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the Secretary of War, made a point, as one of importance to him, (Houston,) when I should speak to the Secretary of War, or he to me, that I would bear in mind that it was of the highest importance to him, (Houston,) that the time limiting the period within which bids were to be made, under the proposals, should * be thirty days. He went on to state his reasons: these were, in substance, that his circum. stances would not allow .im to remain longer in Washington; that he was poor, and the ex. pense was too great; and that he wis!, cd to return to Arkansas with all possible despatch; and that he could not remain in Washington, without great inconvenience, longer than thirty days. I told him it was a subject ove * which I had no control or influence, that it was an affair wholly with the Secretary of War; but that I could not well see how the time
- could be limited to thirty days, as it was my
opinion the sapplies would come principally from Arkansas; and that if the proposals - were limited to thirty days, the people of Arkansas wou'd not have time to answer them. “On the day of the date of the proposals, and about 3 o'clock, and when about retir ng from the room of the secretary of war, after finishing off the business of the day with him, he, the Secretary, asked nie if I had seen Hou-ton. I told him 1 had, and a del, “my interviews with him have not been of the most agreeable sort.” Taking from his pocket, without, as 1 believe, making any reply to my remarks, a paper, he said, “I have forgotten for some days to hand you this paper. It is a paper containing proposals for rations, for Indians, written by Houston, and handed to me by shim: take it, and examine it, and if it is correct have it copied, and sign it, and let it appear in the Telegraph of the morning.” I op.oned the paper, when he remarked, “it is late now, take it home with you and examine it.” * - - “I said, it is incorrect, and imperfect, and in a few words I can explain in what particulars... I pointed these out. I think these proposals enumerated the Chrookees as a tribe with whom a treaty had been made, and for wign rations would be required; and they " omittel to designate de ots at wi:ich to deliver the supplies. If these are not specified, I remarked, those who may incline to bid will not be able to say at what price the ration can b. supplied.” - “The Secretary said, well, take the paper - home with you, and prepare and bring a form with you in the morning. I did so, accompa
for want of time, be excitided; besides, about
as soon after reading the advertisement as our friend Colonel Sevier can reach the department, you will have a visit from him, and, perhaps, a long talk on the subject of rights and interests of “his people.” The Secretary answered, I do not think it is of much importance, for it is my opinion the supplies will come chiefly from Ohio and Kentucky: thirty days will be long enough for the proposals to circulate through that district of country. “If that is your view, I replied, there cers tainly can be no difficul’y. “He them said, let thirty days be the time. It was done accordingly. Holding the form I had prepared in his hand, he went on to remark, I will have it al eved in one or two particulars.” . Witness then proceeds to note the alterations which have been pointed out in the evidence of General Gibson. Can any thing be more conclusive. Houston applied Mr. Eaton to make a private contract. Eaton, acting upon the not to that public men should “ not seem to deserve censure,” issued to an advertisement; but had it so framed, that those persons who did bid were unable to m ke fair estimates, and afraid to bid at a fair price; and so limited, that hose persons from whom the supplies were to be drawn could not have notice, and were therefore prevented from being bidders. There is one remark in Eaton's note to the President of the 16th of February, 1830, which is very sigoificant; it is, “He, (Houston,) is quite satisfied with the course.” The object of the advertisement was to guard against anticipated “censure"—to shield the contract which he contemplated making with Houston under the usual forms; yet he altered the forms, and lim. ited the time so as to prevent competition! D cs not this look like an “artifice by which ..he right ov i..tor, sus of the United States were. to be injured? and if so, does it not come within the definition to fraud? Thus it often happens that cunning overreaches itself; and the evidence discloses another remarkable instance. General Gobson is charged with furnishing the army ration. we give his testimony in full; see document, pages 21, 22, and 23. Gen. Gibson says— “On the 5th of February, 1830, the following order was received from the Secretary of War: - - - • ‘Srit: Our treaties require that the Indians oing west shall be supported twelve months ">y the Government..
“Query 13. Can your department furnish
nying that form with the one, he had handed these supplies, and distribute them? and at
tne the day before. On reading my form, he remarked, you have not filled the blank desig. nating the time for receiving bido. I answered, it is my object to call your attention to this
Perhaps, I remarked, you would like to recon
sider this part of the proposals. , My opinion
*s, those supplies can be surnished in Arkans s'
upon cheaper terms, and with greater readi
ness, than on this side of the Mississippi.” “If the time be limited to thirty days, those
who may wish te offer fron Arkansas, must,
what probable cost of the ration, all expenses
of buying aiki distributing being considered? ‘24. Would it be preferable to contract
with some persons to do this? and, if so, what
price of the ration and delivery might be considered fair? There will be about three points of delivery: a little west of Cantonment Gibson the first, and the other two, fifty or one hundred miles further.
• Itespectfully, J. H. EATON.
* Gen. Ginsox, Subsistence Department.’,
- - --UNITED STATES WEEKLY TELEGRAPH. -
* immediately upon its being placed before me, I waited upon the Secretary of war for further information upon the subject, particularly as regarded the number of Indians to be removed, which he mentioned would be about thirty thousand. I then sent one of the gentlemen in the Subsistence office to ascertain what had been the cost of the ration in the new country; and, upon receiving the information required, the Secretary was furnished with the following reply: - o “Office of Tar Coxt. GEx. of Subsist., * Washington, 8th Feb., 1830, * Sia: In reply to your queries of the 5th
the ration very high, and far beyond what it
“Some time after this, oleft the city on leaveof absence, and on my return was informed by Major Hook that he had been called upon by the Secretary of War for another estimate, and that the President had determined to have these rations supplied through the Commissary's Department, which plan was subsequently adopted; and is now in progression.
“Question by the chairman. At what time was the plan adopted of having the rations sup: plied through the Commissary Department
“Answer. Osocially, in May, 1830,
**Question by chairman. You state that you
instant, I have the honor to state, that, as re-office to ascertain what had been the cost of gards the first, it would not be practicable for the Indian rations; to whom did you-send that - | this department to furnish supplies to Indians gentleman? - - - o going west, after their arrival at the place of “Answer. I sent him to the clerk in the Se: o their ultimate destination, inasmuch as it would cond Auditors' office, who settles Indian actake officers of the army from their permanent counts of that kind. - -posts, and, if not entirely place them under “guestion by chairman. Did you receives - l the superintendence of, and subject them to communication, in writing, from the clerk so | the orders of the Indian agents; it would bring named? . --- - f them into such contact as might be productive “Answer. I did not, t of very unpleasant results. Touching the 2d Ho Question by the chairman. What was the s query, the most preferable mode of furnishing information you received? . - t o, the Indians with supplies would be by con- || “...Answer. That the rations had cost twenty t tract, which, when it is considered that it cents or about that, would be but temporary, that the erection of “Question by the chairman. Do you know o buildings at three different points for storing whether Samuel Houston was in Washington on the provisions would be requisite; also the em- or before the 5th of February, 1830? - o ployment of a number of men to herd the cat- “Answer.oelieve he was tle, and to guard them from theft, and the pro: “Question by be chairman. Had Yoo any priety of the contractor, calculating other con: conversation with him on the subject of Indian tingencies, must necessarily make the price of rations?
cost The object in advertising is admitted to have been to guard against anticipated censure. * “But for anticipated “censure,” Mr. Eaton would have given Houston a private contract. On the 16th, Eaton wrote to the President: * “Public men must act, not merely not to deserve, but, also, not even to seem to deserve censure. ..?ccordingly, I have said to General Houston, that we cannot make a private contract with him ; but must advertise for propo sals. He is quite satisfied with the course.” Why was he satisfied ? Was it because it was understood between Eaton and him that Houston should have the contract at eighteen cents? It is proved that, on the 18th of March, more than thirty days after the date of the let, ter to the President, Eaton intended to give the contract to Houston, at eighteen or twenty cents the precise sum which Gen. Gibson had been cheated to report as a fair price, and which he informed Mr. Eaton was “much too high,” and requested, but was refused permission to withdraw. And what gives more force to this circumstance, is, hat the Secretary of War, on the 18th of March, and the Pre sident, on the 19th of March, both referred to this report of Gen. Gibson as a justifisation for the contract, which they both admitted they intended to close on the next day with Houston, at eighteen cents. - We say that Gen. Gibson was cheated into making this report, because, in the first place, Maj. Eaton knew that the accounts for Indian rations had not been settled or purchased through his office. When he applied to the clerk he received a false answer. This appears by the evidence of Maj. Lewis and of Mr. McKenney. Mr. McKenney being asked
“what had been the cost of a raudu to the
emigrating Indians ?” said, “the accounts for these objects being referable, by act of Congress, to the accounting officers of the Treasury, I am not able, from memory, to answer the question. The information, however, the committee can obtain of the second auditor.” Accordingly, Mr. Lewis, in a letter to the committee, dated June 19th, 1832, (see doct., "page 57,) says: “The cost of subsisting the emigrants under Luther Blake, for one year, cannot be , ascertained with correctness, as all the due bills for corn, beef, &c. issued under contract, have not been presented yet for payment; but the average price of the ration will be about seven ans a half cents, exclusive of the expense of issuing.” Here we have the fact disclosed that, although Houston cane on for the purpose of complaining of the cost of the ration as issued by Blake, and although it is proved by Lewis' letter that the average tost of those rations was seven and a hali cents, Mr. Eaton,having cheated Gen. Gibson into a report that eighteen or twenty would be a “fair price,” refused to permit him to correct his estimate, but resolved to give the contract to Houston at eighteen, or twenty cents, (see letter of the 19th March to Mr. Eaton,) and advertised thirty days that he might “not
even seem to deserve censure,” and the House
of Representatives is called upon by the committee, upon such testimony, to acquit both Houston and Eaton of all imputation of fraud; that is, of trick, artifice, or deception, whereby the rights or interests of the United States were injured!! But it seems that Mr. Hall, a clerk in the Se. cond Auditor's office, has certified to the committee that twenty cents per ration were allowed to the late E. W. Duval, in the settlement of his accounts. . Why did the committee call for this certificate? Mr. Duval's accounts were not before them. How did they know that such an allowance had been made in their settlement? We cite this to show another artifice by which it was attempted to deceive the people. Mr. Hall proves (see doc, page 75) that his certificate relates to a special contract made by E. W. Duval, for the government, with Marston Ford, to supply such Indians as might attend a council of Cherokees, to be convened on the 25th of September, 1830, to consist of eighteen ounces of good flour, and two pounds of beef, with salt, &c. We have no doubt that Duval gave “too much” for this ration, but all must see that his giving twenty cents furnished no justification tor Mr. Eaton's giving eighteen cents to Houston on so targe a contract, when he had the proof in his own office, that the ration under Blake had cost an average of seven and a half cents, and the introduction of the certificate that he did so before the committee, shows that the Second Auditor’s office has been put in requisition to furnish something which may be used as an apology for the contemplated contract. But there is another part of this transaction which speaks for itself. Luther Blake swears: (see doct., page 33.) - “Answer to the 4th question. The day, or the day after the bids were opened, or ought to have been opened, I met Generai Houston at the War Office. I was then about going to Georgetown; and in coming out of the office, he asked me which way 1 was going? I told him. He said if I would take a hack, he would go with me. I took a hack. on our way to Georgetown, he asked one if I had put a bid in, and asked me if I knew the others who had put in bids, (naming them,) Mr. Prentiss, Butler, and Thomas Crowell. I told hiat I knew Prentiss and Thomas Crowell; Prentiss had that day told me what he had put in for. He then proposed to me to withdraw my own bid, and purchase the others; that himself and myself, and his friend, could get it at some higher price, and that a great fortune could be made. He did, for some three or four mornings afterwards, ask me if I had seen those persons, on each morning. I told him that I had seen Prentiss. The last morning he spoke to me, I told him it was necessary to have some understanding between us before I purchased out the others, or withdrew my own bid. His reply was, O yes, that can be done. Houston and myself had no further conversation on the subject. On the 25th
of March, I was ordered by the Secretary of
terms of your bid, and the terms of the bids of additional light on this subject. He not only
the other persons? - “Answer. He asked me what my bid was, and named the amount of others. He named Mr. Butler's, and I think others. “Question 6th. Had you applied to know, at the War Office, to whom the contract was given? and what answer did you receive? “ ** Answer.
the inside of one or more of the bids, what of..
fers were made, or by whom submitted. left me; and, returning the next day, said they had sought information, and could not get it, adding, the Secretary was too much engaged to see them. ... “Being in the Secretary’s office soon after, on business, I concluded to mention to him that those inquiries had been made. He answered me by saying, “I have received no offers except Houston's, in the name,” I think he said, “of Ben. Hawkins.” I feel some difficulty; my memory does not assure me fully, but I think the said in the name of Ben. Hawkins. I expressed surprise, and said, this is throwing re. sponsibility too heavily on me. At this point the Secretary interrupted me, and said, if men will not be prompt, and hand in their proposals in time, they have no one to blame but them. selves. " I continued my intended remarks, by
saying I had received several packges which |
had been handed to me in my office, having written upon them “proposals for rations,” and that I had, on the afternoon of the day before the time expired, placed them, with my own hands, in the hands of Doctor Randolph, his chief clerk, saying, these are proposals orbids for supplying rations to the Indians; the time expires to-morrow, or is on the eve of expiring; you will be careful to place them before the Secretary of War within it. I added, I think it due to myself to say, therefore, that if these proposals have not been placed before you, it is uot owing to any fault of mine.” • Here it appears, that, whilst other persons could obtain no information of their own bids, Houston was informed, not only as to his own bido, but as to those of others, and that he set his
I applied to the Indian loepart— ment, who referred me to the Secretary of
I answered, I had no doubt
called in vain, but he wrote in vain. - The time for receiving proposals was limited to the 20th March. Mr. Prentiss says: (See Doc., pages 41 and 42.) o: “On the 25th of March, I received a letter in reply from the chief clerk, Dr. Randolph, (a copy of which witness also handed to the committee,) which is as follows: “Dhrant MENT or Wan, March 25, 1830. “Sun: The Secretary of War directs me to say, that the proposals for surnishing rations to the emigrating Cre, ks and Cherokees are not yet acted on, and that you will be advised of the result as soon as a decision is made. “Yours, very respectfully, “P. G. RANDolph, Chief Clerk, “WM. Pnestiss, Esq. “A few days after I received the letter of the 25th March, I was called on by Gen. Van Fossen, whom I supposed to be the partner of Gen. Houston, who told me that the Secretary of war had informed him that he heard I was con; cerned 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 b.d illegal.” -. Mr. Prentiss denied Blake' participation in
They his bid, and wrote to Mr. Eaton on the sub
ject. Mr. Prentiss further says : (See Doc. page 42.) “After the receipt of this letter, Gen. Van Possen repeated what he had previously stated, and re-asserted, that, notwithstanding the denial of the Secretary, he had told him what I had mentioned on relation to a connexion with Mr. Blake and myself. General Van Fossen then informed me, for the first time, that he had the control of another bid, which was in the name of Benjamin Hawkins, at the same price which I had offered, nine cents. He then offered to put Hawkins's bid against mine and to buy or sell with ne; to give or take any amous: I might mention, which I declined, and refused to enter into a compiomise or bargain with him. or to have any thing to do with him, in any shape whatever, in the business.” * Mr. Prentiss proceeds on page 43: “As this was the usage of the Department. I felt that there was no impropriety in my , making the request in the case which I was interested. I, therefore, called attle office of the Secretary of war, and inquired of him. if he had yet acted on the proposals. He stated that he had not, and observed that." was a very important contract, and of greaton: sequence and much responsibility; that the Department did not wish any one to lose by * tract with the Government; that the supple" for the Indians that had emigrated, cost tle Go: vernment, from Major Lewis's report, eo; cents per ration; that in this case, there woul! be an immense number, which would make it more difficult to be complied with; thus, who the whole body arrived upon their lands, tho
agents to work, to buy up those who had un- " **
would not be a stalk of corn in that country, and that beef would be extremely difficult to precure ; that he could not act finally on the business, without consulting the President. “I then requested permission to see the bids that had been offered, and observed that I had - reason to believe this permission had been extended to others, from the overtures that had been made to me. “He replied that he could not permit me to see them; but that he could inform me that my bid was the lowest bid 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 had consulted with the President, he would let me know the course he should adopt.” The following is an extract of letter written by Houston to Gen Van Fossen, page 36. - “Baltimoas, 4th April, 1830. “My Dean Siw: I have just seen Mr. Rose
on the subject of the contract for Indian rations,
- and find that he is anxious to engage in the bu siness. When I advised you to put in your bid, I did expect to be equally concerned with you in the business. What number of bids were actually put in I do not know : Blake told me that he would withdraw his bid. If these things have been done, ascertain if these are not less than twelve or thirteen cents. If all others are withdrawn under twelve cents, and you can get the contract at twelve, it will be safe-bu. siness. It may be that you cannot get it at thir ...teen! If so take it at twelve. I do not know . . what the conversation was between you and ... Mr. Blake, or that you had any on the subject. - To Mr. Prentias, I presume there was nothing said, as Blake told me that he had got P. to put in for him ; so, if he withdrew one, I suppose * - both were withdrawn.” Mr. Van Fossen also says:
(See Doc., page 32.) -
“As preliminary to the conversation with the .
• President, I will state, that, in conversation with Major Eaton, he informed me that it was desirable to let the contract at a rate that would insure its fulfilment without loss to the contract. or. For the purpose of obtaining correct in- formation as to what it was worth per ration, he directed rue to call on General George Gibson, of the Commissary Department. He further stated, that if, in case it should be let at so low - a rate that it could not be fulfilled without loss to the contractor, it would subject the Govern. ment to inconvenience, and result in an injury to the business of the emigration.” . Here is a mass of testimony showing the most * criminal partiality to Houston—that the adver:tisement was issued for the purpose of givi g| the contract to him—that the time of receiving ‘proposals was limited to thirty days for his benefit—that the effect of the departure from the usual from of advertising was to prevent other bidders from bidding at a fair rate—that when the bids were received Mr. Eaton denied to Mr. McKenney that they had been received—that he refused to let the other bidders know what bids had been received, but Houston knew, and
applied to Mr. Blake to withdraw his bid, and purchase out the others—that, while Houston was attempting to buy out the lower bids, eaton attemted to dissuade Prentiss from taking
the risk of the contractor—and yet, the majority of the committee can see no trick, artifice, or
itme, gave assurance to Van Fossen, the partner of Houston, that he desired to “let the contract at a rate that would insure its fulfilment, without loss to the contractor.’, We feel restrained from further comments on some other parts of this proceeding. We have already “aid enough to satisfy every candid mind that the majority of the committee have arrived at a conclusion which argues how strong the Executive influence is, and how dangerous. its exercise! The day of retribution is at hand or public virtue has fled!
- THE NEW TARIFF BILL.
Nothing can exceed the anxiety manifested by the prominent friends of Mr. Van Buren in the south, to place the new tariff in the most favorable point of view. Exaggerations and misrepresentations of the grossest kind, are had recourse to. Not content with attemptng to impose on the understanding, their fears are excited by reiterated cries of disunion, disunion. The bill is represented as the cure for all
pressive legislation, and the violation of our stitutional rights. As another instance of gross. misrepresentation and attempt at deception, we publish the following from the honest and consistent Richmond Enquirer.
“The following letter shows what an important reduction it makes in the revenue. It is from a gentleman at Washington, who is familiar with such subjects, and whose judgment is held in high respect by the people:
o “‘Washi NgtoN, 1st July, 1832.
“‘In answer to your letter, I send you a printel copy of the tariff as it passed the House, and now before the Senate. It will, with the repeal of certain duties reduced in 1830, reduce the duties in a sum exceeding'ten millions of dollars from the tariff of 1828, and the then existing duties. **
The amount of duties accrued in 1829, - - - - $21,922,391 1830, - - - 22,697,679 - $44,620,007 Averagt,
- 22,310,035 I'rom which deduct the the reduc- - tion of 1830, and those proposed
by this bill - - 10,310,035 Or the revenue from customs $12,000,000 Add same from land - 2,000,000 Add bank dividend -- 490,000 Total estimated revenue $14,490,000 The contemptible deception here attempted
- * *
the contract, by magnifying the expence, and .
deception, in all this, although he, at the same
grievances, as the sovereign panacea ...