And what gives more on the 25th of September, 1830, to consist of force to this circumstance; is, hat the Secreta. eighteen ounces uf good four, and two pounds ry of War, on the 18th of March, and the Pre of beef, with salt, &c. We have no doubt that sident, on the 19th of March, both referred to Duval gave “ too much” for this ration, but all this report of Gen. Gibson as a justification for must see that his giving twenty cents furnished the contract, which they both admitted they no justification for Mr. Eaton's giving eighteen intended to close on the next day with Hous-cents to Houston on so large a contract, when ton, at eighteen cents.
he had the proof in his own office, that the raWe say that Gen. Gibson was cheated into tiun under Blake had cost an average of seven making this report, because, in the fisst place, and a half cents; and the introduction of the Maj. Eaton knew that the accounts for Indian certificate that he did so before the committee, rations had not been settled or purchased shows that the Second Auditor's office bas been through his office. When he applied to the put in requisition to fornish something which clerk he received a false answer. . This ap- may be used as an apology for the contemplapears by the evidence of Maj. Lewis and of Mr. ted contract, McKenney.. Mr. Mckenney being asked But there is another part of this transaction * " what had been the cost of a ration to the which speaks for itself. Luther Blake swears emigrating Indians ?” said, “the accounts for (see doct., page 33.) these objects being referable, by act of Com. “ Answer to the 4th question. The day, ou gress, to the accounting officers of ibe Treasu. the day after the bids were opened, or ought to ry, I am noi able, frum memory, to answer have been opened, I met General Houston at the question. The information, however, the the War Office. I was then about going to committee can obtain of the second auditor.” Georgetown; and in coming out of the office,
Accordingly, Mr. Lewis, in a letter to the be asked me which way I was going? I told committee, dated June 19th, 1832, (see doct., him. He said if I would take a hack, he would page 57,) says:
go with me. I took a hack in our way to ** The cost of subsistiag the emigrants un-Georgetown, he asked me if I had put a bid in, der Luther Blake, for one year, cannot be and asked me if I knew the otbers who had put in ascertained with correctness, as all the due bills bids, (naming them,) Mr. Prentiss, Butler, and for corn, beef, &c. issued under contract, have Thomas Crowell. I told him I knew Pr-atiss not been presented yet for payment; but the and l'homas Crowell; Prentiss haj that day told average price of the ration will be about seven me what he had put in for. He then proposed and a half cents, exclusive of the expense of is. to me to withdraw my own bid, and purchase suing."
the others; that himself and myself, and his Here we have the fact disclosed that, although friend, could get it at some higher price, and Houston carne on for the purpose of complaining that a great fortune could be made. He did, of the cost of the ration as issued by Blake, and for some three or four mornings afterwards, aske although it is proved by Lewis' letter that the me if I had seen those persons, on each mornaverage cost of those rations was seven and a ing. I told him that I had seen Prentiss. The hali cents, Mr. Eaton, having cheated Gen. Gib. last morning he spoke to me, I told him it was son into a report that eighteen or twenty would necessary to have some understanding between be a "fair price," refused to permit him to cor- us before I purchased out the others, or withrect bis estimate, but resolved to give the con- drew my own bid. His reply was, o yes, that tract to Houston at eighteen or tweaty cents, can be done. Houston and myself had no fur(see letter of the 19th March to Mr. Eaton,)ther conversation on the subject. On the 25th and advertised thirty days that he might not of March, I was ordered by the Secretary of
would not be a stalk of corn in that country, applied to Mr. Blake to withdraw his bid, and and that beef would be extremely difficult to purchase out the others--that while Houston procure; that he could not act finally on the was attempting to buy out the lower bids, Ea. business, without consulting the President. ton attemted to dissuade Prentiss from taking
.“ I then requested permission to see the bids the contract, by magnifying the expence, and that had been offered, and observed that I had the risk of the contractor and yet, the majority - reason to believe this permission had been ex. of the committee can see no trick, artifice, or ten:led to others, from the overtures that had deception, in all this, although he, at the same been made to me.
itme, gave assurance to Van Fossen, the part. "He replied that he could not permit me to ner of Houston, that he desired to let the consee them; but that he could inform me that my tract at a rate that would insure its fulfilment, bid was the lowest bid but one. I asked him if without loss to the contractor.', that was not the bid of a sub-agent, and an il We feel restrained from further comments legal bid' He answered that it was, and that, on some other parts of this proceeling. We after he had consulted with the President, he have already said enough to satisfy every candid would let me know the course be shoull a- mind that the majority of the committee have dopt."
arrived at a conclusion which argues how strong The following is an extract of letter written the Executive influence is, and how dangerous by Houston to Gen Van Fossen, page 36. its exercise! The day of retribution is at hand
"BALTIMORE, 41h April, 1830. or public virtue has filed! "MY DEAR SIH: I have just seen Mr. Rose on the subject of the contract for Indian rations,
THE NEW TARIFF BILL. a:id find that he is anxious to engage in the bu Nothing can exceed the anxiety manifested siness. When I advised you to put in your bid, by the prominent friends of Mr. Van Buren in I did expect to be equally concerned with you the south, to place the new tariff in the most in the business. What number of bids were favorable point of view. Exaggerations and actually put in I do not know : Blake told me misrepresentations of the grossest kind, are that he would withdraw his bid. If these things had recourse to. Noi content with attempta have been done, ascertain if these are not less ng to impose on the understanding, their fears, ihan twelve or thirteen cents. If all others are are excited by reiterated cries of disunion, disun. withdrawn under twelve cents, and you can ion. The bill is repr sented as the cure for all get the contract at twelve, it will be safe by grievances, as the sovereign panacea for opsiness. It may be that you cannot get it at thir pressive legislation, and the violation of our con. teen! If so take it at twelve. I do not know stitutional rights. As another instance of gross. what the conversation was between you and misrepresentation and attempt at deception, we Mr. Blake, or that you had any on the subject. publsh the following from the honest and con
To Mr. Prentias, I presume there was nothing sistent Richmond Enqu'rer. said, as Blake told me that he had got P. to put « The following letter shows what an impor. in for him ; so, if he withdrew one, I suppose tant reduction it makes in the revenue. It is both were withdrawn.”
from a gentleman at Washington, who is fa. Mr. Van Fossen also says : (See Doc., page miliar with such subjecis, and whose judgment 32.)
is held in high respect by the people: "As preliminary to the conversation with the
““WASHINGTON, 1st July, 1882. President, I will state, that, in conversation with "In answer to your letter, I send you a Major Ealon, he informed me that it was desi- printed copy of the tariff as it passed the House, rable to let the contract at a rate that would in- and now before the Senate. It will, with the sure its fulfilment without loss to the contract-repeal of certain duties, reduced in 1830, re. or. For the purpose of obtaining correct in- duce the duties in a sum exceeding'ten millions formation as to what it was worth per ration, he of dollars from the tariff of 1828, and the then directed me to call on General George Gibson, existing duties. of the Commissary Department. He further The amount of duties accrued in stated, that if, in case it should be let at so low 1829,
$21,922,391 a rate that it could not be fulfilled without loss 1830,
22,697,679 to the contractor, it would subject the Govern. ment to inconvenience, and result in an injury
$44,620,007 to the business of the emigration." Here is a mass of testimony showing the most
Average, 22,310,035 criminal partiality to Houston-that the adver- from which dedict the the reduce tisement was issued for the purpose of giviig! tion of 1830, and those proposed the contract to him that the time of receiving by this bill
10,310,035 * proposals was limited to thirty days for kis benefit-hat the effect of the departure from the Or the revenue from customs. $12,000,000 usual frum of advertising was to prevent other Add same from land
2,000,000 bidders from bidding at à fair rate that when Add bank dividend
490,000 the bids were received Mr. Eaton denied to Mr. Mckenney that they had been received-tbat Total estimated revenue 814,490,000 'he refused to let the other bidders know what hids had been received, but Houston knew, and The contemptible decoption here attempted