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Robert Ingersoll Star Route Trials Second Closing 3

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Second Closing 3

Robert Green Ingersoll

70 page printout, 128 - 197

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His object was to get the evidence broad enough -- checks and
check-books enough -- to fit their notice, to the end that they
might get possession of all the check-books, and of all the amounts
on all the stubs.

What more? The discussion convinced Mr. Rerdell that it would
be far safer to say "stubs" than "stub"; that it would be far
better to say "cheek-books" than "check-book," and far better to
say "amounts" than "amount"; because he would have a better chance
in adding these up so as to make six thousand five hundred dollars,
or seven thousand dollars, or six thousand dollars, than to be
brought down to one check, one amount, and one stub-book. So he
went off into the region of safety, into the domain of the plural.

Now, the last point -- at least for this evening -- so far as
Mr. Bliss is concerned, I believe, is about the red books. Mr.
Bliss tells you that Mrs. Cushman was telegraphed to from the far
West. There was a little anxiety, I believe, on the part of Rerdell
about the book, and he telegraphed her. She found it there in the
wood-shed, you know, hanging up, I think, in the old family carpet-
sack -- I have forgotten where she found it -- and she put it away.
Now, there is a question I want to ask here, and I know that Mr.
Merrick when he closes will answer it to his entire satisfaction;
I do not know whether he will to yours or to mine: How does it
happen that Mrs. Rerdell never saw that red book? How does it
happen that Mrs. Rerdell, when she was put on the stand, never
mentioned that red book? How does it happen that she never heard of
it when her husband went to New York to get it; when everything he
had in the world, according to his idea, was depending upon it;
when it was his sheet-anchor; when it was the corner-stone of his
safety? And yet his wife never heard of it, never saw it, did not
know it was in the wood-shed, slept in that house night after night
and did not even dream that her husband's safety depended on any
book in a carpet-sack hanging in the wood-shed. She never said a
word about it on the stand, not a word, Gentlemen, nobody can
answer that question except by admitting that the book was not
there and did not exist.

But perhaps I have said enough about the speeches of Mr. Ker
and Mr. Bliss. Of course, their business is to do what they can to
convict. I do not know that I ought to take up much more time with

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


them. I feel a good deal as that man did in Pennsylvania who was
offered one-quarter of a field of wheat if he would harvest it. He
went out and looked at it. "Well," he says, "I don't believe I will
do it," The owner says, "Why?" "Well," he says, "there is a good
deal of straw, and I don't think there is wheat enough to make a

So now, gentlemen, if the Court will permit, I would like to
adjourn till to-morrow morning.

Now, gentlemen, the next witness to whose testimony I will
invite your attention is Mr. Boone. Mr. Boone was relied upon by
the Government to show that this conspiracy was born in the brain
of Mr. Dorsey; that these other men were simply tools and
instrumentalities directed by him; that he was the man who devised
this scheme to defraud the Government, and that it was Dorsey who
suggested the fraudulent subcontracts. They brought Mr. Boone upon
the stand for that purpose, and I do not think it is improper for
me to say that Mr. Boone was swearing under great pressure. It is
disclosed by his own testimony that he had eleven hundred routes,
and that he had been declared a failing contractor by the
department; and it also appeared in evidence that he had been
indicted some seven or eight times. Gentlemen, that man was
swearing under great pressure. I told you once before that the hand
of the Government had him clutched by the throat, and the
Government relied upon his testimony to show how this conspiracy
originated. Now I propose to call your attention to the evidence of
Mr. Boone upon this subject.

On page 1352 Mr. Boone swears substantially that on his first
meeting with Stephen W. Dorsey -- that is, after they met at the
house -- he said to Dorsey that he (Boone) would be satisfied with
a one-third interest. Now, the testimony of Boone is that Mr.
Dorsey then and there agreed that he might have the one-third

Mr. Dorsey says it is not that Way; that he told him that when
the others came they would probably give him that interest, or
something to that effect.

Mr, Boone further swears that when J.W. Dorsey did come there
was a contract -- or articles of agreement you may call them --
handed to him by J.R. Miner, purporting to be articles of
partnership between John W. Dorsey and himself, and that he signed
these articles; that, I believe, was on the 15th of January, 1878,
and that it was by virtue of that agreement that he had one-third.
It was not by virtue of any talk he had with S.W. Dorsey that he
got an interest, and you will see how perfectly that harmonizes
with the statement of Stephen W. Dorsey.

Mr. Dorsey's statement is: "I cannot make the bargain with
you, but when John W. Dorsey comes I think he will, or they will."
It turned out that when John W. Dorsey did come in January he did
enter into articles of partnership with A.E. Boone, and did give
him the one-third interest. So the fact stands out that he got the
one-third interest from John W. Dorsey and not from Stephen W.
Dorsey. If the paper had been written and signed by Stephen W.
Dorsey that would uphold the testimony of Boone. If Boone had said,

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


"I made the bargain with Stephen W. Dorsey," and the articles of
co-partnership were signed by him, I submit that that would have
been a perfect corroboration of Boone. Stephen W. Dorsey swears
that the bargain was made with John W. Dorsey, and you find that
the agreement was signed by John W. Dorsey, and not by Stephen W.
Dorsey. I submit, therefore, that that is a perfect corroboration
of the testimony of Stephen W. Dorsey.

At page 1544 Mr. Boone says that, as a matter of fact, all
contractors endeavored to keep what they were doing secret from all
other contractors. Think of the talk we have heard about secrecy.
If the bidders upon any of these routes did not want the whole
world to know the amount they had bid, that secrecy was tortured
into evidence of a criminal conspiracy. If John W. Dorsey did not
want the world to know what he was doing, if Mr. Boone wanted to
keep a secret, these gentlemen say it is because they were engaged
in a conspiracy to defraud the Government, and crime loves the
darkness. What does Mr. Boone say? As a matter of fact, that all
contractors endeavored to keep what they were doing secret from all
other contractors where they feared rivalry. Of course that is
human nature,

Mr. Boone further says that he never knew of one contractor
admitting even that he was going to bid. He always pretended, don't
you see, that he was not going to bid. He wanted to throw the other
contractors off their guard. He did not want them to imagine that
he was figuring upon that same route, because if they thought he
was, they might put in a much lower bid. He wanted them to feel
secure, so that they would put in a good high bid, and then if he
put in a tolerably low bid he would get the route. That is simply
human nature.

Boone further says that always when a letting came on he had
his bids in; that contractors keep their bids secret from rival
contractors, not for the purpose of defrauding the Government, but
for the purpose of taking care of their business. Now, gentlemen,
when men make these proposals and keep their business secret -- as
it turns out that in these cases they were keeping their business
secret -- the fact that they are so doing is not evidence going to
show that they are keeping that business secret because they have
conspired. Have you not the right to draw the inference, and is it
not the law that you must draw the inference, that they kept their
business secret for the same reason that all honest men keep their
business secret?

At page 1545, Mr. Boone, swearing again about his talk with
Mr. Dorsey that night after the arrangement was concluded, says
that he -- Dorsey -- told me to be careful of Elkins, because
Elkins was representing Roots & Kerens, large contractors, * * *
the largest in the department, at that time, in the Southwest.

And yet that evidence has been alluded to as having in it the
touch and taint of crime, because S.W. Dorsey said to Boone to say
nothing to Elkins. Who was Elkins? He, at that time, as appears
from the evidence, was the attorney of Roots & Kerens; and who were
they? Among the largest, if not the largest contractors in the
department; that is, the largest in the Southwest.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Mr. Boone stated that the letter of Peck to S.W. Dorsey
requested him to get some man who knew the business to look after
the bids or proposals. Now, I want to ask you, gentlemen, and I
want you to answer it like sensible men, if Stephen W. Dorsey got
up a conspiracy himself, why was it that Peck wrote to him asking
him to get some competent man to collect the information about the
bids -- that is, about the country, about the routes, about the
cost of living, about wages, the condition of the roads, and the
topography of the country?

If it was hatched in the brain of Stephen W. Dorsey, how is it
possible, gentlemen, that a letter was written to him by Peck
asking him to get a competent man to gather that information? Mr.
Boone swears that he had such a letter. Mr. Boone swears that
Dorsey showed the letter to him. Mr. Boone swears that, in
consequence of that letter. he went to work to gather this
information. Did Mr. Dorsey do anything about gathering
information? Nothing. Did he give any advice? None. Did he ask any
questions? Not one. Did he interfere with Mr.Boone in the business?

You know that was a very suspicious circumstance. I believe
there was a direction given that letters be sent to James H.
Kepner, That was another suspicious circumstance. Mr. Boone swears
that he was also in the mail business; that he did not want the
letters to go some place; that he had to give at the department an
address; that thereupon he chose the name of James H. Kepner, his
step-son, so that all the mail in regard to this particular
business would go in one box, and not be mingled with the mail in
reference to his individual business or the business represented by
the firm to which he belonged. What more does he swear? That
neither Dorsey nor any one of these defendants ever suggested that
name, or ever suggested that any such change be made; that it was
made only as a matter of convenience; that it was not intended to
and could not in any way defraud the Government.

Now, Mr. Boone has cleared up a little of this. He has cleared
up the letter; he has cleared up the charge of secrecy; he has
cleared up the charge that we had the letters addressed to James H.
Kepner & Co.; he has shown that everything done so far was
perfectly natural, perfectly innocent, and in accordance with the
habits of men engaged in that business.

Now I come to the next thing (page 1550). The next great
circumstance in this case, the great suspicious circumstance, was
that the amount of the bid was left blank in the proposals. The
moment they saw those blanks in the bids they knew then that the
Government was to be defrauded, and they brought Mr. Boone here for
the purpose of showing that that was done to lay the foundation for
a fraud. What does Boone swear? He swears that he always left that
part of the proposal blank; always had done so; had been engaged in
the mail business for years, and never filled that blank up in his
life, in which the amount of the bid should be inserted. It was not
left blank to defraud the Government, but to prevent the
postmasters and sureties, or any other persons, finding out the
amount of the bid. Away goes that suspicious circumstance.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


After the bids had been properly executed and came back into
the hands of the contractors, from the time the figures were put
into those routes, what does he say they did?

We slept with them until we could get them to the department.

He says they never allowed anybody to see them after the
amount of the bid had been inserted; that they would not allow
anybody to see the amount of the bids; that it was left out,
however, only for self-protection, and for no other reason, That is
the Government's own witness. He is the man they brought to show
that this blank in the bid was a suspicions circumstance. He is the
man they brought here to show that because Stephen W. Dorsey had
told him to say nothing to Elkins, that injunction of secrecy was
evidence of a conspiracy.

At page 1552, Mr. Boone, in speaking of these same things,
says that however they were made, whether the name of the bidder or
the route was put in, or whatever he did -- that is, Boone -- he
did not do it for the purpose of defrauding the Government. They
say to him, "Don't you know that you left out not only the amount
of the bid, but the name of the bidder?" He says, "Whatever I did,
whether I left out the amount of the bid or the name of the bidder,
I did not do it for the purpose of defrauding the Government; I had
no such idea, no idea of defrauding the Government by leaving any
blank or any blanks." He did the work. Stephen W. Dorsey left no
blank; A.E. Boone left every blank; and yet they brought him
forward to prove that that was the result of a conspiracy; and
after he comes upon the stand he swears, "I left those blanks
myself; I always left them in proposals exactly in that way; and
whether I left out the amount of the bid or the name of the bidder,
I did not do it to defraud the Government; I did it simply to
protect myself, as I had the right to do." So much for that. That
is gone.

So, speaking of these other proposals (the Clendenning
proposals) what does Mr. Boone say -- the witness for the
Government, the very man who got up those proposals, the man who
wrote them, the man who wrapped them up, and sealed them? What does
he say? "Those proposals were not gotten up for the purpose of
defrauding the Government; I did not send them to Clendenning for
that purpose." That is the end of that. No conspiracy there.

The object, don't you see, gentlemen, was to show by Boone
that he acted under the direction of Dorsey; that Dorsey was
responsible for everything that Boone did; and that although Boone
was guilty of no crime in leaving the bid blank, still if be did it
by authority of Dorsey, Dorsey had an ulterior motive of which
Boone was ignorant. Let us see.

At page 1554, Mr. Boone swears that Dorsey never told him at
any time or any place that he wanted any blanks left. And yet they
were endeavoring by that witness to saddle that upon S.W. Dorsey.
But that witness swears that Dorsey never even told him that he
wanted any blanks left in any paper, proposal, bid, or bond, He
says that Dorsey never at any time or place told him (Boone) that
he (Dorsey) wanted any blanks left, or any proposals of any
particular form printed, to the end that a fraud might be
perpetrated upon the Government -- not a word.

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


And, gentlemen, I am now in that space of time where they say
this conspiracy was born. At page 1567, before Miner got here, Mr.
Boone swears that Dorsey told him that he would advance money for
the other defendants, and Mr. Boone swears that after he got here
he never asked Dorsey for a dollar except through Miner; that
Dorsey never gave a dollar except through Miner.

What more? This is the witness that is going to establish the
guilt of Stephen W. Dorsey. Stephen W. Dorsey never told Boone at
any time that he had any interest what-ever in those mail routes.
Boone never heard of it. Dorsey never told him to print a proposal
with a blank; never told him to leave a blank after it was printed;
never told him to do anything for the purpose of defrauding the
Government in any way at any time. This is extremely good reading,
gentlemen, when you take into consideration that this is the
witness of the Government, their main prop until the paragon of
virtue made his appearance upon the stand.

Page 1558. Another great point: That in preparing the
subcontracts, Dorsey having it in his mind to conspire against the
Government, or really having conspired, according to their story,
wanted a provision in a subcontract for increase and expedition.

Why, it strikes me, gentlemen, that that is evidence of
honesty rather than dishonesty. If these subcontracts were to hold
good during the contract term, and if in the contract given to the
contractor by the Government there was a clause for increase and
expedition, why should not the subcontract provide for the same
contingencies that the contract provided for with the Government?
That looks honest, doesn't it?

It was advertising the subcontractor that the moment he signed
his subcontract the trips were liable to be increased and the time
was liable to be shortened, and that if the time was shortened or
the trips increased the pay was to be correspondingly increased.
But I will go on with the testimony.

Page 1558: In preparing the subcontract Mr. Dorsey instructed
Boone to provide for an expedition clause. That was a suspicious
circumstance. What for? To conform to the expedition clause in the
contract with the Government. If making it like the Government
contract is evidence of conspiracy, the fact that the Government
contracts have that clause is evidence that the Government
conspired with somebody. It is just as good one way as the other.
The Government made a contract with the contractor, the contractor
made one with the subcontractor, and the contractor so far forgot
his duties, so far forgot his moral obligations, that he made it
just the same as his contract with the Government. Gentlemen, is
there any depth of depravity below that? Absolutely copying the
contract that the Government was going to make with him, and
treating the subcontractor, so far as the contract was concerned,
as the Government had treated him, he (Boone) prepared a clause
which he thought filled the bill, and which he still thinks, I
believe, would have been better to use than the other. When he
showed that to Stephen W. Dorsey, Dorsey suggested another form. It
was the same thing exactly, but in different words. There was the
testimony I have read to you, and now here is what Mr. Bliss states
about it at Page 4865:

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


But Stephen W. Dorsey, away back there, knew sufficient about
expedition to appreciate the importance of keeping for the
contractors thirty-five per cent. and giving to the men who were
performing the service only sixty-five per cent.

Why not? Is that a crime? Suppose I agreed to carry the mail
four years for $10,000 a year and I subcontract with another man.
Have I not the right to get it carried as cheaply as I can? I just
ask you that as a business proposition. Or has every man to treat
this Government as though it was in its dotage? Must you do
business with the Government as though you were contracting with an
infant or an idiot? Must you look at both sides of the contract?
That is the question. The Government, for instance, advertises for
so much granite, and I put in a bid which is accepted; at the same
time I know that I could furnish that granite for twenty-five per
cent. less. Is it my duty under such circumstances to go and notify
the Government that I have cheated it, and that I would like to
have It put the contract down? There may be heights of morality
that would see the propriety of such action, but it is not for
every-day wear and tear. Very few people have it; it scarcely ever
comes into play in trading horses. Must we treat the Government as
though it were imbecile? I say it was a simple business
transaction. The Government advertises for proposals to carry the
mail; I make my bid for $10,000, and we will say that my bid is
accepted. Now, I admit that I could carry it for $5,000 and make

Am I criminal if I go on and perform the contract as I agreed
and draw the money? Or suppose the people along the route do not
want it expedited and increased, and so I talk to them about it; I
go to Mr. Brown and say, "Mr. Brown, you are living in this smart,
thriving town, and you need a daily mail." I go to the next village
and I say, "Why, gentlemen, you will never have a town here until
you have a daily mail; I am the fellow now carrying the mail." And
I keep talking about it, you know, and finally get a fellow to get
up a petition, or I write one myself, and send it around, and say
to them, "Gentlemen, what you want is more mail, faster mail; the
mail is the pioneer of civilization, gentlemen; have a daily mail,
and along the line at once towns and villages and cities will
spring up, and all the hillsides will be covered with farms, and
school-houses will be here, and wealth will be universal." Any
crime about that. Every railroad has been built just that way.
Every park has been laid out in every city by just such means.
Nearly every street that has been improved has been improved in
that way, by men who had some interest in the property, by men who
were to be benefitted by it themselves, and who ought to be
benefitted. Should the men that get the public attention in that
direction be benefitted, or the men who do nothing? I say that the
men who give attention to the business have a right to be
benefitted by it. And yet here is the crime, gentlemen. And then we
only gave these fellows sixty-five per cent. and took thirty-five
ourselves, because we were bound to the Government to fulfill the
contract, as was explained to you so admirably, so perfectly, by
judge Wilson. The contract was to run for four years, and I believe
in a certain contingency for six months thereafter. We had to carry
out the contract, whether the subcontractor carried out his
contract with us or not.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Now, this is what Mr. Bliss says:

So, after a large mass of subcontracts had been struck from
the press, which gave to the subcontractors all the increase --

There never was a subcontract that gave to the subcontractors
all the increase; there is no evidence that there ever was such a

he --

That is, Stephen W. Dorsey --

directed them to be put back on the press.

I should think he would. If he found any subcontracts were
printed that gave to the subcontractor all the increase, I do not
wonder that he had them destroyed.

Here you get, we will say, a contract for ten thousand dollars
for one trip, with the agreement that if there are two trips the
compensation shall be twenty thousand dollars, Thereupon you make
a contract with a subcontractor, and you agree in that subcontract
that he shall have all the increase. Of course, you want that made
over again; of course, you would not make that kind of a

He directed them to be put back on the press, and this
provision giving the subcontractor his money struck out and this
other clause put in.

Gentlemen, that is an entire and absolute mistake. There is no
such evidence, there never was in this case, and I take it there
never will be. The evidence was -- and you remember it; and you
remember it; and you remember it; and you [addressing different
jurors] -- that Stephen W. Dorsey allowed to the subcontractor
sixty-five per cent. of the expedition, and that same subcontractor
provided what he should have for one trip, and what he should have
for two trips; that is to say, what he should have for increase;
and it provided at the same time for sixty-five per cent. on
expedition. Mr. Boone swears it; others swear it. Not only that,
but it is printed in the record again and again and again. Why did
Stephen W. Dorsey do that? I can tell you why: He did not. Why did
Stephen W. Dorsey do that, if it was not because his fertile
imagination had already conceived the plan of defrauding the United
States, and he was making an arrangement by which that fraud could
be consummated? How would that help him consummate a fraud? Suppose
he struck out all the per cent. to the subcontractors; suppose he
had not had any subcontract printed; suppose the subcontract was
printed, and printed on purpose to deceive and defraud the
subcontractors; how does that show that he was trying to defraud
the United States? Why, if it proves anything it proves the other,
that he had not entered into a conspiracy by which he could get the
money from the United States, but had endeavored to get it from the
subcontractors. If it proves anything it proves that. But the
reason it does not prove anything is because the statement is not

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Now, just see how a conspiracy can be built of that material.
A man that can do that can make a cover for Barnum's Circus with
one postage-stamp; he can make a suit of clothes out of a
rabbit-skin; he can make a grain of mustard seed cover the whole
air without growing.

That is given as an evidence that Dorsey had conspired. There
is not a thing on the earth that he could have done that would not
prove conspiracy just as well as that -- just exactly -- no other
act. Humph! That is the way they build a conspiracy.

Why not take another step? Why not have a little bit of
ordinary good hard sense? On the 17th day of May, I believe, 1878,
the act was passed allowing the subcontractor to put his
subcontract on file. Now, that contract ought to provide for all
the contingencies of the service, so that if the trips were
increased the Government would know how much to pay that
subcontractor; so that if the time was expedited the Government
would know how much to pay the subcontractor. The subcontract ought
to have been made in that way, and it would be perfectly proper to
make it in that way.

I once went to see a friend of mine who had the erysipelas and
who was a little crazy. I sat down by his bed. side, and he said,
"Ingersoll, I have made a discovery; I just tell you I am going to
be a millionaire." Said I, "What. is it?" He says, "I have found
out that if four persons take hold of hands after they have had a
hole made in the ground and put a piece of stove-pipe in it, and
then run around it as hard as they can from left to right, a ball
of butter will come out of the pipe." Now, I think that is about as
reasonable as the way conspiracies are made, according to Mr.

Now, we come to Mr. Boone (page 1560). He says that the action
he had taken was upon his own responsibility, and that at no time
had any papers been gotten up with any view of defrauding the
Government. That was good. I am like the Democrat who said, after
hearing the returns from Berks County, "That sounds good." Then,
here is a question asked him:

Q. I understood you to say that the contract was made between
you and somebody, fixing your interest in all this business? -- A.
Yes, sir.

Q. Do you recollect about the date of that? -- A. I think it
is on the day John W. Dorsey got here in Washington.

On page 1561 he swears that at the time Boone made that
contract with John W. Dorsey he and Dorsey had not conspired to
defraud the Government in any way, nor did they ever do so after
that contract was made. When was that contract made? It was made on
the 15th day of January, 1878. Who made it? John W. Dorsey of the
one part, and Albert E. Boone of the other. And they tell exactly
what that contract was for. Here is the contract, on page 1561, and
this shows that the statement of Stephen W. Dorsey, that the matter
was deferred until John W Dorsey should come, is absolutely

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


That the parties to this agreement shall share in all the
profits, gains, and losses as follows: John W. Dorsey shall have
two-thirds and Albert E. Boone, share one-third.

Now, gentlemen, there was the original partnership agreement.
Let us see if that was ever dissolved.

The next contract was made on the 12th of September, 1878,

Now, therefore, in consideration of one dollar in hand paid,
the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, I hereby, sell, assign,
and transfer to Albert E. Boone all my said two-thirds interest in
the routes in the name of said Boone in the States of Texas,
Louisiana Arkansas, Kansas, and Nebraska, and in the name of said
Dorsey in the States of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

The reason he did that was because Mr. Miner had made a
contract with Boone to that effect; and probably I had better read
that now so that you will have it exactly and know what we are
doing. I read from page 1569:

WASHINGTON, D. C., August 7, 1878.

Whereas A. E. Boone has this day, for the purpose of saving a
failure in the routes in the name of John R. Miner, John M. Peck,
and John W. Dorsey --

"For the purpose of saving a failure," recollect. Although
Stephen W. Dorsey, according to the prosecution, was a conspirator,
and although John W. Dorsey was another, and Peck was another, yet
on the 7th day of August, 1878, "for the purpose of saving a
failure," they made this:

assigned to John R. Miner his one-third interest in the routes in
their names, now, therefore, I, John R. Miner, agree that John W.
Dorsey shall assign his; interest in routes in the name of A.E.
Boone in Kansas and Nebraska, Texas and Louisiana, and Arkansas ;
in the name of John W. Dorsey, in Texas, Louisiana, and Kansas. The
latter clause not guaranteed.


Now, he said to Mr. Boone, "I have got to have another man
come in; we haven't got the money to run these routes; I have got
to get somebody with us; if you will go out, I will agree that John
W. Dorsey will assign to you his two-thirds interest in all the
routes in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. I will
agree that John W. Dorsey, although he has a two-thirds interest in
all these routes, shall assign them to you, A. E. Boone, and they
shall thereupon become your property." That agreement was made on
the 7th of August, 1878; and then, as I read you before, on the
12th day of September, Miner made that promise good, and John W.
Dorsey did assign to Boone his two-thirds interest in all the
routes that Miner said he would. Then Boone was out of it. He had
no more to do with Miner, Peck & Co., and no more to do with John
W. Dorsey; he went his road and they went theirs. He went out in
consideration that John W. Dorsey would give him (Boone) two-thirds

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


of all the routes that he before that time had one-third in. Then
Miner took in Mr. Vaile, because he had the money to go on with the

Page 1562, still talking about Mr. Boone. There is another
very suspicious circumstance that was brought up by the
prosecution. These bids were put in different names, and that was
looked at as a very suspicious circumstance! What does Boone say
about that? He says that the object in bidding in separate names
was not to defraud the Government, but was to have the service
divided up and not to bid against each other. That was reasonable.
The arrangement was simply to keep from injuring themselves; it was
not made to defraud the Government, but it was made so that they
might not by accident injure each other. It was a common thing for
members of a firm to bid in that way, and it is a common thing for
persons to organize themselves for the purpose of bidding and
running contracts, and when they thus bid they always bid in their
individual names. The fact that we bid in our individual names was
taken as a circumstance going to show that we had conspired to
defraud the Government, and a witness they bring forward to prove
that fact swears that it has been the custom for all firms to bid
in their individual names. Away goes that suspicion. The coat-tail
of that point horizontalizes in the dim distance.

Page 1563. The point was made, gentlemen, that we bid on long
routes with slow time, knowing -- understand, knowing -- that the
service would be increased and that the time would be shortened.
The only word I object to there is the word "knowing." That we bid
on long routes with slow time thinking that the service would be
increased and the time shortened was undoubtedly true. That we bid
expecting that the service might be increased and the time
shortened is undoubtedly true. That when we bid we took into
consideration the probability of the service being increased and
the time shortened is undoubtedly true. The only difference is the
difference between thinking and knowing; between taking into
account probabilities and making the bid because we had made a
bargain with the Second Assistant Postmaster-General. That is the
difference. Let us see what Boone says about it. I read from page

On all service of three times a week and under there is a
chance for improvement in getting it up to six or seven times a

Everybody who has ordinary common sense knows that! If I bid
on service for once a week there is a great deal better chance for
getting an increase of trips than if there were seven when I
started. Everybody knows that. There is about six times as good a

All contractors consider that --

That chance --

in their bids, and bid lower on one, two, and three times a week
service than on a daily service --

Why? --

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


because the chances are the route will be increased.

Boone swears on the same page that he always did that himself;
that he always had done it. Yet that is lugged in here as evidence
of a conspiracy.

There is a great deal better chance for expedition when a
route is let at two or three miles an hour, than when it is let at
six or seven.

Of course there is. The slower it is let the better chance of
getting it expedited. The faster it is let the less chance of
getting it expedited. There is no need of bringing a man here to
show that. You know that. If you thought there was more money in
expedition and increase than on the original schedule, you would,
as I insist, bid on such routes as the advertisement showed the
time was to be slow and the service infrequent upon. Now,
gentlemen, to take advantage of such a perfectly apparent thing as
that will not do. You have heard a good deal about star routes,
gentlemen. Every one of you by this time ought to make a pretty
good Postmaster-General; every one of you. If you do not know all
about this subject, you never will.

The FOREMAN (Mr. Crane). We ought to be good lawyers, too.

Mr. INGERSOLL. You also ought to be good lawyers, at least on
this subject! I do not know that you have all the testimony in your
minds, as there have been so many misstatements made, but if you
ever are to know anything on this subject you know something now;
and if you, Mr. Foreman, or you Mr Renshaw, were to-morrow to go to
work to bid on some star routes you would bid on the longest
routes, on the slowest time, and with the most infrequent trips.
You would do that. Then would you say, "That is evidence that we
have conspired"? Has a man got to be so stupid that he will not
take advantage of a perfectly plain thing in order to escape the
charge of conspiracy? If you were to put your money in land in the
Western country you would not go where the country was settled up,
and give one hundred dollars an acre for land, You would go where
you could get land for two, or three, or four, or five dollars an
acre, and say, "There is a chance for land to rise." That is not
conspiracy. So if you were going to bid on mail service you would
bid where the time is slow, or the route long, and the service once
a week. Then you would say that the country might grow, that
railroads might be built and that they might get the service up to
seven trips a week; and that instead of going on two miles an hour
may be they would want to make it seven miles an hour. That is the
service to make money on. Is it a crime to make money? Is it a
crime to make a good bargain with the Government? I suppose these
gentlemen of the prosecution made the best bargain they could with
the Government themselves. Is it a crime? I say no. Is a man to be
regarded as a conspirator because some outsider thinks he got too
good a bargain? That will not do. Boone says he always did that. Of
course he did. He says another thing. These gentlemen say that we
did not go above three trips, and that is another evidence of
fraud. They say we did not bid on any route with more than three
trips a week. Mr. Boone tells you, on page 1565, that the
department never advertised for four trips a week. That is the
reason I think they did not bid on any of these. He also swears

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


that they never advertised for five trips. That is a good reason
for our not taking any routes with five trips, is it not? There
were not any advertised. The Government did not offer to let us
have any. That is a good reason for not taking any of them. The
Government had not any of that kind. After you get beyond three
trips Boone swears that the next number is six or seven; never
four, never five. Don't you see? And yet it is a very suspicious
circumstance that we did not bid on any four-trip routes, or any
five-trip routes; that we stopped at three. Why did we stop at
three? Because if we had not stopped at three we would have had to
go to six. Why did we not go to six? Because at six trips a week we
would have been obliged to put up too much money, and to put up too
many certified cheeks. It required too many men to go on the bonds.
That is the reason. Gentlemen, if there had been a conspiracy it
would have been just about as well for us to bid on six or seven
trips to get the expedition of time. If there had been a conspiracy
to make money, and it had been understood by the Second Assistant
Postmaster-General, he could have just as well given us routes with
seven trips a week, and put the service up to seven, eight, nine,
or ten miles an hour, and he could have done that in the
thickly-populated parts of the country; if it had been the result
of a conspiracy.

Let me read more from what Mr. Boone says on page 1565:

The proposals that I destroyed were upon routes of at least
six times per week.

How did he come to destroy them? Another suspicious
circumstance against Dorsey! Boone said when he went into the
business he just took the bidding-book and commenced at A, and was
going right straight through to X, Y, and Z, and make a bid, I
believe, on every route that was in the book. I think that is his
testimony. Boone says:

I was going on without instructions. I was going on without
authority from anybody, working on the bids.

He thinks it was the same day that Miner got here, or the day
afterwards, and he -- I suppose meaning Dorsey -- came up to the
room and saw what the witness was doing. He was making up bids for
every route in the advertisement, going right along with big and
little, when Dorsey said there was a mistake. No proposals were to
be made for over three times a week or for routes under fifty
miles. When Miner came into the room witness asked what was the
reason of that. I say upon this point that Stephen W. Dorsey never
said a word about it, and that Boone is mistaken. But he says he
asked Miner the reason. What did Miner say? Did he say to him, "It
is because we have got a conspiracy? We have got it fixed with the
Second Assistant Postmaster-General"? No. He said this, he said for
fear of failure in getting bonds; that they could not get the bonds
for all the service and could not get certified checks for all the
service. Boone was going clear through the book from preface to
finis. They could not get bonds for all the service and could not
get certified checks for all the service. You remember that for all
the service over five thousand dollars they had to put up five per
cent., I think, in certified checks. Now, there was an immense
volume, of three or four thousand routes and he was going to put in
a bid on every one of them. That is what Boone was going to do. He

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


did not understand the conspiracy at that time. Miner explained to
him, "We cannot get the certified checks. We cannot get the
bondsmen." He did not tell him, " Good Lord, my friend, you don't
understand the terms of the conspiracy. We are taking no such
service as that. We are taking none over three times a week,
because, don't you see, we want the chance for increase. We want
the lowest. If we can find any service where the horses agree to
stand still, that is the service to take. You must look over the
terms of the conspiracy and have some sense about it."

Boone says he was starting in, taking the advertisements,
going right through the territory, all over that country, and
bidding on every route, not missing one. He never saw Stephen W.
Dorsey do any work on the bids. The proposals sent down to the
postmasters in Arkansas, including those to Clendenning, he (Boone)
fixed himself and sealed them. Gentlemen, there is no evidence that
Mr. Dorsey, as I understand it, ever saw one of those papers, but
simply the form that was written out by Boone that was sent to
Clendenning with instructions what to do with the proposals. That
I understand to be the evidence. They proved by Boone that Dorsey
never saw them; never wrote them; never ordered them to be written;
never ordered a blank to be left unfilled. And yet, gentlemen, he
was the man whom they say had brooded over this conspiracy; the man
that gave to it life and form. He is the man that used Boone and
John W. Dorsey and Peck and Miner as instrumentalities and tools.

What more? Did Boone take those bonds up to Dorsey and show
them to him? He says that he did not open them; that he did not
show them to Dorsey. That is what Mr. Boone swears. Surely Mr.
Boone is an honorable man, stamped with the seal of the Department
of Justice. He did not even show them to Dorsey. Dorsey,never saw
anything except the form after Boone had made it out. I showed you
that form on yesterday, I think, marked 16X. That is the only thing
that Dorsey saw. He did not know what blanks were left in the
bonds, or whether any were left. He never gave any orders about
them, and never saw them. Yet the prosecution want you to hold him
responsible as a conspirator for those bonds.

What more, gentlemen? Those bonds were never used. Nobody was
ever defrauded. Not a proposal was put in the Post-Office
Department. They never came to life. Dead! No contract, says Mr.
Boone, was ever awarded on those proposals, even the proposals sent
back, unless it was a contract to him, Boone. That is what he
swears. And yet Dorsey is to be held responsible.

Let us hurry along, gentlemen. See how Dorsey came to do this.
How did that arch-conspirator, as they claim him to be, happen to
write that letter to Clendenning? On page 1567 Boone says that he
suggested to Dorsey that he had better send a note with the
proposals to Clendenning. Boone suggested it. He was not a
conspirator, but he suggested it. Dorsey was the conspirator, but
never dreamed of it. How fortunate for a conspirator to have an
innocent man think of the means of carrying out a conspiracy; never
thinking of dime, but having it all suggested by perfect innocence
and then crime taking advantage of it. That is the position! He
suggested that Dorsey would better send a note with the proposals
to Clendenning. I will read from page 1568:

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Q. Was there not danger that he would be declared a failing
contractor? Was it at that time the practice of the department if
a man, for instance, had fifty contracts and failed on one to
declare him a failing contractor on all? -- A. No, sir; but they
would declare him a failing contractor on that one route and
suspend his pay until he paid up the loss to the Government -- just
my case now, exactly.

Q. That was one of the reasons that you had. Now, you were
informed at that time that they had not the money to carry this on.
When, as a matter of fact, did you go out of the concern? -- A. The
8th day of August, 1878.

Q. Was S.W. Dorsey then in Washington? -- A. No, sir; he was
not. He had been gone ten or twelve days.

Now, then, we come to August 7, 1878, the time that Mr. Boone
went out. He did it for the purpose of saving a failure on the
routes in the names of Miner, Peck, Dorsey, and himself. That is
what he went out for, and that is his only reason. On page 1570 Mr.
Boone swears that so far as he knows neither John W. Dorsey, John
R. Miner, John M. Peck, nor Stephen W. Dorsey had any arrangement
with the Second Assistant Postmaster-General to increase the
service; none whatever.

Boone went out on the 7th day of August, 1878. S.W. Dorsey was
in New Mexico. He did not return here until about the time Congress
assembled in December. Boone swears that he then learned from S.W.
Dorsey that he, Dorsey, did not know that Boone was out of the
concern; did not know that he had left on the 7th day of August,
1878. Now, gentlemen, if Stephen W. Dorsey was the main
conspirator, if he was doing this entire business, is it possible
that A.E. Boone went out on the 7th day of August, that John W.
Dorsey assigned his interest in all the routes mentioned in the
agreement, and John R. Miner took in Vaile, and the service was put
on those routes by the money furnished by Vaile, that all that was
done and yet Stephen W. Dorsey neither heard of it and did not even
know that Boone was out, did not even know that Vaile was in?
Besides that, gentlemen, as I told you, Dorsey was not here. He was
in New Mexico. He was in utter ignorance of this entire business,
and yet they claim that he was the directing spirit.

Mr. Boone further testifies, on page 1571, that Brady showed
him a telegram from the postmistress at The Dalles, saying that the
service was down. When I read that I thought may be that was where
Moore got his hint to swear that he telegraphed to find out what
was done with that service. Boone further swears that Brady said
that it must be put on; that he said it could not be put on at the
contract price, and that Brady told him, "I advise you to telegraph
and put it on at any price," and that unless all the service was on
by the 15th day of August he would declare the contractor a failing
contractor on every route the service was down upon. That is what
Brady told him. Stephen W. Dorsey was not here. According to the
testimony of Moore he knew when he went away that the service in
Oregon was not put on, but he abandoned it, and paid no attention
to it. He happened to meet Miner at Saint Louis, and told him, I
believe, "There are my notes for eight thousand five hundred
dollars. That is all I will do. I am through! I have already
advanced thirteen or fourteen thousand dollars. I will not advance

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


another dollar." Why did not Miner tell him, "If you are not going
on with this conspiracy I am going home"? Why didn't Miner tell him
then, "What did you get up a conspiracy like this for, just to
abandon it"? Why did not Miner say to him, "This is your child. I
became a criminal at your suggestion. I entered into this
conspiracy because you urged me to, and now after we have got the
routes, you are going to abandon it"? Why did he not say to him,
"Dorsey, if you are not going on with this conspiracy I am going
back to Sandusky"? Did Dorsey at Saint Louis treat it as his
bantling? or did he say to Miner, "This is all I will do"? Did he
mean for himself? No. "All I will do for you."

Certainly he would not have made the threat to Miner that he
would not do anything more for himself. He then said to Miner, "I
am through! "Miner knew at that time that Stephen W. Dorsey had not
the interest of one solitary dollar except the money he had
advanced. Stephen W. Dorsey, according to the testimony of this
prosecution, knew when he left this city that the routes were not
in operation in Eastern Oregon. He went away knowing that J.W.
Dorsey and John R. Miner and John M. Peck were in danger of being
declared failing contractors. Yet he never even called on Brady to
see about it. He never asked to have the time extended a minute. He
never took the least interest in the business. He started for New
Mexico, and went by way of Oberlin, Ohio. He happened to meet Miner
in Saint Louis, and for Miner's sake, for Peck's sake, for John W.
Dorsey's sake, and not for his own sake, he gave them some notes to
the extent of eight thousand five hundred dollars that they could
have discounted, and said to Miner then and there. "That is the
last dollar. That is the last cent." What more did he do? He
abandoned the whole business. He went to New Mexico. He never wrote
about it; he never spoke about it; he never received a dispatch
concerning it until the following December, when he came back to
Washington, and then for the first time found that Boone had gone
out and that Vaile had come in. What more? Although he was
interested to the extent of thirteen or fourteen thousand dollars,
he did not know until he came back in December that his security
had been rendered worthless. He found that out then for the first
time. That is a fine model of a conspirator. Reading again from
Boone's testimony, on page 1371:

Fully a month and a half of the time had been taken up by the
Congressional investigation, and we --

That is to say, Miner, Peck, Boone, and the rest --

did not know what to do with the service. We dared not to move. We
expected that the contracts would be taken from us.

Do you tell me that under such circumstances, if Stephen W.
Dorsey had conceived this thing, he would have gone off and left
it? Do you tell me, with the entire business trembling in the
balance, without the money to put the service on, at the mercy of
Thomas J. Brady, that if Stephen W. Dorsey had gotten up that
conspiracy, and also put in thirteen or fourteen thousand dollars,
he would have gone away and left it, and told Miner and the others,
"will have no more to do with it," and leave it so effectually and
so perfectly that he did not even know that Boone ha gone out and
Vaile had come in until the following December, when he came here
to take his seat in the Senate?

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


On page 1580, again quoting from Mr. Boone:

The fact --

There is something that rises like the Rock of Gibraltar It is
one of those indications of truth that rascality never had
ingenuity enough to invent:

The fact that Dorsey refused to advance any more money on
account of this business was taken into consideration by me when
made up my mind to go out.

Do you want any better testimony than that, that Dorsey did
refuse to advance any more money?

Don't you see how everything fits together when you get at the
facts? How naturally they all blend and harmonize when you get at
the facts. Now, here is some more from Mr. Boone:

If I had not gone out the service would have undoubtedly
failed, unless they got the money to put it on. When Mr. Dorsey
decline to furnish any more money or to indorse any more notes,
there was nothing else to do but for me to go out and let somebody
else come in who had the money.

That is a witness for the Government, and yet at the time that
happened they say there was a great conspiracy; that the Second
Assistant Postmastery-General was in it that a Senator of the
United States was in it; and that these other men were simply
tools. It will not do, gentlemen. If that had been the case Stephen
W. Dorsey would have remained here. He would have gone to Mr. Brady
and said, "I must have time," and Mr. Brady would have given him
all the time he desired, because, according to this prosecution, it
was their partnership business. Brady had ten times as great an
interest as Stephen W. Dorsey. According to the testimony of Mr.
Rerdell, Brady had an interest of thirty-three and one-third per
cent., and according to the testimony of Rerdell and Boone, Dorsey
only had an interest of seven-eights of one per cent.

That means, as I understand it, according to their testimony,
thirty-three and one-third per cent. of the gross expedition; not
profits, but the gross expedition. That is what they swear. When he
gave on a route an expedition of, say six thousand dollars, two
thousand dollars would go to Brady each year. In other words,
thirty-three and one-third per cent. of the money paid for
expedition went to Brady.

Mr. Walsh testified and gave the exact figures, and called the
amount, if the Court will recollect, sixty thousand dollars, and
twenty per cent. he said of that is twelve thousand dollars, That
had to run, he says, for three years, and that made thirty-six
thousand dollars. That is the testimony in this case, gentlemen. If
you should have a row of men as long as the row of kings that
Banquo saw, stretching out "to the crack of doom," and they should
swear to it, I should still die an unbeliever; but that is their
testimony. Dorsey ran away and left his conspiracy and Brady would
not attend to his own business. Now, I read again from Boone:

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


With regard to the preparation of circulares, the sending of
them to postmasters, the printing of proposals, the printing of
bonds and subcontracts, there was nothing done differently from
what I had always done before.

Recollect that. He is a government witness. Dorsey in a
conspiracy got Boone to help him, and in helping him boone did
nothing different from what he had always done before. There is not
much left of this case, gentlemen, but I will keep going on just
the same. Mr. Boone swears that he followed the regular custom and
practice of doing business.

Then, there is another suspicious circumstance. At the bottom
of the contracts published by the Government, for the purpose of
informing contractors as to how the bonds or contracts are to be
signed, and exactly what is to be done by each person, there are a
lot of instructions.

Mr. CARPENTER. On the proposals.

Mr. INGERSOLL. On the proposals. When they got up the
proposals of their own, they, understanding the business, left off
all those directions that the Government put upon its forms. Why?
Those directions were put there for the benefit of men who did not
understand the business. These men did understand the business, and
consequently it was nonsense for them if they had to have the
printing done, to put on the bottom of the contracts two or three
paragraphs of directions to themselves. They understood exactly how
to do it without the directions.

Who left them off? Stephen W. Dorsey? No. John W. Dorsey? No.
He had nothing to do with it. Miner? No. He had nothing to do with
it. Who left them off? Boone says he did. Was he instructed to do
it? No. Did it take a conspiracy to leave them off? No. He left
them off for two reasons, and good ones, too. One was to save the
expense of printing. That was a good reason. There was no
conspiracy needed for that. The other was, that knowing how to
perfect the proposals, and understanding all those instructions,
there was no need of having them printed for their own benefit.

Next, on page 1582. What instructions as a matter of fact did
Mr. Boone receive from Mr. Dorsey, if he received any? The question
arises, upon what subject? In reference to what particular point?
Boone says on this page that he received no instructions from
Dorsey in reference to the business except in regard to the
subcontract blanks That is the one subject on which he received any
instructions from S.W. Dorsey. I have shown you that those
instructions were in the interests of honesty and fair dealing.
Those were the only instructions he received. On every other
subject there is not a word. Why? Here Boone gives the reason. "I
did not require any." Why? Because he understood the business
himself. What else? "I was to go ahead and do whatever was
necessary to be done." He did it without consulting anybody. He did
it in his own way. He did it as he thought best for all concerned.
Now, gentlemen, there will be an effort made to convince you that
Stephen W. Dorsey did everything during all that period. If you are
told that, when you are told it remember what I tell you now: that
Mr. Boone swears that he did it himself; that he attended to the

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


entire business, and that he was instructed by Dorsey in no
particular except as to that one blank, and that I have clearly
demonstrated was in the interests of honesty and in the interests
of the subcontractor, so that the subcontract might agree with or
be similar to the contract made with the Government. That is all.

Now we come to another point. You must recollect that Mr,
Boone got out the circulares. Mr. Boone sent to all the postmasters
to know about the roads and the price of grain and the price of
labor, about the snow in winter and the rain in the spring. He got
all that up. He went through the bidding-book originally and made
the bids. He it was who prepared most of these proposals. He did
all the work until Miner came. S.W. Dorsey did not do any of it.
Boone never saw him working upon or touching the proposals. What
S.W. Dorsey did he did at Boone's request. What he did he did at
Miner's request. What he did he did simply because he was a friend.
Boone attended to it all. Now, what does Boone say on page 1584? He
swears that so far as he knew there never was any conspiracy on the
part of these defendants with him, with each other, or anybody
else, in reference to these routes, or any route bid for and
awarded to them during that time. There was no conspiracy to
defraud the Government in any way. That is what the Government
witness swears to -- a man brought here to stain the reputation of
Stephen W. Dorsey. That is what a Government witness swears;
swearing, too, under pressure; swearing, too, under circumstances
where the Post-Office Department could strip him of everything he
had on earth; swearing under circumstances where if did not please
the Government they could pursue him as they have pursued us.
Perhaps I had better read what he says. I read from page 1583 of my

Now, then, so far as you know, Mr. Boone, was there any
conspiracy on the part of any of the defendants with you, or with
anybody else. to your knowledge, in respect of these routes
mentioned in the indictment or of any routes bid for and awarded to
them during that time -- any conspiracy to defraud the Government
in any way?

And he answered:

No, sir.

That was a Government witness, acquainted with all the
transactions during that time. He was swearing under the shadow of
power, with the sword hanging over his he and yet he swears he
never knew or heard of any such thing.

Let us go on. On page 1589 he swears that Mr. Dorsey told him
to fix the blanks and make them up and to write what he wanted done
in Arkansas, and that while he, Boone was engaged in so doing he
said to Dorsey, "Had you not better write a note so that I can
attach it to the blanks? And Dorsey did so. Dorsey told him to fill
up what he wanted in Arkansas, and what was necessary to be
executed there, and he did so.

Boone indicated exactly what he wanted put in. I showed
you the Clendenning bonds yesterday and showed you just what Boone
did. He filled up the blanks that he wanted to have filled down

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


there. Of course, the blanks that were already filled in he did not
want interfered with. That is what he says. There is another part
of his testimony. I want to call the attention of the gentlemen to
it. "I hand you," said they, "32X." Mr. Bliss did the handing. What
was that? That was the Chico letter. What did they want to
introduce that for? To show that S.W. Dorsey was interested
personally in these routes in 1878. That was a magnificent piece of
testimony for them to show that Dorsey in 1878 was writing to
Rerdell to watch the advertisement of these routes. So they
introduced that letter. Mr. Boone looked at it., He was a
Government witness. The noose was around his neck and the other end
of the rope was in the hands of Mr. Bliss. What did Mr. Boone say?
"Mr. Dorsey never wrote that letter." Then said Mr. Bliss to him,
"That is not Mr. Dorsey's writing?" And Mr. Boone said "No, sir."
And at the same time threw the forged scrap away contemptuously.
What else? On April 3, 1878, Mr. Dorsey was here.

Mr. MIERRICK. Was Mr Dorsey here at that time?

WITNESS. He was here, sir; and I was in communication with him
on that very day.

That is the evidence of a Government witness; a man who was
depended upon to show that not only my client, bit that Mr. Miner
entered into a conspiracy in the fall of 1877 to defraud this
Government. I want you to remember one thing which I was about to
forget. Mr. Ker, I believe, spoke six or seven days and I do not
remember of his having mentioned the Chico letter. He acted as if
it had a contagious disease. He was followed by Mr. Bliss in
another week, but he did not mention the Chico letter; at least I
have never happened to read it in his speech. Both of them are as
dumb as oysters after a clap of thunder. Not a word. They did not,
either of them, have the courage to refer to it. They did not have
the nerve to ask you to believe it. I tell you one thing,
gentlemen, I would either admit that it was a forgery, or I would
swear that it was genuine. I would do something with it. I would
not allow that paper, blown by the wind, to scare me from the
highway of the argument! I would do one thing or the other. I would
either admit that Mr. Rerdell forged it, or I would insist that it
was the handwriting of Stephen W. Dorsey. Why was it left where it
was, gentlemen? They could not get anybody to swear that it was
Dorsey's handwriting. That is all.

Now we will take the next step. They had so much confidence in
that witness that they concluded they would prove the pencil
memorandum by him. They had such a clutch on him. So they stuck
that up to him. Recollecting the position he was in, recollecting
the danger, recollecting all that might probably follow speaking
the truth, here is what he says:

Everything above "profit and loss" in that memorandum favors
the handwriting of S.W. Dorsey.

What else?

And everything below favors the handwriting of M.C. Rerdell.

Fit conclusion for a Government witness, brought here to show

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


that Stephen W. Dorsey was the arch-conspirator. And they ended the
witness; dismissed him from the stand, after he had shown that
Dorsey did not conspire; after he had shown that he himself fixed
the subcontracts, with the exception of only one; after he had
shown that he himself filled out the blanks to send to Clendenning;
after he had shown that he did everything without being advised by
S.W. Dorsey, and then he swore that their principal witness was a
forger. Then they dismissed him. That was the end of the Government
witness who was to brand the word "conspirator" upon the forehead
of Stephen W. Dorsey's reputation. But in stead of putting
"conspirator" there, he put the word "forger" upon the principal
witness for the Government. Magnificent exchange! Now, gentlemen,
you know as well as I do that Mr. Boone, knew all that was
happening during that entire time. You know as well as I do that he
did not swear anything for the defence that he could help swearing.

What else? Mr. Bliss, on page 303, says that:

Parties conspiring make an informal verbal agreement.

When did we make that agreement? When does the testimony show
that we made an informal verbal agreement? Who were present at the
time? Where were we? Do you recollect the number of the house? Do
you recollect the day of the month? Has any one of you ever had in
his mind which side of the street that was on? What town was it in?
Could you locate it if you had a good map? I do not care whether it
is informal or formal. Did we make one? In order to make a verbal
agreement you have to use some words. Is there any evidence as to
the words we used? Not a word that I have heard, not a word.

What else? He says that this is necessarily secret and
intended to be secret. The first thing done was that Dorsey told it
to Moore. Then, for fear it would get out, J.W. Dorsey told it to
Pennell and to thirty fellows around the camp-fire out in Dakota.
And there was a suspicion in Brady's mind that somebody might hear
of it, and so he told Rerdell. He says, "Get the books copied; this
is a secret thing." Then Dorsey wrote it to Bosler, and he was so
awfully afraid that it would get out that he kept a copy of the
letter. You see, Mr. Bliss says the object was to keep it secret.
Then Miner and Vaile told it to Rerdell for fear he would not
believe it when Brady told him. They were bound the thing should
not get out. Yes, sir. And then Rerdell, just bursting with the
importance of keeping that secret, told it to Perkins and Taylor;
went away out there for that purpose. And then Moore, he gave it
away to Major and McBean for the purpose of keeping it secret. Then
Miner told Moore. From whom did they keep it secret? Nobody in
God's world but Boone. He is the only fellow that nobody told.
Boone went through it all saw all the plan and heard all the
whispering, and he is the only man in the country, I think, that
did not suspect it. And on the 7th day of August he left the
concern because there was not a conspiracy, and admits to you that
if he had had even a suspicion of it he would have staid -- staid
or died.

Now, was there ever a conspiracy published so widely that one
end of the country kept so secret from the other? Was there ever a
conspiracy like that, the news of which ran through the West like
wild-fire, while the fellows at the East never heard of it?

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Everybody knew it out on the plains. All you had to do was to
subpoena a fellow that wanted to come to Washington, and he would
remember it. And yet that is the evidence that the prosecution
desires you to believe. I do not believe it. I do not think I ever
shall. But then they promised so much at the beginning, and they
have done so little in many respects.

Something had to be said, and so Mr. Bliss, on page 265, in a
little burst of confidence to the jury, says:

At least one United States Senator was the paid agent of these

Who was the Senator?

Mr. BLISS. Did I say that, sir?

Mr. INGERSOLL. Look at page 265 and see whether you did.

Mr. BLISS. Read all that I said there.

Mr. INGERSOLL. I will do that.

But we shall show to you that at least one United States
Senator urging such increase, was the paid agent of these

Mr. BLISS. I then went on and said we should show it if you
put him on the stand.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Yes, if we furnished you the evidence.

Mr. BLISS. No, sir; that is not what I said.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Why didn't you produce the Senator?

Mr. BLISS. Why didn't you put him on the stand?

Mr, INGERSOLL. How did I know what Senator you meant?

Mr. BLISS. Did you have two?

Mr. INGERSOLL. No, sir; and we did not have the one. If you
could have proved it, it was your duty, as the attorney of the
United States, to do it, and if you did not do it, you did not do
your duty in this case.

Mr. BLISS. Whose name is expressed in the memorandum?

Mr. INGERSOLL. Why did you not say that to the jury? You dared
not do it. That is like what was said here the other day before
this jury, and taken out of the record. We will come to it. These
are the gentlemen who did not wish to stain the names of citizens.
These are the gentlemen who did not wish to bring anybody into
their, case that had not been indicted. And yet Mr. Bliss, in his
opening, said that he would show you at least one Senator who was
the paid agent of these defendants; and now, having failed to do

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


it, he stands here before you and asks whose name was on the pencil
memorandum, meaning that J.H. Mitchell was the paid agent of these

Ah, gentlemen, I would not, for the sake of convicting any man
on this earth, stain the reputation of another in a place and in a
way where that other could not defend himself. I would not do it.
I do not think there is any crime beyond that. It is as bad to stab
the reputation as it is to stab the flesh; it is as bad to kill the
honor of the man as to put a dagger into his heart.

There are so many things in these papers that I would never
get through, if I commented upon them all, if I talked forty years,
I now refer to page 4509. I have to change from one of these
lawyers to the other. Now, on this subject of subcontracts, showing
how we are endeavoring to cheat and defraud the Government, Mr. Ker
says, at page 4509:

Acting upon Stephen W. Dorsey's advice he put in this clause
giving the subcontractors sixty-five per cent. of the increase. I
want you to remember the sixty-five per cent., because I will show
you some subcontracts with that amount in, but I do not want you to
think for one moment that the subcontractors ever got a dollar out
of it.

Gentlemen, the evidence is that the subcontractors were paid
the amount mentioned in their subcontracts. I believe all of them
are on file in this case, and on all that were filed in the
department the money was paid directly to the subcontractor. And
yet Mr. Ker tells you that he does not want you to think for a
moment that the subcontractors ever got one dollar out of it. Is it
possible, gentlemen, that there is any necessity for resorting to
such statements? Can you conceive of any reason for doing it,
except that they are actually mistaken, except for the fact that
they know they have not the evidence to convict these defendants?

We are not begging of you. We are not upon our knees before
you. But we do want to be tried according to the evidence and
according to the law. We do not want your mind, nor yours, nor
yours [addressing different jurors] poisoned with a misstatement.
We want to be tried, and we want the verdict rendered by you when
every fact is as luminous in your mind as the sun at mid-day. We
want every fact to stand out like stars in a perfect night, without
a cloud of doubt between you and the fact. That is the kind of a
verdict we want. We want a verdict that comes from a clear head and
a brave heart. We do not want a verdict simply from sympathy. We
want a verdict according to the evidence and according to the law.
And when the verdict is given we want every one of you to say,
"That is my verdict; I found it upon the evidence and upon the law;
dig beneath it and you will not find used as the corner-stone a
misstatement, or a mistake, or a falsehood; it stands upon the rock
of fact, upon the foundation of absolute truth."

Do you know that if I were prosecuting a man, trying to take
from him his liberty, trying to take from him his home, trying to
rob his fireside and make it desolate, and if I should succeed and
afterwards know that I had made a misstatement of the evidence to
the jury, I could not sleep until I had done what was in my power

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


to release that man; and after he was released, or even if he were
not released, I would go to him when he was wearing the prison
garb, and I would get down on my knees and beg him to forgive me.
I would rather be sent to the penitentiary myself, I would rather
wear the stripes of eternal degradation, than to send another man
there by a misstatement or a mistake that I had made. That is my
feeling. I may be wrong.

It may be that I am guilty, according to Colonel Bliss, of
sneering at everything that people hold sacred. But I do not sneer
at justice. I believe that over all, justice sits the eternal
queen, holding in her hand the scales in which are weighed the
deeds of men. I believe that it is my duty to make the world a
little better, because I have lived in it. I believe in helping my
fellow-men. I do no not sneer at charity; I do not sneer at
justice, and I do not sneer at liberty. And why did he make that
remark to you, gentlemen? Is it possible that for a moment he
dreamed that he might prejudice your minds against the case of my
client, because, I, his attorney, am not what is called a believer?
Is it possible that he has so mean an opinion of a Christian that
a Christian would violate his oath when upon the jury, simply to
get even with a lawyer who happened to be an infidel? Is that his
idea of Christianity? It is not mine; it is not mine. I stand
before you to-day, gentlemen, as a man having the rights you have,
and no more; and I am willing to work and toil and suffer to give
you every right that I enjoy. And I know that not one of you will
allow himself to be prejudiced against my client because you and I
happen to disagree upon subjects about which none of us know
anything for certain. I do not believe you will. And yet, that
remark was made, gentlemen -- I will not say that it was made, but
may be it was -- hoping that it would lodge the seed of prejudice
in your minds, hoping that it might bring to life that little adder
of hatred that sleeps unknown to us in nearly all of our bosoms. I
have too much confidence in you, too much confidence in human
nature to believe that can affect my client.

Now, gentlemen, there is no pretence, there is no evidence
that every subcontractor did not get the per cent. mentioned in his
subcontract, except one, and that was Mr. French, on the route from
Kearney to Kent; and the evidence there is that Miner settled with
him, I believe, and gave him a certain amount of money in lieu of
expedition. That is the solitary exception.

Now, gentlemen, I come to a most interesting part of this
discussion, and I hope we will live through it. In the first place,
what is a conspiracy? Well, in this case, they must establish that
it was an agreement entered into between the persons mentioned in
this indictment, or two of them, to defraud the Government. How? By
the means pointed out and described in the indictment. While it may
not be absolutely necessary to describe the means, I hold that if
they do describe them, tell how the conspiracy was to be
accomplished, they are bound by their description; they must prove
such a conspiracy as they describe. If a man is indicted for
stealing a horse and the color of the horse is given, it will not
do to prove a horse of another color. If they describe the offence
they are bound by the description.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Now, this is a conspiracy entered into, as they claim, by the
persons mentioned in the indictment, to do a certain thing. What is
the object of the conspiracy? To defraud the Government. And,
gentlemen, I believe the Court will instruct you that the
conspiring is the crime. The object of the conspiracy is to defraud
the United States. What are the means? According to this indictment
false petitions, false oaths, false letters, false orders. What I
insist on is that the means cannot take the place of the object;
that the means cannot take the place of the conspiracy described.
When you describe a conspiracy by certain means to defraud the
Government, and Set out the means so that the Second Assistant
Postmaster-General is a necessity, then you cannot turn and shift
your ground, and say that it was not the conspiracy set out in the
indictment, but that it was a conspiracy to do some of the things
recited as means in the indictment; you cannot say that it was not
a conspiracy entered into with the Second Assistant Postmaster-
General, but was a conspiracy entered into with some others to make
a false petition or a false affidavit. The ostrich of this
prosecution will not be allowed to hide its head under the leaf of
an affidavit. They must prove, in my judgment, the conspiracy that
they describe in the indictment, and none other.

Now, what else? You must be prepared, gentlemen, when you make
up a verdict, if you say that there was a conspiracy, to say when
it was entered into and who entered into it. And I suppose when you
retire, the first question for you to decide will be: Was there a
conspiracy? Has any conspiracy been established beyond a reasonable
doubt? If you say yes, then the next question for you to decide is,
who conspired? Who were the members of that conspiracy?

After you do that there is one other thing you have to do: You
have to find that one of the conspirators, for the purpose of
carrying the conspiracy into effect, did something; that is called
an overt act. You have to find that at least one of them did
something to effect the object of that conspiracy. You must
remember, gentlemen, that the overt act must come after the
conspiracy. In other words, you cannot commit an overt act and make
a conspiracy to fit it. You must have the conspiracy first, and
then do an overt act for the purpose of accomplishing the object of
that conspiracy. The conspiracy must come first, and the overt act
afterwards. You all understand that now.

Now, this indictment is so framed that the earliest time
within the life of the statute of limitations for an overt act is
the 23d day of May, 1879. Why? The indictment charges that as the
day, the conspiracy was entered into. Any overt act in consequence
of that conspiracy must have been done after the 23d of May, 1879.
Now, get that in your heads, level and square. The conspiracy,
according to this, is not back of the 23d of May, 1879, and any
overt act done, in order to be considered an overt act, must be
done after the date of that conspiracy. If they prove any act done
before that time, it shows that it was not an overt act belonging
to the conspiracy mentioned in the indictment. If it is an overt
act at all, it is an overt act of another conspiracy entered into
before the date mentioned in this indictment, and consequently will
not do for an overt act in this case. Now, I want you all to
understand that.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


I forget how many overt acts are charged in this indictment;
some sixty or seventy, I think. And understand me, now, gentlemen,
no matter what date they fix to an overt act in the indictment, no
matter whether there is any date to it or not in the indictment, if
it turns out to have been done before the time fixed for the
conspiracy it is dead as an overt act: it is good for nothing. The
overt act is the fruit of the conspiracy; the conspiracy is not the
result of the overt act. Now let me make a statement to you, so
that you will understand it.

Every petition, every letter, every affidavit, upon which
orders for expedition were based, was filed before the 23d of May,
1879, except on two routes -- Toquerville to Adairville and Eugene
City to Bridge Creek. If that is true, then not a solitary petition
filed in this case can be considered as an overt act; and a
conspiracy without an overt act is nothing; it simply exists in the
imagination; it is an agreement made of words and air, and never
was vitalized with an act done by one of the conspirators for the
purpose of giving it effect. Recollect that every petition, every
affidavit, every letter filed, was filed before the 23d day of May,
with the two exceptions I have mentioned. That is the date when the
conspiracy came into being. And consequently an overt act must be
after that time.

Now, when they came to write this indictment, why did they not
tell the truth in it? I do not mean that in an offensive sense,
because a man has the right to write in that indictment what he
wants to. That is a matter of pleading. But why did they not tell
the facts? Why did they put in the indictment that a certain
petition was filed on the 26th day of June, when they had the
petition before them and knew that it was filed in April, 1879? Why
did they put in that indictment that a certain affidavit was filed
on the 26th or 27th of May, I think it was, when they knew that it
was filed in April or March? Why? Because if they had put that in
the indictment the indictment would have been quashed, so far as
their overt acts were concerned. The Court would have said, "I
cannot allow you to put on paper that a man entered into a
conspiracy on the 23d of May, and then did an act to carry that
conspiracy into effect in April before that time. I cannot allow
you to do that, because that is infinitely absurd, and pleadings
have to be reasonable on their face." But you see they stated that
this was done after the conspiracy. They had to do it or they would
be gone. I believe there is no dispute about this law that if they
describe the overt act -- and they must describe it, because it is
a part of the offence -- that is, the offence is not complete
without it -- they must prove it exactly as they describe it.

If they describe it with infinite minuteness, they must prove
it with infinite minuteness. If they set out that an affidavit was
written on bark, they must produce a bark affidavit. If they were
foolish enough to say it was written in red ink they must produce
it in red ink. If they allege that an oath was sworn to twice
before two notaries public they must produce an oath sworn to
twice. They are bound to prove exactly what they charge, and if
they were too particular about it that is their fault, not ours.

I say that all these, with the exception of the two routes I
have named, were filed too early to play any important part in this

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


case. Now, I will come to those routes. Remember, that every overt
act must be after the conspiracy. There are two exceptions, and
those two exceptions include petitions and affidavits. And there is
a splendid kind of justice in the way this thing is coming out, so
far as that is concerned.

The petitions filed on the Toquerville route and on Bridge
Creek route, I believe, are genuine; I believe the Government
admits that they are honest; and they were not attacked except upon
one point, and that was that a daily mail did not mean seven times
a week. The point made by the Government was that a daily mail
meant six trips a week -- that is, where you have them every day.
We took the ground that daily mail meant a mail every day, and that
in the Western country, as here, they have seven days in a week.

We contended that you cannot have a daily mail without having
seven trips a week. I think that was the only point made against
these petitions -- that they were for a daily mail, and that
somebody put in a figure 7.

No petition for increase of service alone was ever attacked by
the Government in this case, except 25L, on The Dalles route, and
20H and 29H, on the Canyon City route. 25L was filed April 23,
1879. That was one month before the conspiracy had life.
Consequently that is mustered out of this case as an overt act.

23L was filed June 27, 1879, and is in time, provided it had
been a dishonest petition. And it is the only petition filed on the
date alleged in the indictment, and it was not attacked. It was
signed by the business men of Baker City, and is set out, I
believe, on page 1617.

20H was filed May 7th. That is not in time. That is gone.

29H has no file mark, and never was proved. So that goes.

All the allegations as to false petitions for increase of
service -- and by that I mean additional trips -- are shown to have
been genuine, honest, true petitions.

There are but two affidavits, one correctly described. Both
were made by Peck. Mr. Bliss admits that Peck had nothing to do
with any of these routes after April 1, 1879, and both of them were
made by Peck, and were sworn to before that date.

The affidavit on the Toquerville route was filed by M.C.
Rerdell, who swears that he was not in any conspiracy to defraud
the United States; that he was not in a conspiracy with Vaile and
Miner and John W. Dorsey, nor with anybody else. It was filed by
the subcontractor of record, M.C. Rerdell, and it is the same route
on which Mr. Rerdell, by virtue of his subcontract, appropriated
about five thousand dollars of money belonging to other people.

The other exception is on the Bridge Creek route, and, strange
as it may appear, that was also filed by Mr. Rerdell. And, strange
as it may appear, it has not been successfully impeached as to the
men and horses necessary under the existing and proposed schedule.
The overt act is not proved, because the oath is not proved to be

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


false, and because Peck and Rerdell, according to Mr. Bliss's
admission and according to Rerdell's oath, were not in the
conspiracy, and the overt act has to be done by one of the
conspirators, of course.

The COURT. I understood -- I do not know whether I have been
under a delusion all this time or not -- that the indictment
charged that these affidavits and false petitions were the means by
which the conspiracy was to be carried into execution; that they
were not the overt acts. If they had been set out as overt acts in
the indictment, the Court would have seen that they antedated the
time, and if an objection had been made to them the Court would not
have received them as overt acts. The reason why they have been
admitted and regarded as in the case all along, to my mind, was
that they were acts tending to prove, so far as they tended to
prove anything, the nature of the combination between these parties
anterior to the 23d of May.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Before the conspiracy.

The COURT. Before the conspiracy. So that whatever character
belonged to that association anterior to that time, if it was
continued on after that time, carried out with overt acts done
subsequently to that time, they were properly received as evidence
going to establish the conspiracy -- not as overt acts, but as
means to show the character of the combination amongst the parties
anterior to that date.

Mr. INGERSOLL. That saves me a great deal of argument. Now, I
understand, gentlemen, that the Court will instruct you that you
cannot take any petition, any letter, any oath, any paper of any
kind that was filed or written or used prior to the 23d of May,
1879, as an overt act; that all that evidence is for is to show you
the relation sustained by the parties before that time.

The COURT. Yes; you are right.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Now, that saves a great deal of trouble.

There are on the Toquerville and Adairville route, and on the
Eugene City and Bridge Creek route, petitions filed after the 23d
of May, 1879, set out in the indictment as overt acts. I shall
insist, if the Court will allow me, that if there is no evidence
that those petitions were dishonest, no evidence going to show that
they were not genuine, those petitions cannot be used as overt acts
for the reason that they are charged in the indictment as false and
fraudulent petitions. no, gentlemen, I take that ground, that as to
the petitions filed after the 23d day of May on the only two routes
left for these gentlemen to find overt acts upon (Eugene City to
Bridge Creek, and Toquerville to Adairville), if those petitions
have not been proved to be false they cannot be regarded as overt
acts for the reason that they were described in the indictment
itself as false and fraudulent petitions. It is perfectly clear, is
it not?

What else have we left? A couple of affidavits. Who made them?
Mr. Peck. When? Before the 1st day of April, 1879, and Mr. Bliss
admits that from that time on he never had anything to do with this

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


business. Mr. Rerdell filed them, and Mr. Rerdell swears that he
was never in any conspiracy; and Mr. Bliss admits that Peck, after
the 1st of April, had nothing to do with this business. That
substantially knocks the bottom out of that dish.

Now, they attacked the affidavit on the Bridge Creek route,
but they did not succeed in showing that it was not an honest

Now, gentlemen, after what the Court has decided I want to
call your attention to another thing.

Do not forget what the Court has decided -- that all these
things are not overt acts, but that they simply show the relations
of the parties.

Now, if you go and find Vaile and Miner getting up petitions
on their routes, and you also find Dorsey getting up petitions on
his routes, then they claim that that is the result of an agreement
between them. That is not the law. Neither is there in that the
scintilla of common sense. If I find you plowing in your field and
your neighbor plowing in his field, I have no right to draw the
conclusion that you have conspired to plow or to help each other.
But if I find your neighbor and you plowing in your field, and I
afterwards find you and your neighbor plowing in his field, I have
the right to conclude that you have swapped work and that you have
something in common. If I find you plowing in your field and your
neighbor walking behind you sowing grain or dropping corn, and then
I find you in the fall shucking out the corn together, and I find
your neighbor taking half of it to his barn and you taking half of
it to your barn, I make up my mind that you have had some dealings
on the corn question.

Now, we find that on May 5, 1879, these parties absolutely
divided, and after that, when Vaile and Miner got up a petition on
their route, Dorsey did not help them; and when Dorsey got up one
on his, Vaile and Miner did not help him. That shows what the
relations of the parties were. Does that show that they were then
in a conspiracy? Does it show that they had any conspiracy before
that time? They had separated their interest; they had ceased to
act together; one did nothing for the other. If there had been a
conspiracy before that time that conspiracy died on the 5th of May,
1879; and if it did, then there is no possibility of any conviction
in this case, no matter what the evidence is -- not the slightest.

Now, I want you to understand that ground exactly. I am not
begging the question. I am not afraid to meet every point, every
paper, every scratch, in this case. But I want you to understand
it. All those things were allowed for the purpose of showing the
relations of the parties, the relations that the defendants
sustained to each other and the evidence is that they sustained no
relations to each other after 1879; that each went his own road to
attend to his own business in his own way. That is the evidence.

Now comes the next point. What are the overt acts in the
indictment? Really they are the orders made by Mr. Brady, unless
you take this poor little affidavit made by Peck and filed by

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Then comes the next point. You cannot treat anything as an
overt act unless it was made by one of the conspirators. Is there
any evidence in this case that Mr. Brady ever conspired with
anybody? Not the slightest. And unless he conspired with us any
order made by him cannot be regarded as an overt act in this case.
I think everybody will admit that. Unless Brady conspired with us,
and we with him, any order of his cannot be regarded as an overt

I ask you, gentlemen, what evidence is there in this case that
Mr. Brady ever conspired with any of these defendants? I will
answer that question before I get through, and I think I will
answer it to your entire satisfaction.

I will go a step further in this case, and I may go a little
further than the Court will go. I say that when they state in that
indictment that an order is made for the benefit of Miner, Vaile,
and Dorsey, and the evidence is that it was made for the benefit
only of Vaile and Miner, that is a fatal variance, and it cannot be
treated as an overt act for any conspiracy. And when the indictment
charges that an order was made for the benefit of S.W. Dorsey, and
Vaile, and Miner, and it turns out that it was made for the sole
benefit of S.W. Dorsey, I claim that that is a fatal variance.

Gentlemen, I was going through all these overt acts and all
these terrible false claims. But the decision of the Court has
utterly and entirely relieved me from that duty. So I will turn my
attention to another person.

The next defendant to whom I may call your attention is Mr.
John W. Dorsey. It is claimed that John W. Dorsey was one of the
original conspirators; that he helped to hatch and plot this
terrible design. Let us see what interest John W. Dorsey had. You
have beard me read the agreement he made, have you not, with Miner?
Now, let me read to you the agreement that he made on the 16th day
of August, 1878. Now, we will find out what interest John W. Dorsey
had in all this conspiracy. On the 16th of August, 1878, there was
no reason for telling any lie about it. They could not get on the
routes in August, 1878; they had not the money, and so they took in
Vaile. At that time, gentlemen, there was no reason for their
writing anything in this paper that was not true, not the
slightest. And I take it for granted that most people tell the
truth when there is no possible object in telling anything else, if
their memory is good:

4th. The profits accruing from the business Shall be divided
as follows: From routes in Indian Territory, Kansas, Nebraska, and
Dakota, to H.M. Vaile, one-third.

To John R. Miner, one-sixth; to John M. Peck, ene-sixth; and
to John W. Dorsey, one-third.

From, routes in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico,
Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California,
to H.M. Vaile, one-third; to John R. Miner, one-third; to John M.
Peck, one-third. [Page 4014.]

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


And to John W. Dorsey nothing. The entire interest of John W.
Dorsey in the whole business was one-third of the profits on routes
in the Indian Territory, Kansas, Nebraska, and Dakota, This was
signed by H.M. Vaile, John R. Miner, John M. Peck, and John W.
Dorsey, and I believe these are all admitted to be the genuine
signatures of the parties.

The only routes mentioned in this indictment in which John W.
Dorsey on the 16th day of August, 1878, had any interest whatever
were: Kearney to Kent in Nebraska, Vermillion to Sioux Polls in
Dakota, and Bismarck to Tongue River in Dakota. Remember that,
gentlemen. That is very important. The evidence is that he sold out
his interest in the following December, made a bargain for ten
thousand dollars, and the evidence is that he received the money,
and the evidence is that after that he never had any interest in
the profits, no matter how much was Made. And yet these gentlemen
say that he was part and parcel of a conspiracy formed on the 23d
of May, 1879, Long before that time he had sold out every dollar's
interest he had, and had no more interest in it than though he had
never existed. He got his ten thousand dollars; that was all. Now
let us see what he did when the routes were divided.

Mr. MERRICK. When did you say he sold out and got the money?

Mr. INGERSOLL. The bargain was made in December, and his
brother wrote to him at first that Vaile would not give it to him,
and then that he would. Don't you recollect the two letters you
asked Dorsey so much about?

It had been agreed to once, and then after S.W. Dorsey came
out of the Senate John W. Dorsey was paid ten thousand dollars, and
Miner swears that the division was absolute, perfect, and complete;
and that nothing was signed by one for the other after the 5th of
May, 1879.

Mr. BLISS. Miner does not say when. He swore that he signed no
papers after the 5th of May, 1879.

Mr. INGERSOLL. He says that he signed no papers for the other
side, and that the other side signed none for Vaile and Miner.

Mr. DAVIDGE. You are talking of two different things.

Mr. INGERSOLL. I will show you after awhile that you are
wrong, as I always do. I never made a mistake on you yet.

The only routes mentioned in this indictment in which John W.
Dorsey on the 16th day of August, 1878, had any interest whatever
were from Kearney to Kent, in Nebraska; Vermillion to Sioux Falls,
in Dakota; and Bismarck to Tongue River, in Dakota. And I will say
right here that if at any time I do injustice to Mr. Bliss or
anybody else, if it is pointed out I will take it back cheerfully,
and if it is not pointed out, and they show that I did it, I will
get up and admit it and say that I was mistaken.

Mr. BLISS. You will have a great deal to admit.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Very well, I will do it, for I have the courage
of conviction, and I have the courage to say that I am mistaken
when I am.
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Now, the evidence is that John W. Dorsey sold out his interest
for ten thousand dollars, and that he received the money, and that
after that he had no interest in the profits when the three routes
were divided, and the only three were the ones I have mentioned.

On the first route, from Vermillion to Sioux Falls, John W.
Dorsey was the subcontractor and he gave Mr. Vaile the entire pay
for all increases and all expeditions. John W. Dorsey had the right
to subcontract, and Mr. Vaile had the right to make the contract.
The statement on page 726 shows simply that John W. Dorsey never
drew a dollar upon that route. That is one route fairly and
squarely disposed of. Understand, I cast no imputation upon Mr.
Vaile for having the contract and for getting the money. When I
come to it I will show you that he had a right to.

The next route is from Kearney to Kent. John W. Dorsey had an
interest in that route, according to the agreement of August 16th,
of one-third. You will see from page 726 of the record that the
first quarter John M. Peck got the money, two hundred and forty-
five dollars and six cents. John W. Dorsey was entitled to one-
third of that, if it was profit. The next quarter was paid on the
22d of January, 1879 -- that is, for the fourth quarter of 1878,
and that was paid to H.M. Vaile. And never another solitary cent
was paid to anybody in such a way that John W. Dorsey was entitled
to any part or portion of it. That gets that route out of trouble,
so far as John W. Dorsey was concerned, no matter what the increase
may have been after that, no matter what the expedition was, no
matter whether French carried it for nothing, no matter what
happened to Cedarville or that city of Fitzalon; it was no interest
to John W. Dorsey, no matter whether the road ran direct from
Fitzalon to Cedarville or not. He was entitled to one-third of the
profits on one payment to Peck, and that payment was two hundred
and forty-five dollars and six cents,; whether he ever got it I do
not know.

Let us see how he came out on the next route, from Bismarck to
Tongue River. He went out there to build stations. I will come to
that in a little while. Now, I call attention to page 727. The
third quarter from July 1 to September 30, 1878, was paid November
8, 1878, to H.M. Vaile, Never a solitary dollar on the route was
paid to John W. Dorsey, according to this record, if you can rely
on these books.

That is the state of the case on these three routes. And yet
it is solemnly averred in the indictment that all the orders on
these routes were made for the joint benefit of John W. Dorsey and
others. Now, before another payment was made the division of the
routes had been completed, and John W. Dorsey sold out his interest
in these routes and all others for ten thousand dollars. So that he
never received a dollar upon the Bismarck route and the Vermillion
route except as it is included in the gross sum of ten thousand
dollars which he received for his entire interest, and that entire
interest is described perfectly in the contract of August 16, 1878.
Now, if John W. Dorsey had no interest in any route except as
stated in the contract, of course nothing was done upon any other
route for his benefit; nothing was done in which he, by any
possibility, had the slightest pecuniary interest. How were the
petitions filed for his benefit? How were the affidavits made for

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


his benefit? How were the orders made for his benefit? He had no
interest; he had parted with it, and had nothing more to do with it
than the attorneys for the prosecution in this case.

It is claimed by Mr. Bliss that when John W. Dorsey sold out
he agreed to make the necessary papers for the routes, and he tried
to impress upon your minds the idea that the bargain was that John
W. Dorsey knew that for ten thousand dollars he had to commit
perjury and forgery and several other cheerful crimes, from time to
time, as he might be called upon by the gentlemen who had been his

J.W. Dorsey frankly and cheerfully swore that he agreed to
make the necessary papers. He did not swear that he agreed to
commit any frauds, perjuries, or forgeries. Nothing of the kind. He
agreed to execute, of course, the necessary legal papers -- the
papers that, as contractor, were necessary for him to make to vest
title of the route in the person to whom he had sold -- just the
necessary papers that would allow the man who had paid him for the
route to draw the money from the Government if he performed the

Now, what were the papers? I say right here, gentlemen, that
under the law as it was then, under the law as it is now, it is
impossible for a contractor to assign his contract so as to be
relieved from responsibility to the Government; the Government will
not permit it. The Government will permit him to make a
subcontract, and that is what John W. Dorsey did: that is one of
the things he agreed to do. In order to make that subcontract
absolutely order to put it beyond his power to do anything with it,
that subcontract was made for the entire pay, for the entire
increase and expedition. And what more? In order to make that
absolutely perfect, so they would not have a loop-hole anywhere, he
signed blank drafts upon the Post-Office Department for the entire
pay of every quarter during the contract term. And then, if they
were fined -- and nobody knew how much they would be fined -- they
had the right to fill up that order for the amount due them from
the Post-Office Department after deducting fines.

He sold out in March, 1879. The regulation or order making it
necessary for the contractor to make an oath as to additional stock
and men was not in existence, was not a binding law or regulation,
until the 1st day Of July, 1879. When he sold out in March, unless
he were gifted with prophecy, he would not know what the regulation
of the 1st of July following would be.

Now, there were two affidavits made by John W. Dorsey on route
38134, Pueblo to Rosita. Around those affidavits Mr. Bliss hovered
and Mr. Ker remained. John W. Dorsey testifies that he received one
of those affidavits in the morning and swore to it, and that it was
filled up when he swore to it. Mr. Bliss and Mr. Ker, I believe,
both say that it was not filled up.

Mr. BLISS. Where does Mr. Dorsey say that it was filled up
when he swore to it?

Mr. INGERSOLL. I have not the page here, but I will give it to
you. He swore that a dozen times, that he never swore to any blank

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Mr. BLISS. I undertake to say that it cannot be found in his

The COURT. He testified that he received them both by mail,
and that the second one was contained in a letter which said that
there was an error in the first, and the second was sent for the
purpose of correcting that error.

Mr. INGERSOLL. There could not have been any error in the
first unless it had been filled up. You cannot make an error in
blank. On page 4838, Mr. Rerdell swore that he left this city on
the 17th or 18th of April for the West, and then he adds, "I think
on the 18th." Then the Government brought the hotel-keepers from
Sydney, Nebraska, and from Denver, and from some other place,
nearly as many witnesses as you had about the paper pulp. And they
proved that Rerdell was beyond the Missouri River on the 21st of

Now see what Mr. Bliss says on page 4914:

And yet, gentlemen, it is beyond dispute that as early as the
15th of April, 1879, Mr. Rerdell had left this city and gone Wert.

Why did he have it stated on the 15th, gentlemen? I will tell
you. Oh, I tell you the human mind is a queer thing when it gets to
working. John W. Dorsey was in Middlebury, Vermont; if a letter had
been sent from here on the 15th, it certainly would have got up
there before the 21st. So they wanted Rerdell out of this town as
early as possible, so that it would make it highly improbable that
it would take a letter from that time to the 21st to get to
Middlebury. Now, the evidence is that he left here, he thinks, on
the 18th. When did the letter get up there? I think the 20th or

Mr. DAVIDGE. There was a Sunday intervened.

Mr. INGERSOLL. They say, gentlemen, that there is no evidence
that the blanks were filled, and yet John W. Dorsey swears that he
received a letter stating that the first affidavit was erroneous,
and the second one was sent to him to correct it. How would you
correct one affidavit in blank by another affidavit in blank? How
did he ever get those affidavits? I will tell you. We will have
that little matter settled. Here is what Rerdell swears on page

Q. When did you return from that visit? -- A. I returned about
the 5th of May.

Q. State whether or not after you returned, you found blank
affidavits among the papers connected with the business? -- A. Yes,

Q. How many did you find? -- A. Well, there were several blank
affidavits of John W. Dorsey's and several of John M. Peck's. I
don't know how many there were.

Q. Were they blank affidavits? -- A. Well, sir, they were
blank affidavits similar to that one I sent, leaving out the number
of men and animals in each case.

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Q. Did they purport to have been sworn to? -- A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were those affidavits among the papers when you left here
to go West? -- A. Some of them were. I think those of Peck's were
here, probably four or five, or half a dozen, and I had made out,
before I left here, a lot of them and sent them to John W. Dorsey.
In the mean time, when I returned here, John W. Dorsey was here.

Mr. Rerdell swears that just before he went away he sent the
affidavits to John W. Dorsey, and the only question between them
is, were they in blank, or were they filled. John W. Dorsey swears
that they were filled, because when he received the second he
received a letter stating that there was an error in the first, and
that error had been corrected in the second. The last nail in the
coffin of that doctrine.

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Resuming.] May it please the Court and
gentlemen of the jury, before finishing what I am about to say in
regard to the two affidavits of John W. Dorsey, I will now call
your attention to a statement made by Mr. Bliss, on page 304, in
his opening speech to you:

Mr. Dorsey, while Senator, was, I think, chairman of the
Committee Post-Offices, and chairman of the subcommittee in charge
of all the appropriations. That brought him, of course, directly in
connection with the Post-Office Department and its officials, and
gave him, as we all understand, necessarily, from the nature of the
case, the possession of some exceptional power over officials of
the department -- greater power than a Senator would have when
occupying some other position.

That statement was made to you, gentlemen, for the purpose of
making you believe that while Senator Dorsey was a member of the
Senate he was also chairman of the Post-Office Committee, and of
the subcommittee having power over the appropriations, and that he
not only took advantage of being a Senator, but by virtue of being
chairman of that committee had exceptional power over the officials
of the Post-Office Department. He was trying to convince you that,
finding himself chairman of that committee, finding himself with
this power, he thereupon entered into a conspiracy. What evidence
did the Government offer upon that point? Nothing. Did Mr. Bliss at
that time suppose that Mr. Dorsey was chairman of that committee?
The records were all here. The Government had plenty of agents to
ascertain what the fact was; and yet, without knowing the facts,
Mr. Bliss stated to this jury that he believed that; that Dorsey
was chairman of the Post-Office Committee and of the sub-committee;
wanting to poison your minds with the idea that Mr. Dorsey had
taken advantage of having held that position. Now, the only
evidence upon that point I find on page 3992, and that is the
evidence of Mr. Dorsey himself. He is asked, Were you a member of
the Post-Office Committee in 1877? No. In 1878? No. Or chairman of
the subcommittee? Here is what he says, that he had not been on
that Post-Office Committee "for nearly two years" prior to July 1,
1878. And yet an attorney representing the United States,
representing the greatness and honor, the grandeur and the glory of
fifty millions of people, for the purpose of poisoning your minds,
there made that statement without knowing anything about it or
without caring anything about it. I thought I would clear that
point up the first thing this morning.

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Now we will go on with the affidavits. You know these terrible
affidavits that were sworn to in Vermont. It was stated that the
first affidavit was wrong and that the second affidavit was
substituted for the first. Now, if the second affidavit took more
money out of the Treasury than the first affidavit you might say
that there was a sinister motive, a dishonest motive in withdrawing
the first and substituting the second, unless it appeared clearly
that the second was true. But suppose it turns out that the
substitution did not take an extra dollar from the United States?
Then what motive do you say they had in doing it? Was it a motive
to steal something, or was it a motive simply to be correct? What
other motive could there have been?

Now, let us see. The first affidavit said three men and twelve
animals; for the expedition, seven Men and thirty-eight animals;
and the proportion was exactly three hundred per cent -- that is,
three times as much. Now, then, they put in another affidavit. The
second affidavit says two men and six animals. That makes eight.
And on the expedited schedule six men and eighteen animals, which
makes twenty-four; and three times eight are twenty-four; exactly
the same. Three times fifteen are forty-five, and three times eight
are twenty-four, and the amount of money drawn under the second
affidavit is precisely the same that would have been drawn under
the first affidavit.

Now, do you pretend to tell me that they took the trouble to
withdraw the first affidavit and put in the second affidavit
because they were trying to defraud somebody? On the contrary, they
took that trouble because there was a mistake made in the first
affidavit and they wanted to correct it, not for the purpose of
getting more money, but for the purpose of getting a correct

Mr. CRANE. (foreman of the jury). Was not that first affidavit

Mr. INGERSOLL. No, sir.

If there had been any fraud about it, would they not have
withdrawn the paper? They had a right to withdraw it. Yet they left
the paper there; they left it there as a witness. Why? Because it
did not prove anything against them; it only proved they desired to
be correct.

My recollection is there were erasures in both affidavits, Let
us find them. Before I get through I will endeavor to show you that
every erasure and interlineation is an evidence of honesty instead
of dishonesty. What are the numbers of these affidavits? [Examining
the papers.] They are number 4C and 5C. Route 38134. I will read

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201



Second Assistant Postmaster-General.
SIR: The number of men and animals necessary to carry the mail
on route 38134 on the present schedule is three men and twelve
animals. The number necessary on a schedule of ten hours, seven
times a week, is seven men and thirty-eight animals.



There does not appear to be any erasure or interlineation or
anything else in that affidavit. Now, here is the other one:


Second Assistant Postmaster-General:

SIR: The number of men and animals necessary to carry the
mails on route 38134 on the present schedule, seven times a week,
is two men and six animals. The number necessary on the schedule of
ten hours, seven times a week, is six men and eighteen animals.



That is the second affidavit. The first was withdrawn. That
is, they had permission to withdraw it, and in the second affidavit
is the interlineation "seven times a week," isn't it? That is
simply an interlineation, because there had been an omission to
state the service that was then being performed or that was to be

Mr. CRANE (foreman of the jury). That has puzzled me a good
deal, to understand the motive of those two affidavits.

Mr. INGERSOLL. There certainly could not be any motive for
putting in seven for three times a week, for this is simply to make
it agree with the truth. If I give a note to a man for five hundred
dollars and should happen to write in the word "hundred" and not
the word "five," and then should take it back and write in the word
"five" above it, that is not a sign of fraud.

Will somebody give me number 18K; I just happened to see
something there which may be worth something or may not.

Now, gentlemen, here is a petition marked 2A, that Rerdell
swears that the words "schedule thirteen hours" were written in by
Miner. In one of these papers I happened to see the word
"schedule." just notice the word "schedule" on this paper
[exhibiting to the jury,] and then have the kindness to look at the
word "schedule" in this other one [exhibiting to the jury,] and see
whether You think one man wrote them both. Rerdell says he wrote
the word "schedule" in that one [indicating,] and that Miner wrote
the word "schedule" in this other one [indicating.]

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Now, gentlemen, there is another charge against John W.
Dorsey, on route 18145, and upon that route he made two affidavits.
In the first affidavit he swore it would require three men and
seven animals on the schedule as it then was, and that makes ten;
that with the proposed schedule it would take eleven men and
twenty-six animals, making thirty-seven. Now, if it took ten on the
schedule as it then was, and thirty-seven on the proposed schedule,
then the Government, which accepted that affidavit, would have to
pay him three times and seven-tenths as much, which is the relation
between ten and thirty-seven. The proportion then is three and
seven-tenths. On the first affidavit his pay would have been twelve
thousand nine hundred and thirty-five dollars and fifty-two cents
a year.

Now I come to the second affidavit, which said that for the
schedule as it then stood it would take twenty men and animals. On
the proposed schedule he said it would take twelve men and forty-
two animals, making fifty-four. Now, the ratio of the second
affidavit was as twenty is to fifty-four. The ratio in the first
affidavit was as ten is to thirty-seven, so that under the second
affidavit, which they say was willful and corrupt perjury, he got
eight thousand four hundred and fifty-seven dollars a year in.
stead of twelve thousand nine hundred and thirty-five dollars and
fifty-two cents. There were three years for the contract to run,
and a little over. Under the first affidavit he would have received
thirteen thousand nine hundred and ninety-two dollars and seventy-
five cents during the contract term more than he took under the
second. An affidavit was put in there that he thought was
erroneous. He withdrew that affidavit and put in a second one. If
he had allowed the first to remain and they had calculated the
amount on the first he would have received thirteen thousand nine
hundred and ninety-two dollars and seventy-five cents more than he
did under the second affidavit. But he withdrew the first and put
in the second, and took from the Treasury thirteen thousand nine
hundred and ninety-two dollars and seventy-five cents less, and
they charge that as a fraud, as an evidence of conspiracy and
perjury. Now, that is all there is against John W. Dorsey.

On page 4090 John W. Dorsey swears that General Miles wanted
to know how far apart he (Dorsey) was building the stations on the
Tongue River and Bismarck route. Let us turn to page 4090. You know
they were trying to prove that when John W. Dorsey went out there
and built the ranches that he was going to build them about fifteen
or seventeen miles apart, because it was claimed that they knew
there was to be increase and expedition. You remember that. Now,
when John W. Dorsey came upon the stand he swore that when they
went out there they started to build those stations, I believe,
somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty or thirty-five miles apart,
as they could get water. Then he swore that when he went himself
over, I think, to Miles City, where General Miles was, that General
Miles asked him how far he was building his stations apart. John W.
Dorsey told him. Then General Miler, gave him his advice. Now, I
want to read this to you. I asked him this question:

Q. When you got to Fort Keogh did you go to see General Miles?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you have any conversation with him in regard to this

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


route, with regard to the needs of the country for mail service;
and, if so, what was it? A. I told him all about the business
generally. He seemed to understand it pretty well. He wanted to
know how far apart we were building stations. I told him. He wanted
to know how often the mails would run, and I told him it would be
a weekly service, I thought. "We have been pent up here two or
three years," he says, "with mail from eighteen to twenty days
apart, reaching us by the way of Ogden and Bozeman." And he says,
We can get it in seven or eight days over this line." And now I
would like to say that he did not say that he knew there would be
an increase, but he said he should like to have it increased to
three trips a week, or daily, and fifty hours time. I told him
there was no use to try to get it at all; that it could not be done
at present; that nobody knew the distance through that country;
that we expected to have it measured; that it was claimed by
everybody that it was a good deal more than two hundred and fifty
and probably over three hundred miles, and nobody would undertake
to carry it. Said I, "If you extend it the contractor can throw up
his contract and you will be without any mail." He said, "We are
going to ask for what we want, but we will take what they will give

"Your stations are too far apart; you can't run any fast time
with your stations so far apart; you want more stations, and nearer
together." The result was that when I went back I met Mr. Pennell,
who had built the stations thirty to thirty-five miles apart, and
going back we put in intermediate stations. We only carried out
lumber enough from Bismarck to build eight or nine stations, for
the windows, &c.; we did not think of building any more at that
time. Mr. Pennell say; the order was to build the stations
seventeen to twenty miles apart in going out. That is no such
thing. There was not a station built going out closer than thirty
to thirty-five miles.

Q. What, if anything, did General Miles say that convinced you
that you ought to build stations nearer together?

Then he testifies that on account of what he said he did this,
and that he had no instructions from Washington.

That is the testimony. Mr. Bliss endeavored to frighten the
witness by stating in his presence that he (Bliss) did not believe
General Miles would swear to any such thing, judging, of course,
from the conversation that he (Mr. Bliss) had had with General
Miles. Notwithstanding that threat, John W. Dorsey, confident that
he was telling the truth, knowing that he was telling the truth,
told his story, and the Government never brought General Miles to
contradict him.

Now, the next thing about John W. Dorsey is the conversation
that he had with some men in July or August out on the road, that
I have spoken to you about before. Nothing could be more perfectly
improbable. It may be that he did tell some man that he was a
brother of Senator Dorsey, and, perhaps, he did say that if he got
into a tight place or hard up for money he could borrow money from
his brother. I do not know what he may have said on that subject.
But, gentlemen, there is not a man on this jury, not one of you,
who has the slightest suspicion that John W. Dorsey at that time

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


told those men substantially that his brother was in a conspiracy
with the Second Assistant Postmaster-General, and that he, John W.
Dorsey, was also a conspirator. There is not one of you who
believes that, not one, and you never will. Why not? Because it is
so utterly and infinitely unreasonable and absurd. Now, that is the
evidence against john W. Dorsey, My attention is called to one
other point in his case, and so I will call your attention to it.

Mr. Bliss, gentlemen, on page 243, in speaking of the two
affidavits on the Pueblo and Rosita route, says:

We find this extraordinary condition of things. On route
38134, from Pueblo to Rosita, which, I think, is the same route
upon which the obliging Mr. John W. Dorsey, as I have just stated
to you, was allowed to make the affidavit instead of Mr. Miner.

Now, he goes on to describe these two affidavits, and then he

Those two affidavits were before Mr. Brady, made by John W.
Dorsey on the same day, and yet Mr. Brady chose to pick out one or
the other of them and say, "I believe that as the absolutely
conclusive statement of the number of men and animals that are now
in use upon that route, and upon that affidavit I will make my
order taking from the Treasury thousands of dollars of money." You
will see that the first affidavit made the number two men and six
animals, making eight as the number of stock and carriers then in
use; but the other one called for three men and twelve animals,
making fifteen as the number then in use, and, therefore, according
as he accepted one or the other, by the rule of three, to which I
called your attention just now, there would be twice the amount of
money allowed from the Treasury under the one affidavit that there
would be under the other.

Just think of that, gentlemen. The number of men and animals
then in use has nothing to do with the number of men and animals
stated in the other affidavit; those amounts bear no relation to
each other. The number of men and animals in use in the first
affidavit, and the number that would be necessary on the next
schedule, do bear a relation to each other. The number of men and
animals on the second affidavit on the then schedule bears relation
to the proposed number on the proposed schedule, and not to the
number on the other affidavit. And yet Mr. Bliss stood right before
you, with those two affidavits that would take the same amount of
money out of the Treasury, to a fraction, precisely the same -- not
the difference of the billionth part of a farthing -- and stated to
you that one would take twice as much money from the Treasury as
the other. You will think that he is as defective in mathematics as
in law. I say to you now that the amount that would be taken out of
the Treasury on those two affidavits is precisely the same. I did
not think that anybody could excel Mr. Ker in mathematics, but Mr.
Bliss bears off the palm. He bears off the palm even in
misstatement, and bears off the palm in mistake. The two affidavits
would call for the same amount of money precisely, and yet Mr.
Bliss stands up before you and says there is twice as much on one
as the other. Now, what is that for? That is to prejudice you; that
is all.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Gentlemen, you saw John W. Dorsey; you heard his testimony;
you know whether he is a man to be believed. It is for you to judge
whether he is honest or dishonest, and I leave his testimony with
you. It was direct; it was to the point; and his manner on the
stand was absolutely and perfectly honest.

Now, there is another point made. You know you have to think
of these things as you can, and step on them and then go on,
Another point is made, and it was urged by Mr. Bliss day after day.
And what is that? That Mr. Brady took the affidavits of all these
men as absolutely true; that he allowed them to fix the limit of
the money they would take out of the Treasury; that he allowed
interested men to make the affidavits, and then he took the
affidavits as absolutely true; that he allowed the contractors
themselves to fix the sum they would seize. Now let us see what
that is. Mr. Brady swears that he regarded the affidavit as the
honest opinion of the man who made it, but not as necessarily true;
that he had a standard of his own. Your views upon all such
questions, gentlemen, will depend upon which side of human nature
you stand -- whether you are a believer in total depravity, or
whether you think there is a little virtue left in human nature. If
you stand on the side of suspicion, if you allow the snake of
prejudice to forever whisper in your ear, why, your idea will be
that every man is a rascal; and whenever he does a decent action
you will say, "This action is a little velvet in the paw for the
purpose of covering the claw of some devilment that he has in
store." If you judge from that side you can torture any act, no
matter what it is, into evidence of guilt. But you may judge from
the other side and say that men, as a rule, are decent; that they
would rather do a kind act than a mean thing; that they would
rather tell the truth than tell a lie. I tell you to-day that there
is an immensity of good in human nature. There are hundreds and
thousands and millions of men to-day who are honest, who would not
for anything stain the whiteness of their souls with a lie. They
are laboring-men, it may be, working by the day for a dollar or a
dollar and a half, and only taking enough of it to keep life and
strength in their bodies and giving the rest to wife and child. And
there are battles as grand as were ever won by a celebrated
general, and just as bravely fought, with poverty day after day;
and the man who fights the battles gains the victory and goes down
to the grave with his manhood untarnished. You know it, and so do
I. And yet you are all the time told to suspect everything, no
matter what it is. There is a flower there; ah, but there is a
snake under it! Always making that remark; accounting for every
decent looking action by a base motive. That is not my view of
human nature.

Now, Mr. Brady says that he had a standard of his own; that he
let these men make their statements, and he took their statements
as being what they believed to be the truth. And why not? Suppose
I say to a man, "What will you take for that horse?" And the man
says, "That horse is worth a hundred dollars." Suppose he goes and
swears to it; that would not make any difference in the price I
would give for the horse, not a bit. You see I am not buying an
affidavit, I am buying a horse. So, when Brady says to the
contractor, "What will you carry the mail at six miles an hour
for?" and the man says " Twenty-five thousand dollars," and he
swears to it, Brady is not buying the affidavit; it is the service.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


If he does not believe the service is worth that much, he says, "I
can't do it," and that is all. But they say "No; that is not what
Brady did."

Now, as a matter of fact, there are nineteen routes in this
indictment, and I believe eighteen of them were expedited. I have
made a calculation for the purpose of showing that the amount to be
paid was a matter of bargain; that it was a matter talked over
between the parties; that it was the result of agreement, and that
Mr. Brady did not take the affidavit as the actual amount, and that
they were not bound to take the amount that he actually said. Now,
I have deducted what was allowed from what could have been allowed
on the affidavits, and I find that the price did not depend upon
the affidavit. I find that there was a difference between the
amount called for by the affidavits and the amount granted of over
three hundred thousand dollars. And yet these gentlemen say to you
that Brady allowed the men who made the affidavits absolutely to
fix the amount. Gentlemen, that will not do. It was a matter of
agreement, a matter of bargain, the same as any other agreement or
any other bargain.

Now, gentlemen, suppose they had had a conspiracy and said,
"We want to get all the money we can out of the Treasury." They
would have agreed upon a per cent.; they would have had all those
affidavits showing substantially the same per cent., wouldn't they?
Because they would have wanted harmony in it. They would have said,
"It won't do for you to make an affidavit on that route with one
thousand two hundred per cent., on this route with five hundred, on
that route with two hundred and twenty per cent., and on the other
route with three hundred and forty per cent, That won't do; that is
nonsense; we are in a conspiracy and we want all these things to
agree and harmonize." And the result would have been that they
would have had about the same per cent. in all those affidavits,
And yet those affidavits vary in per cent. all the way from two
hundred and twenty to one thousand two hundred. They say, "Result
of conspiracy." I do not look at it in that way.

It is also claimed that the persons who sold out -- that is to
say, John M. Peck and John W. Dorsey -- agreed to make the
necessary papers that the other parties required. That being so,
why should not affidavits have been made in blank? Now, I ask you
if the other parties were willing to swear to anything that these
men would write, why were they made that way? Why not avoid the
suspicious circumstance of blanks and put the amount in at first,
knowing that the men would not hesitate to swear? Of what use was
it, gentlemen, to have an affidavit suspiciously made, to have
blanks suspiciously left, when the men were willing to swear to any
numbers they would put in? Why did not the parties who made the
affidavits write in the amounts? Does not that very fact, that
blanks were left, show that they were to take the judgment of the
men who were to do the swearing? Why would they leave blanks? Why
did they not fill them up at the time and have them sworn to?

Why were they not continuously written? That is another point,
if this was a conspiracy. Guilt is always conscious that it is
guilty. Guilt is always suspecting detection. Guilt is infinitely
suspicious. Guilt would make all the papers as nearly right as
possible. Guilt would look out for erasures. Guilt would abhor

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


blots. Guilt would have avoided having blanks filled in with
different colored inks. Guilt would want everything fitting
everything else, nothing to excite suspicion. Innocence is
negligent. The man with honest intentions is the one that does not
care. But the guilty man does not travel in the snow. He wants no
tracks left.

Now, another thing: The fact that no effort was made to have
the affidavits in the same handwriting, no effort to have the
blanks apparently filled at the same time, that they were
interlined, that there were erasures -- all those things tend to
show that the parties were honest in what they did. It was just as
easy to have one without an erasure as with it; it was just as easy
to have one continuously written as to have the blanks filled up;
just as easy to have one without any interlineation as with it. And
yet these parties, knowing that they were conspirators (according
to these gentlemen), Mr. Brady occupying a high and responsible
position, were so careless of their reputations, that they did not
even endeavor to make the papers passable upon their face.

Another thing: These very routes were investigated by Congress
in 1878 -- this very business. If the parties at that time had been
conscious of guilt, why were any suspicious papers left on file?
Why were not others substituted that had no suspicions
interlineation, no suspicious erasures, no suspicious blanks that
had been filed? Why were these very affidavits at that time
reported to Congress?

The first investigation was in 1878, and on account of that
investigation the contractors for about a month and a half were
left. Then there was another investigation in 1880.

Mr. MERRICK. Is there any evidence that they were all reported
to Congress?

Mr. INGERSOLL. I think so; I think that is here in the record.
I understand the evidence to be that it was all reported to

Mr. MERRICK. The investigation of 1880 was general, and not as
to these particular routes.

Mr. INGERSOLL. In 1878 there was a special investigation
growing out of these Clendenning bonds and out of the Peck bids,
and out of the connection that they said Stephen W. Dorsey had with
this business. That is what it grew out of. Now, in the light of
that investigation, let us take it for granted for one moment that
according to their statement the parties had conspired. If anything
on earth would make them afraid about papers I think it would have
been that investigation; and yet no effort was made to conceal one,
not the slightest.

Then we will go another step. General Brady was Second
Assistant Postmaster-General. All these papers were absolutely in
his power. He could have called for them at any time. Every
suspicious paper could have been destroyed or an unsuspicious one
substituted for it.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Now, I want to know if it is conceivable that General Brady,
under these charges, when the new administration came in, under the
threat of the Government, would voluntarily leave those papers upon
the files if they had been dishonest and he knew it?

Take another step. So far as we have learned from the
prosecution I believe there is one paper claimed by them to have
been lost. They do claim that there was a second affidavit on the
Bismarck and Tongue River route. One is gone and one remains. Which
remains? The affidavit for one hundred and fifty men and one
hundred and fifty horses. It seems to me absolutely capable of
demonstration that we did not take the one that is gone. Had we
been going to take anything we would have taken the one for one
hundred and fifty men and one hundred and fifty horses, and left
the other, But the other, about which nobody ever did complain, was
taken, and the one upon which they build their great argument of
fraud upon that route was left. And then it turned out that General
Brady only allowed forty per cent. of that affidavit.

Now, this prosecution was not begun in a moment. It was talked
about for weeks and months, I might almost say for years. Talk,
talk, talk in the papers everywhere. These men were not suddenly
charged with this offence. They understood it; they knew it. I
think I have been engaged in this suit, or suits growing out of
this business, for two years. It was a matter of slow growth. Mr.
Brady retired, I believe, some time in April, 1881, knowing at that
time that these charges had been made and that the charges were
being pressed. Mr. Dorsey knew it at the same time. All these
defendants knew it. Now they say that at that time we were in
conspiracy with Mr. Brady, and they say that at that time we were
in conspiracy with Mr. Turner. We had the papers in our power.

Now, if Mr. Dorsey was wicked enough to conspire, if Mr. Brady
was villainous enough to conspire, I ask you whether they would
have left behind the evidence of their conspiracy? Why were the
papers left? Because General Brady never dreamed that one of them
was dishonest.

Why did not Vaile and Miner, John W. Dorsey and Peck and
Stephen W. Dorsey ask for the papers? Because they believed every
one to be honest, and they had no use for them. They were willing
that the Government should make out of them what it could. I ask
again, is it conceivable that John R. Miner, if he knew there was
on the files of the department a petition that he had changed, that
he had erased, that he had interlined or forged, is it conceivable,
if he had been wicked enough to enter into the conspiracy, that he
would have been foolish enough to leave the paper there? Would he
not have gone to Brady and said to him, "I conspired; you know it;
I changed the petition, and I want it; I erased a word in a
petition, I want it; I signed a name to a petition, I want it"? And
Brady would have said, "Yes, and you ought to have called for it
long ago; you can have it." if S.W. Dorsey had interlined an
affidavit or had filled a blank, if S.W. Dorsey had made an erasure
or an interlineation, he, of course, must have known it, and if he
conspired with Brady he must have known it, and he must have gone
to General Brady and said, "I want that affidavit on such a route;
we can write another, and I want that; I want that petition;" and
it would have been given. You cannot conceive of such infinite

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


stupidity as to say that those people knew that those papers were
dishonest, and that they still left them on file as weapons for
their enemies. You cannot do it.

So much, gentlemen, for the affidavits, and so much for the

Now, there is another question, and I have no doubt that you
have asked it yourselves. It has been asked a great many times by
the prosecution. That question is this: Why did Dorsey retain
Rerdell in his employ after the 20th of Jane, 1881? These gentleman
tell you that it is evidence of guilt that he did it. I will tell
you why he did it. At that time the public mind was almost
infinitely excited on this question. At that time the public was
ready to believe anything. It had its mouth wide open, like a young
robin, ready for worms or shingle-nails -- it made no difference --
anything that dropped in. Every newspaper was charging that these
defendants were guilty, that Stephen W. Dorsey was a conspirator,
that millions had been taken from the Treasury, and there were
nearly as many mistakes in the press then as in the speech of Mr.
Bliss now. But I can excuse that, because it was before the
evidence. Now, what was Mr. Dorsey to do in the then state of the
public mind? That man, no matter how bad he was, how base he was,
had the power to have him indicted. That man could have gone before
the grand jury and had Mr. Dorsey or any other public man indicted
in the then state of excitement and feeling of the public. What was
the result of his going even to James and MacVeagh? I believe Mr.
Turner says that on account of the statement of this man Rerdell,
he (Turner) was turned out of his office. That is the effect. What
became of McGrew? What became of Lilley? What became of Lake? What
became of twenty or thirty other officials upon whose reputation
this man had breathed the poison of slander? Stephen W. Dorsey at
that time knew that that man in the then state of public excitement
was powerful for mischief. That man made the affidavit of June,
1881, at the request of James W. Bosler, as he himself says, and
swore that he went to the Government simply to find out the
Government's secrets; swore that he was still upon the side of
Stephen W. Dorsey; took back what he had said, and swore that it
was a lie. The question then was what to do with him? Stephen W.
Dorsey made up his mind not to do anything more, just to let him
alone, just let him stay as he was. That was the wise course. It
was the course that any wise man, in my judgment, would have
pursued under the circumstances. What else could he do? Let him
alone. Let him alone. He did not at that time expect that he would
ever be indicted. He shrank from an indictment, as every sensitive
man does, because when you have indicted a man you have put a stain
upon him that even the verdict of not guilty does not altogether
remove. He did not want that stain. He was a man of power; he was
a man of position, a man of social and political standing, a man
wielding as much influence as any other one man in the United
States. He did not wish to be indicted. He did not wish his
reputation to be soiled and stained. And so he allowed that man to
stay where he was, He may have made a mistake, but whether mistake
or not, that is what he did.

There is another question. Why did we fail to produce our
books and papers? I will tell you. The notice to produce them was
given to us on the 13th day of February. We had noticed curious

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


motions. Two days afterwards, Mr. Rerdell went on the stand. What
did they want the books and papers for? For Mr. Rerdell to look at.
Why did he want to look at the books and papers? To stake out his
testimony. He hated to depend upon his memory. We took the
responsibility of letting the witness swear to the contents of the
books and papers, and let them call that secondary evidence. We
took that responsibility rather than to furnish the books and
papers to be looked at by that man in order that he might make no
mistakes in his testimony. What happened afterwards justified our
course. If we had shown to him the books and papers, and checks,
and stubs, do you think he would have made any mistake about that
seven thousand five hundred dollar check? Would he have said that
he went with Dorsey, and that Dorsey drew the money, and that he
looked over his shoulder, and that then he and Dorsey walked down
to the Post-Office Department, if he had known that that check was
drawn to his order? If he had known before he swore, that he
indorsed that check, he would have said he went down and got the
money himself; he would not have said that Dorsey did, He would
have made no mistakes there. He would not have been driven into the
corner of saying "stub" or "stubs... "cheek. book " or "check-
books," "amount" or "amounts." No, sir. And that one thing
justified absolutely the wisdom of our course.

Then the Court decided that, having failed to produce out
books on notice and allowed the other side to introduce secondary
evidence of their contents, we would not be allowed then to produce
them. I insisted that we had the right then to produce them, and
the Court decided that we had not. We took the responsibility of
refusing, and we took that responsibility because we made up our
minds that we would not allow that man to look over the books,
checks, and stubs for the purpose of manufacturing his testimony.

The COURT. Where did you offer to produce the books?

Mr. MERRICK. Where did you offer the production of the books?
That is just what I was about to ask.

Mr. CARPENTER. The Court said we could not.

Mr. MERRICK. Where did you make the offer?

The COURT. I want to know.

Mr. CARPENTER. Mr. Ingersoll did not say he made the offer.

Mr. MERRICK. I think he did.

The COURT. I think he did.

Mr. CARPENTER. just read it, Mr. Stenographer. He says nothing
of the kind.

The STENOGRAPHER. (reading)

I insisted that we had the right then to produce them, and the
Court decided that we had not.

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is exactly what I say.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


The COURT. The Court did not give any intimation at that time,
but after that point in the trial had passed, several days, several
weeks, I think, the attention of the Court was called to this
question, and the Court remarked, in the course of the opinion,
that it understood the law to be that after a party, upon whom
notice had been given to produce books, had failed to produce the
books, and the other side had given secondary evidence, then the
Court would not allow the party having the books to produce them
for the purpose of contradicting the secondary evidence.

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is all I claim.

The COURT. But there was no such offer made, so fir as I

Mr. INGERSOLL. Why should we make the offer after your Honor
had decided that we could not do it?

Mr. MERRICK. I will answer the question. Because whether it
would have been accepted or not was a question for the counsel for
the Government when the offer was made. And again, the learned
counsel will recollect that after the notice was given, when S.W.
Dorsey was on the stand on cross-examination, I demanded those
books and those stubs, and he asked leave to consult his counsel.
The Court denied that request, and then there was a peremptory
refusal to produce any book or any paper.

The COURT. Oh, yes. Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Davidge repeatedly
announced to the Court that they were not going to produce books to
assist the prosecution.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Yes; I said that twenty times, and the Court,
as I understood it, held that after we had refused to produce the
books and driven the other party to secondary evidence, we could
not then produce the books.

The COURT. You made no offer to produce the books.

Mr. INGERSOLL. I resisted the opinion of the Court and made
the best argument I could, but the Court said that was not the law.

The COURT. The remark of the Court arose upon an argument on
the part of Mr. Ingersoll, and if I am not mistaken, upon the
effect of the refusal to produce the books and papers, Mr.
Ingersoll contending that there was no presumption against his
client on account of the refusal to produce the books and papers,
and that the jury ought to be instructed that the only effect of
refusing to produce the books and papers was to leave the case upon
the secondary evidence.

Mr. INGERSOLL. I am not referring to that discussion, nor to
that decision of your Honor; I am referring to the decision you
made during the trial.

The COURT. That was the only occasion since this trial began,
in which the Court referred to that rule of law which denied the
right to introduce primary evidence for the purpose of
contradicting the secondary evidence, after the primary evidence
had been withheld in the first instance.

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Mr. INGERSOLL. Of course, I am not absolutely certain, I never
am; but I will endeavor to find in the record exactly what you said
on that subject.

And now, in order that we may be perfectly correct, and in
order to show, too, how easy it is to be mistaken, Mr. Merrick just
said upon that very subject of the books and papers, that while Mr.
Dorsey was upon the stand, he asked leave to consult his counsel.
If Mr. Merrick will read the testimony he will find that Mr. Dorsey
made that remark when he was asked about the affidavit of June 20,

Mr. MERRICK. You are right.

Mr. INGERSOLL. That just shows how easy it is to make a
mistake when it comes to a matter of recollection.

Mr. MERRICK. I think it was upon a question of the insertion
of the change in the character of the affidavits being addressed to
the President; and when I asked him if he had not made that change
he asked leave to consult his counsel. For the moment I thought it
was upon the books. But the substance still remains, that, on the
question of the books, I asked him on his cross-examination -- and
the counsel will state his recollection to be the same -- about the
stubs and the books, and called upon him to produce them, and the
counsel replied, "We will not."

Mr. INGERSOLL. I presume I did. I made that reply a good many

Mr. MERRICK. Will the counsel be frank enough to state when
that decision was made?

Mr. INGERSOLL. Which decision?

Mr. MERRICK. When he was on the stand on cross-examination.

Mr. INGERSOLL. And I said we would not produce them?

Mr. MERRICK. After the testimony in chief and Rerdell was

Mr. INGERSOLL. Then I said we would not produce them. And now
I will say that the decision of the Court was made before that time
that we could not produce them, and if I do not show it then I will
publicly take it back.

The COURT. I do not think you can show it.

Mr. INGERSOLL. If I do not, then I will beg your Honor's
pardon, and if I do -- if I do --

Now, I think what happened afterwards in this case with that
very witness justifies the course that we pursued. He also stated
at the time that we had, I believe, some twenty thousand pages of
letters on all possible subjects to a great number of people. We
knew that there was a spirit abroad -- and some of it in a part of
the prosecution -- to find something against somebody else

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


somewhere. We made up our minds that our private books and
correspondence never should be ransacked by this Department of
justice. We took the consequences, and we are willing to take them.
We say that the inference from our refusal is an inference of fact,
and must be decided by the jury, and is not an inference of law.

We have been asked a good many times why we did not put James
W. Bosler on the stand. The prosecution subpoenaed Mr. Bosler. They
appeared to have an affection for him. They subpoenaed him, and he
came here. Afterwards they issued an attachment for him. They had
him arrested at midnight and brought here. He gave some testimony,
and you will find it on page 2611.

Mr. MERRICK. I do not know that there was an attachment.

Mr. INGERSOLL. YOU know you have a right to prove things by
circumstances. Now, it is said that he put the marshal out of the
house; I think that is evidence tending to show that an attachment
was issued.

Mr. KERR, And kept him out with a club.

The COURT. I understood also that Mr. Dorsey kicked somebody
else out of his house about the same time.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Oh, yes; it has been a very lively term of

There were two very important things that they were to prove
by Mr. Bosler, and they were patting him on the back here for
weeks. Friendship sprang up between them. It was a very young plant
at first, but the Bosler ivy grew upon the oak of the prosecution.
I saw him sitting here, everything delightful. The prosecution, I
hoped, began to flatter itself that Mr. Bosler was on their side;
I hoped that was so. Finally they put Mr. Bosler on the stand. What
did they want to prove by him? That Dorsey wrote a letter to him on
the 13th of May, 1879, telling how much money he had given to
Brady; that is one thing they wanted to prove by him. The second
thing was that Rerdell had written a letter to Bosler, I believe,
on the 20th of May or 22d of May, 1880, stating that he (Rerdell)
had been subpoenaed to go before the Congressional committee and
take his books and papers; that he got very much frightened; that
he had taken the advice of Brady and got a very valuable suggestion
from Brady, which he was going to follow. They wanted to prove that
by Mr. Bosler.

Rerdell had already sworn that Dorsey sent a letter to Bosler
on the 13th of May, 1879. Rerdell had sworn to the contents of that
letter; that the contents were that he had paid Brady so much
money, &c., which you remember, and then that he, in 1880, had
written a letter to Mr. Bosler, and I believe he pretended to have
a copy of it. Now, here comes Bosler's testimony, on page 2611.

Q. Have you made a search among your papers to find a letter
alleged to have been written to you by Stephen W. Dorsey, and dated
on or about the 13th of May, 1879? -- Yes, sir.

That is the letter that Rerdell swore about.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Q. Have you searched? -- A. I have.

Q. Did you find it? -- A. No, sir.

Q. Have you made search for a letter purporting to have been
written by him to you, and dated on or about the 22d of May, 1880?
-- A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you find that letter? -- A. I did not.

The COURT: Was there ever such a letter?

Bosler replied: "There never was such a letter received by

There is the testimony of Mr. Bosler, and on that testimony
the two letters of May 13, 1879, and May 22, 1880, turn to dust and

Now, they say, "Why didn't you put Bosler on?" Not much
necessity of Mr. Bosler after that. And besides, gentlemen, I
believe I will take you into my confidence just a little bit. The
evidence of Rerdell as to the affidavit of June 20, 1881, and the
affidavit of July 13, 1882 (an affidavit in which he swore that
there was nothing against Mr. Bosler, an affidavit that was made
apparently for the benefit of Bosler), all that evidence, the
evidence of Mr. Stephen W. Dorsey upon those questions, advertised
the prosecution that Mr. Bosler knew of many circumstances; that he
was present a portion of the time, and I did not know but finally
the prosecution would get so much confidence in Mr. Bosler that
they would call him. I was hoping they would. They did not. It did
not work quite as I expected. That is all there is about that.

Now, there is one further point to which I wish to call your
attention. I want you to remember that a partnership is not a
conspiracy, although all the facts about a partnership are
consistent with the idea of a conspiracy up to a certain point; and
all the facts about a conspiracy are consistent with a partnership
up to a certain point. The fact that men act together does not show
that they have conspired; does not show that they have a wicked
design. The fact that they are engaged in the same business does
not show that they have a wicked design or that they are there by
conspiracy. In other words, I want your minds so that you will
distinguish between a fact that may be innocent, and generally is
innocent, and a fact that must be evidence of guilt. I want you to
distinguish between the facts common to all partnerships, common to
all agreements, and those facts that necessarily imply a criminal
intent. If you will do that gentlemen, you will have but little

[At this point a volume of the report of the trial was handed
up to the Court by Mr. Ingersoll with a reference to a certain

The COURT. Without looking at the book I take risk of saying
that the Court never announced its opinion on that question until
the case referred to a few moments ago.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Mr. INGERSOLL. I just gave my memory on the subject. It does
not make any great difference in this case, of course.

Mr. CARPENTER. This is during the cross-examination of

The COURT. Yes, the Court did state on that occasion:

That is not the point here. If they are allowed to go on and
cross-examine this way without the production of the books, they
cannot Contradict the witness afterwards by producing the books.

I had forgotten that I had announced it twice.

Mr. INGERSOLL. If the Court please, I did not want to bring
this up, because I knew you had, and so I thought I would slip you
the book and let you off easy.

The COURT. I do not think it weakens the position at all that
the same announcement has been made twice instead of once.

Mr. CARPENTER. We thought it made it stronger.

The COURT. Still, the books were not produced.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Now, if the Court please, I am not arguing --

The COURT. [Interposing.] I will leave you to the jury.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Your Honor knows that I have always shown great
modesty about trying to do anything against my decision.

The COURT. I do not dispute that.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Now, the next question, gentlemen, is what is
meant by corroboration? If you tell a man that he is not a great
painter, he does not get angry. He says he does not pretend to
paint, or is not a great sculptor. But if you tell him he has no
logic, he loses his temper. Yet logic is perhaps the rarest quality
of the human mind. There are thousands of painters and sculptors
where there is one logician. A man swears, for instance, that he
went down to a man's house in the morning at six o'clock, and that
Mr. Thomas was standing just in front of the house, and when he
went in the dog tried to bite him, and that after he got in he had
such and such conversation. Now, there are thousands of people who
have brains of that quality that they think the fact that he did go
there at six o'clock in the morning, and did see Mr. Thomas
standing out in front of the house, and especially the fact that
the dog did try to bite him, is a corroboration of the conversation
that took place in the house. There are just such people. In this
case, for instance, in Mr. Brady's matter, they say that the fact
of Walsh being in his house is important. Suppose that he was, what
of it? Is that corroboration? Corroboration must be on the very
point in dispute. It must be the very hinge of the question. Then
it is corroboration, if the question is what did the man say. It is
not corroboration to prove that the man was there unless the man
swears that he was not there. Then the inference is drawn that if
he would lie about being there he might lie about what he said.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Now, understand me. They will say, for instance, "Here is an
affidavit, and these blanks have been filled up. Rerdell says they
were filled up, and he says they were filled up after they were
sworn to." Now, the fact that the affidavit is there and that the
blanks are filled up is not corroboration, because the point to be
corroborated is that it was done after it was sworn to, And so the
existence of the affidavit, while it is necessary, is no
corroboration; the filling up of the blank is no corroboration; its
being on file is no corroboration. Why? The point to be
corroborated is not that the blanks were filled, but that they were
filled after the paper had been sworn to! That is the point. And
when they begin to talk to you about corroboration I want you to
have it in your minds all the time that to be corroborated about an
immaterial matter is nothing; it has nothing to do with the
question; but there must be corroboration on the very heart of the
point at issue!

There is another thing, gentlemen. It does not make any
difference what I say about this man, or that man, of the other
man, unless there is reason in what I say. If I tell you that the
evidence of a. witness is not worthy of belief, I must tell you
why. I must give you the reason. If I simply say the witness is a
perjurer, that shows that I either underrate your sense, or have
none of my own, because that is not calculated to convince any
human mind one way or the other. You are not to take my statement;
you are to take the evidence, and such reasons as I give, and only
such as appeal to your good sense. If I say, "You must not believe
that man," I must give you the reason why. If the reason I give is
a good one, you will act upon it. If it is a bad one I cannot make
it better by piling epithet upon epithet. There is no logic in
abuse; there is no argument in an epithet.

And there is another thing. An attorney has a certain
privilege; he is protected by the court. He is given almost
absolute liberty of speech, and it is a privilege that he never
should abuse. He should remember if he attacks a defendant, that
the defendant cannot open his mouth. He should remember that it
does not take as much courage to attack, as it does not to attack.
He should remember, too, that by the use of epithets, by abuse,
that he is appealing to the lowest and basest part of every juror's
head and heart. It is on a low level. It is a fight with the club
of a barbarian instead of with an intellectual cimeter. There is no
logic in abuse. There is no argument in epithet. Remember that. The
weight and worth of an argument is the effect it has upon an
unprejudiced mind, and that is all it is worth. Therefore I do not
want you, gentlemen, to be carried away by any assault that may be
made -- I do not say that any will be made -- but any that may be
made, that is not absolutely justified by the evidence.

There has been one little thing said during this trial; that
is, about the testimony of defendants. I believe Mr. Bliss takes
the ground that you cannot believe a defendant; that defendants
cannot be believed unless they are corroborated. Mr. Bliss has the
kindness to put the defendants in this case on an equality with his
witness Rerdell. Gentlemen, you cannot believe any witness unless
his evidence is reasonable. Every witness has to be corroborated by
the naturalness of his story. Every witness is to be corroborated
by his manner upon the stand and by the thousand little indications

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


that catch the eye of a juror or of a judge or of an attorney.
Congress has passed a law allowing defendants to swear when they
are put upon trial. Will you tell me that that law is a net, a
snare, and a delusion, and the moment a defendant takes the stand
the prosecution is to say, "Of course he will lie"? Why do they say
that? Because he is a defendant, and you cannot believe a word that
he says; he is swearing in his own behalf. There is that same low,
slimy view of human nature again, that a defendant who swears in
his own behalf must swear falsely. I do not take that view. The
defendant has the same right upon the stand that anybody else has,
and if his character is not good his character can be attacked; it
can be impeached by the prosecution precisely as you would impeach
the reputation of any other witness. If he tells a story which is
reasonable you will believe it, and you will believe it
notwithstanding he is a defendant and notwithstanding he has an
interest in the verdict. In old times they would not show a man to
swear at all if he had the interest of a cent in any civil suit.
They would not allow him to testify when he was on trial for his
own liberty and his own life. That was barbarism. The enemy -- the
man who hated him -- he could tell his story, but the man attacked,
the man defending his own liberty and his own life, his mouth was
closed and sealed. We have gotten over that barbarism in nearly all
the States of this Union, and now we say, "Let every man tell his
story: don't allow any avenue to truth to be closed; let us hear
all sides, and whatever is reasonable take as the truth, and what
is unreasonable throw away." And,. gentlemen, let me say here that
it is not your business to go to work picking a witness's testimony
all apart and saying, "Well, I guess there is a little scrap now
that there is some truth in," or "here is a line, and I guess that
is so, but the next eleven lines I do not believe; the next
sentence, I think, will do." That is not the way to do. If a
witness is of that character you must throw his entire evidence to
the winds, for it is tainted and the fountains of justice should
not be tainted with such evidence, and a verdict should not be
touched and corrupted with such testimony. You will take the
evidence of these defendants as you would take that of any other
man, and it is for you to say whether that evidence is true. It is
for you to say that.

If corroboration was so necessary why were not their witnesses
corroborated? Why didn't they call Mr. Bosler to corroborate their

Now, one of the defendants in this case is Mr. John R. Miner,
and I want you to think of the terrible things they have against
him. One of the charges made against him is that he wrote a
petition and wrote in six names attached to it. His explanation is,
that if he did anything of that kind it was because he received a
petition which was so worn that it could not be presented, and he
copied it, and that the six names were found on that petition.
There was no other way on earth for him to get those names, and we
find them on the same route in, I believe, seven other petitions
which were filed; we find that those very names are on the other
petitions, and I think Mr. Hall's name -- the one the most trouble
was made about -- was on three or four petitions of the other kind.

Mr. CARPENTER. He admitted that he wrote them.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Mr. INGERSOLL, Yes; Hall admitted that he wrote them. But I
believe this petition was never filed in the department. I think
Mr. Woodward said he found it among the papers at some other place.

There is a petition called the Utah petition that has some
names in Utah. I think Mr. Woodward swore that he found it in room
No. 22 or 23 --

Mr. MERRICK. In the case itself, in the department.

Mr. INGERSOLL. Yes but it has no file mark. Mr. Woodward says
he does not now remember how it got in there. As I was about to
remark, there was a petition called the Utah petition with some
names of persons living off the route, I believe -- two or three
sheets. The petition itself was genuine, and was indorsed, I
believe, by Senators Slater and Grover and by Congressman
Whiteaker. Now, then, how did these names come in there? The
petition is ample without those names; large enough. I will tell
you what I think. I think that it is a part of another petition,
and that it was the result of an accident. I think it was done in
the Post-Office Department, not intentionally, but as an accident.
The evidence is that they kept three routes in one pigeon-hole, and
that the papers sometimes got mixed; that is Mr. Brewer's
testimony. A very strange thing happened to that petition. While it
was before this jury it came apart again. And if some clerk not
absolutely familiar with the papers had taken it up, he would have
been just as liable to put it on the wrong petition as on the right
one, My plan is to account for a thing in some way consistent with
evidence, if I naturally can. I do not go out of my way hunting for
evidence of crime. And when there was a petition, large enough,
with a plenty of genuine names on it, I cannot imagine anybody
would go and get names from any other petition and paste them on to
that. But being in this same country, and the testimony being that
they had three of these routes in one pigeon-hole, my idea is that
the papers got mixed and mingled sometimes, and I say the
probability is that it was an accident. That is the best way to
account for it. If Miner had known that that petition was there
that he had made, would he have allowed it to stay there? Why would
he want to do such a thing if he was in a conspiracy with Brady?
Why would he have to resort to perjury and interlineation in order
to get Brady to make orders that he, Brady, had conspired to make?
Absurdity cannot go beyond that. Here is the doctrine: "I have
conspired with the Second Assistant Postmaster-General. He will do
anything for me that I want. Now, I will go and forge some
petitions." That seems to me perfectly idiotic. This petition was
indorsed by Senators Grover and Slater and Congressman Whiteaker.

Then, there is another petition; that one I showed you this
morning, with the words "schedule thirteen hours," and the evidence
was (that is, if you call what Rerdell stated evidence) that Miner
wrote the words "schedule thirteen hours." I have shown you, this
morning, those words, and without any other particle of argument I
want to leave it to you who wrote those words -- whether Rerdell
wrote them or Miner.

Then, there is another wonderful thing about that petition. It
is not on any of the routes in this indictment, and has no business
here -- I mean the Ehrenberg petition. The one I spoke of was the
Kearney and Kent.

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


The next petition is the Ehrenberg and Mineral Park. They say
that there has been some word erased and another written in. Nobody
pretends that it is not a genuine petition. Nobody pretends that it
was not signed by every one of the persons by whom it purports to
be signed. Then, another peculiarity; it is not on any route in
this indictment, and has no more to do with this case than the last
leaf of the Mormon Bible; not the least.

Let us see if they have any more of these terrible things.
Here is petition 2A, on the Kearney and Kent route. That is the
petition that has the words "schedule thirteen hours." That is the
one indorsed by Senator Saunders. Petition 18K, on the route from
Ehrenberg to Mineral Park, is not a route in this case. It turned
out that the names on it are genuine, and the genuineness of the
petition has not been challenged. The only point made is that the
word "Ehrenberg" has been written by somebody else. There is no
evidence to show that the petition was not properly signed; that
the persons on there did not sign their names or authorize somebody
else to do it. The probability is there may have been some mistake
in the name, or it may have been misspelled. There was some mistake
made, and the word "Ehrenberg" was written in. On page 4186 Mr.
Miner swears positively that in regard to the petition 2A he never
wrote the words "schedule thirteen hours."

Then, there is another petition, I think it is on page 1247,
the Camp McDermitt petition. There are the words "ninety-six
hours." And they get that down there to a fine point. Mr. Boone
swore that he did not know who wrote the word "ninety," but that
Miner wrote the word "six." Well, that is too fine a point,
gentlemen, to put on handwriting. It seems there is an
interlineation there of the words "ninety-six," and they say they
do not know who wrote the word "ninety" and that Miner wrote the
word "six." But Miner swears that he did not write it at all.

Now, then, you take away the evidence of Mr. Rerdell as to
Miner, and what is left? The evidence left is that of A.W. Moore.
And what is that? It is that Miner instructed him to get up false
petitions. This was the first time he ever went out. But Moore
swore that he made arrangements to do what Miner instructed him to
do; that he made such arrangements with Major; but Major swears he
did not. Moore swore that he made some arrangement with McBean, and
the Government did not ask McBean whether he did or not, but I will
show that he did not. The testimony shows that on the first trip,
at the time he saw Major, he did not see McBean. Now, just see. He
swore, in the first place, that he made that arrangement with Major
and McBean. I find afterwards that his evidence shows that he did
not see McBean on the first trip, but he did see him on the second.

On page 1408 we find that when Moore went West the second time
-- when he left here and had made a bargain with Dorsey for one-
quarter interest in his route, and Miner told him to go West and
let Dorsey's routes go to the devil, and he said he would, and
never notified Dorsey that he was going to do it -- that man comes
here now and swears that he made a contract with Dorsey for one-
quarter interest, and then started West and made a contract with
Miner, letting Dorsey's routes go. He did not have the decency to
even notify Dorsey that he was going to do so. That is the man. On
the first trip he did not agree with anybody about petitions. Now,

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


understand my point, because it kills Mr. Moore again. We have to
keep killing these people -- keep killing them, It is something
like the boy who was found pounding a woodchuck. He was pounding
him away in the road with all his might, and a man came along and
said to him, "What aim you pounding that woodchuck for?" He said,
"Oh, I am just pounding him." "But," the man said, "he is dead."
"Yes, I know it," said the boy, "but I am pounding him to show him
that there is punishment after death."

Now, on page 1408, we find that this man Moore went to the
West a second time. I have shown you that the first time, he swears
that he did not see McBean at all. He saw Major and made the
arrangement with him, he says. Major swears that he did not. They
do not put McBean on the stand. Now, he goes a second time.

On the second trip, he says he had nothing to do with the
petition business at all, and did not explain the petition business
to anybody because he had not the time, and on the first trip did
not see McBean at all. And yet he swears that he made an
arrangement with McBean about these very petitions. The proof that
he did not see McBean on his first trip is found on page 1398.

There is one other point about which we have heard an
immensity of talk and upon which a great deal of air has been
wasted, and that is that there was a bargain that Brady was to have
fifty per cent. of all the fines that he remitted. In other words,
that he made a bargain with his co-conspirators that if he fined
them a thousand dollars and then remitted it, that he was to have
five hundred dollars or one-half of that fine. That is a nice
bargain; for me to put myself in the power of a man and say, "Now,
you fine me what you want to, and then if you will take it off, I
will give you half of it." It seems to me that that would be quite
an inducement for him to fine me. Yet, here is a man who makes a
bargain that Brady may impose a fine upon them and that he may have
half of it back-that is, upon their doctrine, although they have
never proved it, but they state it just the same as though they
had. But here are the facts. Here are the fines and deductions on
twelve routes. The fines amount to eighty-nine thousand six hundred
and thirty-eight dollars and twenty-two cents and the remissions
amount to seven thousand four hundred and twenty-eight dollars and
fifty-four cents; that is all. And yet they pretend that we had a
bargain, Now, come to the mail routes, and we find that the fines
amounted to sixty-one thousand two hundred and thirty-two dollars
and twenty cents and all that they could get their co-conspirators
to take off of that (although according to the doctrine of the
prosecution they were to have fifty per cent.) was thirteen
thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars and sixteen cents. That
was all they could get off. There are the figures. There has been
talk enough on that subject, but all the air that wraps the earth
could not answer those facts. Words enough to wear out all human
lips could not change those facts. Fines eighty-nine thousand
dollars, remissions seven thousand dollars; fines sixty-one
thousand dollars, remissions thirteen thousand dollars. And yet
they pretend that he had a bargain by which he had fifty per cent.
of all he remitted. I need not make any more argument on that

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


There have been one or two things in this trial that I have
regretted, and one I find in Mr. Ker's speech. And I find frequent
reference to it in other places, and that is the blindness of S.W.
Dorsey. Affidavits were made by Drs. Marmion, Bliss, and Sowers
that Mr. Dorsey had lost at least eleven-twelfths of his vision.
And yet it has been constantly thrown out to you that it was a
ruse, a device, and I believe Mr. Ker said in his speech that Mr.
Dorsey saw a paper in Mr.Merrick's hand, Mr. Merrick, I believe,
holding a balance-sheet from the German-American Savings Bank -- a
paper several feet wide or long -- and because Mr. Dorsey said to
him, "I believe you have it in your hand," why they said this man
is pretending to be blind. His testimony was that he had been in a
dark room for three months; that his eyes had not been visited by
one ray of light for three months, and that for six months he had
not read a solitary word. And yet the prosecution sneeringly
pretended that there was nothing the matter with his eyes. They
subpoenaed Dr. Marmion, but they dare not put him on the stand.
They threw out hints and innuendoes that these doctors had sworn
falsely, but they dare not put it to the test. It seems that
nothing in the world can satisfy them about Stephen W. Dorsey
except to see him convicted, except to have them put their feet
upon his neck. Gentlemen, you never will enjoy that pleasure. You
never will while the world swings in its orbit find twelve honest
men to convict Stephen W. Dorsey -- never. This Government may put
forth its utmost power; it may spend every dollar in its Treasury;
it may hire all the ingenuity and brain of the country, and it can
never find twelve men who will put Stephen W. Dorsey in the
penitentiary -- never, and you might as well give it up one time as
another. Try it year after year; poison the mind of the entire
public with the newspapers; get all the informers you can; bring
all the witnesses you can find; put all of those whom you call
accomplices on the stand, and I give you notice that it never can
be done, and I want you to know it. Spend your millions, and you
will end where you start. As long as the average man runs there
will always be one or two honest men in a dozen; so you cannot
convict one of these defendants. Go on, but it will never be

There is one other thing which perhaps may be worth noticing.
I believe that they proved by Mr. Dorsey that he wrote an account
of his relation to this business, and published it in the New York
Herald. The only point with which Mr. Merrick quarreled in that
entire paper was the statement that Peck was a large contractor,
and when Dorsey was put on the stand he explained that while Peck
had not many routes in his own name, that he was the partner of a
man named Chidester. That is the only thing of which he complained,
and yet that communication pretended to tell the relation that
Dorsey sustained to this entire business, and if that had not
accorded precisely with Dorsey's testimony on the stand every word
of it would have been read to you again and again. And Mr. Ker says
that letter was written for the purpose of poisoning public
opinion. Was the letter of the Attorney-General of the United
States, written just before this trial began, written to bias
public opinion also?

Mr. MERRICK. Is there any evidence of that letter in this
trial? If not I object to any reference to it.
The COURT. You cannot refer to that, because it is not in the

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Mr. INGERSOLL. I take it back. Was Dickson indicted to bias
public opinion?

Mr. MERRICK. I object to that also. He was indicted by the
grand jury on competent testimony.

The COURT. There is no evidence in this case that he was

Mr. INGERSOLL, I will take it back then. I would ask the
Court, however, after the attorney for the Government has said that
Dorsey wrote that letter to bias public opinion, if I have not the
right to say that he wrote that letter because letters had been
written by others.

Mr. MERRICK. Not unless those letters are in proof.

The COURT. The fact that he wrote the letter is in evidence in
the case. That of course makes it the proper subject of comment on
either side, Anything else not in evidence is not a subject of

Mr INGERSOLL. I will take it for granted, however, that the
jury understand what is going on in this case.

Mr. MERRICK. Yes, they understand the evidence.

Mr. INGERSOLL. I Understand that the jury, as members of this
community, as citizens of the United States, have at least a vague
idea of what the Department of justice has done.

It is also claimed, and has been claimed, and I have answered
it again and again and again, that S.W. Dorsey is the chief
conspirator. Why? Is it possible that it is because he was the
chief man politically? Is it possible that any politician was
envious of his place and power? Is it possible that any politician
was envious of the influence he had with President Garfield? Is it
possible that he had interfered with the career of some piece of
mediocrity? Why is it that he is made the chief figure? These are
questions that are asked and questions that you can answer. How
does it happen that his name never figures in any division? That
his name never figures in any paper made in regard to this
business? How does it happen that when he was contending with the
German-American National Bank that he must be paid, how is it that
it never occurred to Miner or Vaile to tell him, "Why, this is a
conspiracy of your own hatching. You advanced this money to give
life to your own bantling, and you have got to wait until the
conspiracy bears fruit, and if you are not willing to wait you can
do the next worse thing, have it made public"? If at that time,
when he was opposing and fighting Vaile because he had cut out his
security, Vaile had known that Dorsey was in the conspiracy, one
word from him and Stephen W. Dorsey's mouth would have remained
shut forever. But it did not occur to Miller, it did not occur to
Vaile. That won't do. Why didn't Vaile say to him, "Mr, Dorsey, you
are making a great deal of fuss about a few thousand dollars. You
are in the Senate; you are interested in these routes, and I want
to hear no more from you"? Why didn't he say it? Because it was not
true; that is why.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Now, gentlemen, if what the prosecution claims is true, not
only Stephen W. Dorsey, not only Thomas J. Brady, not only John R.
Miner, not only H.M. Vaile, and John W. Dorsey are guilty of
conspiracy, but hundreds and hundreds of other people. Do you
believe it is possible that all the persons who petitioned for an
increase of service, who petitioned for expedition -- do you
believe they were in a conspiracy? Do you believe they were
dishonest men, and do you believe they asked for what they did not
want? Do you believe that these defendants had at their beck and
call the representatives of the entire great North-west? Do you
believe that members of Congress of the Lower House and of the
Senate were their agents and tools? Was Senator Hill a conspirator?
Was the present Secretary of the Interior a conspirator? Were
Senator Grover and Senator Slater also conspirators? Were generals,
judges, district attorneys, members of State and Territorial
Legislatures. -- were they all conspirators? Did they indorse false
petitions for the purpose of putting money in the pockets of these
defendants? Let us be honest. Do you believe that General Miles was
a conspirator, or that General Sherman, whose title is next to that
of the President, and whose name is one synonymous of victory,
entered into a conspiracy? Do you believe that he knows as much
about the mail business as Colonel Bliss? Do you believe that he
knows as much about the wants of the great Northwest as the
gentlemen who are prosecuting this case? Was he a conspirator with
their Representative in Congress from Oregon? Was Horace F. Page a
conspirator? These are questions, gentlemen, that you must answer.
Were all these men, these officers of the Army, State officers,
Federal officers, and men of national reputation -- were they all
engaged in a conspiracy; were they endeavoring to assist these
defendants in plundering the Treasury of these United States? These
are questions for you to ask and questions for you to answer. Is it
not wonderful that such a conspiracy should have existed in all the
Western States at one time?

Gentlemen, is it wonderful that all the people of the West
want mails? Do you not know, and do I not know, that the mail is
the substantial benefit we get from the General Government? Don't
you know that the mail is the pioneer of civilization? Do you not
know that there ought to be a mail wherever the flag floats? Do you
not know that the only way to keep a great country like this
together, a vast territory of three million square miles -- three
million five hundred thousand square miles -- is by the free
distribution of the mail? If you are going to keep the people who
populate that territory together, if you are going to keep them of
one heart and one mind, if you are going to make them keep step to
this Union and to the progress of this nation, you must have
frequent intercourse with them all. The telegraph must reach to the
remotest hamlet; the little electric spark, freighted with
intelligence and patriotism, must visit every home; and the
newspaper and the letter, bearing words of love from home and news
from abroad, must visit every house, so that every man, whether
digging in the mine or working on the farm, may feel the throb and
thrill of the great world, and be a citizen of a mighty nation
instead of an ignorant provincial.

I am in favor of frequent mails everywhere, all over the
plains, all through the mountains, everywhere, wherever the flag
flies, I want the man who sits under it to feel that the Government
has not forgotten him; that is what I want, I take pride in this

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


country. I am one of the men who believe that there is only air
enough in this entire continent to float one flag. I am one of the
men who believe that it is the destiny of the United States to
control every inch of soil from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and
that when a nation loses its ambition to grow, increase, and expand
it begins to die. And what right has a man who is carrying the mail
to interfere with the policy of the Post-Office Department. These
are large questions, gentlemen of the jury, and I want you to deal
with them in a large and splendid American spirit. I want you to
feel that we are citizens of the greatest Government on this globe.
I want you to feel that here, to every man, no matter from what
clime he may come, no matter of what people, no matter of what
religion, the soil will give employment, the sun will give its
light and heat, the Government will give its protection. I like to
feel that way about the Government. And yet, because the department
adopted a splendid and generous policy, it is tortured into
evidence of conspiracy.

Now let me speak just a moment about these people -- the
defendants in this case.. First, there is Stephen W. Dorsey. I take
a great interest in this case; I admit it. I would rather lose my
right hand than have you convict Stephen W. Dorsey. I admit it. I
admit that if he were convicted I would lose confidence in trial by
jury; I would believe that there were no twelve men in the world
that had the honor and the manhood to stand by what they believed
to be the evidence and the law. I would feel as though trial by
jury was a failure. I admit I have that interest in it -- all that
anybody can have in any case. You can only convict that man by the
testimony of A.W. Moore and M.C, Rerdell. That testimony withdrawn
from the record and there is not one word against him. I want you
to know and I want you to remember what kind of a man he is. You
have seen him; you know him; and you know something of him. It is
for you to decide whether you will take the testimony of Rerdell as
against that man. It is for you to decide whether you will take the
testimony of A.W. Moore as against that man. These men who are
prosecuting him seem to forget who he is and what he has been. Yet
men disgrace the position that Stephen W. Dorsey helped to give
them, by attacking him.

John W. Dorsey can be convicted by the testimony of nobody.
There is no testimony against him, except that of one man. He is an
honest man. He told exactly what he did, and he told it like an
honest man. He told why he did not put his money in the bank at
Middlebury, Vermont, because they thought that he owed a debt which
he did not think he owed. He need not have told it, but he is an
honest man, and that is the reason be told it. The prosecution does
not appreciate that kind of man, that is, they say they do not.

The only witnesses against Miner are Rerdell and Moore, and
they being dead, that is the end of it.

What evidence is there against Harvey M. Vaile? One witness,
Mr. Rerdell. What did Harvey M. Vaile do? At the solicitation of
Mr. Miner he advanced money to prevent his having a failing
contract. What else did he do? He wrote a letter saying that he was
trustee for S.W. Dorsey, and he was, because the concern owed S.W.
Dorsey a few thousand dollars, and agreed out of the profits to
repay Stephen W. Dorsey. That is all. That is all. You have seen

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Mr. Vaile here from day to day, You know that he is a man of mind.
I think he is an honest man. I think he testified to the exact
truth. He did what any other man had the right to do, he helped a
man, not entirely from charity, but believing after all that it
might be a good investment, as you have done if you have ever had
the opportunity. And there is not the slightest scintilla of
evidence against him, not the slightest. I believe every word that
he testified, and so do you.

And then they come to Thomas J. Brady, and they tell you that
that man is to be convicted upon the testimony of whom? Mr. Walsh,
And who else? Mr. Rerdell. You have some idea of human nature. You
have a little and I have a little. Here is Mr. Walsh, an athlete;
a man who, had he lived in Rome in ancient times, might have been
a gladiator. He loans Mr. Brady twenty-five thousand or thirty
thousand dollars. For some of this money he has a notes, for other
portions he has not. He sends word to Brady that he would like to
fix the interest. He goes there and Brady takes these notes and
puts them in his pocket and they part as philosophers. If we
believe that, we must believe it as idiots. You do not believe it.
You do not believe any man ever allowed another to take twenty-five
thousand dollars in notes belonging to him and put them in his
pocket and walk off, he taking off his hat at the door and you
bowing and wishing him a happy voyage. My mind is so constructed
that I cannot believe that; I cannot help it. I imagine your minds
are built a little after the same model. I do not believe the
story; you do not.

Who is the next witness against Mr. Brady? Mr. Rerdell. It is
sufficient for me to speak the name. I need argue no further. That
is enough. You saw Mr. Brady on the stand and you heard him give
his testimony. No man could listen to it without knowing it to be
true. I say now to each one of you that when you heard it you
believed it, and every one of you believed it was the truth. Take
from this record the testimony of Rerdell, Walsh, and Moore, and
what is left? Some papers, petitions, orders, affidavits, all made,
signed and filed in the cloudless light of day. That is all that is
left. Where is your conspiracy? Faded into thin air, nothing left.

I presume it will be said by the prosecution that I spent
about three days on Mr. Rerdell. I admit it, Why? Because I
regarded Rerdell as your case. Because I made up my mind that when
I killed Rerdell the case had breathed its last. That is the
reason. And had it been necessary to spend a few weeks more I
should have done so. But it is not necessary. Probably I wasted a
great deal of time upon the subject, but if he is not dead I do not
want it in the power of any human being to say that it was my
fault. I went at him with intent to kill, and I kept at him after
I knew that he was dead. I admit it.

Now, gentlemen, let us see what I have proved. Let us see what
up to this time I have substantiated in my judgment.

First, I think I have shown that John W. Dorsey, John M. Peck,
and John R. Miner agreed in 1877, to go into the mail business.
That Peck wrote a letter to Stephen W. Dorsey, who was then a
United States Senator, asking him to get some competent man to get
reliable information as to the cost of service on routes in the

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Western States and Territories then advertised by the General
Government. That S.W. Dorsey gave that letter to A.E. Boone. That
he told him to say nothing about it to other contractors. That
Boone sent out circulares for the purpose of getting the requisite
information; that is, the cost of corn and oats and the wages of

That John R. Miner came to Washington on the 1st of December,
1877. That he went to the house of Stephen W. Dorsey, as had been
the custom for several years. That he occupied a room in that
house, and that he and Mr. Boone went on with the business of
making proposals and getting up forms of contracts.

That John W. Dorsey came here in the early part of January,
1878. That after his arrival the partnership was formed between him
and A.E. Boone, and that the partnership was dated the 15th day of
January, 1878.

That S.W. Dorsey, at the request of his brother and brother-
in-law, advanced the amount of money necessary to pay incidental
expenses. That he gave his advice whenever it was asked. That he
assisted the parties all that be conveniently could.

That the last bids or proposals were put in by these parties
on the 2d of February, 1878. That the awards were made on the 15th
day of March of the same year. That Miner, Peck, Dorsey, and Boone
received about five times as many awards as they had anticipated.
Thereupon another partnership was formed with the style of Miner,
Peck & Co., and that the partners in this firm were John R. Miner,
John M. Peck, and John W. Dorsey. That thereupon John W. Dorsey and
John R. Miner went West for the purpose of subcontracting the
routes. That John R. Miner on his return from the West met Stephen
W. Dorsey at Saint Louis about the 16th of July, 1878. That Stephen
W. Dorsey up to that time had advanced eight thousand or nine
thousand dollars. That he then gave to Mr. Miner notes amounting to
about eight thousand five hundred dollars to be by him discounted
at the German-American National Bank of Washington. That Stephen W.
Dorsey then told Miner that he would advance no more and would
indorse no more. That Stephen W. Dorsey went from Saint Louis to
New Mexico; that John R. Miner came to the city of Washington,
arriving here about the 20th of July, That John R. Miner then found
that service in eastern Oregon was not in operation, although it
had been subcontracted; but he then applied to Thomas J. Brady for
an extension of time. That Brady refused to give it. That Miner,
Peck & Co. had not the money to stock the routes not then in
operation, and that Stephen W. Dorsey had refused to advance
further means. That John W. Dorsey was then in the West and that
John M. Peck was then in New Mexico. That thereupon Mr. Miner
applied to Harvey M. Vaile, and that Mr. Vaile went to Mr. Brady
and asked whether an extension of time could be given, provided he
undertook to put the service on those routes. That Brady then gave
him until the 16th day of August, 1878. That thereupon Miner, under
the authority of powers of attorney from John M. Peck and John W.
Dorsey, agreed upon the terms on which H.M. Vaile should advance
the money necessary to put the service in operation.

That the contract bears date the 16th day of August, 1878, and
was duly executed by all the parties on the last of September or
first of October of that year.

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


That the service was not in operation by the 16th of August,
and that in August, Brady telegraphed to H.M. Vaile to know what
routes he was going to put service on.

That thereupon Vaile replied that he would see that all the
service of Miner, Peck, and Dorsey was put in operation. That
through the assistance of Mr. Vaile the service was put in

That before that time Stephen W. Dorsey had been secured by
Miner, Peck, and John W. Dorsey executing Post-Office drafts upon
the routes that had been awarded to them.

That on the 17th day of May, 1878, an act was passed by the
Congress of the United States allowing subcontractors to place
their subcontracts on file.

That after Vaile came in and agreed to furnish the money
necessary to put the service in operation, John R. Miner having
powers of attorney from Peck and John W. Dorsey, executed to H.M.
Vaile subcontracts for the purpose of securing him for the money he
had advanced.

That H.M. Vaile put these subcontracts on file, thus cutting
out and rendering worthless as security the Post-Office drafts that
had been given to S.W. Dorsey for the purpose of securing him.

That John W. Dorsey returned from the Bismarck and Tongue
River route in November, 1878, and that he then offered to sell out
his entire interest in the business to Vaile for ten thousand
dollars, and left instructions authorizing his brother, S.W.
Dorsey, to make such sale for such amount. That John W. Dorsey then
returned to the Tongue River route.

That Stephen W. Dorsey returned to Washington in December,
1878, and for the first time found that the subcontracts had been
given to Vaile. That he and Mr. Vaile had a quarrel with the
German-American National Bank on that question.

That afterwards Dorsey was to give ten thousand dollars to
John W. Dorsey, and ten thousand dollars to John M. Peck. That he
then concluded not to do so.

That on the 4th day of March, when S.W. Dorsey's Senatorial
term expired, he immediately wrote a letter to Brady insisting that
the subcontracts that had been filed by Vaile were in fraud of his
rights. That thereupon the parties in interest came together. That
S.W. Dorsey acting for Peck, his brother, and himself agreed with
Vaile and Miner to a division of the routes.

That S.W. Dorsey paid Peck ten thousand dollars for his
interest, paid John W. Dorsey ten thousand dollars for his
interest, and took substantially thirty per cent. of the routes and
paid himself the money that was owing to him by Miner, Peck & Co.

That the parties at the time executed to each other
subcontracts and such other papers as were necessary to vest, as
far as they then under the law could vest, the routes so divided in
the parties to whom they fell.

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


That on the 5th of May, 1879, the division was completed, and
that from that time forward Vaile and Miner had no interest in the
routes that fell to Stephen W. Dorsey, and that from that time
forward Stephen W. Dorsey had no interest in the routes that fell
to Vaile and Miner, and that John W. Dorsey and John M. Peck had no
interest in any route from that date forward until the present
moment. That S.W. Dorsey took entire and absolute control of his
routes, and that Miner and Vaile took entire control of their
routes. That from that time until the present neither party
interfered with the routes of the other.

That Vaile and Miner made no paper of any sort, character, or
kind for Stephen W. Dorsey after the 5th of May, 1879, and that
neither John W. Dorsey, nor John M. Peck, made any papers of any
kind, sort or character for Miner or Vaile after that date, no
matter what date papers bear that were made before that time. That
S.W. Dorsey made no papers for Miner or Vaile after that date. And
that Miner and Vaile made no papers for S.W. Dorsey after that
date, May 5, 1879. That all the papers bearing date after the 5th
of May, were in fact signed by the parties at or before that time.
That they were so signed for the purpose of making the division

That Vaile and Miner on their routes got up petitions that
they had a right to do. That S.W. Dorsey upon his routes got up
petitions, as he had a right to do.

That the routes were increased and expedited by the
Second Assistant Postmaster-General in accordance with the policy
of the department and in accordance with the petitions filed and
the affidavits made, as he had a right to do.

That it was not for the contractors to settle the policy of
the Post-Office Department.

That the evidence of A.W. Moore is unworthy of belief, and
that his statement that he settled with S.W. Dorsey is demonstrated
to be false by the receipts that he afterwards gave in final
settlement to John R. Miner, as admitted by himself. That his
testimony as to the existence of a conspiracy is rendered worthless
and absurd by the fact that he sold out not only his interest, but
his services up to that time, for six hundred and eighty-two
dollars. That his conversations with Miner could not have taken
place. That he never made or offered to make such contracts with
Major as he pretended he was instructed to make, and as he swore
that he did make. That his conversation with S.W. Dorsey never

That the testimony of Rerdell is utterly and infinitely
unworthy of credit. That he is not only contradicted by all the
evidence, but by himself, and how can you corroborate a man who
tells no truth? There must be something to be corroborated.

That the red books never existed.

That the pencil memorandum was forged by himself.

That the Chico letter was written by him.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


And that the letter from Dorsey to Bosler, said to have been
dated May 13, 1879, was born of the imagination of Mr. Rerdell.

That Rerdell's letter to Bosler of the 22d of May, 1880, was
never sent, was never received, and was never written until after
this man made up his mind to become a witness for the Government.
That Bosler never received that letter, or the letter pretended to
have been written by Dorsey on the 13th of May, 1879.

That the tabular statement in which thirty-three and one-third
per cent. was allowed to Brady never existed. That Rerdell did not
visit Dorsey's office in New York in June, 1881, and that he had no
conversation with Dorsey. That Rerdell was not there. That he did
not have the conversation detailed by him with Dorsey at the
Albermarle Hotel. That Dorsey did not write the letter of the 13th
of June, 1881.

That Rerdell swore in June, 1881, that Dorsey was entirely
innocent. That he swore to three affidavits of the same kind. That
he again swore to the same thing on the 13th of July, 1882. That he
admitted by his letter of July 5, 1882, that S.W. Dorsey did not
even ask him to make the affidavit of June, 1881, but that he was
persuaded to do it by James W. Bosler. That he was not locked up at
Willard's Hotel. That he was not threatened with a prosecution for
perjury. That he was not shown the letters he had written to a
woman. That the whole story with regard to the making of that
affidavit was utterly and unqualifiedly false. That he never had
the conversation with Thomas J. Brady that he claimed. That Brady
never suggested to him to have any books copied. That there were no
books of Dorsey's that needed to be copied. That he did not see
S.W. Dorsey draw any money at Middleton's bank at the time he
states. That he, Rerdell, drew the money himself. And that his
entire testimony is absurd, contradictory, and utterly unworthy of

Let me say another thing to you, gentlemen, right here. It
would be better a thousand times that all the defendants tried in
the next hundred years should escape punishment than that one man
should be convicted upon the evidence of a man like this -- a man
who offered to the Government to make a bargain while the trial was
in progress, that he would challenge from the jury all the friends
of the defendants, and help the Government to get the enemies of
the defendants upon the jury. You never can afford to take the
evidence of such a man. It turns a court-house into a den of wild
beasts. You cannot do it.

I have shown that the story of Walsh is improbable, and that
all that Boone swears against these defendants cannot be believed.
That Walsh never loaned the money to Brady that he claimed, and
that Brady never took from him the notes as he says. That Brady
never made in his presence the admissions that he swears to. Think
of it; Brady robbing Walsh, and at the same time saying to Walsh,
"I am a thief and public robber."

I have shown to you, gentlemen, it seems to me, that no
reasonable human being, taking all this evidence into
consideration, can base upon it a verdict of guilty. It cannot be

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


Now, gentlemen, the responsibility is upon you, and what is
that responsibility? You are to decide a question involving all
that these defendants are. You are to decide a question involving
all that these defendants hope to be. Their fate is in your hands.
Everything they love, everything they hold dear, is in your power.
With this fearful responsibility upon you, you have no right to
listen to the whispers of suspicion. You have no right to be guided
or influenced by prejudice. You have no right to act from fear. You
must act with absolute and perfect honesty. You must beware of
prejudice. You must beware of taking anything into consideration
except the sworn testimony in this case. You must not be controlled
by the last word instead of by the last argument! You must not be
controlled by the last epithet instead of by the last fact. You
must give to every argument, whether made by defendant or
prosecution, its full and honest weight. You must put the evidence
in the scales of your judgment, and your manhood must stand at the
scales, and then you must have the courage to tell which side goes
down and which side rises. That is all we ask. We ask the mercy of
an honest verdict, and of your honest opinion. We ask the mercy of
a verdict born of your courage, a verdict born of your sense of
justice, a verdict born of your manhood, remembering that you are
the peers of any in the world. And it is for you to say, gentlemen,
whether these defendants are worthy to live among their fellow-
citizens; whether they shall be taken from the sunshine and from
the free air, and whether they are worthy to be men among men,

It is for you to say whether they are to be taken from their
homes, from their pursuits, from their wives, from their children.
That responsibility rests upon you.

It is for you to say whether they shall be clothed in
dishonor, whether they shall be clad in shame, whether their day of
life shall set without a star in all the future's sky; that is for

It is for you to say whether Stephen W. Dorsey, John W.
Dorsey, John R. Miner, Thomas J. Brady, and H.M. Vaile shall be
branded as criminals.

It is for you to say, after they have suffered what they have,
after they have been pursued by this Government as no defendants
were ever pursued before, whether they shall be branded as

It is for you to say whether their homes shall be blasted and
blackened by the lightning of a false verdict.

It is for you to say whether there shall be left to these
defendants and to those they love, a future of agony, of grief and
tears. Nothing beneath the stars of heaven is so profoundly sad as
the wreck of a human being. Nothing is so profoundly mournful as a
home that has been covered with shame -- a wife that is worse than
widowed -- children worse than orphaned. Nothing in this world is
so infinitely sad as a verdict that will cast a stain upon children
yet unborn.

It is for you to say, gentlemen, whether there shall be such
a verdict, or whether there shall be a verdict in accordance with
the evidence and in accordance with law.

Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


And let me say right here that I believe the attorneys for the
prosecution, eager as they are in the chase, excited with the hunt,
after the sober second thought, would be a thousand times better
pleased with a verdict of not guilty. Of course they want victory.
They want to put in their cap the little feather of success, and
they want you to give in the scales of your judgment greater weight
to that feather than to the homes and wives and children of these
defendants. Do not do it. Do not do it.

I want a verdict in accordance with the evidence. I want a
verdict in accordance with the law. I want a verdict that will
relieve my clients from the agony of two years. I want a verdict
that will drive the darkness from the heart of the wife. I want a
verdict that will take the cloud of agony from the roof and the
home. I want a verdict that will fill the coming days and nights
with joy, I want a verdict that, like a splendid flower, will fill
the future of their lives with a sense of thankfulness and
gratitude to you, gentlemen, one and all.

The COURT. Let me inquire of the counsel for the defence if
there are to be any other arguments upon their side?

Mr. HENKLE. May it please your Honor, inasmuch as I alone
represent two of the defendants, it is perhaps due to this jury and
to myself to explain why I do not propose to argue the case. I had
prepared myself, with a good deal of labor and painstaking, to
submit an argument to the jury.

But after the exhaustive and able argument of my Brother
Wilson, I and my colleagues were of the opinion that there was room
but for one more argument on the part of the defence, and with
entire unanimity we selected our colleague, Brother Ingersoll, to
make that argument. And how grandly he has justified the choice,
the jury, your Honor, and the spectators will determine.

I saw some time ago a little paragraph in a paper in this
city, which represents the interest of the Government, in which it
was said that the defendants' counsel were afraid to argue this
case because they would come in collision with each other; that
each would try to throw the conspiracy at the door of the others
and exonerate himself, and that therefore they were afraid to argue
the case. I want to say to your Honor that so far from being afraid
to argue the case, I should have been very happy to pursue the
argument, so far as I am concerned. But out of tender consideration
to the jury, who have been kept for six long months from their
business and their interests, which I know are suffering, we have
unanimously concluded that we would close the argument with that
which your Honor has just heard. And I simply want to say further,
that I not only do not antagonize with anything that has been said
by my Brother Wilson, or by my eloquent friend who has just
concluded, but I indorse most fully and cordially every word that
has been uttered. And so far as my clients are concerned, gentlemen
of the jury, the case is with you.

Mr. DAVIDGE. May it please your Honor, perhaps I ought to add
a single word. It was understood among counsel when Colonel
Ingersoll, as stated by General Henkle, was unanimously selected to
represent the defendants, that both Colonel Ingersoll and myself

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


should have the privilege of addressing the jury if, in the
judgment of either, it should be necessary. I have felt such a deep
interest in the present case that I have almost hoped he might
leave unoccupied some portion of the field of argument. I have
listened to every word that has fallen from his lips. He has filled
the whole area of the case with such matchless ability and
eloquence that I have no ground upon which I could stand in making
any further argument. He has so fully uncovered the origin of this
so called prosecution, its methods, and the character and weight of
the evidence upon which a conviction is sought, that I can add
nothing whatever to what he has said. I need not add that every
syllable he has uttered receives my grateful indorsement, as well
as that of all the defendants and their counsel in this case.*

*Twelve jury men decided this morning that the Government had
not legally established a case of conspiracy against the Star Route
defendants. This verdict of absolute acquittal coming so
unexpectedly has  created a very marked sensation. The announcement
in the court room of the verdict was followed by an uproarious
scene of applause, teas, hysterics and cheers. Every one expected
the jury to disagree, Judge Wylie himself, a week or ten days ago,
called up the councils for the prosecution and said to them, I do
not think you are going to get a verdict out of that jury. I have
watched it carefully, and I am certain that four of the best men on
it are in doubt." Last night an employee of the Department of
Justice reported that the jury stood eleven to one for acquittal.
This came from one of the bailiffs, who claimed to have overheard
a vote.

At any rate the prosecution had intended, if a disagreement
was reported, to ask to have the jury dismissed, on the ground of
the condition of Juror Vernon. Had this been attempted, Dr. Sower,
who attended Vernon yesterday would have testified that Vernon was
all right mentally, after he had braced him up with two drinks of

The courtroom was crowded when the jurors took their places.
Every one of the defendants was there. Dorsey sat by his wife,
flushed and expectant. Upon the left of Mrs. Dorsey was her sister
Mrs. Peck. Brady was just back of his special counsel, Judge
Wilson, looking as hard and grim as ever. All of the counsel for
the Star Route defendants were in their seats. Colonel Ingersoll's
face showed great self-control, although he was evidently laboring
under strong nervous excitement, He was flanked by his entire

Mr. Farrell, Mr. Baker (Colonel Ingersoll's secretary), and
the white-haired and white-bearded Mr. Bush, the hard working
associate of Colonel Ingersoll, were also present.

Then the jurors took their place in the court room precisely
at ten o'clock, Judge Wylie looked at them, and Said in his slow
hesitating way: "Gentlemen, I have sent for you to learn -- ahem --
to learn if you have agreed -- ahem -- upon a verdict." Mr. Crane
the foreman said: "We have agreed,"

Judge Wylie gave a start of surprise and looked towards the
seats for counsel of the Government. Not one of them was present.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


this looked very ominous for the Government's case, and indicated
besides that the bailiffs must have betrayed the secrets of the
jury room to the prosecution, as neither Bliss nor Merrick came to
the court room at all. Mr. Ker, one of the counsel for the
prosecution, came and stood in the door as the Judge said to the
Clerk, "Receive the verdict." There was the usual silence as every
one turned toward the foreman. Mr. Crane said very deliberately.
"We find the defendants not guilty."

Then there followed a scene of great confusion and uproar,
which the Judge could not restrain. Indeed he did not try. The
triumph of such an unexpected success after two years of fighting
in the face of the entire Power of the Government, made the
humblest person connected in the most remote degree with the
defence crazy with joy. When Colonel Ingersoll came out of the
Court House a crowd gathered in front of him, and then one stout-
lunged, broad shouldered man cried out. "Three cheers for Colonel
Ingersoll." There was a wild scene of tiger-like cheering from the
excited crowd. This demonstration was a personal compliment to the
Colonel, for when the defendants passed out there was not the
slightest sign of approval or disapproval beyond the
congratulations of personal friends. Colonel Ingersoll stood on the
broad steps of the Court House and smiled with the benevolent air
of a popular orator in front of a congenial crowd, and laughed
outright when some, over enthusiastic admirer called, "Speech,

The morning was clear and bright. Colonel Ingersoll watched
the crowd a Moment, himself a picture of radiant good nature, as he
stood with his white straw hat encircled with a blue band, pushed
back from his face. His short thin black coat was partially
buttoned over a white duck waistcoat. He rested his hands in the
pockets of his grey trousers. The request for "Speech, speech" so
amused him that he chuckled over it all the way to his open
carnage, which came up a moment after. He was driven through
Pennsylvania Avenue with his family. People called out to him from
the sidewalk, and he was obliged to lift his hat so much that he
family sat bareheaded. like a conquering hero, waving his hands
to the right and to the left. His house was thronged all day. Mrs.
Blane and her daughter Margaret were among the first who called.
There was a procession of people all day long who had no sympathy
at all with the defendants, and who were perfectly indifferent
whether they went to the penitentiary or not, but who were most
heartily glad that their friend Colonel Ingersoll had accomplished
such a great personal victory.

Now that the case is over, it is time to tell some facts about
the prosecution which have been withhold until the case was closed.
In the first place, the management of the prosecution has been
equally scandalous with the crimes charged  against the defendants.
The District Attorney here has always been allowed a five dollar
fee for the prosecution of cases. Attorney-Generals who preceded
Mr. Brewster ruled that this should be the official fee of special
counsel. This was made up by allowing the payment of lump sums as
retainers. When Bliss and Merrick were put upon the extravagant pay
of one hundred and fifty dollars per day it was inevitable that
they would prolong the case to the uttermost. Bliss has on top of
all this pay, put in an extraordinary list of personal expenses,

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201


which have been allowed up to a very recent date. The amount of
extra matter run into this case only to prolong it has resulted in
so confusing the case as to materially aid the defence.

Then the reporting of the case has been turned into a huge
job. The stenographers will clear between thirty and forty thousand
dollars on their work.

The other day I estimated from official sources, the cost of
the Star Route trials at one million dollars. It will go above
that. It will foot up near one million two hundred thousand
dollars. This evening Col. Ingersoll was serenaded.

There was a large gathering of friends of the Star Route
defendants at Colonel Ingersoll's house tonight. Indoors the
acquitted men, their counsel, and a large number of their more-
intimate friends. many of them women, met to exchange mutual
congratulations. And in the street a crowd had gathered, partly out
of curiosity -- and partly to express their sympathy with the
defendants. They cheered Ingersoll and the other counsel as well as
the defendants and their jury, and called for speeches. Colonel
Ingersoll and Judges Wilson and Carpenter spoke briefly.

Col. Ingersoll's speech was short and vigorous. He hailed the
verdict of the jury as a victory for truth and justice, and as a
notice to the administration that it could not terrorize a jury by
indicting jurymen, and a warning to the President that he could not
force a verdict by turning honest servants out of office.

The Sun, New York, June 15, 1883.

****     ****

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Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship.

Bank of WisdomThe Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful, scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so that America can again become what its Founders intended --

The Free Market-Place of Ideas.

The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old, hidden, suppressed and forgotten books that contain needed facts and information for today. If you have such books please contact us, we need to give them back to America.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926
Louisville, KY 40201