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The Female Witness

The Female Witness image
Parent Issue
Day
12
Month
July
Year
1878
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

[From the New York Sun.] John Shcrman was almost hopelessly damaged whon he appeared to tcstify iu his own behalf as to the guarantee which he bad given to Wober and Anderson oc the 20th of November, 1870. Before the investigaron was ordereú, he rrpcatcdly and to different respongible persons anthorized an emphatic and unqualiñed denial of ever having written any siieh letter, and denounced any letter of that pnrport, bearing his name, as an absolute forgery. When oonfronted with a copy of tne letter, and dreading the prodtiction of the original or of a fac nimile, lie nesitated, dared not deny, and admitted there were parts of the letter hewould have written. The verdict of the country was that he was an unanswerablc witness against himself, and that he had written tho letter. Not content with that exposure, hc and his coucsel, in their desperate dilemma, have agaiu invited the samo crushing jiulgmcnt. ïhey have prodneed a femalo witness, who claims to be a Republican politici aD, accustomed to all the corrupt praotices kuown in Louisiana. Sharp, unscrapulous, ana audacious, this wonian is Agnes D. Jenks, wife of Thomas H. .Tcnks. Both she and her husband were the intímate friends of James E. Andersoii, until their prejudices we re conquered and they were converted into his enemies and friends oí John Sherman. For zo on tbs pabt it has beca known that the Jenks woman was not only to be silenced, bnt to becomo an active partisan of John Sherman. After the failure of Anderson to provide for her husband she visited Washington, last January, on lier own account, though at the suggestion of Kellogg, and it is supposed tlien made terms with the fraudulent Secretary of the Treasury. Now she appears as a witness, swearing that she dictated the Sherman letter in parlor P of the St. Charles Hotel, fillod with "visiting statesmcn" and other prominent persons, not one of whoni can be named; that she had no motive for that act but the houor of the party, and that she delivered this letter with the siguature of John Sherman forged to it, to D. A. Weber. This is her story, after more tlian a week of constant coaching by Sherman's lawyers, with a retontive memory to hold their instructkras, and with quick resources of her own for sudden emergencies of swearing. The man Jenks r.nd the woman J enks both swore vigorously that, in their corre8pondence with Anderson and with other persons, they had no knowledgc whatever that the Sherman letter was ref erred to previous to the Gth of last January. They were told, of course. to fix that date, and, as the sequel will show, it convicta them both. It was always some "document" or "other letter," aocording to the f emale Jenks. Now for ihe proof. First of all, it is well to reproduce the letter in question, which is the pivot in all this controversy: New Ouleans, Nov. 20, 187C. Messrs. D. A. Weber and Jas. E. Andereon : Gentlemen- Yonr note of even date has jast boen received. Neither Mr. Huyes, niyself, the gentlemen who iiccompany me, or the country at largo, can ever forget the obiigation under which yoii will have placed us should vo stand tirm in the position you have taken. From a long and intímate acquaintaneo wit Mr. Hayesl m juatitied in assuming responsibility for promises made, and will guarantee that you f hall be provided for aB soon after the 4th f March as may bo practicable, and in anch mar.ncr as to enable you both to leave Louisiana, should you deern it necessary. Very truly youre, JoaN Shebjian. Every word of this letter bears internal evidence of being written by a man of aftairs, and those who are familiar with the style of John Sherman can hardly mistake its paternity. The stylo is the man in miniature. With this guarantee in their handp, Weber and Anderson were secure of reward, whenever the demand should be made. after Hayes was installed in office. Anderson knew its full value well, and in his joyful moments he exhibited it to several friends. Weber, more prudent got possessiou of the letter, and had i in his inuer pocket when killed, severa months later. Meantime the existence of the guarantee bccame tnown to man; lcading Kepublicans. Auderson went to Washington at th inauguration to look after his own inter ests and those of his friends, of whom the male Jenks was one of the most in timatc. The failure to get either of tw flrst-class Con&uiaies, aud the offer o Funchal, and a Custom House Inspector ship, are well known, through the Stan ley Matthews corrcpponilence. In 1h beginning of June, 1877, wearied wit unsuccessful importunity for high offiïe and indignaut at the treatment he hac received, Anderson telegraphed Mal thews as" folio ws: VVasbihotoh, Jucc 7, 1877. Hon. Stanley MatthewB, Cincinnati : The President claims to havo received n letters. Want no more correspondence and n more nonsenso. Come here and arrange th affair, or you can all face the music. Telegraph me at once. Care nothing about decu ments in your possossion. Anderson. This was the language of a man confident of his poshion, and who was not to bc trifled with. He meant war, and he began his preparations by a letter tO the male Jenk in these words : ThFAKUKY Dür.VUlMENT,) Foubth uiitoiï"s Qpfxox, June 10, 1.S77. ƒ My Pkais Tom : Have returned to the city (his mcrijiup, aijü am in rtceipt of your letter, I h.iv not ruten for Ihe simple reason I had nothing favorable to write. They offered mo tlie Co snlship to Furiclial, worth altngether iilu.i.t $2,000. I rotuned it. I asked what '.vas t o be done for jo. ïheir answer I will give y( u vrbatly wheti wc meet. . Wutnthose Repnblioau dovl beate canie to I inieiaua iïiat fait, to have a ' fair cmnt," Dan Webftr íuid I refnod to fall into line until we wcured a ujritü n guaraní ■ thal u& wouhl In"Sormdedfor. 1 aui c mvincod that it waa ou Webcr's perfon the diy ho was ki'led. (de had chargo of it ) Now, what bas becomo of that paper V If wu c m gel posssion of it we will make this administration hump. . . . James E. ANDEB8ON. A:dn he writes to Jenka thus: PHiLADELruiA, Juno 27, 1877. 5Iy Df.au Tom : Have had 110 reply 10 my last. Have yon made any cfforts to fe-Tire tfuit letter? It wasiticloBod in a white envelope, and backed "D. A. Weber, IJa;o Sara, or James E. Andereon, New Orleana." Weber carried it iu (in inside pochet case. You can find out what part of his body the majority of bnllets and buckshot entered, whether tlicy nüght havo destroyed it, and who took charge of his body. . . . lf yon ca;i sociu-e it our caso is made. . . . Jmfs E. Asimsux. So much were the hm Ie nud femle Jenkses impressed with the importance of gettiug hold oí this letter that they went to Donaldsonville, wheru Mrs Weber resided, t) make a seareli foi it, as will be seen by the folio wiDg letter: Phii.adei.I'Hia, Juiy ï, 1877. My Dkm: Tom : I am terribly disappoir.ted over the re.-u t ut yonr trip to Donaldsonville. Havo you fouiul out if ajiy or.o searchcd Web: na bodv after he waa shot 1 If so, who did il V Also, find out w'iat day ho left New Oik-aiiH for home afler tbc 14'h of Novtuiber. I! j6tt v. ould oiily lind that document, your fortuno wonld be made. . . . Jamis E. Asdekson. TheBC letters were all written in coufideiuto to an in timatc friend, with no expertatiim that tlicy would ever see the light of day. They eontaín moral proof ui lbo cxiRtenre of the Shorman gnarantee, in the extraordinary elforts made by botli these parties, who expectod to profit by the diBcovery. Though foiled, Andersnn did not give up the searcli. He wrote again to Jenks tho followirjg leit-r, which tlie femde Jenks sent to Kellogg with otbers : PiiIi.AïiKi-raiA, Sept. 23, 1877, My Deab Tom : Dun'l you lliiuk it about time you aniwured my laat letter? Havo waited patiently n'-aily tno months. ... I wish you cönld Boooesd in braoing und get!ii)g possossion of Ihnt UtUr went to Wolicr nnd myself. I will gnarantee yon a cool il,' 00 if you do get it. Have you made any effort lately 1 . . . Jame K. Anderson. On tho back of this letterisan indoreoment, tlie signiücauee of which seems to have eseaped the attention of the committee's shrewd lawyers: N. B.- I looked up tbs letter here ref errod tp long ere the within was wrltton. Pray do no ail to return tilia to me. 1 sincorely trost lip matter will bfi iuviula.ble. A. t). J. Here is the proof onder her own band aat Ihis woman had "looked up the ctU.r hcre rrferrfd to" long before the ate of Auderson's last inquiry. Aud it was trne, for she had gono with her hnsand to see Mis. Weber at Donaldsonille for thnt object exelusiTely last July. 'herefore she knew all abont it. Dut lie is not all the evidenee of her knoTvldge. She artfully appealed to the eymathy aud gratitndo of Mr. Weber, in letter, as f oliowe : CoiiNKit Belle Castle and Constahor 8t8.,1 Nkw Uklkans, Oct. 10. 1877. ( My Dear Madaji : I soud you by this inail ie flowera I made of your good hnsband'a ïair and your own. It wonld havo boen nicer, ut I had uot quite hair euougk. n regard to the lellt'r I inent up to Vonaldaonille to npeak to you abwit, I feel suro it must )e among Jtr. Weber's papore, he had it in lis pocket [Anderson'n word to her buitband na letter of Juno 27, 1877] when ho left lie city for Bayou Sara the laRt time. As Mr. Auderaon aud Capt. Jenks went to the boat with h'm, and tluy ware speakinq of t and other busiucsB, and at that timo Mr. Veber expec'ed to return to New Oiieans in a ctv days, othcrwiiie Mr. Andernon and Capt. enka wonld have kept the ielter here, as it leonged to Oiem all. It raay havo got ont of the euvolepo and slippod in among otber papers. t was addro8ed to Andcraon and D. A. Weber. VIter rcadiug it ron will eee that it ia of no Hne or beneüt to jou, but really il is of tut I" us. If you wiU once moro loot wcll for it, anO you Bhould find it, I will eee that yon aro remembercd loell for your timo and trouble in aoarchingforit. . . . Aones D. Jenks. In Octobcr last ke was tbus offering ;o buy the Skerman letter "addressed o Andersou and D. A. Weber," after laviug previously visited Mrs. Weber 0 make a personal scarok for it, al;hougk sko now swears ske kad dictated ;kis letter kerself, fnd nevcr keard allusion made to it by anybody until Jan. 6, 1878. Tke female Jeuks cvidcntly wants ono essential quality for a first-class alibi witness. Tkere is still furtbct evidcMce from ker own kaiid. Andeison and Kellogg' were not friendly. Kellogg was trying to get seated in tbe Senate, and he knew tke female Jeuks beid tke secrets of the circle in wkick Anderson moved. So ke opened a oorrespondence witk that enterprising woman, and ske answered promptiy in these words : New Okleans, Not. 14. 1877. Most EsTEEMEi) Fciebd : Your uote of tho 9tU wad rccíivcd jesterday. It gives me pleasure to hoar of your woll-beiug. Ia regard to the Anderson afTair I know not that the matter is worthy of your notice. . . Yes, I rf fer to the leiier you wrote of. Yon will perccivc by occ of Añflerson'a letter, whicli I inclose [abovo oitedl. that ho values it highly, and aino that he i not in posecssion of the doenmont ; and you may bo Bure ; shall never rjt:l il or tho othor papers he deerns of value. . . A. D. Jknks. Ou Wednesday last she was recalled nd askcd: Q. - When did yon see Mrs. D. A. Wel er last V A. - A few days before I left for Washington. 1 was requoited to take her a noto by Gen. Sheldon. It read, "Pleaso come to New Orleans, and Mrs. Jenks will oxplain." Q. - Did you Unow for what purposc Mrs. Wobcr was wautet'. in NewOrleansV A. - I had not the remotest idea (though she waa to explain the reason). When I got to Donaldsonville, Mrs. Weber eaid that Anderson had said I had got $100,000 for Fome document. I said it was fr.lBe. I aslied her to go and see Gen. Sheldon. Q. - IJitl Mrs. Webor return witli you to New OrleansV A. - No, she did not; sho said sho didn't want to go, and she did not want tohear anything more abont that document." Tkus witkin eleven montks tbe female Jenks kad ckanged ker base of operatious. First, she wanted in July, 1877, the letter "addressed to Anderson and D. A. Weber " by Sherman. She wanted it to extort terms at Washington as the friend of Anderson. In June, 1878, sko wanted tke same letter for tke same object in anotker form, as tke ostensible friend of Skerman In eitker case, it was to be turned to ker own account.

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Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus