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Question, (by Senator Mason.) Who judged of the importance or unimportance of the correspondence ?
Answer. I did; he generally giving his assent.
Question, (by Senator Mason.) Did you not receive from Professor Henry a letter, in writing, requesting you not to hold correspondence on the scientific subjects committed to you, without his knowledge and assent?
Answer. I did not.
Question, (by Senator Mason.) Did you receive any letter or letters of that character? If so, produce it.
Answer. I did receive the following. (Produced and read a letter dated March 31, 1854.) Marked (E.)
Office of the Secretary, March 31, 1854. Dear Sir: I hereby officially inform you that all letters addressed to any person relative to the business of the Smithsonian system of metereology must pass through this office to be examined and approved by the secretary of the Institution. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of Smithsonian Institution. Mr. LORIN BLODGETT.
Question, (by Senator Mason.) Then you do not consider the request contained in the third article of the letter of that character ?
Ansuer. I did not.
Question, (by Mr. Mason.) Please to state by whom you were engaged 10 pursue any occupation at the Institution, and on what terms ?
Answer. I engaged to pursue a scientific occupation for an allowance which was not made the subject of an arrangement, but was in his discretion, near the lst of January, 1852. I subsequently came to discharge duties of an officer in fact, and of a scientific character. In regard to which all the important questions were from the first beld for the action of the Board of Regents, as soon as they inight reach them.
Question, (by Mr. Mason.) Was not your occupation to reduce and discuss meteorological observations, as they were submitted to you by Professor Henry, or some one of his assistants ?
Answer. In part, my occupation was to reduce and discuss meteorological observations principally to discharge duties which could not be so designated.
Question, (by Mr. Mason.) Was not your engagement at the Institution entirely at the discretion of Professor Henry?
Answer. It was not.
Question. Was not your pay subsequently put at $50 per month, and afterwards at the rate of $800 per year?
Answer. I decline to answer at this stage, for the reason that my answer must except to the words of the question; my exception is to that part of the question touching the $1 50 per day.
Question. If your engagement at the Institution was not at the discretion of Professor Henry, upon whose discretion did it depend?
Answer. Upon that of the Board of Regents, by the specific assignment of Professor Henry. It was not in writing. Adjourned till Monday evening next, 71 o'clock.
MONDAY, FEBUARY 12, 1855.
Question, (by chairman.) Have you any testimony to give in reference to the 3d specification ?
Ansucr. I have.
Chairman. The paper you now propose to submit is in reference to the 3d specification?
Mr. Blodgett. It is.
At the first I began a distinct work not belonging to the regular business of the Institution.
It was experimental; it originated wholly with myself, and never then or subsequently received direction from any quarter otherwise.
No agreement or arrangement in regard to compensation was ever made. An allowance was proposed—the amount of which was not made the subject of any action whatever by me—by Professor Henry as the measure of present aid on the part of the Institution.
The payments made in this allowance were at the times and in the form of receipt, regularly prescribed for all accounts of the Institution.
From January to July, 1852, the relations of the whole subject to the Institution were those arising under that portion of the plan of organization of the Smithsonian Institution relating to “increase of knowledge, by appropriation of a part of the income annually for particular researches, under the direction of suitable persons, to be supported in whole or in part by the Institution.”
Subsequently, the whole work was assumed, so far as it might be, or in regard to its support, by the Institution as an integral part of its own operations—its results were fully accepted as official or as of a department; and it was made a department in fact by union of its researches with current administrative duties.
Otherwise, and in regard to compensation and official recognition, no action was taken, except ex parte by the Institution, to pay a larger sum as allowance. These questions were not assumed to be decided by the executive officer of the Institution—were asserted by him to be
beyond his power, and were reserved for action of the Board of Regents.
These questions have continued to be held awaiting the action of the Board of Regents, and were never acted on by them in any manner until January 13, 1855.
Payment continued to be made to me as allowance-demand continued to be made for full and further payment-reference of the subject in all its forms, and especially in regard to salary or compensation, continued to be made to the Board of Regents, to the members personally, and to arbitrators.
No definition of my relations to the Institution having been made and no adjustment of my claims, they are de facto relations, to be proved by what they were in fact—and the claims are for the rights inherent to the relations that existed, and for services according to their value.
The philosophical report of research is the work of an author in the highest sense, as scientific rights are of the most sacred character.
Question. S. P. Have you or not declared before the executive committee, in terms of violence, that you would not yield up, except with your life, the papers on which you were employed by and for the Institution?
Answer. I cannot answer that yes or no.
Answer. I must explain, by stating that a remark similar in language to that reported was made by me in regard to my scientific rights in those papers, and not in regard to the possession of the papers merely ; and no remark in this connexion was made in violence.
Question. S. P. Do you mean to say that on the occasion referred to you expressed a willingness to give up the papers to the secretary, or to the executive committee ?
Answer. I did not express a willingness to give them up.
Answer. I refused to do so previous to this interview; at its close it was not asked of me.
Question. S. P. Have you or not, since that time, declared that you would burn them before giving them up?
Answer. I have, at some time, made that expression; not in regard to my papers merely, but in regard to my scientific rights, while subjected to this coercion.
Question. S. P. Do you mean to say that you would burn the papers. rather than relinquish your scientific rights to them?
Answer. I remember to have used the phrase to denote my determination not to give up my rights in the report.
Question. S. P. Did you or not say to the executive committee that you would not give up
had received the amounts claimed by you of the Institution ?
Answer. In substance I did; but no such issue was presented to me by the committee. The point of my position being that I did not recognise the right to take them from me without discharging my claim.
Question. S. P. What were your scientific rights in the papers before: : mentioned ?
Answer. As author; and in the sense of scientific origination.
Question. S. P. What was the nature of the extreme coercion which you say Professor Henry used with you ?
Answer. To induce an abandonment of my scientific rights by a violence of language and manner.
Question, (by Professor Henry.) Have you not said that there were but three persons in the world who could make these researches, viz: Humboldt, Dové, and yourself?
Answer. I do not remember to have said so; I have said those only have made them.
Question, (by the chairman.) Have you anything more to offer in reference to the third specification ?
Answer. I have.
Then read and submitted a paper, marked G, and asked permission to prepare and present, at the next meeting, the balance of his testimony in support of the ibird specification.
Adjourned to meet on Wednesday next, at 7} o'clock, p. m.
WEDNESDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 14, 1855.
Committee met pursuant to adjournment.
At the request of the chairman, Mr. Blodgett read to the committee the memorial which he presented to Congress.
The Chairman.—Mr. Blodgett, you will be pleased to proceed with your statement, which is, of course, on oath. If you make it brief, and as condensed as possible, it will be of great advantage to the committee.
Mr. Blodgett.—I beg to ask whether the papers which have been requested for my reference are here?
The Chairman.— I believe that they are here, and you shall have them.
Mr. Witte.- I should like to know what the witness proposes to do? "The table is groaning under bundles of papers, and at present the prospect is fearful.
Mr. Blodgett.— I have proposed to occupy fifteen or twenty minutes in a statement, citing only certain portions of papers. I have not called for the bundles of papers to which the gentleman refers.
Mr. Witte.- Are the papers here for which you did call ?
Professor Henry.—The list of the papers required was given to me, and I do not think that there is a single one missing.
The Chairman.—Mr. Blodgett, will you please look over the papers and see whether what you want is among them ?
Mr. Witte.-I should like to say a word for the purpose of facilitating our examination. The first and important point for us to settle is the relation which this witness bore to the Smithsonian Institution; the nature of the contract, if there was one, which existed between himself and the Institution. Having ascertained that, it would be then neces
sary to determine the value of the services which he rendered. I remember propounding the question to the witness whether he had a contract with the Institution, to which he replied that he had not. I then asked whether he had an agreement, and was answered in the negative. We are not to settle the question of authorship; that is to be done hereafter. We are to settle whether he had a contract with the Institution; and, if so, what was its nature. When we have done that we can then determine the value of his services, and whether or not what he has already received is adequate pay for them.
Mr. Blodgett. The order stated by the gentleman was the one which I laid out for my statement. The
which I called for were only presented that the examination might be completed, if the committee favored me with the opportunity. The papers upon the table were not desired.
Mr. Pearce.-If I understood the remarks of Mr. Witte I think we can, on the part of the Institution, shorten the labors of the committee. I hold in my hand the receipts of Mr. Blodgett, during the time he was in the service of the Institution. I think that in any court of justice they would settle the question without any difficulty. If the committee think they will shorten the business they will be read one by one, month by month.
Mr. Witte.--In order to a decision of the matter, I move that the witness be now required to submit such testimony as he may have to prove the nature of the contract which existed between himself and the Smithsonian Institution.
The Chairman.—What does Mr. Blodgett propose to prove at this point? Does it bear on Mr. Witte's point or not?
Mr. Blodgett.—My object is to give a statement, and such proof as I can, of my relation to the Institution.
The Chairman.--You have the right to make that statement.
Professor Henry.—All the papers, I believe, are here. They are not all the work of Mr. Blodgeil. We have expended, on the whole, nearly $4,000.
Here, after consultation among the members of the committee, Mr. Witte withdrew his motion.
Mr. Blodgett.—I am unable to make my statement in citation of witnesses.
The Chairman.— Witnesses are not to be cited until you have made your statement.
Mr. Blodgett read to the committee, as portion of his statement, a paper which is marked F.
Mr. Blodgett. It is now necessary for me to show that there is no legal liability on the part of the Institution. I do so by a letter of Mr. Fendall.
The Chairman. Is Mr. Fendall here?
Mr. Pearce. I wish the Institution could be sued, it would save the committee this trouble. Mr. Carlisle, the attorney for the Institution, agreed in Mr. Fendall's