Imatges de pÓgina

obtained a paper which appeared in the Star, attacking the late mayor of this city?

Mr. Mcacham raised the point that such testimony was inadmissible till the party introducing the testimony should state bis object in doing so.

Professor Henry waived the right to hear the answer of Mr. Wallach.

Mr. Meacham desired Professor Henry to be requested by the committee to furnish them a statement of all the money expended by the Smithsonian Institution for books, independent of salaries or incidental expenses, for each year separately, since the Institution went into operation; which was ordered by the committee.

Professor Henry offered a paper, giving a general statement of his connexion with this examination; which was read by Senator Pearce, and a copy directed to be filed with the papers of the committee.

Mr. William J. Rhees examined:

Professor Henry.—Will you stat? what conversation took place between us before Mr. Blodgett went to Cleveland ?

Mr. Rhees.-I understood you distinctly to say to Mr. Blodgett that he might produce certain papers at the Cleveland meeting, giving credit to the Institution for the facts, but that you were not willing to assume for the Institution any theories or speculations Mr. Blodgelt might lay before that meeting. I understood that maps and charts had been prepared at the expense of the Institution for this meeting.

Professor Henry.-Do you know anything in reference to my forbidding Mr. Blodgett to write letters without submitting them to me?

Mr. Rhees. I understood you, always, from the time I entered the Institution, to direct Mr. Blodgett not to write or receive any letters on the subject of meteorology without submitting them to you.

Professor Henry.-Was this order obeyed?

Mr. Rhees.-It never was, as far as I know, and I had the best opportunity of knowing.

Professor Henry.—Who opens my letters ?

Mr. Rhees.—The practice in the Institution in regard to letters is this: The messenger brings the mails to me. I then assort them, putting the letters for the different officers by themselves, and they are then sent to them. I open the letters seni to Professor Henry, and all letters addressed to the secretary of the Institution, the librarian, to the museum, &c., or when no person is named on the envelope.

Mr. Witte.—Suppose a letter should come addressed Lorin Blodgett, meteorological department, would it be opened?

Mr. Rhees.- If it came through the navy mail it would be opened. No private letters come through the navy mail, by special arrangement with the navy department; nothing but matter relating to meteorology can be sent in that way.

Professor Henry.-Will you detail Mr. Blodgett's conversation with you shortly after you came into the Institution ?

Mr. Rhees.- I came to the Institution 1st July, 1853. I think it was the first month after that Mr. Blodgett had some conversation with me respecting certain difficulties in the Institution. He stated there was great dissatisfaction among the officers or assistants. That there were difficulties I knew before I entered the Institution, having been so in

formed by Professor Henry, coming in as I did with the full understanding that I was to be bis confidential assistant. I found, after entering the Institution, the case was worse than I supposed. At this interview, Mr. Blodgett said to me that there must be a change in the head of the Institution; that the assistants were all agreed on that point, and that it would be to my interest to take sides with them, or something to that effect. I replied to him that I could not hear anything from him on the subject of such difficulties; that he knew my position ; I was Professor Henry's confidential assistant, and therefore knew all that was going on, and I did not wish to have anything to do with the matter. I left the room then, and refused to talk further on the subject. He spoke to me again on the same subject last summer, in September, 1854. He then stated to me that he had hard work to convince Professors Jewett and Baird that I had not been working against them. He said he was my friend, and then went on to tell me that there were many ways in which I could be of service to them, and him particularly. I asked him why it was that Professors Jewett and Baird had supposed that I had injured them, when I never had said a word or done a thing against them. I received no satisfactory reply to this. He talked altogether about an hour or more. Professor Henry.-When did you inform me of this ?

Mr. Rhees.--I had many doubts as to my course, and did not say anything to Professor Henry on the subjeci for some time, till I had consulted my best friend—my mother—as to what was my duty. I then told him of it. I think this was subsequent to a second interview with Mr. Blodgett.

Professor Henry.—You were frequently present when Mr. Blodgett and myself had conversations. Did I at any time give him any encouragement in regard to back pay, or that his work in the Institution was to be his own properly?

Mr. Rhees.— I heard repeated conversations between the secretary and Mr. Blodgett, and always heard the secretary say the same thing he urged Mr. Blodgett to state his claims definitely, so that he could understand them; always promised him full credit for his work.

As I understood it, the work was in a finished state in December, 1853, when first required by the secretary, only that subsequent observations and reductions might be added at any time.

Mr. Witte.—Did any one of these conversations occur pending the completion of the work?

Mr. Rhees. The conversations occurred after the work was done, as I understood it. That is, the report on meteorology.

Mr. Witte.—You say Professor Henry urged Mr. Blodgett to state his plans definitely. Do you remember what Mr. Blodgett said ?

Mr. Rhees.- I never could tell what Mr. Blodgett meant in his conversations, and only knew from his written communications, made at the request of the secretary.

Mr. Witte.-Do you know of any contract between Professor Henry and Mr. Blodgett ?

Mr. Rhees.—I know of no contract. I make out bills and settle accounts with assistants, &c., &c.

Mr. Witte.—What do you know of the amount of pay allowed Mr. Blodgett?

Mr. Rhees.-Inquired of Professor Henry, and was told to make his bill out at the rate of $800 per annum, or $66 66 each month.

Mr. Witte.-Did Mr. Blodgett at any time receive checks or drafts in the building ?

Mr. Rhees.—Yes, sir; but receipts varied. I regarded the receipts in full which he signed, though some of them vary slightly from the ordinary form. Mr. Blodgett seemed to want more pay—the reason, I suppose, he refused to sign the printed and usual receipt of the Institution, signed by other assistants, and wrote one to suit himself, without the words "in full” in it. The last receipt, with the words “ in full” in it, signed by Mr. Blodgett, was dated April 29, 1854.

Mr. Witte.—Did Mr. Blodgett say why, in his opinion, there should be a change in the head of the Institution?

Mr. Rhees.—Dissatisfaction with Professor Henry was assigned as the reason, as well as the further reason that the assistants had not as many privileges as they desired.

Mr. Witte.—Did Mr. Blodgett state in what manner you would be benefited by taking sides with him and the other assistants ?

Mr. Rhees.-I understood him to say that Professor Henry would have to leave the Institution, and if I sided with them, I would remain; if not, I would have to go too. As I understood it, I had my choice to go or stay. At first I took it as advice, but afterwards regarded it otherwise.

Mr. Witte.—Did he say in what way Professor Henry was to be removed?

Mr. Rhees.-Not definitely. Mr. Puryear.—Did Mr. Blodgett say anything about the manner in which you could be beneficial to him or otherwise ?

Mr. Rhees.-One reason assigned was, my intimacy with Professor Henry, and my means of operating upon his mind in their favor. Mr. Blodgett did indicate the means by which I could serve the assistants, but I do not remember any except the above.

Mr. Witte.-Was there anything said by Mr. Blodgett as to who should succeed Professor Henry ?

Mr. Rhees.—No.
Mr. Witte.-Was any reference made to any new plans, &c. ?

Mr. Rhees.-A reference was made to plans, bui nothing definite was stated.

Mr. Witte.—Did Mr. Blodgett express himself sanguine in bis views ?

Mr. Rhees.--He seemed to have no doubt of success.

Mr. Witte.-Did Mr. Blodgett convey to you the idea that if some other course was not pursued, Professor Henry would have to leave?

Mr. Rhees.—Yes, sir. I understood Professor Henry was to leave, and I was to have my choice to remain or go with him. As he used the word “us,” I supposed, of course, he spoke for all, or some others of the assistants.

Mr. Wells.—What business are you employed in in the Institution ! Mr. Rhees.—General assistant and private secretary to Professor Henry, and attend to details that Professor Henry could not attend to. I assist in the correspondence, accounts, general superintendance of the building, &c.

Mr. Wells.-Did you have any opportunity of knowing the business of Mr. Blodgett?

Mr. Rhees.—Yes, sir. I opened the mail for his department, and knew all about his business, except a scientific knowledge of it.

Mr. Wells.-From what you know of Mr. Blodgett, do you think his statements and opinions would have much weight with yourself or others?

Mr. Rhees.-It would depend upon what the statements were. His statements regarding changes in the Institution had weight, because I had no reason to doubt his assertion.

Mr. Wells. Do you think Mr. Blodgett is such a man as that those who were engaged with him in the plan of change would have placed him at the head of it-entrust its management to

Mr. Rhees.—I don't know what estimate others placed on his character. He was a stranger to me. I had known him but a very short time when he made the statements I have referred 10.

Mr. Wells.- If you knew of any plan to produce changes, how did you know it, and what was the plan?

Mr. Rhees. I knew it from the nature of my business, as confidential secretary to Professor Henry. I saw all the letters addressed to him. That was one way. Another way was, from hearing conversations; and a third, my own observations.

Mr. Wells.—Who besides Mr. Blodgett told you of any plan ?

Mr. Rhees.—I do not wish to implicate any one else. I knew it from written and oral communications to Professor Henry by his friends, and otherwise. Prefer not to reveal names.

Senator Pearce. When you say you knew of such a plan, do you mean that you had positive knowledge of it from any one concerned in it? Or, do you mean that you inferred it from what you saw and heard?

Mr. Rhees.--I had no positive knowledge from any person concerned in it till Mr. Blodgett's communication to me. Before that, of course, all was a matter of belief with me, from the facts within my knowledge. I never heard any one who was interested in the plan speak of it but Mr. Blodgett. I never heard Professors Baird or Jewett allude to, or say a word on the subject at any time.

Mr. Wells.—Did you think Mr. Blodgett’s proposition a responsible one, and that he could carry it out?

Mr. Rhees.— I did not think he could carry it out. I regarded it as responsible.

Mr. Blodgett.—When was the conversation to which you refer—the first conversation?

Mr. Rhees. I think about a month after I came into the Institution.

Mr. Blodgett.–Did you not ask my advice about remaining in the Institution or seeking to return to the Census Office, from which you had been removed?

Mr. Rhees.—No, sir. That relates to another subject or matter.

Mr. Blodgett.—Was 110t the conversation wholly in relation to advice?

Mr. Rhees. The conversation I refer to in my testimony was prior to the one now referred to.

Mr. B.-When did the conversation to which you now refer take place?

Mr. Rhees.—It was soon after I entered upon my duties.
Mr. B.-Was it before or after we returned from Cleveland ?

Mr. Rhees.— I know positively there were two distinct interviews, I cannot say of the date exactly, and cannot say whether the one now referred to was before or after the return from Cleveland.

Mr. B.-When was the first intimation of the plan you have referred to brought to your knowledge ?

Mr. Rhees.—I cannot say. I cannot say that I had any intimation of a plan before I came into the Institution.

Mr. B.-Was the significance of a subsequent conversation with you to get you to remove Professor Henry's misapprehensions?

Mr. Rhees.—That was one of the suggestions.

Mr. B.-Were not conversations of the same character as all those I had with you frequently had with Professor Henry in your presence ?

Mr. Rhees.No.

Mr. B.-When was the written or verbal order first made, that the correspondence to which you refer should be submitted to the secretary?

Mr. Rhees.-I always understood from Professor Henry that this was the rule from the beginning. He always told me so. I always understood it so from the time I entered the Institution.

Mr. B.–Did this relate to scientific correspondence ?
Mr. Rhees.-I knew no difference.
Mr. B.—Had you any authority in the matter of correspondence ?
Mr. Rhees.-Only as agent of Professor Henry.

Mr. B.-Were you aware at the time you entered of any objection to the correspondence I conducted ?

Mr. Rhees.-I knew nothing of his correspondence at that time.
Mr. B.-At what time did you know of any objection ?

Mr. Rhees.--As soon as I became acquainted with my business in the Institution.

Mr. B.--At what time did you become acquainted with the business of the Institution, so as to know of objections, &c. ?

Mr. Rhees.- In less than a month.
Mr. B.- Was it before or afier return from Cleaveland ?
Mr. Rhees.-It was before.

Mr. B.-Did I protest against the form and amount of receipts at first ?

Mr. Rhees.—I think not; but did afierwards protest against both form and amount.

Senator Pearce here introduced and read a letter from Mr. Blodgett, published some time in 1854 in a northern paper, dated July 10, 1854; at the conclusion of which,

Committee adjourned till to-morrow evening, al seven, p. m., same place.

« AnteriorContinua »