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Report Of The Senate Credit Mobilier Committee

Report Of The Senate Credit Mobilier Committee image
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The followingr is t!io report oí the bon-1 ftte ( V' M'bilior Cimmittep, sulmiit - tiï-t by tuu ouairman, fjeiuitor Murrill, ui Main.'. 'i'hcv rpponk thnt thay have regarded ïtle dmv rtcolvt rt upou tbemby order of tile H unte us üinited iil its range to such mattere uBaoihkg mcmbcrs of' the Sonate uu aru outiiiiiüd in the coinimunication fVüiu tho House of Kepreseirtitlives, and have iiCLOiflinüly contined tüeir iiKjuirios to tho eluoidatiou of the tc3tiiuouv aceoinp.'tnyiii,j; tUu couiiiiuniijation. Hiving exaujunid tbti tustimony taken befora the H)iwsimí Repiusciitatives uiid heard the statements ot' the Senators in relation Cheivto, nd taking such testitnony as was uooeptablo tending to shed light üpou the subject matter, and have attentively considcred th same, the comtnitte in the rirst instance present the facts ris aaenrtaitied touching eaeh nieuiber of the Sena'.e. In tha list of mcmbers of the Senate mpposcJ to be atfeotod by the evideuce taken by the cominittoe of tho House of liepresoutütives is tho name of John A. Logan. In Decomber, 18(57, T.ngan made un .irrangeinent with Ames to pui-chase ten sliares of stock coiumonly knoA'ii as eharea of the Credit Mobilier of America, ■apon tho recomniendation of Ames tiiat the stock was valuable and payment could ba made, in ccnsideration of the agreement, at any time, and tho stock ■was never delivered. Iu June following Ames showed to Logan an aceount in ■which he credited him with two dividends arising on the stock, subsequent to its pnrchase, of eighty and sixty percent, respectively, from which he duducted $l,(K)(), the price of stock, andgive Logan a okbok on tho Sergant-at-Arms of the llouso tbr the balance, f329, which check was paid on the lOth of July following. Having become doubtful whether it was stook, or whether there would not be difíiculty about it, Logan p'iiii .mw the amonut of money received on tlie checks and interest thereon, ftüting tii him he hid coneludod not tn take the stock, to which A.ines consentid, and here the trrsRsactiou ended, Ijofpm having no further interest in it. intgaA anl Ames were inembers of' the House ot' Kepiesuntatives at the date of the trinsuotiou. The testimony does not affect Logan ia any sense which would eall (at the action ot' the Sonate, f it poMéflï jurisdictiou over acts happening befure his electioii to the Senate, ijuuotion uu whio.h ander the ftnding of the eouimittoe, it is unnotessary toexpress un opinión. In the record of the 'House ofc Representativos is the nameot'Iiióscoe Cpnkling n meinber of the Senate. Gonkling doos iit appear to have beon. colinectud in nuy way vyith the stock of the Credit Mnbi-liar nr of tli Union Pacific Railroad Ctrapftnjr, aiuVeoasequeutly is in no way lytiected thereoy; On or about December, 186?, Senator MBilsou, on behalf of his wife, at the instance of Ames and upon the advice of friends, contracted tor tweuty shares of Credit Mobilier stock, paying therefor in oash $2,()0, whieh belonged to his wife. Ames giving a reeeipt for the same and a guarantee for the payinent of ten per oont. interest thereou. Wilson becatne dtssatisfied with the transaction, from what he learned of the differences in the management of thp Credit Mobilier and Union Pacific companies, and' concluded to regard the transaction as complete. Ha so stated to Ajups, who consented to s. regard it, and mwi Jjustment was theroi'ore made. It was by contract by her hus - b md, and Mr. Wilson hud no right or interest thereon except such as grew out of those facts. Whether the action is or is not iu law to ha regardud as th;vt of his own, or that of his wife, is notdeemed m iterial. It is certain that the mouey fhrested was co:itributed by frieuds to his wife; that he treated it as belonging to her, consideriug the investment for ñer beneñt from it, and the money was fiually rtpaid and disposed of by her. Wilson does not appear to have been well informed as to the oharacter of the Credit Mobilier, nor does it appear that he was aware or had reason to suspect that Ames had any object in commending the investment other than that of friendship. The committeo does not believe Senator AVilson is affocted by the transact'on with Amas, luit Ihey feol constrained to advort in this connection to the fact that m tho löth of Sóptember last Wilson nuthonzcd to bc sent t o the public press of Xiw York a dispatoh which in effect ia.regarded as an uuqualifled denial that be had ever obtained trom O.ikes Ames, or any other persen, the slightest interest in Ci'edit Mobilier, and ti reniark thut the disjjateti was c;tlculated to convey to the public an erroneous iuipres■ion. The evideuce relating to Senator j.m a imiiKucuüii iu looü, wnue ue was a Secatjtary ot' u departrneut. The transuction ivas not in its nature contiu iiuus, and it does not appear to have in ilucnced his action as a Senator since hit election, or that it was so intended, anc however stcongly the coinniittee woulc deprécate the use of money for the purpose fbr whieh, in this oase, it was contributed and uned, and with whatever julgment they would nsist any and al' uttempts by the free usn of money to control popular expression, they do not however ret'rain to reinark upon the fact tha1 Durant, Vice -President of tho Union Paiñíio Kailroad C'omiany, a coporate creation of Congres,, whieh would probably be ufjaiivthu subject of legislation, contributed $10,000 with tha avowed purpose of its being used in securing the cleotion of Burlan to the Sonate ot' the United States, he being at the tiir.e ofith reoeipt Secretary of the Intdfior. ïliis disciossesan evil uijoh. whieh the cominittee oannot too severely animadvert. The uso of largo sums of mouey to influence either popular or lugislative election strikes dirccily at thu fundamental principies of republican governinent. It exoludes men from public judgiuent, and landermines public and private virtue, upon whieh alono republicaa institutiotis con stand. It cannot be coneealed that it is oue of the threatening daagers to ttteperinanencüOl our govemmtat, and an end to which cau come only and should como speedily from tho uuited voioe of tbo virtuous citizjns of the republic, uttered at evevy stage of govemmental action, from tko lowest to the highest. "hila the receipt and use of inouey is open eensurc, the e vil adduced to provo tHat Senator Harían was intïuenced by a gift thus made to him failed to establish any such resul's Iu relaticn to Senator Patterson the eominittec say there is little roasun to doubt thnt Patterson was the purchaser of thixty shares of Credit Hobilier stook, in 1S6T, aad Üuttt ho raceived the dividunds arising thereun, as stated, and it only reniains to bo coasidered how ho ivoula be affucted as a Senator by the facts. Had he such knowledge oí the relations of tho Credit üobüier to the Uuiou Pi cific Eailroiid Coiapany, and of ttiu iuterests ana purposes of Ames iu cociiectiou with t&u company, and in the disposition- of the stock, as should have eaused him to hcRitate to onter into this transaction,. or to retire from it wlien once catercd upon ? Assuming that at the date of the pirrch-ase, in August 18G7, ho was not well advised of the nature of the investnient that he was making, and did uot hear the runiors which caiue to others who had embarked in tbe same entcrpiise nf tho differences and difliicultias that had arisen bet ween the companies, nnd which at a later day, by public debate in both Housos of Congress, carne to him, retaining the stock and receiving bis dividendo, ïs it then unreasonablo to presume that he had acquainted himself with the cbaructor of tho Corporation in iBfhich he was . stockhulder? How are we to account for tho eoncerted efforis of both partios tn. conceal from the publio t&o transaction, when quetfioncd, excopt from cünsciousness that it was something ïciore and othcr Ihan an txdjnary business affair befcwt'e-ii private individuáis? The oooimittoe further flnd that at a date subscquent to that of the purchase ci (He gtoek iu the Credit Mobilier, and at a period hou tho oharaotor of tliis Credit Mobilier and tho íeíations bctween it nd tho Gnioti Papitie liailroad Coinpany hat beeoine a matter of public notoriety, and ruust hive been faiuili.-ir to PnttersoD, and vvliile be was in rei 'ij -t of (Hvidends from lus pinchase of Credit Mobilier stock, he was still deafi ing with Ames in stock and bonds ui tho Vuion P,ii;ific Railroad Company, ml disprtitifr of the same in the stock markets in New York through his bnukors tuero. The uoramittee ttud on the state inent of Patternon before the committue of the Hons ot' Keprusentatives, as before this coiuini(te. a contradiotory relation ot the tranauotion bet ween lnmselt' and Ames, the Bupprossion ot' material ftkots and rienirtls et other tacta whioh must have been knnwn tri hini when tírst oalled before that comuiittee, and oaunot escape the conclusión that Patterson lieinfi a Senator ot' the United States in 18(i7 entered into contract with üakes Amas, then and still a meiuner ot the Housa ot' Kepresentatives, tor the parchase of thirty shares in the stooK ot the Credit Mobilier of America at rates greatly below its esteemed valué, and subsequontly carne into the possessioii of the same ; that he received dividends which frora time to tiine were daclared ; that he subsequently, in the year 18H7, dealt with Ames to a lara:e amount in stock and bonds of the Union Pacific Kailroad tbr the purpose of profit, and disposed of in tht markets of New York with knowlcñgfí of the chnraeter of the Credit Mobilier and its relations to and its connection with the Union Pacific Railroad Company ; and further, that he had knowledge of the interest of Ames and his eonnection with said company ; also, that the object of Ames in thus dealing with him was to secure his friendly ree ognition of the interests of said company, und his own interests theroin, and to influenco his aetion as a Senator in tbc matter of legislation affeeting them ; aüd Forther, being injuired of in relation thereto before the committees of both branches of Cougvess, he a falsa ac couut of the transactions between himself and Ames, suppressed material faets, and denied the existence of ofher nal tucts which jimst havo bftii known to him. Ilie eommittee have reached a conclusión, at'ter the, most attentiva consideration anrl anxious deliberations, whieh they would fain wish were otherwispr lint which a sense oí' duty compels them to declare. They submit the t'ollowing resolution : Hesohed, That James W. Patterson bo and is herehy expelled í'rom his seat as a niember of the Senato. ïhe report is unanimoua. The committee consista of Mr. Morrill, of Maine, chairman ; Messrs. Scott aud Wright, B pubücans : and M jssrs. Stoukton and Steveason, Demoorats.


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