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The committee then adjourned to Friday, December 22, at 10 o'clock, a. m.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1854,
10 O'CLOCK, A. M. The committee met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: Messrs. Letcher, chairman, Thurston, Zollicoffer, Ruffin, Eliot, Eddy.
Absent: Mr. Wheeler. Mr. W. B. Chase, who was notified to attend this morning, not appearing, on motion of Mr. Zollicoffer it was
Resolved, That the committee call the attention of the House to facts heretofore reported in relation to the testimony of Mr. W. B. Chase, given before the committee on the 29th and 31st of July, 1854, and that they report to the House the facts in relation to the repeated subsequent ineffectual efforts of the committee to induce Mr. Chase to appear before them and to further testify.
The committee then adjourned to Tuesday morning next, at eleven o'clock.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 26, 1854.
11 O'CLOCK, A. M. The committee met pursuant to adjournment. Present: Messrs. Letcher, chairman, Thurston, Eddy, Eliot, Ruffin, and Zollicoffer.
The chairman presented the following report for the action of the committee :
The committee appointed on the 10th day of July last “to inquire whether money has been offered to members, or other illegal and improper means used, to induce members to aid in securing the passage or defeat of a bill to extend Colt's patent for seven years; and, also, whether money has been offered to members, or other illegal or improper means used, either directly or indirectly, to secure the passage or defeat of any bill before Congress; and that the said committee shall have power to send for persons and papers, with authority to examine witnesses on oath,” beg leave to report, in part:
That your committee further report, that on the 16th day of this nonth they caused the said William B. Chase to be again summoned to appear on Monday, the 18th, before them, to testify further on the subjects on which he had been previously interrogated. The sergeantat-ar.ns made the following return on said summons: “Served by personal notice this 16th day of December, 1854 ;” and the said Chase having declined to appear in obedience thereto, the following resolution, submitted by Mr. Zollicoffer, was unanimously adopted by the committee, viz:
“Resolved, That the committee call the attention of the House to the facts heretofore reported in relation to the testimony of Mr. W. B. Chase given before the committee on the 29th and 31st July, 1854, and that
they report to the House the facts in relation to the repeated subsequent ineffectual efforts of the committee to induce Mr. Chase to appear before them and further testify."
The above report having received the unanimous approval of the members present, the committee directed the chairman to lose no time in bringing it in upon the first occasion of a full House; pending which, the committee adjourned to a day hereafter to be designated by the chairman.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 27, 1855.
Committee met pursuant to call of chairman, at 10 o'clock a. m.
Present: Mr. Letcher chairman, Mr. Eliot, Mr. Thurston, Mr. Zollicoffer, Mr. Wheeler, and Mr. Ruffin.
Thomas Shankland, a witness, duly summoned, failing to appear, the committee adjourned, to meet again upon call of the chairman.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 1855.
The committee met persuant to call.
The chairman laid before the committee the following communication:
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, December 27, 1854. SIR: The second branch of the resolution of the House of representatives, adopted on the 8th day of July last, authorizes the committee of investigation, of which you are chairman, to enquire “whether money has been offered to members or other illegal or improper means used, either directly or indirectly, to secure the passage of any bill through Congress. It is known to you that at the last session of Congress a committee was raised to enquire into the alleged alteration of the text of House bill No. 342, making a grant of land to aid the Territory of Minnesota in the construction of a railroad therein. That committee made a report, which embodies the testimony taken before it, and that report (No. 352) has been printed by order of the House.
I deem it my duty to call the attention of your committee to the testimony of one Robert W. Lowber, given before that committee. His evidence discloses matters which, I think, the resolution under which your committee is acting renders it incumbent on you to investigate. This Mr. Lowber intimates a knowledge of the use of improper means and influences to secure the passage of the Minnesota Land Bill through Congress. It is due to the character of the House, that a charge of so grave a character, made under the sanction of an oath, and now a part of the records of the country, should be enquired into, and a most thorough investigation had in relation to the matter.
The Hon. Alvah Hunt and M. O. Roberts, esq., of New York city, are parties referred to as having a knowledge on this subject, and I trust they will be examined by your committee. A man by the name of John M. Barbour, of New York city, I understand professes to have
some knowledge on this subject, and I think his testimony should also be had as well as that of a Mr. Satterlee of the same city, who is said to have had something to do with a draft alleged to have been drawn in this connexion. I am, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
E. B. WASHBURNE. Hon. John LETCHER.
The committee discussed the question of the disposition of the foregoing paper, and finally ordered it to be set forth in their minutes, and then adjourned to meet again upon the call of the honorable chairman.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1855.
The committee met in pursuance of a call of the chairman. Present : Messrs. Letcher, chairman, Ruffin, Zollicoffer, Eddy, and Thurston.
The chairman brought to the attention of the committee the following application from Mr. George W. Brega, which the committee ordered to be entered upon their minutes, as going to show that in their printed report of the last session Mr. Brega had been incorrectly designated as a reporter.
The committee then adjourned to Monday morning next at 10 o'clock.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1855.
The committee met. The chairman not having had the opportunity of drawing up his report, the committee adjourned until the following morning
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1855.
The chairman submitted his report to the several members of the committee, who instructed bim to report to the House. Attest:
JAS. L. WOODSIDE, Clerk to Special Committee Colt Patent, 8c.
2d Session. S
FEBRUARY 23, 1855.–Laid upon the table, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Flagler, from the Committee on Revolutionary Pensions, made
The Committee on Revolutionary Pensions, to whom was referred the
petition of Ebenezer Benjamin, of Oneida county, New York, a revolutionary soldier, report :
That the petitioner, as appears by his statement, served for three different periods in the revolutionary war, and became blind, as the result of sickness while in such service. He draws a pension, under the act of 1832, of $66 66, which he desires to have increased to $96. He represents that he is 88 years of age, still blind, and wholly dependent upon his pension for support. Several individuals of Oneida county, New York, certify to his character and statements.
In the opinion of your committee, there is nothing in the case which should make it an exception to our general laws, under which, if entitled to relief, he can obtain it by applying at the Pension Office. An adverse report is accordingly submitted.