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The equal division of the funds was commenced and followed for several years, the schedule of accounts was made to conform to it, and the secretary frequently alluded to it in his reports, stating that it had been rigidly observed, and implying that good faith required its observance.
Thus, matters continued till Protessor Henry began to vary from the division. The variation was at first supposed to be merely to meet a passing exigency. But the whole distribution of the annual appropriations was virtually left in the hands of the secretary. The appropriations were made in lump, and he assigned them to particular objects. His allowing less freely for the library, however, would not have occasioned any unpleasant discussion, had he not, in the interview to which I have alluded in my testimony, (and which I still think occurred in December, 1852,) expressed his firm determination to set aside the compromise, and endeavored to induce me to unite with him in effecting its abrogation without any open discussion.
Previous to this time, I had no idea that Professor Henry was cherishing towards me the feelings which he avows in his statement. I did not suppose that he considered me in the light of an intruder and an opponent. I felt a cordial interest in all the affairs of the Institution, and a sincere willingness to waive all personal preferences, and not to press the interests of the department particularly entrusted to my care.
I cannot sufficiently regret that Professor Henry had not, in frankness, acquainted me with his real sentiments towards me. We might thus have been spared many unhappy passages.
It seems that Professor Henry was all the time under the influence of a feeling, that, in yielding to the direction of the Regents in nominating an assistant secretary to act as librarian, he had parted with a prerogative; and he seems to have been not less under the impression that some power over the other officers, which he might claim under the law, had been taken from him by the Regents. He has since alluded to this in a way to show that his desire to recover his position led him to wish to exercise himself the power of removal, and thus reassert a lapsed authority.
It is singular that the secretary, after manifesting such indignation concerning charges against the Regents, should bere himself represent them as trenching upon his prerogatives, in disregard of the law, and in opposition to the best interests of the Institution, and that, 100, in one of their first acts after his appointment.
I repeat, in the most solemn manner, that, so far as I believe, the source of all the troubles in the Institution is solely Professor Henry's determination 10 set aside the compromise, and the means which he took to effect that purpose.
The course wbich he actually took with reference to the compromise is set forth in the paper communicated by me to the special committee of the Regents, and in my reply to Professor Henry's answer to the same.
The only issue which I have ever made with Professor Henry was in my refusal to co-operate with him in violating the compromise, and in defending myself against the measures which, in execution of his plan, he took to depress me.
From my first connexion with the Institution, I had proposed the formation of a set of by-laws and regulations defining the objects of the Institution and the spheres of the officers. This he had never favored. I cannot but think that by adopting it, much, if not all, the subsequent troable would have been avoided.
I am not aware that there were any circumstances relative to my nomination that were not perfectly open and proper. Mr. Choate did not, so far I know, ever propose me as secretary. He certainly did not vote for me for that office. The record shows that I was the choice of a majority of the Board and not simply of Mr. Choate.
Professor Henry states that I entered fully upon my office about a year after my appointment, and at my earnest request to be admitted before the expiration of the expected time. This is disproved by the record. I was appointed on the 26th of January, 1847, and informed that I might expect to be called into full service and the receipt of my salary in about two years. It was on the 6th of January, 1849, two years less twenty-one days from my appointment that a resolution was passed calling for my full service, and allowing me full pay from the first of that month. Such is the record.
I am utterly surprised at the statement that I would render him no assistance unless as the head of an independent department and a co-equal. I set up no such pretensions. I rendered cheerfully all assistance in my power. I arranged the lists and books, and agencies for the exchanges, aided him in the correspondence, and never, so far I know, manifested reluctance to do for him anything but to be made his amanuensis. The claim of independence was never set up by me from first to last, in any instance or manner.
If it should be inferred from Professor Henry's statement that I had ever manifested or felt any reluctance to show to him any letters received or written by me on the business of the Institution, the inference would do me great injustice. I am utterly at a loss to account for the feelings which Professor Henry seems to have cherished on this subject.
I consider it a sacred right for every one to open for himself, or by persons authorized by himself, all letters directed to him. I have never, so far as I know, left town for a day without making arrangements to avoid delay with respect to my correspondence. Letters addressed to me and received at the Institution were directed to be opened there by a person authorized by me to that effect, and nothing of an official character was ever, to my knowledge, withheld from the secretary.
Professor Henry states that the money expended on the stereotyping vas to be charged to the library account. I must state that when the experiments in stereotyping were commenced, there was a distinct and perfectly understood arrangement that the expenditures should be charged to the account of general expenses; because it was supposed that the art would be as useful to the “ active operations” as to the library. The bills were so assigned till, on making up the accounts for the year 1852, Professor Henry finding the library side much less than that for active operations, transferred the whole item for stereotyping, without consulting me, from the account of general expenses to the library account.
The allusions of Professor Henry to a part of my report for the year 1852, at which he took offence, are, according to my recollections, correct in scarcely a single particular. I made no elaborate criticisms upon his report, nor did I, so far as I remember, allude to the parts of his report which he quotes. The remarks which I made related, I believe, to a single point which I had often heard Professor Henry discuss, but which I was not aware at the time he had referred to in any published report. They were argumentative and perfectly respectful, and had, as I supposed, no traceable reference to the secretary.
As soon as I had written the report, I read it to Professor Henry, as I was accustomed to read all my reports to him. He listened to it attentively, and said that he did not approve of all parts, but he would not object to my presenting it. He expressed no offence and appeared to take none. I heard nothing more of the matter till several weeks afterwards, just as I was about to read my report in the meeting of the Regents, Professor Henry came to me and requested me not to read that passage. I accordingly omitted it. I do not think that I saw the paper again for months. Just before it was to be printed Professor Henry told me that he considered the passage alluded to an insult to him. I disclaimed all such intention, and reminded him of what he said when I first read it to him. He then referred me to a passage in one of his reports to which my remarks might seem to be a direct reply. I withdrew the whole report and said he might publish whatever he pleased of it. The passage to which he objected was not printed. This is the real state of the case so far as I know it.
Professor Henry mentions in this connexion the circumstance of my taking offence, as he states it, at being sent for by a servant. I remember that on some occasio: a message was saucily delivered to me by a servant. On the secretary's disclaiming sending such a message, the circumstance was overlooked and entirely forgotten by me, until it was recalled to mind by the statement of Professor Henry a few evenings since. I do not remember the replies which he states that he made to me on that occasion, and am positive in my recollection that this conversation, whether it occurred upon that or some other occasion, had on my part no connexion with or reference to any other subject of discussion.
As to the impression of Professor Henry, that I would shake the Institution to its centre if the compromise was disturbed, if I were foolish enough to make such a threat, I cannot see how anybody could consider it other than simply ridiculous. Professor Henry has been pleased to represent that I was the only person really interested in the library plan. I have considered myself as merely an officer to whom, under the Regents, were entrusted certain limited duties in connexion with this plan. I knew that the plan itself had numerous and powerful friends, who were watching its course with interest, not unmingled with anxiety, and who would be seriously affected by any attempt to dispossess it, and hence alone my remark that such an attempt as he proposed would shake the Institution to its centre.
I have nothing to alter in the testimony which I gave with reference to the interviews with Professor Henry. I have stated the tone of the interviews and the connexion of the conversations to the best of my
recollection. They had no reference to carrying out any plan of my own, but, as I have stated, to his propositions to change the whole plan of the Institution, and to secure my acquiescence in the attempt.
Professor Henry, near the close of his article, attempts to make me responsible for scattered indications of dissatisfaction with the management of the Institution expressed in newspapers. He indulges in assertions and insinuations. This course is in accordance with that previously pursued towards Professor Baird. We are to be held responsible for the acts of all who are said to be our friends. We are to watch our subordinates and control their acts as citizens. Every one that is dissatisfied is, of course, our friend, and instigated by us. He seems to suppose that the affairs of the Institution had been kept so close that no one could know its concerns except through the other officers. He forgets his own reiterated declarations of hostility to library and museum his own intimations that he would get rid of the assistants, and supply their places with clerks submissive to his wishes; and on the ground that the assistants were men of too much standing for him; intimations made repeatedly previous to the time he alludes lo. His own public and unreserved assertions and declarations of his plans and purposes were quite sufficient to awaken the distrust of all interested in these departments of the Institution, and to lead them to express, as publicly, their disapproval of his schemes.
He, more than myself, is responsible for the public expression of such disapproval. In no way can I be made accountable for the represenlation said to have been made to Mr. Maury, (now, for the first time, heard of by me,) nor for newspaper articles wherever published, though the former should be proved as well as asserted to have been made by some of my personal friends, or some of the latter to have been communicated by persons employed under my directions.
It does not become me to suffer myself to be drawn into a discussion of these assertions and insinuations. I have only to say that the course of Professor Henry in this regard is as unjust as it is irrelevant to the present investigation, or to any matter of inquiry under it.
The statement or insinuation that I had neglected the duties of my office in opposing bim, or for any cause whatever, is unjust and cruel.
That Professor Henry, at any time, entertained such an impression, was never hinted to me until it has been brought forward apparently as part of a system of retaliatory charges.
There has never been perfunctoriness in my character or conduct. I have given myself to my official duties with assiduity and devotion, prompted by a deep interest in the objects upon which I was engaged.
Prominent among these has been the development of the catalogue system. The accomplishment of this object was a task which demanded, on my part, untiring and laborious effort, and involved the arrangement and adjustment of many and various literary and mechanical details. While I was thus somewhat exclusively occupied, the gentleman who assisted me in the labors of the library fell ill, and I was under the necessity of employing the aid of others, for whose services I paid from my own funds. At times, several persons were so employed, and were paid wholly or in part by me, in order that I might devote myself to the task I had undertaken.
Professor Henry has been willing to jeopardize, if not effectually, to destroy this great interest, in order 10 get rid of me.
The tone and scope of Professor Henry's statement makes clear to my mind conduct which otherwise seemed inexplicable, and indicates most fully the grounds upon which the Board were induced to support
He considered me, it seems, as the representative of the library plan, which it was his determination to supersede by his plan of “active operations.” Every effort of well meant zeal for the interests of my particular charge was construed by him into opposition to his plans and to him. As he gradually brought the Institution more and more to his purposes, he became more and more suspicious of me. He favored the catalogue system, because he thought it would withdraw me from the idea of the great library. When he thought I was ready for the proposition, he made to me the overtures which I have stated in my testimony. When he found that I would not consent to effecting the overthrow of the library plan, without the full approval of the Board of Regents, he became incensed against me, and resolved to carry his point of annulling the compromise in his own way. The only opposition which I offered was in open representations to the Regents. I said nothing on this subject, so far as I remember, publicly or to individual Regents, that I had not previously said to him. My refusal to aid him in his mode of annulling the compromise, and insisting that it should be openly presented before the Board, was considered by him as insubordination, and he began to assert the most uncontrolled powers over assistants. This led inevitably to irritation among the subordinates, at different times and on different points. There was no combination. This state of things was represented to the Board by the secretary as occasioned by the ambitious or rebellious claims of the assistants. But this, in its extent, was at time unknown to me. I supposed that the regents would soon consider and adjust the question which caused all the difficulty, and declare that the compromise should or should not stand. But delay followed delay for months and almost years. Professor Henry made of it a personal matter, and told the Regents that if they did not approve his course he would resign; that they must choose between him and me. They saw the existence of difficulties. They relied upon his views of their character and bearing. His suspicions seem to have been regarded as facts, and consequently it is not surprising that the Regents sanctioned the course of Professor Henry towards me.
The whole difficulty might have been avoided. The painful personal attitude of Professor Henry and myself towards each other would never have been assumed, had he either kept the compromise, or having openly proposed to the Board its abrogation, allowed the matter to come to as prompt a decision as possible, under a full and fair discussion. I made no personal issues. My whole course was a protest against them. I looked to the public issue alone, the keeping or annulling of the compromise.
Professor Henry alludes to my absence in the autumn of 1852, in a manner not to have been expected. He knew the cause, of a domestic nature, leaving me no election. I was never absent but with his con