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Mrs. Fitch's Diamonds

Mrs. Fitch's Diamonds image
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Onr of t !; most ourious piceos of legLslation in Oongress during the lasi. sea sion was a resolution intexuiod to be doubly favorable in it effect rogarding the wedding present of a diamond neckliicj and earrings froin the Khedivo of Egypt t General Sherman's daughter. The resolutíon u.s it became a luw is as follows: Pbtvate Besomjiton, v. I. Joint Resolution authorizing Thomas V. Pitch, Eugineer of the United States Navy. to accept of a wedding present ncnt to liis wife, 51ra. Mmnie Bherniiin l'itch. Reaolved, &o.: That Thomas W. Bïtoh, Ëngineerof the United StateBÏJavy, be and in hereby authorized to aooept of a wedding preeent of ewe)ry ent to bis wife; Mis. Mmnie Sherman Htoh,bythe Iihedive of Egypt, as a tokcii of lus respect. Approvcd, Febraary 18, 1875. The above resolution does uot exempt the present from duty, but merely authonzes her husband, who is an ollicer : in the United States sorvici, to aooept it. The queation arises, Wliat lias ho to do with it '. It was gent to lus wife. After this became lnw it was f o umi that tho government was stül entiÜed to tho duty, and that was eiactly what the rosolution was intended to avoid, but the terms wcro insufïiciont. Tho words "freo of duty" woro suggested after the word " aooept," but severa! Senators said it was unneeessary. When the defect was knewn another resolution was offered, and it would have passed, but General Shermtffi went to the Capítol and protoBtèd agaioet it aa a rigmarole of foolishnoss. He saiil he did not want uiy resolution passod making the diamonds freo of duty. Tho matter assumes a rather funny slinpo, bccauso from lirst to last bungling seems to have followed the present. In the first place it should have been sent direct to the Turkiah Minister through our State Department. Then it wojad have boon free of duty. It was sent in care of the Turkish Minister, but some oiïieious CustomHouse officer opened the package for exhibitdon without notifying him. These diarnonds havo boen subject to so much talk and inspection that almost their exact value is ascertaiaed. Their value is not $400,000, as has been asserted, or auythiug like it. They are worth $05,000 to 70,000 gold, and the duty on them is about $17,500 (as manufactured jewelry at twonty-livc per cent. ad valoran), or more thau a year's salary for General Sherman, and a life-long aaláry for Mr.


Old News
Michigan Argus