Press enter after choosing selection

Bell And Babcock

Bell And Babcock image
Parent Issue
Day
21
Month
April
Year
1876
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

The testimony of Bell, the former scout, who was appointed a clerk in the ; Intorior department at the desire oí the President, was of such character that it ' could uot bc unhesitatingly accepted without corrobora tion. In some i tial respecta, however, it has been supported by Dist. Atty. Dyer and others, and by dócilmente. It is thus proved that Bell, who had sorved Gen. Grant as a trusty scout during the war, was appointed at the President' wish, and was sent to St. Louis. He says that beiDg ordered by the President to "look into the hands oí the prosecution," and report wliether Baboock was guilty or not, he did obtain knowledge of the evidenee, inforrned the President that Bab'ock was guilty, and three days af terward was dismisfeed; that Mr. Luckey, and at bis desire Mr. Bradley of Washington, and afterward Gen. Babcock himself, urged him to remove the proofs against Babcock so that they could be destroyed ; that he declined, and being convinced by this proposal that Baboock was guilty, toldthe whole story to Col. I)yor. He is sustained by Co). Dyer, who testifles that he detected Bell searching drawers in his office, and that Bell afterward told him substantially the same story that he now tells. In other respects, he is snpported by the testimony of Dist. Atty. Bliss. Tne persons implicated by his statement flatly deüy it, and assert that Bell is utterlj miworthy of belief. But they fail to explain why the President, who had known the man for years, and tried him in times when the lives of thousands depended apon his fidelity, caused his appointment, and did not discover that he was uuworthy of belief until he bad reported that Gen. Babcock was guilty. Vague and general denials will not break the force of this statement. It looks amazingly like the truth. Unless it can be effectually refuted, it will be generally belioved. Two f;vets give this testimouy peculiar strength. It is certain that the man was recommended by the President as a thoroughly trustworthy person, and that he offered to testify to the statement he now nnkes in open oourt on the trial of Babcock. At the outeet he evidently believed that Babcock was innocent, and was the victim of a political plot aimed at the President. To this day, though removed from office, he insists that the President never seemed to desire to screen Babcock if he was guilty. It is perfectly natural that such an o!d and trusted scout, full of regard for his former eommauder, should have been tluis trusted by the President, and that Bell, tbougk wiiling to oblige Babcock as long as he seemed innocent, should have told the President, and withdrawn from relations with Babcock as soon as his guilt was proved by the proposal to destroy evidence. To supposo that he delibera tely invented such a story as this, and offered to go npou the stand, subject to crorS-examination, contradiction, and the penalties of perjury if detected, and to do this for the purpose of injuring Gen. Grant, his former commander, is wellnigh impossible. The man had every motive to keep on good terms with the President, and no motive whatever, that has yet been suggested, for contriving a falsehood against Babcock. The importance of this statement, if, after a fuíl inquiry, it should be accepted as substantially true, cannot well be readily appreciated. It settles the question as to the guilt of Babcock, but it also casts a flood of light npon the conduct of the President. If this story is true, the President was aniious from the flrst to get at the truth about his Secretary, was full of doubt in his own rnind, and yet was so powerfuhy prejudiced that, notwithstiuiding his d'oubts and the adverse report oí Bell, he still insisted that Babcock must be innocent, and tentified very stron'ly in his behalf. Kemembering the letter of the Attorneygeneral, which the President virtnalïy directed and which Babcock made public, remembering also that the Grand Juror Fox, by whom the testimouy before the Graud jury was betrayed, according to Col. Dyer, has since been rewarded by the appointment of his son to a profitable office, and remembering that Bell himself, though peculiarly trusted by the President, was removed as soon aa he roported that Babcock was guilty, men will conclude that the President was either strangely under the influence of Babcock or he was disposed to resort to most extraordinary means for the defeat of a prosecution which he regarded

Article

Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus